Nick Easter has selected his England Six Nations squad, there's some bold selections - Ruck

Nick Easter has selected his England Six Nations squad, there’s some bold selections

England legend Nick Easter spends a morning playing selector, with balance and Premiership form at the top of his thinking.

He told Planet Rugby: “The simple truth of the matter is that the style of rugby currently played in the Premiership is quite different from the traditional image of an English Test side. We’re seeing pacy and free-running rugby based upon good skill levels, and we have a lot of players that can deliver that mobile style. 

“What we aren’t seeing is big collision-based rugby – and that’s predominantly because we don’t have the size of players to deliver that style. It’s nothing close to the physical size of South Africa, France, Australia and other leading teams. It’s therefore key to fix a style and selection based upon the club approach in the Premiership and that, as I say, is quite ‘un-English’.

“Shoe-horning perceptions into shirt numbers is a dangerous thing, and in order for any team to succeed, the key is to give critical leaders the people around them that allows them to succeed in delivering a game plan, and that means you’re looking for blends of team skills to deliver your style.

“A really great example is the continued debate around Courtney Lawes. Although he’s proven categorically that his optimal position is on the blindside, I have no issue with him playing at lock if you want to play a more open plan.”

Nick Easter England squad:

Back three: Tommy Freeman, Max Malins, Cadan Murley, Freddie Steward, Elliott Daly (5)

Tommy Freeman of Northampton Saints is tackled by Henry Purdy of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Bristol Bears at Franklins Gardens, Northampton on March 21 2021. – PHOTO: Micah Crook/PPAUK

Centres: Manu Tuilagi, Dan Kelly, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Joe Marchant (5)