Eddie Jones’s latest whacky experiment sees Ben Earl playing in the backs.
The young Sarries back-rower has been training at outside-centre and wing. amid a prediction from Jones that forwards will become full-time backs
“It will never happen that a back plays in the forwards full-time,” Jones said, “but a forward could play in the backs full-time.
“That’s the way the game is going at the moment. Ben Earls could be potentially someone like that, like (Levani) Botia, the Fijian who plays at six and 12 for La Rochelle.
“I think those sort of players are going to become massively invaluable as the game keeps going down the track it is at the moment where there’s not much space, you need pace, you need dynamism, and if you can get a bit of that either in the back row or in your centres through different sorts of players, I think it is definitely something that could happen.”
England: 15-Elliot Daly, 14-Jonny May, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Owen Farrell (captain), 11-Jonathan Joseph, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Jamie George, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 4-Maro Itoje, 5-George Kruis, 6-Courtney Lawes, 7-Sam Underhill, 8-Tom Curry
Replacements: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Ellis Genge, 18-Will Stuart, 19-Joe Launchbury, 20-Charlie Ewels, 21-Ben Earl, 22-Willi Heinz, 23-Henry Slade
Ireland: 15-Jordan Larmour, 14-Andrew Conway, 13-Robbie Henshaw, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Jacob Stockdale, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray; 1-Cian Healy, 2-Rob Herring, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 4-Devin Toner, 5-James Ryan, 6-Peter O’Mahony, 7-Josh van der Flier, 8-CJ Stander,
Replacements: 16-Ronan Kelleher, 17-Dave Kilcoyne, 18-Andrew Porter, 19-Ultan Dillane, 20-Caelan Doris, 21-John Cooney, 22-Ross Byrne, 23-Keith Earls
SIX NATIONS WAGS
1. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales) – Dr Anwen Jones
Wife of Welsh stalwart Alun Wyn-Jones and mum to their beautiful daughter, Anwen is a lecturer at Cardiff’s Metropolitan University, where she’s a Welsh medium physiology and health lecturer. Clever and sporty, she is a former 400m hurdler and was Welsh champion from 2000-2007.
2. Tommaso Allan (Italy) – Benan Demir
The fly-half made the choice to represent Italy despite his uncle John earning nine caps for Scotland. He chose Italian for his girlfriend too with brunette bombshell Benan Demir. She is doing her PhD in Computer Science at the University of Padova. The pair recently got hitched.
3. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales) – Jess Tumely
The couple, who have been together six years, became a family last year when they welcomed their adorable daughter Lily, who is the apple of her father’s eye.