Six Nations

'Wonderful' Six Nations excites England boss Jones

2018-02-05 07:08
Eddie Jones (Getty)

Rome - England coach Eddie Jones forecast fans were in for a treat following the "wonderful rugby" played on the opening weekend of this season's Six Nations

Jones's men launched their bid for an unprecedented third successive outright title by rounding off the first round of fixtures with a 46-15 win away to Italy in Rome on Sunday. 

A crowd of more than 61 000 spectators at the Stadio Olimpico saw England run in seven tries, with an emboldened Italy scoring two of their own before fading away late on. 

The fixture capped a weekend where Wales hammered Scotland 34-7 in Cardiff, while Ireland needed a last-ditch drop goal from Johnny Sexton to see off France 15-13 in Paris. 

It all promised a truly competitive tournament, in marked contrast to last year's Rugby Championship where world champions New Zealand were yet again the overwhelmingly dominant side in the southern hemisphere equivalent of the Six Nations. 

"I thought if you look at the three games in the championship so far, what wonderful rugby," said Jones. 

"You had Wales and Scotland throwing the ball from side-to-side, you had Ireland and France in an old-fashioned arm wrestle. 

"You saw today (Sunday) that there was a bit of an arm wrestle and then it opened up at the end. 

"We feel honoured to be part of the tournament and the tournament is only going to get better," added the Australian after overseeing his 23rd victory in 24 Tests in charge of England. 

"We go next week (against Wales) at Twickenham, there will be 82 000 people, they'll be absolutely pumped and we'll be pumped to play in front of them." 

The speedy Watson gave England an early 10-0 lead with two unconverted tries and Jones, perhaps mindful he was in Italy, said: "He got the Maserati out of the car park today." 

Simmonds might not have even been on the bench had both Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes been fit, but the Exeter back-row did not look out of place in what was just his fourth Test. 

"Sam's a good young lad with a great set of skills," said Jones. 

"If he was a cricketer he'd be playing Twenty20," the avid cricket fan added. 

"He's a bit different - he's fast and runs good lines." 

Reflecting on England's overall performance, Jones said: "Our scrum and line-out was absolutely first-class. I don't think we've scrummed as well as that in the time I've been in charge of England. 

"We were completely dominant and that's English rugby. When the game broke up at the end we were able to score tries... It wasn't the perfect game but very, very positive." 

The one downside for England was the sight of Ben Youngs being taken off on a medical cart just 10 minutes into the game after crying out in pain when his knee buckled during a tackle. 

"Ben will have an examination tomorrow (Monday) so we'll know more after that," said Jones. "He's unlikely to be available for the Wales game." 

As for who would join Danny Care, who came off the bench in Rome, as a scrumhalf in England's squad for Wales, a playful Jones, indicating a preference for a 'kicking' No 9, said: "They're on the Batphone mate." 

Sunday's result meant Italy, who've now lost all 24 of their Tests against England, had gone 1,072 days since they last enjoyed a win over any opponent in the Six Nations. 

"I'm proud and angry," said Italy coach Conor O'Shea, the former Ireland fullback, after a match where Azzurri skipper Sergio Parisse suffered a rib injury. 

"Proud because we saw a team with a lot of potential for the future. But I'm annoyed because we caused them a lot of problems with the ball but the defeat is another statistic." 

Italy next face O'Shea's compatriots in Dublin and he admitted: "It's a long, hard road ahead for us and we will have to be more disciplined against Ireland."

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Lions wary of Jaguares scrum

2018-02-23 07:18

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Friday, 23 February 2018
France v Italy, Stade Velodrome 22:00
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium 16:15
Scotland v England, Murrayfield 18:45
Saturday, 10 March 2018
Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium 16:15
France v England, Stade de France 18:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will win the 2018 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.