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The experimental England squad Eddie Jones could take to Japan

England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones will take a squad to Japan this summer, when regardless of opposition he can be given licence to experiment with some names.

Jones will journey to the country where he spent three years as head coach of the national team, playing two Tests against the Brave Blossoms.

The first will take place in the World Cup city of Oita on July 4, with the final Test being played at Kobe’s Noevir Stadium a week later.

On the basis that Eddie Jones will exclude those who have put in the heaviest shifts across the World Cup, Six Nations and club competitions, selection will boil down to other criteria.

With World Cup 2023 draw rankings at stake, does Jones adopt a risk-averse attitude by loading up with experience or does he take advantage of a rare chance to blood younger players, some of whom have featured in past squads but failed to get opportunities?

Assuming the tour proceeds, given the current world health climate, there might not be a better chance to take the latter approach whilst adding a smattering of experience on top. An in-form 32-man squad might therefore take on a youthful hue.

Joe Launchbury
Tour captain: Wasps lock Joe Launchbury would lead TRP’s England squad to tour Japan. Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

HOW ENGLAND’S JAPAN SQUAD MAY SHAPE UP

Forwards (18)

Prop (6): Beno Obano (Bath), Ellis Genge,(Leicester), Alec Hepburn (Exeter), Paul Hill (Northampton), Will Stuart (Bath), Harry Williams (Exeter).

Hooker (2): Tom Dunn (Bath), Will Capon (Bristol)

Second row (4): Charlie Ewels (Bath), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, tour captain), Jonny Hill (Exeter), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)

Flanker (4): Ted Hill (Worcester), Jack Willis (Wasps), Ben Earl (Saracens), Mark Wilson (Sale)

No.8s (2): Zach Mercer (Bath), Sam Simmonds (Exeter)

Backs (14)

Scrum-half (2): Dan Robson (Wasps, vice-captain), Jack Maunder (Exeter)

Fly-half (3): Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Joe Simmonds (Exeter), Jacob Umaga (Wasps)

Centre (4): Henry Slade (Exeter), Joe Marchant (Harlequins/Blues), Ollie Devoto (Exeter), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester)

Wing (3): Ollie Thorley (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)

Full-back (2): George Furbank (Northampton), Harry Mallinder (Northampton)

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