Jones: Haskell not playing 'well enough'

2017-10-26 16:17
James Haskell (Getty Images)

Cape Town - England head coach Eddie Jones says Wasps flanker James Haskell "is not playing well enough" to earn selection for England's squad for the Autumn Internationals.

The 32-year-old is a 75-test veteran for England and replaced the injured Billy Vunipola late in the 2017 British and Irish Lions squad.

"I went up and had a chat to him (Haskell) on Saturday," Jones told Sky Sports News. "We had a good chat and at the moment he's just not playing well enough but the door's not shut on him.

"We know he's a great player and has been a great servant for English rugby, nearly 80 caps and I'm sure he'll regain his form."

Exeter Chiefs loose forward Sam Simmonds earned a first call-up and Sale Sharks wing Denny Solomona earns a recall just two months after being ejected from the England camp for late-night drinking.

Has Jones received any assurances that Solomona won't misbehave again?

"None," replied Jones. "He's a human being. Everyone makes mistakes, he made a mistake, he's atoned for it and we're expecting him to follow the team's culture which he will."

Hooker Dylan Hartley was also selected after a citing against him was dismissed on Wednesday.

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder said the citing was "unjust", but Jones had nothing to say about the issue.

"That's a matter for his club to deal with," Jones said. "I think Jim Mallinder spoke very eloquently on that so I'll leave that to him.

"We don't have an issue with Dylan at international level. That's at club level, and I don't talk about club issues.

"He'll come into camp as one of the 30-odd players and if he does well he'll be captain."

Two 'apprentice' players have been included in the squad to assist the players prepare and they are Bath flanker Zach Mercer and Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith.

"You've got apprentices in your office where they make the tea and when you need some paper they get the paper, they get the paper clips so it's quite simple," Jones responded.

"They'll make the tea, get people's boots, put out the cones, chase balls and practice a little bit at the right time. But they've got to earn their stripes.

"They're the future of English rugby. Now whether their future's the 2019 World Cup will be dependent on their progress, how hard they work and how much they keep their feet on the ground and don't believe what you guys write about them."

Read more on:    eddie jones  |  james haskell  |  rugby


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