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Paul Wassell

Paul is an English teacher by day and an avid rugby fan the rest of the time. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook, or contact him at paul@punditarena.com

Opinion: Daly’s Winging It For England Says So Much About Eddie Jones

Perhaps the biggest surprise of today’s belated England team announcement was that Wasps centre Elliot Daly was to move to the unfamiliar position of wing, with incumbent Jonny May dropping out of the 23 completely. However, Daly’s inclusion embodies so much about the Eddie Jones era. Although Gloucester speedster May missed England training on Thursday morning because of injury, he …

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Paupers And Princes: How The Plight Of England and Fiji’s Players Highlights Rugby’s Great Wrongs

In the same week the RFU announced England players could earn up to £300,000 a year from internationals, it was revealed Fiji’s top players would earn only £400 for appearing at Twickenham this Saturday, highlighting the gross inequalities that exist in the top two tiers of world rugby. The home team will pocket £22,000 each, or fifty five times the …

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England’s Likely Team To Face Fiji This Weekend

With Eddie Jones this evening announcing a 25 man squad to face Fiji on Saturday and naming some surprise names in his squad, we put together the team the Australian is likely to pick to take on the Pacific island’s best players. With Dave Attwood ruled out with injury, uncapped Bath lock Charlie Ewels is back in the squad and …

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The Perfect Game: How Eddie Jones’ Drive To Make England The Best Has Only Just Begun

England’s victory over the Springboks on Saturday was solid and for brief glimpses truly exciting, but Eddie Jones’ brutally honest assessment after the game shows the national side has a long way to go achieve their ultimate aim: the perfect game. The All Blacks often talk of achieving the ‘perfect’ performance and despite some truly breathtaking and majestic matches in …

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The England Team Eddie Jones Should Pick To Play Against Fiji

After England’s solid victory against a disappointing South African outfit, with glimpses of genuine world-class quality from the men in white at times, head coach Eddie Jones has some difficult decisions to make for next week’s match against definite underdogs Fiji. We take a look at some of the options Jones could go for as his man management skills are …

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England Player Ratings V South Africa

Who excelled for England and who needs a better performance next week against Fiji? We rate all 23 players. 1) Mako Vunipola Brought his Saracens form back to the international stage and was a real threat in attack as well as solid in defence. Worringly, the loosehead struggled against South African tighthead and clubmate Vincent Koch at scrum time, which …

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Match Preview: England V South Africa

Eddie Jones’ England go in search of their first win over the Springboks, and the country’s first victory against South Africa since almost a decade ago. On the other side of this fascinating contest, the men in green are hoping to put their so-far poor 2016 behind them with a galvanising performance at Twickenham. Coach Allister Coetzee has made ten …

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The England ‘Australia And New Zealand’ XV

We’ve put together a team of Kiwis and Aussies that have either played for England or English individuals who have a close connection to either country. 1) Perry Freshwater Current loosehead Mako Vunipola is of Tongan heritage, but was born in Wellington before moving to Wales in his early childhood. However, former Leicester Tigers prop Perry Freshwater has more of …

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The England ‘South African-Born’ XV

England take on South Africa in a mouth-watering fixture where the home team will be hoping for their first victory over the Springboks in almost a decade. However, a number of South African-born players have gone on to wear the white jersey and we’ve put together a team of those players and those who could go on to carry the …

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England To Spring A Surprise In The Centres Against South Africa

England centre Elliot Daly is to be selected ahead of incumbent Jonathan Joseph in a surprise by head coach Eddie Jones, according to reports. The Mirror’s Alex Spink, usually a very reliable source, has claimed that the Wasps outside centre will be named ahead of regular 13 Jonathan Joseph in a straight swap. Joseph has been suffering a groin injury …

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What Is Eddie Jones’ Likely England Team For Saturday?

Eddie Jones this evening announced a reduced 25 man squad for Saturday’s big fixture against the Springboks, but his chosen men included a few surprising names and excluded a number of players thought almost certain to be a part of the final match day 23. We take you through each position and the players who will start and operate from …

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England Name 25 Man Squad To Take On South Africa

Eddie Jones has taken the unusual step of naming a 25 man squad the day before he announces his 23 take on South Africa in the first of four Old Mutual Wealth tests this autumn. In the traditional Jones way, the England head coach has included a couple of curveballs with Teimana Harrison being sent back to his club – …

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England Watch: Who’s Been The Best In The Premiership This Year?

After another weekend of exciting Aviva Premiership action, we look at the England players making the most of the opportunities for their clubs over the course of the season. Although Eddie Jones has already announced his 33 man squad to take on South Africa, Argentina, Fiji and Australia this year, a number of players who didn’t make the squad are …

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The London, South And South East England XV

Having named both ‘Northern‘ and ‘Midland‘ teams, we now move on to creating a London, South and South East England XV – made up of players born and/or bred in those parts of the country. 1) Joe Marler Born in Eastbourne, East Sussex and educated at Heathfield Community College in nearby Heathfield, Marler is now one of the leading props …

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