England boss Eddie Jones has warned the ‘pensioners’ (older members) of his current squad changes will be made between now and the World Cup.
“If we kept the squad we had now, we’d be too old for the World Cup. There is a certain profile of around 28 years of age for a World Cup-winning side,” the 61-year-old said.
“We have been bringing that down slowly over the last two years and we need to keep accelerating that because the more senior guys keep getting older.
“It’s about getting the balance right in the squad between what we have in terms of very good players and 11 good enough to play for the Lions, so they are pretty good players and if they keep their desire and form there is no reason why those guys can’t go to the World Cup.
“All of those guys are probably 25 and above as a general point, so we want to bring some younger guys in with energy, risklessness (sic) and desire that will lift the team higher and higher.”
Here we look at five players whose time is perhaps up in the England shirt.
#1. Jonathan Joseph
- Age: 30
- Caps: 51
No doubt talks over Joseph’s potentially moving to France with The Rugby Paper reporting that he could join Toulon have arisen with the centre’s England career seemingly over having been dropped for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Joseph last played for England in November in the Autumn Nations Cup win over Wales in Llanelli.
Joseph’s England axing led to an unfortunate series of events that saw the centre, along with Bath lock Elliott Stooke and Wasps’ Gabriel Oghre caught breaking national Covid-19 lockdown rules, leading to them all being banned.
Potential replacement: Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)