Ireland will be a ‘massive step up,’ warns England coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones: Wary of Ireland. Picture: PAEngland head coach Eddie Jones: Wary of Ireland. Picture: PA
England head coach Eddie Jones: Wary of Ireland. Picture: PA
ENGLAND head coach Eddie Jones insists wins over Georgia and Italy will have done little to get them ready to face Ireland on Saturday.

The Red Rose eased past Georgia 40-0 at the weekend as they opened their Autumn Nations Cup campaign against opponents playing at Twickenham for the first time. Ireland started with a 32-9 victory over Wales on Friday and Jones said: “The last two games haven’t helped our preparations.

“Our difficulties are we’ve played two Tier Two countries and now we’re playing a side who have had a great preparation playing against Wales and France.

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“We’ll have to prepare really well. It’s a massive step up if you look at the world rankings.

“Ireland are a tough, physical team. They have been in the top four or five teams in world rugby for the last four or five years.

“They’ve had some European success, had a change of coach after the World Cup and Andy (Farrell) has made their attack a little bit unpredictable.

“He’s changed selection, bringing in (scrum-half) Jamison Gibson-Park and (winger) James Lowe so they present a massive physical challenge and a good tactical one.”

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England certainly won the physical challenge against Georgia, quickly getting on top of their revered scrum when declining an easy penalty shot at goal early on.

Jones said: “In every game there’s a key contest you have to win. Psychologically, we wanted to take the scrum away from Georgia. We didn’t manage to do that completely but if there were boxing judges there we’d have probably got a points decision. So we won the most important contest of the game.”

He added: “We would have liked to have executed a bit better. We maybe left 20 points out there.”

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