Jones' England are in Dublin for a clash with Ireland on Saturday. Billy Stickland/INPHO

'That rat poison in the media... We try to keep it out of the players' heads'

England boss Eddie Jones has criticised some of the negative coverage of his team.

ENGLAND BOSS EDDIE Jones says he and his coaching staff have to work hard to keep “rat poison” written in the media from getting into their players’ heads.

Losses to Scotland and Wales in the current Six Nations led to fresh criticism of Jones and several of his players before they silenced some of their critics with a thrilling win over France last weekend.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ireland in Dublin, Jones was asked about Elliot Daly’s confidence as the Saracens man returns England’s starting XV at outside centre in place of the injury Henry Slade.

Daly had been at fullback for England earlier in this championship before being dropped for Max Malins ahead of the win over France. But asked if Daly’s self-belief had taken a knock, Jones criticised the negative media coverage of his team.

“I’ve never seen confidence walk through the door, so I don’t know what confidence is,” said Jones. “Players might think differently, they might work a bit harder, they might work a little bit less. We are always just trying to get them to think right.

“I don’t think there is any such thing as confidence, you either think rightly or you think wrongly. And the wrong time [is when] you start to listen to the poison that’s written in the media – that rat poison gets into players’ heads.

“We try to keep it out of their heads. We try to spray all that rat poison that you try to put in and get it out of their heads, so we are always working hard to keep it out of their heads. It keeps me busy, mate.”

While keeping on top of his own players’ mindsets, Jones has also had a close eye on Ireland in recent weeks ahead of their showdown in Dublin on Saturday evening.

Jones doesn’t believe too much has changed with Ireland in recent years.

“There will be a set-piece, aerial contest,” said Jones. “There will be two major battles, one in the set-piece, and that’ll go to the gainline. And the other will be in the air.

“Ireland have got a pretty strong way they play the game, particularly at Aviva Stadium, and we’ve got to be good enough to win both those areas.

“If we win one it’s going to be a flick of the coin and might be up to who puts the television replays on the screen to decide what happens.”

Murray Kinsella, Bernard Jackman and Gavan Casey preview Ireland’s game against England and try to figure out where this team is going under Andy Farrell, if anywhere:

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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