Six Nations: England coach Eddie Jones 'loving' Ireland pressure

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There's always pressure - Jones
Six Nations: England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 17 March Kick-off: 14:45 (GMT)
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Ulster, live text commentary and report on BBC Sport website.

England head coach Eddie Jones says he "loves" being under pressure as his side prepare for Saturday's Six Nations showdown with champions Ireland.

England have lost their past two games to Scotland and France, but can deny Ireland only their third Grand Slam at Twickenham (14:45 kick-off).

In charge since 2015, Jones says the past few weeks have been "testing".

"It's the best time in rugby, when you are under the pump and you have got to produce it," said the Australian.

"And the team feels the same way. Without a doubt this is my testing time here and it's going to be good for us.

"I love it. This is what we get paid for as coaches."

Jones said sorry this week for offensive comments he made about Wales and Ireland last year.

The 58-year-old reiterated his "sincere apology" on Thursday, adding the remarks "weren't meant to be offensive".

The England head coach has also been criticised for the performance of his team - champions the past two years - in the 2018 Six Nations, and has made sweeping changes for Saturday's match.

Fly-half George Ford has been dropped to the bench, with scrum-half Danny Care, lock Joe Launchbury and prop Dan Cole also losing their places in the starting XV.

But Jones has insisted it is a "one-off selection" and "we don't need to read more into it".

"I've made this decision on the fact that this is what we need for this week and this is our best team," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Six Nations table: 1st Ireland, 2nd Wales, 3rd England, 4th France, 5th Scotland, 6th Italy

Jones says the key to thwarting Ireland's bid for a first Grand Slam since 2009 lies in controlling the emotions of the players.

"You don't understand what the Six Nations is until you're really in it," he said.

"The emotional part of the game is enormous in the Six Nations. It's probably - more than any other tournament I've experienced - about your ability to not get over-aroused, not to be under-aroused."

England were beaten in the Calcutta Cup by Scotland at Murrayfield on 24 February, before slipping up against France in Paris last weekend.

"Looking back at Scotland, we were probably over-aroused and sometimes it looks like lethargy," he added. "That was my responsibility, I got it wrong.

"So for this game it's important we get it right and I think it's building up nicely. There's a peak arousal state that you want to be in."

England team to face Ireland: Watson; May, Joseph, Te'o, Daly; Farrell, Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, Hartley, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Robshaw, Haskell, Simmonds.

Replacements: George, Marler, Cole, Launchbury, Armand, Care, Ford, Brown.

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