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Mercer needed to bulk up

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Video - Zach Mercer's 'pop singer' body transformation impresses Jones

Eddie Jones has been impressed with the progress of Zach Mercer but feels there are still plenty of elements of his game to improve on.

The Bath number 8 was upgraded from his apprentice role to being a full member of the England squad for the Six Nations.

He is one of eight uncapped players named in England’s 35-man squad.

Still only 20-years-old, he’s in line for his debut when England face Italy in Rome on February 4th.

“He’s a very natural rugby player, he is one of those guys who you don’t have to coach a lot about the feel of the game. He knows where to go, he instinctively knows what to do.”

But Jones was keen to stress that Mercer still is a work in progress.

“What he hasn’t been good at is the hard parts of the game, working off the ball, doing those hard, defensive parts of the game. That’s natural for a young player who is gifted, they generally don’t have to do that. So I am really impressed how he’s applied himself to that, he’s applied himself in the gym he has got a bit stronger because when we first saw him, he had the body of a pop singer!”

“It might get him plenty of hits on Instagram, but it doesn’t get you too many hits on the field.”

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Video - Zach Mercer's 'pop singer' body transformation impresses Jones