At the end of last week England head coach Eddie Jones named his 36-man squad for the autumn internationals.
The squad will head to Portugal for a pre-series training camp in preparation for the first match of the schedule against South Africa. Here we ask Jones about players who will be on the plane and players left at home.
“I only have him for nine weeks between now and July. In that time, we will look after him like he is the king’s baby. The rest of the time it is Sarries’ responsibility and they look after their players well. We trust them to do a great job.”
“Joking…I just do my job to the best of my ability with my assistant coaches.”
“He’s a try scorer, he’s a brilliant support player and he’s hungry. Apart from Owen Farrell, I don’t think I’ve seen a hungrier player for England. The fact he’s turned down whatever he was getting paid in Toulon because he wants to play at the World Cup is a great example. We don’t have that many good support players. With his infectious attitude, it’s a no brainer to have him in the squad.”
“They’re isolated incidents. He gets in a bit of a rage, but as you get older you learn to control that. I thought his last ban was unlucky, but that’s the way the game is at the moment. The game has become so tight on foul play. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but you’ve got to be careful about the way you behave.”
“At this stage yes.”
“He is not on the radar at this stage. He is a really good player but he does not fit the mould of what I want there.”
“He doesn’t want to play. If he wanted to play he would come back to England. Look at what Chris Ashton did. He answered his own question. Players select or de-select themselves.”
“If necessary yes. I haven’t seen that necessity yet. But if necessary we will.”
“I see him as an even number.”
“No it is still a possibility. It is still a possibility in a number of games. But there is also a possibility that Owen will play at 10 and also a possibility that George will play at 10 and Owen will play at 12.
It depends on a number of factors, who is available in the centres, what sort of opposition we are playing against, what sort of attack we want to play, how many momentum runners have we got?”
“Stooke is a line-out caller and jumper and we don’t have too many of those with Launchbury out. The only other caller we have is Kruis who is our number one caller. Maro is a part-time caller, he doesn’t call for his club, and so we needed to have another caller and Charlie Ewels is another caller. Stooke is a good aggressive young lock. We want someone who comes in the squad as that fifth lock to bring that raw aggression. Attwood is a handy player.”
“He’s got a bit of work to do on his game, 100 per cent. Schonert’s a young guy coming through, a reasonable scrummager with a good attitude. We want to see how far we can develop him. Hopefully Coley keeps working on his game and gets ready for the Six Nations and then he can go to the World Cup.”
“No, I took a gamble there and wasn’t that confident. I wouldn’t have bet on him getting clear on BetFred, mate. Are they the sponsor? Do we have a betting sponsor? Oh – you can’t bet on rugby, there you go.”
Tagged Eddie Jones
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