Record run is denied
England are not currently slated to face back-to-back world champions New Zealand until 2018, but the RFU are battling to secure a prestige November 2017 fixture with the All Blacks at Twickenham. Jones’ clear desire for England to face New Zealand merely underscores his aim to turn his side into the world’s best.
“There’s a lot of discussions to go,” said Jones.
“A lot of discussions with New Zealand and within the rugby community, there’s still a lot to go.
“You have these days, Ireland played superbly and they were too good for us on the day. And we weren’t good enough.
“We’re all human beings, we’re not perfect, and that’s why world records finish at 18 games because it’s hard to keep. They used the conditions superbly we probably didn’t. They played above themselves; we played below our usual level.
“I didn’t prepare the team well enough today, and the next Test we play I’ll prepare them better.”
When asked what he had done wrong in Dublin in preparing England, Jones continued: “I’m not sure, if I knew I’d do it. I’m human like everyone else, I make mistakes. So at that.”
Ireland scrambled a second-place finish in the Six Nations, as well as ending another world-record run at 18 matches. Joe Schmidt’s men downed New Zealand on a run of 18 consecutive wins in Chicago in November, and have now added the record-equalling England to that scalp. Australian boss Jones insisted there was no relief in England losing their winning streak.
Asked if losing the winning run could alleviate pressure, Jones replied: “No. I think it’s fantastic having the pressure to perform. I’ll look
“To win the World Cup you’ve got to win seven in a row, you’ve got to cope with that pressure. That was like a World Cup final today and we weren’t good enough.
“We’re 14 months into a four-year project. We’ve been chuffed with the results we’ve had. We were caught in certain areas today. Full credit to Ireland, they were brilliantly coached and executed their plan well.
“We’ll have more setbacks as we move towards the World Cup.
“How many teams average a 90 per cent win rate? Not many, only the All Blacks.”
England have now lost three grand slam deciders in Dublin since 2001, but Jones insisted his players had not been overawed by the occasion. Asked if the final showdown in Dublin had caught his players cold, Jones said: “I don’t think so at all, I thought our effort was good. Ireland played superbly.”
Vice-captain Jamie Heaslip pulled out of Ireland’s team after suffering a lastminute hamstring problem in the warm-up.
Peter O’Mahony stepped in and produced a man-ofthe-match showing, but Ireland boss Schmidt insisted Heaslip’s withdrawal was enforced and not due to a late change of hearts on the tactical front. “That couldn’t be a more flawed theory,” said Schmidt, when asked if the late change was tactical.
“It’s not something we do, we pick a team and they go out and play. Jamie’s just pulled his upper hamstring and he was not able to play.”
England’s Ben Youngs challenges Ireland’s Simon Zebo at the Aviva Stadium