Eddie Jones takes aim at England and Steve Borthwick ahead of Tokyo clash - Ruck

Eddie Jones takes aim at England and Steve Borthwick ahead of Tokyo clash

England head coach Eddie Jones, renowned for his impassioned coaching approach, has announced the Japanese squad for their upcoming summer Tests.

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The opening match is set against England at Tokyo’s National Stadium on 22 June.

This encounter represents Jones’ first major challenge since his return to Japan, following a challenging tenure with Australia’s national team.

Reflecting on his experience with England, Jones acknowledged their strengths. “England will bring a robust kicking game and a strong set-piece,” he remarked.

Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us to play against them, and we’re going to have to play really well.”

Despite the formidable task, Jones remains hopeful. “On a hot day in Tokyo, anything can happen.”

Following the match against England, Japan will face the Maori All Blacks in two fixtures. July will see them host games against Georgia and Italy.

Jones has introduced 12 new players to his 35-man squad, while also including seasoned veteran Michael Leitch, aged 35.

Five players who will never play for England again under Steve Borthwick

We’ve identified five England players who, for various reasons, appear unlikely to make a return under current head coach Steve Borthwick.

Notably, former captain Owen Farrell is not among them, as we believe his two-year contract with Racing 92 leaves the door open for his potential return to the international team.

#1. Ollie Hassell-Collins

The Leicester Tigers winger, who was given his debut by Borthwick in 2023, has expressed his willingness to potentially represent Wales in 2026.

Despite earning two caps for England during last year’s Six Nations, the 25-year-old hasn’t been included in Steve Borthwick’s squad since then. Notably, he was absent from England A’s recent triumph over Portugal.

Ahead of this year’s Six Nations, Gatland had mentioned Hassell-Collins several times, especially during the discussion surrounding another dual-qualified winger, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

“I have seen Gatland’s interview,” Hassell-Collins told the Telegraph.

“I’ve got two caps for England, and obviously I’m English. But if I don’t see anything in the next few years then it’s definitely something that I would consider.

“I would qualify [for Wales] the year of the World Cup – that is, if he still wants me. Wales is still part of who I am.

“My grandma was Welsh and I still have family over there. It’s still a part of me – and I’d never turn it down – but for now it’s England for me.”