Eddie Jones had a few interesting words for Joe Schmidt at the Six Nations launch 7 months ago

Eddie Jones had a few interesting words for Joe Schmidt at the Six Nations launch

Let the games begin.

The Hurlingham Club is hosting the 2019 Guinness Six Nations launch today and we will soon be inundated with quotes, predictions, platitudes and fitness updates in the coming hours.

The days are often heavy going for the head coaches and captains of the six countries involved. They have to pose for a slew of photos, get serious for some interviews, get ushered into a room cramped with journalists before zipping onto the next and are then expected to be pithy, earnest and engaging at the same time.

Some folks pitch them into 'craic' situations too, such as games of Connect 4.

For the record, Owen Farrell - iffy thumb and all - beat Rory Best 2-0 in their game. Both men, if fit, will clash for real at the Aviva Stadium on February 2.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt spoke to the assembled media and assured all present that outhalf Johnny Sexton was due to train fully at the Irish training camp over in Portugal, on Thursday.

The updates on injured Iain Henderson (finger) and Tadhg Beirne (knee) were not so rosy. Schmidt says both forwards may miss up to three games of the championship, returning perhaps for the closing games against France and Wales.

Schmidt, who steps down from his Ireland post after the World Cup, told reporters that he expects to take at least a year away from rugby, following that tournament. Although he did not explicitly rule himself out as a British & Irish Lions head coach candidate, he stated it was not something he was interested in. Right now, that is.

While Schmidt will try to dead-bat a lot of the questions that come his way - trying to keep the focus on rugby matters such as retaining the title - his counterpart with England will be doing the opposite.

Eddie Jones, who last week suggested winger Jack Nowell could play openside against Ireland, had a few interesting words for Schmidt as the pair passed in a corridor at Hurlingham.

Schmidt has been dealing with Jones for over three years now and knows that he likes to steer the pot. The Kiwi said Jones was a great strategist and stated that he liked him.

One wonders what "grenades" Eddie Jones will lob over the course of the day...