Jones retains Chiefs trio
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs trio Harry Williams, Sam Simmonds and Henry Slade have all been retained by England head coach Eddie Jones to prepare for England’s Old Mutual Wealth Series match against Australia at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
All three players featured in last weekend's 21-8 victory over Argentina with back-row forward Simmonds coming off the bench, alongisde Williams, to win his first-ever international cap. Slade, meanwhile, played the full 80 minutes and will be hoping to retain his place in the England midfield.
Tries from Nathan Hughes and Semesa Rokoduguni helped England to victory against the Pumas in a performance Jones described as “off the pace”.
And he wants Saturday’s opponents to fully test his side who are now unbeaten in 21 of their 22 games under his guidance.
“The reality is we haven’t played a game together since March and with all the players coming back from the Lions our fluency and understanding wasn’t quite there,” said Jones. “I thought it was a good win. In the 78th minute we were 21-3 up against a team who at the 60-minute mark were leading the All Blacks. You can’t underestimate them, people say they are not a good team but they are a good team.
"They showed that today and it was a great contest for us."We are hoping Australia bring their absolute best game so we can see where we are at. We are hoping Australia bring their absolute best game so we can see where we are at. That is what these games are for. We know how we want to play against Australia, we have a clear vision, it should be fun.”
England's 25-man retained squad to face Australia:
Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby).
Players released back to their clubs:
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)