England head coach Eddie Jones has admitted he already knows 28 of the final 31 names he will annouce in his squad to challenge for this years World Cup in Japan.
However, he insists he selection will be based around a squad which will have the “skill, desire and experience” to do the job in Japan and lift the trophy.
The England boss has already described the selection process as “harsh” as he has talked prop forward Joe Marler (pictured) out of International retirement, but possibly forced it on others with the axing of experienced trio Mike Brown, Danny Care and former skipper Chris Robshaw.
Speaking to the BBC about his selection process the Australian who will take charge of the Barbarians only weeks after the world cup final itself, told how those big names are;
“Are not out of the picture, it is always about picking the best player at that particular time. Of course it is tough. They have been good competitors for England and they still have more to give,” he said.
“Players generally select themselves. I was taught that by [former Australia coach] Bob Dwyer. I feel for the other guys but I know if we call on them they will be ready.”
When asked if that meant former skipper Dylan Hartley could force himself back into the picture should he over come his current injury issues in time the England boss quickly replied;
“We don't deal with hypotheticals, but if that situation does occur we will have a good think about it.”
With a few places remaining it is still unclear if the surprise names in his original training squad will make the squad as Northampton flanker Lewis Ludlam and baths former seven’s winger Ruaridh McConnichie seemingly came from nowhere to be named in the squad!
“You are always looking for a couple of ‘X-factor' players that come through later and are in form and excite the squad and the fans,” Jones said.
“Lewis and Ruaridh have done that with outstanding performances for their club. They both have great desire and good character.”
Jones will name his final squad on August 12th shortly after their first official warm up games before the remaining contingent will take on a further three games before the World Cup starts in Japan this September.