Eddie Jones self-isolating after England assistant coach tests positive for coronavirus

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

England head coach Eddie Jones is self-isolating after assistant Matt Proudfoot tested positive for coronavirus.

England Rugby announced on Wednesday that Proudfoot, who is asymptomatic, returned a positive in the latest round of pre-tournament testing ahead of the Six Nations and is now in isolation.

Jones and attack coach Simon Amor were identified as close contacts and must also self-isolate for 10 days, as per United Kingdom government guidelines.

Should they return further negative tests, Jones and Amor will be able to link up with the squad at St George's Park from January 28.

England, who are set to name their squad on Friday, are due to begin the defence of their Six Nations title against Scotland at Twickenham on February 6.

Jones is expected to name a 28-man selection featuring mostly established international players, with strict COVID-19 bubble arrangements meaning he cannot call up a larger group and allow those needing game time to return to their club sides.

Related items

  • Lions lose Watson for Japan clash Lions lose Watson for Japan clash
  • Euro 2020: Ambitious Grealish wants to emulate Gascoigne, Rooney for England Euro 2020: Ambitious Grealish wants to emulate Gascoigne, Rooney for England

    Jack Grealish harbours ambitions of following in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney by displaying his talent on an international stage after impressing in England's win over the Czech Republic.

    The Aston Villa attacking midfielder was afforded his opportunity to start in the Three Lions' final Euro 2020 Group D fixture, having only appeared as a substitute against Scotland in their opening two matches.

    Fans and pundits alike had been clamouring for Grealish to be given a chance and it was the 25-year-old who provided the delicate chipped cross for Raheem Sterling to nod in the only goal in a 1-0 win that secured top spot in the pool.

    As well as his assist, Grealish completed 83.3 per cent of his passes in the opposition half, won 62.5 per cent of his duels and drew three fouls for his team – the latter a trait many suggest should see him start more regularly due to England's perceived strength at set-pieces.

    Grealish's charisma off the pitch as well as his courageous attacking play on it have drawn comparisons to some of England's stars of the past such as Gascoigne and Rooney, and the man himself is eager to be revered by fans for his displays at the tournament.

    "I have spoken about how big these tournaments can be in players' careers," Grealish said in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

    "If you look back and think of Gazza at Italia 90, that is where he first made a… well he was obviously still well known before, but I think everyone remembers him for that tournament especially.

    "You look at Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004 – I think that was where he set his marker to say I am going to be one of the best in the world.

    "I am hoping to follow in their footsteps and hopefully I can do that if I get more chances in this tournament."

     

    Grealish made his England bow back in September and has nine caps to his name but has yet to cement his place in Gareth Southgate's starting XI.

    The external noise for Grealish to be given a more prominent role only increased after a drab goalless draw against Scotland, but he insists there was no added pressure on his shoulders to perform.

    "I don't think it is pressure. I love playing football. That is what I am paid to do. That is what I have been born to do," he added.

    "I just play football every day of my life. When I go out there and play it is no pressure on me whatsoever. I go out there and just enjoy myself like I always do.

    "I felt like I had a good performance good but I still maybe felt like in the second half I could have got on the ball a little more and probably tried to dictate the game a little more from an England point of view."

  • Southgate hails 'fabulous' Saka after standout showing in England win Southgate hails 'fabulous' Saka after standout showing in England win

    Gareth Southgate lauded Bukayo Saka for earning his England chance and grabbing it in Tuesday's Euro 2020 win over the Czech Republic.

    Raheem Sterling's 12th-minute goal was enough for the Three Lions to earn top spot in Group D and secure a home last-16 tie at Wembley, even though France, Portugal and Germany comprise a daunting list of potential opponents.

    Mason Mount being forced to self-isolate meant Southgate was able to satisfy a national clamour to start Jack Grealish.

    The Aston Villa playmaker supplied the cross for Sterling to head his and England's second goal of the tournament and provide flashes of skill to bring the Wembley crowd to their feet.

    But it was Arsenal teenager Saka – a surprise inclusion ahead of the likes of Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford – who was the most consistently impressive attacker on display, with his driving run and neat close control key in the move for Sterling's winner.

    "Bukayo, I can't speak highly enough of him," Southgate said after the winger was named UEFA's Star of the Match.

    "He's earned that opportunity. His performances in training since he's joined this camp have been outstanding.

    "He played well in the game at the Riverside [a 1-0 win over Austria where Saka scored the winner]. We've talked about playing him in some of the previous matches.

    "He earned that chance tonight and he's grabbed it. He was fabulous."

     

    While Saka is enjoying his international breakthrough, Sterling has been a mainstay for Southgate.

    Patchy form for Manchester City in the second half of this season led to calls for the 26-year-old to be dropped but the England manager's faith never wavered in a player who now has 14 goals for his country since failing to find the net at the 2018 World Cup.

    "We always felt that we can’t have all the scoring burden lie with Harry [Kane] and over the past couple of years – probably since the game in Seville [a 3-2 Nations League win over Spain where Sterling scored twice], that was a real lift-off moment for Raheem – he's transferred his club goalscoring form into the matches with us.

    "When you can get wide players scoring in that way as well it's a huge lift for the team.

    "We've had no doubts about [Sterling], we were very clear on that.

    "We know at the end of the season he wasn't necessarily a regular for his club but perhaps we're reaping the benefit of that in that he's a little bit fresher than he might have been."

    Harry Maguire headed into the tournament far from fresh, nursing an ankle injury that ruled him out of Manchester United's Europa League final penalty shootout loss to Villarreal.

    But the centre-back returned to partner with John Stones and led England to a third clean sheet out of three at Euro 2016, producing an authoritative performance.

    "Harry has that presence and composure," Southgate said. "His pass through to Kane in the first half was a fabulous ball through the lines. There aren't many defenders in world football who can do that.

    "It was important for him to get those 90 minutes.

    Southgate added: "We've noted over the last 12 months and certainly the last six months that when you become the captain of Manchester United the impact that must have on your confidence – the improvement in his leadership and desire to step forward and have an influence on the wider group shines through."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.