With the Six Nations Championship just a month away England are in danger of kicking off the tournament lacking more than half their starting pack.
Eddie Jones has warned England’s record‑equalling players they will be summarily dropped if they allow their standards to slip next year.
The acrimonious buildup to England’s final autumn Test against Australia looks set to spill over on to the pitch after Eddie Jones warned the Wallabies his side would look to “break them mentally and physically”. The lock George Kruis indicated the home team would be looking to “target their puppet masters” and extend their unbeaten run to a record-equalling 14 Tests.
Perhaps it was the embarrassment of being the first Australian coach to lose a home series to England that did it, or possibly it was being mocked up as a clown last month.
Odd little memories stand out crystal clear from the great mêlée of Saturday’s match, which was otherwise one long blur of flying bodies, boots and balls, reset scrums, rolling substitutions, red and yellow cards.
One more rose-tinted victory against Australia on Saturday will make this, statistically, the most impressive calendar year in English rugby history.
The sports scientists who work alongside England’s players informed the coaches this week that, statistically, the squad have never been happier.