Eddie Jones relishes being 'under the pump' as England prepare to face Ireland
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 15/03/18 11:00pm
Eddie Jones will enter Saturday's critical showdown with Ireland relishing the pressure that accompanies the most challenging spell of his England reign.
The Grand Slam is the prize at stake for Joe Schmidt's men at Twickenham, while Jones is hoping his deposed Six Nations champions halt a losing run that spans defeats to Scotland and France.
It is the first time during Jones' 27-Test reign that England have entered reverse, but the Australian is embracing the uncertainty that has engulfed his regime.
"I love it. This is what we get paid for as coaches," Jones said. "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.
"Without a doubt this is my testing time here and it's going to be good for us. I've spoken to a number of people about it. I'm not going to share who.
"I always consult people because I am not the reservoir of wisdom. I look to other people to see how we can improve all the time."
Jones insists the key to foiling Ireland is to ensure England are operating at "peak arousal state".
"You don't understand what the Six Nations is until you're really in it. The emotional part of the game is enormous in the Six Nations," Jones said.
"It's probably more than any other tournament I've experienced about your ability to not get over-aroused, not to be under-aroused, to be at the right arousal level.
"Looking back at Scotland we were probably over-aroused and sometimes it looks like lethargy and again that was my responsibility, I got it wrong.
"So for this game it's important we get it right and I think it's building up nicely. There's a peak arousal state that you want to be in."
Defeat against Ireland on Saturday will mean England going into their three-Test tour of South Africa on the back of three successive losses.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland says that really does put the pressure on England to perform at Twickenham on Saturday.