“First Name on the Team-Sheet” – England’s 5 Nailed On Starters for Rugby World Cup - Ruck

“First Name on the Team-Sheet” – England’s 5 Nailed On Starters for Rugby World Cup

With the curtain closing on the 2023 Guinness Six Nations this weekend, all attention will shortly turn on the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Kicking-off in September, England Head Coach Steve Borthwick has just over five months to come to grips on his starting XV, and decide who will lead from the front in France.

There has been lots of discussion around England selection in recent weeks, with the Smith-Farrell-Ford debate taking centre stage. It is hard to decipher as to who will lead England in the 10 jersey, but there are areas of the squad where Borthwick has nailed a name to the shirt.

England begin their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign on the 9th of September, as they head to Marseille for a clash with Argentina. Here are five nailed on England stars, that if match fit, would be expected to start against Los Pumas.

Steve Borthwick, Head Coach of England Rugby during the England 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)
  1. Ellis Genge
Ellis Genge of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

Undoubtedly one of England’s most consistent players throughout the 2023 Six Nations, Ellis Genge has evolved into a true leader in Steve Borthwick’s squad.

Starting the competition in a co-vice captain role alongside Courtney Lawes, with Owen Farrell taking full leadership, Genge was soon awarded the ‘invisible armband’ for the round four fixture against France. With Lawes injured, and Farrell dropped to the bench in favour of Marcus Smith, Genge led valiantly against Les Bleus, yet England were overcome as a whole.


The ‘Baby Rhino’ is all grown up, with the prop battering his way through defensive lines throughout the competition.

An impressive work rate for his time on the pitch, the Bristol Bears star led the carry per minute charts heading into the France match. Arguably the best loose-head prop in the world, Genge has grown into an astounding ball carrier, resilient scrummager and a true leader on the pitch. When Borthwick puts pen to paper in France, expect Genge to be the first name on the ever-competitive team sheet.