Jones: Lions call-ups should be on merit, not geographical proximity


England players are expected to be overlooked when additions to the British and Irish Lions squad are announced, leaving Eddie Jones to question the process that is being followed.

While no call-ups have yet been confirmed by the Lions, it is believed Warren Gatland will add up to six players to his squad in order to ensure those featuring in the three Tests against New Zealand are not required to play twice in a week.

On Friday, multiple reports claimed the extra players would come from Wales and Scotland, who are currently on respective tours in Australasia.

As a result, the likes of Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw, Joe Launchbury and George Ford - all thought to be strong contenders for Gatland's initial 41-man squad - are expected to remain with England in Argentina.

England head coach Jones told BBC Radio 5 live: "The Lions is a prestigious team - when you become a Lion, you're remembered for life.

"My only comment would be I would like to see it picked on merit rather than geographical proximity.

"It's only a 13-hour trip from here to New Zealand. The [England] boys could be there."

The Lions face the Maori All Blacks on Saturday as they look to bounce back from a second tour defeat in midweek, at the hands of the Highlanders.

A clash with the Chiefs follows next Tuesday before the first Test against the All Blacks on June 24.