Six Nations 2019: England squad update for Italy match

robshaw

England head coach Eddie Jones has called up 31 players to prepare for England’s next Guinness Six Nations match against Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (KO 4:45pm live on ITV).

England squad

Forwards
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Chris Robshaw returns for the first time since the summer, Jonathan Joseph is recalled, and Saracens’ Ben Earl is added too.

What do you make of this squad? How would you like to see England line up against Italy?

27 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: England squad update for Italy match

  1. The continued omission of Brown, despite his experience and his current form for Quins is baffling – especially as he was such a mainstay previously.
    Daly proved again against Wales that he is not an international fullback. His positioning and catching in defence is not good enough and it blunts his attacking skills as he has not had years in the position to hone his attacking lines. He doesn’t even play there weekly for his club FFS! How on earth is he then meant to compete against the best in the world for the national team?
    England’s oppostion in the first 2 games showed the weaknesses of not picking a fullback at fullback and their third game showed the benefit of picking a proper fullback! How can EJ not have learned from that??
    Anyway, rant over.
    For Italy, I think if we’d have beaten Wales we may have seen a much changed team for Italy with some of the squad given a chance to show what they can do. However, given that defeat an the manner of it, EJ will want a crushing win against Italy for morale and will select pretty much a first choice team.
    Personally, I’d like to see this match played with the world cup in mind and to get some players experience at this level. Would start:
    1. Genge
    2. LCD
    3. Williams
    4. Launchbury
    5. Ewels
    6. Robshaw
    7. Earl
    8. Vunipola
    9. Robson
    10. Ford
    11. Cokasaniga
    12. Tuilagi
    13. Slade
    14. Thorley
    15. Daly
    A mix of experience and novices. Daly still in because if EJ won’t drop him then he needs all the practice he can get. BV because I don’t think he’s up to full speed yet. Tuilagi and Slade because the more matches they can play together, the better




    7
        1. Damn it. Didn’t even notice that. So irritating. We can’t rely on not needing a 5th lock come WC timen and if we do, there’s no one with a decent amount of experience to call on. Ewels’ game time probably amounts to about 10 mins or so




          0
    1. That looks like a good 15 to me. Would you have some of the more experienced guys on the bench to come on if it starts going wrong?
      I would have Hepburn, George, Sinckler, Itoje (assuming that Kruis is starting), Wilson, Youngs, Faz, Joseph. I would also make Ford the captain for the starting 15.

      On the subject of Daly, I still think it is an experiment until Watson is fully fit, because I think Watson is a better fullback. EJ clearly wants Daly in the 15, but doesn’t want to leave out May, Nowell or Slade (I still think 13 is Daly’s best position!).




      0
      1. Absolutely. Just like Wales did for their match against Italy.
        Was never convinced by Watson at fullback either (wing for sure) but yes, he is better than Daly
        Agreed that Daly’s best position is 13 but not sure he would fit with Tuilagi at 12. Slade is more of a playmaker and I think that’s necessary if you play Tuilagi – assuming of course that 12 or 13 actually get passed the ball at any point during the match…




        1
  2. To echo Pablito, This silly experiment with Daly has to stop. After Slade, he’s probably the most naturally gifted player in the squad and it’s just wasting his talent, especially as Marchant is not getting a look in. Add in the mess over his club situation and it all adds up to poor man management from EJ.
    Is Itoje REALLY fit? Rushing players back is another EJ forte.
    I hope Big Joe gets time against italy and the Scots, although I’ve a feeling Thorley may be used as a rep in at least one of those games.




    1
  3. Agree about Daly Pablito and Acee. Brown is on fire at the moment. Also think Marchant should be getting a look in on current form. He is certainly looking sharper than JJ at present. Hope Launch gets a start. I would make him captain for the last two games. Not surprised to see Robshaw back. Even if he does not make the team he is the sort of player who brings absolute commitment to the cause and is looking fit and eager after an enforced rest.




    2
    1. i wonder if Wilson will get a rest this weekend and Robshaw will come in? I just hope that ,as the WC is getting ever nearer , Eddie isn’t losing the courage of his convictions. i remember Capello trying to recall Paul Scholes at the 11th hour for the 2010 Soccer WC after sailing through qualifying without him. Wilson and Curry are the starting flankers in Japan barring injuries surely?




      0
      1. Wilson certainly deserves a rest. And Robshaw could do with the game time.
        As for starting flankers, it may depend if Underhill is back and fit for the warm-up games. He was superb in the autumn internationals – especially against the Kiwis.
        I think the position should be Curry’s to lose but if something does happen to him, Underhill is a rather good back up option.
        There’s no reason Underhill couldn’t play 6 either (and long term this may be the best position for him) so possibly a good bench option.




        1
  4. Don’t think Italy are a team we need to rush Itoje back for so surprised there isn’t another lock there although potentially Shields could be that guy? Glad Thorley getting a chance, if we are going to give people a look then this is one of the last games to do it.




    2
    1. A good point about Shields. I’ve no doubt he can play lock whether he should at international level is a different question.
      Mind you, playing people out of position is another EJ forte




      1
    2. It’s another example of the Jones paradox. Stooke ,Hill and Ewels have all been in previous squads over the last year or so. The cupboard is certainly well stocked lock wise so rushing itoje back is totally needless. One thing is for certain: i bet Eddie is a crap poker player!




      0
      1. The Times team of the week had Nathan Catt as the form L/HD but, he’s over thirty so obviously that means he’s past it, especially as he’s a prop!




        0
          1. i still wonder if the official reason for his retirement is the real reason. Marler seems a very strong willed individual and maybe EJ was finding him a bit less malleable than some others? We’ll never know unless someone writes a post retirement book but it makes me wonder.




            0
      2. You may be right Pablito, but if so it is an indication of the way that the game is going that a prop of 17 stone plus is now too light for International rugby. A few years ago propping was about technique. Nowadays it is increasingly about being huge enough to be impossible to shift. Can’t help feeling that allowing complete replacement front rows has robbed the game of the need for front row players to last eighty minutes to the detriment of the game.




        0
        1. I don’t think this is anything new – and if anything, with the advent of props like MV, Ben Franks and Sinckler I think the pendulum has swung slightly back the other way. Sure they’re big guys, but they can play 80 mins and not just trotting from scrum to scrum with the occasional leaning into a ruck, but 80 mins of tackling, clearing out, scrumming, carrying and passing the ball.
          If I think back to the 2003 RWC, 16 years ago, Hepburn would still have been considered very light for a prop. I think you’d be hard pressed to find many props as light in those teams
          Hepburn is good round the pitch but his main job is in the scrum and he would need to be a supreme technician to make up for his weight – and I don’t think he is.
          Nor do I have a problem with this. Rugby has always been a game for all sizes and the chunky lads always end up in the front row. I’d rather that than a team of identikit players a la rugby league




          0
  5. The squad is mostly predictable. Jones will likely start with the same side, as nr as is possible, as prev. If Itoje is fully fit, he’ll probably start. The main difference will be that England won’t kick themselves to death this time out, @ home. They’ll mix it up a bit, not least because Eddie gets the squirts @ criticism from the likes if SCW, the media in general & esp from TRC bloggers! A bit pointless in my naming a team that I’d like to start v Italy. Some of my shoo ins aren’t In the squad. Good old Eddie has extinguished their careers. Unsure if Robshaw will feature, or if Sheilds will (not as a lock please!). What of JJ, Earl, Thorley? Jones ought to give these guys a couple of run outs, even starts, to see if they’re capable of featuring come the WC. Naming squads, then sending guys home without a shout? What ‘s the point in that!!




    1
    1. Changed my mind. Has to be partly a fantasy team, but it is; Moon, Geo, Sinck (with a not to do list on his wristband), Itoje, Launch, Shields (Wilson wasn’t so effective v Wales, so an op to see what BS can do again, @ ‘home’ v ltd (?) oppo, incl his lineout prowess), BV, Curry, Joe Simpson, Cipriani, May, Farrell (funnily enough for his kicking.. @ goal), Slade, Nowell & Brown. Dunno about benches (bit like Eddie v Wales?), but how about Catt, Genge, Attwood, Mercer (or Wilson?), C-D, Ford, Care & Daly (or Tui or Teo?) .. with the proviso that the bench get early run ons. Say some before & others after 1/2 time? May have unbalanced & too many benched, esp with either or’s, but I can’t add!




      0
  6. The squad is mostly predictable. Jones will likely start with the same side, as nr as is possible, as prev. If Itoje is fully fit, he’ll probably start. The main difference will be that England won’t kick themselves to death this time out, @ home. They’ll mix it up a bit, not least because Eddie gets the squirts @ criticism from the likes if SCW, the media in general & esp from TRC bloggers! A bit pointless in my naming a team that I’d like to start v Italy. Some of my shoo ins aren’t In the squad. Good old Eddie has extinguished their careers. Unsure if Robshaw will feature, or if Sheilds will (not as a lock please!). What of JJ, Earl, Thorley? Jones ought to give these guys a couple of run outs, even starts, to see if they’re capable of featuring come the WC. Naming squads, then sending guys home without a shout? What ‘s the point in that!!




    0

Leave a Reply