England beats Barbarians 51-43 as duo press World Cup claims
LONDON (AP) — An England side missing all the players expected to be at the Rugby World Cup in Japan this year scored six tries in beating the Barbarians 51-43 in front of national team coach Eddie Jones at Twickenham on Sunday.
Flyhalf Marcus Smith, who scored a try and was successful with all nine of his place kicks, and flanker Alex Dombrandt, who dotted down twice for tries, pressed their claims for inclusion in Jones’ first World Cup training squad, which is to be named at the end of June.
Although neither player is likely to travel to Japan this autumn, they are in fringe contention and could be called upon if there are injuries. An uncapped Henry Slade played against the Barbarians in 2015 and went on to be included in the World Cup squad later that year.
Jim Mallinder, the Rugby Football Union’s pathway performance coach who took charge of England on Sunday, believes one or two of his England XV could plot a similar route to Slade.
“We said that everybody had an opportunity of playing for England, being watched and giving themselves a good chance. A number of players have done that,” Mallinder said.
“We’ve seen players in that squad who played really well for England, have played for the Under-20s and won junior World Cups. All they have done is the best they could possibly do.”
England’s women’s team won its first match against the Barbarians, also scoring six tries in a 40-14 victory.