Friday 23 March 2018

Six Nations touchlines: England jumping to Jones' beat

England head coach Eddie Jones Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne
England head coach Eddie Jones Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne
David Kelly

David Kelly

England play their first game in Twickenham HQ since the World Cup disaster - when players were more concerned about not being allowed wear their Dr Dre headphones (because they had a deal with Samsung).

As Eddie Jones continues to consign the past regime to the bin as much as possible, he was asked will the team also ditch their recently revived walk from the car park, a tradition fostered under Stuart Lancaster.

"It's up to the players," he said yesterday, before turning to the press officer he endearingly calls 'Jumpy'.

"That reminds me, can you can make a note of it? See he's good Jumpy, he's more than my media advisor."

Twickers treble the ultimate prize

Jonathan Joseph's hat-trick against Italy was only the 12th in the history of the RBS Six Nations with all being scored by centres or wings.

Brian O'Driscoll remains the only player to have completed the feat twice (against France in 2000 and Scotland in 2002) and was the youngest at just 21. The only other Irishman to have achieved the mark is Rob Henderson against Italy in 2001.

Vincent Clerc, once Ireland's perennial bête noire, is the only Frenchman on the list having romped in for three in 2008.

George North is the only Welshman and the other seven were all completed by English players. No Scotsman or Italian makes the list and nobody - yet - has scored one against England!

Over to you Simon Zebo…

Rugby's best out west

Connacht continue to show that expansive rugby can achieve results even when your injury numbers regularly soar into double figures.

Top scorer Matt Healy joined the Irish squad after a weekend when 280 points were scored in the Guinness Pro12, the best in a round this season.

Connacht's 54-31 win over Zebre was the fourth-highest aggregate score in the league's history.

European qualification has really helped to shake up this once moribund competition.

Quote of the day

"Maybe Clive summed it up best when he said everyone hates England, and it's true" - Eddie Jones on Woodward's old line as old enemies prepare to meet.

Number of the day

158 - Number of caps in least experienced Six Nations XV of all time, the one Warren Gatland selected to beat Scotland in 2000.

Irish Independent

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