Eddie Jones warns England’s ‘complacent’ Grand Slam winners to shape up for Australia
England’s head coach Eddie Jones has warned several of his Grand Slam winners they could be dropped for the tour to Australia because he is unhappy with their complacent attitudes.
Jones is frustrated with the way four or five of the players who helped England land the Six Nations title have performed since returning to their clubs.
While refusing to name those at risk of missing the three-Test series against the Wallabies in June, Jones has made it clear they must use the remainder of the season to redeem themselves.
“If you look at the players we used for the Six Nations I’d say at this stage 27 or 28 of them have played with distinction,” Jones said on Friday.
“But there are four or five who haven’t and those guys are on notice that they won’t be going on tour unless they change their approach to their play.
“What they’re doing in games is not good enough and they won’t be going on tour unless they change their attitude. It’s not talent, it’s attitude. They have not put their bodies on the line for their clubs.”
When asked if he has spoken to the players in question, Jones said: “They’ve got the message one way or another.
“I’m hopeful they will turn it around. Players have got to understand this is part of the deal of being with England now.
“I was coaching Australia in 2004 when we put 51 points on England in Brisbane. We knew they were in the pub drinking on the Thursday night.
“If we have any of that sort of attitude then those players won’t be in the squad, it’s as simple as that.”
Jones knew which members of his squad were capable of having their heads turned after England completed a first Grand Slam since 2003 and would have no qualms about ending their international careers if they don’t change their ways.
“Who is on the list doesn’t surprise me. They have agents and people telling them how good they are. They read the newspapers and listen to the TV commentators,” Jones said.“This is one of the most difficult things about English rugby - everyone wants to have heroes. That’s the reality. These guys get their heads filled.
“You have agents saying ‘wear these shoes, this guy will look after you, you are fantastic’.
“The agents are good-game people, slapping them on the back telling them how good they are. The players get ahead of themselves.
“There are a few guys who have done that and before they left I knew who they would be.
“Now they need to sort themselves out otherwise their England careers will be something that’s a good memory for them.”
Meanwhile, Jones also revealed he may take New Zealand-born English-qualified rugby league convert Ben Te'o to Australia.
Jones plans to add Te'o to his midfield options as soon as possible, but his availability for the three-Test series against the Wallabies hinges on his eligibility due to Twickenham's refusal to select players based overseas.
The Auckland-born 29-year-old leaves Leinster for Worcester at the end of the season and the date of his registration for the Premiership club will decide his fate.
If England are cleared to take him to Australia, Jones views inside centre as his most likely home.
“Te'o is a possible. The boy can play. He was an absolutely outstanding rugby league player,” Jones said.
“He can go through the line, he has a short passing line and he hits. You don’t want to run down his channel when he is defending at 12.
“Potentially we are going to have three world-class options at 12 – Manu Tuilagi, Te'o and Owen Farrell.”