‘We haven’t played a game of rugby yet. We might go out and train after this’ — Eddie Jones has jokes

ENGLAND COACH EDDIE Jones had an arsenal of one-liners ready to fire in his post-match interviews after Italy caused his side some very serious concerns at Twickenham today.

The reigning Six Nations champions eventually pulled away to seal a 35 – 15 bonus point victory that leaves them top of the table after three rounds, but it was the frustration caused by Italy’s ruck tactics which dominated conversation around the game.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Conor O’Shea’s underdogs employed a controversial (but two-year-old) tactic of opting not to form defensive rucks simply by not adding a second player to post-tackle situations.

“Obviously they’ve been watching Trevor Chappell,” a grinning Jones told BBC Sport post-match, referring to an Australian cricketer who cynically bowled under-arm to prevent any chance of a six.

“We knew they’d come with something, we weren’t sure (what). They took the game to the Nth degree and it wasn’t rugby.

England captain Dylan Hartley and back row James Haskell tried and failed to get their heads around the variation in the approach until a half-time crash course in the dressing room turned the game back England’s way. Jones admitted they could have reacted quicker, but was careful to steer clear of criticising his players.

Indeed, he criticised everybody… while also claiming not to criticise them.

“I’m not critical of Italy, they did what they needed to do to stay in the game and they did that.

“Did we react quick enough? It’s hard when you’re not playing rugby. It’s like playing a different game out there.”

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

On the way referee Romain Poite handled the issue, Jones added:

“He had a terrible day, let’s be honest. He had a terrible day because he wasn’t refereeing rugby and he’s a rugby referee. We’ve got to come up with a new name for it. ‘No ruck rugby’ or whatever.”

The Australian may fall short when it comes to coming up with re-branding ideas, but one-liners? He’s got a million of them:

“I feel like I haven’t coached today. I’m going to give (RFU CEO) Ian Ritchie my money back.”

Watch the full interview from BBC 5 Live here:

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