Six Nations

Eddie Jones threatens media ban

2016-02-28 06:50
Eddie Jones (Getty)

Twickenham - England coach Eddie Jones threatened a "self-imposed media ban" after his side maintained their bid for a Six Nations Grand Slam with a 21-10 defeat of Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Victory over the defending champions made it three wins out of three for England under the Australian.

The former Wallaby and Japan boss had riled Ireland in the build-up by suggesting the parents of flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who has a history of concussion problems, should be concerned for his welfare after the Irish management said he had suffered a "whiplash" type injury in a 10-9 loss to France.

But with Wales, whose coach Warren Gatland is renowned for pre-match mind games, England's next opponents, Jones said: "I'm putting a self-imposed media ban on myself before the Wales game.

"I will leave that to Warren Gatland, he's pretty good at it."

England, in a match where second-half tries from Anthony Watson and Mike Brown helped redeem a lacklustre opening period, had to play the final nine minutes a man down when replacement scrumhalf Danny Care was sin-binned.

England full-back Mike Brown might have also have seen yellow and perhaps even been sent off in the same ruck incident after his boot made contact with the head of scrumhalf Conor Murray, whose lone try for the visitors gave Ireland a 10-6 lead early in the second half.

Jones, pressed on whether Brown had been fortunate to escape punishment, said: "The referee (Romain Poite) adjudicated. If the ball is on the ground you are allowed to play it."

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, whose side have yet to win in this Six Nations after starting the Championship with a draw against Wales before the defeat in France, was clearly concerned by what had happened to Murray.

"They have people who look at those things and I have never, ever tried to influence that but it's something I'll look back on because Conor has stitches close to his eye," he said.

"I know that Mike Brown wouldn't have done it on purpose, he was trying to connect with the ball, but it's not something for us to influence whether he was culpable for being reckless or whatever," the New Zealander added.

England were again indebted to another hard-charging display from vice-captain Billy Vunipola, with the No 8 named man-of-the-match for the second time in three games.

"Billy's just going to get better and better," said Jones of the 23-year-old.

"He's got quite a senior role as vice-captain. He's not a great talker but he leads by example."

Meanwhile Saracens star Vunipola said: "I feel more confident to try things and I think I am fitter.

"I go looking for the ball on the floor and try and get across that defensive live."

England have not completed a Grand Slam since their World Cup-winning year of 2003 and Vunipola said talk of a clean sweep was off the agenda ahead of clashes with Wales and France.

"We are not thinking about France at all and certainly not talking about any Grand Slam," he insisted.

"We have won three games and have two massive ones ahead of us.

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  eddie jones  |  rugby

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Saturday, 03 February 2018
Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium 16:15
France v Ireland, Stade de France 18:45
Sunday, 04 February 2018
Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico 17:00
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium 16:15
England v Wales, Twickenham 18:45

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