(Reuters) - England’s young rugby players are not hungry enough for success because they have an easier path into senior teams in the Premiership than their counterparts in other countries, head coach Eddie Jones has said.
With a raft of regulars away on duty with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand, Jones fielded 11 new faces during England’s recent 2-0 series win over Argentina.
Jones hailed the performances of Harry Williams, Charlie Ewels, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Mark Wilson during the tour after their 35-25 win in Santa Fe on Saturday wrapped up the series but said young English players should be made to work harder to reach the top level.
“I think we have got good depth but also I think the younger players are not hungry enough,” the Australian was quoted as saying by British media.
“They find it too easy. They play in the under-20s, they become (Junior) World Cup champions and they get a contract straight away. That doesn’t happen in any other country in the world.
“Having had this experience here will make them hungry — England players need to be hungrier.”
England will face Argentina in the pool stage at the next World Cup in Japan and Jones said he wanted further improvement over the next two years.
“At the World Cup you can get a team that on one day can be absolutely red hot,” he added. “Every offload sticks; the 50-50 decisions go their way.
“You have got to be good enough to beat those teams, and we’re not there at the moment. We’re too close to Argentina. At the World Cup we need a gap.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford