Jones slates post 2003 England

Date published: May 29 2016

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England head coach Eddie Jones has taken a swipe at the post 2003 era in the country, saying the squad took "short cuts" and "had it too easy".

Ahead of a three-Test series with Australia, Jones has thrown down the gauntlet to a nation he faced twelve years ago at this time of year.

"When I was Wallabies coach in 2004, they came out for a holiday," he told BBC Sport. "We put 50 points on them in Brisbane.

"You cannot accept that. England rugby has never recovered."

2016's England will arrive in Australia on the back of a Six Nations Grand Slam but when looking at past teams, Jones did not mix his words.

"Without a doubt," he said, when asked if they were "soft".

"Commercial activity took over for England's players after that World Cup success.

"I don't mind players having agents and agents doing good things for them. If you play the game well – and that means training well – you should get financial rewards.

"It's when they start taking short cuts, going to a function instead of having proper recovery, that I have a problem with."

He added ahead of June's Tests: "I've said to the players: 'If you do not want to come on tour and work hard, stay at home.' Go to Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, wherever you want and have a great time.

"It is a choice you make. We've got three difficult Tests and we know that Australia have picked a strong squad.

"It's not about players having a nasty edge, but being desperate to play for England. That's what I want.

"Owen Farrell would be top of the tree and he is from Wigan. It's all about how desperate you are and George Ford is the same.

"They are kids who desperately want to play for England and get better. They are the players we want.

"There is no doubt that players have had it too easy and been handed caps."

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