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Eddie Jones blitzes through our pick of questions

…breakdown issues

“We haven’t (any). In South Africa we did incredibly well, we have improved our breakdown by about 80 per cent.”

…20-year-old wing Joe Cokanasiga

“He has the potential because he has size and speed. He’s eager to work with the ball in defence and attack – we know he can carry. We took on him the tour to Argentina in 2017…since then he’s had a number of injuries, and played with a club which has struggled a bit. Now he’s with a stronger club, he’s injury free, and he’s good enough to be in the top four or five wingers…”

…Chris Ashton’s ‘Ash splash’

“All I will say to him is, ‘just score the try’. Just score it as close to the posts as you can. How you get the ball down I don’t care. If you can do it with one toe do it with one toe – just get it down. It will be as simple as that, won’t be too complicated.”

…dropping Dan Cole

“There are areas of the game he needs to work on, and he understands – we will see if he keeps evolving or not. We want to pick him, we have to see if he plays how we want him to play.” (Presumably, he wants him to improve his ball-carrying and break-down discipline).

…whether South Africa have improved

“I don’t think they have. They lost three on the trot, I don’t think they have been great at all, but they put in one hell of a performance (to beat New Zealand). That’s the way South Africa are at the moment – they are inconsistent. I don’t think they are measurably better than when we played them.”

…Manu Tuilagi

“I’ve never seen him have as much energy and acceleration since I saw him play in a video. Really good. It seems to suggest that each week he is getting a little bit better, a little more in the game. The way Leicester are playing now affords him more opportunities which will only keep improving him. He just seems to be mentally in the game.”

…Danny Care

“He looks rejuvenated with a bit of spring in his step. We want that half-back who can come on and change the game, and he has certainly shown that at the moment. I have been impressed by (Dan) Robson who has played really well for Wasps. Between them and Benny Youngs, who has started the season well, there is good competition.”

…naming Tom Curry as sole No.7

“Mark Wilson could be at 7, and there’s Sam Underhill. We are again monitoring his performance closely.”

…Luke Cowan-Dickie

“He is fit. He is our third choice hooker but we want Jamie George and Dylan Hartley to get plenty of reps in the camp. We have a three day camp of which one day is commercial, so the amount of training time we have got is something like 70 minutes. So to have three guys there doesn’t give them enough practice time. We have chosen in specialist positions to have two, so they can get maximum prep.”

…Dave Attwood

“He is someone we are looking at.” Did he get a phone call? “No.”

…James Haskell

“He is not quite there at the moment but he has had a few back and ankle problems which have not allowed him to be at his best. The main thing for him is to get healthy and then play with power and aggression, which we know he can do at his best. If we see that then he will be back in the mix.”

…Michael Rhodes

“He hits hard and he hits often. He is a good old fashioned No.6.”

…paying for specialist coaches out of own pocket?


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