England coach Eddie Jones sure players are still with him

Eddie Jones insisted his England players are still responding to his methods despite a 32-18 mauling by Ireland that equalled their worst overall Guinness Six Nations performance.

Under pressure: England coach Eddie Jones saw his sude slump to defeat in Dublin. (Photo by Niall Carson - Pool/Getty Images)

Tries by Keith Earls and Jack Conan, accompanied by 22 points from Johnny Sexton, inflicted a third defeat of the competition and, to compound the fallen champions’ misery, they were bullied into submission at the Aviva Stadium.

England will finish fifth for only the second time since 2000 to intensify scrutiny of Jones, but the head coach is convinced the team remain on the right path.

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When asked if he is still getting through to his players, Jones said: “Ah yeah, most definitely, I don’t think that’s the issue. If I thought that was the issue I wouldn’t be coaching the team. As disappointed as I am about the result, we still know where we are going and we’ll continue in a positive fashion.

“There were a lot of positive things in the game. It (was) a difficult game for us but we still know where we are going.”

Apart from a stirring 23-20 victory over France, it has been a dismal two months for England who have entered full reverse since the 2019 World Cup when they lost to South Africa in the final.

“We need to assess where we are going. As I’ve said all along, we are going through a transition period in the team,” Jones said.

“This is almost a natural time for that to happen with two years before the World Cup. Those things will happen.

“We’ve had a fairly settled team for the last four years and that’s natural. But post the Lions, maybe there will be changes to personnel.”

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: “I am just delighted for the lads because they’ve come in for a bit of stick.

“Obviously we’ve lost a couple of games and we never like to lose. The lads have always believed in how they are progressing.”

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