Recent rookies: Eddie Jones' 10 most recent England debutants
Ollie Chessum became the latest in a long line of players to represent England internationally under Eddie Jones.
Sometimes debutants cement their position in the squad instantly, while others flail and disappear into the abyss. Below RugbyPass takes a look at the ten latest debutants for England and their current positions in the squad.
Alex Dombrandt made his long-awaited England debut last summer in the 70-14 drubbing of Canada. The dynamic back rower helped lead Harlequins to their second Premiership title in June 2021 and has been frequently touted as England’s future starting number eight. Sam Simmonds started in that position in the opening Six Nations game against Scotland but Dombrandt was given the starting spot against Italy last weekend.
Harry Wells spent two and a half years with Championship side Bedford Blues before re-joining the Leicester Tigers in 2016. He has since become a mainstay of the team at lock or back row and in 2021 started for England against Canada in his first and only international cap. Wells did not make Eddie Jones’s 2022 Six Nations squad.
Leicester Tigers centre Dan Kelly was given the 12 jersey against Canada. He was born in Manchester and played for the Ireland Under 20s before being capped for England. Jones’s decision to promote Kelly implies there is an international future for the youngster but not right now as he was not selected in this year’s Six Nations squad.
Newcastle Falcons speedster Adam Radwan scored seven tries in 11 matches during the 2020/21 season and earnt an England call-up against Canada for such a rich vein of form. The winger scored a hattrick on debut, winning the man of the match accolade as a result, and scored once more in his second start against Tonga in the Autumn Internationals. He is now in the extended Six Nations squad, having scored five tries in the Premiership so far this season.
Manu Tuilagi started in England’s 69-3 thrashing of Tonga and was replaced by the 31-year-old Mark Atkinson in the second half. The substitution gave the Gloucester man a long-awaited England debut after he impressed in the Premiership. The centre did not feature in any Autumn Internationals but remains in selection contention and was named in Jones’s Six Nations squad.
Alex Mitchell came close to making his England debut at the end of the 2020 Six Nations, replacing the injury Willi Heinz at scrum half in the extended squad. However, he had to wait until October 2021 to make his full test debut against Tonga, coming off the bench in place of the injured Harry Randall. Mitchell scored a try in that game but has not worn the red rose since, failing to make the 2022 Six Nations squad.
Loosehead prop Bevan Rodd made a surprise England debut in the autumn against Australia, stepping in for the unavailable Ellis Genge and Joe Marler. The 21-year-old Sale Sharks player then started in his second international against the world champions South Africa, holding his own opposite a formidable Springbok scrum. Performances in the autumn earnt Rodd a spot in Jones’s Six Nations squad but he has not been picked for matchday so far.
Raffi Quirke became the youngest scrum half to play for England in 90 years after he replaced Ben Youngs against Australia in the Autumn Nations Series. The 20-year-old Sale Sharks scrum half came off the bench once more against South Africa, scoring a decisive try in a tight 27-26 victory. Quirke’s performances have clearly made an impression, as he was named in the initial training squad for the 2022 Six Nations.
Australian born Nic Dolly qualifies to play for England through his mother and made use of that in the autumn to earn his international debut off the bench against South Africa. The 22-year-old hooker has totalled six Premiership tries for the Leicester Tigers this season but that was not enough to secure a spot in England’s Six Nations squad.
Ollie Chessum, another Tigers forward, is the latest player to make his debut for England. The versatile second row came on last weekend against Italy, replacing captain Tom Curry in the back row. Chessum has featured 14 times for the Tigers this season and is a confident ball-carrier and proficient lineout jumper.
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