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Jones: England still on the right track

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017 Duncan Bech

Eddie Jones insists his four-year plan leading into the 2019 World Cup remains intact despite the comprehensive defeat to Ireland.

The Six Nations champions headed to Dublin in search of a record-breaking 19th Test victory only to barely fire a shot as they fell 13-9 to an Ireland side that could have won by much more.

But Jones is adamant England are on course to peak at Japan 2019.

"This result doesn't change the plan at all. Did you think we would never get defeated?" Jones said.

"I know what we've got to do to be at our best for the World Cup. One game doesn't affect our perception of people, or the team.

"It's great for us. It's not great to lose, but it's a great learning experience. There's no scar there at all."

Britain Rugby Union - England v Australia - 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/12/16 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. © Reuters / Henry Browne Britain Rugby Union - England v Australia - 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/12/16 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Jones took a cheeky shot at the All Blacks when pointing out the torturous process required for them to end a 24-year World Cup drought in 2011.

"They lost the semi-final against Australia in 2003 and they lost the quarter-final in 2007. They got to the final in 2011 and they had to have a very kind referee to get them home.

"That's how hard it is for them to win. So to lose the Grand Slam game when we've already got the trophy is hardly a scar, it's a learning experience."

The Rugby Football Union is hoping New Zealand will agree to play at Twickenham on November 4, meaning England must face the world champions in the opening match of the autumn series.

It will offer little time for the build-up, but Jones would still welcome the prospect of a mouth-watering showdown between the sport's two best teams.

"We are very keen to play that game and if it comes across we will be well prepared. We don't have any excuses," Jones said.

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