CHRIS FOY: The revolution is STOPPED. This is not the radical reform England fans were hoping for, with Marcus Smith and Alex Dombrandt on the bench and Sam Simmonds not even on the team for the Tonga clash.
- England head coach Eddie Jones names his team for the Tonga clash on Saturday
- Exciting mid-lift Marcus Smith only steps onto the bench after minor leg injury
- Tom Curry out of position at number 8, with Alex Dombrandt also on the bench
- Adam Radwan and Freddie Steward are exciting new additions to the bottom line
The revolution is at least partially at a standstill. England fans hoping to witness the start of a brave new era against Tonga on Saturday will have mixed emotions.
Marcus Smith as a replacement is not what the rugby crowd craved. He was supposed to wear No. 10. Sadly, the Harlequins’ point guard sensation has been hampered by a minor leg injury, so he has to bide his time. Smith will be more frustrated than any Twickenham spectator or armchair spectator.
But there is an X factor on the bottom line, even without the new master running the show mid-flight. Adam Radwan can be a box office phenomenon and a hell of a prospect for opposition defenses. Newcastle’s turbocharged wing has the potential to go berserk against outclassed visitors, provided there is enough creative intent to send the ball their way.
Marcus Smith only enters the England bench against Tonga after a minor leg injury
Eddie Jones has resisted the temptation to completely reform his England team
This is a good and powerful side, it is just not the root and branch revision that was anticipated and expected. Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade are a proven midfield combination. Jonny May has a broad pedigree as an essay scorer. Owen Farrell is not who the impatient masses wanted to see at the 10, but to be fair to the captain, his recent form with the Saracens has been impressive.
Up front, England looks imposing. Ellis Genge and Jamie George enter the national team on a roll, the latter fired for the injustice of being left out of the team initially. Kyle Sinckler and Maro Itoje are two of the few shoo-ins and Jonny Hill deserves their inclusion after an impressive tour of the Lions that enhanced his reputation, in the highest company.
ENGLAND TEAM TO PLAY TONGA
ENGLAND XV: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps) 14. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap) 13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 40 caps) 12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 43 caps) 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 66 appearances) 10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 93 appearances) 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 109 appearances) 1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 30 appearances) 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 59 appearances) ) 3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 44 games) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 48 games) 5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 9 games) 6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 87 games) 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 24 games)) 8. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 33 caps).
WORK TABLE: 16. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 2 games) 17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 72 games) 18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 12 games) 19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 23 games) 20. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 1 international match) 21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, no limits) 22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 2 international matches) 23. George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 4 international matches).
But there will be strong complaints about the last row. There have already been. Eddie Jones is not afraid to remove reliable players from his position and is back with Tom Curry at number 8. Sending Sam Simmonds home early was a decision that defied all available evidence aside from Red’s hidden indicator. of roses. And Alex Dombrandt will join Smith to guide him through the reserves, feeling he should be in the XV of first choice.
The pair of Harlequins and outstanding talents. England fans should expect them to explode from the bench and combine with impressive brilliance in attack, as they usually do domestically. So the calls for both of them to start against Australia next week will get even louder. They have to take every opportunity to show Jones that they are too good to ignore.
For now, England is halfway to revolution. There is still time to complete the process this month.
Harlequins No. 8 Alex Dombrandt also has to settle for a bench spot