Jones wants courageous England in South Africa

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  • Introducing England's uncapped players - more
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England head coach Eddie Jones has called on his players to be courageous and mentally tough on their tour to South Africa this summer.

Jones named a 34-man squad this week for the three-Test tour against the Springboks in June that includes seven new faces.

But he has called on the whole of his squad to get in the right mindset for travelling to South Africa where England return for the first time since 2012.

"We have got to be mentally tough - playing South Africa in South Africa is about mental toughness," said Jones.

"Every game of rugby you play, you just go down the park now to watch a game of rugby, everyone’s physical courage is tested.

"You don’t play rugby unless you are physically courageous. You have got to want to be in a physical contest.

"We know all the players are physically tough. The ability to absorb the pressure of playing South Africa in South Africa is another kettle of fish. History shows England have failed to meet that challenge."

Summer whitewash

England have had successful summer tours over the past two years as they won 2-0 in Argentina last year and secured a 3-0 victory over Australia in 2016. "We know we are playing a reinvigorated team."

And Jones says that will again be the target in June as England look to create history and win their first ever series in South Africa.

"We want to win 3-0, that’s our simple target. No one has ever done that in South Africa so that is a great target for us.

"If that doesn’t happen, then it is about is the team moving in the right direction?

"We didn’t play great rugby in the Six Nations, we want to play better rugby in South Africa - we know we are playing a reinvigorated team."

New ideas

There are eight new faces in the England squad through a combination of players being out injured or rested.

Ben Earl, Jonny Hill, Dan Robson, Brad Shields, Ben Spencer, Cameron Redpath and Jack Willis are all included along with uncapped Nathan Earle.

Having reviewed the fifth place finish in the NatWest 6 Nations, Jones says he has identified areas that needed to be improved.

"We got complacent about unity without a doubt and that’s again my responsibility," he added.

"We were tactically slow to adapt in terms of the contests of the game and we've put a lot of thought into how we will adjust to that - they are the two main issues.

"I have spent a lot of time going around speaking to lots of people about what we can do to fix that. I have got some new ideas, got some good ideas, got some bad ideas and we will work out what to put in place."


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