England fans pick their Rugby World Cup starting XV – and there’s no room for Ben Youngs

Second row: Maro Itoje – 242 votes & George Kruis – 139 votes

Saracens pairing Itoje and Kruis garnered the most votes and would start together in the fans’ team.

Saints lock Lawes finished in third place and would get the bench spot ahead of Launchbury. Whomever coach Eddie Jones goes with, he has got some serious talent in the engine room.

Runners-up: Courtney Lawes – 74 votes, Joe Launchbury – 44 votes

Back row: Billy Vunipola – 194 votes, Tom Curry – 171 votes, Sam Underhill – 151 votes

Sam Underhill of England goes on the attack during the Quilter International Match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on 10th November 2018. – PHOTO: Gareth Davies/PPAUK

Even though Curry and Underhill have only started one game together in the same backrow, they were very impressive against Ireland at Twickenham in the World Cup warm-ups and the opensides received far more votes than Mark Wilson in distant third.

Runners-up: Mark Wilson – 37 votes, Courtney Lawes – 11 votes, Lewis Ludlam – 5 votes, Maro Itoje – 3 votes

Scrum-half: Willi Heinz – 201 votes

Youngs’ poor form for club and country means he his position at 9 is usurped by Gloucester’s Heinz, who was until recently uncapped. Should the less flashy but ultimately more consistent 32 year old be granted a starting spot? The fans think so.

Runners-up: Ben Youngs – 77 votes


Fly-half: Owen Farrell – 163 votes

Dejected looking Owen Farrell, Captain of England Rugby after the Guinness Six Nations Championship match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 23, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Saracens’ Farrell is the clear favourite to start at fly-half, even though George Ford has been selected at 10 for the warm-up games. It appears the supporters are no fans of the Farrell/Ford 10/12 axis.

Runners-up: George Ford – 31 votes, Herny Slade – 3 votes, Piers Francis – 2 votes

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