There have been a lot of questions asked about England’s midfield for a long time now, as fans haven't seen an established midfield play regularly together. However, there could be a much bigger problem, which is yet to surface.
England have a handful of good international scrum-halves available. Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Richard Wigglesworth are all solid players, but all three are guilty of being very hit-and-miss in finding that consistent top-flight form. If you look at the Southern Hemisphere sides - New Zealand, South Africa and Australia all coincidently possess, arguably, the three best nines in world rugby.
Will Jones Bring in Change?
Eddie Jones’ success in 2003 was halted by one man’s famous kick. But, his tenure was built around having the best number nine in the game at the time in George Gregan.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
He was able to distribute quick ball whilst tying down the flankers in around the rucks, because he was always looking to dart around the fringes. Even in the 2003 final, Gregan had the better over his opposite man, Matt Dawson.
The closest to the Aussie great we have is Danny Care due to his constant urge to go forward, but the Harlequin struggles for consistency on the international stage and has difficulties with quick, clean distribution on occasion.
Are There Alternatives?
Before a season-ending injury last year, Wasp's Joe Simpson was having a late surge for a place in the World Cup squad. Now he has recovered, the scrum-half is looking in fine form for his club and could potentially push his way into the squad again.
Whilst not many people would identify number nine as a key issue for England, Jones will certainly see making a potent half-back pairing his number one priority on the evidence of his past successes.