Ireland unaffected by Jones remarks - Schmidt

Hope Soto
March 16, 2018

Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth starts in place of Care and will resume his club partnership with Owen Farrell, normally a centre for England but now at fly-half instead of childhood friend Ford.

Joe Schmidt says Eddie Jones' derogatory remarks will not distract Ireland when they attempt to complete a Grand Slam by beating England on Saturday.

At a news conference on Thursday, Jones said: "I'd just like to say I've apologized for the remarks".

Marius van der Westhuizen has been replaced as an assistant referee for England's Six Nations meeting with Ireland after attending a training session with Eddie Jones' side this week.

England head into Saturday's match on the back of the first real dip of Jones' reign after successive defeats by Scotland and France ended their hopes of a third straight Six Nations title under the outspoken coach. I really don't have anything else to say on the matter.

England received a double injury boost prior to the showdown after skipper Dylan Hartley and wing Elliot Daly were both passed fit for the clash.

Jones' jibes are also likely to lead to accusations of hypocrisy.

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Their places were taken by Sam Simmonds in at No 8 and James Haskell, selected at openside, with Chris Robshaw moving across to blindside flanker. "We will get that back, don't worry, we have got them next year at home, we will get 'em back!"

"We need to get on the front foot against Ireland and we've selected a team to do that", said Jones.

"It's good to have Dylan back from injury".

Until this season, the only match England had lost since Jones took over following their first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup was when Ireland denied them a Grand Slam with a 13-9 victory in Dublin a year ago.

Speaking when England had lost just once since his appointment, Jones said: "We have played 23 Tests and only lost once to the scummy Irish".

The back three, which has been described as world class in some quarters, has failed to get going at all this tournament, partly due to the slow ball secured by forwards.

Stand-off George Ford, pictured, is dropped for only the second time in the Jones era in response to a disappointing Six Nations in which he has struggled to exert any influence behind a pack that has been bullied.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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