11222017

England rugby: Eddie Jones admits injuries affecting England preparation

Head Coach of England, Eddie Jones

BBC Two will show highlights of England’s three autumn Tests later this month

England’s preparations for the autumn internationals have been hampered by a glut of injuries, admits head coach Eddie Jones.

Three players have picked up minor injuries during warm-weather training in Portugal, with a host of others arriving in camp carrying knocks.

“We haven’t been able to do the sort of training we would like to do,” Jones told BBC Sport.

“But we will just adjust, adapt, and meet the challenge in front of us.”

Jones, whose side kick off their autumn Test campaign against Argentina on 11 November, added: “We haven’t done the amount of team training we would like to do, but we will do other things. We have done a lot more off the field.”

Jonny May tweaked a hamstring in training this week, while lock Joe Launchbury injured a knee and fly-half Marcus Smith is having further assessment on a foot problem.

It has been thought May was unlikely to be fit for the match with the Pumas, but Jones has not given up hope that the in-form winger will make a swift recovery.

“I’m the eternal optimist. I think he might be ready,” Jones said.

“I am pushing the medical staff to get him ready, and we will wait and see.”

England's Jonny May, Joe Launchbury and Marcus Smith<!–

England’s Jonny May, Joe Launchbury and Marcus Smith have all picked up minor injuries during the warm-weather training in Portugal

The Leicester player – who has scored 10 tries in 9 matches this season – joins fellow wing options Jack Nowell and Elliot Daly on the sidelines.

One, if not both, of Denny Solomona and Semesa Rokoduguni are now poised to start against Argentina.

“We were looking at riches there [on the wings], and now we are a bit poor,” Jones added.

“But it’s going to give opportunities to Denny, and Roko, and potentially one other player.”

Marland Yarde is “in contention” for a call-up, although Jones is wary of the impact made by his mid-season switch from Harlequins to Sale.

“Definitely he’s in contention but we have to weigh up the fact that he’s been through quite an emotional and difficult time,” Jones said.

The bulk of England’s British and Irish Lions contingent have been on different training programmes to the rest of the squad, a consequence of their heavy workload in the summer.

“We feel they need to be re-conditioned,” Jones explained.

“A lot of them have de-conditioned, they had a short pre-season, and then we are into games, and that’s not healthy.

“So we have tried to use this week to do a short re-conditioning for them. Some of them will have a longer re-conditioning than others, we are working out at the moment who does what.

“It is never ideal, but what we have to be able to do is cope with it.”

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