Scotland's successful venture against England has blown the Six Nations championship wide open. Ireland are firmly in the driving seat, but still have to face second and third with a home clash against Scotland next before taking on England in Twickenham.
A 25-13 defeated surprised many but Scotland were full value for their victory, while England must ask hard questions of themselves after seemingly switching off and returning to the complacency of old.
One particularly forthright critic of England was former Irish rugby player Donal Lenihan. Speaking on RTE's Against the Head tonight, Lenihan pointed at some odd selection choices by Jones.
I watched a lot of their players in the Champions Cup this year. Leinster played Exeter twice, Munster played Leicester and I haven't been impressed with the individuals. Added to that, I think the key battle, as Fiona pointed out, was the breakdown. Their back row was not at the races. They're playing Courtney Lawes, a second-row in the back row. Nathan Hughes was number 8 and he played one match in about two and a half months. Eddie Jones, having slammed Chris Robshaw when Stuart Lancaster played him at seven throughout the World Cup, has reverted to him playing at seven.
They were blown away.
Lenihan makes a good point on Chris Robshaw. Writing in his Mail column during the 2015 World Cup, Jones said Robshaw was neither 'hard on the ball' or 'quick.'
To me, Robshaw is an outstanding club player but at international level he just doesn’t have that point of difference. He carries OK, he tackles OK, but he’s not outstandingly good in any area. I think that is his limiting factor.
Robshaw was asked about this after last year and told the press he was just happy to be playing now.
I probably didn't expect to be in this position again. Especially after all that with Eddie and what he said about me early on. But now I am and I'm looking forward to it.
As for Jones, he admitted his initial take may have been wrong.
There is no doubt that Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson and John Barclay totally dominated the English back row, although Jones does have other options including the hugely exciting prospect Sam Underhill.