Joseph set to return this month

Date published: December 2 2015

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Bath and England centre Jonathan Joseph could return to the field in December, offering a major boost to both Mike Ford and Eddie Jones.

The 24-year-old back suffered a chest injury at the Rugby World Cup and was expected to be a doubt for the start of the 2016 Six Nations.

But in the first days of Jones being in the Twickenham hot seat, he has received a fillip that the dangerous Joseph is an option for February.

"Jonathan is doing well and he will be back before Christmas," Bath head coach Ford revealed to the Guardian in an interview on Tuesday.

"He has trained this week and we will have a look at him after the players have had a day off with Saturday's match against Northampton in mind. That might be too much for him but he should certainly be available after that."

Much has been made of Jones being a hard taskmaster but Ford knows the Australian from his coaching days at Saracens and offered an insight into his style, with the Bath boss clearly an admirer of his former colleague.

"Eddie will get the fundamentals of the game in place and select intelligent footballers who can manage a game, adapting and changing during it," added Ford.

"He will want players who are able to play what is in front of them, running, kicking or driving as necessary.

"The day of players being told what to do is dying and that is a good thing. It is now about giving them responsibility and, as a smart coach, Eddie will do that. The team is set up to do really well with the players he has at his disposable and the test of any coach is picking the right ones. What he will bring is experience of World Cups and that, as was shown when the pressure built on England a few months ago, is crucial."

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