With England’s tour to South Africa edging closer, we take a look at five rising stars that could reignite England’s revival.
England’s latest Six Nations campaign was a catastrophe as they lost their last three games on the bounce including a humbling 25-13 defeat at Murrayfield as Scotland collected their first Calcutta Cup for a decade.
England’s key players like Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Dylan Hartley were not themselves as they failed to find any sort of rhythm or coherence to their attack and their defence was found to be fragile compared to the organised Irish team.
The tour to South Africa is England’s chance to get back to winning ways and with Eddie Jones set to rest some of his key players it could be a fantastic chance to bring in some much needed new talent as he continues his quest to become world champions.
- Brad Shields (Hurricanes)
The Hurricanes flanker will join Wasps at the start of next season so will be eligible for the June tour much like Piers Francis was last summer.
Shields could add some much needed power to England, it is believed that blindside flanker is where Jones sees Shields’ international future.
His exceptional fitness is a great trait and his handling skills are far superior to any of England’s current crop of back rowers.
2. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
South Africa would be the perfect time to finally promote the apprentice player to give him some first team action.
Smith’s impressive form has seen him become the highest paid teenager in world rugby. He’s quick and his skills are impressive for a 19-year-old meaning Smith could start one of the tests, with Owen Farrell likely to be rested and George Ford struggling for form.
3. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
The Harlequins wing is garnering attention more and more among rugby fans as the fleet-footed youngster carves up opposition defences for fun.
Ibitoye is fast but also a very physical player, and possesses the raw power needed to make him a hard man to stop. even if he isn’t in England’s plans for the here and now he is certainly a man to watch out for in the future.
4. Ben Earl (Saracens)
Another back row, Earl is on the brink of breaking into the Saracens first team on a regular basis. He has already captained his side in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and has played age grade for England two years in a row.
Earl would add some raw power and another option at open-side flanker, a place that could become very cluttered soon if Sam Underhill and Tom Curry can stay fit.
Earl is developing nicely and the natural progression to senior international honours is surely one he will relish.
5. Ben Vellacott (Gloucester Rugby)
The Cherry and Whites scrum-half has found himself playing far more rugby for Gloucester than would be expected and the English born 22-year-old has caught the eye of Eddie Jones taking part in England’s January training camp.
South Africa would be the perfect test for a young scrum-half and he could develop an exciting partnership with Marcus Smith. Vellacott could see some action this summer.
England will hope to improve not only their results but their performances on their tour this summer. With the five players above, it could be a great opportunity to blood new and exciting talent.
Read More About: ben earl, ben vellacott, Brad Shields, eddie jones, England, england rugby, Farrell, gabriel ibitoye, gloucester, harlequins rugby, Hartley, hurricanes, Ireland, Itoje, marcus smith, murrayfield, saracens, Scotland, Six Nations, south africa rugby, springboks, summer tour