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'Everyone hates England!' Eddie Jones calls on players to use rivalry as motivation

“There is that long-seated rivalry and hatred of England. You can feel it.”

Ireland and England's rivalry has boiled over in the past.
Ireland and England's rivalry has boiled over in the past.
Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

EDDIE JONES HAS told his England stars to use the hatred from their rivals as fuel to power their bid for the Six Nations title.

Jones knows England have long been the Championship’s most highly-prized scalp, with the Celtic nations and France desperate to topple a historical foe after centuries of shared enmity.

Jones has no qualms about embracing the bitterness and the Australian called on his team to revel in the animosity ahead of Ireland’s visit to Twickenham on Saturday.

“Maybe Clive Woodward summed it up best when he said everyone hates England — that’s true,” the England boss said.

Because of the history that is involved with the social and historical context, there is that long-seated rivalry and hatred of England. You can feel it.

“I’m not going to use it, but within the side they can use it. As I said when I took over, I’m not English, I’m Australian, but I will be absolutely committed to them.

“I’m not going to talk to the players about things I don’t understand. I only talk to them about things I do understand. But we have got staff that can do that. And if we think it is appropriate we will.”

Jones will oversee his first match at Twickenham as England coach when the champions visit in the third round of the Six Nations.

When asked about the previous regime’s decision to fill changing rooms with historical signposts in the hope of generating team culture by tapping into the past, Jones instead chose to focus on what happens on the pitch.

“The whole week we spend trying to get it right on the field. The dressing room is 40 minutes before the game,” Jones said.

“To me it’s not insignificant, it’s important, but it’s not something I’ll be staying up at night worrying about.

You go back to the (former New Zealand coach) Graham Henry situation when Tana Umaga was All Blacks captain.After five games Tana went up to him and said ‘Graham, do you think your speeches are really having a good effect?’And Graham said to Tana ‘yes I do, what do you think?’. Umaga said no. And then Graham never made a pre-game speech after.

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“To me, it’s not a significant part of our preparation. It’s what we do out here on the field during the week that will count. That’s what counts on the inside.”

© AFP 2016

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