Thursday 18 January 2018

'Absolutely no' - England boss Eddie Jones rules himself out of race to lead Lions

England head coach Eddie Jones
England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones has again insisted he will not lead the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand next year.

The Australian has masterminded a remarkable turnaround in the national team's fortunes since they failed to get out of the group stage at last year's World Cup.

A second successive win over the Wallabies on their home turf to secure an historic series win with one match to play - having won the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier in the year - has lifted England to second in the world.

Jones, who took over with England ranked eighth, is determined to stay focused on deposing New Zealand at the top of the rankings - and he initially made himself unavailable for the 2017 Lions tour to face the All Blacks back in March.

"I am honoured to be thought of in that area but I have a massive commitment to England and the RFU and I can't afford to spend any time away from the team," he told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"While it might be nice to do it professionally my job is to make England the best in the world and I am going to do that 100 per cent.

"So unfortunately I am unavailable for the Lions. Absolutely no.

"We have improved the team but we want to keep on improving and we will not be happy until we get to number one in the world

"I can't ask for more but we want more. We want to be the best in the world."

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