Were I a betting man I’d wager that Itoje and Robshaw will fall into line as flankers against Nigeria, but it’ll be considered a surprise if Mike Johnson doesn’t get a first cap a while this fall (against Fiji if nobody else).
Where things might become interesting is that if both Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell are unfit. That will leave England without their captain and the obvious substitute, shorn of two hugely influential leaders.
It looked rather confusing initially, with two squads named, one a 45-man elite player squad and yet another comprising 37 players who’ll begin three days’ learning Brighton today. Some players were in a single although not another.
Understandably, Johnson wouldn’t admit concern. “We will discover the way the other leaders can step-up,Inches he stated. “It’s an incredible chance and absolutely nothing to become fearful of.Inches But there has to be some considerable worry privately. Another two nominated vice-captains are Mike Brown and Billy Vunipola. That informs a tale. I would consider George Kruis, but there’s an apparent gap in leadership.
It promises to become a fascinating worldwide season.
Indeed, it may be exactly the same team, with Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw around the flanks in James Haskell’s absence, that did the majority of the operate in beating Australia 44-40 in Sydney.
But, regardless of the foreseeable and tedious fuss within the omission of Danny Cipriani, it had been really rather fun working everything out in the announcement on Friday who had been in every squad and why, particularly the apparent nod to lengthy-term rise in the naming of the kind of Will Evans, Alex Lozowski, Joe Marchant, Mike Haley and Ben Spencer, in addition to Eddie Jones’s sharp observations on certain players. For example, he views Sale’s Josh Beaumont a lock not really a No 8, that Wasps’s Nathan Hughes is “trying way too hard to become too good” which his club team-mate Tommy Taylor is “the form hooker in England”.
“I don’t view it this way,Inches he stated. “In your forward pack you would like three who can handle passing the ball and yet another five you would like smashing within the gain line and becoming the opposition moving backwards. In my experience no matter what position they’re. Several years ago you’d forwards playing here and backs playing there. Now no team plays like this – after 2 or 3 phases it’s all confused.Inches
“I haven’t coached a group such as this before,” stated Johnson. “You watch the Premiership, there are few traditional sevens [Gloucester with Matt Kvesic and Leicester with Brendon O’Connor are exceptions]. So it’s about maximising your sources. A George Cruz or Richie McCaw, it really works if you have that kind of player. Should you haven’t got that kind of player and also you then attempt to copy that system, you come unstuck, once we did within the third Test [around australia. We would have liked [Teimana] Harrison to experience that kind of role and that he couldn’t achieve this at this time of his career.” And Johnson dismisses that old-fashioned notion the seven needs to be a hyperlink man, a disagreement given credence incidentally Mike Cane now plays for brand new Zealand.