Eddie Jones have predicted Ollie Lawrence can bounce back and become a 50-cap international despite England deciding to drop the 21-year-old midfielder from their team for this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy.
Lawrence was the backline fall guy when Jones sat down his with assistants to pick the England team for round two following their shock round one loss to Scotland last weekend. Having been positioned at outside centre in his two previous starts, the Worcester centre was chosen to play at No12 against the Scots.
However, he was unable to get involved in a game where England kicked away the majority of possession they had in the 11-6 loss and it has now resulted in Jones opting to move Owen Farrell back out to No12 and start George Ford this week at out-half.
The coach, though, claimed the demotion would be a long-term positive for Lawrence’s career rather than a negative that will cause it serious harm after only four caps.
Asked what his conversation had been like with Lawrence when he told the youngster he would not be involved against the Italians, Jones replied: “I don’t think that would be very fair because that is a private conversation… that is between Ollie and I but every young player is in a hurry.
"You guys [the media] must have a new thesaurus because I always thought slump was having three or four bad games and it now must be one game, is it?"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 9, 2021
“With the internet and the way life is run now, everyone is in a hurry but being a great player there are some times where you don’t get exactly what you want at that particular time and he understands there are areas of the game he needs to improve and his diligence to go away and work on that will be the test of his resilience.
“Every selection is a combination of personnel and tactics. It was a difficult game for Ollie. He had very few opportunities in attack and not much to do in defence, but there are areas of his game that we want him to work on. There are areas of his development we want him to go work on because we want him to go be a 50-cap player and that is what we are trying to develop with him.”
“We put 61 points on them at Twickenham a few years ago, we played ball in hand, heads up attack – where has all that gone in England’s performances?"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 10, 2021
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