"Anglo-Welsh XV" - Picking Combined England and Wales Squad Ahead of Twickenham Rematch - Ruck

“Anglo-Welsh XV” – Picking Combined England and Wales Squad Ahead of Twickenham Rematch

England host Wales tomorrow evening at Twickenham Stadium, in a rematch of last weekend’s clash in Cardiff. Warren Gatland’s Wales got the better of England last time out, with an impressive 20-9 triumph at the Principality Stadium.

Both sides have undergone a re-shuffle from last week, as the two Head Coaches look to identify their strongest squads for next month’s Rugby World Cup. Gatland has made a massive 20 changes from the side that ran out victorious over England, with opposing Head Coach Steve Borthwick naming 11 new players, after releasing nine for his refined Rugby World Cup squad.

Gatland is yet to name his official Rugby World Cup squad, with his selections to be decided throughout the 2023 Summer Nations Series. With all the recent squad updates from England and Wales, we got thinking about what an ‘Anglo-Welsh XV’ would look like, with Gatland and Borthwick at the helm for a Rugby World Cup campaign.

Here are RUCK’s picks, for an Anglo-Welsh match day squad, for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.


15. Freddie Steward (England and Leicester Tigers)

Freddie Steward of England during the Six Nations Match between England and Italy at Twickenham, London on 12 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Amongst the best fullbacks in the world, and arguably the best back-three player under the high ball, Freddie Steward gets the nod to start at fullback for this combined XV. Steward sees-off tough competition from Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams, with the two veterans dropped to the bench, to add versatility across the back-three. Steward can’t be budged following some stellar recent form.

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales and Gloucester Rugby)

It is impossible to ignore the high-octane attributes that Louis Rees-Zammit brings to the Welsh squad. Amongst the fastest players in world rugby, Rees-Zammit is our pick to start on the right wing, despite heavy competition from England speedsters Henry Arundell and Max Malins. Rees-Zammit edges the duo on his power game, for this spot in the Anglo-Welsh XV.

11. Josh Adams (Wales and Cardiff Rugby)

Josh Adams of Wales during the Wales Rugby Captains Run ahead of the Six Nations Match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium, London on 24 Feb 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Flying Wales winger Josh Adams is the best choice for an out-and-out left winger, for this combined country. Adams enters the fray with a decorated CV of international experience, and the specialism to cut in off the left wing, or go it alone to score in the corner. Adams is set to hit his 50th Wales cap in tomorrow’s fixture, with competitive newcomers Rio Dyer and Tom Rogers keeping the Cardiff man at his very best for his country.


13. George North (Wales and Ospreys)

Experience speaks volumes at the international level, with battle-tested George North still comfortably at the top of his game. North’s try against England put the match beyond all doubt in Cardiff, and he is a priceless asset in Warren Gatland’s relatively inexperienced wider training group. North guided Max Llewellyn through the ropes for his Wales debut last weekend, presenting high quality leadership that would benefit this combined XV.

12. Manu Tuilagi (England and Sale Sharks)

Manu Tuilagi of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Manu Tuilagi is back at his bulldozing best, with high expectations on him to keep match-fit for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Tuilagi is yet to feature in England’s Rugby World Cup warm-up matches, with Borthwick giving out opportunities to fringe players Guy Porter and Henry Slade, before he whittled down the squad. Tuilagi won’t feature against Wales tomorrow with Ollie Lawrence and Joe Marchant getting the nods, but the Sale centre would slot in well for a formidable partnership with North.