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Sport

Rugby: England fully aware of COVID responsibilities, says Jones

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England Training - The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, Britain - October 16, 2020 England head coach Eddie Jones during training Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

(Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones says his players are fully aware of their responsibilities around COVID-19 protocols and that it would be counterproductive to continually remind them of the rules.

Former England captain Chris Robshaw was among a group of Barbarians players who left their team hotel without the permission of organisers last week, which led to the cancellation of Sunday’s game with England.

England players were all warned about the risks of breaching their secure environment at the Lensbury Club in London ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations finale against Italy.

“We’ve spoken about it briefly,” Jones told Sky Sports on Monday. “One of the things I learned about being a school principal is not to talk about the rules too much because then you have to worry about enforcing all the rules.

“We’ve told the players they’ve got to be responsible and they all understand that right at this moment and then there could be a moment when they don’t understand it.

“I can’t sit here and tell you 100% we’re going to be perfect. But our intention is to be.”

Jones said he was impressed with how his backroom staff and players adapted to the change of schedule after the Barbarians game was called off.

“I’m really pleased with how my staff and players responded, we had a really great session on Saturday morning, an unbelievably good session,” Jones said.

“The players have now had a little bit of a break and they are ready to go for the Italian game.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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