England rugby: James Haskell reveals one ‘fantastic’ aspect of Eddie Jones’ leadership | Rugby | Sport

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The Red Rose produced a stunning Six Nation win over Ireland last weekend.

Despite Joe Schmidt’s men being firm favourites going into the encounter, England managed a 32-20 win.

Performances in the summer – and during the Autumn internationals – were often erratic.

Northampton Saints ace Haskell, however, says team unity has never been an issue under Jones.

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“I think Eddie Jones has been fantastic at getting the team to bond,” he told Love Sport Radio.

“There has always been loads of activities and that doesn’t get talked about just because if people hear the team have been off doing an escape room or something else, they like to jump on bandwagons.

“Bonding and tightness has never been an issue in my experience.

“I think what makes people feel like they’re more united is when you put a performance in like that and put your body on the line.

“You’re quite unified. They’ve gone to a hostile environment and got a good win and will be looking forward to going to Twickenham this weekend.”

England face France a Twickenham this afternoon.

Les Bleus slumped to a home defeat against Wales in their Six Nations opener.

Jacques Brunel has recalled experienced centre Mathieu Bastareaud for today’s fixture as he looks to get his side off the mark.

Haskell says France are lacking a resilient attitude.

“It’s the mental side of the game that’s just very much neglected in France,” he added.

“I believe, individually they’re probably better players than anybody in the Northern Hemisphere.

“As individual talents, in my experience, French players are always right up there with some of the best players in the world.

“The issue is making them cohesive and having the ability for them to get those performances out on the field.

“When you do a lot on emotion and French rugby is built on emotion, and there’s not a lot of structure certainly in my experience.

“There are game plans but it doesn’t have the same rigidity as you would have in a Premiership side here or a national side in the UK.

“It means when things don’t go well and everyone is getting emotional, and you don’t have the mental side of the game nailed, things just fall apart.

“It’s amazing to me, that France haven’t won more games.

“They could’ve won a couple of World Cups if they had that mental ability.

“When I was in France playing for Stade Francais we didn’t have a team psychologist and it was never addressed.

“People were talking poetic speeches but then not doing anything about it. I think they’re an incredible team.”



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