Jones confident England can cope without Itoje

Rex Christensen
February 8, 2019

However, if you think the Scots have what it takes to win the Six Nations outright for the first time in 20 years they can be backed at [16.5] on the Exchange.

And the man behind their downfall on the opening weekend of the annual northern hemisphere tournament is known very well to Japanese rugby fans.

So what chance do Japan have of repeating the "Miracle of Brighton" against Ireland in Pool A in Shizuoka on September 28?

After a week on a Portuguese training field, here was the Jones blueprint in full flow on the biggest occasion, against the No2 side in the world and in a game which could set the tone not only for the Six Nations, but the entire World Cup year.

Perhaps the most surprising element to England's win in Dublin was their superiority over Ireland physically.

"I think we're a very realistic group, we don't get ahead of ourselves".

"We got bullied here two years ago, and it happened again".

It was serious enough for referee Jerome Garces to state "I think he's broken his leg", but Jones revealed the extent of the injury will only be indicated by a scan. "When you have the likes of Manu in midfield you just want to get the ball into his hands and skip out the middle man", explained George.

"It is kinda what I said, it is not just about physically getting up and having that vibrancy, it is about mentally being attuned and ready to go and retaining the confidence that we should have".

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"All credit to England, they were good".

However, the other main aspect of England's victory perhaps offers greater hope to Jamie Joseph's Brave Blossoms as they prepare to face Ireland - and a resurgent Scotland - in their World Cup pool.

"There is a danger they will get better (in terms of the race for the championship)".

But England's backs, especially May, were unflappable under the bombardment they had spent the previous week preparing for in their camp in Portugal.

"He's a brilliant player and he's a world-class player", England scrum-half Danny Care, who missed out on selection for Eddie Jones' squad, told Rugby Union Weekly.

"We couldn't assume we could rock up and just deliver a performance that they would accept".

Murray admitted that Ireland were dominated in the physical stakes, but is confident that they can rectify this going forward. "We have to sort that out".

"They're a top side and they put in some really good hits out there".

England ran away with the game late on but if Ireland had come back to win they would have been disappointed at Jerome Garces' decision to disallow Mako Vunipola's try on the stroke of half-time.

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