Earlier today Eddie Jones announced his squad for the two test (June 10th and 17th) tour of Argentina –
Forwards: Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Dylan Hartley – captain (Northampton Saints, 84 caps), James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps), Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps)
Backs: Mike Brown – vice-captain (Harlequins, 60 caps), Danny Care – vice captain (Harlequins, 71 caps), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish, uncapped), Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped), George Ford – vice captain (Bath Rugby, 35 caps), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints, uncapped), Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, uncapped), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
Notable absences are Danny Cipriani, Roko, and Christian Wade. I would also have liked to see the grizzled Dave Attwood lining up alongside the (very) unlucky Joe Launchbury.
A total of 31 players have been selected for the two test series and it is hard to see every one of them getting game time. Perhaps a few of the uncapped guys are being taken more for the experience of international atmosphere than actual time on the pitch – but EJ seems to know what he is doing.
It is a shame that a game v the Jaguares wasn’t included mid-week – they have a break from Super rugby May 27th to 30th June – so it might have suited everyone.
The Pumas on the road is no easy game but I hope Eddie does blood a few of the new guys (hopefully not literally). He is all about winning though and I don’t expect him to spring too many surprises
This is the XV I would like to see starting the first test –
All fairly predictable I think – more importantly I would like to see Sam Underhill and Piers Francis on the bench.
In practice of course it is probable that at least some of the most experienced players will be heading off to New Zealand before or during the Argentine escapade.