Job done for England. Winning a series in Australia isn’t easy and it gives the lads a lot of confidence.
If you hold a microscope over things, I’m sure Eddie Jones will find faults, but it’s something to build on.
Now it’s about consistency in the selection. Eddie has tried so many players over the last year but he needs to start nailing his combinations for the Worlds.
The series win against Australia will give England a lot of confidence ahead of the World Cup
Kyle Sinckler is a looker for me.
Will Stuart is not at the same level but has proven to be a good backup. Tighthead doesn’t have all that much depth, so they need to encourage a third option.
Ellis Genge is the absolute first choice at the Loosehead. Joe Marler should be back for the World Championship and he is neck and neck with Mako Vunipola.
Jamie George and Luke Cowan Dickie are nailed to the hooker but third place is up for grabs.
loose head: Genge, Mako, Marler; Hooker: George, Cowan-Dickie, Blamire; Tighthead: Sinckler, Stuart, Heyes
Ellis Genge (pictured this week) is England’s first choice in loosehead through and through
Locking often comes down to combinations. Check out Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, Martin Johnson and Ben Kay. Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill now feel like the starting combination.
I think Joe Launchbury will come when he’s fit and Ollie Chessum is on a real uptrend.
Lock out: Itoje, Hill, Chessum, Launchbury
Here England probably has the greatest depth. Billy Vunipola suits the English style of play. He was behind Sam Underhill and Alex Dombrandt, but he can lose the jersey.
It’s hard to see Sam Simmonds making the squad when all three are fit.
Courtney Lawes has been amazing this season. Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have always been hooked and Lewis Ludlam played his way into it.
Back row: Billy, Dombrandt, Curry, Underhill, Lawes (lid lock), Ludlam
Billy Vunipola suits the way England play and he may lose the shirt ahead of the World Cup
It was really difficult seeing Danny Care on the hook in the first half. He’s a world-class player and I hope he recovers, but it gave Ben Youngs the edge.
You can see shadows of Richard Wigglesworth and Youngs in Jack van Poortvliet with his game management and marksmanship, but he also has the running danger. Raffi Quirke is another guy I’m a fan of.
No. 9: JVP, Youngs, Quirke
Nobody interferes because of Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell.
If they decide to take a third No. 10, George Ford will come back, but there’s no point in keeping him as tackle bags. They’re more likely to have an energy company like George Furbank to back them up.
#10: Smith, Farrell (cover 12).
Nobody steps in for England above Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell (pictured)
The Manu Tuilagi debate will not go away.
It’s a struggle to replace him. Joe Marchant won’t be happy about being dropped for the final two Tests so that’s a blow to his chances.
Henry Slade will be back, but he works better than Farrell outside of Tuilagi. The jury is still out on Guy Porter, but he lets others shine.
Center: Slade, Manu, Marchant (Edge), Porter
Joe Marchant won’t be happy about being dropped for the last two Tests so his chances are slim
Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell and Tommy Freeman are my starting back three. Anthony Watson will push back. Henry Arundell also has the Stardust.
But it’s been a while since we’ve seen Jonny May at his best and Joe Cokanasiga hasn’t taken his chance.
Back 3: Steward, Freeman, Nowell, Watson, Arundell.