Recently it has been madness the amount of injuries Eddie Jones and the England squad have had to face, but with the starting XV almost back to full fitness things are starting to look up for the side, which is still unbeaten under Eddie’s management. The side are set to face Fiji at the weekend, and Eddie is still trying to find his perfect England XV as Alex Goode, Semesa Rokoduguni and Nathan Hughes all set to start for the unstoppable force against the Pacific Islands nation.
But with more than enough attributes between the options in Eddie’s hand, it’s going to be a year of hard decisions, as next year the squad will be split apart as the British and Irish Lions are set to take off to sunny New Zealand for their 2017 tour, leaving the England team with gaps in key positions. Although this may seem bad, it will give some of the great talent lying behind the first team a chance to flourish on a first team level in Argentina next year; essentially giving Eddie Jones an even bigger headache that he originally had… but I’m sure he can handle it. This morning The Telegraph put you into to Eddie’s shoes, giving you all his options oozing out of the England ranks…
Brown has bundles of experience, capping 53 times for England and in fact starting 47 games, making him Eddie’s undoubted first choice.
2nd choice: Alex Goode
Alex is less experienced but will not disappoint, as he is an essential for Saracens and will be in England’s near future.
3rd choice: Mike Haley
Haley is the youngster in the ranks waiting for his call to the squad, and he’ll be ready next year if England need him for Argentina.
1st choice: Jack Nowell
With his test debut only a couple of years ago (2014) Nowell has excelled with an 83% win rate and become the first choice for Eddie on the left.
2nd choice: Jonny May
May has had more experience in the white jersey than Nowell with 20 caps and is still putting up a fight for the first choice position.
3rd choice: Chris Ashton
Ashton has had as much international experience as Jonny and Jack combined, but Eddie’s choices for the left wing obviously show Eddie is looking for a change.
Farrell is holding that first choice position strongly and has also capped for the Lions, making him a well experienced lad, but could he be taken from Eddie by Gatland in the hope to take him to New Zealand.
2nd choice: Manu Tuilagi
Next year it might be a case of looking to the fringe squad for Jones as Tuilagi has also capped for the Lions, making him a potential option for Gatland also. Although, if not, he will be much appreciated in the England squad.
3rd choice: Ben Te’o
Ben Te’o is a fresh face in the England team having only played once out of club Rugby, will he be able to perform when it comes to it?
Joseph has years of international experience under his belt, still with young legs he has years to come in an England shirt, and he’s on the right track to keeping that first place spot.
2nd choice: Elliot Daly
Daly started his first game for England the other week, impressing Jones and the coaching staff, what is to become for the young lad, oh and he’s got a quality kick!
3rd choice; Joe Marchant
The 20 year old is a fringe player for England having not yet capped for his national side. Although, things are looking promising for him, with him being a solid option is Gatland chooses to snatch either of his pals from Jones.
Making the most out of his first two years in the squad, Watson has started an impressive 23 out of his 24 caps since 2014, earning his rightful spot in the starting XV.
2nd choice: Semesa Rokoduguni
Having only played once, Semesa is an unlikely candidate for Jones’ second choice.
3rd choice: Marlande Yarde
Marlande is a more likely choice for Eddie with his total of ten appearances, compared to Semesa’s less convincing one appearance.
The young Northern English lad has earned his place with both astounding skill and experience after earning the starting spot after coming off the bench just seven times previously.
2nd choice: Henry Slade
Slade may have only featured in an England shirt on two occasions but has already got one try and has shown a lot of potential.
3rd choice: Danny Cipriani
Cipriani is bringing years of experience to the table as Eddie’s third choice; being no stranger to the England set up.
At the age of 27 he has racked up an astounding 64 caps as scrum half and is not going anywhere, as he is still holding the position strongly.
2nd choice: Danny Care
Jones looks to be looking for experience off the bench with Care with only 8 starts in all 29 Premiership caps.
3rd choice: Dan Robson
If all else fails, Eddie will look to Dan Robson, who is relying on his mass of Premiership experience to prepare him for the international scene with no England caps.
This is no surprise, being a great player and having a lot of knowledge in the England set up, he is a solid player to hold the position.
2nd choice: Joe Marler
Marler is also perfect for the position, we should expect this experienced prop to contend with Maku for the top spot.
3rd choice: Matt Mullan
Due to the tours next year, Eddie needs to expand with fringe players, this being a prime example.
The guy has been around the block and is still more than up to the job after his 76 England appearances, which is what is keeping him as Eddie’s first choice at hooker.
2nd choice: Jamie George
With new ideas in mind, Goerge is in the squad, with still enough experience with 9 caps, he will be needed if Hartley wishes to join the Lions on tour, as they will need someone to hold down the fort.
3rd choice: Luke Cowan-Dickie
Luke is also here to gain experience and offer something new to the team if Jones wishes to switch up the XV over the coming games.
Cole has been stacking the caps over the past six years, allowing him to establish his place in the squad and earn a respectable reputation on the pitch.
2nd choice: Kyle Sinckler
When talking about fresh faces, you can’t get much newer than Sinckler, who only made his debut last weekend in England’s face off against South Africa, Jones must have a plan for the youngster.
3rd choice: Paul Hill
Hill is, providing an option on the bench with both international experience as a replacement and a mind to mould due to his age.
1st choice: Maro Itoje
World Rugby’s breakthrough player of the year… ‘nuf said, well earned!
2nd choice: Joe Launchbury
Backing young Maro with a load of experience is Joe Launchbury, who is looking to stack up his appearances, so the battle for No.4 is going strong.
3rd choice: Dave Attwood
If either of these two lads follow the lions across the seven seas, there’s no need to be worried, with Attwood in 3rd choice.
Kruis is taking his international career in the right direction as he is gaining his No.5 spot quite well, gaining experience for the future as he goes.
2nd choice: Courtney Lawes
As Lawes is a quality player, maybe he is in the 2nd choice position due to Jones wanting to push his less experienced talent (Kruis) and is using Lawes to do so, we’re sure that Lawes and Kruis will share the No.5 position over the coming games.
3rd choice: Mike Williams
Providing a door to the next generation of talent, with no international caps, Jones believes it is his time to make the step up.
The pinnacle of experience, you know who he is, the only first choice for BS flanker!
2nd choice: Tom Wood
Experience is key in Jones’ options for this position, with over 90 caps between just the two top choices, with Wood holding a current 43 caps for England.
3rd choice: Dave Ewers
As for Ewers, he is one of the newbies in the squad, but he is at good hands as Robshaw and Woods’ apprentice.
Again with experience as the centre of the position, there is nothing to threat, you know what you’re dealing with when Haskell is on.
2nd choice: Jack Clifford
Clifford is up and coming into the squad, only getting his test debut in 2016, but he has shone and has achieved a total of 8 caps for the national side in under a year, hopefully there is a lot to come from him in the near future.
3rd choice: Sam Jones
As he powers on into his Premiership career, gathering much needed experience along the way, Jones is now beginning his national career, being spotted by Eddie Jones.
Billy doesn’t seem to be budging from his place as number 8 as he gets to 40 caps as an England player, although there is still some quality after his position.
2nd choice: Nathan Hughes
Nathan Hughes may have only had one go at the international game but he is definitely not lacking in quality, as if he is going as he is doing, he will be a sure thing in the England set up.
3rd choice: Josh Beaumont
Another new comer is here at 3rd choice, looks like Jones is looking to build from the ground up.
From the looks of things, Eddie Jones is mixing it up; hoping to create and establish new talent within the squad based on learning from the best well experienced players in the youths’ positions. Eddie definitely has a lot to think about, all those choices!! But if one thing is for sure, he definitely has a plan for England, now let’s see if it pays off! So far so good!