Exciting Times for Eddie’s England

Eddie Jones cut his squad sending Mike Brown, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Spencer and Ben Te’o home ahead of England’s first warm-up against Wales and also the final match for England players to stake a claim to be named in the final 31 man group on Monday 12th August.

This England team is young, exciting and hungry for success. Although the Six Nations was mixed bag for England, from the immense high of the bonus point win at the Aviva Stadium to the hammer blow of losing to Wales after having held the lead at half-time, this team are going to pose some serious problems at the World Cup.

England have that warrior spirit embodied by captain, Owen Farrell along with Exeter livewire Jack Nowell and workhorse blindside flanker Mark Wilson.

Credit: Instagram (@owenfaz)

England have powerful, bruising carriers in the Saracens trio of Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola and of course the scintillating centre, Manu Tuilagi.

England have incisive runners and deadly finishers with the playmaking Henry Slade, explosive Jonny May and exciting Elliot Daly.

In short England have it all. They can mount a serious challenge even with the challenges of France and Argentina in their pool.

They have the attacking prowess, their impressive 24 try haul in the Six Nations is testament to that, what we also saw in the Six Nations was England show us they have cohesive attacking moves in place. The kicking game that bamboozled Ireland’s makeshift fullback Robbie Henshaw and France’s stand in at 15 Yoann Huget.

Credit: Instagram (@robhenshaw)

Then there was the startling power game exhibited against Italy where England unleashed a centre partnership of Te’o and Tuilagi tipping the scales at about 220 kilos (485 lbs) along with Bath Rugby’s X Factor winger, Joe Cokanasiga.

This coupled with an incredibly effective rush defence implemented by John Mitchell makes England strong. The rush defence of England suffocated Ireland into submission, it blew France away and snuffed out Italy’s probing attack at Twickenham.

Wales may have won the Six Nations and Ireland may have beaten New Zealand and be ranked second and third respectively but to regard this England side as anything other than possible champions would be foolish.

Credit: Instagram (@walesrugbyunion)

This Sunday England’s stars get their last chance to impress against Wales in front of 82,000, and make no mistake England will be going full throttle and that pedal will be well and truly pushed to the floor right up until the end of their World Cup journey.

Possible 23 to face Wales

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins) 2 Jack Singleton (Worcester) 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins) 4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath) 6 Maro Itoje (Saracens) 7 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton) 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester) 10 Owen Farrell (Captain, Saracens) 11 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath) 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester) 13 Jonathan Joseph 14 Anthony Watson (both Bath) 15 Elliot Daly (Saracens)

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter) 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester) 18 Harry Williams (Exeter) 19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps) 20 Sam Underhill (Bath) 21 Ben Youngs (Leicester) 22 Piers Francis (Northampton) 23 Joe Marchant (Harlequins)

World XV: Part One

We at Rugby360 are passionate about rugby. Here is our Dream Team. Think you could do better, let us know in the comments.

1 Cian Healy (Ireland)

The Ireland prop was resurgent last season. At 31 he is in his prime for a prop, expect him to wrestle with Leinster teammate Jack McGrath for the starting berth in the green of Ireland. A monster in the scrum.

2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa)

The most dynamic hooker in world rugby. This season he has also improved his set piece game one hundred times over. One to watch this autumn.

3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Massive for the Lions and he is continuing to improve. Furlong is redefining the role of a tighthead prop. Nobody can match the Irish prop for all round ability.

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

This man could probably play lock, flanker, centre or out on the wing. He’s quick, powerful, dominant in the lineout. The best second row in the world, a formidable partner to Sam Whitelock.

5 Maro Itoje (England)

Too good to leave out. He was a bit lacklustre for England last term but in his early season games for Saracens he certainly looks to have his swagger back. A future England captain in the making.

USO - Saracens - 20151213 - Maro Itoje attacking
By Clément Bucco-Lechat – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46847620

6 Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)

Hugely influential for both his province and country. O’Mahony is great on the floor almost like a second openside but works so hard in the loose too. A real leader.

7 David Pocock (Australia)

The greatest openside in the game. Unrivalled at the breakdown, the turnover king. Pocock has all the attributes needed to be one of the best opensides of all time. Not as quick as Hooper, Todd or Kolisi but so much better in every other department.

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand)

Lucky that Billy Vunipola has had his share of injuries. Read is the quintessential All Black. Gives his all on the field, never settles for second best, a testament to the longevity of the All Blacks and an asset to any team.

There are our forwards picks! Stay tuned for our backs tomorrow!