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big battle Eddie Jones insists England can beat 'favourites' Ireland in Twickenham clash

England coach labels Farrell’s men favourites but insists his side can triumph in Twickenham

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England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Adam Davy/PA

England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Adam Davy/PA

England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Adam Davy/PA

Although he labelled Ireland favourites and branded them “the most cohesive team in the world” ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash, England coach Eddie Jones retains the belief that his side can land another major blow to Andy Farrell’s side’s psyche.

In the opening game of the 2019 Championship, the Australian’s side delivered a stunning performance in Dublin that derailed Ireland after the previous year’s Grand Slam success. In the aftermath, then coach Joe Schmidt said Ireland were left “a bit broken” by the loss.

Subsequently, Jones’ men kept their foot on Irish throats with big, psychologically damaging defeats at Twickenham in 2019 and twice in 2020 before the tide turned in Dublin last year.

And the coach believes his side can re-establish their dominance over Farrell’s side this weekend with both sides looking to stay in the title hunt.

“There’s no reason why we can’t,” he said. “We’re in a perfect position, aren’t we? They’re flying high, we can’t get our own way or past the barrier according to most journalists. They’re flying down the home straight and we’ve got to catch them, so it’s a great opportunity.

“We go into the game knowing they’re a good team – we’re a young but very, very good team and our best is yet to come. We’re building and building in the right direction.”

Jones believes that Ireland’s system and Farrell’s decision to pick heavily from Leinster means they are in a strong position at this point of a World Cup cycle.

“All I can say is once you get three months from the World Cup everyone becomes even as everyone has the same amount of time,” he said.

“That’s where things become different for teams who maybe become more productive in other times, because of their advantages. That’s all part of it.

“Ireland are literally, and I say it without any hesitation, the most cohesive side in the world.

“The bulk of their team train together for the bulk of the year, they’re very well-co-ordinated in their attack, they’re very structured, they’ve very sequenced set-plays and they’re tough around the breakdown. We’re looking forward to the challenge, we’re not intimidated by any team.”

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