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Eddie Jones to name England squad on Wednesday morning

Published 25/10/2016

England head coach Eddie Jones is to name a 32-man squad for the autumn series
England head coach Eddie Jones is to name a 32-man squad for the autumn series

Eddie Jones will give an insight into his plan to combat the injury crisis sweeping through England's ranks when he names his squad for the looming autumn series on Wednesday morning.

The back row has born the brunt of the curse that has thinned the options at openside to the point that it will be at best the sixth choice who lines up against South Africa at Twickenham on November 12.

James Haskell, Jack Clifford, Sam Jones, Mike Williams and Maro Itoje have been ruled out of all four Tests with an assortment of ailments that have forced Jones to tear up his plans.

Chris Robshaw has won over 40 caps at seven but Jones has repeatedly made it clear he regards him only as a blindside flanker, a point he made most recently last month.

However, the unprecedented number of casualties in the position provide Jones with legitimate grounds to backtrack despite having claimed the former England captain is a "six and a half at best".

Teimana Harrison, who last started there in the third Test against Australia after Haskell had been ruled out by a foot injury, has been deemed unsuitable by Jones while elite player squad member Will Evans is too inexperienced.

It leaves England in a quandary with Jones' contingency plan becoming clearer when he names his 32-man squad in London.

Saracens flanker Jackson Wray and Wasps back row Guy Thompson are contenders on the grounds of form, but neither have been contacted by the Red Rose camp.

In total 10 players have been ruled out of the autumn programme that continues with fixtures against Fiji and Argentina and ends with the Wallabies' visit to Twickenham on December 3.

Among that number is George Kruis, whose ankle surgery ends his second row union with Itoje and gives Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes the chance to reprise the partnership that served during the World Cup.

Injuries to first-choice wings Anthony Watson and Jack Nowell have opened the door for Semesa Rokoduguni, Marland Yarde and Jonny May to battle it out for the two available spots.

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