With Englandâ€™s 2015 World Cup training squad announced, including 20-year-old Maro Itoje, and the World Rugby U20 Championship starting in a couple of weeks, we thought we would have a bit of fun and look ahead to 2019.
Below is a team for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, with the ages that they will be during that World Cup campaign in brackets after them. The success of the England U20 side over the last few years is reflected well in the squad, with eight Junior World Championship winners from the last two campaigns in the twenty-three.
Sixteen of the current England squad remain, with only two the wrong side of 30, Courtney Lawes in the second row, alongside Joe Launchbury, and Dan Cole at tighthead at 32, though props traditionally do get better with age.
Rising star Maro Itoje is at six, reflecting the strength of the second row options and his excellent versatility. All of the starting fifteen are, interestingly, in the fifty man training squad for this World Cup.
There are perhaps some lesser known names on the bench, Charlie Ewels has been flying for Bath this year, skippering the A side and he also captains the England U20s this year. Ross Moriarty is making great strides at Gloucester.
Jack Walker is our bolter, only just 19 he will certainly be raw for a hooker come 2019 at just 23, however having captained Yorkshire Carnegie at 18, the sense is that he is a true star of the future. Henry Taylor is also something of a bolter, however last year he usurped England U20 captain Callum Braley for the U20 starting shirt, having left Harlequins to go to university at Loughborough. However his performances drew interest from Saracens, who signed him quickly, and with his degree finishing soon his opportunity to rapidly rise is there.
Here is the squad, let us know what you think and be sure to send us yours, we would love to see the different thoughts and opinions out there!
1 Joe Marler (28) – Harlequins
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie* (25) â€“ Exeter Chiefs
3 Dan Cole (32) â€“ Leicester Tigers
4 Joe Launchbury (28) – Wasps
5 Courtney Lawes (30) â€“ Northampton Saints
6 Maro Itoje* (24) – Saracens
7 Matt Kvesic (27) – Gloucester
8 Billy Vunipola (27) – Saracens
9 Ben Youngs (29) â€“ Leicester Tigers
10 George FordÂ§ (26) – Bath
11 Marland Yarde (27) – Harlequins
12 Henry Slade* (26) â€“ Exeter Chiefs
13 Jonathan Joseph (28) – Bath
14 Jack Nowell* (26) â€“ Exeter Chiefs
15 Anthony Watson* (25) – Bath
16 Jack Walker (23) â€“ Yorkshire Carnegie
17 Mako Vunipola (28) – Saracens
18 Kieran Brookes (28) â€“ Newcastle Falcons
19 Charlie Ewels* (23) – Bath
20 Ross Moriarty* (25) – Gloucester
21 Henry Taylor* (25) – Saracens
22 Owen Farrell (27) – Saracens
23 Elliot Daly (26) – Wasps
* Denotes JWC winner
Â§ Denotes former Junior World Player of the Year