Schmidt shrugs off Jones' Sexton barbs


Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has dismissed comments from England's Eddie Jones questioning the wellbeing of Jonathan Sexton.

Jones claimed Sexton's parents would be worried to hear about the 'whiplash' style injury the fly-half received taking a late hit from Yoann Maestri in France's 10-9 win over the Six Nations holders in Paris on February 13.

The health of the 30-year-old, who missed four months of the 2014 season after suffering repeated concussions, and the likelihood he will be targeted at Twickenham this weekend, was a central theme of England's media conference on Thursday.

Schmidt, though, refused to be provoked by his counterpart.

"Those extraneous things, we are probably less affected by them than you people are, to be honest, because if we are distracted by that then it is something we are wasting energy and time on," he said. 

"We get little enough time together as it is. We're all about making sure that we can be organised, enthusiastic, well-covered and not distracted.

"People are within their rights to make whatever observation they like from outside the environment, but we know how things are inside the environment. 

"We know how eager, fit and able the players are and he [Sexton] is a good example of someone who is very eager and I think you will see that this Saturday."

Ireland drew the opening match of their title defence 16-16 at home to Wales before the narrow loss at Stade de France, while England have won both of their first two outings, away to Scotland and Italy.