England head coach Eddie Jones has warned that a long road lies ahead before his side cure their breakdown ills after they struggled to impose themselves for the second game running against France on Saturday.
Similar to their problems against Scotland during the previous round of fixtures, England were outgunned at the breakdown as Les Bleus prevailed 22-16 in Paris, a result which ensured Ireland sealed their first Six Nations title since 2015.
Jones suggested England’s breakdown woes were a deep-rooted problem within the English game, although refused to blame the Premiership, but conceded it may take until next year’s World Cup at the earliest before there is tangible improvement.
“I’m worried about the breakdown; we’ve got to sort it out and find ways of getting quicker ball,” said Jones. “If the game continues to be refereed like this, the World Cup is going to be very contestable at the breakdown.
“If that’s how they want to do it, we’ve got to adapt to that. We can address it and keep getting better at it but the reality is we probably won’t get better at it until the World Cup.”
Jones, meanwhile, has called up Zimbabwe-born Exeter flanker Don Armand for England’s final game of the championship against Ireland on Saturday following injuries to Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes.