Furious Red Rose coach says his job is to pick best players he can, not make the rules, as he calls up Kiwi-born Willi Heinz
FURIOUS Eddie Jones defended his English foreign legion after over-looking more homegrown talent.
The Red Rose boss called up New Zealand scrum-half Willi Heinz for his training camp in Brighton ahead of their two Test tour to Argentina.
Eddie Jones says his job is not to make the rules but just to pick the best players
Jones snubbed former Under-20s star Chris Cook of Bath and opted for Heinz, who has an English mother but was born and bred in the Southern Hemisphere and dreamed of being an All Black.
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Aussie boss Jones picked Kiwi Dylan Hartley to be his skipper and has given debuts to fellow countrymen Ben Te’o, Teimana Harrison and also Fijian Nathan Hughes.
Hitting back after his latest snub to the Premiership playing pool, edgy Jones said: “Who is there? I look at everything.
“You don’t think I’ve done my homework? You’re suggesting I haven’t done my homework. I’m picking the best players available to play for England.
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“Some players ring me and tell me they want to play for England. Other players I ring and say: ‘You’re qualified to play for England, would you like to be involved?’
“They either say yes with a smile or they don’t. And the conversation goes from there as it does with every player.
“I don’t control who qualifies and who doesn’t. It’s not my job. You’re talking to the wrong person. My job is to pick players who qualify to play for England.
“If you have a problem with how they qualify speak to the people who make those rules because I don’t.”
Jones will controversially cap rugby league convert and Kiwi-born Samoan Denny Solomon despite the Sale player saying in November that he didn’t want to play for England.
Denny Solomona was called up despite saying his heart was not in England
At £30,000-a-Test match overseas players are queuing top to join thew Twickenham party.
Jones does have his options limited with 16 players called up for the Lions – but the likes of Hartley, Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and George Ford were snubbed.
He added: “I don’t engage in a discussion about selection. I have deliberately kept out of all Lions selection.
“I didn’t push any of our players or say anything post. For me, it is something they had to deal with.
“All I want is when they come in with us they are 100% committed so I don’t need to talk to them about it so they can work it our themselves.”