Now that England’s final 31-man squad has been confirmed, we take a look at the team likely to be selected for their opening game of the World Cup…
England’s clear stand out full back is pretty much guaranteed to start all the important games unless injury strikes.
Watson looks like England’s go to winger right now, his ability to cover full back is also a huge bonus.
The stand out player in the Six Nations who can also cover the wing meaning he will be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Barritt is England’s only experienced inside centre so is likely to start unless we see something special from Burgess of Slade against Ireland.
Under pressure against France Nowell outshone Jonny May so looks the likely starter for the first game at least.
Ford had a shaky start against France the other week, but still remains England’s most rounded option at fly half.
Was possibly outshone by Care against France, but has enough credit in the back from the Six Nations to start.
With Ben Morgan still struggling for full match fitness, Vunipola looks the safest bet to start the first game at least.
As captain of the site, it’s difficult to see England selecting anyone other than Robshaw at openside for the opener.
It’s a close call between Haskell and Wood, but given the Wasps man has had more game time for England recently he gets the nod.
England’s all round lock, Lawes runs the line out whilst also being a physical presence around the pitch.
It’s important to ensure Launchbury is fully match fit, but if so he has to start given his performances for England.
Cole didn’t have his best game against France but remains England’s most impressive option at tighthead.
His line outs may look shaky but there is no other serious contender for the starting hooker spot right now.
Has been England’s first choice loosehead for some time now and should remain so for the time being at least.
Could help shore up the line out if it goes awry. .
Big ball carrying option off the bench.
The next best option to Cole at tighthead.
Offers more impact off the bench than Parling.
Covers all three back row positions.
Offers more impact off the bench than Wigglesworth.
Covers fly half and centre plus has very reliable boot.
Offers something different to Barritt and Joseph in the midfield.