Rugby Union

Eddie Jones says he is fully committed to England.

Eddie Jones repeats: My commitment is to England, not British and Irish Lions

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Eddie Jones has declared he is "completely unavailable" to coach the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand next year as the clamour for his appointment begins.

England's series triumph over Australia with a Test to spare, sealed by a 23-7 victory in Melbourne, has identified Jones as the outstanding candidate for the post.

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The unbeaten start to his reign will number nine wins if the whitewash is completed at Allianz Stadium and they have already climbed to second in the world rankings with the Grand Slam secured in March.

Jones had already stated he would not be available to plot the All Blacks' downfall and despite his dizzying success against Australia, his position remains unchanged.

"I'm completely unavailable - completely unavailable," said Jones, who hopes England will supply in the region of 15 players to the Lions squad.

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"I signed a four-year contract to make England the best team in the world and I'm going to spend every minute I have doing that.

"If I took the Lions job, I would have to spend anything from six to 12 months not doing that."

The stirring rearguard action at AAMI Park has seen bookmakers install Jones as favourite for the post of head coach and Dylan Hartley as the most likely choice of captain.

However, Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie - who sits on the Lions' board - has left little doubt that Jones will be taking England to Argentina next June.

"It's categorical. It was discussed between Eddie and myself. We said we did not want him to do it and he did not want to do it because his focus is on the 2019 World Cup," Ritchie said.

"And I explained that categorically at the Lions board. Eddie does not want to do it and we want him to stay and coach England. It's a mutual thing.

"Both us of feel that between now and 2019, Eddie's focus is on the World Cup and nothing will change that.

"I can understand it's a great thing that people might want Eddie to do the job because he's been so successful in the eight games he's had with us, but it ain't going to change.

"I made it very clear that that is the case and the Lions respect that."

Jones' coaching lieutenants Paul Gustard, Steve Borthwick and Neal Hatley could still be released for the Lions, according to Ritchie.

It is the first time England have won a series against one of the established southern hemisphere giants, but Jones will only be satisfied if Australia are whitewashed.

"Next weekend is the most important weekend, so I'm not getting too carried away with this win," Jones said.

"It's nice to win, to have the series done, but we want to win 3-0, then no one can argue that you're not the better team.

"If you win a series 3-0, no one can say 'it's this referee's decision, they did this, that, we weren't happy with this'.

"If you win 3-0, then people have got to say 'this team is conclusively better than the other team. That's what we want to be'.

"There'll be a few changes. In all honesty, when I looked at the team in Melbourne, there were some guys there with only 80 minutes in them.

"They've been up since June last year and some are starting to show some signs of battle weariness, so we're going to have to make some changes."

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