Saturday 24 March 2018

'I have no issue with it provided it doesn't get personal' - Brian O'Driscoll's message to Eddie Jones

Brian O'Driscoll and (inset) Eddie Jones
Brian O'Driscoll and (inset) Eddie Jones

Brian O'Driscoll has stoked the flames with England manager Eddie Jones ahead of a potential Grand Slam decider for Ireland in Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.

A win over Scotland in Dublin tomorrow will mean Joe Schmidt's men will secure their first Grand Slam since 2009 with victory over Eddie Jones' men next weekend.

Pre-match barbs and mind games have become standard practise for Australian Jones.

Before England played Wales in the first round of games in this Six Nations, the England head coach questioned 24-year-old Rhys Patchell's bottle in the lead-up to the clash.

And last year, Jones causes a stir when he said Johnny Sexton's parents should be concerned over his apparent concussion issues.

“You're going to identify that you're going to go after a pivotal player in the team," O'Driscoll said, speaking at the Laureus 2018 World Sports Awards.

"I think Eddie Jones has stepped over the mark," said O'Driscoll.

"A couple of years ago when he talked about being concerned for Johnny Sexton's parents with his apparent concussion issues, I thought that was overstepping the mark.

"I think targeting a player and saying that they're going to be putting an awful lot of focus on them, that they're going to be going after them and shutting down their time..I have no issue with it provided it doesn't get personal and it's not angle-based in a nasty capacity."

O'Driscoll also reckons Scotland exploited a weakness in England's game and Ireland can do the same.

"You've to be brave. You've got to look at where they tried to attack them," added the former Ireland captain.

"England have been excellent there but I also think that's their vulnerability too if you're willing to throw the pass.

"Jonathan Joseph does a good job of presenting a particular picture but I don't think, if you go into those wide channels, it's as effective as the picture might appear.

"I thought Scotland pulled that apart brilliantly.

"Finn Russell was willing to throw those passes. That one to Huw Jones over the top of Joseph on the pocket between him and Jonny May was an exceptional pass, but a ballsy one too.

"That gets plucked off and he's the villain. But it was right on the money."

Online Editors

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