England and the 2019 Six Nations preview
As the 2019 Six Nations approaches, England will be desperate to improve on their place from the 2018 tournament, in which they finished in a disappointing fifth place. Having won the 2016 and 2017 Six Nations competitions, they were the favourites to go on and win it for a third year in a row. Unfortunately, everything went downhill following their impressive opening day victory over Italy and their final match saw them lose heavily to the eventual champions Ireland.
Eddie Jones’ side has come under intense scrutiny after a poor run in 2018 and Sir Clive Woodward described the year so far as a “horror show.”
After a poor summer test in South Africa which ended in a 2-1 victory to the hosts, England improved in the Autumn Quilter international series this November. A tough fought victory over South Africa in the opening match was followed by a very narrow loss to the All Blacks a week later.
England then scored four tries against both Japan and Australia in the final two games to finish the series strongly and head into 2019 with renewed confidence. England steamrolled Australia 37-18 in the final game to claim their sixth successive victory over the Wallabies and completed a successful autumn series at home in Twickenham which was tainted only by the controversial defeat to New Zealand.
If you fancy England to win the 2019 Six Nations, then you can currently get odds of 3/1 for them to do so from Paddy Power.
With the full squad for the tournament set to be announced in the New Year, a few players will certainly be pushing for a place in Jones’s Six Nations line-up. The likes of Jamie George and Owen Farrell are sure to be top of the list, especially as George has been producing a man-of-the-match showing week after week for Saracens as they continue their incredible start to the season.
George has scored the pivotal late tries to secure victories for Mark McCall’s men this season and he will take some shifting from the number 2 jersey ahead of the Six Nations.
New England captain and star kicker Owen Farrell will hope to lead his team to victory next spring. The gifted scrum half has been surrounded by controversy recently after ‘tackle gate’ but his undeniable talent and clear disregard for his own body means he is going to be an integral part of the England side next year.
Coach Eddie Jones will also be pleased with the recent form of prop Mako Vunipola and his continued return to full match fitness. Also returning to the fold after a long lay off is lock George Kruis, who has impressed for Saracens since his comeback. Elliot Daly brings the flair to a tough powerful side and the always exciting Manu Tuilagi brings an added dimension. Add this to the experience of players such as Ben Youngs and Mike Brown and there is no reason why England cannot make it three wins in four years at next year’s Six Nations tournament. The whole nation will be cheering on their team as usual and 2019 looks set to be a big year for the Roses of English rugby.