Eddie Jones believes England’s Six Nations campaign can help his Saracens players deal with the ramifications of relegation from the Gallagher Premiership for the club’s repeated salary cap breaches.


Jones will use Saracens relegation to the Championship to motivate the seven players affected by the controversy, including captain Owen Farrell. “It is a massive opportunity,” said Jones. “For the Saracens players the chance to come to England is the best thing for them to do what they love doing – playing rugby. Who do they love playing for? Their club – well they are not playing for their club they are playing for the country they love. It is the best thing for them. For the rest of the team it an opportunity to get tighter.”

Farrell was at pains to emphasise that England’s contingent of Saracens players would not be distracted by the ramifications of relegation and agreed “massively” with Jones’s take on the situation as the squad prepared to head to Portugal for a training camp.

Andy Farrell, the Ireland head coach and father of Owen, is adamant Jones will use the Saracens situation to generate a positive reaction for England who start their Six Nations campaign against a young French side whose defence is now being marshalled by Shaun Edwards, the former British and Irish Lions and Wales defence expert.

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WATCH: England coach Eddie Jones says he wants the team to be “the greatest team the rugby world has ever seen” following his announcement of the team’s Six Nations squad.

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Edwards has been ordered to make France more aggressive in this key area in his new role heading into the Six Nations championship opener with England on February 2 in Paris.

The former rugby league great helped Wales become Europe’s top team with his defence absolutely vital to head coach Warren Gatland who spent more than a decade in that role before heading back to New Zealand. Edwards opted to take his skills to France and has learnt the language to get his message over to the French players who have been hampered by indiscipline and a lack of cohesion in recent seasons.

However, new coach Fabien Galthie has put his faith in Edwards and said at the Six Nations launch in London: “While he’s been with us for two months, he brings something different, he brings his own culture. He was a great rugby player and he went to become a coach with Wales.


“He brings defensive experience. He wants us to focus on being more aggressive in defence. We will keep our defensive system from the World Cup but adding that element.

New France captain Charles Ollivon on Edwards: “Shaun has brains and personality, he has a lot of energy and experience. He brings a lot of accuracy in terms of skills.”

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