Eddie Jones has been busy scouting players in person by attending multiple Gallagher Premiership matches in recent weeks but the England boss and his coaching staff have also been occupied with getting their on-field coaching back up to scratch – by spending two days at Championship club Ealing. 

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Jones and co have not had any coaching to do since England’s early March Guinness Six Nations win over Wales and rather than come into next month’s Barbarians match week cold ahead of a winter schedule featuring five Test games over the following six weekends, they took sessions at Trailfinders earlier this week to get up to speed after their six-month lay-off.    

Jones’ main Championship interest in 2020/21 will be Saracens, given how players such as Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, the Vunipola brothers and other England regulars have stayed with the automatically relegated club rather than spend a loan year at a higher club level elsewhere. 

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However, having previously visited the ambitious Ealing on a number of occasions, Jones declared they now have their best team ever and he likes the overall look of them as a proper rugby club.     

“It’s great to be back here,” said Jones after getting his coaching eye back in on the Vallis Way pitch. “Alex (Codling, the head coach) has kindly allowed us to train the team for two days because we haven’t had any practice since the Wales game, so it has been excellent. 

“It’s fantastic to be involved in rugby again. Everyone was thinking when is the next opportunity to be involved in rugby. We are really appreciative of what Ealing does for us. Alex has kindly invited us down on a number of occasions and for us, we get coaching experience, we get to see what is happening in the Championship and the players hopefully benefit in some way. 

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“I feel there is a real buzz around the (Ealing) squad this year, real energy. The quality of the player and the quality of the connection between the players is outstanding. We have been here four or five times now and this is the best Ealing side I have seen. 

“Ealing has been very kind to us and hopefully we can continue to come down. What I can see is a real rugby club is developing here. You have got the two groups in the academy, I saw those boys training very hard. You have got a good senior squad, you’ve got great facilities. It’s a real tribute to the club in how they are building themselves.”

 

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