Home Rugby England: Analysis Of Eddie Jones’ Second Test Selection

England: Analysis Of Eddie Jones’ Second Test Selection

Eddie Jones has made five changes to his match day 23 to take on Australia in the second Test in Melbourne.

The obvious selection, which everyone knew was coming, is George Ford back at fly-half with Owen Farrell switching to inside centre. This decision was expected as it worked so well when Ford was brought on for Burrell after half an hour of the first Test, and it was crucial in securing their historic win.

They may have opted for power through the likes of Ben Te’o on the bench, but instead Jones has gone for a 6-2 split of forwards and backs, with the rightful inclusion of Jack Clifford on the bench. This is a real statement of intent from Jones, saying to the Wallabies that England are going to really look to smash them.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Jack Clifford of England breaks wawy to score a try during the Old Mutual Wealth Cup between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on May 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see who will come off, though. It would be a huge surprise to see Maro Itoje brought off, as well as Billy Vunipola. So the three players that would make way would be George Kruis, Chris Robshaw and James Haskell if all three of Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes and Clifford came on.

Haskell was outstanding last week, and if he has half the game he had England will not want to lose him to a tactical substitution. It is also good to see Jamie George back on the bench. It was never explained why he was excluded in place of Luke Cowan-Dickie, but it has been rightfully resolved.

Jack Nowell is back in the No. 11 shirt after scoring off of the bench, adding solidity to England’s backline with his excellent all-round skills. There is no place for Marland Yarde in the squad however, with Elliott Daly being preferred on the bench. This also is a slightly surprising decision but not one I disagree with entirely. Daly has had a great season for Wasps and his pace and kicking option off of the bench could prove very useful late on.

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Elliot Daly passes the ball during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on May 27, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Yet again, and controversially, there is no place for Premiership Player of the Year Alex Goode in the match day 23. Mike Brown did not have his best game last Saturday, far from it in fact, and that has really been the story of his season. How long can people say ‘he’ll be back to his best’ before he actually does get back to his best?

Honestly, if a player gets to 30 years of age and has not been playing well for a while, it is most likely that they are only going downwards in terms of their performances. There are already three full-backs on the field in Brown, Anthony Watson and Nowell, so there is no point having Goode on the bench. He deserves his chance to start and I don’t know how much more he has to do to overtake Brown.

Jones has put out an exciting team that has the capability of producing a historic series win down under for the first time. Good luck, boys.

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England Team:

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Dylan Hartley ©

3. Dan Cole

4. Maro Itoje

5. George Kruis

6. Chris Robshaw

7. James Haskell

8. Billy Vunipola

9. Ben Youngs

10. George Ford

11. Jack Nowell

12. Owen Farrell

13. Jonathan Joseph

14. Anthony Watson

15. Mike Brown

Replacements:

16. Jamie George

17. Matt Mullan

18. Paul Hill

19. Joe Launchbury

20. Courtney Lawes

21. Jack Clifford

22. Danny Care

23. Elliott Daly

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Angus Cross, Pundit Arena

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