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England chases Six Nations grand slam

Eddie Jones’ England side chases back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams

England coach Eddie Jones has chosen his side to compete against France in the upcoming Red Rose’s opening Six Nations championship match on February 4, 2017 at Twickenham Stadium.

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England Six Nations Squad

Forwards
N Catt (Bath), J Clifford (Harlequins), D Cole (Leicester), C Ewels (Bath), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), T Harrison (Northampton), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell, N Hughes (both Wasps), M Itoje, G Kruis (both Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), J Marler (Harlequins), M Mullan (Wasps), K Sinckler (Harlequins), T Taylor (Wasps), M Williams (Leicester), T Wood (Northampton).

Backs
M Brown, D Care (both Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford, J Joseph (Bath), A Lozowski (Saracens), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell, H Slade (both Exeter), B Te'o (Worcester), A Watson (Bath), M Yarde (Harlequins), B Youngs (Leicester).

If England wins a second successive Grand Slam during this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, the Red Rose will share a jackpot of more than £3.5 million. Of that jackpot amount,, £1 million is a ¬squad bonus for winning, the rest is for match and training fees and image rights. The deal was made this week following 3rd-party negotiations with the Premier League clubs. As a result, England’s is the highest-paid squad in world rugby. The squad bonus for winning the Grand Slam has soared from £600,000 paid to Eddie Jones’s side last season for completing their championship clean sweep. The Rugby Football Union will to net £20 million. If England wins the Six Nations but not the Grand Slam, it is understood that the players would share a bonus pot of around £610,000, up from £368,000 last season.

Any Grand Slam bonus will be shared on a pro-rata basis but any member of the 23-player match-day squad for each of England’s five games will receive a bonus of more than £43,000 if they repeat last season’s Grand Slam triumph. That would take the total earnings for each player who plays in every game to £153,000, up from £110,000 last year, a total payout of £3,530,000. Without bonuses, An England player who is a member of every match-day 23 for this season’s 11 Test matches, including the end-of-season tour to Argentina in June, is expected to earn a minimum of £242,000. Last season, the squad earned a bonus of £230,000 after defeating Australia in the third Test in June to complete a 3-0 series victory. The RFU paid every rugby player in the 23-man squad a bonus of £10,170 to move up from third to second place in the world rankings at the end of the season.

Australian manager Eddie Jones wants to set the tone ahead of his squad’s attempt to become the first Red Rose side since Will Carling’s class of 1992 to record back-to-back Grand Slams. “The inspiration should come from themselves. They have got a chance to play for England,” said Jones. “If you can’t be inspired to play for England, how can you be inspired … as a rule I want the players to be excited and inspired about playing for England.” Jones is on top of every aspect of England’s preparation for the opening RBS Six Nations match against France at Twickenham next Saturday. Jones’ side returned from a week-long warm-weather training camp in Portugal on Friday night. England enjoyed a perfect year of 13 successive Test victories, including last season’s Grand Slam and a historic 3-0 series victory in Australia in June. Jones is reportedly guarding details of his coaching methods being found out by his rivals.

“If you keep evolving what you do, then teams are going to go at what you used to do, not what you are doing now,” said Jones. “I don’t see it as this is the England game, this is how we are going to play – that is evolving all the time. Good players evolve with time. Roger Federer ... every time he plays he has got some new stroke he develops. It is the same with rugby players. If you are a great defensive player and you can add attacking skills you become potentially a great player like Richie McCaw. When Richie McCaw first played for the Crusaders he was an out and out defensive player. Couldn’t carry, couldn’t pass. He was a great defensive player. By the end of his career he could carry, he could pass – he could do everything and that is how the great players evolve. I am not saying I am a great coach but what I want to make sure of is our team keeps changing.”

England will go head to head against the France side under new head coach Guy Novès. “I am just reading Pep Guardiola’s book at the moment and he has got a whole chapter on it,” Jones added. “He said it is important because you learn a lot, and you do learn a lot when you get beaten, but if you have got the right processes in place, and you don’t get too far ahead of yourself, you can learn from every time you train.”

“We cut something short because we didn’t do what we said we were going to do and it has been a great learning experience for the players because, when we get to the next segment of training, a player has adjusted and dealt with their problem straight away,” continued Jones.“But we don’t talk about losing. We talk about getting better. There will be times when we play well and the other team will be better – that happens.” Jonathan Joseph plans to reduce the time he spends on his cell phone if it means it improves England’s chances of another Grand Slam. Everyone here is very hungry to have success again,” he says. “We’ve got to come out of the blocks and play well against France. If we get that wrong, it’s out of the window already so we have to take it game by game.”

Dylan Hartley, Jones’s captain for the championship who is serving a six-week ban has restricted his game time to just six minutes since England’s victory over Australia two months ago. “There are lots of little things,” says Hartley. “We sat down a few weeks ago – I think it is about keeping our fundamentals and basics of what we do on game day but just adding little things in or taking things out just to keep it fresh. We start a new sheet every week, we move on every week. We understand what we did in the Six Nations, the summer, we understand what happened in the autumn won’t be good enough to go and win next week. We are always looking to improve, looking at new areas to improve, driving ourselves to be better. That starts with the boss here, but we have got to a point now where players are starting to drive that – starting to ask more of each other. It is ingrained in us now as a team, we are striving for more and never settling with where we are.”

2017 Six Nations Schedule
Saturday 4th February 2017
Scotland v Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
England v France at Twickenham Stadium, London
Sunday 5th February 2017
Italy v Wales at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Saturday 11th February 2017
Italy v Ireland at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Wales v England at Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Sunday 12th February 2017
France v Scotland at Stade de France, Paris
Saturday 25th February 2017
Scotland v Wales at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Ireland v France at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Sunday 26th February 2017
England v Italy at Twickenham Stadium, London
Friday 10th March 2017
Wales v Ireland at Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 11th March 2017
Italy v France at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
England v Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 18th March 2017
Scotland v Italy at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
France v Wales at Stade de France, Paris
Ireland v England at Aviva Stadium, Dublin

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