Tele­graph writ­ers pick their teams to face Les Bleus

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

Mick Cleary

To hell with change. This is no time for squad ro­ta­tion, for wrap­ping play­ers in cot­ton wool in case of in­jury be­fore the last eight. Eng­land have yet to fully hit their straps, partly through their own in­ad­e­qua­cies, partly be­cause they faced an Ar­gentina side re­duced to 14 men. Now is the time to main­tain mo­men­tum and nail a morale-boost­ing win. So, the same starters bar in­jured Billy Vu­nipola.

Paul Hayward

Ed­die Jones has to strike a bal­ance be­tween rest­ing play­ers, avoid­ing in­juries and pick­ing a side to beat France – which Eng­land will want to do. They can­not over­think the likely quar­ter-fi­nal match-ups. Owen Far­rell needs a break and Joe Cokanasiga is ideal for the wing against France, while Jack Now­ell is now fit. Eng­land’s pack is so strong that Jones would not lose much by ro­tat­ing.

Gavin Mairs

This is a team that al­lows Jones to rest some of his front­line play­ers for the quar­ter-fi­nal against ei­ther Wales or Aus­tralia, while con­tin­u­ing to in­ten­sify com­pe­ti­tion for places and, crit­i­cally, al­low Mako Vu­nipola and Jack Now­ell more game time to prove their match fit­ness af­ter such long lay-offs be­cause of in­jury.

Daniel Schofield

With qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the bag, this is too good an op­por­tu­nity to re­sist rest­ing a few key play­ers. Manu Tuilagi is the ex­cep­tion. In Billy Vu­nipola’s ex­pected ab­sence, his ball-car­ry­ing abil­ity is ir­re­place­able, but he could be re­placed early on. Now­ell, Henry Slade and Mako Vu­nipola in par­tic­u­lar could have big roles to play later in the tour­na­ment but need as many min­utes as they can get af­ter in­jury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.