Rugby

Flanker problem facing Jones and England

2016-09-29 20:44
eddie jones, england, rugby
Eddie Jones (Getty Images)

London - England coach Eddie Jones is set to unveil his squad for the end-of-year internationals on Friday, with injuries to first-choice back-row forwards leaving the Australian with some interesting selection decisions.

Jones is due to unveil a 45-man squad on Friday which will in turn be reduced to around 30 for a three-day training camp in Brighton, on England's south coast, starting on Sunday.

Former Australia and Japan coach Jones had presided over an impressive transformation in England's fortunes, having taking over after they became the first World Cup host nation to be knocked out of the tournament in the first round at last year's edition.

Jones has since overseen a run of nine straight wins, a sequence that includes a Six Nations Grand Slam and a 3-0 series win in his native Australia.

That perfect record will be at stake when four southern hemisphere sides -- South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia -- all visit Twickenham on successive weekends in November and December.

Loose forward James Haskell, a stand-out figure in the series win over the Wallabies, will miss all the upcoming four Tests with a foot injury and potential replacement Jack Clifford has also been sidelined, in his case because of an ankle problem.

Teimana Harrison is the only openside still fit from the Australia tour.

Jones has made it clear he does not regard Chris Robshaw as an openside flanker, with the former England captain a rejuvenated figure on the blindside after a frustrating World Cup.

"Robshaw's not an option. He's a six (blindside)," said Jones, who added that Nathan Hughes's future lies elsewhere in the back row.

Harrison, however, will have to prove to Jones that he has the strength up front required to a last a full 80 minutes of gruelling international rugby after being replaced just 31 minutes into the final Test against Australia in Sydney.

Jones has labelled South Africa, England's opening November opponents, as "bullies" and the Red Rose coach said: "Harrison needs to show that he can physically take those guys on."

But with England not facing the Springboks at Twickenham until November 12, more immediate concerns surround the fitness of England captain Dylan Hartley and goalkicking ace Owen Farrell, both struggling with back injuries.

Farrell has yet to play this season and Hartley has been sidelined since September 11.

Saracens star Farrell helped the London club win both the English and European titles last season.

"Owen has a back problem which we are continuing to monitor," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"It's really a day-by-day thing with Owen at the moment. It's a bit of an open-ended injury, which is always frustrating for the player and the club, but we won't risk him."

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.