England coach Jones bruises eye, offers several reasons why

By Associated Press 26 January 2017, 12:00AM

LONDON (AP) — With a bandaged left eye, England coach Eddie Jones was the center of attention at the launch of this year's Six Nations rugby tournament on Wednesday.

The cause of the injury remained unclear, with varying explanations provided.

The bruised Jones made light of the wound, joking it was the result of combat sports with his players.

"First we had judo and then we had MMA, so we're just going through all the martial arts sports to see what effect they have on the body," Jones said.

But the questions didn't go away.

"I slipped over in the hotel this morning," Jones said, providing a more detailed reason. "My mother always told me I've got to shave and I forgot to shave. I walked out of the shower to get the shaver and this is what happened. I follow what my mother says."

Jones then said the injury was sustained while on the recent training trip to Portugal.

"Tough old training camp, mate," Jones told a reporter. "I just slipped over and got my head cut at training, but no big deal."

Jones is preparing for the defense of the Six Nations title after opening his reign with 13 straight wins last year, and he has confirmed Dylan Hartley as captain despite the hooker's latest on-field indiscretion.

Hartley was sent off for the third time in his career when he struck Leinster and Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien from behind while playing for Northampton in a European club match on Dec. 3.

He was banned for six weeks, a suspension that only ended on Monday. By the time France visits Twickenham for England's Six Nations opener on Feb. 4, Hartley will not have played for more than two months and his disciplinary record now consists of 60 weeks of bans.

Hartley feared he'd compromised his captaincy, saying: "Of course. There is a responsibility ... We want to be the best team in the world, and to be a part of that and feel it is going somewhere is a privilege. I have had a good reality check."

Under instruction from Jones, Hartley has been practicing his defensive technique during England's recent training camps.

By Associated Press 26 January 2017, 12:00AM

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