England coach Stuart Lancaster spoilt for choice

Head coach says the outstanding talent of so many of his young players will only make it harder to name his top squad in August

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 4:03pm


England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he faces some tricky decisions before he names his elite player squad in August.

Lancaster will select a 33-man party and another 33 players in the second-string Saxons side and his choices have not got any easier following the 2-0 series win over Argentina.

The coach rested five players - Danny Care, Chris Robshaw, Brad Barritt, Toby Flood and Chris Ashton for the tour to South America and had 10 on British & Irish Lions duty in Australia before Christian Wade's call-up on Saturday.

The youngsters who played in their places such as Jonny May, Freddie Burns, Kyle Eastmond and Matt Kvesic all performed well in Argentina and Lancaster says their performances have given him a selection dilemma.

"The next stage for us is the autumn internationals," Lancaster said in Buenos Aires after the second test, which England won 51-26.

"We have got Australia, Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham and we know that Argentina coming on the back of the Rugby Championship will be a very difficult challenge.

"There are some searching decisions and options to be made.

"What has really pleased me is that many young players have gained a huge amount of experience coming to this fantastic country and playing in front of passionate crowds.

"A lot of the young players are not going to be around for six months but five or six years because they are so young.

"Having brought such an inexperienced group out, what has pleased most has been the development of leaders outside the players who have been rested or are Lions players.

"In terms of our evolution it has been critical and we can look forward to the autumn internationals after winning seven out of our last eight games."

England trailed 12-6 at one point in Saturday' s game before scoring seven tries including two penalty tries and debut scores for winger Marland Yarde - who touched down twice - and Kyle Eastmond.

Jonny May on his debut as a late replacement for the British Lions-bound Christian Wade also impressed Lancaster.

He added: "We knew there was going to be a reaction from Argentina coming into this Test and we felt the full force of it. They closed the gap but towards the end some of the attacking play was exactly what we aimed for.

"I can't think of any errors Jonny made in the game. He was thrown in at the last minute - he didn't score any tries but his defence and positioning for the kick chase were excellent.

"Marland has unbelievable pace and power which makes him hard to tackle and consequently he scores tries. And you can see from the try he scored that Kyle Eastmond has got great pace and great feet."