In Brief

England’s mental weakness exposed: Eddie Jones set to hire team psychologist

Head coach questions his side’s ability to cope with pressure after 38-38 draw with Scotland in the Six Nations

England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed that he will seek expert help ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after his side’s mental strength again came under scrutiny.

In Saturday’s final Six Nations clash against Scotland England held a 31-point advantage at the half-time interval. However, Scotland hit back to lead 38-31 before George Ford rescued the draw for England with a last-minute converted try.

Speaking to the BBC after the 38-38 draw at Twickenham Jones said that England are still suffering from the mental weakness that was exposed at the 2015 World Cup.

He said: “It’s like we have some hand grenades in the back of a jeep and sometimes they go off when there’s a lot of pressure. We have a few of them and we’ve got to get rid of them.”

The Daily Telegraph adds that Jones is now planning to hire a team psychologist to improve his side’s mental strength ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Letting a commanding lead slip for the fourth time in the past 12 Test matches, the Telegraph says that Jones is seeking a “fresh approach” and he confirmed that the new hire would be a woman.

Jones said: “Well, it’s a combination of personnel, but I’ve got one person that’s going to help us that’s a bit of an expert. I’m not sharing that name with you now. I haven’t used her before.

“We have [former rugby league player] Mark Edmondson but I’m talking about a different area now. It’s about how the team thinks under pressure.”

England finished second in the 2019 Six Nations after Wales completed the grand slam with a 25-7 win over Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

In their World Cup warm-up matches in August and September England will play Wales twice, Ireland and Italy.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan starts on 20 September and the final is on 2 November. England are in pool C with France, Argentina, USA and Tonga.

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