England to get out the blocks fast

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 16:33
Large eddie jones england points2 800

SIX NATIONS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Eddie Jones believes the key to an entertaining Six Nations will be fast starts across the board - admitting that England have struggled out of the gate in recent seasons.

Jones' side will begin the defence of their title against France next month, as they go in search of back-to-back Grand Slams, before facing a tricky trip to Cardiff to face bitter rivals Wales.

The Australian believes his side need to be even better than they were a year ago if they want to retain the trophy and wants them to start the campaign in style, something he says they have not done in over a decade.

"The Six Nations is a unique competition because of the intensity of the rivalry," Jones said.

"If we can get the rugby to a great level, it will become the greatest tournament in the world," he added.

"Teams were frightened of losing in the opening two rounds of the Six Nations last year.

"They played well within themselves and did not want to take any risks, but the quality was much better on the final two weekends.

"We want to change that. The last time England played well in the first round was against Wales in 2006.

"Before that you go back to the great side of 2001-03. Otherwise, England have stumbled and got a close victory.

"I want us to go out there and set a benchmark in the first game."

Jones faces a selection headache in the front row ahead of France's visit to Twickenham, with Joe Marler joining Mako Vunipola on the sidelines.

The loosehead prop was forced out of Harlequins' 29-26 win over Sale Sharks on Saturday with a calf problem and will have a scan this week.

There are further injury concerns over Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and George Kruis - while Billy Vunipola is a long-term absentee.

Source: @SixNationsRugby

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0