Saturday 16

Rugby Union

England star learned from 2018 shortcomings

26th January 2019, 12:21 by Jack Ogalbe

England hooker Jamie George believes the team learned from their miserable 2018 Six Nations campaign.

The Red Rose won nine of their first 10 Six Nations matches under Eddie Jones, picking up a Grand Slam and a further Championship before it all went wrong last year.

Jones' position was even questioned after his side lost to Scotland, France and Ireland to finish fifth in the final standings.

Injuries played their part and England approach their opening fixture of this year's tournament against Ireland with Billy and Mako Vunipola and Joe Launchbury back fit, while George looks set to start at hooker in Dylan Hartley's absence.

After plenty of soul searching, an encouraging tour of South Africa was followed by a strong autumn, which included wins over both the Springboks and Australia.

As his side continue their build-up to their trip to the Aviva Stadium, the 28-year-old George says his side have been battle hardened by last year's shortcomings.

"The losing run wasn't the end of the world when it happened. We learned from it and moved on," the British and Irish Lions hooker said.

"Genuinely, there was a huge sense of excitement going into the autumn. It was the most excited I have been because we were up against it.

"Now we're in a much more positive place. The way that we performed in the autumn was almost as good as we have played for a long time.

"Hopefully we can just keep building that momentum and there is no bigger test than Ireland away. Winning in Dublin would be a great start to 2019."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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