England head coach, Eddie Jones named Ireland as the best side in the world following his Six Nations Squad announcement in London.
Jones’s England travels to Dublin in two weeks time to take on an Ireland side currently riding the crest of a wave having followed up last year’s Grand Slam victory with a series win in Australia and a first-ever home win over New Zealand.
“Ireland is the best side in the world. They are a very well coached and drilled side and have particular things they do well in the game.
“To beat Ireland, we need to compete brutally in all the contest areas of the game.”
England will travel to Portugal for a training camp before their February 1 showdown with Joe Schmidt’s men.
“We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury. We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good ten-day preparation for the Ireland game.”
“The first thing when we get together as a squad is to get our cohesion back. The players have been playing for their clubs with different styles and different playing philosophies, so it’s about getting them thinking about playing the England way.
“The second thing is to get our togetherness stronger to work as hard as we can to make sure we are well connected on and off the field so Portugal is an important camp for us.”
Dylan Hartley will miss the big game in Dublin through injury, but Jones insists his captain will return later in the Championship.
“Unfortunately, Dylan won’t be available for the Ireland game so we won’t take him to Portugal but we are hopeful he will be back later in the Championship. Owen will be captain by himself and he will certainly have great support from a number of senior players.”