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Key Players And Biggest Challenges Facing England This Autumn

England will see all three of their games as must win as they continue in their pursuit to be the number one side in the world.

They will have to do so with a number of frontline players missing but Eddie Jones is a masterful coach and will hope his band of players are ready for Tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa.

Star Men

Maro Itoje (Saracens)

Itoje is an absolute machine. He is everywhere and his engine keeps him running, tackling and hitting everything. He will not be stopped – expect to hear the familiar ‘Oh, Maro Itoje’ ring round Twickenham.

He is a passionate player equally adept in the second row as he is in the back row. He is a dependable lineout option and force of nature in defence.

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Owen Farrell (Saracens)

The metronomic goal-kicker and ferocious tackler is England’s star, he leads by example and may well be England’s new captain should Eddie Jones look to shake up the pack which so far has served the Australian well winning all but one of his Tests so far.

Farrell is no longer the boring player he was perceived to be, he can attack and, if given the right service by his forwards, can be a huge part of this England team – and lead them to success this month.

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Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)

He has started the season in tremendous form for Bath and his defensive work has been cited as a major strength. The openside looks set to continue cutting his teeth at the sharp end of international rugby after he was handed his debut in Argentina.

He is a menace at the breakdown but will face some of the best operators in the world such as Michael Hooper this autumn, hopefully that will spur the man on to perform above and beyond the call of duty this month.

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Three to Watch

Santiago Cordero (Jaguares)

A very dangerous man indeed. This fun-size winger has all the ability to be a top-class winger and his mazy running and acceleration have seen him produce some outrageous scores for both club and country.

Cordero will trouble England, just how much is debatable but given space and a couple of seconds and he will punish sloppy defending.

Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)

A powerful, quick 13, the Brumbies man is an experienced head in the midfield and his attacking prowess is unrivalled by any other Wallaby centre. 

England will have to watch out for his seeming ability to score tries at will. He will be key to Australia’s attack this November.

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Jack Lam (Bristol Rugby)

The Bristol bruiser will be in action for Samoa this month and will see this series as a chance to showcase his skills the only way he knows how with powerful hits and insatiable appetite for a physicality.

Lam is a wonderful player and he will give England’s playmaking options some sleepless nights leading up to this Test match.

Predictions

England vs Argentina – England by 15

England vs Australia – England by nine

England vs Samoa – England by 25

Potential England XV

1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Dan Cole; 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis; 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Nathan Hughes; 9. Danny Care, 10. Owen Farrell (Captain); 11. Jonny May, 12. Henry Slade, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 15. Anthony Watson.

Fred Blagden, Pundit Arena

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About Fred Blagden

Recent Multimedia Journalism graduate. A rugby enthusiast with a particular interest in the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup. You can find him on Twitter @fredblagden and on LinkedIn.

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