Following the disastrous World Cup campaign in 2015 and the appointment of Eddie Jones, the Telegraph’s writers selected the untried or under-used young players available.
To be frank, their selection didn’t turn out great with only Maro Itoje and Elliot Daly really establishing themselves as regular internationals since.
If anything, it seems like their list was cursed with two players now retired with five others failing to win a cap since then…
1. Maro Itoje
They wrote: “The 21-year-old degree-studying lock has already shown that he has the maturity, the skill and the presence to make an impact at international level. All he needs is the opportunity.”
Where he is now: In the time since, he’s won four Premiership titles, three European Rugby Champions Cup titles, and three Six Nations Championship titles, playing in a Rugby World Cup final and winning 48 caps in the process. He also won three caps for the Lions in New Zealand in 2017.
Itoje was also selected for the British and Irish Lions for their tour of New Zealand, being the youngest player named in the 41-man squad, aged 22. He was one of the standout players on the tour, scoring one try against the Maori All Blacks and appearing in all three tests against the All Blacks.
2. Jack Clifford
They wrote: “The 22-year-old back-row forward has already seen four of his 2013 England Under 20s World Championship side graduate to full honours and as captain of that victorious side he has every right to be itching to emulate them. Comfortable in all three back-row positions.”
Where he is now: He was included in Eddie Jones first ever squad, making his debut during the 2016 Six Nations, but just wasn’t able to stay fit. He did win 10 caps, under Jones but was forced to retire earlier in 2020.