England v Japan
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday 17 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live with BBC Two at 19:30 GMT

England coach says there are”about 35 players” in contention to make his 31-man World Cup squad.

Jones has named a experimental side to face Japan this weekend, even with 21-year-old wing Joe Cokanasiga and 19-year-old forwards equally in line for debuts.

“Selection will be difficult, and that’s what we need,” explained Jones.

“We have not got a big pool of players [in mind] – we’ve got about 35 we think have been in contention.”

He added:”Thirty five doesn’t get divided by 31. So there is good competition.”

A month, after joining the squad for the first time in Portugal, hill has made a substantial impression with the players and coaches of England.

“He has impressed everybody with his demeanour. He’s got an excellent physique, he’s a big, rangy guy, and tough,” Jones stated.

“The ability to change out of a club player to an international player is essential, and he’s made that transition very easily, so that does give him a head-start.”

Jack Nowell is another selection with all the World Cup in mind, according to Jones.

England’s autumn Tests
All matches at Twickenham
3 NovemberBeat South Africa 12-11
10 NovemberLost to New Zealand 16-15
17 NovemberJapan
24 November

“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but we have not ever had the chance,” he added.

“He is back in good form and his feet are sparkling.

“It is only an alternative, he’s an excellent winger, but having the capacity to play 13 would help us substantially at the World Cup.”

Jones’ estimate means than predecessor Stuart Lancaster was at the exact same stage before the 2015 World Cup he is closer to his 31-man squad.

Lancaster named an initial 50-man training group in May 2015, gradually whittling his selection down to the necessary number at the end of August.

His most contentious call because he cut a last eight players from his squad was to exit Luther Burrell to make space for rugby league convert Sam Burgess. Danny Cipraini was another of those to overlook.

Familiar foe


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