Eddie Jones has selected a strong 26-man squad for England’s Old Mutual Wealth Cup match against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.
The Six Nations champions will be without their contingent of Saracens and Exeter Chiefs players including Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, George Kruis and Jack Nowell; who are contesting the Aviva Premiership Final on Saturday.
However they are able to recall several of the stars who shone during their Grand Slam winning campaign, while some uncapped players could get the chance to showcase their talents.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 22 May 2016
One of the notable omissions is Danny Cipriani who has enjoyed one of his finest seasons and will join up with Wasps ahead of the 2016-17 season.
After a training camp in Brighton, Cipriani was unable to force his way into the squad for the Australia tour, but will travel with the England Saxons to South Africa.
Jones said on the 28-year-old: “It’s never the end. The door is always open. He came down to Brighton and put his best foot forward. He’s got some work to do on his game if he’s going to dislodge the other two boys.”
With Owen Farrell struggling with a rib injury, it could be a case of Jones holding Cipriani back in case he has to call upon him for the Australia tour.
England could field exciting back-row for Wales clash
England v Wales was probably the best game of the 2016 Six Nations as the hosts avenged their World Cup defeat with a 25-21 victory.
The battle at the breakdown was crucial that day and will again be a pivotal area of the game on Sunday and Jones has given himself the option of fielding an exciting and dynamic back-row.
Teimana Harrison has been one of the Premierships form players in the second half of the season, forcing his way into the squad for the Australia series. The 23-year-old has the ability to cover openside and number eight, while his work at the breakdown has been superb.
Matt Kvesic is another who has really impressed this season in a struggling Gloucester side, he has maintained a high-level of performance and is a master of stealing ball at the ruck.
While Jack Clifford made steady progress throughout the Six Nations during his first season of international rugby. Like Harrison he is a versatile performer and has been a constant in Jones’s plans and could get his first start.
With world ranking points and the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at stake, this will be anything but an end of season friendly as both sides prepare for huge summer tours of Australia and New Zealand respectively.
Predicted England Rugby XV v Wales:
15. Mike Brown
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Ollie Devoto
11. Marland Yarde
10. George Ford
9. Danny Care
8. Jack Clifford
7. Matt Kvesic
6. Chris Robshaw
5. Courtney Lawes
4. Joe Launchbury
3. Paul Hill
2. Dylan Hartley ©
1. Matt Mullan
For more information please follow the links to our Twickenham Autumn International Hospitality Packages and Twickenham Six Nations Hospitality Packages.