England vs Tonga team news: Who should Eddie Jones pick for Rugby World Cup opener?

We attempt to pick the side that should launch England’s latest bid to win the Rugy World Cup

England train in Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup

England face one of their biggest dilemmas at this year’s Rugby World Cup in choosing their selection not just for the opening match against Tonga, but also for who will play against the United States just four days later.

The schedule this year has been adjusted in an attempt to bring a better balance to the time between games for tier one and tier two sides, having been heavily weighted in favour of the former.

As a result, England will play their opening matches in Japan in the space of four days – something they have never done at the World Cup – which will require a selection process of something akin to what is used on the British and Irish Lions tour.

The likelihood is that Eddie Jones and his coaching team will sit down on Thursday and pencil in the matchday 23s for both games together, although the side to face the USA will depend heavily on how the England squad emerge from what could be a bone-crunching encounter with Tonga on Sunday.

Even though England have 31 players to choose from, at least one will be needed to double-up and start both games, given both Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell have been ruled out of the tournament until the third pool match against Argentina at the very least.

Taking that into account, it’s certain that both Joe Marler and Ellis Genge – the two remaining loosehead options – will need to play in both matches, while Nowell’s absence means the back-three will be light on rotation for the second match.

With all that in mind, we’ve attempted to pick the side England boss Jones should select on Friday morning for their opening fixture of the Rugby World Cup.

Click through the gallery below to see who we’ve selected.

England will announce their squad on Friday at 1:15pm local time [5:15am BST] for the game to face Tonga.

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