Six Nations 2018: England squad preparing for Wales



Eddie Jones has called up a 32-man squad to begin England’s preparations for their second NatWest 6 Nations match against Wales on Saturday 10th February (KO 4.45pm, Twickenham).

Nathan Hughes (Wasps) will come into camp this week to be assessed on when he is likely to be available to play during the championship.

The England squad arrived back in London this afternoon from Rome following their 46-15 win against Italy in the opening round of the tournament.

Full backs
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Nathan Earle (Saracens)
Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

Inside backs
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)


Back five
James Haskell (Wasps) *
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

Front row
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Marler (Harlequins) *
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)

*unavailable for selection due to suspension

19 thoughts on “Six Nations 2018: England squad preparing for Wales

  1. Robson one for the “far” future or another player destined to miss out on an England cap, whilst Jones is coach?
    Wigglesworth isn’t a very inspiring replacement imo, I appreciate he has international experience and does a job for Saracens, but he isn’t ever going to set the world alight. Robson has shown this season he is a well rounded 9, who is a threat with ball in hand. Maybe he is too similar to Care.
    Imagine Care will start, which could suit Wigglesworth closing out a game, if England are leading. But he would be unlikely to change the tempo of the game if brought on with England trailing.

    1. I really wouldn’t be surprised to see Wiggy starting to help keep Wales pinned in their own half. His kicking game and game management is much better than Care’s. Whilst he may not be the most inspiring with ball in hand, his ability with boot on ball could be just what England will need against a confident Wales.

      1. If Wigglesworth were to start, which does make sense based on what you have said, it would mean starting out “3rd” choice 9 whilst leaving our 2nd choice on the bench. I know that Jones has a clear role for each player to fulfill, but this just doesnt seem to make any sense. At the end of the day, the best XV should start and, imo, Care is far better than Wigglesworth in the areas we need: high tempo play, with quick ball delivery for our halfbacks.

        1. I think the issue lies in the fact that for Eddie Care and Youngs are not vying for first pick, they are complimentary halves that make up a whole. Youngs starts (generally) as he offers more with the boot and is more of a controller. Care is the will’o the wisp who brings pace and inventiveness when the opposition are tiring. You can argue that this may not work against the AB’S who have stellar fitness levels but up to press, it’s served us very well.

        2. I would say that against Wales a high tempo game would fall right into their hands, just look at Scotland last week!

          Whilst I like the abilities and experience of Lawes and Robshaw I think they might struggle to keep up with the pace to the breakdown of Shingler and Navidi?

          We will need to keep Wales in their own half as much as possible to win this game. They are more dangerous with ball in hand with Patchell at 10 and have the players out wide to punish us if given the chance.

          1. Will Wales not look to play a more open style though, running the ball more from deep. They started doing this against Scotland so i would be a bit apprehensive kicking away too much territory.
            I agree that field position is important, but if England are unable to retain the ball then there will be few chances to score.

  2. Disappointed but not surprised by Wrigglesworth. Hoping Care starts and plays 80 unless injured. Wrigglesworth is a good player, but he doesn’t offer enough of a threat around the fringes at test level.

  3. Nice to see LC-D back in the squad

    Disappointed by Wigglesworth who is a good club player but too limited to be a good international.

  4. Disappointing to recall a very ordinary player who is in no great form. If Wiggy had been tearing it up for Saracens I would support his selection, even if it’s a on a short term, stop gap basis. He isn’t. Spencer has looked the better player, while Robson has been the best SH in the Premiership. He’s terribly unlucky not to get a chance.
    LCD for Dunn is fair enough.

  5. LCD been very good in the few games he has played for Exeter but don’t see him replacing either hooker on Saturday. No idea what Robson has to do to get a chance. Be interesting to see if Teo keeps his place or Joseph comes back in, other than that don’t see many changes to the team at all

    1. I’d like to see Te’o keep his place. He provides a physical challenge that is generally lacking in the back line. He adds another dimension to the attack and something else for Wales to worry about.

      The Welsh defence was excellent on Sat but the Scottish rarely gave them much to worry about. I’d like to see Te’o and Simmonds giving Parkes and Patchell’s defence a thorough test.

      Ditto for the Welsh wingers. Adams and Evans are new to this level. They both seem to have what it takes but they need to be properly targeted. For this reason I’d play Nowell over May (assuming Brown is fullback and Watson on the other wing). Nowell is a strong, clever player and a very good defender (he is also an exceptionally good finisher)

      May to come on later in the game when space opens up and his running style is likely to produce better results

      1. I’m torn on Te’o/Joseph. Oddly, in attack I’d agree that I’d prefer to see a hard running Te’o.

        However, some of our wide defensive issues may be solved with Joseph coming back in. He’s one of the best in the world at defending that 13 channel when it’s drifting quickly. I’d lean towards him for that reason against Wales.

        Only other change would obviously be starting Care and then bringing Nowell back.

        Also just noticed Hughes is above. Do we know when he is expected back fit?

        1. No word on Hughes yet – it just says they are assessing when he might be likely to play.

          Agree on JJ’s defence, he’s outstanding in that role, but I think Te’o deserves some credit for fixing Italian defenders and creating space out wide. He didn’t make the clean breaks like he did for the Lions, but defenders have to watch him carefully all the time.

            1. How many times do you think he could pretend to have blurry vision and headache after a change in possession before the ref catches on?

        2. We did seem to be far too exposed out wide; twice the italians went wide and twice they scored. Not sure how much of this was due to Teo, I think the first try may have been due to May being out of position.
          I would still personally like to see JJ and Nowell return, but not sure if Nowell replaces May or Brown. May was very good in attack on Sunday, coming off his wing and providing a nice assist for Watson. Brown needs to step up on Saturday if chosen; England need “Mr Dependable” to come good and command the backfield. Wales will no doubt put up a lot of bombs for their wings to chase.


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