England head coach Eddie Jones has urged his side to head into 2018 wanting to get better and create history.
Jones’ side finished 2017 with victory over Samoa to seal an Old Mutual Wealth Series clean sweep, while also taking their record for the year to nine wins out of 10 Test matches.
And now he says the side must continue to improve if they are to seal a third consecutive Six Nations title which would be a first in the history of the tournament.
“I’m excited about the Six Nations as we’ve got the opportunity to create history by winning it three consecutive times,” said Jones.
“We want to get better with every game. The Six Nations is always tough as every side wants to beat us. Playing England is their big game and that’s the great thing for us, we’re put under enormous pressure in every match so we are going to have to prepare well.”
Jones declared himself satisfied with the autumn series as well as the year and says competition for places among the squad is also more competitive as a result of increasing the player pool."We’ve had three good wins, we’ve learned a lot so it’s been positive."
“We’ve had three good wins, we’ve learned a lot so it’s been positive,” added Jones.
“It’s pretty clear who are top 23 are and then there’s great competition for the other eight spots.”
One player making his first start for England was Sam Simmonds and Jones was impressed by what he saw of the Exeter Chiefs No. 8.
“Simmonds did pretty well, he’s a good young rugby player, we just need to get some beef on him now,” added Jones."We might have to send him down to Miyazaki in Japan to get him to eat some Miyazaki beef."
“We might have to send him down to Miyazaki in Japan to get him to eat some Miyazaki beef. Those Cornish pasties are clearly not working. He has a nice feel to the game, he doesn’t talk a lot and gets on with it. He’s a good prospect for us.”
Jones has now urged his players to spend the next two months looking to get better and says the slate will be wiped clean as they head into 2018.
“It all goes out of the window,” he added.
“We reassemble in eight weeks and the next two months is a great opportunity for the players to show how much desire they have to be part of a World Cup winning side. It’s all up for grabs.
“We start again. We have great competition, we’ve won nine out of 10 matches and introduced 12 new caps this year. We’ve increased the depth of the squad and have people competing for every position.”