Argentina tour helped England develop their squad - Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones believes Manu Tuilagi can be a force to reckon for England
Eddie Jones believes Manu Tuilagi can be a force to reckon for England

England coach Eddie Jones believes the depth in the team's squad will hold them in good stead leading to the World Cup 2019 in Japan.

The England boss announced a 37-man extended training squad that will take part in a three day camp in Oxford. The squad features a mixture of young and experienced members which Jones will look to build towards the showpiece event in two years time.

Tom Curry, Piers Francis, Nick Isiekwe, Alex Lozowski, Jack Maunder, Denny Solomona, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams and Mark Wilson were all part of the recently concluded Argentina tour that feature in the Oxford camp.

“I think the Argentina tour definitely allowed us to develop the squad,” said Jones.

“There were some players that came through that we knew about but probably didn’t realise were as close to being real contenders for a World Cup squad.

“We’ve got two years until the World Cup so the next 18 months is crucial in finalising our squad. We’re probably 75% down the road.”

Also part of the squad was Leicester Tigers' Manu Tuilagi, whose career was hampered by series of injuries with his last appearance for the red rose team coming in March last year. However, Jones is confident, if fit and in proper shape, the 26-year-old can be a force to reckon for England.

“It’s nice to see him back training and back into it. He was a player who demolished New Zealand.

“If his motivation and desire is right then he can be an outstanding player for us and add to the depth of the squad."

The British and Irish Lions' England contingent - Dan Cole, Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Jack Nowell, Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson - will be part of the camp for just one day that constitutes of medical check-ups and various reviews while the remaining players, who were part of the New Zealand tour opted to have an extended break

Jones insisted that a call on the November internationals squad will be taken after analysing the fitness of the players following a consultation with their club coaches.

“It was part of the regulations and we left it up to the players if they wanted to come in,” added Jones.

“There are ongoing discussions about that, we’ll look at each player and see how they come back and what condition they’re in. We’ll talk to their club coaches and work out who needs to play and who doesn’t.

“For the young players at the camp it is going to be a great opportunity for them to put down a marker early.”

After the announcement of squad in October, Jones will organise a week long training camp in Portugal that will conclude by 3rd November.

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