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Pundit Arena Exclusive: The Results Are In… YOUR England Team V Australia

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Eddie Jones, the England head coach, faces the media during the media session held at Pennyhill Park on February 22, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The People’s Republic of Pundit Arena has chosen its team to play Australia this Saturday and there are some interesting selections indeed.

It seems every journalist and ex-player has their own take on the team that should confront the Wallabies this weekend, but we here at Pundit Arena wanted YOU, the fans, to be given your say.

So, who made the team based on your votes? Loyal citizens, here is your democratically chosen team:

The Pundit Arena Readers’ England XV

1) Mako Vunipola

Mako has absolutely wiped the floor with this one. Polling 88% of the votes, Mako’s landslide victory means Matt Mullan received only a 10% share. Ellis Genge – a left-field choice in the first place – received 2%.

2) Dylan Hartley

England captain Hartley was never likely to be dropped and his 83% vote share ahead of Jamie George on 15% and Luke Cowan-Dickie on 2% shows that he is currently a firm favourite of England supporters.

3) Dan Cole

Even though Paul Hill is an exciting player and Kyle Sinckler a genuine bolter, Dan Cole’s lead over his rivals in the fans’ eyes is resounding. Polling 80% of the vote compared to Hill on 11% and Sinckler on 9%, Cole is England’s first-choice by far.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Dan Cole of England takes on Dan Biggar of Wales during the Old Mutual Wealth Cup match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on May 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Cole takes on Dan Biggar at Twickenham last month. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

4) Maro Itoje

Joe Launchbury’s recent form has led to some calls for him to start at lock, but Maro Itoje, who is having quite some season, picked up 79% of the vote in this instance.

5) George Kruis

With Itoje starting in the team, it was always unlikely that the Saracens second row partnership would be broken up, given the form the pair showed in England’s Grand Slam triumph. Therefore Kruis – with 89% of the vote – starts ahead of Northampton’s Courtney Lawes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: George Kruis (R) of Saracens celebrates with team mate Maro Itoje after their victory during the Aviva Premiership final match between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on May 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
An inseparable pair: Maro Itoje (left) and George Kruis. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

6) Chris Robshaw

Robshaw took an early lead in the polls but in the last few days Jack Clifford came back into supporters’ thoughts. However, the Harlequins blindside won the poll with 38% of fans wanting him to start at 6, with Clifford on 25%, Harrison on 19% and Haskell on 18%.

7) Jack Clifford

Despite winning a Grand Slam at openside, James Haskell drops down into third place in the poll for the number 7 shirt. Jack Clifford is the fans’ clear favourite to start at 7, polling 53% of the vote, with Teimana Harrison in third place on 21%. Chris Robshaw – England’s openside virtually all of the Stuart Lancaster era – is last on 9%.

8) Billy Vunipola

Jack Clifford started England’s victory over Wales in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup and scored a scintillating, yet controversial try in the process. However, the physical monstrosity that is Billy Vunipola polled 99% of the vote, with James Haskell taking 1%.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 19: Billy Vunipola of England is tackled by Jefferson Poirot of France 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)
Billy Vunipola in action against France last March. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

9) Danny Care

It seems fans are pretty clear over the debate regarding the scrum-half position. Danny Care stole the show with 68% of the vote share, with Leicester’s Ben Youngs taking 32%.

10) Owen Farrell

It seems George Ford’s days as an England number 10 are currently numbered, according to the fans. Saracens’ Owen Farrell polled a whopping 91% of the votes to take the fly-half jersey from his Bath rival.

BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Owen Farrell runs with the ball during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on March 17, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Owen Farrell trains with the England squad. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

11) Jack Nowell

For the left wing position, Exeter’s Nowell narrowly defeated Anthony Watson 47% to 45%, with Marland Yarde receiving only 8% of the votes. England supporters will therefore be disappointed to see Yarde named in England’s XV.

12) Henry Slade

Ben Te’o has been receiving some serious press coverage after rumours surfaced of the former rugby league player’s apparent promotion to the starting XV despite some pretty inconsistent form for Leinster. Yet the fans have spoken and chosen Exeter’s Henry Slade with a colossal 64% of the vote, with Northampton’s Luther Burrell in second on 17%. Although he started all of England’s Six Nations games at 12, Farrell is preferred at 10 this time around. Ben Te’o received only 6% of the vote share.

13) Jonathan Joseph

To begin with it was neck-and-neck between Bath’s Jonathan Joseph and Wasps’ Elliot Daly, but the former soon accelerated away from his nearest rival, receiving 59% of the vote compared to 32%. Henry Slade – although a regular starter for Exeter at 13 – received only 8% of the votes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Jonathan Joseph of England looks for a pass under pressure from Liam Williams of Wales during the Old Mutual Wealth Cup match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on May 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Joseph on the run against Wales last month. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

14) Anthony Watson

Marland Yarde was nowhere to be seen once again, receiving only 5% of the votes. Nowell picked up 45% of the vote share, but Watson pipped him to the post, gaining 50%.

15) Alex Goode

Premiership Player of the Season Alex Goode has thwarted Mike Brown in the poll, despite the Harlequins full back being first-choice in the shirt all season so far. Goode took 69% of the votes, making him the clear favourite in the majority of fans’ eyes. However, Goode does not even make the 23 for Eddie Jones’ team this weekend.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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