On Wednesday afternoon Jones selected his first England squad which included seven uncapped players. While experienced players such as Tom Wood, Brad Barritt, Tom Youngs and Ben Morgan were all cut from the 33-man squad.
Since winning the Grand Slam in 2003 under Sir Clive Woodward, England have registered just one Six Nations title when Martin Johnson’s side lifted the title in 2011. For a country like England with the player pool and talent to select from this isn’t really good enough.
Jones has said that the mindset of his players will have to change drastically if they wish to be successful in the 2016 Six Nations and beyond, saying in his press conference: “If we do the same as we have done since 2003 then we will get the same results.
“To be the dominant team in the world you’ve got to be better than good and hard-working. It’s going to take more than they have ever done in their lives.”
Before adding “In this squad of 33 there are four or five players who, if they change their attitude, can become world-class players.”
It is refreshing to hear a coach setting his stall out early like Jones has; while the omission of some of the key lieutenants of the Stuart Lancaster regime signals the start of a new era.
Youngsters can shine in Six Nations 2016
Jones also believes that some of the new faces in the squad can go onto to become world class performers and it will all start on Saturday 6th February when England travel to Murrayfield to face Scotland.
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) January 13, 2016
While he name checked powerful Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi as man who he could build a team around. Saying he could become a player in the mould of New Zealand legend Ma’a Nonu: “Manu can play both inside and outside centre, but, when he’s fit, he can be a Ma’a Nonu-type player.
“He’s got an exceptional skill-base and exceptional feet, he’s got the ability to carry the ball through the line, he’s got a short passing game, he can develop a kicking game, too.
“He can be one of the guys the team is built around.”
As press conferences go this wasn’t a bad one for Jones, now all eyes turn to the Six Nations 2016.
Image Credit – Peter Dean (Flickr)