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Eddie Jones' blunt response when asked about Michael Lynagh tweet

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Eddie Jones has batted away a damning tweet by Michael Lynagh about his son and England rugby. The Wallabies legend took to social media last Monday to suggest that his 20-year-old son – who qualifies for three different countries – had not been approached by England but there had been some recent contact from Australia and Italy, the country where he was born.

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Lynagh, a former England age-grade international, produced a stunning finale to last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership final, his late two-try blast pivotal in winning the title for Harlequins. But that significant effort wasn’t enough to secure his first call-up from England when they revised their squad for this weekend’s summer series opener versus the USA at Twickenham.       

Lynagh senior wrote: “Qualified for England, Australia and Italy. Italy and Australia have contacted him within the last fortnight. The RFU/England Rugby have NEVER spoken to him about his intentions and goals. Strange, given that the now head of rugby (Conor O’Shea) once flew from Italy to ask a 17-year-old to commit to Italy.

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It is not about being selected or not. The issue is that nobody from the RFU has spoke to him. He has played England U16, U18 and U19, he lives 1 mile from Twickenham, he plays for Quins – yet nobody has even had a chat with him. How many other young kids are in the same boat?”

Lynagh’s tweet generated much reaction online but despite that debate, it appeared to have passed Jones by as he issued a blunt response on Friday when asked about what his fellow Australian has posted with regard to his son. “I’m not aware of the tweet and I am only here to talk about players who have been selected,” said Jones dismissively.  

Jones kept that promise, going on to talk about an England XV that contains eight uncapped players to face the USA, including the novel situation where a debut-making player is also captaining England. Lewis Ludlow is only the fifth player in history to captain England on their debut and Jones explained why the Gloucester back-rower was chosen to follow in the footsteps of Fred Stokes (1871), Fred Alderson (1892), Joe Mycock (1947) and Nigel Melville (1984).

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“There are a number of issues. We have the Lions away, we’re resting senior players so it’s an opportunity for a new captain to come in. We have been watching the club games very closely and looking for guys with leadership qualities and he has been outstanding with Gloucester and has come into camp and shown good leadership qualities, so he is the best person to lead the team on Sunday.”

Ludlow will be part of a pack tasked with taking a first step towards restoring England’s damaged reputation as a fearsome eight. “It is a great opportunity for this pack to take a step forward with England. 

“We were all disappointed by our packs’ display in the Six Nations and this is the first opportunity for the England pack to show they want to be a pack that is feared around the world and we haven’t been during the Six Nations and we want to get that mantle back.”

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Eddie Jones' blunt response when asked about Michael Lynagh tweet

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