What would an Eddie Jones Lions XV look like?
The Aussie has achieved much of what was expected when he took charge of England back in 2015.
Jones was England’s first-ever overseas coach when he was drafted in from Japan six years ago, and helped turn England into a force once again.
He was World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2017, while three Six Nations titles and a World Cup final appearance have been no mean feat as England boss.
In his autobiography, Eddie Jones – My Life and Rugby, he revealed that he had a desire to take charge of the Lions during their tour to South Africa.
Jones revealed in the book that comments he made about the Irish and Welsh, intended to be comedic, may have harmed his chances, adding that he was not helped by an attempt to downplay the links between himself and the invitational side.
But what would a Eddie Jones Lions XV of looked like if he was in charge of the touring side later this year? Let’s take a look.
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Eddie Jones Lions XV
The Lions’ back line this year could well be an all-Welsh affair, but Jones is a known admirer of a more tried and tested winger, so the likes of fresh-faced Louis Rees-Zammit would likely miss out in favour of England’s current wing stars.
But full-back has been a position of change for Jones’ England recently, so the ever-reliable Scotsman Stuart Hogg could well be in with a shout, but it would be hard for Jones to overlook Liam Williams, especially on the back of his recent efforts against England.
- 15: Liam Williams
- 14: Anthony Watson
- 11: Jonny May
Centre has proven to be a difficult position to nail for Eddie Jones to nail in recent times, with Henry Slade – often criticised for his defensive work – the only regular alongside a fly half / centre figure such as Owen Farrell or George Ford in midfield.
Jones’ long-term loyalty to players is well known, and if he could stick with one pair, we are certain he would. That’s why we’ve gone for the Ireland pair of Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw if we were in his shoes.
Ringrose, probably Ireland’s best attacking talent, is an upgrade on Slade at 13, while Henshaw has shown up well in midfield for Andy Farrell’s side of late. Their pre-existing connection for Ireland make them a good fit under a Jones-led Lions side.
- 13: Garry Ringrose
- 12: Robbie Henshaw