England rugby union coach not interested in league players

England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones is not looking to rugby league in a bid to improve his squad for the 2019 world cup in Japan.

Ahead of the 2015 rugby union world cup on home soil, England attracted league’s biggest star Sam Burgess to the 15-man code but the move ended in disaster.

Many believed that the then England coach Stuart Lancaster was pressured into playing ‘poster boy’ Burgess after the RFU paid big money to lure him away from rugby league.

After failing to make it out of the group stages, Burgess was made a scapegoat for England’s failings and he returned to league at the end of 2015.

Speaking to the Press Association, Jones made it clear that as the England rugby union head coach he was only looking at rugby union players.

“We don’t sign players – we are the Rugby Football Union,” Jones said.

“[RFU chief executive] Steve Brown doesn’t come to me and say ‘here’s £500,000, spend it on a player’. I don’t have that option, I can’t influence recruitment.

“I can’t say to Leicester ‘you sign George Smith’ – I can’t do that it, it is not my responsibility. It is a nonsense. That’s not me. That’s not my job.

“My job is to pick from the Premiership clubs, we have a relationship with the Premiership clubs, we select players from the Premiership clubs. We don’t tell them to recruit.

“If they want to recruit rugby league players and they are good enough to play for England then we will pick them.”

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