- England defeated by Barbarians
- 15 tries scored in Quilter Cup clash
- Jones still impressed with young players
Despite England’s 63-45 loss to the Barbarians in the Quilter Cup, Eddie Jones believes it served as an ‘outstanding experience’ for younger members of his squad.
The sides scored 15 tries between them at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, and although not happy with the final result, England’s head coach takes positives from the meet.
“I was impressed with a number of the young players,” he explained.
“I think Piers Francis played his best game since Argentina, Tom Curry hasn’t played Test rugby for a long time and he came back and did some great things, and Jack Singleton had the best game I’ve seen him play since the Barbarians game 12 months ago.”
England found themselves 21-0 down after just 12 minutes, but regrouped in the second half, and worked their way back into the game to trail by just four points.
But the high-paced nature of the game handed the invitational side momentum in the latter stages and eventually the win.
“We struggled in the first 20 minutes to adjust to the speed of the game,” added Jones. “We got a bit shocked by it, but we adjusted well, got ourselves back in the game and played some good rugby.
“But then when we got fatigued in the last 20, we made some crucial errors in execution, and it ended up costing us the game."
Return of Prem finalists
Jones named a mixed squad of both experienced and inexperienced players for the clash, and a number of the latter thrived. Francis – who has three Test caps – bagged two tries, whilst uncapped No 8 Zach Mercer scored one.
But the Australian was quick to remind of his squad’s shortage for the Quilter Cup clash, and of the return of the Premiership final players.
“We don’t have our top 15 players, this was a test of our depth. We played against a very good, fast and powerful Barbarians team and at times we struggled to cope with them,” he added.
“We’ve got 15 players to come into the squad tomorrow and of that 15, 10 are going to be very confident while five will be very disappointed. They’ll be looking for a chance to play some good rugby so we’ve got to look at it in that context.”