Three locks doesn’t work.

Lawes is an ace, genuinely class player. He carries well, has a trademark tackle and silky hands. He also offers a great lineout option.

But he shouldn’t start for England. If Eddie starts three lockable on any knockout stage or one of the latter two games in the pool we will find it quite hard to win.

Lets start with the drawback to starting him; the breakdown suffers massively. Lawes is slow and ineffective at the breakdown. In 2018 we were dominated there in almost every game he started at 6. This was also apparent in Cardiff last week. The amount we play off of 9 and 10, and the quality of jacklers around the world, highlights that we need a solid breakdown.

It doesn’t help that he hasn’t started with either underhill or curry yet but having him and Billy in the back row puts too little emphasis on the breakdown and if teams were to figure out how to deny undercurry free reign in the breakdown then we would be screwed. Wilson must start so we can have dominance in the breakdown without losing a big carrier and tackler.

Another positive of keeping Lawes from the starting pack (sounds harsh) is that the bench becomes considerably stronger by having such a threat coming on for 30 minutes at 4/5/6. A lot of our early success with jones came from winning the last half by bringing on players of a starting calibre.

Without two of Curry, Underhill and Wilson, we lose much of what gives our massive pack it’s momentum. Bringing Lawes on for the second half once we have established good breakdown work and the ref views us as the dominant team going forward will allow some pressure to be lifted and for Lawes to go about being the nuisance we love.