Rugby Union

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations.

Eddie Jones makes grave warning to struggling England players after Ireland defeat

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It was yet another horrible day at the office for Eddie Jones and his England team.

Not only did they suffer the embarrassment of Ireland winning the Grand Slam against them in their 24-15 defeat, but they also lost their two-and-a-half year unbeaten record at Twickenham.

It also meant that the Red Roses finished in fifth position in the table, as France moved above them due to a better points difference.

Ireland controlled the game from the off and had three tries by half time, the first of which marred in controversy over a potential knock on.

Rob Kearney appeared to do so when challenging Anthony Watson in the air, but Garry Ringrose was on hand to ground it, before CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale also scored, while Elliot Daly replied with the first of his two tries.

Daly and a late effort from Jonny May ensured that the scoreline at least wasn't embarrassing, but Ireland had trodden all over England on their own patch in that first 40.

Jones' comments that aired during the week about the 'scummy' Irish certainly seemed to backfire, and at full time he was raising eyebrows yet again.

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations

The Australian said that it would be the last time some of his men pull on the white jersey for him, as after three straight defeats against Ireland, France and Scotland, his faith in them is being questioned.

While the Six Nations may not be the be all and end all, and Jones added that the World Cup in 2019 is still the main focus, only managing two victories against Italy and Wales is particularly troubling.

However, he made the astonishing claim that this campaign has in fact been England's best under him, as he's learned a lot about his players.

"The effort was there today but we don’t like losing games," Jones admitted.

"We have these runs sometimes. We’ve had a fantastic run but now we’re going through a tough one.

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations

"It’s been our best Six Nations in terms of moving forward as we've learned a lot about what have to work on physically, tactically and leadership-wise moving forward.

"We desperately wanted to win the Six Nations but everything we’re doing is geared towards winning the World Cup next year."

On that form, England should really be focusing on fixing their immediate problems before even contemplating the biggest tournament in world rugby next year.

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations

In the last three defeats it's seemed to take the Red Roses an eternity to kick into gear, and by then the damage has been too severe to recover.

The hard work must start right away, to ensure England don't suffer an embarrassment like this Six Nations any time soon.

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