England Squad for South Africa Tour 2018

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has named the England squad to tour South Africa this summer for a 3-Test series.

England squad for South Africa Tour

Full backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Elliot Daly (Wasps)

Nathan Earle (Saracens) *

Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)

Inside backs

Danny Cipriani (Wasps)

Owen Farrell (Saracens)

George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks) *

Dan Robson (Wasps) *

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

Ben Spencer (Saracens) *

Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


Back five

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)

Ben Earl (Saracens) *

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs) *

Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)

Maro Itoje (Saracens)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps)

Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

Brad Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps) *

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Jack Willis (Wasps) *

Mark Wilson (Newcastle)

Front row

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)

Jamie George (Saracens)

Joe Marler (Harlequins)

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

Not considered for selection:


Danny Care (Harlequins)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints)

Joe Marchant (Harlequins)

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)


Jack Clifford (Harlequins)

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)

Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)

Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

James Haskell (Wasps)

Nathan Hughes (Wasps)

George Kruis (Saracens)

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Will Spencer (Worcester Warriors)

Sam Underhill (Bath)

England training squad, Brighton (week commencing 14 May)

Full backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish)*

Ben Loader (London Irish)*

Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)

Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)

Jason Woodward (Gloucester Rugby)*

Inside backs

George Ford (Leicester Tigers)

Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)

Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors)*

Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks) *

Marcus Smith (Harlequins) *

Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

Ben Vellacott (Gloucester Rugby) *

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


Back five
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) *

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)

Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) *

Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)

Josh McNally (London Irish)*

Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) *

Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

Jono Ross (Sale Sharks)*

Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby) *

Front row

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)

Paul Hill (Northampton Saints)

Joe Marler (Harlequins)

George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers)*

Beno Obano (Bath Rugby) *

Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors) *

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors) *

*denotes uncapped player

30 thoughts on “England Squad for South Africa Tour 2018

  1. A very mixed bag for me.
    The good:
    – Finally we see the inclusion of more than just the gruesome twosome at SH. Hoping Robson and Spencer both get a chance to prove themselves.
    – Cipriani’s inclusion is late but welcomed imo. Will add a different dimension to the backline (a real gamechanger).
    – The back-five has a lot of new faces and there looks to be a good blend to make up the backrow.
    The Not-so-good:
    – The front row doesn’t look as strong as it could. Obano and Hepburn might rightly feel a bit peeved.
    – The midfield doesn’t seem to have much variety; some very skillfull footballers but not much in the way of power/ball-carrying. Teo was poor in the 6N imo
    – Back-3 only has one real replacement for Brown, who has had a very poor season. Not sure why Nowell isn’t included, or at least big Joe.

  2. Weakest area to me looks the back three. It does seem odd he hasn’t picked Woodward, unless he’s absolutely convinced one of Watson or Daly is Brown’s successor. Interesting he’s talked about Cipriani at full back too – if I recall that’s where he won his caps under Lancaster. I’d have had Cokanasiga in as otherwise it’s still a very lightweight backline; he keeps saying he wants to find more bulk but then keeps picking the same sort of players. You can’t magically turn Lozowski or Slade into a beefy carrier. Also, a few of the players not considered because of fatigue have surely played far less rugby than Mako has this season!

    Elsewhere some really exciting picks, especially in the forwards: Curry, Earl and Simmonds could all add some scorching pace to the back row, while Willis brings some proper breakdown nause. Hill a really good pick too: athletic and powerful. It seems like Eddie was not happy about the media reaction to him finally picking Armand and has promptly dropped him again, which is a shame – I’d have had him over Robshaw or Wilson. Both of those plus Shields seems like overkill in the grafter-sort of role. A bit of variety in the centres wouldn’t have gone amiss either, I’d have brought in Marchant. It’s an odd squad overall, doesn’t feel altogether a logical progression from where England have been going (although you could also say that the 6N meant some drastic surgery was required).

  3. Nice to see some names like Jack Willis and Jonny Hill in the main squad and Velacott and Schoenert in the training squad.

    Think Robshaw, M Vunipola and Itoje could all have done with a rest though

  4. can’t believe EJ has gone for so many quins that are in horrendous form for club and country over the likes of Joe simmonds, morgan, obano, woodward, graham & trinder

    1. Marler, the Sink, Robshaw and Brown haven’t really shown much in the way of international quality recently. Dropping them would’ve sent a message but their inclusion is a bit baffling. Even more so considering the performance of players you mentioned. Cooper-Woolley has also been playing very well.

  5. Cam Redpath! That really is a bolter of a selection.
    Ben Earl too. Is he really ahead of B Curry?
    Cant quite see how Nathan Earle is a better bet than Wade, or even Yarde or Lewington.
    Like all of Eddie’s squads, there are reasons to cheer, along with selections that leave you wondering what is his thinking.
    Of those missing out i think Armand, Ross, Graham, Trinder, Woodward and Wade have all made good cases to be included. Mercer a bit unlucky too.

  6. Overall I don’t mind the team however there are a couple choices I am puzzled by:
    1) Cameron Redpath?? Why not choose a young 10 that is actually getting game time like Marcus Smith or Joe Simmonds.
    2) Mako V – IF any player needs a rest it seems to me to would be Mako, instead add Hepburn or Obano to the mix.

    1. Redpath is also eligible for Scotland and France, I’d guess that’s probably why (if I’ve got my cynical hat on)…

  7. Also I am interested to track the players who ‘have played there last game for England’ as Eddie put it. I see Cole and Joseph have been rested but not dropped??

  8. I suspect (and hope) Robshaw is only there for experience and maybe to help drive some of the younger players as agree the last thing he needs is to start three tests! Whilst he might not be the most dynamic player you can’t knock is understanding of the game and if he can pass valuable knowledge onto someone who could potentially be his replacement it makes sense.

    I must admit I do feel for Care a bit as his performances in the 6N were not helped at all by the under performing forwards. However Quins have been awful and coupled with the 6N I suppose Eddie had no choice but to finally give Robson a shot.

    Would have liked to see Dave Ewers in there. I think he has now deserved a shot.

  9. Some great picks there in both the forwards and the backs but, then some really bizarre picks and odd omissions.
    I can understand taking some experienced players in the squad but I really don’t want to see Brown anywhere near a match day squad for this tour! Poor in the 6N, poor club form and getting too long in the tooth to continue. Fresh blood required for fullback. The fact that he’s only picked five outside backs means he probably will be starting!

    Nice to see Robson and Spencer in the squad but, odd to see Redpath in there and only one out and out centre in T’eo!?!?
    I thought this would be a good opportunity to give Marcus Smith some more time with the squad while on tour and, at least he’s actually played quite a bit of rugby for his club.

    The one thing which really disappoints me about this squad is that so many Lions players have been included and yet some have been ruled out due to fatigue? How can Mako not be fatigued. He’s only had about three weeks off since the beginning of the 2016/2017 season? Why not give him a rest and take Obano or Hepburn in his place?

  10. Largely I like the look of the squad and my 23 for the first test would be:
    1. Genge, 2. LCD, 3. Williams, 4. Launchbury, 5. Isiekwe, 6. Wilson, 7. Curry, 8. Billy V, 9. Robson, 10. Farrell, 11. May, 12. T’eo, 13. Slade, 14. Earle, 15. Daly
    16. George, 17. Mako, 18. Sinckler, 19. Hill, 20. Simmonds, 21. Spencer, 22. Cipriani, 23. Solomona

    1. Actually after much consideration I would start with Spencer partnered with Farrell and have the Wasps duo on the bench. Better to keep key combinations together where possible.

    2. I like it, but I’d argue it would be better to get BV off the bench in the first test. He’s unlikely to play the whole match if the coaches want to manage his return to play and so if he’s only going to play part of the game, who better to bring on as a finisher?

  11. I like the squad a lot, wouldn’t have mind seeing more rested but outside of that I can’t argue with the picks.

    Mako, George, Sinkler, Launchbury, Itoje, Shields, Curry, Vunipola, Youngs, Farrell, May, Te’o, Slade, Earle, Daly.
    LCD, Genge, Sinkler, Isiekwe, Willis, Robson, Cips, Solomona

    1. Who does the second Sinkler play for Jacob? Your mistake may be prescient, because if Williams gets hurt first up Sinkler is going to end up playing eighty minutes every game because there are only two tight heads on tour. He is nog good enough in the tight to do that. Same applies at hooker. One early injury and the pack is down the tubes.

      1. I definitely couldn’t decide which would start and ended up editing poorly!

        Sinkler is a better player for me, but I also like his bench impact so I would end up starting Williams I think. With all fit, Cole starting and Sinkler off the bench is the ideal.

  12. I expect we’ll see for the first test:

    1 – Vunipola; 2 – George; 3 – Williams; 4 – Itoje; 5 – Launchbury; 6 – Robshaw; 7 – Curry; 8 – Vunipola; 9 – Youngs; 10 – Ford; 11 – May; 12 – Farrell; 13 – Te’o; 14 – Daly; 15 – Brown

    16 – Cowan Dickie; 17 – Genge; 18 – Sinkler; 19 – Isiekwe; 20 – Shields; 21 – Robson; 22 – Slade; 23 – Solomona

    1. I expect you will be spot on Robbo, but I for one would be disappointed. I think some of these young guys selected for the tour need the experience of playing top level international rugby in a tough environment. Better to get it now than in the middle of the Six Nations or World Cup.

      1. I agree. But after the disastrous Six Nations, Eddie can’t afford more losses.
        It has been said before that his teams all follow the same trajectory – a brief blaze of glory before collapsing in a heap. He needs to prove that England aren’t going to follow the same path.
        Personally I’d like to see a team of young hopefuls and if they get beaten then so be it.
        I think it’s widely agreed now that the ‘Tour of Hell’ back in 1998 helped to forge a number of the 2003 RWC side

  13. I know this will be a minority view, but to me this party epitomises so much of what is wrong within the professional game at the moment. A tour of SA used to be one of the highlights of a player´s career. Now, either because of injuries or fatigue 20 players are not available. Many of these injuries have been caused by the new ruck and maul laws, exacerbated by Premiership clubs rushing players back into action too soon, or come from the repetitive heavy physical contact that is so much a feature of today´s game. Of those that are going at least four have played virtually continuously for the best part of two years. No wonder they call Robshaw “Boxer”. Talk about flogging a dead horse, he´s been out on his feet for the past couple of months. Mako and Itoje must also be knackered. They are both young and should have years in front of them but at this rate will be burnt out by 30. Redpath is there simply to stop him playing for Scotland or France which is a pathetic reason to pick anyone, good though he may be. There is no prospect that he will be starting or on the bench at the World Cup, so why pick him now, particularly as EJ has spent the past few months grooming Marcus Smith. None of the Quins players deserve to be on the tour on current form and we have picked three mercenaries. What really worries me though is that if you looked at the England squad a year ago you could have inked in eight or nine names. Now you would not be absolutely certain of naming more than about three. Both prop positions appear to be up for grabs, as is hooker. Launchbury and Itoje are probably favourites for second row with plenty of back up in Lawes, Isiekwe and Slater. No guarantee that BV will either last the pace or get back to best form before the world cup, so the back row appears as unbalanced and undecided as ever. No clear decision about scrum half or whether Farrell is going to play at 10, no decisions about what is Daly´s best position and who the centre combination is going to be, problems at full back where Brown has not been at his best for a long time, and numerous options but no certainties on the wing. Add to that the fact that the training squad in Brighton is a mish-mash of tourists and the unselected rather than being seen as an opportunity to get as many of the squad together as possible, and that the Premiership final is so late that players will not get a proper rest before they get on the plane and you have a recipe for disaster. Injuries at hooker or tight head in the first game would expose the poor selection of only two players in those positions. The combination of this squad and the training squad suggests that EJ has no more idea of what his best team might be than the rest of us. I fancy we will get a proper stuffing and see no way that a World Cup winning side is likely to arise from the ashes unless there starts to be some consistency in selection.

    1. Agree with a lot of this. What worries me most is that like the six nations there is no sense of coherence or a system in place in relation to selection. Compare this with Schmidt or even Gatland where the players know exactly what is required of them and new players slot in almost seamlessly.
      And then Eddie criticising the English players for being selfish with talk of Gustard going to Quins…all of this giving the same feel as the Six nations that he is losing the dressing room.
      I’m happy about some of his picks for the tour and unhappy about others…but way beyond the individual case for case basis I am worried about the seemingly random nature of selection with players arbitrarily discarded or finding favour.
      Am also very fed up he isn’t resting the likes of Mako, Maro and so on…
      For me Jones has become a big liability and absolutely central to England’s problems. I actually worry he’s going to end up sabotaging a group of very talented players who he seemingly has no idea how to get the best out of.
      Apologies for the negativity!! Would love to be wrong…

      1. I agree that EJ has lost his way
        One glaring mistake
        Picking one dimensional Mike Brown instead of the Hugely talented Jason Woodward

  14. Hope Cips gets a start in the Barbarian game, Reading EJ comments on him looks like he has already decided he doesn’t like him so can’t see him playing much in SA.

    1. I have a feeling we will see Cips playing at 15 rather than 10. With Ford and Farrell both going I can’t see Cips getting a look in at 10.

    2. I don’t; I’m hoping he can not because he’s playing for Wasps the day before in the Prem final!

      Agree with Dazza though. Especially with Watson injured, I do see Cips getting at least game time at 15.

  15. My team to face the Baabaas on Saturday would be
    Ellis Genge
    George McGuigan
    Kyle Sinkler
    Elliot Stooke
    Josh Beaumont
    Chris Robshaw
    Jack Willis
    Zach Mercer
    Ben Vellacott
    George Ford
    Ben Teo
    Henry Trinder
    Jonny May
    Joe Cockanasiga
    Jason Woodward

    Ben Obano
    Jack Singleton
    Paul Hill
    Joe Launchbury
    Mark Wilson
    Ben Youngs
    Danny Cipriani
    Elliot Daly

    Parachute some Wasps and Newcastle players straight to the bench but not considered for starting roles (partly to give them a rest partly because they haven’t been at camp)


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