A closer look at the seven uncapped players named by England boss Eddie Jones in the 37-man training squad that will meet in Brighton next week.
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)
Sale’s captain is capable of playing at either lock or in the back row, but was quite tellingly listed in England’s press release announcing the EPS and training squads as a second-row. Regardless of positional specifics, his call-up is well deserved. Packs a punch at over 200cm and 113 kg, no one in the Premiership this season has won more lineouts than his 25, or made more steals.
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
No stranger to regular watchers of the Premiership after consecutive seasons busting through tackle attempts. Hughes, born in Fiji and schooled in New Zealand, has more than filled the space left by Billy Vunipola since his move from Auckland in 2013. He qualified through residency in June and must be a contender to make England’s matchday squad.
Sam Jones (Wasps)
The tandem of Jones and Guy Thompson in the Wasps back row are a large reason why Dai Young’s squad sit top of the table after rounds. Only Jones however has received a senior call-up, also being named in the EPS group. Persistently impressive with his work-rate, that quality is likely to see him considered for a potential debut in the vacant seven slot later in the month…
Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers)
…but Jones will face stiff competition from the Zimbabwean-born powerhouse from Leicester Tigers. Williams had already seemed to have won Eddie Jones over before last weekend’s win over Bath, but a big outing that day at Welford Road when he made 16 carries didn’t exactly hurt. The former Worcester forward certainly packs a punch.
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Another Wasps, the third on this list, and arguably the outstanding player from the England Saxons tour to South Africa earlier this year when they clinched the series 2-0. Robson’s inclusion is the first time Eddie Jones has opted for three scrum-halves in a squad since he took over and his call-up is well deserved. Tied for the most breaks in the Premiership by a scrum-half this season, with five.
Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
Four tries for England U20 on their run to the U20 World Championship title earlier this year, including two in the final, are a large reason why Marchant has been included by Eddie Jones with an eye to the future. Promising early on this season for Harlequins, playing outside Lions centre Jamie Roberts. Dangerous prospect.
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Te’o went on tour with England to Australia earlier this year for the 3-0 series win, but did not win a cap. However all the reports of how Te’o performed in training were positive, and he offers an England a direct running option at inside centre, not to mention his offloading game, that compliments the double playmaker setup of George Ford and Owen Farrell nicely.