Continuity and cohesion stay key in worldwide rugby and so it have to be with nice pleasure that Steve Borthwick is ready to title an unchanged beginning line-up for the primary time in his England tenure. Not for the reason that 2019 World Cup last have England named the identical beginning 15 because the week earlier than, however barring a late mishap, the boys who began the win over Italy will stay in place for Saturday’s go to of Wales to Twickenham.
A criticism of Eddie Jones was that he could possibly be overly eager to tinker nevertheless it additionally have to be mentioned that it has turn out to be strikingly uncommon for any worldwide coach to be ready to retain the identical 15. That previous adage about not altering a profitable crew has little pertinence now when accidents are so frequent: seldom does a whole line-up handle to flee a Test contest unscathed. It may work the opposite method, after all, an damage returnee introduced again to bolster the ranks in flip requiring that somebody drops out.
Ellis Genge is again on the bench however it will likely be Murrayfield on the earliest that both George Martin or Ollie Lawrence will return to England’s quantity, leaving Borthwick to go in with the identical group that ran out in Rome. The win over Italy had its imperfections however there have been indicators of the significance of giving a facet time collectively within the method during which England settled in. While the defensive flaws of the primary half weren’t fully eradicated, some jagged edges had been clearly smoothed over with the advantage of time on the pitch.
An additional coaching week and a thought of evaluate interval ought to solely help the connections within the vast channels. If Italy’s early success gave England a scare, the way during which Wales managed to get to the sting so successfully within the second half in opposition to Scotland means that they may exploit any frailties, notably with George North again within the 13 shirt.
The relationships between England’s exterior backs will construct and construct throughout this championship, however Henry Slade is a helpful linchpin having operated in an identical system at Exeter this season. Elliot Daly’s defensive improvement has gone beneath the radar – solely seven gamers made extra dominant tackles than the Saracen on the World Cup – whereas Tommy Freeman is a formidable lateral mover for a person of not inconsiderable mass. Allowing the group to mattress in collectively is definitely smart.
In assault, extra is likely to be wanted from Fraser Dingwall together with his debut now behind him, although it’s value remembering that England had, it’s thought, deliberate to construct their midfield round a Marcus Smith/Lawrence partnership. Attack coach Richard Wigglesworth admitted this week that the pair’s accidents have required a rethink on one of the best method – using Ethan Roots as an influence service in midfield in a facet in any other case maybe missing a little bit of biff hints on the new options being examined.
England could fancy their possibilities in opposition to the Welsh tight 5 on the set piece. An all-new entrance row named by Warren Gatland will certainly be focused, with Joe Marler more likely to attempt to get after three-cap Keiron Assiratti, who has a possible debutant in Bath’s Archie Griffin for backup. While Elliot Dee appeared to resolve the Welsh woes on the lineout in opposition to Scotland, Maro Itoje stays among the best defensive lineout disruptors on the earth and he’ll put Adam Beard and Dafydd Jenkins beneath stress.
Of concern for England will probably be guaranteeing their pace of ball stays excessive. Consultant coach Andrew Strawbridge is with England for the primary few weeks of this championship and is thought to be a groundwork guru, and appeared to have a right away affect. Despite profitable on the gainline much less typically than the opposite 5 sides in spherical one, England scrum half Alex Mitchell was supplied with persistently clear and swift possession on the base.
But Italy wouldn’t have a fetcher of the standard of Tommy Reffell, who secured three breakdown snaffles final week. The Welsh openside’s means to smell out, steal or sluggish English ball might show essential in figuring out whether or not England can take extra of the attacking strides they hope to on this match or stumble into a house defeat that might derail their marketing campaign.
England crew to face Wales at Twickenham (kick off 4.45pm GMT, Saturday 10 February)
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
14. Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 58 caps)
12. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 65 caps)
10. George Ford (Sale Sharks, 92 caps) – vice captain
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 12 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 89 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 86 caps) – captain
3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 34 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 77 caps) – vice captain
5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps)
6. Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 31 caps)
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 26 caps)
16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 8 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 58 caps) – vice captain
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 108 caps)
19. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
20. Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins, 1 cap)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 97 caps)
22. Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
23. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)