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Eddie Jones: England will be pride of Lions but should not get distracted

England rugby manager Eddie Jones in the stands

Eddie Jones expects England to provide at least 15 players in the British and Irish Lions’ squad – almost half the touring party to New Zealand next year – and will regard it as a personal failure if that target is not reached. But the Australian also warned his players that unless they maintained the required standard for England and avoid letting the Lions tour to the home of the world champions become a distraction they risk missing out altogether on Warren Gatland’s selection.

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England's George Kruis and Dave Attwood during training

George Kruis earns quick reward from England after rapid return to fitness

Eddie Jones’s all-or-nothing regime is designed to weed out England players who are not where they should be physically. Training is deliberately full-on, with 11 successive wins under Jones this year testimony to a more ruthless collective mindset. Even individuals recently sidelined by injury are expected to keep up or risk getting overtaken.

England Head Coach Eddie Jones during training

Eddie Jones demands mental intensity from England as Australia tour looms

Eddie Jones has in his long career never been accused of being diplomatic but since taking over as England’s head coach at the end of last year he has adopted a national tradition: his upper lip has largely been stiff, apart from the odd twitch, but that is set to change in the coming months as his side switches from European skirmishes to battles against the might of the southern hemisphere.

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