Eddie Jones insists only Ireland’s structure can keep Johnny Sexton operating at the highest level as he prepares England to face the most efficient system in world rugby.
exton turns 37 in July, but he will still play an influential role in Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Saturday, when a defeat would remove the loser from the title race.
Jones admired the Leinster flyer’s endurance, noting his resilience in battling back with frequent injury problems while benefiting from the protection afforded him.
“Jonny is an excellent operator,” says Jones.
“If he played anywhere else in the world it would probably be a little more difficult, but because they have the Leinster-Ireland connection he is allowed to have optimal preparation for rugby. international.
“He’s a tough lad. How many times have we seen him pick up a terrible injury and come back and play well? It’s a testament to his desire and to the way Ireland has set up his team. establish their rugby background.”
Jones immediately chose Ireland as his favorite candidate for the fourth round showdown and – while it was a well-trained tactic of the England head coach – on this occasion, idea.
Only France has a better record this Six Nations, but Andy Farrell’s side came out of a two-season transition period and are now serious contenders for the Welsh crown.
Jones believes that is partly the result of a collaborative approach in Ireland, where the national team can decide how the four provinces use their international players, while also relying on Leinster to provide 2 /3 of their starting XV.
“They are literally, and I say this without hesitation, the most cohesive team in the world,” Jones said.
It is a very different scenario from England, where the players are owned by the clubs, giving Jones less control than Farrell over how they are used. However, Jones insists he is not disappointed with the system he has inherited.
“No, not at all. When I applied for the job, I knew it was going to be. That was one of the big challenges,” Jones said.
“When we got to the World Cup with three months left, everyone was surprised. There are teams that are off to a good start at the moment, but you have to be good enough to get through those.
“We’re not using it as an excuse, we’re not complaining about it, worrying about it, it’s part of the landscape of English rugby. We just have to get on with it.”
Jones says he will give back row seats Alex Dombrandt and Sam Underhill any chance to prove their fitness against Ireland.
Dombrandt was unable to train with the team until Thursday after testing positive for Covid-19 and Underhill is attending his first camp in the Mainland after recovering from a concussion and illness.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/i-say-this-without-any-hesitation-ireland-are-the-most-cohesive-side-in-the-world-eddie-jones-41421426.html ‘I say this without hesitation, Ireland is the most cohesive team in the world’ – Eddie Jones