‘It’s about awareness’ – Jones

Date published: January 25 2017

England head coach Eddie Jones has likened the new tackle sanctions to speed cameras ahead of his side's opening Six Nations game against France.

Jones was speaking alongside captain Dylan Hartley, who is now cleared to play after serving a suspension for a high shot on Sean O'Brien.

Sporting a black eye from a mishap in the bathroom, the head coach stressed that all players need to be strict on themselves from now on.

"It's about awareness," he said at the Six Nations launch on Wednesday. "You have to be more diligent at being better at tackle technique.

"There is nothing different in the game. It is always been illegal to attack the head of opposition. All World Rugby have said is if you touch the opposition player's head then there's going to be a penalty or yellow card or red card."

He added: "You put speed cameras in and what happens, you get hundreds of people getting a fine. 12 months later those fines have decreased. It will be the same with this tackle situation. In the next three months there's going to be cards until players learn to be within the speed limit. We'll get there and when that happens, like most of the roads, then it becomes a safer place to play rugby and that's what we want."

Jones revealed he was pleased with their training camp in the Algarve, especially their "hit-out" which saw hooker Hartley prove his fitness.

"I've been really impressed by the players," he added. "There is a good mix of people who have been there before and those who are trying to make their mark. The attitude has been first class.

"We had a training run on Monday which was more organisational and then on Tuesday we had a hit-out and that was an excellent session."

Unsurprisingly he was quick to shut down talk of defending the Six Nations crown they won in 2016, stressing their focus is on February 4.

"Beating France, that's all we're worried about," he said. "If we beat France then we'll worry about what happens after that. France are going extremely well, they should have beaten Australia and could have beaten New Zealand last year. That's how well they're going."

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