Sunday, 17 January 2016

Experiment - you know it makes sense

À propos Fast Eddie's England squad selection this week, I keep reading that Murrayfield, where England open their 2016 6N campaign on 6th February, is "no place for experimentation".

To which I say, why not?

After all, if not now, when?

I am not advocating experimentation for the sake of experimentation. What I am saying, though, is that if new, uncapped players are the right selections then those players should be picked, irrespective of the fact that they may not possess a shedload of caps.

A so-called "risk-free" approach would have Dan Cole at tight head, James Haskell at number 7 and Owen Farrell playing in the centre. All very experienced, granted, but Cole has very little form this season, Farrell is the form 10 in England and has yet to convince at 12, while Haskell would just be another attempt at a 6½.

No, if Paul Hill is currently the best tight head in the Premiership, if Maro Itoje's form remains irresistible, if Jack Clifford or Matt Kvesic can demonstrate what they can offer at 7 and if Sam Hill or Ollie Devoto are the type of player Eddie Jones wants to see at inside centre, then they should start.
Not only would this be the right thing to do in terms of development, picking in-form players in their best positions also gives England the best chance of success in this Six Nations.

You know it makes sense.

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