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'We didn't pull him off' - Jones explains surprise selection calls

Danny Care and Kyle Sinckler of Harlequins take a look at the pitch prior to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Big Game 12 match between Harlequins and Leicester Tigers at Twickenahm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins)

Danny Care has been told to rediscover his form at Harlequins with Kyle Sinckler and Henry Slade also rebuilding at their clubs rather than take part in England’s first camp of the autumn.


The trio’s names were missing from the 36-man training squad that will gather in Twickenham for three days from Sunday with the November opener against Argentina looming on November 6.

Care was replaced after 37 error-strewn minutes of the series decider against Australia in July and he has now been frozen out in favour of Ben Youngs, Jack van Poortvliet and Alex Mitchell.

Jones denies he was hooked early in Sydney and refused to close the door on the veteran Harlequin, although his prospects of being involved again appear remote having fought his way back from four years in international exile.

“Well let’s get something right, we didn’t pull Danny off. We had a plan for that game,” Jones.

“Danny was taken off at the appropriate time, he did a great job for us. He just started playing again yesterday (Sunday) and we want him to find his form with Harlequins.”

Sinckler and Slade were unable to tour because of respective back and shoulder injuries, but Jones sees more value in them continuing their comebacks for Bristol and Exeter respectively.


“We just feel that at the moment Kyle is best served by getting some good, consistent training in with Bristol,” Jones said.

“You’ve got to remember that for this camp we’ve only got the boys for two training sessions, so rather than disrupt the pattern we’re allowing Kyle to train with his club and be in a bit of a routine.

“We want to see that progression from him going forward, to get himself right, and Henry Slade is a bit the same.”

Jones said centre Joe Marchant had a “disappointing” tour to Australia hence his omission and revealed are no injury concerns over back five forwards Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje, who have picked up injuries over the last two weekends.


The Rugby Championship that was clinched by New Zealand on Saturday will help shape Jones’ approach to the autumn, which also includes fixtures against Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

“We’ve got these extremes in the game at the moment. We want to understand how we play rugby at our best, with our players, and be able to play that game,” Jones said.

“But we need to be able to adapt to a different game. Probably 25 per cent of the game now is uncontrollable through sin-bins, HIAs and uneven numbers in the game.

“The game becomes completely different so we need to be able to adapt from our game to the game that’s going to be played at that time.

“That’s hard to do because there are not too many teams in the world who can do it. In fact, I can’t name one at the moment. So there’s a great opportunity for us.

“We basically can’t get messages on to the field any more so the players have become even more important in terms of decision making on the field.”


England 36-man training squad:

Forwards: O Chessum (Leicester Tigers), A Coles (Northampton Saints), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), T Curry (Sale Sharks), E Genge (Bristol Bears), J George (Saracens), J Heyes (Leicester Tigers), J Hill (Sale Sharks), L Ludlam (Northampton Saints), T Pearson (London Irish), D Ribbans (Northampton Saints), B Rodd (Sale Sharks), P Schickerling (Exeter Chiefs), S Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), W Stuart (Bath Rugby), H Tizard (Saracens), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Wasps).

Backs: H Arundell (London Irish,), J Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), F Dingwall (Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton Saints), G Furbank (Northampton Saints), W Joseph (London Irish), J May (Gloucester Rugby), A Mitchell (Northampton Saints), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), G Porter (Leicester Tigers), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester Tigers), M Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), J van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).


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