Eddie Jones paid credit to predecessor Stuart Lancaster ahead of England’s bid for a world-record win against Ireland.
If England beat Joe Schmidt’s side on Saturday they will secure back-to-back Grand Slams, and additionally securing the world record for consecutive Test victories for a tier one nation with 19.
The Australian said that the team’s success was brought about by the hard work of the entire camp, and singled out the efforts of former England coach Lancaster, who stood down following the hosts’ early exit from the 2015 World Cup.
“It won’t be an achievement for me, it will be an achievement for the team,” said Jones of the record bid. “We’re in this together; coaching staff, the staff and the players – we all work together.”
“The guy that I think should get a lot of credit for the team’s success is Stuart Lancaster. He was the guy that brought this team through, went through some hard yards with them – most of the players are still the same.”
Jones made light of the way that Lancaster is currently part of the coaching setup at Irish province Leinster.
“I know he’s batting on the other side now, so I don’t know who he’s barracking for on Saturday!”
Following England’s 61-21 thrashing of Scotland at Twickenham last week, Jones said that Ireland would hold a psychological advantage over England in Dublin, a point he furthered during Thursday’s press conference.
“We’ll go into Aviva Stadium ready to play and ready to take the stage,” stated Jones. “We know that Ireland are going to come out and have all their guns blazing.”
“They’ve got nothing to worry about, they’ve got no fear of failure. They were favourites for the competition and now they’re out of it, so we’re anticipating a tough encounter.”
For the clash Jones has brought Billy Vunipola and winger Anthony Watson into the starting XV, with Nathan Hughes and Jack Nowell moving to the bench.
Then Elliot Daly, who took a knock early on in last weekend’s fixture, has passed the return-to-play protocols for concussion and will start at the Aviva Stadium.