Here I will stick my neck out and name who I think should be starting for England in the first of the Autumn internationals against New Zealand in a couple of weeks.
1- Sheriden. I am pleased to see Marler in the squad and I think he can develop but the Kiwis in his first test is expecting too much from a guy who has only played a handful of games. Sheriden whilst nowhere near his best has the ability to be one of the few English players who could make the World XV
2- Hartley- Thompson’s set piece has come and pushed him close but I’d stick with Dylan
3- Cole- Has made the place his own in such a short time
4- Lawes- It’s his time. Make him a fixture in the side and watch him develop
5- Attwood- He will probably lose out to Palmer but I was very impressed with Attwood in the Summer and think he and Lawes could prove a very effective partnership
6- Croft.- Is loving the new law interpretations and would get in on his lineout ability alone
7- Moody- Johno will be hoping Moody or Fourie proves their fitness. Fourie will get an opportunity to build on his growing reputation but not at the start
8- Easter- Great hands and a calming influence on the side. His work rate is underestimated too
9- Youngs- Both he and Care have hit form and the competition will be vital. Youngs just nicks it
10- Flood- It’s almost a coin toss to decide between Flood and Wilkinson but Flood’s greater attacking flair just gets it
11- Ashton- Going from strength to strength
12- Hape- I would’ve gone for Flutey had he been fit. One of the few areas with little options
13- Tindall- Same as 12 but remember France when everyone doubted Tindall
14- Armitage- A tough call on Cueto but Armitage’s form can’t be ignored
15- Foden- Owns the shirt now.