England announce 27-man squad for Italy



Eddie Jones has named a 27-man squad to prepare for their trip to Italy in the second round of the Six Nations this weekend.

In addition to the 23 that played against Scotland, Josh Beaumont, Maro Itoje, Matt Kvesic and Elliot Daly remain in camp.

Forwards (16)
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Paul Hill (Northampton Saints)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Backs (11)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

18 thoughts on “England announce 27-man squad for Italy

  1. Let’s just hope a few of these guys get a chance this week, interesting to see EJ say he wants to smash Italy. I wonder if this means we will see a faster harder carrying pack with the likes of Itoje, Beaumont and Clifford given a run.

  2. Itoje for robshaw. We need to be more dynamic in the back row. I’d stick with everyone else. Maybe bring Elliot Daly onto the bench. A target of 30points is realistic and would be very commendable.

  3. Agreed. Put Kvesic at 7 and give Itoje a run out in place of Launchbury who can come on from the bench. Then we’ll see some dynamism and re-inject a bit of winning arrogance to England for the first time since 2003/4. As long as it’s on the back of winning arrogance is a great thing (Eddie Jones’ own words)
    The PR days of Lancaster when the mission statement was to placate every other simpering nation and union are hopefully over!

    1. AlexD, couldn’t agree more sir!

      When you think of England teams that have done well in the past, they’ve had a swagger to them. Early 90s you had Brian Moore invoking Millwall FC: “no-one likes us, we don’t care”. 2002-03 Johnno forcing Mary McAleese to walk through the mud to greet the Irish boys encapsulated that era. On the one hand everyone thought what a tosser, on the other the bloke just commanded so much respect that he could get away with it.

      The most important thing of course, as you mentioned, is to back it up on the pitch. And we, the fans, have a responsibility to not get swept up in and act like cocky tossers. Easier said than done for some of us!

    2. Definitely wouldn’t be taking Launchbury out – although Kruis was very good on Saturday, Launchbury has regularly been class for England and has been in brilliant form for Wasps this year. We’ve finally found a lock pairing that looks dynamic, balanced and big enough to not lose power in the scrum – the last thing we should do is change one of our strongest areas.

      1. I’m with Jacob, there have been times when launch has been one of our few effective players in tough games so don’t think we can drop him. It would be like dropping Joseph, yeah Daly is on great form and looks class but Joseph has always been good in an England shirt.

  4. Would love to see a backrow of Beaumont, Clifford and Billy. The carrying, work rate and dynamism would be difficult to cope with I think. Also think the back line would function more with Farrell at ten and devoto at 12. Would bring itoje in but for lawes rather than launch.

    1. Yep thats the team I want to see for this game
      Marler, George, Cole, Kruis, Launch, Beaumont, Clifford, Billy, Care, Farrell, Nowell, Devoto, Joseph, Watson, Brown.
      Mako, Hartley, Hill, Itoje, Kvesic, Youngs, Ford, Daly

      Give the novices a go some from kick off and others off the bench

      1. Agree with your team with the proviso that all the bench novices get a decent stint on the pitch (dependent on the situation) – none of this bringing players on with a couple of minutes left. Give them enough time to show what they can do

      2. I would start with Mako and Hartley (shame Brookes is not an option!), and I would have Haskell on the bench, but would agree with the rest of the team.

        We need to keep a little consistency with selection. Haskell deserves at least a bench spot, being one of our most experienced players, and off the back of the Scotland game. If we change too much we could easily get caught out by Italy, who looked pretty good for 65 minutes against France.

      3. That team looks way too raw for me. Two uncapped starters, along with two more (George and Clifford) with just a couple caps between them. Then a bench with three debutants and Kvesic who I think has two caps against a second strong Argentina side three years ago.

        The back row lacks a worker as well for me. Someone in there needs to rack up a massive tackle count and hit a lot of rucks – none of those three are known for that so a lot of pressure will be on the front 5 to provide it.

        Personally I’d be looking to see something like:
        Marler, Hartley, Cole, Kruis, Launch, Haskell, Clifford, Vunipola, Care, Farrell, Nowell, Devoto, Joseph, Watson, Brown
        George, Mako, Hill, Itoje, Robshaw, Youngs, Ford, Daly

        Devoto off for Ford at the same time as Daly comes on for Joseph, just to prevent having two debuts in the centre at the same time. Bit more pace in the back row is the only real change needed, other than Ford being desperately out of form. Front 5 and back three were the best part of our game on Saturday so I wouldn’t make any changes there, other than blooding Itoje off the bench.

  5. Tbh I wouldn’t make too many changes to the starting line up. I’d put Ford out of his misery and drop him to the bench, and start Farrell at 10 and Devoto at 12, hopefully Ford can rediscover his mojo against tiring opposition when the game breaks up a bit. With Ford on the bench, you don’t need Goode as auxiliary flyhalf cover and so would replace him with Daly. Backrow desperately needs pace, so start with the back row that finished the Scotland match Haskell, Clifford and Billy.

    That would be it for me, the only other changes would be to bring in Beaumont and Itoje to the bench, meaning that Robshaw and Lawes drop out of the 23 along with Goode. Depending on how the match goes, I’d bring Daly on at 13, move Joseph to the wing and Watson at full back. England could end up with a very exciting team by the final whistle:

    Mako/ George/ Hill
    Itoje/ Kruis
    Beaumont/ Billy/ Clifford
    Care/ Ford
    Devoto/ Daly
    Nowell/ Watson/ Joseph

    1. Looks like we pretty much posted the same team at the same time! Only difference being I’d have Robshaw over Beaumont – mainly as a safety net if we are struggling at all late in the game I’d rather have Robshaw come out as opposed to another debutant.

      1. I thought Robshaw looked pretty ordinary and for me it’s either him or Haskell and Haskell looked better, although I hope he doesn’t do his usual have a good game and be anonymous for the rest the championship. I think there is enough experience in the pack with the need for having both Hask and Robshaw in the 23. However I won’t be that grumpy if that is the only change!

  6. Slightly surprised Kieran Brookes isn’t in this week – he played the full 80 for Saints on Saturday. But then Hill didn’t get any game time vs Scotland, so he’s due a half vs Italy to get his first cap I guess. I’d definitely expect Brookes in for the Ireland game – I’d start him over Cole any day.

  7. Jacob you are right! I didn’t realise as someone has already suggested on here that Launchbury had had a stomach bug hence what I thought his under-performing on the day. Therefore come Italy he’ll be fine! No need for Itoje apart from on the bench!
    On the whole ‘arrogance’ thing – thanks for your agreement.
    It has become over the last twelve years a rod to beat English backs with. No more no less. With people on here included stating as recently as five months ago (the usual anti-English brigade – you know who they are!) the usual crap that all the English team (they’re still there today under EJ) are arrogant and of course the old chestnut – where they went to school! Who gives a f**k where they went to school! It’s how well they play rugby that counts. None of us can do anything retrospectively to change their educations (hopefully no one on here in a sane would want to either). You might be able, in China, Cuba and North Korea, to get some ‘social justice’ concerning where someone did or didn’t do to bl**dy school. Besides like myself, I might proudly add, they all went to very minor and socially inclusive private/independent schools. Yes, one or two did go to Millfield, but that is a sporting exception to the rule where if you are promising enough in your particular sport you end up going for free! I played against them by the way and they usually won (just) because they were three times as large and Millfield if you get my meaning! Lots of polemical debate!

  8. As the Aussies have shown, talented, well coached convicts beat posh boys at Rugby. Seriously though, the educational background of the players really should be of no importance. In a nutshell if they are good enough that should be the end of it. Experience does show that the best sportsman do not always go through the obvious coaching routes. Like the look of the squad, would like to see a more mobile back row and ball carrying options in the forwards.


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