Jones expecting Ireland’s best performance

Date published: March 16 2017

England boss Eddie Jones is expecting Ireland to deliver their standout performance of the Six Nations in Dublin.

With the title already secured England cross the Irish Sea hoping to win back-to-back Grand Slams, but face their toughest fixture of the tournament to date.

Jones has opted to make two changes to his side as Billy Vunipola and Anthony Watson both start at number eight and on the wing respectively.

While Jones is wary of the pressure being off Ireland going into Saturday with the tournament's outcome already decided, the England head coach also expect his side to go up another gear.

"Most teams in the Six Nations have one big performance – we've seen that from all the teams," Jones said.

"We are anticipating Ireland to be at their best, particularly because they've got nothing to fear, which always liberates a team.

"But when I said 'most teams', we are not 'most teams'. We are a different team, we've showed that, and we are ready to take it to another level on Saturday.

"To go from where we are to greatness takes another step of endeavour. It takes greater focus, it takes greater persistence, it takes greater emotional output.

"It is like climbing up a mountain – every time you go to another level of the mountain it becomes more unstable.

"The ground becomes more unstable, your ears hurt, your nose hurts. It is exactly the same when you are climbing the ladder of success – everything becomes a bit harder.

"And sometimes you have got to just stop and say, 'Right, this is what is ahead of us.' And probably we weren't very good at that. In retrospect, that's my fault.

"We have done that and I think the players have understood the challenges ahead and re-equipped for the challenges ahead."


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