Even though England coach Eddie Jones has named a superbly talented 37-man squad to prepare for the autumn internationals this week, a number of talented individuals missed out on selection. We put together a XV made up of these players.
1) Matt Mullan
Wasps loosehead Mullan has been in and out of England squads for many years, but it appears despite featuring for his country over the summer, Leicester prop Ellis Genge gets the nod over him for Eddie Jones’ latest training squad.
2) Jack Singleton
Worcester Warriors hooker Singleton was a surprise inclusion for the summer matches against the Barbarians and the Argentina tour, but despite being named on the bench during the Pumas tests, Singleton has been axed from the latest squad – with Jones instead choosing to name newcomer Tom Dunn of Bath.
3) Will Collier
Impressive performances for England against the Barbarians and off the bench against Argentina were not enough for Harlequins tighthead Collier to keep his squad place and he makes way for Lions duo Dan Cole and Kyle Sinckler, with youngster Harry Williams maintaining his place in the senior squad.
4) Don Armand
Versatile Exeter player Armand was a standout performer for his club as they earnt their first ever Premiership title against Saracens at the end of the domestic season, but the lock and flanker fails to make the squad this time around.
5) Mitch Lees
Despite featuring for the Saxons on their successful tour of South Africa in 2016, Exeter second row Lees appears to be out of the England equation for the time being.
6) Mike Williams
Three broken arms in 12 months haven’t helped the Zimbabwean-born flanker’s international cause, but it appears the performances of Newcastle’s Mark Wilson and young openside duo Tom Curry and Sam Underhill in Argentina keep the Leicester man from fulfilling his ambitions. You can also add both Jack Clifford and Teimana Harrison to the players that miss out this time around, although Clifford is still recovering from a shoulder operation that ruled him out of the summer tour.
7) Tom Wood
Sale Sharks’ Ben Curry could be added to this team having won the man-of-the-match award against the Barbarians earlier this year as a late call-up to the team to replace his identical twin brother Tom, but experienced back rower Wood has been axed from the national set-up. With a number of youngsters coming through and looking impressive on the test stage, Wood’s days as a Test player may be numbered.
8) Josh Beaumont
Despite featuring for England under Jones, Sale Sharks number eight Beaumont is not included in Jones’ latest 37 man squad, with both Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes getting the nod.
9) Dan Robson
Perhaps Robson’s form hasn’t been as sharp as it has been previously for his club Wasps, but he and clubmate Joe Simpson continue to be omitted from Jones’ thinking, with Exeter’s Jack Maunder keeping his spot after winning his first cap from the bench over the summer, as well as older head Richard Wigglesworth.
10) Danny Cipriani
The Wasps player seems destined to stay outside of Eddie Jones’ plans for 2019. Yet a number of other quality fly-halves fail to make the most recent squad, including new Bath signing Freddie Burns. Instead, Harlequins’ 18 year old Marcus Smith, yet to start a Premiership game, is given the nod.
11) Marland Yarde
Even though the Harlequins winger started for his country in both tests over the summer, Yarde is axed from the England training squad and instead Denny Solomona given his chance to build on his first caps from the bench.
12) Ollie Devoto
Although Exeter’s Devoto was included in Jones’ initial squads in 2016, he has slowly moved down the England centre pecking order and could end up stuck in the unwanted ‘one cap wonder’ club.
13) Sam James
Included in England’s touring squad over the summer, James has lost out to fit-again Harlequins centre Joe Marchant.
14) Semesa Rokoduguni
A fantastic servant for his country both as a soldier and as a rugby player, Rokoduguni misses out once more with England blessed with quality out on the wing.
15) Alex Goode
Saracens fullback Goode was clearly trying to send coach Eddie Jones a message when he accepted an invitation to face his country as part of the Barbarians team before the summer tour – with Goode missing out on selection once more – but he continues to find himself ostracised, even though England has only one dedicated fullback in Mike Brown in the entire squad. Sale Sharks’ Mike Haley also misses out.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena