Training injury dents Jones' hopes

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 16:02
Large sam jones800

ENGLAND NEWS: Sam Jones has suffered a setback in his bid to become England's openside flank for their forthcoming internationals after being sidelined with an ankle injury.

Wasps back row Jones was a contender to replace the injured James Haskell for the four Tests at Twickenham, but the uncapped 24-year-old sustained the injury in training on Tuesday and has to return to his club.

"Jones will undergo further examinations to diagnose the full extent of the injury," a Rugby Football Union statement read.

Jones had been included in England's training squad for a three-day camp in Brighton and was one of two uncapped options to start at openside against South Africa on November 12, along with Leicester's Mike Williams.

A third back-row combination would see Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw line-up either side of Billy Vunipola in a repeat of the trio that finished the final Tests against Australia in June.

But England's options may now have been reduced after Jones hurt his ankle in the final training camp before head coach Eddie Jones names his squad for the Tests later this month.

"At seven we're looking for a destructive defensive player, not your traditional seven player because at the moment we don't have that in England," Jones said on Friday.

"We went down the route of trying to find that but it wasn't successful, so we're looking for a more of a destructive player like a Haskell. So Sam Jones and Mike Williams also come into that category."

Agence France-Presse