(Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones has urged his side to treat the Six Nations finale against Ireland like a Rugby World Cup final as the back-to-back champions target a second consecutive grand slam on Saturday.
A victory in Dublin would also see England set a tier-one record of 19 consecutive wins and Jones believes the pressure on the weekend’s performance is ideal preparation for the 2019 global tournament in Japan.
”For us everything’s about the World Cup,“ the 57-year-old Australian told British media. ”If you look at where we are now, we’ve been together approximately eight weeks. You’re together eight or nine weeks to get to a World Cup final.
“It’s the team that prepares with the mind-set that nothing’s going to stop them being at their best that wins the World Cup.”
Jones said his squad discussed the possibility of extending the unbeaten run after defeating Italy 36-15 last month to notch up a 17th consecutive win. A 61-21 triumph over Scotland last Saturday matched New Zealand’s record for wins in a row.
“What we said is that we have to acknowledge we’ve been successful and it’s now about how much we want to be great,” Jones added of the meeting in Oxford.
“How many opportunities in your life do you get to beat Ireland in Ireland to win back-to-back grand slams? It’s almost a childhood dream as a rugby player.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru