5. End of an England Era?
England fans have come to grips with the international retirements of Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes, however could more players be set to step down from future run-outs in the red rose? In the post-match analysis, Lawes discussed his retirement and also highlighted Jonny May as an international retiree. The Gloucester winger was an unexpected inclusion in Borthwick’s Rugby World Cup plans, following the late injury to Anthony Watson.
May is England’s top ‘active’ try scorer, yet this accolade may soon alter should the winger announce his plans to step away from the international scene. Elsewhere in the squad, there is a lot of discussion regarding the future of England’s front row, with the international careers of Dan Cole and Joe Marler left uncertain. Marler was left out of the match-day 23, and previously told an England fan “It’s my last one”, in relation to an England start at Twickenham, when the fan asked him for his number one jersey.
At 36-years-old, Dan Cole is the oldest member of Steve Borthwick’s Rugby World Cup squad, but has not discussed his international retirement in any form. Cole has had an extended run in the World Cup side, and has frequently rivalled Kyle Sinckler to be the starting England tight-head. Also, the aforementioned unknown status on Danny Care poses questions around the future of England’s scrum-halves, and even Manu Tuilagi has been reported to step down from any future caps in an England jersey, with his expected last World Cup match coming to an early halt after a 52nd minute injury.