Triumphant Eddie Jones claims had it been cricket England could have declared!

Eddie Jones took aim at his critics after England gave Ireland such a beating that he claimed they could have “declared” at half-time.

Owen Farrell’s team raced into a 17-0 lead at Twickenham before settling for a 24-12 win which thrusts them back into the Six Nations title race.

And Jones, who had been widely mocked for picking so many players out of position, said: “At half-time if it was a cricket game, we could have declared!”

Tries by George Ford, Elliot Daly and Luke Cowan-Dickie secured a victory which lifts England into second place behind unbeaten France with two rounds to play.

"I thought we were outstanding in that first 40 minutes,” continued Jones. “We put Ireland to the sword. They were going to do this, going to do that…

"They're a good team, this England team, and any time we have a small mishap it's the end of the world, the whole world's falling in.

“I don't need vindication. I pick the team that I think is right for the week. But the players get a lot of criticism, and I'm really proud of what they did.”

Nobody impressed more than Manu Tuilagi who, on his return from injury, gave England the go-forward they had lacked in the first two rounds.

Team captain Owen Farrell raved: "Any team in the world would want Manu. He's in a good place, playing great rugby.”

Next up for England is a Triple Crown showdown at home to Wales on Saturday week.

“We're looking forward to hosting them here,” smiled Jones. “There will be 81,000 waiting for them.

“We know every time England play Wales it's the biggest game there's ever been. I don't expect this to be any different.”

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