9 England Players Who Played Their Way Into World Cup Contention Against The Barbarians


We take a look at nine England players who have improved their World Cup selection chances after an impressive victory over the Barbarians…

1. Joe Launchbury

It was almost inevitable Launchbury would be straight back into World Cup contention as soon as he came back from injury. What the Barbarians game did is cement his place in the side by proving that even after being absent through injury for so long, he is still more than capable of stepping it up.

Selection chances – 10/10

2. Danny Cipriani

Kicking 11 out of 11, scoring two tries and generally orchestrating the game well, Cipriani now must be in with a good shot. He also displayed his versatility by slotting in at full back for the last 20, and showed a calm composure throughout the game which has been absent for large parts of his career.

Selection chances – 8/10

3. Marland Yarde

Yarde did his World Cup selection chances no harm at all with a solid display on the wing. He got on the score sheet, set up his fellow winger Christian Wade and was generally involved in some good play for England. He also showed an added maturity to his  game which has been missing at times in an England shirt.

Selection chances – 7/10

4. Henry Slade

Slade put in another solid performance in an England shirt, displaying his full array of talents including his kicking from hand, passing and ability to run with the ball. Outside of Cipriani he helped orchestrate England’s backline and was a rock in defence putting in some big tackles and getting involved at the breakdown.

Selection chances – 7/10

5. Ed Slater

Another player who has only recently come back from a long term injury, Ed Slater did his selection chances no harm at all. He was busy all game long, putting in some big tackles and carries and displaying his leadership qualities. He showed he could well be England’s third choice lock for the World Cup.

Selection chances – 6/10

6. Luke Cowan-Dickie

Cowan-Dickie looked excellent in the loose, with some big carries and tackles as he kept himself busy during his time on the field. The one potential concern however will be over his line-out throwing which was slightly off target on a number of occasions against the Barbarians, although there is still time to address this.

Selection chances – 6/10

7. Christian Wade

Wade scored a hat-trick against the Barbarians with some magnificent moments of individual brilliance that will have caught the eye. The one disappointment however will be dropping the ball when trying to dot down for an easy finish which could count against him. He did prove he offers a try scoring threat at all times.

Selection chances – 5/10

8. Kieran Brookes

Despite a slow start to the game, Brookes did his selection chances no harm with an impressive display, including a chase through and tackle which resulted in a try after the ball was turned over. Brookes ability to play both sides of the scrum will also count hugely in his favour when the 31 man squad is named.

Selection chances – 5/10

9. Lee Dickson

Dickson had a solid if unspectacular game against the Barbarians, with some decent kicks and passes. He certainly didn’t do his selection chances any harm as he captained a young England side to a comprehensive victory, however he may not have done quite enough to break back into the final England squad.

Selection chances – 4/10



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