Rugby: England coach Eddie Jones backs Six Nations relegation

Eddie Jones is backing relegation being adopted in the Six Nations.

The England coach has echoed the call from second-tier international rugby middleweights Georgia, whose president has pleaded to World Rugby for inclusion in any global competition plans.

Gocha Svanizde was appalled at the recent proposed World League concept, which effectively cast aside countries like Georgia, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

Jones believes Six Nations relegation would lift the quality of the competition and give Italy more incentive to lift their standards. The Azzurri have lost 21-straight Six Nations tests.

Speaking after England's 57-14 demolition of Italy on Sunday (NZT), Jones told the BBC that tournament organisers needed to ensure the integrity of the competition remained a priority.

"I think they should always consider rewarding merit, it doesn't matter what competition you're in," Jones said.

"The organisers talk about the Six Nations being the best rugby competition in the world and it probably is close to it, but to improve it, you've got to find a way of making sure you've got the six best teams in Europe playing in it.

"If that involves relegation, then it's something that should be looked at very closely."

The former Wallabies coach is a big believer in the potential of Georgia as a sleeping giant, having called on them to help out in Six Nations preparations.

England used Georgia in scrum sessions leading up to tests against both Ireland and Wales, such is the power of the pack of the 12th-ranked side in the world. Italy is currently ranked 14th.

World Rugby is set to meet on Thursday (NZT), with the global format and everything it entails expected to be debated vigorously.