Home England Will Greenwood Picks his England XV for six nations

Will Greenwood Picks his England XV for six nations

by Saba Gulmagarashvili

Will Greenwood has picked his XV for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Murrayfield. With the captain, Owen Farrell ruled out of the competition and Jonny May now a severe doubt, Eddie Jones’ Six Nations plans have been thrown into disarray this week.

Six Nations Rugby | Playing Pundits: Will Greenwood

Freddie Steward (Leicester) 

“Not often a kid so young and with so few caps is close to the first name down on the team sheet. I may have a few disgruntled readers about certain elements of my selection but I suspect it is a slam dunk with Steward.”

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Jack Nowell (Exeter)

“If I couldn’t find space for Hassell-Collins I had to find a back who was happily working around the forwards, a back willing to take on players off lineout peels and provide power runs off the scrum-half. England’s back line is rammed full of ballers. There must always be balance.”

Serious toe injury rules out England wing Jack Nowell | PlanetRugby

Joe Marchant (Harlequins)

“To see Slade and Marchant work so well against South Africa was a joy to watch. Pace, ball movement, the works. Marchant is a cracking defender, as long as he keeps his spacings. Needs to remind himself what shirt number he is wearing when he runs out – wing and centre defend very differently.”

Joe Marchant looks back on his Super Rugby stint with the Blues | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

Henry Slade (Exeter) 

“Get him closer to the ball, get his hands on it more. Utilise his left peg next to Smith’s right foot. Let him attack lines and fizz passes or get nose to nose and pull the ball back to give Smith time to float round the back. No worries about him defensively”

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Max Malins (Saracens)

“This is where the selection starts to get very tasty indeed. Jonny May and his 35 tries would certainly have started. Ollie Hassell-Collins is the specialist left-winger in the squad and is starting to command serious attention. I think you have to start with one of Jack Nowell or Hassell-Collins or there is a very real argument that gain lines would not easily be won.”

Max Malins: Ten things you should know about the England full-back

Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

“Marcus would have been picked even if Owen Farrell had been fit, with the captain acting as his chaperone. But any doubts about who wears the 10 are now gone. Put him on the front foot and high-tempo breakdown ball and he will rip you apart.”

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Ben Youngs (Leicester)

“The young tyros are hot on his heels. But they will have to wait. Raffi Quirke’s winning try against South Africa means he will bound into a camp full of confidence – but Youngs has to start. The accuracy of his kicking game is a major contributor. Not just the box kicks, but the sliding-round-the-corner nudges in behind and the outside-of-the-foot midfield dinks.”

Ben Youngs: 'I can't quite put my finger on why it just didn't happen' | Leicester | The Guardian

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins)

“The super tight selection at No 8. Sam Simmonds certainly gets the nod on the bench after narrowly missing out on the starting XV. A hat-trick in Montpellier quashed any doubts that he couldn’t do it at the highest level.”

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Tom Curry (Sale)

“An absolute nuisance – the ultimate compliment for any openside. Fearless but with a technique that keeps him relatively safe and away from the treatment table. With that level of commitment, his work ethic away from the pitch to get himself ready and in good nick must be relentless.”

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Courtney Lawes (Northampton)

“Getting better and better with age. High levels of performance are a given now. He really doesn’t deviate below an eight out of 10. The old moniker of enforcer does not do his rugby justice any more. He is an all-court, ball-handling six.” 

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Jonny Hill (Exeter)

“Joe Launchbury’s long-standing injury has given Jonny a real run of games. A slow burner for many but I am keen to focus on the positives, rather than the potential pitfalls. Jonny’s frame is filling. Starting to dent like a good old-fashioned five and can shift around the park.”

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 Maro Itoje (Saracens) 

“Leads in so many ways, even without the armband. Tip of the spear so often for England. Dragging us through quiet moments. Bringing the heat. Defensive superpower at mauls, lineouts, breakdowns. He really is a force of nature.”

Maro Itoje: Eddie Jones changes mind on England lock's captaincy credentials | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol)

“The front rows of years gone by wouldn’t want to get changed next to this lot. They have some serious firepower. Kyle has had his ups and downs. His fire is still present, but he seems much calmer around big moments.”

Kyle Sinckler: England prop to miss Six Nations opener with Scotland due to suspension | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter)

“Outstanding all-around game. Energy and a competitive edge right on the limit. Cracking chop tackler goes so low sometimes the worms are diving for cover. Great arrows. So much to like about him as a rugby player. Could add offloading and game awareness to his game. Would be world-beating if he added 10kg to his frame.”

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Joe Marler (Harlequins)

“Joe has been in wondrous form. A set-piece titan. Handling much improved. One thing though: I get the feeling that he is involved in an increased amount of shenanigans off the ball. When you are as good as him, I don’t think it adds value. Really tough on Ellis Genge and Bevan Rodd.”

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