England coach Eddie Jones promises 'a war' against France in Six Nations opener
The England coach, who has recalled Elliot Daly on the wing for his first Test since being sent off against Argentina in the autumn, turned up the heat ahead of the contest yesterday by fanning the flames of history.
"There have been 20 wars between England and France – that's a lot of rivalry there. There is another one happening on Saturday," warned Jones.
"Coaching England you feel the other countries certainly enjoy the rivalry against England. They see England as the gifted one. They've got the biggest union, they've got Twickenham, the most money, so it's a little bit us versus them and that's good."
Jones will start Elliot Daly on the wing against France at Twickenham
The fighting talk from England surfaced behind closed doors on Tuesday afternoon when defence coach Paul Gustard raised the long list of past military conflicts between the two nations to underline the strength of the rivalry.
The underlying message was that France will come at England as if their lives depend on it for 80 minutes and the Grand Slam champions have to be ready for it.
Buoyant England head into the France game on the back of 14 consecutive wins with Jones wary of the danger of complacency. He insists he is on top of it.
England defence coach Paul Gustard turned up the heat by talking about military conflicts
Six Nations 2016 in pictures
Sun, March 20, 2016
Express Sport brings you the best pictures from the 2016 RBS Six Nations Championship
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
1 of 49
Express Sport brings you all the best pictures from the 2016 Six Nations Championship, where England achieved their first Grand Slam since 2003
"We had a meeting last night to discuss the various scenarios that can happen in the first 20 minutes of the game. We were going over various aspects and one of the players said, 'Yeah, we know what to do. But you never know what to do. That's being complacent so we got the sledgehammer out and knocked it on the head," he said.
England will have the backing of the Twickenham crowd strongly criticised by Jim Telfer earlier this week. The former Scotland coach, who also compared Jones to Donald Trump, hit out at them for the "disdain" they showed to opponents.
"Jim's quite entitled not to like me, but to say the fans at Twickenham are arrogant is absolutely ridiculous," said Jones.
"I've coached all around the world and the fans at Twickenham are passionate, loyal, reasonably well-educated and provide a great atmosphere. It's one of the greatest rugby grounds in the world. If he doesn't like that don't come, simple as that."