Australian will name a 33-man Elite Player Squad on Wednesday ahead of England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on Feb 6
Eddie Jones has set his sights on making England “the most dominant team in the world” as he prepares to name his squad for the Six Nations this week.
The Australian will name a 33-man Elite Player Squad on Wednesday ahead of England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on Feb 6, with the likes of Chris Ashton and Maro Itoje set to be recalled after missing out on the World Cup.
Chris Ashton is expected to be named in the squad
Jones also has to deal with a growing injury crisis, with the locks Joe Launchbury and George Kruis sustaining head knocks over the weekend, while the wing Jack Nowell injured his knee. But Jones has told the players who miss out on his first squad that it is their own fault – as they “haven’t done well enough” to force his hand as he looks to inject a high-tempo style into the side Stuart Lancaster left behind.
“Ultimately, we want to be the most dominant team in the world but to start with, we’ve got to beat Scotland,” Jones said. “We’ve got to make sure that when we go to Scotland, we’re well prepared, we’re cohesive, players understand their roles and then we’ve got to play with enormous pride and passion.”
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On his selection decisions, he added: “It puts no pressure on me – the pressure’s on the player. The player that hasn’t been selected hasn’t done well enough, it’s as simple as that. So all the pressure is on the player. I accept that there will be criticism of the squad and I accept that people will think other players should be in.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but, at the end of the day, the players select themselves. And the players select themselves because they express themselves in a way that I can see them being a profitable part of a winning England team. You have to be able to increase the tempo of the game.
“The old days where you could just strangulate teams, yes you can do that every now and then in Test matches, but you’ve got to be able to increase the tempo of the game at various times. And you see everything that’s being done in the game at the moment, and the latest example is the maul, and everything that’s being done to speed the game up – the game’s not going to regress, it’s going to go forward.”
Jones has also confirmed that he is not looking to add another coach to his backroom staff after opting not to pursue a deal for Northampton backs coach Alex King.
“We’re all done and dusted mate,” Jones told RFU.com. “We’ve got Steve Borthwick looking after set-piece with Ian Peel assisting, Gussy [Paul Gustard] looking after defence and I’m going to handle the attack so we don’t need anything else at this stage.”