Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Eddie Jones admits England have no world class players

England's coach Eddie Jones speaks at a press conference. Photo / AP
England's coach Eddie Jones speaks at a press conference. Photo / AP

Job security or an accurate assessment.

Some answers will begin to emerge this year but a final verdict will take much longer as Eddie Jones works through his plans for England's rugby revival.

Right now the candid coach has directed England through an unbeaten start to the Six Nations but says results distract people from more accurate assessments of the players and their style of rugby.

Not one player in his resurgent squad, Jones says, would make a World XV.

Rave reviews about the return of Manu Tuilagi were premature. The midfield back had the potential to be rated with the best however he had been injured and out of action for so long.

Test rugby was the arena for players to prove their consistent quality.

Asked whether England had any current world-class players Jones told the Daily Mail, "Not at the moment but we will have in four years."

England had shown their global pedigree at the under 20 level but one win in the last dozen Six Nations series showed that did not translate to success at a higher level.

Jones was discussing the merits of his squad as they prepare to play Ireland this weekend at Twickenham.

Those who disapprove of Jones will see his player appraisal as a method of justifying his appointment and being able to prolong his job. Others will point to England's results sheet and their work at the World Cup as evidence of their average playing levels.

Jones is optimistic about progress and has already earmarked Billy Vunipola as a player who could become the "best No 8 in the world." In the next sentence though he notes Vunipola has a lot of work to get fit and improve his skills and game management.

"I think there are some good young players coming through who are going to break the mould of English rugby. With the right maturation process, we have some guys who have the potential to be really outstanding Test players," he said.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Stats provided by

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 23 Oct 2016 14:46:01 Processing Time: 397ms