England enters the table’s third fallow week; they host Ireland at Twickenham on March 12 before traveling to Paris for the final game on March 19; Manu Tuilagi has started rehab and if he is ‘available and fit’ he will be chosen
Last update: 02/28/22 3:56 p.m.
Eddie Jones insists England are in charge of their own destiny as they enter the deciding rounds of the Six Nations and provides an update on Manu Tuilagi’s injury rehabilitation.
England will face Ireland on March 12 and France seven days later when the tournament resumes after the second week of the Championship fallow.
While Jones’ side came close to pulling away against Wales on Saturday before eventually emerging 23-19 winners, Ireland and France picked up conclusive victories over Italy and Scotland respectively.
Heading into the fourth round, it’s a three-way battle for the title between the trio. Of the three, the Blues are in charge as the only team still capable of winning the Grand Slam.
Guinness Six Nations – Rankings
“We’re not afraid of anyone. We just have to keep playing better, keep getting better with every game,” Jones said.
“We don’t care what other people think. All we care about is what we think and we know we are a good young team and a developing team.
“There are three teams that can win now and we are one of those three teams. So we have a lot more belief than the three teams that can’t win. We are in a good position. We are in charge of our destiny.”
England have rebuilt themselves since their slip-up in Edinburgh on opening day when they fell to a defeat that slightly undermined the optimism created by a successful autumn.
Although they failed to ignite the tournament apart from the brilliance of fly-half Marcus Smith, Jones is pleased with the trajectory taken.
Guinness Six Nations Schedule – Day Four
|Friday March 11||Wales v France|
|Saturday March 12||Italy v Scotland|
|Saturday March 12||England v Ireland|
“We are definitely on the right track. Nobody needs to tell us whether we are or not. We are. Look at the fall – we played great rugby,” he said.
“We started the Six Nations with a narrow loss to Scotland when we were probably the most dominant side, we got an emphatic win over Italy and a good tough win over the Six Nations champions. So , we are definitely heading in the right direction.”
England lost the try count 3-1 to Wales at Twickenham and the return of Manu Tuilagi would bring balance to their backline. However, it is uncertain whether he can play a role against Ireland and France.
“Obviously we would like Manu to play but that’s not the case and it’s been more common for us in the last period that he’s not playing so we’re going ahead,” Jones said. .
“He’s got a very, very slight tension which, due to his background, will probably need something around a 10-day rehab.
“Everything has been checked and he has already started his rehab, he just needs to get back to full health.
“Injuries have a life of their own. We’ll just wait and see. If he’s available and he’s fit, we’ll pick him. And if he’s not, we’ll move on.”