Eddie Jones has some grand plans for English rugby. He intends, quite publically, to build a side that is the best in the world which, considering the team’s most recent outing saw them exit their home World Cup at the group stage, is a lofty ambition.
Before the Australian can conquer the world, he must first take on the Six Nations and in announcing his first squad as Stuart Lancaster’s successor, whipped the sheet off a new-look unit that included seven uncapped players.
Making way for the youth were the likes of Tom Youngs, Danny Cipriani, Tom Wood and Geoff Parling, while there were recalls for previously sidelined veterans Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton.
In blending considerable experience with talented youth, Jones hopes to make the first tentative steps towards rebuilding English rugby in the Six Nations, a competition Ladbrokes make them 7/4 favourites to win.
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), and Maro Itoje (Saracens) comprise the uncapped seven as Jones looks to reward eye-catching club form with the chance to develop into a regular England international.
“We see these players growing into England players of the future and developing into a side who can be the best in the world. Our aim is to develop a squad where there is depth and competition in every position,” the new head coach said at Twickenham.
England begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6 although they will head north of the border without one of the named squad members.
Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi is ruled out of that clash as he bids to regain full fitness from injury, but is set to be monitored by the England hierarchy with a view to returning to international rugby for the first time since last June later in the tournament.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter?Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.