Jones not blaming Premiership for England's woes

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has been England coach since November 2015

Ireland have the chance to consolidate their place in second - and win a Six Nations Grand Slam - when they play England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Jones, reportedly earning £750,000-a-year, reined back from criticising the Premiership, where tries are often easy to come by. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" - England's rugby anthem - was being sung with added gusto around Twickenham. I wasn't really able to eat it to be honest, the France-England game was on the big screen and people were keeping a very close eye on it.

"I can't blame the Premiership", Jones said. We are basically getting on with it, the players' attitude has been fantastic, they have a real desire to turn things around. They gave away 16 penalties, missed 16 tackles, and were turned over nine times.

France were superior at the breakdown, an area where England also suffered when they lost to Scotland in their previous game.

"Against both Ireland and England, we've shown we can go up against them and we will continue to do so". Jones knows that, too, having criticized England's deployment of Robshaw in that position during the Rugby World Cup when in charge of Japan. "I said at the start of the tournament they're a good team and they've proved that - they're worthy champions of the Six Nations".

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"No, not at all", said Jones when asked did he lack belief in his players. "But good as we've been, it won't be good enough against England. Sometimes you've just got to change the way you do things".

The Zimbabwean-born Armand represented Western Province and the Stormers between 2012 and 2013 before he joined Exeter. George Ford is a lovely fly-half with front-foot ball, but muted when he is going backwards.

Woodward was clear over England's greatest failing at the Stade de France, where the French scored a penalty try and five penalty goals.

"We've been criticised a lot, but we never lost faith in the squad", the hooker said. "We controlled the ball and that upset them because they're not used to it".

The Welsh now occupy second spot on 11 points, one more than England and France.

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"Each player will get what they need to get". Against the run of play, the Scots took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

In a world full of worrisome woes - from Brexit to North Korea, and the obesity crisis to what on earth Meghan Markle will wear for the wedding - English rugby supporters thought they had everything ginger-peachy. Meanwhile, Jones rested Farrell for two Tests in the autumn, but mostly the players continue on a relentless slog, not that the powers-that-be ever do much about it.

COMPLACENCY England's rise to No. 2 in the rankings led to favorable comparisons with the All Blacks. In 2015 the players were no good, in 2016 they were terrific, 2017 they were world beaters and now after two games they are no good again.

"They've quite a few very risky players in their back line", he said. "Teams have ups and downs".

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