Eddie Jones: “It doesn’t mean these guys are out of the picture. I spoke to them this morning and they know where they are. We’re running with this small but very good team. What we’ve done is add some youth and enthusiasm. It’s an opportunity for the team to keep improving”

Last update: 10/18/21 5:46 PM

Eddie Jones says adding youth and enthusiasm was key for England after the Lions' Tour and ahead of the 2023 World Cup

Eddie Jones says adding youth and enthusiasm was key for England after the Lions’ Tour and ahead of the 2023 World Cup

England will enter autumn without four of the biggest names including the Vunipola brothers after Eddie Jones prioritized youth in his re-format.

With the 2023 World Cup in mind, Mako, Billy Vunipola, Jimmy George and George Ford were overlooked in the 34-man squad selected for Tests next month against Tonga, Australia and South Africa.

Strikers Bailey, Mako Vunipola and George have all been eliminated, though Saracens has excelled since their first demise from the expanded training squad named a month ago.

The Muslim trio, Jimmy George (left), Mako Vunipola (center), and Billy Vunipola (right) have all been overlooked for the England fall squad.

The Muslim trio, Jimmy George (left), Mako Vunipola (centre), and Billy Vunipola (right) have all been overlooked for the England fall squad.

Ford’s strength was a major factor behind Leicester’s emergence as runaway leaders in the Premier League after five rounds, but the fly-half, another mainstay of the Jones era, was once again omitted.

Jacques Noel, the Exeter winger with a long history of injuries, and Hornet player Dan Robson, have also been laid off ahead of the campaign that opens against Tonga at Twickenham on November 6.

“We drew a line in the sand after the Lions series, and we’re looking to put together a young squad to get ready for the World Cup,” said Jones, who confirmed Owen Farrell would continue to lead the team.

“It doesn’t mean that these guys are out of the picture. I was pleased with the way they responded at club level.

“I spoke to them this morning (Monday) and they know where they are, so we are running at the moment with this young but very good team.

Leicester's George Ford has also been left out, despite being a key part of the Tigers' march to the top of the Premier League.

Leicester’s George Ford has also been left out, despite being a key part of the Tigers’ march to the top of the Premier League.

“I don’t think it’s a new England squad because there are a number of good players left from the previous World Cup campaign and they will continue to be important.

“But what we did was add some youth and enthusiasm. It’s an opportunity for the team to keep improving.”

Maru Itogi (shoulder), Anthony Watson (knee) and Luke Quan Dickey (ankle) were injured during the Gallagher Premier League match, and Jones revealed they will be tested this week.

Leicester’s Nick Dolly and Northampton full back Tommy Freeman make their first appearances in the England squad, while Gloucester center Mark Atkinson and Sale’s Rafi Quirk complete an unfinished quadruple.

Jones said: “Freeman is a big player, strong and inhibited. He has a good rhythm and a good sense of the game. He can play as full-back or winger. I’ve been watching him for several seasons.”

“Dolly has just entered the Premier League this year. He is a hard-working player who has been very impressive for Leicester and we feel he can jump to the test of rugby.”

England coach Jones made clear his thinking when he named four never-before-seen players and left out some chiefs with extensive experience

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England coach Jones made clear his thinking when he named four never-before-seen players and left out some chiefs with extensive experience

England coach Jones made clear his thinking when he named four players who had not been hired and ruled out some chiefs with extensive experience

Marcus Smith is one of eight debutants in the July victories over the USA and Canada to survive the executions of 45 to 34 players, with half of the Harlequins fly listed at Ford’s expense.

Enthusiasm builds around Smith as he continues to thrill the crowd with his stunning Premier League attempts, as well as his outing against the Stormers as a late call-up for the Lions, but Jones cautioned against adding his voice to the applause chorus. .

“First of all, he has to play in the side. That’s the first step. He’s one of 34 players trying to get to 23. If he does, there’s an opportunity for him to add his own flavor and strengths to his own,” Jones said.

As Jones looks to the future in picking his most eventful side to date, some of the developing prospects haven’t been able to make their way into the fray either.

Ole Lawrence, Louis Linagh, Joe Marchant, Louis Ludlow and Benno Obano have been sacked after winning places in the initial training pool announced last month.

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