Eddie Jones has taunted Scotland on the eve of today’s Calcutta Cup showdown by responding to their failure to win at Twickenham since ’83 with the quip – “1883?”
A third Six Nations crown of the Jones era is the prize at stake when England seek a victory that, combined with Welsh failure to complete the Grand Slam against Ireland, would propel them to the summit of the northern hemisphere.
We’re nowhere near our best, we’re just slowly getting there. We’ll be at our best for the Six Nations on Saturday.Eddie Jones
Injury-ravaged Scotland are 14-1 underdogs as a disappointing tournament limps to a close at a venue where they have not won since 1983 – a sorry run spanning 17 Tests – and it is that statistic that Jones seized upon to mock Gregor Townsend’s side.
“Since 1883!? 1983, OK. If we impose our game on Scotland it’ll be pretty tough for them,” smiled England’s head coach.
“We’re not playing Mars or Pluto, we’re playing Scotland. They’ve got passion and play the game a certain way.
“We’ve got passion about playing for England. It’ll be about which side comes out with most intensity and desire and that’ll be us. There’s a great deal of urgency about what we want to do, how we want to play, the point we want to prove.
“We want to be the best team in the world and we know we’re not the best team in the world, but we’ve got an opportunity to show that we’re the best team in the Six Nations. And we’re not going to miss that opportunity.
“We’re nowhere near our best, we’re just slowly getting there. We’ll be at our best for the Six Nations on Saturday. There will be a bit of an explosion.
“We’ve had a great week this week and we are absolutely excited by the prospect of finishing well.”
For all the misery inflicted upon Scotland at Twickenham, they enter the 137th instalment of the oldest rivalry in international rugby in possession of the Calcutta Cup after prevailing 25-13 at Murrayfield a year ago.
That defeat began England’s five-Test losing run that placed Jones’ future in doubt, but since then two key coaches have been added to the staff – John Mitchell and Scott Wisemantel.
Six Nations preview: Page 7