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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Jones "focussed on beating Wales" after Italy fixture postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

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Jones 'focussed on beating Wales' after Italy fixture postponed due to coronavirus outbreak
Jones "focussed on beating Wales" after Italy fixture postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

England head coach Eddie Jones says his players' focus is solely on beating Wales despite the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak that has caused the postponement of their final Six Nations clash against Italy.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND HEAD COACH, EDDIE JONES, ON WHETHER THE CORONAVIRUS FEARS HAVE HAD AN IMPACT ON PREPARATIONS, SAYING: "The players are really focussed about beating Wales, that's what we've seen.

There'a always noise going on, it's a different sort of noise at the moment but all we can do is make sure that our players know what their most important job is and their most important job is to prepare well to play against Wales." 2.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND CAPTAIN, OWEN FARRELL, ON WHETHER IT'S BEEN A STRANGE ATMOSPHERE THIS WEEK, SAYING: "Not at all, we're in training camp and focussed on what's in front of us, and that's a massive Test against Wales this weekend.

Everybody else can talk about the other stuff." 4.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND HEAD COACH, EDDIE JONES, ON THE PRECAUTIONS TAKEN IN CAMP, SAYING: "Because we've got quite a big squad, we carry up to 30 players and 25 staff, personal hygiene particularly around the food is important so that's something we've done pretty consistently so it's not a big movement away for us." 6.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND CAPTAIN, OWEN FARRELL, ON THE PRECAUTIONS TAKEN IN CAMP, SAYING: "We're pretty diligent on that anyway, there's a large number of is in camp 24-7 so it anybody picks up anything it spreads pretty quickly so we've always been hot on making sure our hygiene's good." STORY: England head coach Eddie Jones says the squad are only thinking about Saturday's match against Wales despite their final Six Nations game against Italy in Rome being postponed because of the coronavirus, which was confirmed by tournament organisers on Thursday (March 5).

The match against Italy had been due to be played without fans present after an Italian government ruling this week on all sports events but organisers decided to postpone the match.

Italy's game in Ireland this Saturday had already been postponed.

"Six Nations notes the decree issued by the Italian Government with respect to all upcoming sporting events in that country," Six Nations organisers said in a statement.

"The decision has now been taken to postpone the three matches between Italy and England (Men's, Women's and U20) set to take place over the weekend of 13/14/15th March, with the intention to reschedule them at later dates.

"Based on the information that is currently available, all other Six Nations matches are set to go ahead as scheduled.

As previously stated, Six Nations fully intends to complete all 15 games across all three championships when time allows." About 20,000 England fans had been expected to make the trip to Rome.

There is no obvious date when the fixtures could be played, with a crowded club and international calendar rolling from the domestic season straight into southern hemisphere tours.

The last time the competition was similarly affected was in 2001, when three games were played in September and October because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease earlier in the year.

Jones held a news conference at the team's training base on Thursday to announce his team for Saturday's game against Wales but declined to say much about the postponement.

The schedules of several international sporting events have been affected by the flu-like virus that has killed more than 3,200 people around the world and infected more than 94,000 after it originated in China late last year.

(Production: Elliot Richardson)


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