England head coach Eddie Jones has added some controversy to his final squad of the six nations for England’s must win game over Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.
The former Australian and Japan head coach has named young Uncapped 20 year old fly half Marcus Smith form the Harlequins in his 31 man training squad, again over looking Gloucester’s experienced Danny Cipriani (pictured) who incidentally produced a man of the match performance against the Harlequins at the weekend, were Smith could only make the field from the substitutes bench.
This was a decision questioned immediately after the squad being officially annouced with England’s defence coach John Mitchell quickly defending the selection by explaining;
“I need to make it very clear, he's here to train, Marcus is a player of the future and could be potentially in the next World Cup cycle. He's been in England camps before and it's a chance to update where we're at and also where he's at.”
“There's nothing better for him than rubbing shoulders with Owen (Farrell) and Fordy (George Ford) because he will just grow from being here.”
When asked about Cipriani again being over looked despite his exceptional form of late in the Premiership it was Mitchell again speaking to the BBC who said;
“Should an injury occur to Owen or Fordy we would need to have a serious selection meeting and it's what's right for the team as opposed to individuals. The door is open for Danny, like any other fly-half that we look at.”
The squad also see’s a recall for Bath centre Jonathan Joseph, while back rowers Charlie Ewels and Elliot Stooke are included as cover for the pack following the news that Maro Itoje has been officially ruled out with yet another knee injury. The former world player of the year nominee had originally hurt his knee during England’s opening day win over Ireland in Dublin, however it was revealed that he took another knock during training last week with Mitchell commenting;
“We put his health first and foremost – ahead of the risk of the injury recurring. We made a decision that the right thing is to get him fully fit.”
Two notable exclusions with the World Cup only months away is former captain Chris Robshaw who is now fully fit and the seasoned campaigner Mike Brown who up untill this Six Nations tournament was possible considered as England’s first choice fullback.
Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Nathan Hughes, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Ben Moon, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Elliott Stooke, Billy Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.
Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Ollie Thorley, Ben Te'o, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs.