‘England will be physical’ – Jones

Date published: March 14 2017

England head coach Eddie Jones says his team will be at their “physical peak” when they face Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Jones’ side retained the Six Nations title last weekend by overcoming Scotland 61-21 at Twickenham, and in doing so, head to Ireland looking to seal back-to-back Grand Slam titles.

And Jones says his side are physically primed for the fixture.

“Physically we will be better than last week against Scotland,” he told the RFU’s official website.

“We’ve spent eight weeks to be at our physical peak for this game and we will be. The emotion of the situation will arise from us a great performance.”

Jones added his side must also have an aggressive and emotional edge over their opponents.

“We have to be better than Ireland,” he said.

“More aggressive, more emotional in the right way, more committed and we have to be smart and skillful.”

After his side’s Calcutta Cup triumph, Jones warned that the job was not finished, and urged England to achieve greatness.

“I expect us to play better than we did last week,” he revealed.

The Australian credits Joe Schmidt’s side as ‘tactically smart’ and believes they will be fuelled by emotion on Saturday.

“Any team that beats the best team in the world (New Zealand) does a lot of good things,” he added.

“They (Ireland) are capable of playing really well, but it is our job to make sure they don’t.”

With their 18th win in-a-row last weekend, England equalled the record of consecutive victories by a tier one nation – set by the All Blacks – but Jones admits his side pay little attention to accolades, and are nowhere near where they want to be.

“Our aim is to be the best team in the world so we don’t need any external motivation,” he explained.

England have only won 25 percent of their Six Nations encounters against Ireland in Dublin, but Jones reckons the motivation to achieve a “once in a lifetime opportunity” will beckon their best performance of the Championship.

“You learn from history, we’ve got players who have been successful there and unsuccessful there,” the 57-year-old said.

“We’ve gone over the areas why they were unsuccessful or successful, and factored that into our preparations this week. I expect us to play better than we did last week.”