England hope to have Maro Itoje available before end of Six Nations


England face an anxious wait to discover the extent of lock Maro Itoje's knee injury, but head coach Eddie Jones said they have enough depth in the squad to cope with his potential absence from the remainder of the Six Nations championship.

"That was that in a nutshell, obviously there are other areas we want to look at but physically we know we can be there, we can be up at that level, we were just off and we've got to sort that out". We were just a little bit off. "I am a fully signed-up member of the low-key, respectful Schmidt approach every time and I qualify that by saying that what goes on behind closed doors at in-house meetings is very different to that dished out at PR-perfect press conferences for public consumption".

Schmidt, who has turned Ireland round from a demoralised squad when he took over into one capable of beating world champions New Zealand twice, said victory next Saturday would put them back on track in what is his final Six Nations tournament as he steps down after the World Cup later this year.

The Japanese coaching duo know that to reach the World Cup's last eight, their charges will probably need to beat Ireland or Scotland to finish in the top-two of their five-team pool.

He added: "With a game as attritional as that one, you've really got to allow sufficient recovery time". "We are nowhere near our best".

But British & Irish Lions No.9 Murray is confident his side will bounce back.

"The result tonight will be a challenge to our confidence because you get used to having that winning feeling and it's pretty hollow right now", Schmidt admitted.

Ireland's record run of 12 home victories has come to an end, with the Kiwi boss frustrated, and honest, about his side's shortcomings.

He said Schmidt and Jones, both former teachers, were "excellent communicators, albeit with very different takes as to how they go about their rugby business". You've got to be prepared to give as good as you get, and we didn't do that tonight.

"But we were off physically to start things off".

"It's something that happened to us two years ago against the All Blacks - we got bullied here". We've got to make sure our solutions are that we get better pressure on the ball.