Six Nations: England coach Graham Rowntree running rule over props

Last Updated: 29/01/14 8:10pm

  • Share:
Graham Rowntree: Overseeing an intriguing race for selection

Graham Rowntree: Overseeing an intriguing race for selection

Sky Bet

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree has highlighted the competition for places in the front row ahead of the Six Nations.

One of the most intriguing selection dilemmas head coach Stuart Lancaster has on his hands is at loosehead prop, where British & Irish Lion Mako Vunipola vies with burly Harlequin Joe Marler for the shirt.

Rowntree said: "We blooded Joe 18 months ago in that South Africa series. He very quickly looked the part of a trusted Test player.

"His form in the last six months has been exceptional. His all-round game has been superb. He's very, very accurate at the set-piece, but what he's offering outside the set-piece has really come on.

"Mako has come on leaps and bounds and the set-piece was a perceived weakness of his, but he's done a lot of work there. He's one of the best props in the world."

England's Six Nations campaign, which kicks off against France in Paris on Saturday, is expected to herald a new dawn for Lancaster's side with the likes of Jack Nowell, Johnny May, Luther Burrell and Anthony Watson set for debuts in the three-quarter line.

Such daring selections will provide hope for the other props in the squad as Matt Mullan and Henry Thomas await their chance to establish themselves for the Red Rose.

Lancaster is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday.

  • Share:

Related

Six Nations 2014: France v England

Vunipola: a super attack and defensive effort fro the England No.8

Praise for England

Dewi Morris praises Billy Vunipola, Danny Care and Owen Farrell despite England's loss to France.

Stuart Lancaster: England head coach focused on future

Lancaster defends strategy

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has defended his use of replacements during their 26-24 defeat by France in Paris.

Chris Robshaw (right): England skipper laments poor start in Paris

Robshaw: We must start better

England captain Chris Robshaw admits his side cannot afford any more slow starts in the Six Nations this season.

Most Popular

Features

Cruden on the rise

Cruden on the rise

Aaron Cruden speaks to skysports.com about Argentina, taking chances and Dan Carter's return.

Rugby Championship: Round 3

Rugby Championship: Round 3

The Southern Hemisphere's premier rugby tournament continues with a mouthwatering set of fixtures this Saturday.

The Off Load

The Off Load

Rupert Cox reviews the weekend's rugby including the hotly-contested Top 14 in France.