Jones says new players will form 60 per cent of England’s next World Cup squad

Head coach says incremental change will ensure a very different squad in France

Eddie Jones stands with his players following the defeat to South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final Yokohama Stadium. Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire

Eddie Jones stands with his players following the defeat to South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final Yokohama Stadium. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Head coach Eddie Jones has claimed his England squad for the 2023 World Cup could comprise of 60 per cent new members as he looks to go one step further than last year’s tournament.

Jones, who masterminded a sensational victory over New Zealand as England reached the final in Japan last year before coming up short against South Africa, last week signed a new contract up to the next World Cup in France.

However, Jones is already thinking about incremental changes to his line-up on an annual basis which would mean more than half the group who were within touching distance of landing the Webb Ellis Cup will be replaced.

“I don’t think this group can have another World Cup in them,” Jones told BBC Sport.“While there will be core members of the team who will be able to continue to the next World Cup, there will be a new influx of members coming in.

“If you look at the squad this year we have changed it by 20 per cent. There will be another 20 per cent change in the second year, and another 20 per cent in the third year.

“By the time we get to the World Cup it could be 40 per cent of the squad from the 2019 World Cup and 60 per cent new members.”

Jones has already shown a ruthless edge by omitting marquee names Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw and Danny Care from his squad for the last World Cup.

A number of players who were instrumental in England’s run to the showpiece will be into their 30s in three years’ time, and Jones wants his side to keep evolving.

“That’s how you get the growth in the team,” he added. “You have to continually look for better players and players who can add value to the team.”

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