England vs Argentina: Alex Coles set for debut as Eddie Jones prepares to unleash Smith, Farrell and Tuilagi

Debut: Alex Coles is expected to start for England against Argentina on Sunday  (Getty Images)
Debut: Alex Coles is expected to start for England against Argentina on Sunday (Getty Images)

Alex Coles could make his Test debut as England’s back-row enforcer in Sunday’s Autumn Nations Series opener against Argentina.

The Northampton back-five forward is expected to step into club-mate Courtney Lawes’ blindside flanker berth at Twickenham this weekend.

The 23-year-old represents boss Eddie Jones’ current preferred option to start in the back row, Standard Sport has learned.

Coles has impressed for Saints in Gallagher Premiership action this term, and now has a chance with Lawes out of action due to continued concussion symptoms. Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill will link up at lock should Coles start.

Owen Farrell should regain the captaincy in Lawes’ absence, with England expecting the 31-year-old to complete his return-to-play protocols after concussion and start at inside centre.

Marcus Smith, Farrell and Manu Tuilagi could form an England midfield three for the first time, in a trio boasting tactical acumen, playmaking nous and game-breaking physicality.