6N: England lose to France 22-16 and relinquish title

English rugby coach Eddie Jones sorry for calling Irish 'scummy'

6N: England lose to France 22-16 and relinquish title

England spent the fortnight after the Calcutta Cup rout at Murrayfield working on their breakdown, only for the same issue to surface in Paris, a effect of which was their attack never left first gear.

- Ireland are unbeaten in their last 14 home games in the Six Nations (W12, D2), before that run they had never gone more than seven such matches in the Five or Six Nations without defeat.

The New Zealander noted: "There are plenty of knocks but no injuries, one of the good things is we made a few tactical subs but none of them were really injury induced".

James Haskell, who as a third-quarter replacement provided the type of power that had been missing, cites a difference in emphasis between club and worldwide rugby as the source of the problem. "I can't blame the Premiership", Jones said.

These are all very valid points and it remains to be seen whether Jones is able to address them in time for the visit of Ireland to Twickenham on St Patrick's Day. At global level, whatever the scores are this week and last week, it's a five percent difference that will be the telltale sign between a victory and a loss.

"It's not a club problem. We need to get momentum because if you're carrying into a brick wall, it's pretty easy (for the opposition) to get over the ball".

England need, as a team, to develop their breakdown game to the point where the nearest two players in the loose instinctively go in to support the ball-carrier and effectively clear out the first opposition player to contest the ball.

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"They are a tough bunch and acquit themselves in tough moments very well". "We haven't been quick enough to adjust to that". They are an global side picking their players from four provinces - in a country where rugby is the fourth-most popular field sport behind Gaelic, Hurling and Football.

The unpalatable fact is that the flaws exploited by an average but physically powerful France team were not ones that were a surprise.

In the past Jones has recruited the former Australia flanker George Smith as a consultant but the head coach does not believe a specialist breakdown coach is the answer.

"I think Rory [Best] is desperate for Grand Slam because he feels he would be a bigger part of it now than he played back then. So you've got to take that in equal doses".

As a result the absences of Billy Vunipola and Hughes are keenly felt, as is that of a fit and firing Manu Tuilagi. Against Ireland (lost 15-13 in the last minute), we were there, we lacked just a little bit at the end.

It was this welcome in Westmeath nearly three decades ago that drew Schmidt from Clermont to Ireland in 2010, when the offer of the Leinster head coach job came up.

England's hopes of keeping the battle for the championship alive were effectively ended when it failed to score a try in a stop-start first half.

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