Jones not convinced by bonus points


Eddie Jones is not convinced the introduction of bonus points in this year's Six Nations will bring the attacking style of rugby that organisers want.

In November it was announced the system would be trialled in 2017 to encourage and reward try-scoring and offensive play after some criticism of last year's edition.

Under the new guidelines teams will earn an extra point should they score four or more tries, and get a losing bonus should they be defeated by seven points or fewer.

However, England coach Jones does not believe it will have much of an impact when the competition begins on February 4.

"Teams were frightened of losing in the opening two rounds of the Six Nations last year," Jones told The Guardian.

"They played well within themselves and did not want to take any risks, but the quality was much better on the final two weekends.

"I don't think bonus points will have any influence. I have coached for 20 years and it has not had one iota of influence on how I have gone about things.

"If you play good rugby, you secure a bonus point; if you don't, you don't."

England secured grand slam last year and Jones' side went on to complete an unbeaten 12 months, with the Australian hopeful his side will make a fast start in their opener against France at Twickenham.

"The last time England played well in the first round was against Wales in 2006," he added. 

"Before that you go back to the great side of 2001-03. Otherwise, England have stumbled and got a close victory.

"I want us to go out there and set a benchmark in the first game. The Six Nations is a unique competition because of the intensity of the rivalry. If we can get the rugby to a great level, it will become the greatest tournament in the world."