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Eddie Jones takes tongue-in-cheek swipe at Will Stuart's finishing

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England boss Eddie Jones has quipped that he will conduct a special training session on Monday for Will Stuart after the unorthodox way he eventually scored the first of his two tries in Saturday’s stirring comeback versus the All Blacks.

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The substitute tighthead – who scored twice in the space of seven frantic minutes – was at the beating heart of the remarkable comeback that saw the English score 19 unanswered points in the closing minutes to clinch a dramatic 25-all draw.

It was an incredible contribution from the 26-year-old, who was a 53rd-minute sub for Kyle Sinckler at a time when England were trailing 6-22. His 23 previous caps had passed by without the prop ever getting on the scoresheet, and all the more remarkable about him finally ending that scoring blank in his 24th appearance was the fact that Jones wasn’t expecting to have him available until the Guinness Six Nations.

Stuart was an early first-half casualty in last month’s Gallagher Premiership defeat for Bath at Saracens and the early prognosis was that he wouldn’t be in contention to feature in the Autumn Nations Series.

However, after Joe Heyes deputised off the bench in the recent matches against Argentina and Japan, the unexpectedly fit Stuart was called up last Monday and was thrown into the heart of battle five days later with England hurting on the scoreboard and in need of some inspiration.

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“He has got a special session on Monday, how to score a try,” quipped Jones when asked for feedback on how the two-try Stuart had played, a contribution that began with a strange-looking opening try that referee Mathieu Raynal took his time reviewing before deciding the score was good. “I have never seen a player put the ball between his legs to score a try. It was the most unusual technique.”

All joking aside, though, what was the England coach’s verdict? “Considering we thought he wasn’t going to play until the Six Nations, he had a serious knee injury, hasn’t played for six weeks, I thought his effort and again just going on top of what Sinckler did in the first 40 minutes, we got a great 80 minutes out of that position.”

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