England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones.
England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones. Gareth Fuller

England out to fire opening salvo in Six Nations defence

RUGBY UNION: England coach Eddie Jones says his team is ready for rugby "war” against France in the opening match of its Six Nations title defence at Twickenham tonight (AEST).

England is on a 14-match unbeaten run - 13 of those wins since the Australian was installed after the team's lacklustre first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup - and will be firm favourites.

But Jones insisted "Les Bleus” would be a formidable opponent like it always has been, no matter the "battlefield”.

"It's always a historic game, certainly there is history between France and England,” Jones said.

"We've got one staff member who is into history, (defence coach) Paul Gustard.

"There's been 20 wars between England and France. That's a lot of rivalry there. There is another one happening on Saturday.

"We are going to face a side that's desperate for success. They are under pressure to play with French flair.”

Tonight: Scotland v Ireland, 12.25am; England v France 2.50am; tomorrow: Italy v Wales, midnight (times AEST)