London – England coach Eddie Jones said his long experience as a coach meant he had refused to be riled by the extraordinary cancellation of England’s match with the Barbarians, just as he had dealt with the impact of a typhoon on last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
England will be crowned Six Nations champions if they beat Italy with a bonus-point win this weekend in their tournament finale and if the result of a match between rivals France and Ireland also falls in their favour.
Saturday’s match in Rome has been delayed several months by the coronavirus pandemic and the English team had hoped to prepare by playing the invitational side at Twickenham last weekend.
But the fixture had to be abandoned when it emerged that several BaaBaas player had breached Covid-19 protocols by making unauthorized trips, including a restaurant meal, outside of the ‘bubble’ at the squad’s London hotel.
England coach Jones, however, compared the call-off to the time last year when his eventual losing finalists World Cup pool match against France in Japan was scuppered by Typhoon Hagibis.
“I’ve been around a while so I just accepted it and quickly went up to my room and worked out a Plan B,” Jones told a conference call.
“I didn’t get involved in the emotion of what happened, the Plan B then got our logistics manager and our captain Owen (Farrell) up and we quickly had a plan in place about an hour after the cancellation of the game and we were on to the next thing, mate,” the veteran Australian boss added.
“We are pretty good at these things, we had the same situation with the typhoon in Japan so we moved on — this time it was just a bit of a different typhoon.”