Eddie Jones has either trodden beneath a slew of ladders or his England selection preparations have succumbed to some mysterious curse. How else to explain the latest injury slew that has ruled out a slew of backline alternatives ahead of this weekend’s match against Tonga, a match billed as the start of a potentially thrilling new Twickenham era?
This was supposed to be one of Jones’s more cheery weeks, with some bright kids skilfully integrated into a team with a license to glitter like a Bonfire Night firework show. Instead, after trading Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Raffi Quirke, and Louis Lynagh for players like Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Raffi Quirke, and Louis Lynagh, a number of the fresh-faced pretenders are battling to get out of the treatment room.
The aforementioned quartet, as well as Saracens’ in-form Max Malins, are all doubtful or non-starters for England’s first autumn Test, undercutting Jones’ ambitions to create a go-faster three-quarter line ahead of the Wallabies and Springboks’ visits. With Quirke, Malins, and Lynagh all ruled out due to injuries sustained at their clubs, and Smith and Steward still unable to fully train this week, the “new England” could end up looking eerily similar to the old one.
source : guardian sport