“I heard someone calling them the United Nations, so I had a little chuckle.”
Eddie Jones has had a dig at Ireland ahead of Saturday’s match at Twickenham. Ireland take on England in the Autumn Nations Cup, and Jones has referred to his team’s opponents as ‘the United Nations’ of rugby.
The England coach was referring to the five Southern Hemisphere-born players in Andy Farrell’s team – Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park, CJ Stander and Quinn Roux.
Eddie Jones: Ireland are the United Nations of rugby.
“I heard someone calling them the United Nations, so I had a little chuckle,” Jones said at his pre-match press conference.
“Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Simon Easterby are just selecting the team they are allowed under the regulations. I can understand how Irish people would be upset about Irish-born players missing out. But they are the laws and regulations of international rugby; they are just sticking by the regulations.”
There are no players in the England starting XV who qualify for the team through the residency rule. Although they have regularly included foreign-born players such as Manu Tuilagi, Joe Cokanasiga, Mako and Billy Vunipola in their team.
“The traditional rivalry is enormous.”
Jones went on to say he’s anticipating a tough game against a ‘dangerous’ opponent.
“In 2017, we were going well and Ireland beat us for a grand slam. We will never forget that,” the England coach said.
“These are different sized countries with different histories but the traditional rivalry is enormous and it needs to be respected. They’ll be well prepared and come to Twickenham with a point to prove, which always makes them dangerous.
“It’s a huge step up from what we’ve encountered in the last couple of games. Any England-Ireland game I’ve been associated with has always been a contest upfront. I can’t see this being any different.”