Although England maybe the defending Grand Slam champions and are coming off the back of an undefeated year, Eddie Jones’ side maybe a little vulnerable coming into this season’s Six Nations.
Jones will definitely be without Billy Vunipola and Chris Robshaw, while the participation of Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler in the early rounds of the Championship is in doubt.
In addition, neither James Haskell or Dylan Hartley have played a great deal of rugby this season, while George Kruis is still recovering from the fractured jaw he sustained during Saracens’ Christmas Eve clash with the Newcastle Falcons.
Although the lock is expected to return in time for England’s opening Six Nations encounter with France, it’s hardly an ideal scenario given the injuries England have already suffered.
In any event, the Daily Mail have reported that Haskell, Kruis along with Marler will all be named in England’s Six Nations squad by Eddie Jones next Friday.
Nevertheless, it remains open to debate whether or not Jones will select Haskell in particular, as the flanker has only managed 35 seconds of rugby this season.
Although there is little evidence to suggest France are in a position to win in Twickenham, Guy Noves could field a formidable front row that includes Eddy Ben Arous, Guilhem Guirado, and Rabah Slimani.
Such a combination have the ability to trouble even the best sides, and will test an England front row that will comprise of their third choice loosehead and a Dylan Hartley who hasn’t played since being sent off for striking Sean O’Brien in December.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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