England Coach Eddie Jones has said that he expects at least 15 England players to go on the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand next year and that he thinks the team has enough quality to win.
"We want the country to be proud of this team" ?
Eddie Jones explains how England can take it to the next level… pic.twitter.com/CBLy8O6tzs
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) September 13, 2016
The Lions head coach Warren Gatland has already praised England’s achievements and said that their 3 – 0 victory over Australia this summer is an inspiration.
Jones took over as England coach after the team disappointed in the 2015 World Cup. Since then he has coached them to their first Grand Slam since 2003 and their win in Australia moved the team to second in the world rankings.
Jones is now preparing for November Tests against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia and has said that his players will continue to strive for Lions places. Speaking this week he said that he “would be disappointed if we did not get at least 15 players on the Lions tour and hopefully get one or two of our coaches on the coaching staff.”
Jones has never hidden his ambitions for the England team and has said that he thinks they have the talent and resources to be the best in the world. However, to achieve this they will have to beat New Zealand and England won’t be playing them for some time. Nonetheless, Jones believes that a successful Lions tour will help England achieve their goal and that “it will be a great learning experience”.
As rival coaches Gatland and Jones have clashed in the past but Jones said that Gatland is welcome to visit England’s training camps “as long as he doesn’t wear his Welsh gear”.
Jones said that Gatland’s job is to make the Lions strong and that he wants his players to play for the Lions.