Eddie Jones has accused the media of ‘poisoning’ the minds of his players as England prepare for their final 2021 Six Nations match against Ireland on Saturday.
The England coach lashed out when asked to comment on the mental state of Elliot Daly, who has been named to start at outside centre after last week being dropped to the bench in the aftermath of a 40-24 reverse against Wales in which he had started at fullback.
‘I’ve never seen confidence walk through the door, so I don’t know what confidence is,’ Jones commented, as reported in The Telegraph. ‘I don’t think there is any such thing as confidence, you either think rightly or you think wrongly and the wrong time you start to listen to the poison that’s written in the media, that rat poison gets into players’ heads.
‘We try to keep it out of their head. We try to spray all that rat poison that you try to put in and get it out of their head, so we are always working hard to keep it out of their heads. It keeps me busy mate.’
England have been criticised for a lack of endeavour for much of Jones’ tenure despite him having guided them to three Six Nations titles in five attempts and a place in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
With one full round to go, followed by the postponed Round 3 match between France and Scotland, England are in fourth place chasing the possibility of finishing second overall.