Jones insists England ‘will be better’ for heavy Barbarians defeat

The Baa Baas won 52-21, their biggest ever win in the fixture, despite playing 44 minutes with 14 men after Will Skelton was shown a red card for a high hit on Patrick Schickerling, who failed his HIA after the incident.

It leaves Jones with plenty to consider ahead of a summer tour to Australia, with the first match in the three-Test series taking place in Perth on July 2. England name their squad for the tour on Monday.

The hosts were without some of their first-choice stars for the Barbarians clash, including those involved in Leicester’s Premiership final win over Saracens on Saturday.

England were well below-par, particularly in the second-half, though Jones insists that his inexperienced players will learn plenty from their minutes up against a strong Baa Baas side.

“We’re disappointed with the result, you never like to get beaten by a score like that,” Jones said.

“We tried to do a few things differently today to test us, we weren’t quite good enough to execute it. There’s a number of guys there playing their first senior game, and others playing their first senior game for a long time, so we’ll be better for that.

“There’s a big gap between club level and international rugby, some of the guys experienced that today.”

There was a strong French feel to the Barbarians team, coached by Fabien Galthie and including the likes of Damian Penaud, Charles Ollivon and Virimi Vakatawa in their ranks. Shaun Edwards joked pre-match that he was the first defence coach the Baa Baas have ever had.

Jones pointed to the strength of opposition when reflecting on the defeat, believing his side faced a more motivated team than in previous Barbarians fixtures.

“They were all playing for a French spot so it was a different sort of Barbarians game,” Jones said.

“They were tough on the ball, a young referee allowed them to stay on the ball a little bit more. We weren’t good enough for that area.”

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