Eddie Jones has named his touring party for two Tests in Argentina, and with some surprise call-ups for Ben and Tom Curry and teenage lock Nick Isiekwe we take a look at six other players we would have liked to have seen on the tour.
1. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)
The young number 8 has had a sensational season. Having earned his first appearance for Bath back in September he has kicked on this term leading England’s under-20s to a grand slam in the Six Nations. He then followed that up by winning the RPA Young Player of the Season award.
Mercer handles better than most number 8s in the Premiership and he has shown this on multiple occasions for Bath. His pace also makes him an extra attacker in the wider channels. He will lead the under-20s in Georgia this summer but he can feel unlucky he won’t be playing against Argentina.
2. Dom Barrow (Leicester Tigers)
The lock has been a standout performer for Leicester this season, among a season of change and struggling early on. This Tiger has most certainly earned his stripes in the lineout and with his carrying.
Barrow has been a key part of Leicester’s set-piece and looks set to be the next in a long line of proud Leicester locks. He will be surprised not to make the tour.
3. Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers)
Arguably the in-form fly-half in the Premiership this season, he has adapted his tactical game throughout the season and has shown that he is a high quality operator. The news he would swap places with George Ford didn’t see his form drop either.
Burns kicking ability, something which is highly criticised, has improved as his percentage is higher than George Ford and Alex Lozowksi (both on the tour). Freddie Burns cannot be far off Eddie Jones’ radar.
4. Christian Wade (Wasps)
The Wasps winger is insanely quick. His dazzling feet make him one of the deadliest finishers in the Premiership. He has been there of thereabouts in terms of England for years.
An astonishing year for Wasps has seen them top the Premiership and Christian Wade has been an integral part of that. Defenders have been left for dead by the flyer and he will be disappointed to have been overlooked by England selectors again.
5. Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs)
Exeter just keep improving, we saw an early drop off from last year’s runners-up before going on a nine-game unbeaten run. Chiefs are building a very strong back division and former Bath winger Woodburn is a big part of that.
Woodburn is extremely quick, he also has that determination and grit, much like his club mate Jack Nowell. Olly Woodburn has had an extraordinary season with Exeter and he will continue to improve. One for the future for Eddie Jones?
6. Jackson Wray (Saracens)
A great servant for the north London club, Wray is a natural scavenger. On the floor there are few better than the Saracens back row. He has been so good at his job this season the great Springbok Schalk Burger has been sat on the bench.
Wray has also proved himself time and time again to be an abrasive, powerful carrier using his large frame to bust tackles and make ground. Wray could be a hugely influential man for England soon but not this summer.
Fred Blagden, Pundit Arena
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