England coach Eddie Jones apologises for insulting Ireland and Wales

Tommy Conlon March 13 2018 12:01am The Times Not on our ground how Eddie Jones can rally his troops Tommy Conlon

Tommy Conlon March 13 2018 12:01am The Times Not on our ground how Eddie Jones can rally his troops Tommy Conlon

Eddie Jones issued an apology on Wednesday night after footage emerged of the England head coach describing Ireland as "the scummy Irish" and Wales as a "little s*** country" during a talk on leadership given past year.

In his apology, released by England's Rugby Football Union, Jones said: "I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused - no excuses and I shouldn't have said what I did".

England head coach Eddie Jones refused to be drawn out in today's press conference regarding the comments he made about Ireland.

Jones made a decision to perform major surgery to his team following England's 22-16 loss to France in Paris last weekend - a defeat that ended their hopes of a third successive Six Nations title under the Australian coach.

England fought back in the second period but were unable to overturn the deficit and Jones paid tribute to the Grand Slam champions.

Speaking publicly on the matter for the first time yesterdayday, Jones refused to expand on his remarks.

What may not be so easily avoided, however, is a third straight Six Nations defeat for the first time since 2006.

Marius Van der Westhuizen has been stood down from assistant refereeing duties for Ireland's Grand Slam clash on Saturday after attending an England training session. I'm still dirty about that game, but we will get 'em back.

"We need to get on the front foot against Ireland and we've selected a team to do that". I thought our effort against Ireland was outstanding.

"If they don't beat Ireland, and they have three hard games against South Africa (in the away series that follows), they can go from a losing streak of three to six very quickly".

Jones says increasing the "leadership density" within the squad, as well as the depth of players capable of playing "Test rugby", are issues for him to address while he also pointed to the number of injuries in England's backrow.

"The other team was too good, we gave them penalties that were avoidable which has been a trait of us in this Six Nations and we allowed them to skip away too far at halftime and then we were chasing our tail the whole game".

On that form, England should really be focusing on fixing their immediate problems before even contemplating the biggest tournament in world rugby next year.

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