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

Centres: Manu Tuilagi – 170 votes & Henry Slade – 98 votes

Manu Tuilagi of England surges forward amid the presence of Tommaso Allan of Italy during the Guinness Six Nations Round Four match between England and Italy at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on the 9th March 2019. Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

With Farrell starting at 10, England fans have opted for the Tuilagi/Slade 12/13 combination that has been Jones’ go-to pairing of late. Tuilagi’s fitness problems are hopefully behind him now, and his brute power and excellent footwork combined with Slade’s vision and impressive skills set provide England with a balanced centre partnership – something they have struggled to embed since the halcyon days of 2003. 

Runners-up: Owen Farrell – 32 votes, Jonathan Joseph – 12 votes, Piers Francis – 4 votes, Elliot Daly – 4 votes

Wings: Jonny May – 198 votes & Joe Cokanasiga – 158 votes

Jonny May of England scores a try during the Guinness Six Nations Round Two match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on the 10th February 2019. [Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK].

Two contrasting wingers are selected by England fans for this World Cup: the unbridled pace of May with the juggernaut power of Cokanasiga. Illustrating England’s depth out wide, the likes of Nowell, Watson and Daly all miss out, although Watson’s absence might be explained by the choice of 15 here.

Runners-up: Jack Nowell – 70 votes, Anthony Watson – 18 votes, Elliot Daly – 13 votes, Ruaridh McConnochie – 3 votes

Fullback: Anthony Watson – 155 votes

Despite Elliot Daly having started all three of England’s World Cup warm-ups at fullback, questions over his defence and ability under the high ball mean he misses out to Bath’s Watson at fullback. With the pressure cooker of a World Cup the ultimate defensive challenge for a 15, it seems the supporters see Watson as a far safer option.

Runners-up: Elliot Daly – 57 votes, Jack Nowell – 9 votes

Ruck Supporters’ England World Cup XV:

1) Mako Vunipola

2) Jamie George

3) Kyle Sinckler

4) Maro Itoje

5) George Kruis

6) Tom Curry

7) Sam Underhill

8) Billy Vunipola

9) Willi Heinz

10) Owen Farrell (c)

11) Jonny May

12) Manu Tuilagi

13) Henry Slade

14) Joe Cokanasiga

15) Anthony Watson


16) Luke Cowan-Dickie

17) Joe Marler

18) Dan Cole

19) Courtney Lawes

20) Mark Wilson

21) Ben Youngs

22) George Ford

23) Elliot Daly/Jack Nowell

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