Now that the squad has been announced (and now that some players have already been released), here is my starting XV for the match against Australia in 10 days time.
Looking at the names in the squad, it would appear that Martin Johnson probably has a fairly set idea of the starting XV that he’ll name next week, since there are a distinct lack of options in certain positions – particularly Number 8 and full-back.
I’ve gone for a fairly conservative selection in the pack everywhere except second row, where I’d love to see Courtney Lawes capped. Whilst it’s unlikely to happen, the risk of blooding a youngster would be mitigated by the experience of Borthwick, Moody and Croft around him, and he might just be the spark in a ‘safe’ selection.
Danny Care has been looking sharp for Harlequins recently, but I’d pick Paul Hodgson to play alongside Jonny. Matt Banahan is a shoo-in on the wing for me; I think Mike Tindall will feature ahead of Dan Hipkiss; and I’d put Ugo Monye at full-back with Foden coming off the bench in the last twenty for Mark Cueto as Monye switches to the wing.
What are your thoughts? Can we beat Australia?