Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jones Issues Challenge to Axed Lions; Jones Calls for Calm over Smith as He Omits Four Lions

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Jones Issues Challenge to Axed Lions; Jones Calls for Calm over Smith as He Omits Four Lions

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

EDDIE JONES today axed Lions Jonathan Joseph and Kyle Sinckler from the England training squad and challenged the pair to earn a recall for the autumn Tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa.

Sinckler made the Lions Test squad, while Joseph (left) did not deliver his best form on the tour and lacklustre performances for Bath this season have seen him dumped from the 33-man squad for a camp in Oxford this weekend.

"Some guys need to work on their games and we have had those discussions with them, and others are coming back from injury and need game time," said Jones, who has lost just one of his 20 England games since being appointed in Continued on Page 76 Continued from Back Page November 2015. Fellow Lions George Kruis and James Haskell, both of whom have recently returned from injury, are also left out of the squad, while there are call-ups for the uncapped duo of Marcus Smith, the 18-year-old Harlequins fly-half, and Bath hooker Tom Dunn.

Jones, whose side begin their autumn fixtures with a clash against Argentina at Twickenham on November 11, is attempting to play down the significance of Smith's inclusion, insisting he is the fifth-choice No10, although he is, in effect, third behind George Ford and Alex Lozowski.

Jones (below) said: "This is a training squad and we will assess selection for Argentina down the line.

"For each of the Lions players, we will assess them and are chatting to their clubs, looking at their form and mentally and physically to see what is best for them.

"Marcus Smith is an apprentice and has come to learn about the game -- so don't get too excited.

"He is going to be holding some bags and he is an apprentice, cleaning boots. He is fifth-choice No10 and he will be good at shining George Ford's boots!

"The players in this squad have a head start in terms of the game with Argentina but there are no guarantees. …

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