In the last two seasons England have made Twickenham a fortress again, a place where opposing teams dread to play. Eddie Jones has had to contend with a spate of injuries, loss of form to key players and certain young players’ sudden emergence on to the club scene.
With the November internationals kicking off on Saturday against Argentina, we look at which team would cause Argentina the most problems.
1. Mako Vunipola
The world’s best loosehead prop has been in scintillating form so far this season for Saracens, galloping around the pitch like a back rower and making line breaks like a centre.
Scrummaging wise he will have his toughest test against a dominant Argentina front row, challenging him technically.
2. Jamie George
While Dylan Hartley has a wealth of experience the ability of Jamie George just cannot be ignored any longer.
Starting all three Tests this summer for the Lions he has started this season with the same aplomb he finished the last. Turning in dynamic performances every week his hat-trick against Wasps a few weeks ago further highlights his qualities in the loose.
3. Dan Cole
An ever-present in the 3 jersey since making his debut in 2010, amassing 74 caps he is the cornerstone of this forward pack.
Rarely missing games due to injury, the Leicester man seems to be made of granite. Strong, reliable and experienced.
4. Courtney Lawes
Arguably the form player on the Lions tour this year, the Northampton behemoth has started this season in the same rich vein of form.
Bone-shuddering tackles and brutish carries have always been a strength, he is now a commanding lineout presence and cool head, adding further strings to his bow.
5. George Kruis
The Saracens man is often described as a Rolls Royce of a second-row, a silky-smooth line-out technician with a fantastic engine.
Often underrated but mightily effective, he compliments the other members of the England pack beautifully.
6. Maro Itoje
An automatic starter when fit, with the only debate about what number shirt he wears. A natural-born leader and a fierce competitor.
These qualities don’t do his technical ability as a rugby player justice, a future World Player of the Year winner and England captain in waiting.
7. Sam Underhill
A genuine 7, being a constant threat at the breakdown and a dominating force in every collision his style of play could cause Argentina serious problems.
Only 21 years of age his game has gone up a level since joining Bath. Comparisons with Neil Back are rife; however, their style of play is vastly different. Expect a massive international future for the man born across the pond.
8. Nathan Hughes
With Billy Vunipola out injured the priority for Eddie Jones is to select an 8 to get his side over the gain line.
In a pack lacking genuine ball carriers Hughes will be asked to get his team on the front foot time and time again against the Pumas on Saturday.
9. Ben Youngs
For years locked in a battle with Danny Care for the number 9 jersey the Leicester mainstay has made the position his own under the Australian’s tenure.
The November Man of the Series last year for England, his sniping around the fringes and pinpoint box kicking are invaluable weapons for the Red Rose.
10. George Ford
Moving to Leicester this season, the diminutive playmaker is playing some of the best rugby of his career.
Finding his kicking boots again whilst still possessing a world-class distribution game he is a shoo-in at first receiver. A tough test on Saturday lies ahead defensively against a physical Pumas team.
11. Elliot Daly
A doubt for the game on Saturday, England fans and Eddie Jones alike received great news from the team doctor recently with the outside back recovering from a knee knock.
Starting all three Tests for the Lions in the 11 jersey, he’s a classy operator and exceptionally dangerous in broken field and possesses a siege gun of a left boot. Retribution is in order as well after Daly’s 4th minute red card in this fixture last year.
12. Owen Farrell (C)
The European Player of the Year last season picks himself, a world-class 12 and my captain in the absence of Dylan Hartley.
A dominant force in attack and defence he is also a tenacious accumulator of points, collecting 603 in a white jersey.
13. Henry Slade
One of the hardest decisions across the team, the creative Chiefs man or the elusive Jonathan Joseph? The breath-taking form of Slade, however, cannot be ignored.
Playing the best rugby of his career, combining skill, flair and precise decision-making he was spectacular against Montpellier in the Champions Cup.
14. Anthony Watson
The Bath flyer hasn’t quite found his feet this season, nevertheless class is permanent. Starting all three Lions Tests this summer he has been an ever-present when fit since Jones took over in 2015.
Possessing searing pace, electric footwork and a strong aerial game he will terrify the Argentinian back three on Saturday.
15. Mike Brown
Not the counter-attacking threat he once was, legions of England fans will disagree with this choice.
However, the Harlequins stalwart has a wealth of experience and with Hartley, Haskell and Robshaw not featuring in this side, his 62 caps may prove pivotal.
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Read More About: Anthony Watson, argentina rugby, ben youngs, Courtney Lawes, dan cole, elliot daly, england rugby, george ford, george kruis, Henry Slade, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje, mike brown, nathan hughes, owen farrell, Sam Underhill, Twick