MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - England coach Eddie Jones says he will pick winger Denny Solomona and centre Manu Tuilagi for the autumn internationals if they prove their attitudes are right after their recent disciplinary troubles.
The pair were banished from a training camp in London last month due to what England Rugby termed “team culture issues”. British media reported the two players had indulged in a drunken night out.
“We’re just assessing them. Everyone makes bad mistakes, we’ve all done it,” Jones said at the Soccerex convention on Tuesday.
“So we will just assess them over the next period of time and if they’re eligible for selection and if I meet with them ... and if their attitude is right then we will pick them. If they’re not, then we won’t pick them,” he added, indicating that he had already met with Tuilagi.
“These things happen... They understand they made a poor choice, the team understand they made a poor choice,” the Australian coach said.
Asked if Leicester player Tuilagi, whose ill-discipline has caused him trouble before, was on a final warning, Jones said: ”Everyone talks about previous records but he’s only done it once with me.
“If he does it again, then he may be spending a lot more time in the Midlands,” he added.
Jones said he was also assessing the captaincy situation. Skipper Dylan Hartley faces a challenge as first-choice hooker from Jamie George, who was a starter in the position for the British and Irish Lions.
“It’s an ongoing assessment, what’s best for the team. In rugby, the captain is important because of the number of decisions we have to make. As always we are balancing it up and obviously we’ll look at how the players come up after the Lions tour,” he said.
Jones, however, said that Hartley was likely to be captain when the team get together later this month.
“We have a camp coming up and all things being equal he’ll be captain then. But it’s literally a series by series appointment. He knows that, he understands that,” he said.
England face Argentina, Australia and Samoa at Twickenham in November.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis