Jones says English exiles must show ‘will’ to win World Cup
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England coach Eddie Jones has said his abandoned veterans have to prove to him that they have what it takes to win a World Cup, rather than just being involved in the world centerpiece, if they are to regain their place in his team.
Jones omitted opener George Ford, the Vunipola brothers and hooker Jamie George from a 34-man squad announced Monday for next month’s Twickenham testing trio against Tonga, Australia and the World Champions from South Africa.
In the process, he has deprived himself of 276 caps of experience as he seeks to refresh England ahead of the 2023 World Cup in France.
Jones was twice the losing coach in a World Cup final – when England beat their native Australia in 2003 and two years ago when South Africa proved too strong for it. ‘England in Japan.
And although he was a consultant to the Springboks when they won the Webb Ellis Trophy in 2007, Jones, 61, has yet to lead a World Cup-winning team.
The opening half Ford has been in great shape for the Premiership leaders Leicester so far this season and at the age of 28 he is expected to be in his prime. Forwards Billy and Mako Vunipola both impressed the Saracens, for whom George scored two tries in the club’s 71-17 win over Bath this weekend.
Still, while he’s not really concerned that his England side are aging all together at once, Jones is keenly aware of the dangers of an experience crushed by the demands of the test-match rugby union.
“We now have a number of players who have been on two World Cup campaigns,” Jones told reporters after revealing his latest squad.
– “10% additional” –
“With the third World Cup campaign, my experience tells me that some players may want to go to the World Cup but they don’t really have the will to prepare to win the World Cup.
“It hit me the experience I had with Australia after 2003. I kept some players longer than I should have and it probably weighed in on the selection choices I have. made in the last six months with England. “
He added: “We might have the most experienced team at the World Cup, but if they have that willingness to go up to 10 percent more and find that discretionary effort… that’s something that I’m trying to find out right now.
“Right now I think they need to regenerate and rejuvenate. They need to add things to their game if they want to continue until the next World Cup.”
Jones, meanwhile, confirmed Owen Farrell will remain England captain for the November campaign, leaving open the possibility that rising star Marcus Smith could start the opening in Ford’s absence alongside the skipper. in the inner center.
Smith, 22, inspired the Harlequins to the Premiership title last season and only made his England debut in July before being called up for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa.
He made a catchy start to the current campaign, but a suspicious Jones said: “The best players in the world will keep perspective because they are never as good as people say they are never as bad as people. say so.
“There’s always that branded game where they always show up, they always try their best. Sometimes they have a brilliant game, very rarely they have a bad game.
“It’s the test of a young player coming up. We wouldn’t have picked Marcus if we didn’t think he could handle this. We think he can.”
Meanwhile, Jones has said Maro Itoje (shoulder), Anthony Watson (knee) and Luke Cowan-Dickie (ankle), all injured in last weekend’s Premiership games, will undergo exams this week.
© 2021 AFP