Eddie Jones has released ten players back to their clubs for the weekend’s games, retaining the 23 players who form the squad to take on Scotland in the opening round of the 2016 RBS Six Nations.
The Australian is poised to hand Test debuts to three players; Bath centre Ollie Devoto, Harlequins flanker Jack Clifford and Northampton Saints prop Paul Hill. But the likes of Elliot Daly, Maro Itoje and Matt Kvesic will all have to wait for their chance.
Daly is a surprise omission given his excellent form this season for Wasps, but Jones has decided to stick with Jonathan Joseph who has performed so well for his country and finished top of the try scoring charts in the 2015 Six Nations.
Another player who can be considered unlucky to have missed out is Saracens lock Maro Itoje. The former England U-20 World Cup winning captain has been playing some exceptional rugby for the Aviva Premiership leaders.
The 21-year-old has lost out to the more experienced trio of Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes and Saracens teammate George Kruis. While Matt Kvesic will also miss out with Jack Clifford and James Haskell set to compete for the number seven jersey.
But Jones has said that these players can still have an impact on the tournament, telling the Daily Mail: “Some players have had a disappointment. How they take that disappointment and how they turn it into improving their game is the key thing I want to see.
“As long as they keep learning, they have got a great future. Every player who has come into camp has areas they need to improve upon. Now it is how hard they work on those areas.”
Young guns set for England debuts in the Six Nations
However exciting times lie ahead for the uncapped trio who will be given their first taste of Six Nations rugby in the hostile atmosphere of Murrayfield.
It is likely that Clifford, Hill and Devoto will all make their debuts off the bench, but it is still a fantastic achievement for three players who may not have been at the forefronts of people’s minds at the start of the season.
England face two huge Six Nations encounters at Twickenham in 2016. England v Ireland (Saturday 27th February) see’s Eddie Jones’s side take on the defending champions. While England v Wales (Saturday 12th March) see’s the renewal of one of international rugby’s biggest rivalries. Two mouth-watering encounters.