Eddie Jones has issued a blunt assessment of his England team despite back-to-back wins in the RBS Six Nations, admitting he currently has no world-class players at his disposal.
When asked after victories over Scotland and Italy whether he had any players of that quality he could select, Jones said: “Not at the moment, but we will have, in four years’ time.”
The view of the England coach was echoed by prop Dan Cole, who said: “Yep. He knows more about the world game than the rest of us. You look on form and I think there are arguments in certain positions, but I would say there are no stand-out individuals in our team that would make a World XV.”
Manu Tuilagi, who returned from injury for Leicester against Harlequins on Friday, and has not played for England since June 2014, has often been touted as world-class player. But Jones said: “He’s not world class. He has the potential to be, but I haven’t seen him picked in any World XV team. He doesn’t play. You can’t be in the World XV if you don’t play.
“I think there are some good young players coming through who are going to break the mould of English rugby. With the right maturation process, I think we have some guys who have potential to be really outstanding Test players. There are a lot of quality players in this team who can make the next step to the world-class level and be a very good side.”
Read more on the Telegraph.