England prospects Ollie Lawrence and Tom de Glanville have a genuine chance of playing their way into Test match contention this autumn, according to attack coach Simon Amor.
Manu Tuilagi’s six-month absence because of an Achilles injury has depleted the options in midfield, robbing Eddie Jones of his most devastating carrier and forcing the head coach to take a look at some new faces.
An axis of Owen Farrell and Henry Slade is the most likely choice for the climax to the delayed Six Nations against Italy on Sunday week and for the Autumn Nations Cup thereafter, while Joe Marchant and Fraser Dingwall continue to supply cover.
But joining them for this week’s three-day camp in advance of a non-cap international against the Barbarians on October 24 is Worcester’s Lawrence and de Glanville of Bath, with Amor urging both to make an impression on Jones.
“Every day is another opportunity to take a step forward in Eddie’s thinking, so this is a definite opportunity for them,” Amor said.
“Ollie has a really good attacking game and a strong running game. He’s a good physical player and we’re looking to see that transfer into our camp here.
“Tom has shown some really good examples of some wonderful counter-attacking. He’s a good reader of he game. He’s a fast player.
“They’re both young players with potential who we are really keen to have a look at and see them really attack this camp.
“What’s really important is not just for them to experience the camp, but to really attack the camp and put their best foot forwards.
“They’re here because of their potential but it’s about fulfilling that potential and driving things forwards.”
A surprise omission from the 26-man squad that has gathered in south west London for a three-day training camp is Ben Spencer, the Bath scrum-half whose dynamism was a driving force behind the post-lockdown resurgence at the Recreation Ground.
Jones is thought to have misgivings over Spencer’s communication on the pitch and will persist with Willi Heinz and Alex Mitchell as Ben Youngs’ understudies.
“I know Eddie has spoken to Ben. I’m not here to talk about Ben Spencer, I’m here to talk about the guys in camp,” Amor said.