Eddie Jones ‘toyed with’ naming seven England forwards on bench against physical USA

·2-min read
Eddie Jones at England training  (Getty Images)
Eddie Jones at England training (Getty Images)

Eddie Jones says he “toyed with the idea” of including seven forwards on the bench for what he anticipates to be “a really big physical game” against the USA at Twickenham on Sunday.

Jones named a total of 12 uncapped players in his 23, and six forwards on his bench. He has flitted between the conventional 5-3 and more physical 6-2 splits in recent matches, depending on the opposition.

He revealed today that he considered going even further against the USA by including just one back on his bench.

“To me that’s the right bench for this game,” he said. “We toyed with the idea of going 7/1 but we’ve gone 6/2. And the USA are generally a big, physical team.

“You look at their performances in the World Cup in 2019, after 20 minutes there’s nothing between them and the four teams they played against.

”So we’re expecting a really big physical game and it’s going to be important our forwards impose themselves on them early.”

Jones praised flanker Lewis Ludlow, who becomes just the fifth man to captain England on his debut.

“There’s a number of issues concerned with it, we’ve got the Lions away and we’re resting senior players, so there’s an opportunity for a new captain to come in,” he said.

“We’ve been watching the club games very closely and looking for guys with leadership qualities, and he’s been outstanding for Gloucester. And he’s come into camp and shown good leadership qualities, so he’s the best person to lead the team on Sunday.”

England are without 12 players on Lions duty, and another clutch of senior figures such as Billy Vunipola, Jonny May and George Ford, who have been rested.

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