Eddie Jones’s all-or-nothing regime is designed to weed out England players who are not where they should be physically. Training is deliberately full-on, with 11 successive wins under Jones this year testimony to a more ruthless collective mindset. Even individuals recently sidelined by injury are expected to keep up or risk getting overtaken.
Alex Goode, full-back, 6/10 This was his chance to lay down a marker for the No15 shirt but had few chances to show his counter-attacking skills.
Injuries are an occupational hazard but if England prove as elusive with ball in hand as they have been with their recent fitness updates they will defeat Fiji comfortably on Saturday.
England are set to reshuffle their backline for the autumn international against Fiji on Saturday with Semesa Rokoduguni, Alex Goode and Jonathan Joseph all pressing for more prominent roles.
Back at the start of the month, South Africa’s head coach, Allister Coetzee, was asked about the “aura” of his side.
Imagine if this had been the opening game of a World Cup, rather than the first weekend of the 2016 autumn series. A year ago England were hopeful but slightly uncertain of their best way forward.
Aside from the first pictures of Donald Trump inside the White House there was no disputing the week’s most terrifying image.
Eddie Jones does a good fireside yarn and he was on cracking form when looking forward to England’s opening game of this autumn’s series.
England are poised to restore Northampton’s Tom Wood to their back row against South Africa but have dropped Alex Goode and Semesa Rokoduguni from the squad to face the Springboks. The uncapped Nathan Hughes, Ben Te’o, Kyle Sinckler and Josh Beaumont have made the cut, with at least three set to be on the replacements’ bench at Twickenham on Saturday.
Long before Twickenham first heard it, Swing Low Sweet Chariot was a funeral hymn.
Williams is seriously tugging on our heart strings here... we definitely didn't shed a tear at this video.
Eddie Jones’s first squad selection as head coach will leave no one in any doubt that England are setting off in a fresh direction. A raft of highly rated newcomers led by Maro Itoje and Jack Clifford are poised to sweep aside several of Stuart Lancaster’s loyal servants, with a third of last autumn’s World Cup squad facing omission from Jones’s initial plans.
The first name on England's team sheet nowadays is Dan Cole.
England could absolutely do with Wilkinson tonight against Australia!
Warren Gatland has named Andy Farrell, Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley in his backroom team for the British & Irish Lions’ tour of New Zealand in June.
Perhaps it was the embarrassment of being the first Australian coach to lose a home series to England that did it, or possibly it was being mocked up as a clown last month.
One crude swinging arm is in danger of costing Dylan Hartley his immediate future as the England captain and any chance he had of leading the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand next summer.
England, for the first time in years, have reached the point where only a light touch on the tiller is required. On virtually every summer tour since the game went professional they have either been beset by injuries and off‑field scandals or too knackered to mount a serious challenge.