England head coach Eddie Jones immediately set his sights on the Grand Slam after Scotland’s victory over France at Murrayfield yesterday ended his side’s five-year wait for a Six Nations title.
Scotland dispatched Les Bleus 29-18 to ensure Australian Jones guided England to silverware at the first time of asking, having only taken charge in November following the departure of his predecessor Stuart Lancaster.
A showdown with France in Paris on Saturday is all that stands in the way of England and a Grand Slam, which the Red Rose last claimed in 2003 ahead of World Cup success Down Under that autumn.
“It’s nice to win the Championship but as a team we haven’t achieved what we want to achieve yet and that’s the Grand Slam,” said Jones. “If we prepare well we will do the business [against France].
“We’ll go to Paris confident. France are always going to be a difficult side and they showed at times [against Scotland] that they can play absolutely sublime rugby. Other times it’s not so sublime.
“We’ve got to make sure they don’t have too many sublime moments.”
England’s Triple Crown-clinching 25-21 victory over Wales on Saturday coupled with Scotland’s defeat of France means for the first time in Six Nations history the destination of the title has been determined with a complete round of fixtures to play.
Their Six Nations triumph has also come just five months after a harrowing group-stage exit at the World Cup in October, a tournament which cost Lancaster his job and Chris Robshaw the captain’s armband.
Robshaw has responded by playing all four Six Nations matches and Jones cites the 29-year-old flanker as England’s standout performer of the tournament, despite the emergence of players such as 21-year-old Saracens lock Maro Itoje.
“So far it has to be Chris Robshaw, he has been absolutely outstanding,” added Jones. “To go from where he was at the end of the World Cup to where he is now is a fine achievement.
“Everyone in the team appreciates the work he does, on and off the field and behind the scenes. He’s one of those guys who is always helping guys with other areas of their game at the end of training. He’s been colossal.
“If you look at the squad it is still very much the squad that was at the World Cup so that squad has changed itself and the real credit goes to the players.”
Uncapped Sale Sharks hooker Tommy Taylor, meanwhile, has replaced the injured Jamie George in a 32-man squad which assembled at England’s training base Pennyhill Park last night ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Stade de France.