"He has got the ability to play 10" - Eddie Jones plans shock replacement for Owen Farrell - Ruck

“He has got the ability to play 10” – Eddie Jones plans shock replacement for Owen Farrell

Reports online have emerged revealing who could be a shock replacement for Owen Farrell after the England captain tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series opener against Tonga.

Farrell missed training on Friday but the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said he may still be able to play the match after taking further tests on Friday.

With Marcus Smith on the bench already due to fitness worries, Rugby Inside Line have reported tonight that Eddie Jones is planning on starting replacement fullback George Furbank at fly-half if Farrell is unavailable.

The Northampton Saints man, who has shown his ability at 10 at times for his club, would come into the team with uncapped Gloucester centre Mark Atkinson coming onto the bench.

The Twitter account, who are famed for their on the money transfer rumours, tweeted: “Our source who was accurate on this (Farrell’s positive tes) has also said George Furbank is being lined up for a start at fly half if Farrell can’t play.”

Back in 2020, Jones said: “I believe he (Furbank) can be a very good 10, maybe that’s going to be a position that we consider him strongly for in the future.

“I’ve always had this feeling and speaking to (Saints boss) Chris Boyd has reinforced that he has got the ability to play 10.

“He has done that for Northampton at the end of games when Dan Biggar has done one of those giant leaps in the air and ended the wrong way so he is an exciting prospect.

“He’s got a calm demeanour, good catch and pass skills, a solid kicking game and he’s a strong defender so he has all the attributes.

“Whether it happens during the autumn we are not sure but certainly in terms of preparation we will be pushing him in that direction.”

England’s autumn fixtures

  • England vs Tonga, 3.15pm on Sat 6 Nov
  • England vs Australia, 5.30pm on Sat 13 Nov
  • England vs South Africa, 3.15pm on Sat 20 Nov

Where to watch the Autumn Nations Series:

Prime members can watch the Autumn Nations Series live from 30th October with the Prime Video app on TVs, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets, games consoles, on Virgin’s V6 TV Box, the Talk Talk TV set top box, Apple TV, Chromecast, BT TV or online.

For a list of all compatible devices visit amazon.co.uk/watchanywhere.

England team to play Tonga (Potentially):

STARTERS: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps) 14. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap) 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 40 caps) 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 43 caps) 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 66 caps) 10. George Furbank (4 caps) 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 109 caps) 1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 30 caps) 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 59 caps) 3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 44 caps) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 48 caps) 5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps) 6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 87 caps) 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 24 caps) 8. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 33 caps)  

FINISHERS 16. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps) 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 72 caps) 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 12 caps) 19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 23 caps) 20. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 1 cap) 21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped) 22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 2 caps) 23. Mark Atkinson (Gloucester, uncapped)


5 Things to Know About England Debutant George Furbank

Where it all started

He was born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in 1996 and grew up playing for Huntingdon Stags RFC from the age of 5 to 16. At the time, he attended Kimbolton School where he was an avid cricketer and played in the hockey and football teams.

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Will miss pulling on this jersey 🏉

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