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Eddie Jones backs returning England star Elliot Daly as he criticises media ‘rat poison’ ahead of Ireland game

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Eddie Jones says he does not believe in the concept of confidence in rugby, but says it is a challenge to keep the media’s “rat poison” away from his players.

Jones was asked about the confidence of Elliot Daly, who has been recalled at outside centre against Ireland at the end of what the coach called a “tough Six Nations” for the player.

“I’ve never seen confidence walk through the door, so I don’t know what confidence is,” said Jones. “Players might think differently, they might work a bit harder, they might work a little bit less. We are always just trying to get them to think right.

“I don’t think there is any such thing as confidence, you either think rightly or you think wrongly and the wrong time you start to listen to the poison that’s written in the media, that rat poison gets into players’ heads.

“We try to keep it out of their head. We try to spray all that rat poison that you [the media] try to put in and get it out of their head, so we are always working hard to get it out of their heads. It keeps me busy.”

He added: “Some players need to do it by themselves, some need a little bit of a nudge to get them in the right direction. It’s completely individual. If we were all the same, it would be pretty boring, you just sit down and say, ‘Right, this is the way you’ve got to think’ to everyone and life would be pretty easy.

“But life is a bit more complicated that; we just work out with each player who they need, what they need, and some players don’t need much. Elliot is an experienced player, he’s got 50 caps, he can work it out for himself and he has and we’re really pleased that he is coming back to his best form and we know at his best he is a world-class player and we are anticipating that on Saturday.”

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