Jones worries about Lawes’ health because he’ll miss the Six Nations.

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By Creative Media News

Eddie Jones has expressed concern for Courtney Lawes’ health owing to an ongoing head injury, and he does not anticipate the Northampton flanker’s comeback to the England squad until the 2019 Six Nations.

Lawes has not played for Northampton since suffering a concussion on September 24, and after being chosen to England’s inaugural training squad last month, he withdrew after suffering a setback. The 33-year-old was omitted from England’s squad to prepare for Saturday’s match against Japan, having missed Sunday’s loss to Argentina, with Northampton stating he remained at the same level of the return-to-play head injury protocols.

Jones worries about lawes' health because he'll miss the six nations.
Jones worries about lawes' health because he'll miss the six nations.

This year, Lawes was out for six weeks due to a head injury, eventually returning midway through the Six Nations and stating that the condition had been diagnosed as an issue with his vestibular system, which resulted in recurrent headaches and impaired eyesight due to “headrush.”

He returned to captain England in their final three Six Nations matches and on their summer tour of Australia, but a second lengthy absence due to a brain injury is cause for concern. Jones stated, “I am concerned about his health at this time; I hope he regains his full health.

Jones worried about lawes
Jones worries about lawes' health because he'll miss the six nations.

“However, these conditions have a natural progression; some recover faster than others. Even if it takes some time, his health is the most crucial factor, and he will return to rugby when he is ready. Rather than feeling rushed to return, he should take a break and recuperate. We are optimistic that he will be fit to play in the Six Nations.”

Jones also attempted to accept responsibility for England’s humiliating loss to Argentina, acknowledging that the team’s preoccupation with the 2018 World Cup cost them the match, but he did not modify his strategy, predicting a ferocious comeback from his players against Japan. Jones continued, “I want us to be angry [against Japan] and play with a certain level of anger.”

“I am quite dissatisfied with the last game. We weren’t good enough. This is entirely my fault; I did not coach adequately. I believe that if your team does not perform up to your expectations, there is always something unclear about the message you are sending.

“When I reflect on the game, I realize that we’ve been examining a variety of long-term plans to prepare for the World Cup. Perhaps we did not focus sufficiently on the Argentina game. At times, it appeared as though we lacked enthusiasm, particularly in our attack. Perhaps we are overthinking a bit. This is solely my fault.

“There is a concentration of teams at the top of World Rugby, and we want to shatter that cluster. To do so, we need a variety of playing styles. The purpose of the next eleven months is to acquire sufficient equipment so that we can play in any situation.

Following the announcement that Brett Hodgson will replace his fellow Australian Anthony Seibold after the autumn internationals, Jones must plot England’s path to the 2019 World Cup with a third defense coach in less than two years. Hodgson, like Seibold, has no elite rugby union experience on his resume, but he will shadow his compatriot for the next few weeks before taking the helm.

Hodgson made almost 200 appearances in the NRL and was the coach of Hull FC until September when he resigned. Jones had previously spent time with Hull FC, and Hodgson has been a frequent visitor to England training camps. With the recent additions of Seibold and Jason Ryles, the head coach has returned to rugby league.

Jones continued, “He was a very seasoned player, understands the game well, has a fantastic coaching style, and has been a head coach, so he understands the pressures of coaching.” He will provide his knowledge of defensive systems and his ability to assist the back-three players in their positional play.

Jones confessed he was “disappointed” to lose Seibold, who was only hired in September 2021, but insisted he was delighted to see him return to top-level coaching in the NRL, where he will take control of the Manly Sea Eagles, despite the continued turnover of his back-up staff. Seibold replaced John Mitchell, with whom Jones will clash again on Saturday, given that Mitchell is a member of the Japanese coaching staff.

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