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Eddie Jones: I'll be satisfied when England become number one team in world

Published 14/03/2016

Eddie Jones has backed England to complete the Grand Slam
Eddie Jones has backed England to complete the Grand Slam

Eddie Jones has demanded England are crowned irrefutable champions of Europe by completing the Grand Slam as the first step towards becoming the dominant force in the game.

The Red Rose have claimed the 2016 RBS 6 Nations title with a round to spare following a penultimate weekend in which Wales were toppled at Twickenham and Scotland despatched France.

A first Grand Slam since Martin Johnson's World Cup-winning team of 2003 is on offer in Paris on Saturday, and Jones wants England to demonstrate they are the unchallenged rulers of the northern hemisphere.

"The history is fantastic. England have been playing rugby since 1871 - that's 100 years after Captain Cook arrived in Australia - and England have only won 12 Grand Slams," he said.

"So only 12 times have England been able to say that, conclusively, we're the best team in Europe. That's what the Grand Slam gives you the chance to do.

"No-one can debate that and that's a fantastic opportunity. It's like when the Australians and New Zealanders come over and do the grand slam here. If you beat everyone in Europe, it's a great achievement.

"It's a good week for us - where we can really prove ourselves to be a side that's changed. That's the opportunity for us.

"That's what we want to do - show everyone in Europe that England has changed its rugby. Beating France in Paris will be a big statement in doing that.

"But I can't say I'd be satisfied there. I'll be satisfied when England become the number one team in the world - that's the whole aim of coming here.

"The Six Nations title is a nice little step for us. It's nice to get a trophy for the cabinet, but we have bigger fish to fry and the first one is the Grand Slam on Saturday."

England celebrated being crowned champions for the first time since 2011 by reflecting over a few drinks in the hotel bar at their Surrey training camp on Sunday evening.

Jones took the opportunity to consult those players involved in the final-day Grand Slam failures of 2011 and 2013 over the potential pitfalls awaiting when the tournament reaches its climax.

"When we had a few beers I spoke to a couple of the players who'd experienced those Grand Slams and I asked them if there was anything we could learn," Jones said.

"They said a few things so we can learn from that. The underlying thought is that you can't underestimate an opposition team in Test match rugby.

"France are a proud country. Guy Noves is proud to be coaching them - he has one of the best domestic records in European rugby.

"He promised the public they would be going back to French rugby. They have no reasonability on Saturday. They can play with freedom and flair, which makes them dangerous. We must be right for the game, we must crush them with intensity.

"The thing I'd be disappointed with is if their desire and work-rate is higher than ours, because there's no reason for it to be.

"While the French present a problem to us, the biggest problem is ourselves. We'll get ourselves right this week."

The next assignment looming on the horizon is the three-Test tour to Australia in June.

"We've got one game to go and then we'll worry about picking the squad for Australia," Jones said.

"We've got to take a side down there to play Bodyline. If we're going to beat Australia in Australia, we've got to have a completely physical aggressive team."

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