Jones defends training approach

England head coach Eddie Jones has hit back at claims his intense training sessions are putting players' health at risk.

Ben Te'o is the latest England star to be hurt on international duty after the Worcester centre aggravated a thigh problem when performing a weights session last week.

Te'o first sustained the injury while playing for England during this year's Six Nations tournament.

It raises the number of casualties during Jones' England camps to 15.

Five of those are Bath players and the Premiership club's owner Bruce Craig has slammed Jones, saying the injuries are "totally unacceptable".

"There has got to be significant questions asked about duty of care. What is going on in the camp?" he complained.

But Jones hasn't backed down and on Wednesday he insisted his demanding methods are necessary to prepare his team for the intensity of international competition.

"I don't have any concerns. We train appropriately for Test match rugby," Jones told Sky Sports.

"The only reason I'd alter it is if we need to train harder, or we need to train lighter, to be at our best for Test matches.

"We prepare players for Test matches. I don't think anyone at a club has the right to tell a coach how to train a Test team."

Jones is adamant the amount of injuries suffered by England players is nothing unusual.

I haven't seen any figures to suggest the number of injuries are unacceptable," he told the BBC.

"No one on our staff has suggested they are, but Bruce is obviously an expert in training-ground injuries, so I'll have to be subservient to his greater knowledge."

Te'o was set to start at outside centre when England face South Africa in their Test series opener at Ellis Park on June 9, but instead he must undergo surgery but should be fit for the start of next season.

"Benny was tight after a weights session - during the weights session when he was doing a lift he felt some tightness about his knee," Jones said.

"He was scanned and it showed he had an old tear from the Six Nations game against France, and therefore it was too big a risk to take him on tour.

"The injury is one of those corks and when you've got a cork you've always got damage to the muscle. Sometimes they repair and sometimes they don't.

“He'll be back for the start of the season."

Doubt persists over the fitness of Billy Vunipola, whose return from a fractured arm has been followed by persistent hamstring issues.

The number eight played in Saracens' Premiership final victory over Exeter on Saturday, but he could still miss the series opener against the Springboks.

“We still have a concern over his hamstring and how fit he is going to be," Jones said.

"It's still a little bit tight so we have just got to be careful with him.

He might be right for Saturday week.

"We have gone through a long period without Billy and while he's a great player we have been able to cope without him.

"We want him back in the side, but if he's not we will work out another way to play."