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Six Nations ‘a sanctuary’ – Jones expects Saracens players to shine for England


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Six Nations ‘a sanctuary’ – Jones expects Saracens players to shine for England

By Chris Jones at Twickenham BBC rugby union correspondent England internationals Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell all play for SaracensEddie Jones says his Saracens players will be able to thrive in adversity during the upcoming Six Nations, with the England boss citing the example of Australian cricket great Shane Warne.Jones has named seven…

Six Nations ‘a sanctuary’ – Jones expects Saracens players to shine for England

By Chris Jones at Twickenham

BBC rugby union correspondent

Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell playing for Saracens

England internationals Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell all play for Saracens

Eddie Jones says his Saracens players will be able to thrive in adversity during the upcoming Six Nations, with the England boss citing the example of Australian cricket great Shane Warne.

Jones has named seven Sarries players in his squad for the Championship, two days after the club’s relegation from the Premiership was confirmed.

“The really good players are good at compartmentalising issues,” Jones said.

“International rugby is going to be really good for those guys.”

Among the Saracens contingent named by England are captain Owen Farrell and senior players Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and Elliot Daly.

Speaking to BBC Sport he added: “I remember the great leg-spinner Shane Warne, he was always in trouble, and the place he found sanctuary was playing cricket.

“And for these players it will be the same. They want to get out, they want to train hard, they want to play for England. And all those issues aren’t there for that period of time.”

‘We will sort issues’

England will gather at their Bagshot base on Wednesday, before flying to Portugal for a warm-weather training camp on Thursday.

And Jones is prepared to hold clear-the-air talks with the squad if there is any simmering discontent between the players in light of the salary cap bombshell.

“Given we haven’t had the players since the World Cup, the first day we get together in Portugal on Thursday we will spend de-briefing the World Cup,” Jones added.

“There will be certain issues coming out of that, and there may be issues to come out of the Saracens [situation], and if there are we will sort them out.

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“We will get them out on the table and work out how we operate going forward.”

However, Jones says the issue about whether he would pick a Saracens player operating in the second-tier Championship next season is “for another day”.

“I don’t need to worry about that now,” he said. “For the next 10 days, the only thing the players have to worry about is getting right to play against France.”

The beaten World Cup finalists open their Six Nations campaign in Paris on Sunday, 2 February.

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