Rugby Union Expert & Columnist
Dewi Morris believes that Eddie Jones has picked an exciting England squad
Last Updated: 13/01/16 6:07pm
Dewi Morris believes that Eddie Jones has picked an exciting England squad who can really deliver in the 2016 Six Nations...
It's quite refreshing to see the new England Elite Player Squad and I think England fans are well set for a very exciting Six Nations.
There have been quite a few guys who have not performed and Eddie Jones has come in with a new broom and cleaned that all up.
He has rewarded those players who have made the headlines with a place in his squad. People like Maro Itjoe and Josh Beaumont who I really like.
Beaumont is a roaming No 8 and I really hope that he features in the 23 for England's opener against Scotland.
We are still a long way from a starting XV for Scotland but what we do know is that there will be a new No 7 - one of England's problem areas under the old regime.
I am pleased that Matt Kvesic is in there. The likes of Will Fraser and Luke Wallace are excellent openside flankers but I think that there is no one better in the Premiership over the ball than Kvesic.
Jack Clifford can play across all three positions in the back-row and will be in the side as a No 7 and I am pleased that Chris Robshaw is still in the team and can fight for the No 6 jersey.
I personally would like to see Itoje slapped on the side in the No 6 jersey. He is a massive unit carrying the ball but also has lovely hands and is excellent at the lineout too.
Eddie Jones has talked about the meat and potatoes for England which is their strong set-piece but it is what you do on the back of that which matters.
It is interesting to see that he has just picked two scrum-halves which gets my vote every time. If someone gets injured then he can bring someone else in and I would say Joe Simpson would definitely be the next man in line.
The omission of Brad Barritt suggest to me that while Jones sees defence as a big part of the game, it is not the be-all and end-all.
It is a pity that Henry Slade is injured because I think he would have been brilliant at 12 but it has given the likes of Sam Hill and Ollie Devoto to show what they can do.
Elliot Daly is another player who has hit the headlines and deserves his spot in this squad - I would love to see a backline of George Ford, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly or Jonathan Joseph.
There is talk of Owen Farrell going to play No 12 but I really hope they do not go down that route - he has not got the pace to play there and if he is in the team then he is in the team at No 10.
I am not sure that there is anyone missing from this team - I think the likes of Joe Simpson and Danny Cipriani would probably be on standby if there are any injuries in the No 9 and 10 roles, but Jones has has to stick with his decisions and I think he has made the right calls.
Eddie Jones is a smart coach and he will relish all the talent he has at his disposal - much more than when he coached Australia or Japan. He knows that that winning rugby is all about getting the ball through the hands and playing at pace. For me he has picked a squad who can deliver that.