England’s Midfield Make-Up

England have an abundance of options for their pivotal 10,12,13 combination in the middle of the park with Eddie Jones selecting two fly-halves and four centres.

Here we look at three potential combinations Jones could pick for England in their tougher games they will face at the World Cup.

Option One: 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens) 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

This was England’s favoured combination during the most recent Six Nations with the captain pulling the strings.

This combination offers a lot of balance in the centres with the power from the Samoan born Tuilagi and the playmaking, attacking play of Henry Slade who has the ability to execute a deft chip or burn his man on the outside.

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It worked incredibly well against Ireland and France as Henry Slade played the best rugby he ever has for England and alongside an in-form Owen Farrell and a fit again Manu Tuilagi this combination is a formidable unit.

Option Two: 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers) 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens) 13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

This would reinstate the partnership that Eddie Jones won back-to-back Six Nations titles and a tour to Australia with. Starting both specialist fly-halves George Ford and Owen Farrell.

George Ford is excellent in attack he plays flat to the line and with him playing so flat he can expose any rush defences England may come up against something teams like Wales have mastered and use it to suffocate the opposition.

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Having Tuilagi at outside centre gives England the powerful carrier in the backs that can get England on the front foot and provide Ben Youngs with the quick ball that is so important in the modern game.

Option Three: 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens) 12 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints) 13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Piers Francis has impressed over the summer so far really showing that he is deserving of his place in England’s final 31 man squad ahead of former rugby league star Ben Te’o.

Francis also has played at stand off in the past and offers a kicking option tactically which they used to unleash havoc on Ireland and France in the Six Nations as England cruised to wins.

Credit: Instagram (piersfrancis)

Jonathan Joseph has real pace and given space can punish defences with his outside arcing run that he has become known for. This combination is by far the most unknown quantity but this trio could be bedded in with England opening their Japan campaign against Tonga followed by a test against the fast improving USA.

Two Teams Setting Pace in Premiership

England’s domestic competition is among the toughest in the world, it’s so competitive. There are two runaway leaders at the moment though, Saracens and Exeter Chiefs are leading the way and both are unbeaten so far eight games into the season.

The last three finals have been between the two sides, Saracens have won twice sandwiching Exeter’s solo win in the 2016/17 season.

Both teams sit on 38 points, third placed Wasps are trailing the two table toppers by 14 points. Both teams have scored a remarkable 36 tries in their opening eight games, averaging four and a half tries a game which has seen the remarkable teams both pick up six try scoring bonus points each.

Even with a large number of internationals these teams continue to lead the way. The depth of both teams is frightening, for example Saracens have the luxury of Owen Farrell, Alex Lozowski and the potentially great Max Malins to choose from. Exeter’s power game is famed and with good reason with all four of their best props recently playing for their respective countries in the November internationals Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams, Ben Moon (all England) and Tomas Francis (Wales).

There is no doubt the talent these squads possess and they also have absolutely brilliant coaches, Rob Baxter has taken Exeter from the middle of the Championship to the summit of English rugby in remarkable fashion and continues to develop his squad into one of the most enviable in Europe.


Mark McCall at Saracens took the reigns from Brendan Venter and made the squad his own bringing in academy stars like Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell into a team led by South African and Namibian expats notably Schalk Brits, Jacques Burger and Ernst Joubert.

These teams look set to battle it out for supremacy yet again and their first meeting of the season just before Christmas at Sandy Park could well be the game of the season in what is already shaping up to be an enthralling two horse race for the Premiership.