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Eddie Jones dubs Ireland 'the United Nations of rugby'

The controversial England coach has also had a pop at Andrew Porter’s scrummaging technique ahead of Saturday’s international.

Australian Eddie Jones joked today about Ireland's Southern Hemisphere contingent.
Australian Eddie Jones joked today about Ireland's Southern Hemisphere contingent.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

EDDIE JONES HAS taunted Ireland ahead of Saturday’s Autumn Nations Cup match at Twickenham, calling them the United Nations of rugby.

Andy Farrell’s starting XV contains five players, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park, CJ Stander and Quinn Roux who were all born in the Southern Hemisphere.

“I heard someone calling them the United Nations, mate, so I had a little chuckle,” Jones said. “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.”

Jones has no players in his starting XV who qualify via the residency rule. However, foreign-born players Manu Tuilagi, Joe Cokanasiga, Mako and Billy Vunipola have all featured regularly for him. 

Jones added: “In 2017, we were going well and Ireland beat us for a grand slam. We will never forget that.

“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.

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“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 up front. I can’t see this being any different.”

In this respect, Jones’ mind-games continued as he questioned Andrew Porter’s scrummaging technique.

“He scrums in a fairly unusual way which may need some referee intervention, so we’ll wait and see,” Jones said. “We’ve got a referee who generally doesn’t reward dominant scrums, so it’ll be interesting to see how he looks at that area. We’ll need to be adaptable to his calls; it’s no use scrummaging if you can’t get a result out of it.”

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Garry Doyle

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