We take a look at a potential probables vs possibles lineup following England's Six Nations squad announcement Thursday morning.
In his usual fashion, England head coach Eddie Jones had one or two surprise inclusions and exclusions from his 35-man-squad for the first round of the 2018 Six Nations against Italy.
Whilst the most left-field selection in memory, Gary Graham, continued to enjoy his involvement, 21-year-old Harlequins' loosehead prop Lewis Boyce joined the England ranks. Boyce will compete with Exeter Chiefs' front row Alec Hepburn for the right to play understudy to Mako Vunipola.
These selections have got us thinking about a rather interesting fixture back in 2014. Wales' head coach Warren Gatland was preparing his side for the 2015 Rugby World Cup just over the border in England. Gatland decided to arrange a Wales probables vs Wales possibles fixture, likely taking inspiration from the All Blacks, who also chose two probables and possibles sides in 2005.
Wales' probables were the first choice lineup, while the possibles were made up of the wider squad. The fixture allowed the Welsh coaching set-up to see how the squad matched up outside the training paddock. As expected, the final score was 55-7 in favour of the probables. While the possibles took a good pasting, Wales' current starting loosehead, Rob Evans, managed to crash over for his side's only try.
But why are we telling you this? Well, we've been inspired to choose XV's for a probables vs possibles game within the England set-up. We've chosen from the 35-man-squad announced Thursday last week, with the banned James Haskell coming in to fill the gap of the injured Tom Curry for the possibles. But enough talk, here's our selections.
Quite clearly, the probables would put this possibles side to the sword. However, there may be the odd Rob Evans in there, destined to break through and become one of the best in the world at what they do.
What do you think of our selections? Share your XV's in the comment selection below and get the debate going.
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