Austin Healey has ruthlessly picked his England backline, dropping both Owen Farrell and Jonny May from the starting XV for their Six Nations opener against Scotland.
“Owen Farrell is a great player, but for all of his quality traits, with Smith and Farrell it feels like England have an either/or scenario, rather than selecting both,” wrote Healey.
“By doing so, you are taking a bit of Smith’s edge away.”
Below is the backline Healey would pick for the tournament opener.
England Six Nations 2022 Fixtures
- Saturday 5 February: Scotland v England (16:45)
- Sunday 13 February: Italy v England (15:00)
- Saturday 26 February: England v Wales (16:45)
- Saturday 12 March: England v Ireland (16:45)
- Saturday 19 March: France v England (20:00)
Austin Healey’s England backline
- 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
- 14. Max Malins (Saracens)
- 11. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
RUCK’S BACK-THREE: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), 14. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish) & 11. Max Malins (Saracens)