Hybrid Rugby

Ever since their disastrous World Cup exit, there have been a number of changes made to the England set-up, and it looks as though there might yet be a host more.

While the arrival of Eddie Jones as the new head coach following Stuart Lancaster's dismissal has undoubtedly been the main talking point from an English point of view, there is a feeling that there will be a completely different look about this team by the time the 2016 Six Nations gets under way.

One of those changes could be at openside flanker, with current captain Chris Robshaw expected to find himself facing a battle to keep his place amid growing pressure for Steffon Armitage to be handed a recall after yet another remarkable season for Toulon, not to mention Jones' previous view that the flanker was worthy of a place in England's World Cup squad.

The flanker has not appeared for England for five years due to him plying his trade in France with Toulon, with the RFU maintaining foreign-based players wouldn't be considered for international selection.

But that stance has come in for some real criticism over the past few years, with Armitage an example of just why England need to rethink their position.

With the 29-year-old widely considered to be one of the best openside flankers in the game, and with England's current number seven finding himself singled out by some sections of the media for his side's premature exit from the World Cup, the call for Armitage to be included for the Six Nations has become almost deafening.

While Jones has made it clear he respects the RFU's positon on foreign-based players, the Aussie may well try and find a compromise that means the rule is at least relaxed in order for Armitage to earn a recall into the England squad. Jones, who criticised Robshaw in his newspaper column during the World Cup, has said he has not made any decisions yet regarding dramatic changes, but the signs do not look good for a player who hasn't been at his best for some time.

The Harlequins flanker failed to deliver in terms of his performances and decision making during the tournament, and his position has not been helped by Armitage's continued impressive form in France with Toulon - who are at the time of writing 9/4 with the majority of betting odds to win this year's Top-14 Grand Final.

While Robshaw was by no means the sole reason for England's dismal performance in this year's World Cup, his failure to guide his country out of the pool stage for the first time in the tournament's history has not helped his case to continue in the role as captain.

And his performances in the England pack certainly left a lot to be desired. At 29, Robshaw could still have a role to play under Jones, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that it will be as the team's skipper.

For Armitage, however, Toulon will continue to reap the benefits of the flanker's consistent performances until the RFU change their mind regarding the inclusion of those players not based in the English Premiership, despite the fans and media making it crystal clear that the rules need to be looked at again.