Eddie Jones plans to use summer matches to look to England’s future | England rugby union team
SSummer has finally arrived and, after the winter of England’s discontent, Eddie Jones will look to put behind him a dismal Six Nations campaign and scrutiny by his Twickenham employers and lay the groundwork for the upcoming Cup. world.
England’s head coach on Thursday announced a squad to face Scotland in a Team A match in Leicester on July 27 and two internationals against the United States and Canada at Twickenham beginning of July. The emphasis will be on youth. With 11 of his frontlines heading to South Africa on the Lions tour, Jones gets a chance to take a look at some of the emerging talent from a Premiership season that, due to the pandemic, appears to be lacking. end.
The sunny weather gave us some Premiership cricket scores although the most significant games were not always to the liking of the England head coach as he explained during the week.
“When the sun is shining, the ball got faster and the defenses struggled to prepare. Some of these games don’t have the rigor and intensity you need to see the players playing under. You see great games, however. The Sale-Bristol match, for example, was a great rugby match. “
The sun and tougher grounds and his team’s anticipated absence from George Ford mean that Marcus Smith will finally have the chance to trade his multicolored Harlequins shirt for the white of England in the weeks to come. The 22-year-old opener has been in great shape this season and is one of the reasons his club have qualified for the Premiership play-offs.
There was a clamor for Smith to step up. “Marcus Smith benefited from this faster ball,” said Jones. “Since I saw him at Brighton College in 2015, I’ve watched him a lot. He has a good balance in his game.
With England’s other opening half, Owen Farrell, left for South Africa, Jones will be looking for another captain. One candidate could be Bath flanker Sam Underhill, who missed the Six Nations with an injury that cost him a spot on the Lions tour. Four years ago, Jones took a team to play two tests in Argentina without the players selected for the Lions in New Zealand and Underhill, then outside England with the Ospreys, and Tom Curry, then 18. years, has become a staple in England’s The Last Row.
“Two years before the World Cup, these matches open up opportunities for young players. In 2017 it was Underhill and Curry and if we could get a couple more this time that would be a bonus, ”Jones said. “There will be a clean sheet for the next two games. I have traveled the country looking for the right talent and I think I may have found a few players.
Jones has been impressed by some of Sale’s young players who, despite being over-reliant on their South African contingent, have some of England’s most promising talent. Tom Curry’s twin Ben is a player who should make his own breakthrough before long.
“In Argentina, we chose Ben before Tom. He struggled with injuries. It can be difficult for twins. Historically, we have a tendency to intensify more quickly. But in that game against Bristol, I saw he had the fight in him. There are a lot of good young players in Sale like the scrum half [Raphael] Quirke and the cowardly [Bevan] Rodd.
Sale’s head coach Alex Sanderson had also spoken excitedly about his Manu Tuilagi fitness center that Jones would love to team up again with Henry Slade, another surprisingly left out of Warren Gatland’s Lions squad. .
Waiting for Tuilagi to host a long streak of internationals has been England’s rugby equivalent of Waiting for Godot over the years and his withdrawal from Friday’s Premiership game after it emerged he had been in close contact with a member of Sale staff who tested positive for Covid -19 will have pushed him back further.
Jones is understandably cautious. “It’s a bit premature at this point. We’ll have to see how he goes for the rest of the season before we pass judgment on him. I’m going to go and chat with him and see where he’s at.
Jones repeated his mantra during the week that he wanted to make England “the best team in the world”. For now, disgruntled England fans will be happy to see them entertain Twickenham next month with a cricket score or two against the United States and Canada.