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'I don't select players, they select themselves' - Eddie Jones

By Paul Smith

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After confirming that none of the senior players discarded from his training squad have been recalled for the first leg of the Autumn Series, Eddie Jones says England are looking to the future.

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However, he has also left the door ajar for the likes of Jamie George, George Ford, Jack Nowell, Dan Robson and the Vunipola brothers to force their way back into the 2023 World Cup picture.

“We’ve drawn a line in the sand after the Lions series and are looking to produce a younger squad ready for the World Cup,” he said.

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Jake White on Loftus
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Jake White on Loftus

“That doesn’t mean those guys are out of the picture and I’ve been pleased with how they’ve responded at club level and they know where they stand.

“It’s not a new squad as a number of players remain from the previous World Cup campaign and they remain important.

“What we have done is add some youth and enthusiasm and the opportunity for the squad to get better. We know we have to keep improving and we’ve got five campaigns to the World Cup.”

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With lock Maro Itoje, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and winger Anthony Watson all leaving the field with injuries over the weekend, some excluded players may win speedy recalls, but Jones declined to discuss this.

“They will all have scans over the next week and we’ll find out whether they are fit in due course,” he said. “We’ll worry about what happens next if it happens.”

After dismissing a query about Owen Farrell’s ongoing hold on the captaincy with a simple “he’s the best man for the job mate,” Jones said all 34 players named for the Jersey camp now have the opportunity to face Tonga.

“We’re looking for players to select themselves,” he said.

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“I don’t select them, they select themselves by bringing the basics, understanding their role in the team and how to improve their teammates.

“Jersey is an opportunity for us to get together as a squad. We’ve got a tough autumn campaign in which two of the three sides we face have been together for three months so finding some cohesion in the team and finding a game that suits the team is important.”

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'I don't select players, they select themselves' - Eddie Jones

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