Rugby

Jones stands firm on Heinz call

2017-05-17 13:44
Eddie Jones (File)

Cape Town - England head coach Eddie Jones is standing firm on his decision to pick Willi Heinz in his squad ahead of the June internationals.

Heinz joins fellow New Zealand-born players Denny Solomona and Jason Woodward in the group before the Premiership semi-finalists arrive.

Much has been said in the aftermath of 30-year-old scrumhalf Heinz's call, but Jones hit back at those who feel the move is disappointing.

"It is not my job to worry about how they qualify, it is my job to pick players that qualify,” said Jones.

"I don’t care how they qualify, I’ll pick them. Those are the rules we play under. I obey them like a good schoolmaster does.

"I have been surprised by the hoo-hah about this camp. We are missing 15 Lions, we’re missing Saracens, Exeter, Wasps, Leicester, Northampton, who do you expect me to pick, seriously? Who is there? Tell me? I look at everything. You are suggesting I haven’t done my homework. 

"Heinz (for example) has a good feel for the game but you have got to remember we are bringing him in for this camp only. We never know when we might need these players. Look at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand where Stephen Donald was fifth choice for the All Blacks (but was called in because of injury and kicked the winning penalty).

"We might get to the final in 2019 and need to find a fifth-choice scrumhalf. Now, potentially, I know who the fifth-choice number nine is."

Jones also offered a response regarding the continued omission of Saracens players Alex Goode, Jackson Wray and Richard Wigglesworth, playing down their form in the domestic and European club game.

“Just because you play in a good club side, and play well, that doesn’t make you a good Test player," he added.

"That is a judgment I make. Sarries are an unbelievably good side. Sometimes you can be a great player in a great side but not necessarily a great Test player."

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
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