Mercer and Lozowski catch Jones' eye


England included three uncapped players in their Six Nations squad but as Eddie Jones plots world domination by 2019, he is weighing up who will drive the next generation to come through to challenge the current first-choice Test side.

Jones included Bath loose-head Nathan Catt, Leicester back-row Mike Williams and Saracens playmaker Alex Lozowski in the 34-man squad for the championship.

Catt, 29, has been on England’s radar for a while as has Williams — Jones said his inclusion was a “punt” as he “hasn’t played very well of late” — but Lozowski’s versatility impresses Jones as he weighs up the matchday 23 ahead of England’s opener against France on Feb. 4.

“Lozowski has been the find of the Aviva Premiership,” Jones said. “He plays well at 10, he plays well at 15, he’s just got a good head for wanting to improve.

“So to have him in the squad as a back-up player where he can potentially play 10, 12 or 15 is a great bonus for us.”

Outside of the squad, Jones name checked 19-year-old Bath back-row Zach Mercer as another who could be a Test player-in-waiting despite having started just five top-flight games.

When asked which young players had come close to selection but had missed out, Jones answered: “I like the look of the Bath back-rower, Mercer. I think he’s got something about him. He’s probably not a No.8, he’s probably a No.6, but he is certainly a guy we’ll keep an eye on. Good young player.”