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Ben Te’o’s sudden move to Toulon had no impact on England’s Rugby World Cup replacement list, despite the centre being an obvious choice to receive a call-up in the event of injury in Japan, claimed Eddie Jones.
The former Worcester Warriors centre ruled himself out of England contention on Wednesday by signing a deal with French club Toulon, meaning that he falls foul of the Rugby Football Union’s regulations to only select players based within the country or those who have signed a deal to do so.
Te’o found himself axed from the England squad earlier this summer following an altercation in Italy with veteran full-back Mike Brown, and their pair were notable omissions when Jones named his 31-man squad last week with the likes of Ruaridh McConnochie and Piers Francis named instead.
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Te’o is understood to be deeply unhappy with the decision, and subsequently agreed to join Top 14 side Toulon where he is expected on Friday to undergo a medical. But Jones, who has repeatedly said over his four-year tenure as England boss that he will only select players who want to play for England, said on Thursday that Te’o’s sudden unavailability does not alter his contingency plans in the event that injury strikes during the World Cup.
“Everyone makes a choice,” Jones said. “Ben’s made his choice. So we wish him all the best and we just get on with it.
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