We “Predict” The England XV for the 2015 Six Nations Opener
Later today, Stuart Lancaster names his England squad for the 2015 Six Nations, and there is a lot to think about as many injury issues still remain. At prop, Dan Cole is still not sufficiently fit to face Wales and England’s options at tighthead are thin on the ground. And at lock, Lancaster is likely to be without first-choice pairing Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes through injury. In the back row, No 8 Ben Morgan is sidelined but Lancaster still has an abundance of talent to choose from. Are there any chances of Steffon Armitage make an appearance? To be honest there don’t seem to be any, or at least I would not offer the Tip for one to select him in the official squad. Having said this though, until the announcement is finally made all options are, in fact, open. The battle for two positions is a particularly fascinating one, scrum-half and fly-half, with plenty of players putting their hands up, while centre is another position where all is to play for. Manu Tuilagi may be unavailable for the start of the tournament but Bath’s centre pairing of Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph are firing at just the right time. The question that remains is if they will be able to transfer their club form to the international stage. What of Sam Burgess? Will he be given his chance to get competition experience in view of the 2015 World Cup?
Well, even if the World’s best Tipster was unavailable, we managed to get the local club rugby coach, and his wife, to make their selection for the England XV to take on the Welsh in the opening match of this year’s Six Nations Championship:
At Loosehead prop we have Joe Marler or Alex Corbisiero.
At hooker we have Dylan Hartley or Tom Youngs.
At tighthead prop it’s one in-between David Wilson or Henry Thomas.
At Lock they both agree on Dave Attwood but disagree on Geoff Parling or George Kruis.
At blindside flanker we have James Haskel or Tom Croft.
At openside flanker they both agree with Chris Robshaw.
At No 8 it would be either Billy Vunipola or Nick Easter.
At scrum-half it’s one between Danny Care or Ben Youngs.
At fly-half we have George Ford or Owen Farrell. As predicted, the wife preferred the latter!
At inside centre we have either Kyle Eastmond or Brad Barritt.
At outside centre we have Jonathan Joseph or Sam Burgess (my personal favourite).
On the right wing it’s on in-between Christian Wade or Anthony Watson.
On the left wing we have either Jonny May or Marland Yarde.
At full-back both agreed on Mike Brown but I threw in Ben Foden.
England are always expected to perform well in all the major international tournaments and they often back up those expectations with results. However, their record in the Six Nations is far from impressive, despite the England odds often being amongst the shortest.
England have underperformed in the Six Nations very regularly.
Since the inaugural tournament in 2000, England have won the tournament on just four occasions.
You also have to go back to 2003 to find the last time the English rugby team won a Grand Slam.
Before you back England in either the grand slam or Title victory, you might want to consider they are playing away to the likes of Wales, Ireland and Scotland