Eddie Jones excited to increase keep as England boss

Share

Jones conceded his 35-man squad, which features eight uncapped players, was one of the most hard he had put together as England's head coach with Elliot Daly, James Haskell, Nathan Hughes and Billy Vunipola - who is expected to be sidelined for 12 weeks and absent for the entire Six Nations following a fractured forearm - among 13 players listed as unavailable.

If the last two years have taught us anything about Jones, it's that he is not going to make knee-jerk reactions to form and would rather build a team based on traits, ability and what players can bring to England over the long-term, rather than what they might be able to do in the short-term or what they have done at club level. But it's quite a way away and there are a lot of things to happen before then and it's not entirely our say either.

In the meantime, Jones' primary focus is the 2018 Six Nations, where bookmakers Neds have England as $1.75 favourites to win the tournament for a third consecutive year.

"If you read the papers, then we might as well not turn up", said Jones.

RFU CEO Steve Brown praised Jones" commitment to making England the number one team in the world and recognised his "extraordinary commitment' in having a 95 percent win rate.

"No, it wouldn't prohibit him at all", said Brown.

"Bear in mind that we're a quarter-shareholder in the Lions and we'll have some say in that too".

Jones has done this previously with a number of players and it is showing no signs of slowing down, especially after he signed an extension to continue coaching England until 2021. "I would see that as being consequential of coaching well". "[But] I wouldn't be arrogant or presumptuous to think [the Lions] was a possibility".

"He must get paid for running sideways. does he?" said Jones.

Upon replacing Stuart Lancaster, Jones outlined his plan to retire to Barbados after the 2019 World Cup, but the prospect of establishing a dynasty shaped on the successful New Zealand model of a triumvirate of big hitters forced a change of heart. "We wanted to avoid that and also have a smooth transition into the next head coach". "We've thought about how that would work", Brown added.

"We're down to seventh or eighth at loosehead", said Jones.

But injuries and Joe Marler's suspension will force England to blood a new prop in their opening game in Rome on February 3, with Jones admitting he is down to his "seventh or eighth choice" at loose-head. We've got 13 players out, we've got no hope. He told the BBC: "The only thing I am anxious about is winning the World Cup in 2019". There's a distinct difference between club rugby and worldwide rugby.

"We looked at various situations in the past and observed others as well and it seemed that [Lancaster deal] didn't work particularly well, clearly".

Share