We take a look at England’s potential starting XV and replacements to their Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield…

15.Mike Brown

The incumbent, and probably England’s most well rounded full back right now.

14.Anthony Watson

Has shown time and again he has what it takes to play at the very highest level.

13.Jonathan Joseph

England’s stand-out player during last year’s Six Nations, and therefore deserves another shot.

12.Owen Farrell

Hardly the ideal scenario, but a lack of other options make this the lesser of two evils.

11.Jack Nowell

Injuries and suspensions have now cemented Nowell’s place in the starting XV.

10.George Ford

With Farrell at 12, Ford should be given another shot at 10 to try to re-find his form.

9.Ben Youngs

Has been fantastic for Leicester this season, and has previously impressed for England.


8.Billy Vunipola

As England’s only experienced option at eight, it seems inevitable Vunipola should start.

7.Matt Kvesic

The only genuine openside in the squad, right now there seems no other choice.

6.Chris Robshaw

Has been sublime for Quins this season since moving to the other side of the scrum.

5.George Kruis

Kruis has really upped his game for Saracens this season, and is the form lock right now.

4.Joe Launchbury

Starting to look back to his best after a long injury lay-off last year.

3.Dan Cole

With Kieran Brookes out injured, Cole is the only viable option right now.

2.Dylan Hartley

Hartley’s experience sees him start, but should be challenged by George later in the tournament.

1.Mako Vunipola

Vunipola has has a more impressive start to the season than Marler so deserves a shot on form.


16.Jamie George

George should see plenty of game time during the Six Nations, even if just off the bench for now.

17.Joe Marler

An experienced front row forward who has plenty still to offer.

18.Paul Hill

In the absence of Brookes, Hill looks England’s next best scrummager at tighthead.

19.Maro Itoje

Could well end up starting some of the final games of the tournament if he steps up off the bench.

20.Jack Clifford

Can cover all three positions in the back row making him ideal cover from the bench.

21.Danny Care

Is the only other option at scrum half, but has played well enough to earn some game time.

22.Elliot Daly

Can cover centre and full back, and offers something a little different to Joseph.

23.Marland Yarde

Offers something a bit different off the bench should he be required.