Now the Lions squad has been announced, English egg-shaped eyes turn to the tour to Argentina this summer, as undoubtedly some new, young players wear the red rose proudly upon their breast for the first time in their careers. Not only will there be new faces, but also there will definitely be some of the old, but young, Six Nations stars and if they're old, what about the possible selections of 27 year old Toby Flood and 34 year old Tom Palmer. And if James Haskell features in all three matches that the boys in white are scheduled to play, then that will bring him up to the grand old total of 50 caps, to join only Flood who has done this in the current crop of players.
With the captain decision inevitably a lot easier for this, the main debate will be to see which young players will make the squad, and when I say young I mean really young, as in < 23 years old. However with this being Argentina, and not, say Japan, who Wales are visiting, then it will be a lot more physical and more skill will be required, naturally. Among the young players available you have the likes of: Christian Wade, who is currently the Aviva Premiership top high scorer; Kyle Eastmond, who is Bath's rugby league convert who posseses all the skill of League players, like offloading and the ability to beat a man one-on-one; Eliott Daly, who has very quick feet and a massive, usually successful, long-range boot, which could come in very handy on this trip; Freddie Burns, the young exciting, speedy Fly-Half who makes a living at Gloucester; Rob Buchanan, who may possibly feature, with the absence of Lions Dylan Hartley and Tom Youngs; and finally the beast-that-is, Billy Vunipola, who's battering ram-esque qualities could be very useful against a physical Argentina pack.
So with that in mind my England squad would be:
Backs: Ben Foden, Mike Brown, Christian Wade, Johnny May, Chris Ashton, David Strettle, Joel Tompkins, Jonathan Joseph, Billy Twelvetrees, Kyle Eastmond, Brad Barritt, Toby Flood, Freddie Burns, Danny Care, Joe Simpson
Forwards: Alex Corbisiero, Joe Marler, Joe Gray, Rob Buchanan, David Wilson, Keiran Brookes, Joe Launchbury, Ed Slater, George Robson, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Calum Clark, Chris Robshaw, Will Fraser, Ben Morgan, Billy Vunipola.
They are likely to come up against a classic Argentinian team, so massive forwards, the likes of Marcos Ayerza, Fernandez Lobbe and Albacete, who will attempt to physically dominate England, which of course with the young English squad isn't entirely out of the question you know, and it will probably be an arm wrestle for 60 minutes, like we saw in the 2011 world cup. Then their backs are always fast, nippy, agile and possess handling and running skill never often seen in Northern Hemisphere rugby, with players like Camacho, Hernandez, Agulla and Bosch. No doubt their off-loading will be sublime and their defence fairly weak. I have international experience against Argentina as an Argentinian school visited ours earlier this year, and they were all rapid and had good side-steps so if they're the junior versions of the international players then they will be good. You'll be pleased to know our team won, 7-0, and yes it was rugby surprisingly and not football!