England won a second successive Six Nations title on Saturday with a hugely impressive win over an injury-ravaged Scotland, and in doing so they matched New Zealand’s record of 18 consecutive tier-one Test victories.
Following the appointment of Eddie Jones as England head coach after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, fans were hoping that they would once again see a return to form for the Red Rose.
Little did fans believe, however, that under Jones they would enjoy a run of form that now puts them on a par with the mighty world champions from the southern hemisphere.
Now, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has spoken of the record-equalling feats of England to BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek and has extolled praise on Jones for his transformation of the proud rugby nation.
“Eddie has installed a want and a desire that has not been there.
“We always thought England had plenty of talent but did not want to work hard but they are doing that under Eddie and loving it.
“The harder you work, the more results you get so it is no surprise they are putting a run together that is pretty impressive.
“Sometimes you get players, we have a lot of them over here, who are very talented, but do not have the work ethic.
“It’s not the players’ fault, but then someone comes in their lives, a parent, a teacher or in this case Eddie as a coach, who instils a work ethic and creates a vision that excites them and people change their habits.
“It looks like that is what has happened and it is great for rugby.”
England will now likely contribute a large number of players to Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad that will head south this summer to take on Hansen’s All Blacks.
Fans will be hoping their winning mentality will be infectious and the Lions can record a memorable series win against the double-defending world champions.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
On this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, Lee Byrne tells us what’s gone wrong with Wales and how many dragons are likely to feature for the Lions.