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Grand Slam heroes: Eddie Jones shows humble side as he heaps praise on Joe Schmidt and Ireland

  • Ireland seal their third ever Grand Slam with a 24-15 win at Twickenham
  • Eddie Jones describes the Six Nations winners as 'a good, tough team'
  • Ireland team get set for homecoming at Aviva Stadium this evening
17 March 2018; Ireland players, from left, Jordi Murphy, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jonathan Sexton, Dan Leavy and Conor Murray celebrate following the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
17 March 2018; Ireland players, from left, Jordi Murphy, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jonathan Sexton, Dan Leavy and Conor Murray celebrate following the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

David Smith

England manager Eddie Jones has conceded that Ireland are "worthy Grand Slam winners".

Ireland sealed their third ever Grand Slam with a 24-15 win at Twickenham, and Jones has described the Six Nations winners as "a good, tough team".

"I thought our players really stuck at it but we gave them too big a lead," the Australian native said afterwards.

"It's obviously disappointing but you go through these little runs and the only way you get out of it is by sticking to the process and focusing on what you need to improve.

Eddie Jones looks on during the NatWest Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham
Eddie Jones looks on during the NatWest Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham

Jones also bemoaned the hosts' concession of penalties, claimed that England's slump is "natural" after their third consecutive defeat today.

"We've just got to keep working at our game, keep looking at how we can improve it," he continued.

"As I said, this is quite natural for a team to go through. It's not good, but it's natural.

"We gave them too many penalties at the beginning of the game which allowed them to gain such a big lead.

"They're a good, tough team. They're well coached and very well disciplined. They play to their strengths and are very worthy Grand Slam winners."

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Meanwhile, Jones made light of being booed by disgruntled supporters after England's 24-15 defeat at Twickenham that saw Ireland crowned Grand Slam champions.

Jones was jeered as he gave his post match interview on the pitch - a first for the Australian whose 28-Test reign has now been marred by three successive defeats.

"I didn't hear it. Have you got a recording of it, I'll listen to it later, it'll put me to sleep tonight," Jones aid

"The only thing I can control is coaching the team. I can't control what you say, what the crowd does. All I can do is coach to the best of my ability.

"You have these runs and I have coached long enough and sometimes you get out of it quick and other times longer.

"At the moment it's got to three games, its not nice but it is part of the process of being a better team.

"We learnt a lot about the team in this Championship and how we need to develop our game, which is important. So as disappointing as it is, it's part of being a better team.

"Every team I have had that has been a champion team has had these runs and they are instrumental in how you remake a team.

"When you take over it is reasonably easy, like I did with England, to improve a team quickly because you fix things that need fixing quickly.

"But internal mechanisms take time to fix and that is the slow burner. Unless you fix them they catch up with you when you get to the big tournaments such as the World Cup."

Jones denied England have regressed despite conceding second place in the global rankings to Ireland last weekend.

"I don't think we have. In terms of results we have, but in terms of where we want to go as a team, we are moving forward. I know that is hard to see," he said.

"There is nothing that stands out that we massively need to fix. There are a number of things that are ongoing.

"We have spoken about leadership density - having more leaders on the field - and that is something that is a slow burner, you have got to build that, you have got to keep working on it."

Jones hinted that some players involved in this year's Six Nations may not appear at the World Cup in 18 months.

"Some guys have come in and done really well and some will maybe struggle to participate in the future. We have to get a greater depth to our squad that can play test rugby," he said.

"There are some guys who are starting their international careers and they need time. I have to decide whether I have got time to get them ready for the World Cup."

Additional reporting by PA

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