Six Nations: England coach Eddie Jones prepares to face 'greatest Welsh side ever'

England coach Eddie Jones is expecting to face a quality Wales outfit in Cardiff on February 23.
ALASTAIR GRANT/AP
England coach Eddie Jones is expecting to face a quality Wales outfit in Cardiff on February 23.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones was at his tongue-in-cheek best in the wake of his side's record hammering of France at Twickenham, suggesting they are about to face the "greatest Welsh side ever" in a potential competition decider in Cardiff.

Jones told reporters after his team ran in six tries to humiliate France 44-8 for their biggest victory over their Gallic rivals in 108 years that the February 23 matchup at the Principality Stadium would be one to savour.

Wales are the only other unbeaten side in the Six Nations after they equalled a century old record by securing an 11th straight test victory when they accounted for Italy on Sunday (NZT).

Though the nature of that victory, 26-15 by a largely second-string lineup against the weak Italians, left much to be desired, Jones made it clear he saw Wales as a genuine threat.

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"We are playing the greatest Welsh side ever. That's what we are hearing, we'll take it at face value," Jones told reporters after England's rampant victory at Twickenham set up by a hat-trick of tries in the opening half-hour to wing Jonny May.

"We're going to have to be at our absolute best. Preparation starts on Wednesday.

"You're playing against a tough, physical team. They contest hard at the breakdown. You've got to earn every point against them.

"We're looking forward to going down there. It should be fun."

Jonny May was on fire for England in their 44-8 victory over France at Twickenham.
AP
Jonny May was on fire for England in their 44-8 victory over France at Twickenham.

Jones said he was rapt with the way his side finished after taking control so early against the French.

Definitely our second half," he said when asked what had impressed him most. "In these sort of games where you get the bonus point early it's easy to cruise through the game. We stuck to our game, kept good focus and I don't think they scored a point in the second half.

"You get points in front and the natural tendency is to get seduced by the scoreboard.

"The game becomes a little bit loose. You start doing things you normally wouldn't do. But we kept our discipline really well."

The England coach had special praise for May, too, after his fabulous first-half display of finishing.

"Jonny May's like when you go to the park and you see someone with a tennis ball and they throw it, the dog runs 100mph and chases it and brings it back. He does that pretty well," said Jones.

He also highlighted the successful kicking strategy in behind the defence which exposed the French badly.

"We just think that's the way the game is going. If teams defend as they do now, there's space in the backfield," Jones told media at Twickenham.

"We have to get defenders back there and the only way we do that is to put the ball in that space.

"If they don't fill it we've got an opportunity with our pace to convert that into points and we've been able to do that."

May said he was the beneficiary of a style the English are looking to imprint.

"It is just the brand of rugby we are trying to play. We want to put teams under pressure," he told reporters.

"I am just doing my job. I know that is scoring tries but equally important is everyone else's roles. Everyone is working hard and putting performances together."

 

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