Eddie Jones surprises with first England squad

Eddie Jones (AP)
Eddie Jones (AP)

Cape Town – England coach Eddie Jones has named his first squad ahead of his side’s opening 6 Nations fixture away to Scotland on February 6.

Jones, who replaced Stuart Lancaster as head coach after the host nations Rugby World Cup debacle, has included seven uncapped players according the England RFU website.

They are Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill, (Northampton Saints) and Maro Itoje (Saracens).

He has also recalled Chris Ashton (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) and Marland Yarde (Harlequins).

Ten players who featured at the Rugby World Cup have not made the 33-man squad, most notably Brad Barritt (Saracens), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens) and Ben Morgan (Gloucester).

Jones believes his selections have what it takes to come away from Murrayfield victorious.

“We have selected a squad of players who we think can go to Murrayfield and win,” said Jones.

“This is our number one priority, to start with a win, so we have picked a squad which is a mix of experience and potential.

“The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we have chosen a lot of new players on the growth we see in them.”

With Jones’ vision in mind, he believes the players selected will develop into world-beaters.

“We see these players growing into England players of the future and developing into a side who can be the best in the world. Our aim is to develop a squad where there is depth and competition in every position.

Jones also had a world of encouragement for those players who have not made the squad.

“I have spoken to some of the players who have not been selected. Naturally they will be disappointed and that is how it should be.

“They know what they need to do to get back into this squad. The door is not shut for anyone. There is no such thing as a shut door because of injuries and loss of form. There will always be opportunities to anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership and Europe.” 

England squad

Backs: M Brown (Harlequins); A Goode (Saracens), C Ashton (Saracens), J Nowell (Exeter), A Watson (Bath), M Yarde (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), J Joseph (Bath), M Tuilagi (Leicester), O Devoto (Bath), S Hill (Exeter), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath), D Care (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester).

Forwards: D Hartley (Northampton), J George (Saracens), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), J Marler (Harlequins), M Vunipola (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester), P Hill (Northampton), Matt Mullan (Wasps), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), J Clifford (Harlequins), M Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), J Haskell (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins), J Beaumont (Sale), B Vunipola (Saracens).

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