Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

England coach Eddie Jones prepared for battle against France

Eddie Jones has warned France to expect another "war" when England launch their RBS 6 Nations title defence at Twickenham on Saturday.

Jones has tapped into the history between the countries based around their 20 conflicts dating back to 1213 as his Grand Slam champions target a record 15th successive Test victory.

"It's always a historic game, certainly there is history between France and England," he said.

"We've got one staff member who is into history - (defence coach) Paul Gustard.

"There's been 20 wars between England and France. That's a lot of rivalry there. There is another one happening on Saturday.

"We are going to face a side that's desperate for success. They are under pressure to play with French flair.

"Their coach has been talking about that, they want to play like that, and that puts a certain pressure on them.

"It's really important that we're in the game right from the start and that's in the head. We have to front up, do the business.

"It's like going down the coal mine every day. We've just got to do the business, and our players will."

While Jones knows the competition heading into the 103rd meeting between the rivals will be fierce, he insists it is a steely sense of professionalism rather than emotion that should drive them on

"I don't try to pretend to be English to the players. I'm their coach. I coach them to play rugby," the Australian said.

"I coach them to be emotionally right for the game and if we need that 'let's get stuck into the French' type situation' I'll leave it to the assistant coaches to do it.

"I don't think we need that. If we need that then there's something wrong. I don't believe teams are motivated by that.

"You hear stories about speeches like that when a team wins but generally speaking, teams want to play well not because they dislike the opposition or because there's a tradition to the rivalry."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph