COVID-19: Three players could leave England squad
NEWS: Eddie Jones has revealed that his three-day England camp hasn’t got off to the best of starts on Tuesday, writes Liam Heagney.
The Australian admitted that three of the players chosen to be involved in the 28-man squad may have to miss out due to concerns over Coronavirus.
England are due to begin their end-of-year programme with the October 25 exhibition game against the Barbarians at Twickenham before heading to Rome to play Italy six days later in their delayed 2020 Six Nations match.
Preparations for those matches started with Jones announcing a training squad on Monday that consisted of players whose clubs are not involved in the Premiership semifinal race. However, not all 28 might be available for the camp at the Lensbury in London due to health precautions.
“All I try to do is select the players that are available so that is all I am worried about,” he said at a Tuesday media session before getting down to work. “We’re looking at three players today [Tuesday] whether they will be available to be selected, we’ll find out this morning and then we’ll just wait and see.”
Jones refused to name the three England players he has concerns over but he accepted the situation was something he will have to get used to in the weeks and months ahead as Test rugby attempts to get its show back on the road seven months after England’s last outing, the March win over Wales in the Six Nations.
The squad 🙌
Eddie has named 28 players to be part of a three day training camp this week 🌹ADVERTISEMENT
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 5, 2020
“Look I think this is going to be the way it is at the moment. I just saw in the football England had three players unavailable, they can’t go into Gareth Southgate’s camp. They are having a camp at Pennyhill so they have three spare bedrooms there.
“It’s a fact of life at the moment, that’s what we have to deal with. We can’t get too worried about it, we’re not too obsessed about it. We’ll just take the players that are available, and work with those players.
“You have just got to ride with whatever happens at the moment. It’s a matter of adapting and there is going to be more changes and we anticipate that so we have just got to ride with it, work out what we can do, work out what we can’t do and take it on board.
“Traditionally this camp [which is usually in early June around Premiership final time] has always been about that. You get the teams that aren’t in the semifinals, a smattering of young guys. It’s a great opportunity for them to raise their hand and see how far they can go with selection.”
By Liam Heagney, @RugbyPass