Cipriani’s non-selection was the major talking point at this morning’s press conference at Twickenham, with questions repeatedly referring back to the in-form Gloucester playmaker.
“He’s our third choice 10,” Jones told reporters. “We have got two good 10s. It is tough on Danny but he is third choice at the moment.”
Jones also suggested that Cipriani needed to continue to work on areas of improvement needed in his game.
There are eight uncapped players named in the squad including Joe Cokanasiga, Nathan Earle, Ted Hill, Zach Mercer, Ben Moon, Michael Rhodes, Nick Schonert and Elliott Stooke.
Ben Morgan is included for the first time since 2015. The 29-year-old number eight has played 31 Tests for his country with his final appearance coming against Australia during the last Rugby World Cup. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) is selected in the squad for the first time this season while Hill has been named as an apprentice.
Jones spoke directly to RugbyPass on his selections.
In a RFU statement Jones said: “I’m really happy with the squad. We can only control what we can control and injuries have happened. It gives an opportunity for some good new players to play some important Tests for England while players who have been in the squad before, will have to take on more responsibility.
Jones added: “I have named Dylan and Owen as co-captains for the series. They have both been excellent captains for England in the past and will provide a powerful leadership base for us on and off the field.”
On the training camp in Portugal Jones said: “We have taken a slightly different approach this year. With the World Cup in mind we are going to Portugal in the middle of next week until the Thursday of the Test week so will be back to train at Twickenham the day before we play South Africa. As well as giving the players a different experience it also gives them some rest after their club matches before joining up with England.
“The Portugal camp is about getting the team organised. The players have all been playing in different systems and with different ideas at their clubs so it’s about producing a team that is absolutely brutal in the physical contest, as the game demands, and also playing a smart English brand of rugby.”
On England’s first Test against South Africa Jones added: “South Africa have been going really well. They have a new coach and have selected well. They play a traditional Springbok game up front and move the ball wide when they need to. We’ll need to take them on up front and when we have opportunities to score points we have to be good enough to take them.
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