England head coach Eddie Jones has been forced to self-isolate for ten days after his assistant coach Matt Proudfoot tested positive for Covid-19. The Rugby Football Union has announced that Jones is not displaying any symptoms and if he returns a negative at the next round of testing, he will join up with the squad at St George’s Park on January 28, a day after the squad assembles. 

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An RFU statement read: “England coach Matt Proudfoot has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating.  The test was carried out as part of England’s tournament testing regime for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations.  He is not displaying any symptoms.

“Head coach Eddie Jones and Simon Amor have been identified as contacts and will also isolate for a ten-day period, in accordance with government guidelines.

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“England players will meet at St George’s Park on Wednesday, January 27. Following further negative tests, Jones and Amor will join up with the group on Thursday, January 28, in line with government regulation.”

Jones is due to name his 28-man Six Nations squad this Friday. He is already short a coach for the championship as it was announced on Monday that it would be best for new full-time skills coach Jason Ryles not to fly in from Australia due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions. It leaves defence coach John Mitchell as the current last man standing for England. 

The English open their campaign a February 6 home match at Twickenham versus Scotland and Jones had been busy attending club games to monitor players. His last match was last Saturday’s Trailfinders Cup between where Billy Vunipola was in action for Saracens against Ealing in his first outing since England won the Autumn Nations Cup final against France in early December.

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With England limited to a squad of 28 for the upcoming Six Nations, Jones is expected to largely stick by the same group of players throughout the championship to limit their movement in and out of camp.

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