James Lowe (left), Billy Vunipola (top right) and Henry Slade (bottom right) all make it into the combined XV


15. Elliot Daly (England)  

It took a while for Daly to settle into the full-back role but now that he has improved his aerial skills, his pace and his awareness as well a booming left boot make him a real asset.

14. James Lowe (Ireland)  

A switch of wings for the New Zealander, but even though he is winning only his second cap Lowe brings energy and power and is always on the look-out for work.

13. Henry Slade (England)  

Let’s put the Exeter Chiefs centre in the position to which he is best suited – in the outside channel where his gliding speed and intelligent defence make him a consummate presence.   

12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)    

Being dubbed one of the ‘United Nations’ contingent by Eddie Jones does Aki something of a disservice in that he has been in the Irish system for six years. A rock-like figure.

Autumn Nations Cup: England team to face Ireland

11. Jonny May (England)  

The Gloucester wing has been going through a relatively quiet period but his all-round game adds so much to any attack. No-one can match him for pace, either.

10. Owen Farrell (England)  

The heartbeat of any side. Farrell’s zeal and game-management are second-to-none, as his father knows better than anyone.

9. Ben Youngs (England)  

It would have been a closer call if Conor Murray had been starting for Ireland, although Youngs has looked sharp and involved.

1. Cian Healy ( Ireland)  

A toss of the coin with this selection as both Healy and Mako Vunipola are in good order. Healy gets the nod over Mako because there has been a resurgence in his own form.

Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland team to face England

2. Jamie George (England)  

The incumbent Lions hooker shows no sign of ceding that post over the next nine months, as his hat-trick last week against Georgia illustrated.

3. Kyle Sinckler (England)  

Another to come to maturity with the Lions three years ago, Sinckler has continued to grow, strengthening his set-piece game in particular.

4. Maro Itoje (England, captain)

The Saracen has met every challenge that has come his way over the last few years: skilful, committed, technically proficient and emotionally charged on the field.

5. James Ryan (Ireland)

Ryan is cut from the same cloth as Itoje, a modern-day forward that is involved in every aspect of play; intelligent as well as industrious.

6. Tom Curry (England)  

The Sale Sharks flanker is wise beyond his years, influential at the breakdown and strong and decisive in all areas of contact.

7. Sam Underhill (England)  

Underhill is well aware that he has to respond to the pressure being put on him by the likes of Jack Willis and there is little doubt that he has the capacity to show why he is such a destructive presence.

8. Billy Vunipola (England)  

The claims of Caelan Doris to the No 8 shirt are substantial but Vunipola is at last showing significant glimpses of the all-consuming play that makes him such a compelling player.