Eddie Jones’ autumn England squad shaped by ‘trends of game’ and law trials

  • Trial law changes have increased scope for teams to carry ball
  • ‘Teams don’t have to kick more than the opposition to win’

Eddie Jones believes rugby’s law trials have led to a rebalancing of the global game, with increased scope for teams to attack by running the ball as well as kicking.

The England head coach says “trends of the game” helped inform selection for the autumn Tests against Tonga, Australia and South Africa, with mainstays such as Saracens’ Billy Vunipola ignored as the buildup to the 2023 World Cup began in earnest.

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Adam Radwan: Newcastle’s flying Falcon tipped for the top by Jones

The Newcastle and England wing has the speed and potential to be the world’s best, according to Eddie Jones

Adam Radwan’s former coach, Chris Hyndman, remembers the day well. He had invited a group of sporty teenagers from Middlesbrough to look around Hartlepool sixth form college but only one of them turned up. It was holiday time and, with no one else around, Hyndman decided he would assess his solitary visitor’s sprint potential in the corridor outside the sports hall.

Hyndman, once a professional player at Northampton, could scarcely believe his eyes. “We decided to do 20-30 metre sprints to give him enough space to slow down. His times were very, very impressive.” It reinforced the testimony of one of Hyndman’s teaching colleagues, who had recently seen the skinny Radwan playing in a local under-16s game. “He came back saying: ‘This kid is ridiculously quick.’”

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Saracens’ Maro Itoje fit to face Wasps in boost for Eddie Jones and England

  • Mark McCall backs Vunipolas to force way into England squad
  • Stuart Hooper says Bath owner ‘hugely supportive’ despite form

The England head coach, Eddie Jones, has received a welcome boost with the news that Maro Itoje will be fit to play for Saracens on Sunday.

Itoje scored one of his side’s 10 tries in the 71-17 mauling of Bath last weekend before being forced off, but has been cleared to face Wasps in the Premiership. “He’s fine,” the Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, said. “It’s a very minor shoulder injury but he will play this weekend.”

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