Sir Clive Woodward picks his England XV for Ireland and France - Ruck

Sir Clive Woodward picks his England XV for Ireland and France

The next two matches will show if Eddie Jones’ men are a first division outfit like France and Ireland, or second tier believes former boss Sir Clive Woodward.

“I am slightly more sanguine than some after the narrow win over Wales even though for much of the game it was like watching a different sport to the glories of France’s attacking masterclass against Scotland,” wrote Woodward.

"England didn’t produce the coherent attacking game I was hoping for but the old rivalries and intensity of Six Nations games and the very special atmosphere at Anglo-Welsh encounters doesn’t always allow for that.

"Now the dust has settled, England are in decent shape. They will unquestionably start as underdogs against Ireland."

Sir Clive Woodward: England XV

BACK-THREE:

  • 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
  • 14. Max Malins (Saracens)
  • 11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Freddie Steward of England goes over for a try during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 13 November 2021. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK

CENTRES:

  • 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
  • 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks) or Mark Atkinson (Gloucester) for Elliot Daly (Saracens)

Woodward wrote: "If Manu can make the starting line-up against Ireland it would be a massive bonus for England but if he is still injured, it remains a problem position.

"The Ollie Lawrence experiment was deemed a failure without giving him a decent opportunity and Eddie Jones seems reluctant to trust Gloucester’s Mark Atkinson."

Henry Slade of England kicks the conversion during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Tonga at Twickenham Stoop on 6 November 2021. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

CONTINUES ON PAGE TWO


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