Eddie Jones takes over England Rugby social media
Though he will never admit it, England head coach Eddie Jones left a fairly obvious hint that he took over England Rugby’s social media accounts yesterday.
A question was posed “which current England forward would make for the best back?” which has Eddie Jones written all over it.
Let us know who you think 👇 pic.twitter.com/Wy5rBdFzgg
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) December 21, 2021
The concept of hybrid players is something that Jones has been keen to talk about and introduce during his time as England coach, and while those machinations are yet to manifest themselves on the pitch, it may well happen at some point in the future.
The three names that have been bandied about by England fans are Tom Curry’s, Alex Dombrandt’s and Sam Simmonds’. Dombrandt has the hands and offloading ability to fit into any backline while Simmonds has the pace of any elite back, and is often seen in the wider channels for Exeter Chiefs. His try scoring prowess is one that would usually be associated with a back rather than a No8. Curry is England’s all-action player, and has a hand in almost all areas of England’s game.
Many fans thought that this year’s Autumn Nations Series was going to be the time where Jones started experimenting between forwards and backs as he named a 6-2 split on the bench against Australia and South Africa, with both Dombrandt and Simmonds as his finishers. Many speculated that this is where Simmonds would be unleashed as a back in the final stages of the match. There may have even been a planned swap for Manu Tuilagi in the second half against the Boks, but an early injury to the centre would have cancelled those plans, as Max Malins replaced him instead.
Jones has even flirted with a reversal of this tactic, and suggested in the past that winger Jack Nowell could be deployed as a flanker. That never materialised but it is an avenue the Australian is keen to explore. For now, he is clearly polling England fans to see what they think, not that he would listen though.