Just as a bit of an interest piece I thought it would be worth looking at the most exciting England XV Stuart Lancaster could pick from the players currently available to him. Here’s the England X Factor XV…

15. Mike Brown

It’s a close one between Brown and Foden but on current form Brown edges it for his ability to get over the gain line by beating the first up tackler.

14. Christian Wade

Questions may remain over his defensive ability at the top level but there’s no doubt that with ball in hand he is one of the most exciting players in England.


13. Manu Tuilagi

Tuilagi is the kind of player capable of making a break that can set up a try from almost anywhere on the pitch and would be great at bringing the likes of Wade into the game.

12. Kyle Eastmond

Eastmond was shown up somewhat in England’s third test in New Zealand earlier this year but what he did prove is that ball in hand he is one of the best in England.

11. Anthony Watson

Watson may not have much experience on the international stage but he still looks like one of England’s most exciting prospects and the natural successor to Jason Robinson.

10. Danny Cipriani

The talented playmaker seems back to his absolute best once again and has proven already he has what it takes to play at the very top level.

9. Danny Care

Care has that kind of unpredictable quality that makes him almost unplayable in the scrum half position as they never know quite what to expect.


1. Mako Vunipola

Question marks may still remain over Vunipola’s scrummaging but there’s no doubting that he’s capable of making ground in the loose.

2. Rob Webber

Webber may not be quite as solid as Hartley but seems to have a little more about him in the loose and is capable of bringing others into the game.

3. Kyle Sinckler

Sinckler is still only young so has plenty of time to develop his game in the tight but in the loose he offers plenty to his side and has a surprising turn of pace.

4. Joe Launchbury

Launchbury’s tireless work rate means he always seems to pop up in the right places and is capable of keeping his sides game going.

5. Courtney Lawes

Lawes is a huge ball carrying option for his side and capable of the kind of off-load that can put other players into space.


6. Tom Croft

Croft has the pace of a winger making him a dangerous player ball in hand and capable of breaking the gain line and scoring plenty of tries.

7. Will Fraser

Fraser seems to have finally got over his injury troubles and is now showing his talents for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership.

8. Billy Vunipola

Vunipola not only has the ability to get over the gainline but has also shown that he has an impressive off-loading game to keep the ball moving.

Who would you put in your country’s X Factor XV?


Mako Vunipola
Rob Webber
Henry Thomas
Joe Launchbury
Courtney Lawes
Tom Croft
Will Fraser
Billy Vunipola
Danny Care
Danny Cipriani
Anthony Watson
Kyle Eastmond
Manu Tuilagi
Christian Wade
Mike Brown