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Eddie Jones targets an ‘aggressive’ England with Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell set to start 10-12

Eddie Jones confirms that he will unleash Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell as England’s 10-12 combination this fall … with the head coach also summoning Australian Louis Lynagh

  • England have met before their first autumn match against Tonga on Saturday
  • Eddie Jones has decided that Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell will play together
  • Head coach left George Ford out and wants to see adjustments in his game
  • Jones thinks England got too ‘conservative’ since the World Cup


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Eddie Jones has confirmed that he is ready to unleash Marcus Smith and Captain Owen Farrell as a new 10-12 combination on his renewed England backline this fall.

After Sportsmail revealed that the Harlequins’ playmaking prodigy would begin mid-flight alongside England captain Jones has revealed his intention to cast the pair in tandem.

In an appearance on BT Sport, England’s head coach was asked about the decision to drop George Ford out of his last test team and outlined his intentions for the creative hub of the team.

George Farrell and Marcus Smith will team up at the heart of England's XV this fall

George Farrell and Marcus Smith will team up at the heart of England’s XV this fall

Eddie Jones has revealed that the two will play together in hopes of reversing a 'conservative' trend.

Eddie Jones has revealed that the two will play together in hopes of reversing a 'conservative' trend.

Eddie Jones has revealed that the two will play together in hopes of reversing a ‘conservative’ trend.

“We know George is a good player, but we’ve asked him to analyze a couple of things about his game to make it even better,” Jones said. I think it’s doing that. He is playing well.

But we can’t wait to give Marcus and Owen a chance to play at 10 and 12 and see where they can take our game.

“I think we have to be much more aggressive when we receive the ball. Maybe since the World Cup we got a bit conservative in that area and we will continue to address that. ”

The England team met on Sunday night to step up preparations for their first fall game against Tonga at Twickenham on Saturday, but Harry Randall is out of the running for that game.

Leicester's George Ford has stayed home with Jones looking for the upper half to improve

Leicester's George Ford has stayed home with Jones looking for the upper half to improve

Leicester’s George Ford has stayed home with Jones looking for the upper half to improve

The Bristol scrum-half, who launched his test career with two summer starts, has a hip injury, meaning he has been returned to his club. He has been replaced by Northampton’s fit Alex Mitchell, who joins Ben Youngs and Raffi Quirke as contenders for the number 9 jersey.

Interestingly, Jones has also chosen to expand his squad by calling the Harlequin wing Louis Lynagh, the son of Wallaby legend Michael Lynagh.

The addition of the 20-year-old may mean one of the team’s wings is struggling to stay in shape. But it also comes amid continuing speculation that Australia will seek to elect Lynagh if England does not limit and “capture” him quickly.

Jones set the stage for a fascinating announcement from the team later this week, saying: ‘We have good young players. Freddie Steward, Adam Radwan, Marcus Smith, and Harry Randall debuted in the summer and all have the potential to move on.

The 22-year-old Harlequins star made his England debut this summer and is a future star.

The 22-year-old Harlequins star made his England debut this summer and is a future star.

The 22-year-old Harlequins star made his England debut this summer and is a future star.

We also have three good players competing for the number 8: Alex Dombrandt, Sam Simmonds and Callum Chick. Striking that balance in the back row will be important to us. ‘

Tom Curry is understood to be another candidate to operate at No. 8 and Jones offered a resounding endorsement of Sale’s last row, saying: ‘The guy who has done remarkably well for England is Tom Curry.

“ He has played six, seven and eight for us and I can really see his game unfolding to another level.

“ He came in as a very strong defensive player, but I think he can really progress in his attacking game, similar to what Richie McCaw did. There is no limit to where his game can go. ‘

Jones also responded to criticism of his selection policy, adding: ‘Twelve months ago I was criticized for being too consistent in my selection. Now they criticize me for not being consistent in my selection. Which one do you want?’

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