The axing of Denny Solomona and Manu Tuilagi from the England training camp is a lingering talking point in English rugby at the moment. The pair were released back to their clubs due to ‘team culture issues’ and it has brought their international futures into speculation.
Eddie Jones, as we know, is a stern operator. He expects the very best from his players, both on and off the field. If you don’t adhere to those high standards, then you are out of the team. It’s that simple.
Both players’ club coaches have expressed their disappointment. Former teammates have also weighed in, Brian O’Driscoll, who played with Tuilagi on the 2013 Lions tour to Australia, waxed lyrical about Tuilagi but warned that he doesn’t have too many more chances.
England captain, Dylan Hartley, has also given his views on the matter and he admitted that the players’ let their teammates down with their behaviour.
“We’re a team and as a team we set our own standards off the field,” Hartley told Press Association Sport.
“And ultimately those guys let us down in that area.
“We’re a team and we’ve got a code of conduct that we adhere to. The team dealt with it and I’m sure those players will have their heads down and be working hard now to get back in the picture.
“Because they are good players, and both of them are worth having in your side.”
Hartley, of course, is no stranger to disciplinary issues himself but since he has taken over as England captain, there have been few incidents, except for his swinging arm on Sean O’Brien in the Champions Cup last season.
He will need to continue to lead by example to ensure that high standards continue to remain in the squad.
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