England boss Jones says Saracens stars could skip Six Nations to help their club

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England could be without some key players for the Six Nations due to the situation at Saracens, according to Eddie Jones.
England could be without some key players for the Six Nations due to the situation at Saracens, according to Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones says there is a chance some of his England players will opt to miss the Six Nations in order to help Saracens avoid relegation.

Saracens confirmed on Monday they would not be appealing against the 35-point sanction and £5.36million fine they received for breaching the salary cap in each of the previous three seasons, leaving them well adrift at the bottom of the Premiership table.

Jones picked six Saracens players in his starting XV in the Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa, captain Owen Farrell joined by club colleagues Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly and Jamie George, plus brothers Mako and Billy Vunipola.

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England head coach Jones, who had a spell as Sarries' director of rugby earlier in his career, is contemplating the possibility of being without some of those top names early next year.

He believes they may be tempted to help the three-time European champions dodge the drop, with the league season still taking place while England are in Six Nations action between February 2 and March 14.

"It could have a significant impact," Jones said to BBC Sport when asked about how Saracens' plight could impact the national team.

"It's something we need to weigh up and look at very carefully.

"Obviously there may be some dislocation between Saracens players and the rest of the clubs. That's a reality, so we may have to work to mend those relationships a bit harder.

"And there might be some Saracens players who feel like they've got to play for their club instead of their country, to make sure they don't go down. 

"So we'll weigh all those up as they come about."

Pushed on whether any knowledge of the situation could have weighed heavily on the minds of the Saracens players at the World Cup, Jones said: "It possibly could have - we don't know about that. 

"But I think the main thing is now what we do now going forward. We are going to have to work hard to make sure we get those relationships strong again."

The punishment for Saracens sees them drop to -22 points, 26 below 11th-placed Leicester Tigers.

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