Jones hails ‘absolutely superb’ Ireland

Date published: March 19 2017

England head coach Eddie Jones was full of praise for Ireland after his side fell short of winning back-to-back Grand Slams.

Heading to Dublin with a second straight Grand Slam on the line, as well as the record for the most consecutive wins by a Tier 1 team, England were outmuscled by a fired-up Ireland.

Jones was naturally disappointed at a first defeat in charge but took heart from a positive Six Nations Championship, which England won with a game to spare.

"It’s a great result in terms of the Championship," he told RTÉ Sport.

"We’re obviously disappointed today that we were beaten by a very good Ireland side. They played to the conditions well, they were absolutely superb and my hat’s off to Ireland.

"We just couldn’t get any momentum in the game which again is a great credit to Ireland, who played very well. They defender well, they were excellent around the ruck and their line-out ruck was superb.

"It was their day today and 100 percent congratulations to Ireland."

Jones also re-iterated that England were still on track to be successful at the next Rugby World Cup, knowing that they would never go that far without a defeat.

"That’s our ambition, we want to win the World Cup," he added.

"We never thought we could go to the World Cup in 2019 unbeaten, the reality of sport is that someone’s going to catch you on their day and that’s what happened today."