Eddie Jones admits that Ireland are one of the biggest threats to England's Grand Slam hopes
18 March 2017 - Put in your calendar.
On this date, Ireland will face England at the Aviva Stadium in what will be the final game of the 2017 Six Nations.
As if facing the old enemy wasn't a big enough deal in and of itself - there are going to be so many subplots involved in this game.
Joe Schmidt vs. Eddie Jones.
Conor Murray vs. Ben Youngs.
Johnny Sexton vs. Owen Farrell.
Not to mention that game has the potential to be an all-you-can-take, Grand Slam decider.
We also feel that the English have been getting a little a bit ahead of themselves with all this talk about them being the team to finally knock New Zealand from their perch atop world rugby.
There are a few fixtures before the All-Blacks game, remember https://t.co/aFts74bsxD
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) December 4, 2016
All of this, in addition to the incredible form and performances displayed by both teams this year, leads us to believe that this will be one of the most anticipated fixtures of 2017.
Jones was speaking to Sky Sports today in a lengthy interview segment during which various topics were discussed, from England's unbeaten year to Jones' relationship with the Australian media.
Naturally, the subject of next season's Six Nations reared its head and when Jones was asked what side has made the most progress since the most recent tournament, the England coach had this to say:
“I think most definitely France and Ireland, Ireland been impressive, they’ve obviously had their world breaking breaking win against the All Blacks, they're very well coached by Joe Schmidt and they have produced some young players."
No doubt Jones would have been impressed with Ireland's performances throughout the November series which saw Schmidt mastermind victories over New Zealand and Australia.
We also like the fact that he is aware of the emergence of young talent that has taken place in Schmidt's squad, with the likes of Tadhg Furlong, Joey Carbery, Josh van der Flier and Paddy Jackson all playing pivotal roles in a successful November.
It goes without saying that we don't want to be getting ahead of ourselves as, although we have France and England at home, Ireland will have to travel to Edinburgh, Rome and Cardiff during next year's tournament - no easy task.
Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome of the preceding fixtures, slam or no slam, the match against England is going to be HUGE.
And it's only three short months away.
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