Eddie Jones has vowed that England will be "working around the clock" to address the problems revealed by a shock loss to Scotland ahead of trying to revive their Six Nations campaign against France. The Scots bossed the breakdown and exposed gaps in England's midfield defence on the way to a 25-13 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday as they enjoyed a first Calcutta Cup triumph in 10 years.
England face France in Paris in Round 4
This result threw the Six Nations title race wide open, with Ireland - now the only side who can complete a Grand Slam this season after winning all of their three opening matches -- in pole position. But Jones insisted all was far from lost for his reigning Six Nations champions England following what was just his second defeat in 26 Tests as England coach.
"We've done an exhaustive investigation into finding out what wasn't right and there are some things that we've found we could have done better," Jones said on Wednesday. "We've been coming up with solutions to those over the last couple of days. We had a really good meeting yesterday (Tuesday)."
England found themselves 22-6 down at half-time in Edinburgh after Scotland had run in three tries, two from centre Huw Jones. Jones's men did not appear able to cope with what had hit them in a memorable first-half at Murrayfield and he admitted: "Learning to fix it on the hop is the next step. It's very easy to talk about leadership and how to change things, but it's harder to do."
The Australian added: "But that's the progression of the team and unless you have these sort of lessons you don't learn from them and we've learnt a lot. It's a harsh lesson and a lesson we don't want to have again but the likelihood is we could well have it."
Jones compares England's plight to the All Blacks
Jones took charge of England after their first-round exit at a home 2015 World Cup, with the aim of leading them to global glory at next year's edition in Japan. He tried to put that task into context by pointing out how long back-to-back world champions New Zealand had struggled to win a second global title in 2011.
"It took New Zealand eight years to learn how to fix things on the field," said Jones, who was Australia coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England. "We're trying to do it in four, so everything's a bit more difficult for us. The only way to accelerate the process is not to sleep. That's the only way. It's not easy. We're working round the clock to fix it. And we'll get there but we're going to have these sorts of situations."
Meanwhile Jones said England had "plenty of steel" as they looked to return to winning ways against France at Stade de France a week on Saturday. "There's no lack of attitude in our side," the Australian insisted. "Any team that wins 24 in 26 games has got a bit of steel about them. Yes, we were caught short on Saturday, but they have plenty of steel about them, so I don't need to worry about the steel or the character of these players. I give full credit to Scotland."
No punishment for tunnel incident
Meanwhile, Six Nations chiefs announced earlier Wednesday they would take no disciplinary action against players from either side following a pre-match fracas in the Murrayfield tunnel, with England's Owen Farrell and Scotland's Ryan Wilson involved, as there was "no clear evidence of violent conduct". Wilson was also cleared of making deliberate contact with the eye area of England No. 8 Nathan Hughes during the game.