Englands AI Team Based on European 1st Round

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 9:32 am

With no preamble:

1. Marler
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Lawes
5. Botha
6. Johnson
7. Robshaw
8. Easter
9. Care
10. Botica
11. Monye
12. Twelvetrees
13. Tomkins
14. Ashton
15. Arscott

So there we go, my Heineken Cup England team based on the weekends games.


Last edited by yappysnap on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Triangulation on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:03 am

Can't abide having Easter in the side. Can't forget seeing him repeatedly owned at or behind the gainline as a ball carrier at international level at the end. He neither has the power in his legs to cross the gainline nor the speed to make up for this.

He had been a great servant for England and good on him for his leadership and current good form for Quins but the campaign to get him back for England is vexing me.


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:24 am

I think there are still positions wide open...

1 Marler
2 Hartley
3 Cole
Now that is a very strong front row.

4 Lawes
5 ?
Lawes was excellent yesterday. Interestingly including the lineout. Could we now look at playing a monster Garvey / Attwood alongside him with Croft / Wood at 6 for lineout options.

6 ?
7 Robshaw
8 Morgan v Crane
Back row is wide open. Fearns has the power at 6...Wood has the lineout.

9 Care
10 Flood

12 Barritt
13 Tuilagi

11 ?
14 Ashton
15 Brown V Goode

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:36 am

Geordie I agree with pretty much all of that there.

5- is in my mind wide open and we do need a big unit in there to partner Lawes. As you say either Garvey or Attwood with perhaps Slater in the future.

6- pretty open again, maybe Wood at 6? But he was fairly anonymous against Glasgow. Launchberry as a stop gap? Haskell? Vunipola?

8- Massively disagree about Crane, I think his time away has given us a rose tinted view but his game yesterday was dire and he didn't do anything of note in the match before that, might as well take Easter he's quicker! It's between Morgan and in the future Fearns or Vunipola (my choice).

12- Still really not sure about Barritt, yes he can tackle but at the Int level you need to be able to do more, we can not play Barritt and Manu together, they just create zip.

11- I have no idea.

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Post by Effervescing Elephant on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:39 am

How can you pick Twelvetrees on HC form when he isn't in it?
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Post by yappysnap on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:46 am

Effervescing Elephant wrote:How can you pick Twelvetrees on HC form when he isn't in it?

Shut up you!!

It's my thread and i'll pick who I want.

And I may have forgotten about Twelvetrees being in the Amlin... boxing

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Post by beshocked on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 10:47 am

If we are talking about HC 1st round form then Borthwick would be in the 2nd row. Laugh

Barritt at 12 too. I genuinely thought he was good. Of course I am biased. OK

Can't argue with the rest though.

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Post by Effervescing Elephant on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 11:03 am

yappysnap wrote:
Effervescing Elephant wrote:How can you pick Twelvetrees on HC form when he isn't in it?

Shut up you!!

It's my thread and i'll pick who I want.

And I may have forgotten about Twelvetrees being in the Amlin... boxing

Blimey Yap, a senior moment at 24! Just change the title to @European form' and pretend it never happened! Very Happy
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 11:04 am

When does the squad actually get together prior to the Fiji game.
The game is three weeks on Saturday coming...do they get two weeks or a week together?

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 11:10 am

1 Sheridan
2 Taylor
3 Johnston
4 Borthwick
5 Launchbury
6 Fraser
7 Armitage
8 Easter
9 Care
10 Cipriani
11 Williams
12 Hooper
13 Addison
14 Jennings
15 Goode

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Post by beshocked on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 11:17 am

Not a bad call at all maestegmafia. OK

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 11:23 am

I know a few of those are ageing, or maybe a bit avantgarde/against the norm but all of us with a realistic chance of chance of making the seedings for the next RWC have to decide on a priority, blood for the future now or select the best available.

I picked the lads that performed really well and made a difference last weekend.

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Post by EnglishReign on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:07 pm

When did Tom Wood stop being injured? Was good seeing him back.

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Post by Biltong on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:10 pm

I still would like to see Brown at fullback, I think he offers a lot and has good skills. Still don't like Botha, can't believe he is one of you better Locks.

Surely there must be better stock than him?
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:16 pm

There are Bilts...many, its just Lancs seems to have blinkers on.



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Post by HammerofThunor on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:22 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:When does the squad actually get together prior to the Fiji game.
The game is three weeks on Saturday coming...do they get two weeks or a week together?

Squad get together on the Monday around 13 days before the 1st game. That's the standard international window now. The EPS players don't have to go back to their clubs for the weekend between starting training and the 1st game.

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Post by hugehandoff on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:30 pm

Pack I would like to see.

Sheridan
Hartley
Cole
Garvey
Parling
Lawes
Easter
Robshaw

Forward subs
Marler
Ford
Croft (not back from injury yet so the Brand)

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Post by Effervescing Elephant on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:38 pm

Who played on the wing before Ashton came in, for the life of me i can't remember. Cueto on one wing, who was on the other? Having a proper brain fart here!
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:41 pm

Banahan / Monye

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Post by Effervescing Elephant on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 12:49 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Banahan / Monye

Course it was! Thanks mate thumbsup
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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 2:19 pm

hugehandoff wrote:Pack I would like to see.

Sheridan
Hartley
Cole
Garvey
Parling
Lawes
Easter
Robshaw

Forward subs
Marler
Ford
Croft (not back from injury yet so the Brand)

I really think you guys are missing a trick not taking Armitage at openside. especially with a pack that lacks pace. Also Joe Launchbury and Garvey are definitely the better locks around, Lawes is not a good blindside, certainly not as good as options like Robshaw or Waldron.

Easter is the best Eight by some distance at the moment.

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Post by Effervescing Elephant on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 3:14 pm

Nick Easter smells of wee so the other boys won't let him play.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 3:51 pm

Obviously Armitage has upset the hierachy as much as Garvey.

Those two could really add a huge amount to that England pack....and i dont just mean bulk wise Very Happy . But neither are even remotely thought off...its curious.

Why does Lancs pick these locks (some disguise the fact they come in at 18+ stone) who play a soft, mobile, athletic game. I mean Gaskell is in the Saxons... Erm

Lancs doesnt seem to understand that we need a balance...of some brute power in there. Someone who knows HOW to use an 18st frame properly.



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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 3:55 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Obviously Armitage has upset the hierachy as much as Garvey.

Those two could really add a huge amount to that England pack....and i dont just mean bulk wise Very Happy . But neither are even remotely thought off...its curious.

Why does Lancs pick these locks (some disguise the fact they come in at 18+ stone) who play a soft, mobile, athletic game. I mean Gaskell is in the Saxons... Erm

Lancs doesnt seem to understand that we need a balance...of some brute power in there. Someone who knows HOW to use an 18st frame properly.



That is the sort of thing you have to deal with when you hire a national coach who lacks the qualifications and experience of coaching at the top of the game.


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Post by yappysnap on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 3:56 pm

Gaskell is a joke! I've never understood the love affair with him from U20's onwards.

Steffon again had a brilliant game on Sunday, but until he comes home he wont be picked (probably still wont be to be fair!).

He'd do well at Bath, they need a quality 7 and the idea of him and Fearns is appealing.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 4:09 pm

On this week ends games you have pick Delon Armatage for Full back.
Steffan Armatage aswell should also be in with a shout.

Danny Care was the stand out scrum half, with Dickson on the bench.
Ben youngs in mny7 opinion cost the tigers atlkeast 3 point this week end.

I think Hooker will be interesting between Hartley and Tom Youngs.

Looks like stewart Lancaster is going to have a big headace for this Ais with picking players for the EPS.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 4:10 pm

Thats true Maesteg.

Could you imagine Garvey and Lawes in the engine room. Ouch.

Yappy...6 Louw & 7 Armitage & 8 Fearns would be a tasty back row. But i cant see him leaving a club where is he getting the glowing reports and living a nice lifestyle, to return to Bath.


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 4:14 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:On this week ends games you have pick Delon Armatage for Full back.
Steffan Armatage aswell should also be in with a shout.

Danny Care was the stand out scrum half, with Dickson on the bench.
Ben youngs in mny7 opinion cost the tigers atlkeast 3 point this week end.

I think Hooker will be interesting between Hartley and Tom Youngs.

Looks like stewart Lancaster is going to have a big headace for this Ais with picking players for the EPS.

And therein lies the problem. Whilst MJ left people a little confused at times with his selection policy...SL is beginning to fall in to the same boat. If he dissapoints with his selection for the AI's this time with the various players available...i think many of the fans who gave him the benefit of the doubt in the past will lose a bit (or a lot) of faith in him.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 4:28 pm

I think the last England coach who had a reputation of success at any level going into the top job was Jack Rowell, and England can thank him for a hell of a lot of good he did for English rugby.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 4:53 pm

Ill judge him on the performances of the Ai's Maesteg.

I think we need to be seeing signs of progressing now.

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Post by Triangulation on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 9:56 am

So

We're agreed then? Lancaster is drinking at the last chance saloon?

He has made some good selections but has a blind spot when it comes to the second row. He seems to have that stubborness of England rugby selectors too. It is a major weakness. They pick caca players and then stick by them through thick and thin out of some misplaced notion of loyalty.

Costing us Test matches.






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Post by beshocked on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 10:06 am

Triangulation the problem is who should Lancaster pick in the 2nd row?

You can criticise him but there's hardly a wealth of 2nd row talent waiting to be picked.

The much maligned Steve Borthwick is still by some distance the best lineout man in the business in England. Tells you a lot about his fellow 2nd rows doesn't it.

Lineout experts are a scarce commodity. No one has risen up to challenge his authority in that area. Some might argue Parling has but I am not convinced by him.

The ideal 2nd row combo is a lineout specialist and an enforcer.

I don't think Lancaster could get an ideal combo out of what he's got available to him.

Some might say Garvey and Attwood are good but none have really put their hands up emphatically.

Compare this to FB where both Goode and Brown are in excellent form. Even with Foden injured it's an area England should feel some confidence.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 10:11 am

I dont think he's at the last chance saloon...but i think questions are being raised and will be further if there is little sign of improvment in the upcoming AI's.

I dont understand where this selection issue comes from once people get into that England managers spot.

If was in that position, i would have made a point of giving the likes of Garvey, Armitage etc games even if it was just to eliminate them once and for all.
Likewise the constant selection of Gaskell (not just a Lancaster fault) in the EPS has puzzled me for several years.

I appreciate he hasnt been helped by injuries to Lawes, Croft, Wood etc, added to the plummeting form of others such as Attwood etc...so thats why ill not say its last chance saloon...but these players and others like Fearns are all back playing to one degree or another and most showing impressive form.

So there is not really much excuse to make the wrong selections this time.


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Post by lostinwales on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 10:17 am

Surely a lot of this is to do with having a decent sized pool of players to choose from. There are a lot of 'might be there if they get a chance' but few nailed on certainties so that everyone has a different opinion.

Lancaster had a decent last 6N and an OK summer - talk of last chance saloon just because he hasnt looked at someone's favourite seems awfully premature. See him feck up in the 6N and then you have to start wondering. And if not him then who? - look at the crap we went thru last time and how happy we were to find someone saying and doing (mostly) the right things in the circumstances and getting some good results.


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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 2:27 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ill judge him on the performances of the Ai's Maesteg.

I think we need to be seeing signs of progressing now.

Hopefully you will. There are some great performers in the Premiership. Care has been outstanding, Armitage in France looks like a great openside. Cole, Youngs, Corbisero and Johnstone look great for a front row. Young guys like Launchbury look superb, Lawes is getting back in to it, maybe a bit early for International duties but come six nations he might be ready. Needs to move back to lock, he's not a blindside. Until then Grewcock, Parling or Palmer etc fill in in the mean time.

Centre is still the tricky position, Tuilagi is inked in to the team sheet, but I think he would be better as a winger. Get two centres who can create like Catt and Greenwood, (maybe Hooper and Twelvetrees?) used to and with Tuilagi on one wing, Ashton on the other and you'll be laughing. Three good fullbacks Goode, Brown and Armitage, as well as Foden when fit.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 2:52 pm

Maest, if by Johnstone you mean James Johnston of Quins, then sadly he's a Samoan international already. Marler has shown that he can mix it at the top level, which gives us LH cover, but TH is a bit of a concern.

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Post by Chjw131 on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 3:22 pm

hugehandoff wrote:Pack I would like to see.

Sheridan
Hartley
Cole
Garvey
Parling
Lawes
Easter
Robshaw

Forward subs
Marler
Ford
Croft (not back from injury yet so the Brand)

Who's Ford? I take it you were thinking of George Ford? Or perhaps Ross Ford - who's a Scot.

It's the question of balance again i'm afraid as Geordie has already pointed out. Not just balance in the pack but across the team and including the bench. Lancaster's bench selections have always been a bit mystifying but he's got this one chance to pick a team with some balance to it.

A balanced pack on form so far this season would be:

1. J Marler
2. D Hartley
3. D Cole
4. M Garvey
5. T Palmer
6. C Fearns
7. C Robshaw
8. B Morgan

16. T Youngs 17. M Vunipola 18. D Wilson 19. C Lawes 20. T Johnson

Vunipola is only recently on the scene, but he looks great in the loose and has shown up well with his scrummaging. I'm not saying these selections are likely, but that pack has a decent balance about it I feel. Lawes in reserve for his line-out and defence work as much as anything else. He's still not a top class carrier and needs to be paired with a Garvey type. Palmer to run the line-out, Parling hasn't done much wrong but i'm more of the opinion that his open play comes in fits and starts.

Fearns is really looking good so far this season and his work rate has tripled from the summer. Wilson and Johnson are both there on merit.

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Post by glamorganalun on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 10:56 pm

lostinwales wrote:Surely a lot of this is to do with having a decent sized pool of players to choose from. There are a lot of 'might be there if they get a chance' but few nailed on certainties so that everyone has a different opinion.

Lancaster had a decent last 6N and an OK summer - talk of last chance saloon just because he hasnt looked at someone's favourite seems awfully premature. See him feck up in the 6N and then you have to start wondering. And if not him then who? - look at the crap we went thru last time and how happy we were to find someone saying and doing (mostly) the right things in the circumstances and getting some good results.


I agree with your post 100%, I think Lancaster had a very good 12 months considering he started with a new team playing a different style. I don't go with all his selections but being runners up in the 6N is not a bad start after a poor RWC. I never thought much of S Bothwick when he was England captain but I watched him last year against the Ospreys and he was very good in the line out and open play, it is no shock to me he is still England's best second row but maybe not captain. From my Welsh point of view I would prefer Parling against Wales in the 6N, he does win line out ball but seems to do little else.

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Post by DaveM on Tue 16 Oct 2012, 11:31 pm

Triangulation wrote:So

We're agreed then? Lancaster is drinking at the last chance saloon?

He has made some good selections but has a blind spot when it comes to the second row. He seems to have that stubborness of England rugby selectors too. It is a major weakness. They pick caca players and then stick by them through thick and thin out of some misplaced notion of loyalty.

Costing us Test matches.

Er, what?

It is very unlikely that Garvey vs Parling is the difference between England being an average side and a great one. Some people are obsessing way too much about the locks in the EPS. Yes there will probably will probably be better options in a year or two, but England have a pack that doesn't really need to fear anyone already. Graham Rowntree is an outstanding forwards coach, and yet reading some peple's opinions you'd think we had a rank amateur picking the pack

England's problem, which is not a new one, is finding a convincing attacking plan, particularly with the backs. Hopefully this autumn we'll crack it.

Last chance saloon? Total nonsense.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 17 Oct 2012, 4:30 pm

Dave,

The pack has shown that the scrum is rock solid...and more.
The lineout is functional with Parling / Palmer but Croft is a miss
The breakdown has improved beyond recognition.

What we are all generally bring attention to is the ball carrying capability of the current 8 which isnt particularly great...and playing a part in the current poor performance of the backs.

We are simply discussing what different players would bring.

Pure example being Garvey who would bring that massive carrying capability...aswell as being LI's tackler of the year....for two years running. Surely we could use that over say Bothas "well he puts the effort in" skills.




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Post by Chjw131 on Wed 17 Oct 2012, 4:46 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Dave,

The pack has shown that the scrum is rock solid...and more.
The lineout is functional with Parling / Palmer but Croft is a miss
The breakdown has improved beyond recognition.

What we are all generally bring attention to is the ball carrying capability of the current 8 which isnt particularly great...and playing a part in the current poor performance of the backs.

We are simply discussing what different players would bring.

Pure example being Garvey who would bring that massive carrying capability...aswell as being LI's tackler of the year....for two years running. Surely we could use that over say Bothas "well he puts the effort in" skills.




In a nutshell!

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Post by DaveM on Wed 17 Oct 2012, 11:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Dave,

The pack has shown that the scrum is rock solid...and more.
The lineout is functional with Parling / Palmer but Croft is a miss
The breakdown has improved beyond recognition.

What we are all generally bring attention to is the ball carrying capability of the current 8 which isnt particularly great...and playing a part in the current poor performance of the backs.

We are simply discussing what different players would bring.

Pure example being Garvey who would bring that massive carrying capability...aswell as being LI's tackler of the year....for two years running. Surely we could use that over say Bothas "well he puts the effort in" skills.



I still think there is too much obession about having a big ball carrier. Any player can be stopped if you expect him to carry and you know what you are doing. Garvey may well be worth a look if he plays regularly for LI at lock and plays well, but for now Lawes and Palmer are the most likely lock combination, and that's not bad. Wood, Robshaw and Morgan in the backrow, Marler, Cole and Hartley in the front row - this is the best pack England have had for a while and there is carrying ability in there. But carrying ability is only one thing a pack needs.

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Post by niwatts on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 12:27 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Pure example being Garvey who would bring that massive carrying capability...aswell as being LI's tackler of the year....for two years running. Surely we could use that over say Bothas "well he puts the effort in" skills.


I liked what I saw of Garvey last season (haven't seen him play this) and would happily see him included in the England mix, but I feel this sort of description is ascribing abilities beyond the reality. He adds good weight and edge to a pack, quality tackler, strong at the breakdown and solid with the ball, but I can't remember him being a monumental carrier last season. His stats so far this season are 26m made in 21 carries. You can argue what the circumstances of those carries are, but "massive carrying capability" would have produced greater gains.

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Post by DaveM on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 7:38 pm

niwatts wrote: His stats so far this season are 26m made in 21 carries. You can argue what the circumstances of those carries are, but "massive carrying capability" would have produced greater gains.

Many people were going on about Attwood in the summer when, on his form last season, he wasn't even worth a regular starting place at Bath. If a player is playing consistently well then I'd expect them to get a go. In the meantime Lawes and Palmer can probably manage 1.3m a carry.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 7:54 pm

Ok Massive carrying was over the top i agree...ill retract that statement...and individually im not fussed if its Garvey, Attwood, Launchbury etc...but we need someone in there who can take that ball over the gainline and drag defenders with him...on regular occasions.

This is what Ben Morgan has been selected for...but has so far failed to deliver...and i thought haskell could provide, but has also not really provided.
These players give the team forward momentum and for drag in defenders which creates space elsewhere...so i think it is essential.

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Post by DaveM on Thu 18 Oct 2012, 11:16 pm

By the end of the season I reckon it will be Launchbury and Lawes, assuming the coaches can find a line-out caller. I think Lawes is going to be a world class line out operator.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 19 Oct 2012, 9:37 am

Yes im starting to agree about Lawes in the Lineout.

Wood can call the lineout....what about him at 6 or even radically at 7 with someone like Fearns at 6?

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Post by DaveM on Fri 19 Oct 2012, 6:34 pm

Yes, a pack of:

Marler/Corbs
Hartley
Cole
Lawes
Launchbury
Fearns
Wood
Morgan

looks great to me (and a million miles from some of the packs of recent years). The only problem is Robshaw has done well. The easy change is Wood for Fearns, but despite my comments about ball-carrying obsessions I actually prefer the balance with Fearns there to carry.

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 21 Oct 2012, 1:11 pm

Triangulation wrote:Can't abide having Easter in the side. Can't forget seeing him repeatedly owned at or behind the gainline as a ball carrier at international level at the end. He neither has the power in his legs to cross the gainline nor the speed to make up for this.

He had been a great servant for England and good on him for his leadership and current good form for Quins but the campaign to get him back for England is vexing me.


+1

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 21 Oct 2012, 2:31 pm

DaveM wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Dave,

The pack has shown that the scrum is rock solid...and more.
The lineout is functional with Parling / Palmer but Croft is a miss
The breakdown has improved beyond recognition.

What we are all generally bring attention to is the ball carrying capability of the current 8 which isnt particularly great...and playing a part in the current poor performance of the backs.

We are simply discussing what different players would bring.

Pure example being Garvey who would bring that massive carrying capability...aswell as being LI's tackler of the year....for two years running. Surely we could use that over say Bothas "well he puts the effort in" skills.



I still think there is too much obession about having a big ball carrier. Any player can be stopped if you expect him to carry and you know what you are doing. Garvey may well be worth a look if he plays regularly for LI at lock and plays well, but for now Lawes and Palmer are the most likely lock combination, and that's not bad. Wood, Robshaw and Morgan in the backrow, Marler, Cole and Hartley in the front row - this is the best pack England have had for a while and there is carrying ability in there. But carrying ability is only one thing a pack needs.

No, there isn't. It's the one glaring area of weakness of the England pack in recent games. We do need a player who is regularly getting over the gainline, it might be Garvey, it might be Fearns or Vunipola in the back-row, but it won't be Palmer or Lawes. We need to find a player who can offer that sooner rather than later.

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