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The sobering career statistic highlighted to England's uncapped 12

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Eddie Jones has broadcast a stark statistic that will have the dozen new caps involved in Sunday’s England matchday squad to face the USA on their toes to ensure this year’s summer series isn’t the pinnacle of their international careers and that there is much more to come from them.  

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With the Lions having picked so many of England’s first-choice players for their tour to South Africa and other seasoned operators such as Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs, George Ford and Jonny May given the summer off, the door was open for Jones to get a raft of new players involved in his Test set-up. 

This is what has transpired, England coach Jones selecting a matchday squad that contains eight uncapped starters and has four more on the bench for a game where twelve of the 13 Gallagher Premiership clubs have at least one player chosen in the matchday 23, London Irish being the sole exception although they can claim they were the club that developed Bath’s Joe Cokanasiga who is selected on the England wing.  

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But as exciting as it is to have so many new players involvedCurtis Langdon, Joe Heyes, Josh McNally, new skipper Lewis Ludlow, Callum Chick, Harry Randall, Marcus Smith and Freddie Steward in the starting XV along with reserves Jamie Blamire, Trevor Davison, Ben Curry and Jacob Umaga – Jones highlighted how tough a challenge it will be for them to go on and enjoy lasting Test careers. 

“It’s not about getting Test experience, it’s about those guys earning the shirt. The average number of Tests an England player plays is seven Tests so any guy that gets his opportunity to play for England wants to make sure he beats that average.

“To do that you have to perform well so there is an opportunity on Sunday for eight guys to take the shirt and if they don’t wear it again to pass it on in a better state, and if they do wear it again to make sure the next time they play to play even better so that the exciting part of this.”

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The selection of recent Gallagher Premiership title winner Smith at out-half is something that many England fans have waited patiently for. It was June 2019 when Smith featured in an English XV versus the Barbarians but it has taken another 25 months for him to earn promotion to Test level. “We had really good competition for that spot between Jacob, Marcus and George Furbank.

“All those guys have been competing hard. It’s a tight call but Marcus gets the nod,” continued Jones. “A No10 is a bus driver and a conductor, he has got to make sure that everyone is playing together and picks the right route and it’s no different for Marcus.”

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The sobering career statistic highlighted to England's uncapped 12

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