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England’s midfield merry-go-round: Deep thinking required by Eddie Jones thanks to boost in centre options

Ben Te'o (left) and Manu Tuilagi (right) played together against Italy

Credit:
getty images

The sheer depth of England’s player pool makes it easy to drown in possibilities. Midfield, where it is has proved historically tricky for England to strike a balance, epitomises how confusion can set in. 

Stuart Lancaster tinkered, eventually adding code-convert Sam Burgess to the mix when the stakes were highest. Eddie Jones has overseen a spinning merry-go-round as well. 

The muscular combination of Ben Te’o and Manu Tuilagi was the 15th starting centre duo of his tenure. And there have been even more formations introduced during games.

During the final five minutes of the 37-18 win over Australia in November, for instance, we saw the trusted axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell inside Tuilagi….

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