Jones targets Cole and Simmonds for Barbarians at Twickenham

Former England head coach Eddie Jones targets reunion with former Red Rose forwards Dan Cole and Sam Simmonds as he pursues winning Twickenham return as Barbarians boss against a World XV

  • Jones to make swift return to Twickenham after being sacked in December 
  • He will take charge of the Barbarians for the second time against a World XV
  • Jones has begun planning for May fixture by approaching Cole and Simmonds

Eddie Jones has targeted his former England players Dan Cole and Sam Simmonds to feature for the Barbarians as the Australian plans a winning Twickenham return.

Jones was sacked as England head coach in December and replaced by Steve Borthwick after just one win in a disappointing autumn campaign.

But the 62-year-old will be back at his former home in May when he will take charge of the Barbarians for the second time against a World XV side coached by Steve Hansen.

Eddie Jones to make swift return to Twickenham after being sacked by England in December

Sportsmail understands Jones has already begun planning for that fixture by approaching Leicester prop Cole and Exeter’s Montpellier-bound back-row Simmonds to play.

Both forwards have accepted the invitation on the basis they will be available.

The Twickenham game takes place on May 28, the day after the Premiership final at the same venue.

Jones has begun planning for the Barbarians fixture by approaching former England prop Cole (above)

Should Leicester or Exeter make that showpiece tie, Cole and Simmonds would have to pull out of Barbarians duty.

‘Eddie is determined to win when he returns to Twickenham for the first time since leaving the England job,’ a Barbarians source told Sportsmail.

‘To do that against a World XV coached by a two-time World Cup winner in Steve, we want to give him the strongest possible side we can.

‘Dan and Sam are established international players and Premiership stars who have indicated their eagerness to represent one of rugby’s most historic sides.

‘If their respective clubs make the Premiership final then that of course will be their priority but if not, then we would love to have them pull on the famous black and white shirt.’

At 35, veteran tighthead Cole is poised to return to England’s squad for the Six Nations when it is named by Borthwick next week.

He hasn’t played a Test since the 2019 World Cup final defeat by South Africa where he struggled badly at the scrum.

Exeter’s Montpellier-bound back-row Sam Simmonds could also feature for the Barbarians

But his form for Leicester – where he played under Borthwick – has been solid and his set-piece ability is something the new England boss is a fan of.

The Barbarians game could also be a Twickenham goodbye for Simmonds. He will move from Exeter to French champions Montpellier after this year’s World Cup and bring his England career to an end.

General admission tickets for Barbarian F.C. vs World XV are on sale now from at the early-bird price of just £25* for Adults and £15* for Under-16s

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