Eddie Jones does not expect quick fix to England's breakdown woes


"Every good team goes through this period", Jones said today, "it's actually an essential part of developing a great team". Or could it have a more tangible legacy?

"It's not as if we can't play rugby, we know we've got good players as they've played for the Lions and won games for England".

Woodward was clear over England's greatest failing at the Stade de France, where the French scored a penalty try and five penalty goals.

Perhaps the most significant achievement of the likes of O'Gara, Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell are the players now seeking to match them.

All attentions now turn to whether Ireland can achieve that all-so-elusive Grand Slam at Twickenham.

The importance of the matchday 23 in the modern game can not be underestimated, with Stander acknowledging: "I think (the replacements) have got a job to do as they get on".

Scotland and now France have capitalised on previously uncovered fault lines to lift some of the shine off Jones' outstanding record of 24 wins from 27 Tests, but the Australian head coach is determined to retain perspective.

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"I don't think this spell was inevitable, but I think it's normal".

"I haven't played there before so it would be pretty special to go to what is an incredible stadium with 80-odd thousand people".

"You just need to use your opportunities".

"I always said this year would be the hardest year we'd have".

"They need to understand that this doesn't happen very often".

Maitland, 29, said the Six Nations was "obviously a really tough competition".

"I still think they're a really, really good side that can be very unsafe".

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The team with the most points at the end of the meet won. "It's a blessing to be a freshman and be able to compete at nationals". The women's competition wasn't almost as close, as OR finished with a remarkable 84 points, 33 more than second-placed Georgia.

Hopes of a third successive title have been left in tatters over the past two matchdays and Saturday's anticipated St Patrick's Day decider at Twickenham will now only determine whether champions Ireland can complete the Grand Slam.

Ireland, who also prevented English Grand Slams in 2001 and 2011, are braced for a backlash. We've got to break old habits first, then introduce new habits.

"The learnings we'll get from this, albeit very painful, are absolutely crucial going forward because it's about how we respond".

"[Ireland captain] Rory Best has said that we have got to dig deeper than ever against England and that's a brilliant attitude", said Ward.

Defeat by Ireland will condemn England to their worst Six Nations performance since 2006 - the last time they lost three matches - and a possible fifth-placed finish.

While Ireland have not been flawless in any of their matches so far, Murray believes they are fixing problems as they go along.

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