England may lose three players from their training squad because of issues relating to coronavirus, head coach Eddie Jones has revealed.

After a 28-man pool including 12 uncapped players was selected on Monday, Jones is concerned over a trio of unnamed stars.

Jones was already unable to pick from the top four teams in the English Premiership ahead of the semi-finals and restrictions also applied to Sale and Worcester players after their clash was re-arranged due to COVID-19 cases at the Sharks.

Now there may need to be further alterations to his plans.

"Well, I really don't know what's happened, all I try to do is select the players that are available, so that's all I've been worried about," said Jones when asked if the Sale situation would disrupt England.

"We are looking at three players [on Tuesday] whether they will be available to be selected, we'll find out this morning and then we'll just wait and see.

"Look, I think this is going to be the way it is at the moment.

"I just saw in the football England had three players unavailable this morning, they can't go into Gareth Southgate's camp.

"It's a fact of life at the moment, that's what we have to deal with, we can't get too worried about it, we're not too obsessed about it.

"We'll just take the players that are available, and work with those players."

England are preparing for the conclusion of the Six Nations – they next face Italy on October 31 – as well as the Autumn Nations Cup, but centre Manu Tuilagi is not involved after tearing his Achilles tendon.

Jones added: "Manu was the focal point of our attack, and we have to find other ways of having focal points of our attack.

"We will miss Manu greatly, he's been a terrific team-mate, terrific team player, and we feel for him. 

"But we move on, we'll find other alternatives and other ways of playing."

James Haskell joked "highly influential" England coach Eddie Jones still scares him and backed the Australian to secure Six Nations glory when the competition is finished this month.

The annual northern hemisphere tournament was suspended back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the final four matches to take place at the end of October.

Jones' side are top of the table on points difference from France, whose win over England in round one means a grand slam is out of the question.

But Haskell believes the meticulous Jones will have consumed so much rugby that England, whose remaining match is away to Italy on October 31, will get the job done.

"I think I'm going to back England. Obviously, France had their opportunity but let it slip just before lockdown and the wheels sort of fell off the world," Haskell told Stats Perform News.

"I think the reason I'm backing England is I know what Eddie would have been like in terms of communicating with the clubs and the players and he will have been watching, scrutinising these games.

"There's been so much rugby for him to digest, two games a week when guys are getting opportunities, they're playing lots of rugby, they're going to be fit and ready to go during this period.

"There's no building time, you have to hit the game straight off the bat - I think England are in a great position to do that, I can see them winning it. It obviously won't be a grand slam Six Nations but it'll be potentially another trophy in the locker.

"However, you just don't know how the other teams have reacted, I think this period will probably be negative for France. They've played bits of rugby but been out of the mix for quite a while."

Former England forward Haskell was speaking to promote his autobiography 'What a Flanker', in which he discusses his relationship with Jones.

Haskell has nothing but admiration for Jones and the impact he had on his career, even if the Australian can still strike fear in him.

"Yeah of course, I spoke to Eddie about it [the book], he's asked about it," Haskell added.

"He was responsible for some of the best rugby of my career, he created an unbelievable winning environment, he showed me how to be the best player I could be.

"I always spoke to Eddie about stuff, I still speak to him now. I'm still scared of him now as I think most people are!

"He was hugely influential, I really admire the way he does things, his own path to self-development, his desire to keep getting better, his ever-evolving thought process and the fact he's made mistakes and done things really well and learnt everything in between.

"That was really important to me, I speak about him in glowing terms, so he's got nothing to worry about!"

James Haskell's autobiography 'What a Flanker!' is now available through HarperCollins.

Eddie Jones has named 12 uncapped players to join up for an England training squad a few weeks before their final match of the Six Nations against Italy.

Jones was unable to call on players from six Premiership clubs, with the season still in progress.

The England head coach on Monday included a dozen players who have not yet represented their country, with Ali Crossdale, Fraser Dingwall, Nathan Earle, Alex Mitchell, Ollie Thorley and Jack Clement given the nod.

Alex Dombrandt, Joe Heyes, Simon Kerrod, Lewis Ludlow, Alex Moon and David Ribbans were also in the 28-man squad for a three-day training camp - which starts on Tuesday.

England face the Barbarians on October 25 before taking on Italy in Rome - a match that was postponed in March due to the coronavirus crisis - six days later with the Six Nations title up for grabs.

They will then play four matches as part of the Autumn Nations Cup.

Jones said: "Our preparation to build the team for the Italy game starts now. We have a three-day camp this week and another one next week then we're into the week of our Quilter Cup match against the Barbarians.

"We'll be slowly building up, working on the basics and working on team cohesion. We're excited to be back together in camp representing England. This autumn we want to play for the fans and give them something to smile about."

 

England training squad:

Backs: Ali Crossdale, Elliot Daly, Fraser Dingwall, Nathan Earle, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, George Furbank, Willi Heinz, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Ollie Thorley, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Jack Clement, Alex Dombrandt, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Maro Itoje, Simon Kerrod, Lewis Ludlow, Alex Moon, David Ribbans, Jack Singleton, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Mark Wilson.

Eddie Jones has expressed delight at Manu Tuilagi's decision to stay in England and is not concerned that Owen Farrell will be playing in the Championship next season.

Tuilagi this week joined Sale Sharks on a deal until the end of next season after failing to agree terms to remain with Leicester Tigers.

The British and Irish Lion was linked with a move to France or a code swap, options which would have ended his England career.

Jones says the 29-year-old's switch to Sale is great news for the Rugby World Cup runners-up.

The England head coach said: "Manu made up his mind what he was going to do. We had a couple of phone calls, we kept in contact the whole time.

"I gave him a small piece of advice, but he knew what he wanted to do. He's a valuable Test player, his performance in the World Cup and Six Nations indicated there is still more in him and I'm delighted by his decision.

"It's obviously a difficult time for everyone at the moment and we are glad he's made that decision."

Farrell will not be on the move after committing his long-term future to Saracens, who are heading for the second tier due to persistent salary-cap breaches.

It was also revealed that Mako Vunipola, Elliot Daly and Jamie George will stay with Sarries this week and Jones says the European champions’ England contingent will be picked if they are performing well enough.

He said: "I'll be comfortable [picking Saracens players] if they're in good form. Players who have a track record of Test match success, I'll have a pretty good idea of where they are and where they need to be.

"My understanding is most of the younger guys at Saracens are moving to other clubs so they will not have the same issues that the older players have. 

"Without sounding too grandiose, if I look at Owen Farrell it doesn't matter what game he plays I've got a pretty good understanding of where he needs to be."

John Morris was "totally blind-sided" by reports that he is under pressure after Eddie Jones was linked with the Cronulla Sharks job.

Sharks coach Morris was stunned to hear that his position could be under threat following an NRL victory over North Queensland Cowboys last week.

It was then reported that England head coach Eddie Jones was being lined up for a sensational code switch to replace the 39-year-old Morris.

A 30-16 defeat to St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday led to Morris being probed about talk of Jones taking his job, but he was defiant after the Sharks dropped to 14th in the ladder.

"I'm a young coach, that's for sure, but I think everyone across the game can appreciate the challenges I've had in the first 12 months," Morris said.

"We've had massive challenges around the club with the salary cap fine. We've had to let players go as a result of that.

"We played finals football last year in my first year as a rookie coach, so I don't want to sit here and feel sorry for myself or anything like that, but I think I've done a really good job so far and I've had a lot of injuries as well. 

"We still can't put our main side on the park at the moment. The Eddie Jones stuff obviously caught me by surprise and did a lot of people. I'm contracted until the end of 2021, so I can't read too much into that read.

"Speculation and rumour, I can't let that distract on me, I'm focused on this playing group and getting them going, we had a really good win up in North Queensland last week and we wanted to get better this week, but we obviously slipped up today."

Morris called for the club to back him after he was pressed further on his future in the post-match news conference.

He added: "You'd have to speak to the club, there has been no mention at all to me about my position, it came from left field after our win last week against the Cowboys.

"We were singing the team song in the sheds and it's reported that my job was under pressure, so that's totally blind-sided me. 

"But one thing is I've got a really good bond with the playing group and all of our staff and we're working real hard. We've got some unprecedented challenges around our club at the moment and we are all working as hard as we can to get through that.

"We had to release Matt Prior before the season even started due to the salary cap, we let Josh Morris go. We've had some challenges there and I think the more the club can support me in these challenging times, the better we'll be in the long run."

Billy Vunipola is convinced Eddie Jones remains the right man to lead England to the top of world rugby and has heeded the warning his head coach gave the team after signing a new contract.

England defeated Australia and two-time defending champions New Zealand en route to reaching the Rugby World Cup final in Japan last year.

However, a fired-up South Africa proved a hurdle too far in the final as England limply succumbed to a 32-12 defeat in Yokohama.

The Rugby Football Union remained convinced in Jones, though, and the Australian signed a new contract through to the 2023 World Cup earlier this month.

Saracens powerhouse Vunipola says the whole team is behind Jones.

"I think everyone just sees Eddie through the lens of the media and what he says, but the players will always back him and follow him," he told the Daily Mail.

"If you watch the documentary about the World Cup, the most excited I have ever been was when we had the first meeting before the New Zealand game. People should watch that.

"It was the first meeting of the week and Eddie just said, 'Nobody thinks we can beat the All Blacks, but I do'. It was on the Sunday I think, the day after we had played Australia.

"Everyone was pumped already! It was a shame what happened to us in the final but I truly believe we have the right leader in charge to take us to the top."

Upon agreeing to his new deal, Jones put England's stars on red alert by suggesting as much as 60 per cent of the squad could be different by the time the next World Cup in France arrives.

Vunipola believes that is a sign of Jones wanting to keep England focused and says he is ready to meet the challenge.

"I've now got another three-plus years to be within that 40 per cent," he added.

"That's another way of him challenging the boys not to let up. Everyone needs to take heed of his messages and make sure you aren't the guy who gets cut."

Vunipola also harbours ambitions of representing the British and Irish Lions in South Africa next year, having not yet played in the red jersey – a shoulder injury scuppering his hopes in 2017.

"That is one of the biggest things for me. I want to give myself the platform to help me play for the Lions. I need to play for England first, to put myself in the shop window to play for the Lions," he said.

"I have to show I am good enough. It is going to be massive and there is so much competition. It is definitely something I am very keen on doing."

Eddie Jones admits he will probably be walking away as a Rugby World Cup winner in three years if England live up to his lofty expectations.

It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old had signed a new contract to remain as England's coach through to the next World Cup, where his side will aim to go one better than they did last year.

A 32-12 loss to South Africa meant Jones and his squad left Japan disappointed but, having fielded the youngest ever team to play in a World Cup final, Jones is now looking to the future.

The Australian hopes his pursuit of perfection will result in his team lifting The Webb Ellis Cup in France in 2023.

"We want to become a great team, I think I have stated that fairly consistently," Jones said.

"We want to become a great team; we want to become one of those teams where people remember how you play for a period of time because that's the ache I have as a coach.

"I want a team that plays the perfect game of rugby and I want a team that can be remembered as a great team.

"I think we've got players within England to do that. I think the players have the hunger to do it. I think we're seeing periods of time where they have done it, but we haven't been able to do it consistently.

"The test of greatness is to do it consistently. With that comes results.

"If we're the greatest team then a World Cup medal's probably sitting in front of us. Our goal hasn't changed at all from what I stated at the start of this cycle and it will continue to be the same."

Jones has the best win percentage of any England coach in history, his team having won 78 per cent of his 54 Test matches in charge.

However, the defeat to the Springboks in the World Cup final has left him with a sense of unfinished business.

"Having done the four years, I felt the project hasn't been finished yet. There is still a lot of growth in the team," Jones added.

Eddie Jones has the best win ratio of any England coach, but the biggest prize eluded him last year.

England have won 42 of their 54 games (78 per cent) since Jones' appointment was confirmed in 2015.

On Thursday, the Rugby Football Union announced the 60-year-old had agreed a new deal that will run until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

We take a look at the highs and lows of Jones' time in charge.

 

HIGH - A 2016 GRAND SLAM

Jones' first tournament was a resounding success as England beat Scotland, crushed Italy and then edged past Ireland and Wales in the Six Nations.

A 31-21 triumph over France delivered the Six Nations and a first Grand Slam in 13 years.

"I'm very proud of the boys," Jones told BBC Sport. "It's a great achievement by the team. I always had confidence in them."

HIGH - A 3-0 SERIES WHITEWASH DOWN UNDER

Later that year England headed to Jones' homeland for a three-Test series, and the tremendous start continued for the former Wallabies coach.

Having scored 39 points in Brisbane, a record for England in Australia, a 23-7 victory in Melbourne earned Jones' side their first series success on Wallabies turf.

After a 44-40 win completed a series sweep, England captain Dylan Hartley said: "We can all be proud of what we have achieved."

 

LOW - IRISH END WINNING RUN

England arrived in Dublin in March 2017 seeking both a second successive Grand Slam and a world-record 19th straight victory.

Yet Ireland had other ideas, overwhelming the visitors and claiming a 13-9 win as Jones tasted defeat for the first time.

"I take full responsibility, I didn't prepare the team well and we will respond in the future," Jones said.

 

LOW - FIVE-GAME LOSING STREAK

Fast forward 15 months and things felt very, very different for Jones' side as they lost a fifth game in a row, going down 23-12 to South Africa.

England had lost the last three games of that year's Six Nations - beaten by Scotland, France and Ireland - before back-to-back defeats at the start of the three-Test series in South Africa.

"We're a bit like an old car at the moment - you fix one bit and another part breaks down," said Jones, who saw his team round out the tour with a 25-10 victory in Cape Town.

HIGH - OUSTING THE ALL BLACKS

No one had beaten New Zealand at a World Cup in a dozen years, yet the back-to-back champions were stunned 19-7 in the 2019 semi-finals.

It was perhaps the finest performance of the Jones era, Manu Tuilagi's early try setting England on their way to a famous victory over the All Blacks.

"They've been a great team so we had to dig really deep to beat them," said Jones, whose side advanced to a final against South Africa...

 

LOW - FALLING FLAT IN THE FINAL

A week later England were unable to conjure up another spectacular performance in Japan as South Africa's 32-12 victory meant they took home the Webb Ellis Cup.

Jones' side were simply not at the races, a raft of handling errors blighting their performance.

"That's the great thing about rugby; one day you're the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off," Jones said.

With Eddie Jones having extended his contract until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England fans can look forward to the Australian providing more special moments.

Jones led England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016 - his first tournament at the helm - and they were champions again a year later, while only a defeat to South Africa stopped them winning last year's Rugby World Cup.

The 60-year-old made his side one of the best in the sport, and with his calculated wit and sharp tongue he arguably provides the best off-the-pitch entertainment in rugby.

We look back at some of Jones' most memorable quotes.

 

"Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off."

Jones' response when Wales coach Warren Gatland, who saw his team defeated by South Africa in the last four, suggested England could have already played their World Cup final when they beat New Zealand in the semis.

“I think the term 'world class' is used lightly. To be world class, you've got to be an automatic selection in a world XV. We don’t have any of those players. Now, we've got a lot of good players and a lot of players who want to get better. So to say we don't have world class players is not a criticism of the players and not a criticism of the team. It's just the reality of it."

Having said England had no "world-class players" upon his appointment in 2015, Jones was adamant it remained the case after racking up 13 straight Test wins to start his tenure.

"France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is. It is about being brutal, it is about being physical."

Jones laid down the gauntlet ahead of England's 2020 Six Nations opener against France and it backfired, as Les Bleus clinched a 24-17 victory in Paris.

"No one thinks we can win. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure - well, this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. The busiest bloke in Tokyo this week will be Gilbert Enoka, their mental skills coach. They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times. It is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain and they will be thinking about those things. Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup, and they will be thinking about that, and therefore there is pressure."

After suggesting New Zealand had sent a spy to watch England train ahead of their World Cup semi-final clash, Jones turned up the heat on the All Blacks.

"I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That's what I'm expecting, mate. Everything that's done around the game is going to be coordinated. All coordinated to help Australia win. We've got to be good enough to control what we can control."

Jones claimed Australia were going to make England's life as difficult as possible after arriving for a three-Test tour in June 2016.

"We control our own destiny. We want to go out there and smack Italy. I have told the boys already that that is our aim - to go out there and give them a good hiding. If you look at the rankings we are a better side than Italy. We have to prove that on Sunday. We want to be absolutely brutal up front so there is no Italian player left standing at the end of the game."

Ahead of only his second game in charge, Jones made it clear he expected a significant increase in physicality from his players.

"We've played 23 Tests and we've only lost one Test to the scummy Irish. I'm still dirty about that game but we'll get that back, don't worry."

England were hoping to deny Ireland the Grand Slam in their final 2018 Six Nations game and Jones was out for revenge after they inflicted the first defeat of his tenure. He later apologised for the comment and Ireland triumphed 24-15 at Twickenham.

"If he was Sexton then we'd be able to complain about him. But because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late. He's tough so he gets up and he plays. He's a tough rooster, a warrior. He takes the ball to the line, he puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit."

Jones suggested Owen Farrell's determination to play through pain led to him getting less protection from referees than Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton.

Eddie Jones will look to enhance his legacy with England over the next four years after signing a new contract extension.

It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old will stay on as England coach until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, who had previously been in charge of Australia and Japan, was appointed England's coach five years ago.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at Jones' tenure in numbers.

 

78 per cent - Having led his team to victory in 42 of 54 games, Jones has the best win ratio of any coach in England's history.

42 wins - Those 42 wins are the second most of all time and Jones should exceed World Cup winner Clive Woodward's 59 victories in the coming years.

40 players - Across Jones' time in charge, 40 players have been handed England debuts. Of those, 26 are forwards and 14 are backs.

23 tries - Jonny May has certainly enjoyed Jones' coaching, the wing crossing for 23 tries. Elliot Daly has the second-most scores with 15.

52 caps - Jones has handed a cap to fly-half George Ford in all but two of his 54 games at the helm. England's current captain Owen Farrell has the second-most appearances under Jones with 48.

571 points - Farrell has by far and away the most points, though. His tally of 571 is significantly more than those of Ford (174) and May (115).

2 Six Nations titles - England won the Six Nations in each of Jones' first two campaigns. In 2016, Jones delivered the country's first Grand Slam in 13 years.

18 wins in a row - A second Grand Slam was dashed by Ireland in March 2017. That 13-9 loss in Dublin brought an end to England's 18-Test winning run, a joint-record they held with New Zealand.

7-0 v Australia - The nation England have beaten the most often under Jones is Australia, the country of his birth. England have won all seven of their matches against the Wallabies.

England coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension through until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, 60, took the helm of England in late 2015 and has been rewarded for what has been a successful stint in charge.

The Australian has overseen 42 wins in 54 Tests as England coach, including leading them to last year's Rugby World Cup final, where they were beaten by South Africa.

Jones has re-signed through until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, which is due to be hosted by France.

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing," the England coach said.

"We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

"I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years, but the circumstances are right.

"Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that."

Jones' 78 per cent win ratio is the best of any England coach in the nation's history.

During his tenure, Jones has led England to two Six Nations titles - including a Grand Slam in 2016 - a 3-0 series victory in Australia and an 18-match unbeaten run.

Jones added: "I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

"Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It's a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

"We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it's a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward."

Manu Tuilagi's late red card to leave England's 33-30 Six Nations win over Wales briefly in the balance was not deserved, according to head coach Eddie Jones.

The World Cup finalists played some blistering rugby, with tries from the returning Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and Tuilagi their reward.

However, frequent moments of indiscipline from the hosts helped to keep Wales in a captivating Twickenham contest and late scores from Justin Tipuric and Dan Biggar came after Ellis Genge was sin-binned and Tuilagi saw red.

The centre's dismissal came after he struck George North's head with his shoulder – a failure to wrap his arms on the winger sealing his fate after a TMO review.

"We were expecting a tough test right to the end and we got it, but when you get 13 against 16, it's pretty hard," Jones said, as quoted by BBC Sport, after his team's Triple Crown-sealing victory.

"We've moved on as a team. You look at the Six Nations, we had a slow start, because as I've explained, I didn't prepare the team very well, and since then we've been very good.

"We played well in Scotland in poor conditions, brilliantly in the first 40 minutes against Ireland and then a tough display against a good Welsh team."

Nevertheless, amid this satisfaction, Jones was unable to let his gripes with referee Ben O'Keeffe lie.

"We trained on Wednesday ... the whole session was 13 v 16, so we had some practice - we thought it might happen," he said.

"Is that a red card all the time? Well, it's not. It's not refereed like that, but it was today. We've got to take that on board, but how else do you stop the player?"

Frustration was not solely the preserve of the England camp, with Wales boss Wayne Pivac accusing his team of being complicit in their own downfall.

"It was a game that we're disappointed not to come out on top in," he told ITV after a third defeat from four in the tournament for the reigning champions.

"We gave England a good start, we played a bit too much rugby and they were good enough to capitalise on our mistakes. After half-time, we started the way we wanted to, but we let England back in again.

"We're our own worst enemies at the minute. We're working hard behind the scenes to get it right over the 80 minutes, and I think we're heading in the right direction. We're contributing to the result in terms of too many errors. Next week is a massive opportunity to go out and try to rectify that.

"There are times you can see what we're trying to do. In the second half, there were some good attacking raids with multiple phases when we put England under pressure. If we can do that for longer periods in games, and get our game management a little bit better, we'll be in a pretty good space."

Following pre-match consternation over the fitness of Wales fly-half Dan Biggar – head coach Wayne Pivac and assistant Sam Warburton having offered mixed messages with regards to his knee complaint – Tom Curry and Manu Tuilagi decided to seek their own diagnosis.

Biggar gathered Ben Youngs' teasing kick in the second minute, only to see a white-clad freight train hurtling towards him.

Curry, as was generally the case on a full-throated late afternoon in London, got there first, splattering Wales' number 10, with Tuilagi alongside to provided added, if largely unnecessary, muscle.

England's expert meshing of brains and brawn set them apart in the opening exchanges – Maro Itoje striding imperiously through the midfield before soaring to collect the subsequent line-out. Wales were drawn in, Curry did not miss a beat with the reverse pass and the returning Anthony Watson darted over for the first try.

There were plenty more instances where this undulating 33-30 win for Eddie Jones' men looked exactly as you might expect – one side tweaking and seeking to progress again having fallen agonisingly short of their World Cup goal, with their visitors in the early and often fumbling throes of transition.

Particularly in their defensive set-piece work, Pivac's men appeared a team breaking in uncomfortably new shoes; the glorious dances of a dozen years under Warren Gatland already feeling consigned to a fading era.

Wales' chances invariably came when an England team in a rush trod on their own jet heels.

This was never more evident than in the back-to-back passages of play that saw a swaggering 20-6 lead collapse to 20-16 either side of half-time.

Despite the clock having already ticked past 40, England sought to fizz the ball through hands on halfway where Tuilagi erred and Itoje was pinged for a high tackle on Biggar. Equilibrium long restored from that early pasting, he bisected the posts.

Then, 27 seconds and a lackadaisical restart later, Twickenham was aghast as Justin Tipuric gleefully scampered over.

Now was the time for Wales to open up some old wounds. England led 10-3 at half-time in this fixture a year ago, before unravelling and losing 21-13 in a fug of antagonised indiscipline.

If captain Owen Farrell intended to help his men turn over a new leaf, scrapping with George North and putting in a high tackle on Josh Navidi for Leigh Halfpenny to slot a pair of first-half penalties did not exactly amount to leading by example.

But from the tee, Farrell was typically unerring with six from six, and his combination with George Ford for Elliot Daly's 32nd-minute score meant Joe Marler's peculiar method of introducing himself to Alun Wyn Jones was arguably not England's most notable ball-in-hand moment of the match.

Those flashes of finely grooved, frictionless quality are the preserve of teams perfectly in sync with their wider strategies. Pivac's Wales cannot expect to be at that stage of realisation, although their unflinching spirit until the last bodes well for the journey ahead.

Tuilagi went over for another glorious try after more brilliant work from Youngs and Ford, although the bulldozing centre underlined England's remaining appetite for self-destruction with a late red card tackle on North. Biggar and Tipuric's late tries consequently came against 13-man opposition, given Ellis Genge was already ensconced in the sin bin.

Triple Crown secured, Eddie Jones' England don't look likely to stop playing on the edge any time soon, where the falls can be needlessly damaging but the views are often indisputably spectacular.

Eddie Jones has warned Wales his England team "owe them one" after a 2019 Six Nations defeat that still irks him.

England were beaten 21-13 in Cardiff last year and Wales went on to win a Grand Slam.

Jones' side have the chance to atone for that loss at Twickenham on Saturday, with the head coach quick to remind his players about the opportunity they let slip in last year's tournament.

"You have got to remember we owe them one – you never like to lose to Wales, and we lost last year," he said.

"We were in position [leading] at half-time and we have learned from that. That was one of the key games that got us in our best condition for the World Cup.

"But it is still a game that I'm sure irks every England player who played in it. It certainly irks me."

England have recovered from their opening matchday loss to France with victories over Scotland and Ireland.

Jones insists he has not needed to mention the prospect of a Triple Crown to motivate his players and is thrilled with how his squad has come on during the Six Nations.

He added: "No, not at all, The only motivation is beating Wales. That is motivation enough.

"We have probably just had our best training run of the Six Nations. We have gone up another level.

"We are not far underneath where we were at the World Cup now in terms of physical condition and in terms of the intensity we can potentially play with.

"It has always been the goal to peak for this week. This was always going to be the crux game of the Six Nations for us so we deliberately had quite a slow build-up to it so we are at our best this week."

But Jones warned: "Wales were very unlucky to be beaten by France – all the stats from that game indicate they should have won it so we are going to be playing a very, very tough team.

"Wales are a well-coached team, we know they have lost their last two matches so they will come hard at us. They are always tough affairs that go down to the wire."

Fit-again England duo Mark Wilson and Anthony Watson will make their first appearance of the Six Nations against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.

Wilson replaces the injured Sam Underhill at openside flanker after recovering from a knee problem.

Watson is back on the wing at the expense of Bath team-mate Jonathan Joseph following a spell on the sidelines with a calf injury.

They are the only changes to the XV that started a 24-12 victory over Ireland last time out, as the Rugby World Cup runners-up eye a victory over the defending champions to put the pressure on leaders France.

Eddie Jones named his team on Thursday as the RFU waited to discover whether the final-round match against Italy in Rome on March 14 will be postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Jones said: "We've had a really good two week preparation – a fallow week in Oxford where we had good training days last Thursday and Friday and three good training days this week culminating in a very good session Wednesday.

"Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they've been building on their attack since Wayne Pivac has taken over.

"It's always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas. We're looking forward to playing at home again and getting back out in front of our fantastic fans."

 

England: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade.

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