Aviva Premiership
Doran Jones: England players focused
ESPNscrum Staff
December 2, 2011
Doran-Jones previews the East Midlands derby

Northampton Saints and England prop Paul Doran Jones has rubbished suggestions that the likes of Chris Ashton and Ben Foden's game have been affected by the turmoil surrounding the international side.

England have been in the press for all the wrong reasons in recent times but out of the ashes of their failed World Cup campaign have come a group of young players who came out of the leaked reports with their reputations intact. While Ashton finished the 2011 global gathering as joint top try-scorer, he is still finding his feet back on the club scene. Doran Jones - who was part of last year's England Elite Player Squad - believes the players who were out in New Zealand have since put the disappointing campaign to one side.

"I haven't seen any adverse affects as a result of the World Cup," Doran Jones told ESPNscrum. "The boys are back at the club and there is not much chat about England as we are away from the camp. We are just focussing on making ourselves better players.

"I doubt Chris [Ashton] would have been affected by it. He's a professional and if there is a poor performance, we try and make up for it a week later by focussing on patterns and plays and we always put a big emphasis on a collective team effort rather than singling out individuals win or lose. We will look to build on the match win over Saracens against the Tigers this weekend."

With uncertainty surrounding the England team, there will be opportunities for new faces to force their way into the reckoning. While Doran Jones is on the bench for Saturday's clash with the Leicester Tigers, there may be an opportunity during the match to tee up an opportunity to face fellow England front-row Dan Cole. And Doran Jones believes it is these sorts of occasions where he has to shine if he is to make his claim for a starting berth both for club and country.

"People will look at these sorts of matches as an audition for England but I will be just focussing on trying to impress when I'm on the pitch," Doran-Jones said. "If or when I do get on the pitch I will give it my all as I will be in the shop window.

"If the team does well then it helps me. As a prop it's not a position where you get much glory but for those who know the intricacies of the position they will know whether you've played well or not. If we are playing and playing well then the England stuff will take care of it itself."

And with Saints boss Jim Mallinder a name in the frame to take over from Martin Johnson as England boss, Doran Jones says the rumours have not been a distraction to the team. "There's been the speculation in the press about Jim [Mallinder] but there has not been much said around here. As far as we are concerned it's a case of getting your head down and getting on with the job."

Paul Doran Jones was speaking on behalf of Premiership Rugby league sponsors Aviva, who are undertaking a project to find the Aviva Premiership's 'most passionate fans'. They are scientifically investigating passion levels of 30 Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints at the East Midlands derby on Saturday. For more information, visit www.avivapremiership.com/passionate

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