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A Mighty England XV That Didn’t Play In The Autumn

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Manu Tuilagi of England is tackled by Scott Williams of Wales during the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on February 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England beat all comers this autumn with a severely depleted squad. To highlight the strength in depth of English rugby as we come to the end of a fine year, here is a XV of players who didn’t play for the Red Rose in the Old Mutual Wealth series.

  1. Matt Mullan:

The Wasp is good enough to be on the bench for most international sides. Let’s not forget there’s Leicester’s rampaging Ellis Genge, too.

  1. Luke Cowan-Dickie:

No team has as good a third-choice hooker as the Exeter Chief.

  1. Paul Hill:

A developing prop who debuted in Australia. His time will surely come.

  1. Maro Itoje:

Absent through injury, Itoje would add another dimension to England’s autumn pack.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25:  Maro Itoje of England looks on during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Allianz Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

  1. Mitch Lees:

For the only time in the XV, here we have something approaching a punt. The Australia-born Chief toured South Africa with the Saxons, but is probably the furthest away from a test spot.

  1. James Haskell:

Player of the series in the June tests against Australia, the Wasp is nursing a toe injury.

  1. Jack Clifford:

The Harlequin would have featured for England this autumn but for an early season injury.

TEDDINGTON, ENGLAND - MAY 29:  Jack Clifford holds onto the ball during the England training session held at the Lensbury Club on May 29, 2015 in Teddington, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

  1. Ben Morgan:

Another whose absence, given his club form, is an indication of England’s depth.

  1. Dan Robson:

Many were calling for the Wasp No. 9 to be Ben Youngs’ understudy this autumn. Eddie Jones said no. Neither Eliot Daly nor Henry Slade were rushed in, so expect Robson to feature next season.

  1. Danny Cipriani:

The playmaker’s days in England white are surely over, but he’s still a fine player.

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 21:  Danny Cipriani of England reacts during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and England at Waikato Stadium on June 21, 2014 in Hamilton, New Zealand.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

  1. Anthony Watson:

Missing through injury, does he get his place back from Jonny May?

  1. Ollie Devoto:

On the bench for England in the Six Nations, was the Exeter Chief one of the few players Eddie Jones brought in too early?

  1. Manu Tuilagi:

His injury travails always seem like a seismic loss, but does he really displace Jonathan Joseph?

  1. Jack Nowell:

Another regular who missed out through injury. Another who has a lot of work to do to reclaim his place.

  1. Mike Haley:

The Sale full-back is one of the Premiership’s in-form backs, but if Alex Goode can’t get into the England 23…


Daniel Rey, Pundit Arena


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Author: The PA Team

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