Eddie Jones has responded to the start of the new Gallagher Premiership season with a flurry of tries, warning his England players that if they are vulnerable in defence, they will be dropped.
The whitewash was broken 141 times in the first three rounds of the competition but Jones sees danger in that attacking success as he plans an autumn campaign that includes Tests against New Zealand and South Africa.
Defenders in particular have been told they are neglecting a critical element of the game to pursue attempts at their own peril.
“Commitment to making a tackle is important in rugby and the players we pick have to commit to making it. Players who don’t do that are not selected,” Jones said.
“You’ve seen how important it was in the rugby championship and on the summer tours, especially now that the ball is only distributed more than two passes 30 per cent of the time.
“The ability to make an effective tackle not only discourages the opponent from going forward but also creates an opportunity for a change or turnover, so defenders who can take the legs off the opponent are so important.
“We will look for players who are productive with and without the ball.”
England open their autumn against Argentina on November 6 when there is a chance Manu Tuilagi could claim his first cap in a year.
The devastating Sale-Center limped early against South Africa with a hamstring injury he picked up while running and he missed the Six Nations with problems with the same muscle before being sidelined from the Australian tour with a knee problem.
“Manu is in a good position at the moment. He’s been working hard to get the balance of his preparation right, his bodyweight is good, his skinfolds are good,” Jones said.
“He’s probably not been as effective in games as he would have liked, but it’s early in the season and there are some good signs at the moment.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/eddie-jones-england-manu-tuilagi-new-zealand-gallagher-premiership-b2190387.html Commit to tackling a call-up for England or forget about it, Eddie Jones warns