England not losing sleep over Kruis

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:46

REACTION: England scrum coach Neal Hatley said the decision to drop George Kruis ahead of this weekend's clash with Australia is proof of their "ridiculous riches" at lock.

Kruis has lost his place in an initial 25-man squad to Charlie Ewels after failing to impress in last week's 21-8 victory over Argentina.

England could field Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes as their starting second row against the Wallabies, although British and Irish Lion Maro Itoje, rested against the Pumas, and Ewels are other options.

It is the second time this year that Kruis has suffered a high-profile omission after being left out after the first British and Irish Lions Test in New Zealand.

Saracens second row Kruis is highly-regarded for his line-out skills, but England coach Eddie Jones wants more all-round input from his second rows against his native Australia on Saturday.

"In part George is out because of load management and in part because it's an area that we've got ridiculous riches in," Hatley said.

"It's a reflection on how that group of second rows are training and pushing each other and getting better.

"We've got some really good players and unfortunately some people have to leave early in the week and it's George's turn this week."

Hatley added: "We know he has contributed massively and he's part of a very, very good second-row unit. It's a really tough group to select from.

"He did well for us last weekend and he's been playing well for his club, as have Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Charlie Ewels and Nick Isiekwe."

Both Jones and Australia coach Michael Cheika, his former teammate at Sydney club Randwick, are due to name their matchday squad of 23 players on Thursday. 

Agence France-Presse