Tuesday, 13 August 2019

England Early Birds Ahead of the Curve

Well done Eddie Jones - the early bird announcement of England's 31 man Rugby World Cup squad, nearly 4 weeks ahead of the 8th September deadline is, I think, a shrewd move, allowing the chosen players to focus fully on preparation without the distraction of not knowing whether they will be on the plane to Japan.

That said, injuries will no doubt play their part and I'd be surprised if the 31 named will be the ones flying out to Japan in September.

As to the squad itself, it is pretty much as I expected, although taking only 2 tight heads and 2 scrum halves is clearly a risk and the fact that so many of the squad - e.g. Ludlum, Singleton, Cokanasiga, Francis, Heinz and McConnochie - have so few international caps between them, does suggest that Eddie's 4 year planning process has not been without its flaws.

Still, Jones's track record at World Cups isn't too shoddy and in theory his knowledge of Japan's people, culture, climate and geography could work in England's favour.

I have to admit, it's beginning to get exciting...

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