England’s game against the Ireland Wolfhounds next month takes on extra significance this year with the World Cup just months away. For that reason Stuart Lancaster needs to make sure he makes the right selections to allow as many players the opportunity to press an England claim as possible. With that in mind here is the England team I would select…
Foden has somewhat fallen out of favour when it comes to England, however he has been performing well for Northampton Saints this year and deserves another chance to stake his claim for a spot in the squad.
Questions may still remain over his defence but there’s no doubting that Wade is one of England’s very best finishers. This could be his chance to show he has what it takes on the biggest stage this year.
For me Slade should already be in the England side, however this could be the perfect opportunity to give him another run out in an England shirt and see how he might fit into the current setup.
There’s a definite shout for Sam Hill or Ollie Devoto here, however if there is any chance of him making it to the World Cup he needs to be involved with the England team as soon as possible.
Strettle is exactly what England have been lacking over the last few years, a natural born finisher. He should at least be given chance to prove himself before the World Cup later this year.
Cipriani is another player who should already be in the squad in my opinion, however if Lancaster still has doubts then there is no better opportunity to test whether he can make the grade for England.
Arguments could be made for Joe Simpson or Dan Robson here, but for me Cook has looked excellent for Bath so far this season and deserves his chance to try and disrupt the established pecking order at nine.
A year ago I wouldn’t have even considered Waldrom’s name when it came to England duties, however such has been his form for the Chiefs this year I firmly believe he deserves another shot.
Injuries continue to plague Fraser’s international ambitions, however should he be fit for this test then he deserves an opportunity to prove his worth as he offers something different in the England back row.
Ewers is unlikely to break into the England starting XV at this stage but this could be an opportunity for him to grab a place on the bench where his versatility and ball carrying could make him a great impact player.
The England second row is already pretty well established with the likes of Attwood, Launchbury, Lawes, Parling and Kruis, however the last 12 months have shown us England can never have too many options.
Injuries could rule Paterson out of contention for this game, however if he can get fit in time for the match he deserves the chance to pick up where he left off for England after last years Barbarians game.
I was tempted to pick Kyle Sinckler here, however such has been the improvement in Thomas’ scrummaging since joining Bath he deserves another chance with England
The temptation here was to pick Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie, however George has been exemplary for Saracens so far this season and looks ready to play for England sooner rather than later.
Waller has ensured that Northampton haven’t missed Alex Corbisiero at all whilst he’s been out injured and therefore deserves the opportunity to step up to the next level for England.
Who do you think England should select for the Ireland Wolfhounds test?