Eddie Jones: it's time for relegation in Six Nations

Florence Fletcher
March 13, 2019

The lesson we've learned from past year is to try and get better each day rather than let the negativity get on top of us.

Eddie Jones thinks that the Guinness Six Nations' organisers must consider introducing promotion and relegation after his England side subjected Italy to their 21st consecutive championship defeat.

The 21-year-old Bath flyer, an imposing figure at 6ft 4in tall and 18 stones in weight repeatedly outpaced and overpowered the Italy cover as England hammered the Azzurri 57-14 on Saturday to keep their Six Nations title hopes alive ahead of their concluding clash at home to Scotland on March 16.

For all Scotland lifted the Calcutta Cup last season, the fact remains they've enjoyed just four triumphs Twickenham triumphs over England - and the last of those was in 1983.

The replacements did inject pace after the game began to meander on Saturday but, in truth, the match was done and dusted with them all still snug on the bench after little more than half an hour when Manu Tuilagi ran in his team's fourth try.

Meanwhile Jones tried to put the Wales defeat in context by saying it was part of England's evolution.

Recalling the upset and the incident, which made him swear off taking public transport, the Australian said: "We'll rip into training and be at our absolute best next week because we're going to have to be to beat Scotland". Sometimes, we might have short memories, but sometimes, you have longer memories.

"I just wanted to take this opportunity with both hands", added Cokanasiga who, ironically, spent much of the match carrying the ball in just the one hand".

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Jones also took the blame for poor coaching in the Feb 24 Cardiff setback, which handed over the Six Nations initiative to Wales. Probably not. I was filthy about the way I coached.

"It was hard", Italy coach Conor O'Shea said.

"Sometimes you can over analyse things".

"People will say we've got nothing to play for - but we've got pride to play for, Scotland to play for".

"They were a hurting side".

The Six Nations, which brands itself as "Rugby's greatest championship", has been a closed shop since Italy joined in 2000 but Jones has urged its organisers to rethink their position.

As for Italy's prospects against France, who face Ireland in Dublin on Sunday, O'Shea said: "Rugby can change very quickly".

Italy captain Sergio Parisse added he was "pretty confident" of being fit for what could be his last appearance in the Six Nations after the veteran No 8 suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday.

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