Twickenham - Eddie
Jones included Dylan Hartley in his Six Nations squad on Friday but
refused to guarantee his Grand Slam-winning captain a starting place.
Northampton hooker Hartley, who last season captained England to a
Six Nations title with a clean sweep of wins, is currently serving a
six-week ban for striking.
Hartley came through a 'simulated match trial' fitness test on
Wednesday and was included in a 34-man squad announced by Jones on
Jones though did not name Hartley - or anyone else - as captain on Friday.
Hartley - who has missed more than a year of his career through
suspension - is not expected to play before England face France in
their Six Nations opener at Twickenham on February 4.
"Dylan is moving in the right direction. He’s progressed from
probably in the autumn when we’d have given him a five out of 10 in
terms of being ready to play," Jones told reporters at Twickenham on
"Now he’s more like a seven out of ten."
England travel to Portugal for a January 22-27 training camp and
Jones said: "Given that he has a good couple of days training in
Portugal, I anticipate him being ready for the first Test match.
"I’ll have a look at him on Monday and Tuesday."
But the Australian stressed: "The captaincy like the jersey is not a permanent position - nothing is permanent in our team.
"No one owns the jersey, it's something you borrow."
With former captain Chris Robshaw set to miss the entire tournament
through injury, England do not have an obvious alternative skipper,
although either fullback Mike Brown of centre Owen Farrell, two of the
side's vice-captains, could be promoted.
Back-row Billy Vunipola, England's other vice-captain, will miss at
least the opening rounds of the Six Nations with a knee injury.
"One thing we need to do is increase the leadership density of the team," said Jones.
“That's a big project going forward."
England are on a 14-match winning streak, with 13 of those victories
coming since Jones took charge following the 2015 World Cup.
"This time last year I said that the long-term strategy for England
is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby,"
"Obviously I've been pleased with how the team's progressing, but there's still plenty to improve on."
But lock George Kruis was included on Friday following a recent
cheekbone injury while Saracens second row partner Maro Itoje returned
Friday after missing England's end-of-year campaign in 2016 with a hand
Back-row James Haskell, who suffered a toe injury late last year
before being concussed this month, was passed fit as was wing Anthony
Despite his vast experience, Jones - Australia's coach when they were beaten by England in the 2003 World
Cup final to England - said he'd been taken aback by the passion
involved in the Six Nations.
"At the start of last year's Six Nations I probably didn't realise
the enormity of the tournament and how intense the rivalry is between
the countries, so this year we'll be better prepared for it and we are
looking forward to being daring in our game against France on February
Jones also announced on Friday that he had appointed visual awareness
coach Dr Sherylle Calder to his backroom staff, with the South African
set to work on England's hand-eye co-ordination skills.
Calder has previously been involved in two World Cup-winning sides,
working with England in 2003 and South Africa in 2007 - when Jones was a
coaching consultant to the Springboks.