Moody tells Telfer to focus on Scotland after Jones jibe

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Lewis Moody said Jim Telfer should be more concerned about how Scotland become a force in international rugby rather than insult England, who will look to break new ground in their Six Nations opener against France on Saturday.

Last week, Scotland great Telfer stoked the fires of the old rivalry by making disparaging remarks about England and head coach Eddie Jones.

Jones responded by saying Telfer is entitled to make personal comments about him, but launched a staunch defence of the Twickenham crowd saying: "To say the fans at Twickenham are arrogant is absolutely ridiculous. 

"I've coached all around the world and I think the fans at Twickenham are passionate, loyal, reasonably well educated and provide a great atmosphere. 

"It's one of the greatest rugby grounds in the world. If he doesn't like that, don't come."

And Moody, a World Cup winner with England in 2003, says perceptions of arrogance are unfair and any team that has won 14 straight matches is entitled to be confident.

"I think sometimes England need to be more confident in their ability, if you're going to go out and win games you don't do it by not being confident," he told Omnisport. 

"Arrogance is a label other people put on England, players don't label themselves arrogant, they go in there confident because they are on an incredibly successful winning streak. 

"I have no problem that England should sing and dance about being successful, too long the British mentality is about knocking people who are succeeding, why not embrace the fact that the side are doing incredibly well at the minute.

"I'd say every England player that goes on the pitch shows respect by going out there and playing their absolute best against every side they come across.

"That's a classic Scottish mentality, that's what they call on pre-game to wind themselves up rather than focusing on what they need to do which is focus on what is going to win the game."

If England can begin the start of their Six Nations defence by beating France at Twickenham it will mark the first time in their history they have won 15 straight games - 14 of which will have been under Jones' stewardship.

Moody has been particularly impressed with England's strength in depth and the way Jones has dealt with injuries in key positions.

"I am genuinely excited about the first game," he added. 

"England have had such a great run of form, equalling that successful winning streak of 14, they've had a Grand Slam, a first series win down under in Australia, so it's an exciting build up. 

"As always Eddie Jones has to deal with a number of injuries that the Premiership structure [brings] but because of the way Jones has been able to draft in other players because of injury, suddenly the strength in depth that England are witnessing is something quite special. 

"You lose Anthony Watson who is probably first choice, but you've got Elliot Daly or Jack Nowell to choose from - and Jonny May. 

"That's an exciting position to be in. I'm surprised they didn't go with Jack Nowell but maybe they wanted to give Elliot Daly a chance to redeem that red card [against Argentina in the November internationals]."

 

Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover has a heritage in supporting rugby at all levels, from grassroots to the elite. Through its 'We Deal In Real' campaign, Land Rover continues to shine a light on the people, players and clubs at the heart and soul of the game.