Eddie Jones fired a warning to England’s Six Nations rivals by insisting they were “nowhere near” their best despite beating Ireland 32-20.
The 2018 Grand Slam winners were outplayed in Dublin on Saturday as Henry Slade starred for a dominant England side who wrapped up a bonus-point triumph in style.
But even after halting Ireland’s 12-match winning run at the Aviva Stadium, Jones claimed there was plenty more to come from his side.
“We’re a team that’s still growing, we’re nowhere near our best and will play better than that,” said the Australian.
“Some games are immensely physical, some are more tactical and we went in there and probably shaded them a little bit in that area.
“We know they’re a top team but I thought our intensity, particularly in the first part, was outstanding.”
All of the reaction from Eddie Jones after the #GuinnessSixNations bonus-point win in Ireland
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 2, 2019
The result suggests England are primed for a far more profitable campaign than last year’s Six Nations, when they placed fifth, but Jones refuted any notion that it laid down a marker for the World Cup in Japan.
“These games have got nothing to do with the World Cup, these games are standalone games between a very good Ireland side and an improving England side and that’s how we’ll look at them,” he said.
“We’ll start worrying about where we are standing in the World Cup when we’re 10 days out from the first game.”
Next up for England is the visit of France to Twickenham and Jones is anticipating a tough challenge against a side who surrendered a 16-0 lead to lose their opener against Wales.
“If you take away the 14 points they gifted Wales, they would have won that game so we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves. We know France is going to be a difficult game,” he said.
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