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England trio Cowan-Dickie, Itoje and Watson to have scans ahead of Autumn Tests


England are due to fly to Jersey on Monday for a five-day training camp and Jones has confirmed Cowan-Dickie, Itoje and Watson will be assessed before that.

“They all have scans over the next week and we’ll find out in due course,” said Jones.

England will hope to have the trio available as they are likely to play key roles during the Autumn Nations Series.

Jones has made some bold selection calls with his squad for the three Tests, omitting Saracens trio Billy Vunipola, Jamie George and Mako Vunipola. Fellow senior figure, fly-half George Ford, has been left out too.

“As we said, we have drawn a line in the sand after the Lions series. We are looking to produce a younger squad to get ready for the World Cup [in 2023],” said Jones.

“It doesn’t mean those guys are out of the picture. I have been pleased with the way they have responded at club level and I’ve spoken to them this morning. They know where they stand.

“So, at the moment, we are running with this young but very good squad.”

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Now Jones has named his squad, there will be a lot of interest around his starting XV for the first Test with Tonga on November 6.

Harlequins’ Marcus Smith is, in particular, pushing to start at fly-half and Jones has outlined what he wants from his 10.

“I think the role of a 10 is to be the bus driver and the conductor,” he said. “So the fly-half has got to create a route for the team, he has got to create a place for the team to go and then be able to get the team to play to that beat.


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