Jones hints at future Lions coaching interest


England head coach Eddie Jones has suggested he would be interested in leading the British and Irish Lions on a future tour.

A total of 14 England players have been included in Warren Gatland's 41-man Lions squad to tour New Zealand in June and July.

Jones has guided England to back-to-back Six Nations titles and is under contract with the Rugby Football Union until the end of the 2019 World Cup.

Beyond that, he intimated he would consider the opportunity to coach the Lions if the chance arose.

"I don't think it's something you aspire to - it's something that happens," Jones told The Daily Express.

"You do your job, you do it as well as you can and if someone says they want you to coach the Lions then you give it due credit.

"If someone taps you on the shoulder and says, 'come on old chap, do you want to coach the Lions?' then you think about it.

"People see the Lions as the ultimate rugby experience whether for a player, a supporter or a coach. I think it's fantastic and I am really excited for the guys that are going this time."

Although England's bid to outstrip New Zealand with a 19th successive Test victory fell short with a Six Nations Grand Slam-denying defeat to Ireland in March, Jones talked of their desire to take on the All Blacks in 2017.

The Australian reiterated his opinion Steve Hansen's side are not the force they were when they successfully defended the World Cup in 2015 and feels a first series win in New Zealand since 1971 could well be on the cards for the Lions.

Jones said: "I believe they are they are for the taking. Their team has gone through a massive regeneration.

"They've lost [Conrad] Smith, [Ma'a] Nonu, [Kevin] Mealamu, [Tony] Woodcock, [Richie] McCaw, [Dan] Carter - six guys who have all played 80 Tests or more.

"It doesn't matter how good the players coming through are, they don't have that core of experience. If you are going to beat the Kiwis, now is the time to beat them."