Eddie Jones Offers Frank Assessment Of His England Lions Contingent
Head coach Eddie Jones reckons England’s Lions tourists still aren’t fit after a gruelling summer tour of New Zealand.
England secured a impressive 30 – 6 win over Michael Cheika’s Wallabies over the weekend, after a late surge of tries flattered the scoreline at Twickenham. Jones was asked if he believes the surge was down to his replacement, or England’s fitness levels.
Jones says it was a bit of both, as his Lions tourists still aren’t quite at the fitness level he requires of them
“A bit of both, but we trained for that. We trained to finish that last 20 hard, whether that was the starting guys or finishing guys.” Jones said.
“Last week we didn’t train much. Well, we trained a lot, but not for rugby, because these Lions players still aren’t fit and that’s the battle I’ve got.
“They were better (Saturday) and they will be better next week if they play. We’ve got to get more work into them.”
Ten of Jones’ England players who were involved on Saturday, also toured New Zealand with the Lions, and the head coach as admitted that it has proved problematic.
“They came back from a six-week series where they played 300 per cent more than they normally play in their post-season, then they had 10 or 11 days of pre-season at their clubs then they were playing eight or nine games on the trot. It’s tough for them, but we have to try to get them ready for Test rugby.”
When you consider the amount of rugby the Premiership-based Lions have played compared to say the Irish Lions with their provinces, it’s easy to see why a lot of these players are struggling.