England U20 v Ireland U20

Whilst the focus is currently on the next three months for obvious reasons, we take a look ahead to how the England team might look in 2016…

1.Joe Marler

Marler is a top class loosehead and will have plenty of experience under his belt, whilst still having time on his side to ensure he is still around for the 2019 World Cup.

2.Jamie George

2015 could well be the end of Dylan Hartley’s international career so England need to focus on bringing through a hooker like George who is consistant at the set piece.

3.Dan Cole

At 28 Dan Cole is still just the right side of 30 to ensure he should be a prime contender for England at the 2019 World Cup so deserves to keep his spot.

4.Joe Launchbury

The combination of Launchbury and Lawes has proven impressive in the past so should be allowed to continue to develop.

5.Courtney Lawes

By the time of the 2019 World Cup, the second row combination will have plenty of experience and could be a key driving force for England.

6.Sam Burgess

Burgess is currently being seen as a centre for England, but in another years time he could well become a pivotal figure in the back row.

7.Matt Kvesic

It’s a tough choice replacing captain Robshaw, but after the 2015 World Cup England need to start looking to the future and make some tough decisions.

8.Billy Vunipola

It would be easy to throw someone like Nathan Hughes straight in, but when on form Vunipola remains one of the best number 8’s around.


9.Ben Youngs

It’s hard to believe Youngs is still only 25 given his experience – this could well see him in-stated as England’s next captain for 2019.

10.George Ford

One of England’s most naturally gifted attacking threats, Ford looks likely to be a key figure for years to come.

11.Jonny May

We have seen what May can do in odd flashes, however he now needs to prove he can do it on a consistent basis for England, or alternatives need to be found.

12.Henry Slade

Slade is already looking like England’s next 12 in waiting, after the World Cup he’s pretty much guaranteed to be given his chance.

13.Manu Tuilagi

It’s easy to dismiss Tuilagi in favour of Joseph, but in a midfield with Slade and Ford his power adds an extra dimension to the play.

14.Jack Nowell

Nowell has impressed over the last nine months for England and has the added bonus of being able to cover full back and centre.

15.Anthony Watson

With Mike Brown approaching 30, 2016 may prove to be the year when Watson is moved to full back for England on a permanent basis.


16.Tom Youngs

Although Youngs would be one of the older members of the squad, his experience and presence off the bench could still be of use to England.

17.Mako Vunipola

The Saracens loosehead is a true impact player and provides an impressive ball carrying option off the bench against tiring defences.

18.Henry Thomas

Thomas’ move to Bath has seen his scrummaging improve dramatically and highlights him as England’s future tighthead.

19.Maro Itoje

Itoje narrowly missed out on a place in the 2015 World Cup, but looks set to star over the next few years for England and could possibly be a future captain.

20.Nathan Hughes

Hughes qualifies for England in June 2016 and could find himself quickly propelled into the starting XV given his form last season.

21.Joe Simpson

The Wasps scrum half has bags of pace and provides a constant danger helping to get England’s back line firing.

22.Owen Farrell

Farrell can cover both fly half and centre whilst probably being England’s best kicker of the ball making him ideal cover off the bench.

23.Jonathan Joseph

The Bath man can cover either centre or wing and is more than deserving of a place in the 23, if not the starting XV.