Eddie Jones says England going through 'tough period' after French loss

	Stuart Hogg during the captain's run at Murrayfield before the Scotland team left for Dublin

SNS Stuart Hogg during the captain's run at Murrayfield before the Scotland team left for Dublin

England host Ireland next weekend at Twickenham in their final match of the NatWest 6 Nations with the latter in search for their first Grand Slam since 2009.

JOHNNY SEXTON has urged his Ireland team-mates to upgrade their Six Nations title to a Grand Slam.

It was hardly surprising that at times during Ireland's 28-8 win over Scotland in Dublin, the centre pairing of Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose failed to get their moves right.

England have lost consecutive games under Jones for the first time and face a tough task ending that streak against Ireland next Saturday. "So you've got to take that in equal doses". The fact that a still bigger prize is on offer this week is a factor, but while those in 2014 and 2015 were hanging in the balance until the last seconds, from the moment England lost to Scotland two weeks ago it would have been a huge disappointment had Ireland let it slip from there.

Armand and Haskell, as well as Kyle Sinckler, likewise fit the mould and may come into the side against Ireland after catching the eye off the bench in Paris. "It's freakish [also], because we won it watching a game over which we didn't have any control over". England missed Hughes badly when he went off in the first half and, with Lawes also out of action - both are due to have scans on Monday - Armand fits the bill for the hard-edged forward needed against Ireland. And if we're not very much in the game, they could get away from us very quickly with the athletes that they have in their team.

England coach Jones saw his team concede a massive 16 penalties, with Anthony Watson also yellow carded for the high tackle on Benjamin Fall that saw South African referee Jaco Peyper award the penalty try to France. If you think this is abnormal, I think that thinking is abnormal.

"It is global rugby and we know it is a step up from Premiership", said Danny Care, the England scrum-half.

These are all very valid points and it remains to be seen whether Jones is able to address them in time for the visit of Ireland to Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.

'I think they're going to be really risky, ' Schmidt added. "Any team that is developing as we are, you go through these tough periods, when the game doesn't love you", he said. "We play Ireland next year in the Six Nations and we will play them in 18 months at the World Cup and we need to make sure we are a better team when we play them".

The New Zealander noted: "There are plenty of knocks but no injuries, one of the good things is we made a few tactical subs but none of them were really injury induced".

"But we won't get carried away with ourselves".

Jones, reportedly earning £750,000-a-year, reined back from criticising the Premiership, where tries are often easy to come by. "The shoe is on the other foot after previous year and I'm sure they will be licking their lips".

Latest News