Rugby: Jones brutality comment did not fire up France, says Edwards


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Launch - Tobacco Dock, London, Britain - January 22, 2020 England head coach Eddie Jones Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones's pre-match comments about unleashing brutality did not serve as extra motivation for France in their Six Nations clash on Sunday, defence coach Shaun Edwards said.

Jones said France could expect "absolute brutality" from England but the World Cup runners-up were humbled 24-17 by the hosts and the Australian coach was criticised by former players.

"When you're playing in front of 75,000 in the first game of the Six Nations, if you need exterior motivation, you're in the wrong place," Edwards The Times when asked if Jones's comments been a factor.

"They're a pretty self-motivated bunch. I thought Eddie chose the wrong word there, to be honest. He probably should have said 'physicality'. 'Brutality' brings to mind other things."

Edwards, who joined France head coach Fabien Galthie's backroom staff in November after 12 years with Wales, has hit the ground running with his new team.

"I've been helped because at the World Cup, France were using a system with Fabien as defence coach that was similar to what we had been using with Wales," Edwards added.

"I've come in and added a bit of detail on top of that. It's the same with anything in life, if you're enjoying what you're doing, you're going to go about it with more zest.

"But there was more to it than that, our maul defence was excellent and we only conceded seven penalties. I was pleased with the kicking. It's only one game but it was a good start."

France host Italy on Sunday and England travel to Scotland on Saturday.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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