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The England XV That Should Start The First Test In Australia

As England countdown the days to their first test with Australia, Angus Cross talks us through the 15 that Eddie Jones should look to start.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  England player Mako Vunipola in action during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

1 Mako Vunipola – struggled in the scrum against Exeter but overall, his performances this season have earned him his starting place.

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Dylan Hartley, the England captain looks on during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on February 23, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

2 Dylan Hartley (c) – captain for now, but must take game to another level to keep Jamie George out of the team.

Ireland v England - RBS Six Nations

3 Dan Cole – England’s best tighthead. They need experience with only Paul Hill (2 caps) and Kyle Sinckler (uncapped) in the squad.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: England player Maro Itoje races past Alex Cuthbert of Wales to set up the first England try during the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 12, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

4 Maro Itoje – European player of the year has not lost a game he has started this year. A born winner who can inspire England to victory in Australia.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Lock George Kruis of England crashes over to score the opening try during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield Stadium on February 6, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

5 George Kruis – Itoje’s partner in crime. Has risen to a world-class level this year and is England’s line out chief.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Chris Robshaw of England talks to Referee Nigel Owens of Wales after England's second try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium on March 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

6 Chris Robshaw – a constant rock in this England team. They will need his relentless work rate against Australia.

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Jack Clifford scrummages during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on February 10, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

7 Jack Clifford – was my man of the match against Wales and takes Haskell’s place. He was very strong with his all round game and his pace for his try was brilliant.

Wales v England - RBS Six Nations

8 Billy Vunipola – England’s player of the year has become world-class this season and will look to show his improvement against David Pocock.

Italy v England - RBS Six Nations

9 Danny Care – the position in which no one has put a marker down. Care takes this place for his performance in the Grand slam decided in France and after impressing off the bench against Wales.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Owen Farrell of England celebrates victory with Jack Nowell on the final whistle during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 12, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

10 Owen Farrell – another to solidify his world-class credentials this year, with no real competition from his friend, George Ford, who missed five kicks against Wales.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 19: Jack Nowell of England looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between France and England at the Stade de France on March 19, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

11 Jack Nowell – brilliant performance in a losing team against Saracens. Another verging on becoming world-class.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Luther Burrell of Northampton is challenged by Fergus Mulchrone of London Irish during the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and London Irish at Franklins Gardens on February 13, 2016 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

12 Luther Burrell – impressed against Wales and deserves another crack at international rugby. Can fill the physical hole left by Tuilagi’s untimely injury.

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: Jonathan Joseph of England runs with the ball during the RBS Six Natiions match between Italy and England at the Stadio Olimpico on February 14, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

13 Jonathan Joseph – one dodgy pass killed a promising England attack but other than that played very well against Wales and has been one of England’s best players of recent times.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27: Anthony Watson of England is tackled by Jamie Heaslip and Rory Best of Ireland during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

14 Anthony Watson – magnificent finish against Wales and is in top try scoring form for his country.

Ulster Rugby v Saracens - European Rugby Champions Cup

15 Alex Goode – Premiership player of the year. Was again fantastic in the final, topping it off with a try that secured the double for his team. Will act as the 2nd ball player with Slade on the bench.

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16 Jamie George – putting pressure on Hartley but will have to be content with a place on the bench for now.

17 Matt Mullan – did well against Wales and is more than a suitable back up for Vunipola.

18 Paul Hill – an impressive footballer for a tighthead prop, but experience counts against him in a test series where England must impress.

19 Joe Launchbury – fantastic performance against Wales and is unlucky to be a victim of the terrific seasons of Itoje and Kruis.

20 Teimana Harrison – a promising debut against Wales and offers more off of the bench than Haskell.

21 Ben Youngs – took his try well but his overall game was poor by his standards.

22 Henry Slade – a promising end to the season was ruined by a poor game in the final, but can cover 10 from the bench as Ford has endured a horror season.

23 Elliott Daly – brilliant season for Wasps, but the solid game of Joseph keeps him as an exciting prospect on the bench for the foreseeable future.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.