Should This Be England’s Experimental XV For Their First Warm-Up Game?


With the Rugby World Cup just a couple of months away, we take a look at which England players need to be given chance to prove themselves before the tournament kicks off…

15.Anthony Watson

Although Watson’s place is pretty much guaranteed, he’s likely to be seen as a winger rather than a full back. It would therefore be useful to see how well he can cover 15 on the international stage to decide whether dedicated bench cover is necessary during tournament games.

14.Chris Ashton

Ashton has had a fantastic season for Saracens, and has shown a new maturity which has earned him a recall to the England squad. He now needs to be given an opportunity to prove he can still perform on the highest level, whilst maintaining his discipline.

13.Henry Slade

The young Exeter centre looks like a good outside bet for a place in the squad, thanks to his great form this year, and versatility in a limited squad. England now need chance to look at him during an international game to see whether he has the maturity to step up yet.

12.Sam Burgess

The England coaching staff have confirmed they see Burgess as a centre rather than back rower, so he now needs to be given the opportunity to prove himself in this role. Although it looks like the World Cup may come a year too early, he needs the chance at least.

11.Semesa Rokoduguni

After a difficult debut against the All Blacks, injuries quickly hampered Rokoduguni’s England progress and soon saw others jump ahead of him. He now needs to be given a chance to show what he can do in an England shirt once more.

10.Danny Cipriani

With Ford and Farrell pretty much guaranteed places, it could come down to whether or not Slade is selected as to whether Cipriani makes the final squad. He therefore needs the chance to put his case forward during a live game.

9.Danny Care

Care’s patchy form this season means he has slipped down the pecking order, however he needs to be given chance to get back to the kind of form he showed 18 months ago to prove he is worth of a place in the final 31 man squad.

8.Ben Morgan

Injuries somewhat derailed Morgan’s World Cup ambitions, however he is now back in full training with the squad so needs as much game time as England can afford him to get back to full match fitness and prove he is worth of a place in the final squad.

7.Chris Robshaw

Robshaw is a guaranteed selection at the World Cup, and with nobody likely to seriously challenge him for the number seven shirt he is best being given as much time as possible in the captaincy role to ensure he can hone his decision making skills.

6.James Haskell

Despite an outstanding season for Wasps, Haskell’s form for England can be described as patchy at best, he therefore needs to be given the opportunity to prove himself worthy of the starting shirt before the World Cup kicks off.

5.Dave Attwood

The Bath lock had a somewhat disappointing Six Nations which may have severely dented his World Cup ambitions. Despite this, he has still had another solid season for Bath so deserves one more chance before any final selections are made.

4.Joe Launchbury

Launchbury looks likely to pick up where he left off for England before a season long injury this year, but now needs to be given as much game time as physically possible to ensure he is match sharp before the tournament itself kicks off.

3.Kieran Brookes

Brookes looks like he could be selected as the fifth choice prop thanks in part to his ability to cover both sides of the scrum. What the England coaches need now is to see him able to hold his own against top class opposition for England to cement his place.

2.Luke Cowan-Dickie

If there’s any chance of Cowan-Dickie going to the World Cup then he needs to be given international experience before the tournament begins. These warm-up games are therefore ideal for testing whether he has what it takes.

1.Alex Corbisiero

Injuries have been a huge issue throughout Corbisiero’s career and could be set to cost him a place in the World Cup squad. Despite this, his experience with the Lions two years ago means he needs to be given the opportunity to prove himself once more.



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