The war of words between co-world record-holders took another twist today, as England rugby coach Eddie Jones seemed to rebuff praise from All Blacks counterpart Steve Hansen.

England equaled New Zealand's record winning streak of 18 games with their defeat of Scotland over the weekend and are poised to go one better, when they meet Ireland in Dublin next Saturday.

Hansen was quick to congratulate his archrivals on their achievement and praised the improvements Jones had made to a team that failed to progress out of pool play at the last World Cup.

But Jones seemed unwilling to accept that tribute.


"Hearing Steve Hansen make comments reminds me of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf dressed up as the grandmother ... you've always got to be careful of compliments, particularly from an All Black coach."

Hansen was typically dry in his reaction, when quizzed by Radio Sport's Martin Devlin.

"Well, he's obviously not very used to getting compliments, so he's got to try and brush it off, I suppose. We all know the Red Riding Hood story."

Some areas of the British media are quick to accuse the All Blacks of arrogance when they are on top, but Hansen seems genuinely appreciative of England's feat and its impact on the international game.

"What they're doing is great for rugby, particularly English rugby," he said. "For a long time, they've been the quiet underachievers, but now they've stepped up and said they want to be part of the big boys.

"They've put together a record that is to be commended and it doesn't come easy, doing that.

"We shouldn't find it hard to say 'well done' and if you can be gracious when you're winning, you have to be gracious when others are winning too. I think that's a good part of sport, when people can do that."