Rugby Union

England coach Eddie Jones: Arrogance is only bad when you lose

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Eddie Jones has continued to dismantle the cultural foundations laid by the previous England regime by declaring he is happy for his team to be labelled arrogant as long as they are winning.

Jones' predecessor as head coach, Stuart Lancaster, was determined to disprove the reputation that has traditionally cloaked the Red Rose as part of his drive to restore the image of the national side.

Some felt England became too passive amid their desire to win friends, but Jones will allow his players to voice their hopes and expectations without fear of upsetting the management if accused by rivals of bragging.

"Arrogance is only bad when you lose. If you are winning and you are arrogant then it is self-belief. When you lose it is being arrogant," Jones said.

"We are a side that is going to prepare well for Test matches. We're going to believe we can win Test matches and we're going to believe that we are going to be the best team in the world.

"Now if that's being arrogant then it is being arrogant. To me it is belief about what we can be.

"I am quite happy for the players to talk about that because that is the way we are going to think and that is the way we are going to prepare."

Jones has apologised to Scotland coach Vern Cotter following last week's round of verbal sparring and backtracked by installing England as favourites for the Calcutta Cup clash.

The RBS 6 Nations launch was the setting for the rival coaches to exchange words in the build up to Saturday's Murrayfield showdown.

Jones insisted Scotland were favourites on the strength of their performance at the World Cup but Cotter took the opposite view, claiming Jones was trying to relieve the pressure on his shoulders.

"Vern Cotter doesn't want to be favourites. We're happy to be favourites. I know he was upset about that so I apologise to Vern," Jones said.

"If you want me to write a letter, I'll write a letter of apology. We're happy to be favourites.

"We've had a good preparation, we've done everything we can and we'll go in there confident about playing well."

Jones is famed for his mind-games and, while he disagrees with the term, he admits the verbal jousting is key in the build-up to any match.

"We just try to win games of rugby and everything we do is about winning. Everything we say is about winning," he said

"Every time we talk to the media, we are trying to find a way to win. I don't see that as mind-games - it's just part of the process.

"I just think you have to do everything you can to win. Whatever helps you win, you've got to do. And that's my job as a coach. That's what I'm hired to do."

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