LONDON • England rugby coach Eddie Jones was in a contrite mood on Thursday after branding today's Six Nations opponents Ireland as "scummy" and Wales as a "little s*** place" in a video that went viral on Wednesday.
Jones, who made the incendiary remarks at a leadership talk in Japan last year, has admitted he is "not the reservoir of wisdom" as he contemplated his most testing period yet, as England prepare for the finale against newly crowned champions Ireland, who are chasing a grand slam.
England will kick off at Twickenham following back-to-back defeats by Scotland and France, the first time they have lost successive internationals during the Australian's 27 Tests in charge.
And, as if that was not enough, he has had to "apologise unreservedly for any offence caused", with his derogatory comments.
He disclaimed suggestions he had done Ireland's team talk for them. "Ireland are preparing for a grand slam, they don't need any extra motivation," he said at England's Bagshot training base.
And Joe Schmidt, his Irish counterpart, concurred, saying: They (the comments) are not directly relevant to us. Those words don't impact on how we play or how his team plays and that's our focus."
Irish flanker Peter O'Mahony echoed his coach's sentiments.
"You're on the wrong page if you're looking at stuff like that to motivate you," he said.
"We have a plan and that is enough to motivate us."
Of more pressing concern to Jones is that a loss today could see England, winners of the past two Six Nations titles, finish as low as fifth. But he insisted he relished being under pressure.
"I love it. This is what we get paid for as coaches," he added.
"It's the best time in rugby, when you are under the pump and you have got to produce it. And the team feels the same way."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN