Eddie Jones has insisted that having to self-isolate has not been in any way disruptive while he formulates the blueprint which he hopes will be good enough to enable England to retain the Guinness Six Nations title they clinched last year with their final round October 31 win over Italy in Rome. 

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England are set to start their 2021 campaign with a February 6 home game versus Scotland, but their preparatory plans seem to take a hit this week from a coaching perspective when forwards coach Matt Proudfoot tested positive for Covid-19, a finding that resulted in Jones and assistant Simon Amor having to into ten days’ self-isolation.

This emerged in the same week that it was confirmed that skills coach Jason Ryles would not be joining the squad from Australia for the championship, a situation that resulted in Jones drafting in Ed Robinson, an unheralded assistant coach at Jersey who is the son of Andy Robinson, the ex-England head coach. 

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Having unveiled their 28-strong squad on Friday, England are due to assemble at St George’s Park next Wednesday with defence coach John Mitchell set to hold the fort, but Jones has claimed that Covid situation has not been a problem for him.

“It’s just one of those things. I’m day four, so six to go,” said Jones when quizzed on this week’s developments which left him confined to home. “Has it been disruptive? Not one iota.

“Look, most of the meetings we do now is by Zoom anyway. So for the next period of time, we have just continued on with that. We had a coaches conference organised for this week which we have now done entirely by Zoom. 

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“In terms of the camp, I will only miss the first day where we are just going to have meetings anyway, so again I will be able to participate in those meetings. As you all know, most of the communications these days are done by Zoom so it has been no disruption at all.”

Regarding the recruitment of the little known Robinson to assist the coaching of England’s 28-strong squad, Jones added: “We’re disappointed Jason can’t come but his family situation makes it difficult at the moment. 

“Ed Robinson is a young guy I have been working with for a while now. All through the lockdown, we were having weekly meetings on his coaching at Jersey. He’s a young guy, 27. He can come in and really work well with the players, particularly on their skills development. He has got some great coaching ideas. While we will miss Jason we are lucky to have Ed.”

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