England Squad for Six Nations 2019

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has named the England squad to prepare for this year’s Six Nations, as they look to improve on last year’s 5th place.

Four uncapped players are included in squad: Ollie Thorley, Jack Singleton, Dan Robson and Ben Earl, whilst Billy and Mako Vunipola return along with Joe Launchbury, Mike Brown and Dan Cole.

Props Mako Vunipola (Saracens) and Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), second row Joe Launchbury (Wasps) and number eight Billy Vunipola (Saracens) all return from injury having not played for England since the South Africa tour last season.

There are also recalls for Jack Clifford (Harlequins) and Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs) who have not featured in an England shirt since 2017 and 2016 respectively due to injuries.

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), who has played 82 Tests for England, returns having last played for his country against Ireland in last season’s Six Nations.

Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby) is included for the first time and is one of four uncapped players selected alongside Ben Earl (Saracens), Dan Robson (Wasps) and Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors).

The 22-year-old Gloucester winger has made 39 career appearances for his club and was part of England’s U20 team that won the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in 2016.

Singleton, who also won the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2016, has previously toured with England to South Africa and Argentina with Earl and Robson joining the squad in the three-Test series against the Springboks in June.

Co-captain Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) is not included in the initial squad due to a knee injury so Owen Farrell (Saracens) will captain the side in his absence.

Eddie Jones said: “We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury. We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good ten-day preparation for the Ireland game.”

Jones added on England’s priorities while in Portugal: “The first thing when we get together as a squad is to get our cohesion back. The players have been playing for their clubs with different styles and different playing philosophies, so it’s about getting them thinking about playing the England way. The second thing is to get our togetherness stronger to work as hard as we can to make sure we are well connected on and off the field so Portugal is an important camp for us.”

On England’s first opponents in the tournament, he said: “Ireland is the best side in the world. They are a very well coached and drilled side and have particular things they do well in the game.

“To beat Ireland, we need to compete brutally in all the contest areas of the game.”

Jones added on Hartley’s absence: “Unfortunately, Dylan won’t be available for the Ireland game so we won’t take him to Portugal but we are hopeful he will be back later in the Championship. Owen will be captain by himself and he will certainly have great support from a number of senior players.”

The squad will travel to Portugal on Wednesday 23 January to begin their preparations. A squad of 25 players will depart for Dublin on Thursday 31 January.

Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens) *
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors) *
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps) *
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby) *
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


Players unavailable due to injury
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

34 thoughts on “England Squad for Six Nations 2019

  1. Seems like a decent squad. Shame Goode isn’t there but it’s not a surprise anymore. No Care is also a surprise. Seems strange for Eddie to persist with just Care and Youngs for so long only to drop Care this close to the WC.

  2. Agree the Care omission is strange, but Goode has had multiple chances in an England shirt but unfortunately has never been able to transfer his club form to the international stage. A great club player but hasn’t ever quite cut the mustard for England.

    1. Disagree EC. Goode has never been given a fair crack of the whip for England and is a far better player now than he was three years ago. Care is in better form than either Youngs or Robson who has done nothing since he came back from injury. Farrell is inclined to be petulant and wind up refs. Personally I would have Launchbury as captain. Daly is lucky to be in the squad given his current form. He had a real opportunity to step up for Wasps with Gopperth injured and has not done it. Will be interested to see who gets picked in the back row and at tight head.

      1. If the tabloids are to be believed, Jack Nowell for back row apparently!! Whispers of Sam Burgess on the breeze….

        I would consider 21 caps to be a fair crack of the whip that’s just one man’s opinion.

        1. Not an unreasonable view EC, but the majority of them were off the bench and he rarely played in the same back three twice. Added to that, both his tackling and his ability under the high ball have improved vastly and IMV the consistency of his good form deserves another shot. Not that I think he will get it!
          Agree about Moon and Wilson and would not be too surprised if Moon and Cole start against Ireland to try and give us some sort of stability in the tight against a formidable Irish front row. Hope they start with Best instead of Cronin at hooker, because Cronin is looking awesome.

  3. For me there is still a lack of scrum halves. I would want at leat three scrum halves in the training squad. Especially as Robson spends quite a bit of time injured. Shame he hasn’t picked Care or Spencer as a spare? I though Spencer would have got in as I think he is a better kicker than Youngs or Robson but, I my have my Sarries tinted glasses on?
    I think Earl or Clifford are going to have a tough job deposing Wilson, Shileds or Curry?

  4. Team v Ireland
    Brown 15 Ashton 14 Tualagi 13 Teo 12 May 11 Farrell 10 Youngs 9 8 Billy 7 Curry 6Shields 5 Launchbury 4 Itoje 3 Cole 2 George 1Mako.
    That is the best team we can chose since Eddie took over.Stacks of experience.Happy with that

    1. Mostly agree except that I’d have Daly at 13 with Manu at 12, Cokanasinga at 14 and Wilson in for Shields, I’m not sure about Cole either, experience will be great around the wider squad but I don’t think he offers as much in the loose and can give away too many breakdown penalties.

  5. Earl isnt ready for test rugby and Shields hasnt shown any sign that he’s up to it are the selections that jar for me.
    Front 5 is spot on. Devoto coming in is a very sound move, Robson is selected at last (at least a season and half too late), a good young bolter in Thorley and Brown is sensibly restored.
    All in all, its really not bad. The injury situation isn’t dire, though we are missing Joseph, Watson, Robshaw and Underhill.

    1. Steve, yr view of Sheilds was also expressed by a few even BEFORE he’d been given much of a chance. Since then there’s been some opinion shift, yr’s apart, that is. He may not be a world beater, but then are Wilson or Underhill? Would either of the latter 2 walk into the AB side? Shields has pulled his weight & hasn’t let England down, so why such a downer on him when he’s only had a handful of games for Dngland thus far? He may, or may not, start v Ireland, but to date he’s Eddie’s incumbent, so we’ll have to see. Perhaps it’s a bit ironic that an Aussie has picked a Kiwi in an England side, presumably because HE’S seen something in Shields that you haven’t.

      1. Don, I’m far from alone in finding Shields performances for club and country to date underwhelming.
        Pulled his weight and hasnt let England down aren’t exactly ringing endorsements of his quality i would suggest.
        Now it may be that he is better than what he’s shown so far. If so, I would like to see it.
        Right now i’d have Wilson, Mercer, Armand plus Robshaw ahead of him and would even prefer a younger player like Ellis or Dombrandt to be in the squad.

        1. Steve, entitled to your opinion, but that’s all it is is. You seem to have a downer on Shields. Putting novices ahead of him is surely emotiontive perception. It’s no skin off mine, but to remind you, Shields did captain a S Rugby franchise which had won that title & they don’t tend to pick too many mugs in the NZ game. Besides v NZ, whom in the England back row were that outstanding? They were nilled after 35, so maybe Wilson & Underhill weren’t all that either. Or do you contend that they were world beaters & dominated the AB back row?

          1. Don, Of course its my opinion about Shields, but as i said above its one widely shared. Until he shows up and produces something close to a top level performance i will remain unconvinced of his suitability.
            The question is if he really was that good why didnt NZ pick him? After all, he went through their system, played age group rugby and captained a S15 side. He was under the noses of NZ selectors, yet completely ignored.
            Now Eddie Jones may see something in him but the NZ coaches didnt.

            1. Steve, well the answer is that NZ didn’t pick Shields because Hansen, presumably, saw another in front of Shields. But that’s NZ & they’re 1 @ & England ain’t. Besides, if he’d stayed on, who knows? What with injuries NZ’ve had in their pack (5 of 8 over the past yr!), who knows? He may have got a shot, as he seems to have been in the frame by all accounts, but Squire got the nod.. & he’s been, er, Injured. Similar with Hartley. Most punters here want him out & George in. However, when George got his chance, he not only blew the line out v Ireland @ the death last yr, he & Itoje also blew only 3 v Relellick between them. Hartley @ least hits his jumper & as captain, doesn’t shriek @ refs. My point is that you, as already alluded to, seem to be prejudiced against Shields, even though some other sceptics here have latterly, @ least reserved their judgement to date. Anyway, you’re not going to change yr mind, so only time & injury will tell in respect of Shields. Have to see how probably, Wilson Billy V & Curry (unless Jack, ‘The tattoo’, Nowell gets the nod of course) perform.. & @ least they’re, mostly, English.

      2. looks like Shields may not make the cut. He’s got an as yet unspecified injury.
        If he is out, please Ed, let’s have either Morgan or Ewers in the squad.

  6. Would rather have Morgan than Hughes and makes the previous selection of Wigglesworth even more strange to me. Good squad overall and couple good editions, not sure about Earl tho, let’s see what happens..

  7. Experienced squad yes. Also a number of, or near, ‘apprentices’ like Thorley, Earl, Singletary, Cocka, Robson & Devoto. Even Slade, Clifford, Curry, Williams, Cowan-D, Shields & Moon are hardly seasoned internationals. Also unclear why Francis (although injured) is still fringeing, along with Robson. Bit late to start looking @ hopefuls for game time now isn’t it? Especially when Jones states that ‘..a couple of young guys could shoot up as well’! Naturally, the viable options of Cipriani & Morgan have been excluded once again of course. Whilst the re-inclusion of the experienced Brown & even Cole OTOH, makes some sense to me, it also begs the ? of why they were dropped in the 1st place. The returning Launchbury is also a boon IMO. Farrell as captain? Prayer mats out? We’ll see. Hard to guess the v Ireland line up, although some positions seem set. I think M Vuni, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Itoje, Wilson, Curry, B Vuni, Youngs, Cocka, Farrell, Teo, Slade, May & Daly will start. It’s not the team that I’d pick, but with EJ also stating that ‘..we need to get them (1/2’s particularly) back into the England way if playing’, what ever that really means, I see more bosh than guile being the order of play. I also expect that Jones won’t actually select ‘my’ team, but nevertheless, there may be a few of my picks in his side.

  8. So, no Ewers or Morgan again. Instead we have two tyros in Hill and Earl. Mmm.
    Echoing others. I’m glad to see Robson given his chance (presuming he actually gets game time) but surprised it’s at the expense of Care.
    i hope this squad evolves during the 6N . I don’t accept Jones’ assertion that this is the strongest England squad he’s ever picked,sounds like wish fulfilment to me.
    If Manu is in we need a clever playmaker along side him. I’m in the Daly camp. He’s no FB and his talents are being wasted there.

  9. Acee, my only worry with that would be both are 13s in my opinion and we would lack game management, I think the partnership could be great but Tuilagi needs work at 12 before they try it. To me, Daley has been excellent as a winger and plays there with Slade and Tui in the centres. I know Slafe plays a lot at 13 now but still think he could be a great option inside Tui for England

    1. I never thought of that! Yes, it would be a gamble and I don’t imagine EJ will play Daly at either twelve or thirteen anyway.
      I just feel he is not involved enough out wide and definitely not good enough as a fifteen.

  10. I´m not a huge Jones fan, but I do feel that in some ways his job is made more difficult by the fact that he has so much choice. From this squad of 35, 12 will get sent home, but we don´t know which ones yet so we can ignore them and all those out injured. However, just off the top of my head I think you could pick a squad from those he has either discarded or never bothered to have a look at that would give whatever team he picks a hell of a game. Goode, Rocko, Marchant, Barritt, Yarde, Cips, Care, Bateman, Yeandle, Cooper-Wooley, Attwood, Slater, Armand, Morgan, Kvesic with a bench of Banahan, Bassett, Wigglesworth, Hepburn, Webber, Schonert, Symons and Ewers would be a fairly decent gnarly pack of forwards, with plenty of pace, power and imagination outside and Barritt to organise them defensively. This still leaves out decent players like Pennells, Banahan, Earle, Twelvetrees, Trinder, Bassett, Collier, Dunne, Walker, Dombrandt, Ben Currie, and probably quite a few others that I don´t see enough of to make informed judgements about. I suspect that if you tried to select what is virtually a fourth team in Wales, Ireland or Scotland you would be really scraping the barrel. Eddie´s problem is clearly not a shortage of good players. Nearly everyone in the Prem is a “good” player but few of them are absolutely outstanding and obviously better than others in their position, whereas with the other countries there are fewer eligible players and managers can concentrate on developing a limited number of players in each position to a very high standard with the full co-operation of the clubs.. Compare the strength of Irish scrummaging props with England´s at the moment and it is clear that the intensive work done in the provinces over the past few years has paid huge dividends.
    I suspect that Cole has been brought back mainly for the Irish game because EJ is concerned that Mako and Sinkler, neither of whom are outstanding in the tight, will get marmalised by McGrath, Healy, Furlong, Porter et al. Interested to see how this squad develops over the next few weeks, but I don´t think that more than about five places are really nailed down for the WC yet, which is decidedly worrying. I also don´t think we will improve much until we move the ball more quickly from the base of the scrum, which means Care or Robson at 9 and Youngs out.

  11. My choice of squad for Ireland would be as follows:
    M.Vunipola, J.George, H.Williams, M.Itoje, J.Launchbury, M.Wilson, T.Curry, B.Vunipola, B.Youngs, O.Farrell, J.May, B.Teo, E.Daly, J.Nowell, M.Brown
    L.Cowan-Dickie, E.Genge, K.Sinkler, C.Lawes, B.Shields, D.Robson, H.Slade, C.Ashton

    Don’t trust Fords form at the mo so would roll the dice and pick Slade on the bench as 10 cover
    Wilson to cover No.8. Genge, Sinkler, Robson & Ashton to play the classic finishers role and inject pace and power late on.

    1. Surely Cokanasiga needs to be in the mix? Look at the havoc he caused in the autumn.
      if we are going to win in Dublin we will need guile, intelligence, pace and power.
      I think Cole will go straight back in at 3, given his recent form and it would be really harsh on Moon if he didn’t make the bench.

  12. Apparently Joseph has just been called up. If he is in the squad against Ireland i will have a fit! Does Eddie not remember how rubbish he was against them last time? And the time before!? Daly for 13 please!! And Joseph shouldn’t be back in the team until he plays some decent rugby for his club. He was easily the worst 13 in last year’s 6 nations and Ireland played at least 3…all.if whom were miles better!!

    1. Is Devoto in the matchday squad? At least he’s been playing regularly! Marchant would also have been worth a gamble. More capriciousness from Mr J!

      1. Yeah I would have liked to see Marchant in the squad. Capricious is a pretty polite description of Eddie’s selectoral abilities!

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