Charlie Ewels says there was a brutal message from England boss Eddie Jones that there would be big changes in the squad after they lost to Ireland last year.
Following the defeat, the Vunipola brothers were two of the key casualties with the pair failing to win a recall since.
“We all got a pretty strong inkling there would be a reset first thing in the morning when he told us that in a meeting,” Ewels said.
“He literally said ‘that’s not good enough, you have got to make a decision. This is where this team is going, it’s up to me to decide who is here and it is up to you to decide to be here’.
“He didn’t make a secret of it – he obviously saw something and that is what he decided to do.
“His challenge to the players was that we need to improve, the group needs to improve and therefore the individuals need to improve. So go away and make me pick you.”
“I left the meeting going ‘fair enough, that isn’t the team we want to be. That isn’t how we want to perform and this isn’t where we want to finish in a Six Nations’,” Ewels said.
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5 players blacklisted by Eddie Jones, including Marland Yarde
#1. Billy Vunipola
Reports suggest that Eddie Jones won’t be calling upon the Saracens powerhouse anymore after running out of patience with his number of injuries and negative attitude around the camp. The Aussie denied that his omission is down to age, insisting Vunipola ‘needed to find a better version of himself’ with Jones simply looking for more ‘enthusiasm’ from his current squad.