The unstoppable force: Billy Vunipola rattled up a hat-trick in 15 minutes against CONSUR. Will he play Argentina?

By Alan Dymock

BLITZING PAST an amalgam of Argentinean, Uruguayan, Chilean and Brazilian players on Saturday, the England team kicked off their South American summer tour in fine style.

A hat-trick was registered against the CONSUR XV by Billy Vunipola in less time than it takes to grill a steak, Ben Foden scored an impressive double and England’s pack of cattle were stampeding by the end of the match. It was, for want of a better phrase, straightforward for the tourists in their initial tour game.

Now they smash into Salta for the first of two Tests with Argentina. The CONSUR team was made up of top club players in Argentina and internationals from the rest, but it is an almost misleading build-up to matches against the best of the Americas. Argentina will be a much more daunting proposition.

This is where it becomes interesting for England because they must balance the ability of conquering a top Test side with their plans to develop talent for years to come. So while players like Stephen Myler, Luther Burrell and Kearnan Myall were favoured for the opener against some amateurs from a top tier nation and internationals from a third tier one, they may not run out for the second week in a row.

For Stuart Lancaster there is a fork in the road. He could stick with those who landed and performed instantly. He could bring in those he has trusted throughout the Six Nations. He could surprise everyone. He could take trust over form.

A few weeks ago David Flatman told Rugby World the team he would like to play Argentina in the Tests. Do you agree with his choices? Should Lancaster? We will find out on Thursday at 2pm.

Showman and smasher: Will Luther Burell play Argentina?

Flats’ XV:

1. Alex Corbisiero
2. Rob Webber
3. David Wilson
4. Joe Launchbury
5. Dave Attwood
6. Tom Wood
7. Matt Kvesic
8. Ben Morgan
9. Richard Wigglesworth
10. Freddie Burns
11. Christian Wade
12. Kyle Eastmond
13. Jonathan Joseph
14. Jonny May
15. Mike Brown

Check out David Flatman’s exclusive column about his experiences touring Argentina in 2002 in the July edition of Rugby World – on sale now!

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