Eddie Jones has revealed that some of England’s British & Irish Lions may be rested for the summer tour of South Africa as he starts an extensive overhaul of his squad.
After a worst Six Nations finish since it started in 2000, Jones immediately warned some players would not represent their country again.
Jones has now indicated that he is prepared to gamble by not selecting his Lions players - many of whom looked physically tired during the Six Nations.
“We still have to look at how we look after the Lions players,” said Jones, when asked about his selection for the tour.
“That’s still a concern for us. We will do that and that was always in the plans, but otherwise we will select how we always select.
“We’ve always looked at that. We’ll just see if there are any players who will benefit more from not going on the tour.”
Jones added: “When you have had the first two years that we have had, the third season was always going to be difficult.
“I don't stand here saying I knew it would happen, but it was always going to be difficult because we shot up and we fixed some easy things.
“When you have a team that has vent been successful and there are a number of things that are wrong, there are some easy things to fix and you fix those.
“But harder things keep surfacing and are harder to fix. We are in the process of fixing them. What I am certain about is that we know what you need to fix.”
Jones admitted he is short of leaders in the squad and needs “more guys like Owen Farrell”.
“We need more guys like Owen Farrell and to do that you need more time to develop. And when you are developing people who aren't Owen Farrell and you are asking them to do other things, sometimes the weight of those things effects their performance in a negative way. So they seem less energetic, but in fact they are just trying to cope with the new responsibilities.
“Some people are born leaders and others aren’t. The ones who aren’t take a bit of time. Some guys spurt up, and some take a little longer. It’s like being in the classroom, some kids get their maths tables easily, some don’t. You just have to wait and see. That’s a big area for us guys to get right and it does take time.”