We take a look at what the England coaches are likely to have learnt from last weekends clash with Wales and the Premiership and Pro12 finals.
1.Danny Care has to start at nine
Fans have been calling for it for some time now, but surely something has to change at scrum half for the tour of Australia. As good as Ben Youngs is when firing, he was extremely poor against Wales this weekend and there was a notable upturn in tempo when Danny Care came on. Unless he can find form quickly, Care must start in the first test.
2.Concerns will continue over the number 12 shirt
With Manu Tuilagi out injured and Ben Te’o and Henry Slade failing to impress during the Pro12 and Premiership finals respectively, there must now be concerns about the number 12 shirt. In fairness, Slade seemed to improve when he shifted from 13 to 12, however for the first test at least it looks like England should stick with Ford at 10 and Farrell at 12.
3.The back row is ready for a shake up
Both Teimana Harrison and Jack Clifford had excellent games against Wales making it clear now is the time for a bit of a shake up in the back row. It seems Billy Vunipola’s place at eight is secure, however Jones must be looking at either Haskell or Robshaw and thinking Clifford probably deserves a start whilst Harrison’s versatility should earn him a spot on the bench.
4.Competition in the second row is fierce
As incredible at Maro Itoje and George Kruis have been in the second row, Joe Launchbury provided us with a timely reminder as to why he is still an international class lock. Courtney Lawes also put in a decent shift and will have heaped pressure on the starting duo to ensure they remain at their very best in order to hold onto their starting shirts.
5.There aren’t enough half backs
With both Ben Youngs and George Ford struggling in various facets of their game against Wales over the weekend, it raised the serious question as to what alternatives there are. The likes of Danny Cipriani and Dan Robson are touring South Africa with the Saxons so it seems the half backs are guaranteed at least a bench spot despite the form they display.
6.Playing heads up rugby actually works
For years England have focussed far too much on the set piece and structures instead of exploiting the undoubted talents of their players. It seems under Eddie Jones this is finally beginning to change, however this style must continue to evolve if the side are to stand a chance of causing an upset in the Wallabies backyard.
7.Jack Nowell is a vital part of the starting XV
Whilst Saracens dominated the Premiership final for the most part, one of the redeeming features for Exeter Chiefs was the form of Jack Nowell. He was absolutely everywhere both in attack and defence and made telling contributions at both ends of the field. His form has been so good that he must now be considered one of the first names in the England team.