England should have 'at least 15' in Lions squad - Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones expects "at least 15" of his players to be selected for Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions squad that tours New Zealand in 2017.

Following Jones' appointment as the successor to Stuart Lancaster, in the wake of a woeful Rugby World Cup campaign on home soil last year, England have enjoyed a swift upturn in fortunes.

A first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years marked an excellent start to Jones' reign, before the 56-year-old oversaw a 3-0 Test series victory in Australia.

Lions coach Gatland has been impressed by what he has seen and recently stated: "The best thing at the moment about the Lions, and purely with my Lions hat on, is the improvement in England over the last 12 months."

Jones told Sky Sports News: "I would be disappointed if we did not get at least 15 players on the Lions tour and hopefully get one or two of our coaches on the coaching staff.

"That is ultimately Warren's decision, but if we do a good job - particularly in the November Tests and Six Nations - then we should be rewarded with at least 15 spots."

Although Gatland led the Lions to success in Australia three years ago, he is set to face a stiffer task this time around against rugby union's dominant nation.

Seemingly untroubled by the retirements of several leading players, New Zealand have continued to look a class apart since retaining their World Cup title last year.

Yet Jones believes the Lions can nevertheless pull off a huge upset.

"The All Blacks are good but, like any side, they are beatable," he added.

"They have got perceptible weaknesses and I am sure Warren is going to work very hard over the next 12 months to find those weaknesses.

"The Lions can definitely win. I think if there is ever an opportunity to beat the All Blacks, it is now.

"They have had a massive rebuilding, have lost five players - 800-900 caps. While new players have come in and done well, it does expose an opportunity for other teams."

Read Full Story