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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

'1883?' Eddie Jones pokes a little fun at Scotland's winless run in Twickenham

However, the Australian then called for an improved atmosphere from the Twickenham crowd.

File photo: Eddie Jones.
File photo: Eddie Jones.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ENGLAND HEAD COACH Eddie Jones was in a jovial mood as he considered Scotland’s woeful record at Twickenham ahead of this afternoon’s Six Nations finale.

Scotland hold the Calcutta Cup after a 25-13 win over England at Murrayfield last season, but have not beaten their southern neighbours at Twickenham since 1983. A continuation of that streak this weekend could see England take the Six Nations if Wales fail to complete a Grand Slam against Ireland in Cardiff earlier on Saturday.

Jones, asked why he thought Scotland had endured a win-less run since ’83, jokingly replied “1883?” even though Twickenham has ‘only’ been staging rugby matches since 1909.

On a slightly more serious note, Jones pointedly noted that large home crowds had the ability to sway match officials.

“It’s because the referee gets influenced,” Jones said ahead of a match that will be controlled by New Zealand’s Paul Williams. “There’s no doubt about it.”

“The referee’s such a crucial component of the game of rugby,” the Australian added.

“We’ve got a great game based on contest and whenever you’ve got contest you’ve got the referee involved. They’re human beings and they get influenced by the environment. That’s certainly a factor.”

“The support of your fans is also definitely a massive factor,” added Jones, who saw England’s bid for a Grand Slam this season end with a 21-13 loss away to Wales.

That’s one thing the Welsh have got in their favour, haven’t they? They’ve got a great Cardiff crowd and we’ve got a great Twickenham crowd. That’s going to help us on Saturday in those tough moments. The players might not hear it but they feel that positivity.”

It has often been suggested that rugby union’s oldest international fixture, first played in 1871, means more to Scotland than England but Jones was adamant there would be plenty of emotion fuelling his players on Saturday.

“We’re not playing Mars or Pluto, we’re playing Scotland. They’ve got passion and play the game a certain way.

“We’ve got passion about playing for England. It’ll be about which side comes out with most intensity and desire and that’ll be us.”

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey on The42 Rugby Weekly as Ireland bid to spoil Wales’ Grand Slam party in Cardiff, and the U20s target their own piece of history.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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