Jones hopes to make the country smile with Six Nations title

Header image
Title-chasing England have been challenged to put a smile on fans’ faces by boss Eddie Jones, as the Australian announced his 36-player squad ahead of their autumn fixtures.

Title-chasing England have been challenged to put a smile on fans’ faces by boss Eddie Jones, as the Australian announced his 36-player squad ahead of their autumn fixtures.

The Red Rose could clinch the Guinness Six Nations crown for the first time since 2017 with victory over Italy on Saturday, as they currently sit just one point behind Ireland in the standings, who have a trip to France to go.

Jones has called upon nine uncapped players, including Wasps duo Jack Willis and Jacob Umaga, whose impressive form helped the Coventry-based side all the way to Saturday’s Premiership final.

Exeter Chiefs’ Jonny Hill will be hoping to earn a first Test cap after claiming domestic glory at Twickenham, while Henry Slade, Harry Williams, Joe Launchbury and Dan Robson all step up to the international stage after their domestic duties.

Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Ollie Thorley, Tom Dunn, Beno Obano and David Ribbans will also be hoping for their senior international bows, with nine players currently unavailable due to injury.

“We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations,” Jones said.

“We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces. A lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.

“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.

“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out. We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.

“With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do. We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”

England need to beat Italy, preferably with a bonus point, and then keep an eye on France v Ireland on Saturday night.

If Ireland beat Les Bleus and secure a bonus point of their own, they will be champions, but any result opens the door for England, as the Championship goes down to the wire.

England squad for autumn fixtures


Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)

Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)

George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)

Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)

Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)

Max Malins (Bristol Bears, uncapped)

Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 3 caps)

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)

Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)

Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)

Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)


Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)

Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)

Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)

Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)

Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 65 caps)

Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)

Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)

Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)

Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)

Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)

Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)

Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)

Jack Willis (Wasps, uncapped)