During his successful stint with Japan, Eddie Jones was known as an innovator; the World Cup victory over rugby superpower South Africa in Brighton two years ago was inspired by his unorthodox approach. It was seen as a David v Goliath triumph and made waves around the world.

Now Jones, the outspoken Australian, is in charge of a superpower himself - England - and after his team's 36-15 Six Nations victory over Italy at Twickenham, he was in no mood to congratulate the visitors for their innovation in not contesting the breakdown and therefore not being bound by the offside line.

In fact, as his fellow countrymen might say, he was filthy, and those of a critical nature could probably find a little hypocrisy in his post-match statements.

The Azzurri, brilliantly coached by Irishman Conor O'Shea and former Springbok Brendan Venter, led England 10-5 at halftime and completely bamboozled the English attack until a flurry from the home side in the final 10 minutes.


"I'm not happy with what happened - I don't think that's rugby," Jones said afterwards. "I was remembering Trevor Chappell, mate. Remember Trevor Chappell, bowled underarm along the ground. Similar rules today."

England's victory put their test streak at 17; they need to beat Scotland at Twickenham in a fortnight to equal the All Blacks' record of 18 and if so have the potential to beat it against Ireland in what would be a blockbusting test at Dublin a week later.

Italy's tactics were not dreamed up the day before the England test. In a comprehensive report written by ESPN's Tom Hamilton, coach O'Shea said the tactic, named the Fox, had been devised earlier in the Six Nations following Italy's defeat by Ireland.

"There was an offside in the Ireland game that was clarified as being onside," O'Shea said. "We thought it was a missed penalty but we got the reason why and thought 'oh, that's interesting'.

"Brendan said 'please listen and don't think I'm mad'. We talked last Sunday as a group of coaches and said 'ok, will we go for this?"'

However, a meeting with referee Romain Poite on the eve of the Twickenham test almost scuppered the plan when the Frenchman told the pair the rule had be tweaked that week.

Hamilton wrote: "The issue was this: the lack of an offside line behind the breakdown remained, but they could no longer take out the opposition scrum-half as it had been deemed not to be in 'the spirit of the game'."

The plan instead was to disrupt England's attack by standing in the way of halfback Danny Care rather than tackling him.

"We are not inventing anything," O'Shea said. "If there's a tackle there's no offside. We can go there. We never played the No9. We just occupied space.

"We didn't just dream this up on Friday night. A lot of planning went into it. We wanted the ball. The purpose of defence is to get the ball.

"We came here to play. Just remember, we attacked off scrums, we kicked into the corner, we did not come here to roll over.

"We challenged people's minds and a lot of credit to Brendan Venter for doing what he did. Look at the number of turnovers we got today."

After the heavy loss to Ireland, O'Shea was determined to try something different and it could only be the start.

"We have a few other animals up our sleeves as well, not just the Fox."