Lancaster set to name squad
Stuart Lancaster will name his England squad for the autumn internationals on Wednesday, with the main issues to be settled being in midfield.
Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt, Lancaster's first-choice pairing, are both out injured and the head coach's toughest decision appears to be who to select as centre options along with Billy Twelvetrees and Kyle Eastmond.
Gloucester's Henry Trinder, Saracens' Joel Tomkins, Northampton's Luther Burrell and Bath's Jonathan Joseph are all contenders.
One man who perhaps would have given Lancaster food for thought was Leicester's Anthony Allen, but he has been ruled out of action for three months with a leg injury.
Up front Leicester back-row Tom Croft is the only man unavailable because of injury.
Lancaster will only be able to pick players picked in the senior squads he announced in August, following an agreement he made with the Premiership clubs.
He admits that is a frustration given the form of the likes of Northampton's Sam Dickinson and Exeter's Dave Ewers.
"Picking a player from outside the squads is a challenge. It can be achieved, but it's not been achieved yet," Lancaster said.
Will Fraser of Saracens and Exeter's Tom Johnson are likely to come into contention to replace Croft.
Otherwise Lancaster is expected to name a familiar looking squad, with his British & Irish Lions contingent returning to join up with the pick of the men who toured South America in the summer.
England face Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in successive weekends, starting with the Wallabies on November 2.