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Jones address Cipriani/Ashton incidents


'Has he got an England future?' - Eddie Jones finally talks Cipriani/Ashton incidents

Eddie Jones today insisted the World Cup door was not closed on Danny Cipriani and Chris Ashton despite their failure to steer of trouble on and off the pitch.

Cipriani, now with Gloucester, was fined £2,000 after admitting common assault in Jersey and appeared before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel which opted to only warn him about his future conduct while Ashton is serving a seven-week ban for a tip tackle he made playing for new club Sale in their pre-season match with Castres.

Both players have “previous” with Cipriani hitting the headlines for incidents away from the game while Ashton has a poor disciplinary record having been previously banned for gouging and biting. Despite their latest problems, Jones remains convinced both players can earn places in the 31 man squad he will take to the World Cup in Japan in a year’s time.

Jones said: “Danny has been dealt with and was punished by his club and the RFU dealt with it and he is back playing. We will look at how he is going.

“Has he got an England future? That will be determined by how well he plays and we never close the door on anyone and everyone makes mistakes and he was very contrite afterwards and realised he has done the wrong thing and we move on from that now.

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“You are always concerned when players are not playing and getting selected is about showing you can play for England. Having seen the Chris Ashton incident it was a difficult situation and we want him to come back and play well and I am looking forward to him doing that for Sale.

“The two players are playing with their clubs and I cannot control what they are doing there and I have only had Ashton for three days and he was absolutely fantastic. Good hard worker and everything people told me about him was true and I couldn’t have been more pleased with him at the camp.

“Danny worked well in South Africa and the camp and he will get another opportunity in the September camp to work well.”

Danny Cipriani during a training session

Jones gave the pair his backing while announcing England would be playing four World Cup warm up games – two with Wales and one against Ireland and Italy. The Italy game will be played at St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United which stage three matches during the 2015 World Cup staged in England.

England’s 2019 Quilter Internationals see them take on Wales on August 11 and Ireland on August 24 at Twickenham Stadium before heading to the 52,354-capacity St James’ Park in Newcastle for their final warm up match against Italy on September 6 before the squad flies to Tokyo. England travel to Cardiff for an away fixture against Wales on August 17.

Jones gave the clearest indication that Aussie Scott Wisemantel would be returning as England’s attack coach for the World Cup but refused to confirm he was about to be joined by Bulls head coach John Mitchell as the defence coach although this deal is all but done.” We are progressing really well with the defence coach:” he added.

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'Has he got an England future?' - Eddie Jones finally talks Cipriani/Ashton incidents