Jones backs England to build on second straight title
Mar 19 2017 by Dustin Murphy
It threw Peter O'Mahony into the back row from the off, from where he produced a man-of-the-match performance.
"I have had a discussion with Ian [Ritchie, the Rugby Football Union chief executive] and if the opportunity comes, we will be raring to go".
However, with the Lions squad not announced until April 19, Jones added: "There's a lot of discussions to go".
"Here is the lesson for England, New Zealand or any other team aspiring to world status and world records. This is a really big lift for us", Ireland captain Rory Best said.
French referee Jerome Garces gave the blindside flanker a talking to, rather than a yellow card, and Sexton kicked the resulting penalty deep for an attacking line-out. It was hard to get anything going and we struggled in the line-out and we struggled in the break down.
He was part of Martin Johnson's England side that lost a Grand Slam decider at the Aviva Stadium six years ago, and Lancaster's team that was crushed by Wales when the stakes were just as high two years later.
Victory will secure their place among the top seeds for the upcoming World Cup draw. "Even [legendary Australia batsman] Don Bradman got a zero in his last Test". Obviously we are disappointed - but we will fight another day.
England had already been ousted from their home World Cup after morale-crushing defeats to Wales and Australia when they entertained minnows Uruguay in the final game of Pool A on October 3, 2015. "Eighteen consecutive victories is an incredible achievement", he said.
"Tiny margins" was one of the phrases used by Joe Schmidt to explain Ireland's failure to get past the Welsh defence last week.
"We're well aware of what England are going for". They have such strength in depth with so many options as ball-carriers and playmakers.
Ireland: J Payne (Ulster), K Earls (Munster), G Ringrose, R Henshaw (both Leinster), S Zebo (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), J McGrath (Leinster), R Best (Ulster, capt), T Furlong (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), I Henderson (Ulster), CJ Stander (Munster), S O'Brien, J Heaslip (both Leinster).
Best admitted that England were worthy champions over the course of the tournament, but believes that his own team can be "proud" of their efforts after becoming the first side to inflict defeat on Jones's England.
England's bench had been all but emptied and the tension mounted as Farrell landed a third penalty, but Ireland closed out the remaining minutes with calm efficiency to deny Jones' men the ultimate prize in European rugby. "We will learn from that", Jones said, before turning his attention to the lineout leader Maro Itoje. "We had high expectations on ourselves and it goes to show we are not quite there as a team".
"We were under a bit of pressure after, perhaps, under-performing last week but credit to those boys".
On England's performance, Hartley added: "I think it was negative upon negative". And we have to accept we weren't good enough today. We are not the finished article. "There is plenty of work to do".