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The three fixable factors behind Eddie Jones' England stagnation

Eddie Jones' England weren't far away from making the grade.

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Joe Marchant to leave Quins and English rugby behind

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Harlequins centre Joe Marchant is set to leave English rugby behind in favour of signing for Top 14 side Stade Francais.

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Midi Olympique and The Telegraph are reporting that a deal has been finalised for him to make the short hop over the channel to the French capital at the end of the current season.

The decision will also see him put aside any designs he had on continuing his international rugby career with Eddie Jones’ England. It’s unclear exactly when the call was made but his omission from Jones’ Autumn Nations Series selection might have been enough to copper fasten his decision to head to the door.

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Marchant has been in fine form for the Londoners in the Gallagher Premiership this season, but a mediocre showing for England during their three-game series with the Wallabies in Australia appeared to cost him a spot in the England squad.

In truth, he has been unable to convince the Australian that he could cut it as a Test-level midfielder.  He now joins the long line of centres that have auditioned for the role over the course of Jones’ seven-year tenure but failed to clinch the part.

The Harlequin’s decision to leave will also have been influenced by his time in Super Rugby with the Blues – a sojourn he has spoken glowingly about in the past.

The move also comes against a backdrop of Gallagher Premiership sides facing a salary cap squeeze.

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It’s a huge call for the former age-grade star, who as recently as 2021 said his aim was a permanent place in the England team. “I really hope I can push myself into regular inclusion in the future, it’s obviously been a goal of mine since I was a kid to play for England.

“Every game I’ve played I’ve been in and around the squad, I’ve never been the starter, week in and week out, which is obviously what I’d like to be.”

 

 

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