Sunday 30 April 2017

Eddie Jones: Ireland were the Six Nations favourites, they'll be "grossly disappointed"

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Eddie Jones, the England head coach, faces the media at the media session held at Pennyhill Park on March 13, 2017 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Eddie Jones, the England head coach, faces the media at the media session held at Pennyhill Park on March 13, 2017 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Ruaidhri O'Connor at Pennyhill Park

Eddie Jones believes Ireland will be “grossly disappointed” that after letting their chances of winning the Six Nations slip last weekend and is expecting a reaction on Saturday when his champion England side roll into Dublin.

The Australian conducted an unscheduled media briefing at England’s Pennyhill Park base this afternoon and took the opportunity to remind the journalists in the room that so many of them had tipped Ireland to claim the title his side won last year.

Instead, defeats to Scotland and Wales mean Ireland are playing for places while Jones’ men have retained their title and are targeting a Grand Slam this weekend.

“They’re an extremely well coached side,” Jones said of Ireland.

“They’ll be grossly disappointed by their performance on Friday (against Wales). I’ve just been reading all the predictions at the start of the tournament and a number of people tipped them to win the competition.

“So, they were favourites, they haven’t won the Six Nations and they’ll be carrying the expectation of their country to do well.

“We haven’t got anything to celebrate yet. It is all ahead of us.”

Jones gave a positive update on Elliott Daly’s fitness and hopes to have him available for the final game.

He agreed that this year’s competition has been of a higher standard and reckons the experience of claiming the trophy in Paris will help calm nerves.

“Last year we were nervous and I expect us to be nervous this year. It is a big occasion. You don’t get a chance to win a Grand Slam back to back too many times but experience helps,” he said.

“The players have experienced that the year before so I’m sure they will cope with that.

“Every year is difficult. There’s a perception that this year has been better and it probably has been, but you’ve still got to win and to win it you’ve got to stay undefeated. You have to be around your best for five games in a row. That’s an achievement.”

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