Six Nations: England coach Eddie Jones blasts Italy's tactics


England sealed the win at Twickenham to stay on course for back-to-back grand slams but the victory, which needed a late surge of tries to put a gloss on the result, was nearly forgotten in the immediate aftermath as the opposing coaches took markedly different views of Italy's tactic of not putting any players into a ruck.

England fly-half George Ford has called on World Rugby, rugby union's worldwide governing body, to outlaw the tactics which saw Italy rattle England in the Six Nations - warning that if they don't, the sport will be "killed".

Such was the perilous nature of the score-line at half-time, simply winning the game superseded any thoughts of matching Ireland's rout of the Azzurri, but Eddie Jones will be furious at his team's lack of ruthlessness against a calibre of opponent they really should be putting to the sword if they have aspirations of being considered the best team in the world in future.

In fact, the tactic frustrated the England team so much they went to seek advice from the referee, who responded with: "I'm the referee, not the coach". "He answered the first time that he wasn't my coach and I said no that isn't what I am saying I want to know what you want to see and he shrugged his shoulders and carried on".

"I think Eddie has said everything that needs to be said about it", said the Yorkshireman, after England's 17th straight win.

"As I said I think there's still room for improvement there, which is always a great thing".

"If New Zealand or one of the big boys had come up with it in a big game, we would be hailing a tactical master-stroke", he wrote for the Daily Mail.

"We believe we can beat England if we play like we did in the second half", said Scotland captain John Barclay after his side scored 20 unanswered points against Wales at Murrayfield.

French referee Romain Poite, who had been warned about Italy's approach at the traditional pre-match meeting officials have with both teams, saw nothing wrong in what the visitors were doing, with England eventually playing in similar fashion.

"It doesn't feel like a normal test and I think I only cleared out three people in the match and so physically I don't feel the same and it was just a freakish afternoon - one that I will chalk down as a win and move on".

"We played absolutely legally".

The player unsurprisingly backed his own head coach's remarks.

Ten minutes after grabbing his first, Nowell finished off a second under the posts as Italy's engines ran dry, and the hosts ultimately illustrated their credentials as title challengers in spite of a slow first half.

"That is awesome for us because we've been patching people up and now we've got a chance to get them really right, so we'll be humming by Scotland". That's not rugby. You're looking to pass and all you can see is one of their players.

"I have rarely known an incident cause such debate!" We'll have to go over there and make sure we have all the boxes ticked. "If we had said to our players "fellas, charge over the trenches again and do the same thing" then we'd get the same result". "We played to the laws".

The initial reaction from World Rugby suggested that there would be no immediate reaction. We're full of respect for them today and they proved very hard to break down.