Northampton says Sam Vesty is unavailable as Eddie Jones seeks new attack coach

England have been given a hands-off warning by Northampton as they look to recruit a new attack coach in time for the Six Nations.

Eddie Jones is scouring the game for a successor to Scott Wisemantel who quit his post to return to Australia after guiding England to the World Cup final.

Sam Vesty is the talk of the Premiership, having helped transform Northampton from a journeymen side into the free-scoring league leaders, unbeaten in Europe.

He also worked alongside Jones on a short-term basis in 2017, steering England to a 2-0 series win in Argentina.

With England refusing to state their preferred option to replace Wisemantel, Saints boss Chris Boyd took it upon himself to volunteer Vesty’s unavailability.

“Sam is contracted with us for another 15 years!” he said, only half joking. “I wouldn’t be releasing him, that’s for sure.

“Bringing him here was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I suppose everyone’s got their price – if it’s about money. But I think Sam’s a bit more about job than money.”

Vesty has made no secret of his ambition to one day coach England again but is on record as saying the time is not yet right.

The British and Irish Lions will today unveil the itinerary for their 2021 South Africa tour, an eight-match, three-Test voyage lasting five weeks.

Team boss Warren Gatland has thus far been frustrated in his quest to play a June 26 warm-up match on home soil before flying off to face the world champions.

Pro14 chiefs have agreed to bring forward their final by a week to accommodate the Lions but Premiership Rugby will not.

“They have said they’re not moving their final which I find very disappointing,” said Gatland. “Hopefully commonsense will prevail.

“I am saying to the clubs and the Premiership, embrace the Lions, you are going to play the world champions. There’s an opportunity for players to go on a Lions tour and come back as superstars.

“We’re missing a trick here. I cannot understand why the Premiership would not want to be more positive and be doing more.”

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