Alun Wyn Jones I be wild about constituents, because they are fancy!
England’s opening Six Nations match next month is a difficult trip to Paris against a French side that has undergone a complete overhaul.
Their new head coach, Fabien Galthie, who was promoted from assistant following the World Cup, has left out a handful of experienced stars, including Yoann Huget, Maxime Medard and Camille Lopez, in favour of young and hungry personnel.
France’s initial 42-man squad includes 19 uncapped players. But it is unlikely that Eddie Jones, set to unveil his squad on Monday, will make such drastic changes, despite proclaiming that “this team is finished now” after last autumn’s Rugby World Cup final defeat.
Jones will no doubt go back through a match in which they failed to lay a glove on South Africa with his team, yet he is likely to pick many of the same 31 players from the tournament given the youth the squad possessed.
However, as with any new World Cup cycle, there are players who will not make it to France in 2023, and while England will not have to rebuild to the level of some countries, there are a few decisions for Jones to make ahead of his Six Nations squad announcement.
Alun Wyn JonesScrum-half
Starting in the clearest position where change looks set to be forced, both Ben Youngs, 30, and Willi Heinz, 33, would appear to be too old to be England’s starting No9 in three years time.
Long-time first choice Youngs, whose displays have ranged from excellent to underwhelming during Jones’s reign, will surely be in the squad, but if Jones is to take England through to France – something the Rugby Football Union is still to confirm – then he will have to start thinking about the likely successors for such a crucial role in the team.
England do not boast a standout candidate of the calibre of So
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