The England Team That Eddie Jones Should Pick For The Autumn Internationals
Eddie Jones yesterday named his England Squad for the Autumn International Series. He has stayed true to form and rewarded a number of young players who have put their hands up in recent times. Notable omissions include James Haskell and Alex Goode. Haskell’s form perhaps justifies his non-inclusion but many may feel that Goode is unlucky to miss out.
One thing that cannot be denied is the strength in depth across the board and the fact that Eddie Jones is likely to have a considerable headache when it comes to selection. To ease that stress, here is the starting 15 that Jones should select this Autumn.
1. Mako Vunipola – His work rate and contribution in the loose will prove invaluable to England against the typically fast tempo Southern Hemisphere sides. It would be great to see the barnstorming Ellis Genge on the pitch as the game progresses as a replacement.
2. Jamie George – A ‘no brainer’ made all the more impressive that he would oust the current England Captain. Started all three lions tests and has been outstanding since he returned.
3. Dan Cole – A rock in the front row, there is nothing that anyone can throw at him which he hasn’t seen before.
4. Maro Itoje – Need I say more….
5. George Kruis – Will control the lineout. His work rate in defence is huge!
6. Courtney Lawes – Two seasons ago, you might be forgiven in thinking that he was in the autumn of his career. How wrong we all were. He has been unstoppable for Northampton and it would be fair to say he is a major reason for Northampton’s return to the upper tier of the table.
7. Sam Underhill – You can mention this young man in the same breath as Neil Back, George Smith and Richie McKaw. He really is that good.
8. Nathan Hughes – An able replacement for Billy Vunipola. Who didn’t enjoy watching him propel Dave Ward into the atmosphere with that fend last weekend. It would be good to see him taken off at 60 minutes to give the highly rated Sam Simmonds an opportunity to show what he is made of.
9. Ben Youngs – Like Lawes, Ben Youngs is in the form of his life. He looks lighter, quicker and invigorated. Previous criticism of his speed of service has been well and truly put to bed.
10. George Ford – Looks like a new man outside of Ben Youngs and inside Toomua at Leicester. Will continue his fruitful partnership with Farrell outside him.
11. Elliot Daly – Despite Wasps struggling, his performances for the Lions were spectacular. His long range goal kicking will always be in the opposition’s minds.
12. Owen Farrell – Was outstanding for the Lions, his game management is near perfect and will undoubtedly take on the goal kicking duties. Will front up and deliver.
13. Jonathan Joseph – Consistently performs in an England Shirt. The pace he can offer to the that 13 channel with the back three outside him should challenge any defence. Henry Slade to come on at 60 minutes to change the attacking structure.
14. Jonny May – Scoring for fun. Just give him the ball in space.
15. Anthony Watson – Brave and evasive. Despite being slightly out of position from his favoured wing, will complement an electric outside back division.
Whoever Jones selects you cannot deny this is going to be one hell of a series.
Mike Brown (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Piers Francis (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)