England 45-man EPS

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 3:44 pm

Post updated for Eddie Jones' training squad.

From EnglandRugby.com


  • Final EPS to be announced on 30 September
  • Nathan Hughes included for first time


England Head Coach Eddie Jones has announced a provisional 45-man elite player squad (EPS) for England’s pre-season training camp in August.

The squad will meet at the Lensbury Hotel from 6-8 August and take part in training, planning meetings and individual reviews in preparation for the Old Mutual Wealth Series against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia later in the year.

Jones has named a number of uncapped players to attend the camp. Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers) and Nathan Hughes (Wasps) are included for the first time while Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins) and Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) have all previously spent time with England.

Following their series win in South Africa with England Saxons, Dan Robson (Wasps), Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) and Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) will join the camp, as will Joe Marchant (Harlequins) and Will Evans (Leicester Tigers), who were part of the England team who won the World Rugby U20 Championship in June.

MOST DOMINANT TEAM IN THE WORLD
England will announce a final 45-man EPS on 30 September for the Old Mutual Wealth Series starting against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 12 November.

“This camp sets the scene for November,” said Jones. “It’s important to catch-up with the players prior to the start of the season and continue to put our plans in place.

“We’ll use this time to reset and review each player’s goals so they’re clear on what is expected of them between now and when we meet up again in October. It also gives us an opportunity to meet and assess some new players and ensure they are familiar with the England setup.

“The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we’ve chosen a number of new faces to attend this camp on the form they have shown recently or the potential we see in them.

“There will always be opportunities for anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership at the start of the season to force their way into the EPS - the door is always open. Naturally players not included in this pre-season camp will be disappointed, but consistent high-level performances can change this."

HUGE CHALLENGE
England sealed a 3-0 whitewash of Australia in June and are now the second-ranked team in world rugby, however, Jones is expecting a "huge challenge" from their next opponents at Twickenham - South Africa.

“England has not beaten South Africa since 2006 and we’ve lost our last five games against the Springboks at Twickenham," said Jones. "Not a single player who will attend the pre-season camp has played in a side that has ever beaten South Africa.

“While we acknowledge that we’re moving in the right direction we also recognise that defeat is never far away. It’s important the players all keep trying to improve and push themselves to reach new standards in their game. We cannot afford to have any complacency in our approach to this Test.”

45 man provisional EPS for England’s August training camp

Forwards

Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)

Jack Clifford (Harlequins)

Will Evans (Leicester Tigers)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)

Jamie George (Saracens)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)

Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)

Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)

James Haskell (Wasps)

Paul Hill (Northampton Saints)  

Nathan Hughes (Wasps)

Maro Itoje (Saracens)

George Kruis (Saracens)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps)

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)

Joe Marler (Harlequins)

Matt Mullan (Wasps)

Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers)

Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)

Danny Care (Harlequins)

Elliot Daly (Wasps)

Owen Farrell (Saracens)

George Ford (Bath Rugby)

Alex Goode (Saracens)

Mike Haley (Sale Sharks)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Joe Marchant (Harlequins)

Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

Dan Robson (Wasps)

Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)

Joe Simpson (Wasps)

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)

Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)

Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

Marland Yarde (Harlequins)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Original post:
While the dust settles on the most successful trip down South for an England team since 2003, Eddie Jones will have to start thinking about naming his first EPS squad that is completely his.

You would assume the 23 from that second test would form the bedrock of the squad, but then what about the other 10 spots? There are big question marks over:

Joe Marler
Undisputed first choice under Lancaster and just about held off Mako Vunipola during the Six Nations, but he's been hauled in front of the disciplinary committee three times since March and made himself unavailable for selection. Mako Vunipola has played very well and probably has the starting spot for the first Autumn International, but do you stick with Mullan as back-up or do you bring back Marler, assuming he's available?

Teimana Harrison and the backrow
So Robshaw, Haskell, Vunipola and Clifford will all be in the EPS, but does Harrison come back from being subbed after 30 minutes? Beaumont is another option, as is Nathan Hughes now - but does he come straight into an EPS?

Centre options
Manu and Te'o were named in the initial squad for the Australia tour, with Burrell filling in for Manu. Burrell overtook Te'o and started the first test, but Burrell and the "Bosher" gameplan were both ditched after 30 minutes of the first test. Will Burrell recover? Did Jones not like what he saw from Te'o when he got into camp? And does Manu come back in? Do we use any of them?

We also have Slade, who toured and didn't get on the pitch or from left-field our best two under-20s were Mallinder and Marchant, do either of these come into consideration?

Saxons
The Saxons won their two "test" series in South Africa. Taylor, Attwood, Kvesic, Robson, Cipriani and Hill will all come into consideration.

Potential EPS
Forwards (19)
Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie
Mako Vunipola, Cole, Marler, Hill, Mullan, Brookes
Itoje, Kruis, Launchbury, Lawes
Haskell, Robshaw, Clifford, Hughes
Vunipola, Beaumont

Backs (14)
Youngs, Care, Robson
Ford, Farrell, Mallinder
Tuilagi, Joseph, Daly
Yarde, Nowell, Watson
Brown, Goode

Who would you pick in your EPS if you were Eddie Jones?


Last edited by robbo277 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 6:31 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Updating post for new developments)

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 3:54 pm

From the U20's Mallinder will get in earlier than Marchant. I think Williams was more important for the U20's than Marchant too - but he's going to be in the championship this season.

Marchant is very promising but I'd argue he is directly up against JJ and Daly

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 4:51 pm

HK: Hartley and George are locked in you're think, which leaves one spot. LCD seems to be in pole position, and hasn't done much wrong in an England shirt over the last year, I think Jones will stick with him. I didn't see much of the Saxons, I know Taylor got a couple of tries from rolling mauls, but how did he do otherwise?

Props: Marler I expect to come back in, if he feels he's got his head right. Mako did well in Aus, his performance in the last test probably his best in an England shirt. Mullan was solid enough. Those three I expect to be in. On the LH side, Cole and Hill are given, and then it looks like a choice between Genge and Brookes maybe. I'd go with Genge, who I think has serious potential.

Second row: can't see any changes here. Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury seem set to continue.

Back row: an interesting area. Haskell, Robshaw, Clifford and Vunipola are given. I think Hughes is simply too good to ignore. Then one more. Beaumont? Do we need that many options at 8, with Clifford also able to cover there? I would like to see another 7 in there, and there are plenty of options: Harrison, O'Connor, McAfferty, Kvesic, even Fraser? I think Jones will have had a talk with Harrison and told him what he needs to work on. If he can go back to Northampton and do that, I'd stick with him. If he doesn't, then maybe a look at Kvesic.

SH: fairly clear pecking order here. Youngs, Care, Robson. The latter may not make the squad if Jones only picks three SHs as he did for Aus tour.

FH: Ford, Farrell. If Jones genuinely sees Farrell as his best IC he may want another FH in the squad, which gives Cipriani a look in.

Centres: Joseph, Tuilagi, Daly, Slade.

Back three as in Aus.

So: Hartley, George, LCD, Mako, Mullan, Marler, Cole, Hill, Genge, Kruis, Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury, Robshaw, Clifford, Haskell, Harrison/Kvesic, Vunipola, Hughes as the forwards.

Backs: Care, Youngs, Robson/Cipriani, Ford, Farrell, Tuilagi, Slade, Joseph, Daly, Watson, Nowell, Yarde, Brown, Goode.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 5:15 pm

MfC, Genge is a LH, and unlikely to be in EPS ahead of any of the three Ms. So you need an extra TH to go with Cole and Hill.

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Post by broadlandboy on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 5:21 pm

Youv'e got your props in a muddle Dan Cole, Paul Hill & Kieren Broooks are tightheads. Ellis Genge is Loosehead up against Mako, Mullen & Marler.
LT would't bet against Genge getting in the squad. Look how far he has come with only a few months with Tigers/Ayerza think what he will learn through pre season.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 6:04 pm

Marler will be back, though it's great that Mako has come in so much. The third tight head looks to be Sinckler at the moment.

Barring injury, locks are sorted.

Back row, Underhill is the certain addition. Hughes might be next but not sure he fits how Eddie wants his back row to develop (he's consistently favoured pace and industry over power for 3 of the 4 back row slots), so Beaumont might get a shot if fully recovered.

Scrum half, I would like to see Robson involved but he might have to displace Youngs from the starting spot rather than Care from the bench if he wants to play.


At fly half we seem pretty settled. Slade may be the third choice ahead of Cipriani. Centres is wide open. I think we are a year or so from the U20s coming in, but an injury at the wrong time could make room for Mallinder or Marchant (who is a direct replacement for Joseph in many ways). And then there's Manu, who might finally be right by the AIs.

Back three it's hard to tell. Wade might finally be ready to make the step up, based on his Saxons performance. Brown looks the most vulnerable but Eddie clearly doesn't trust Goode. Haley looked excellent for the Saxons until his injury, and beyond that there's Pennell and maybe Chisholm.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 6:06 pm

Ach I have got my sides muddled up, not sure why I thought Genge was a TH. Replace him with Brookes/Sinkler then. Don't think Genge will force his way ahead of Mullan yet, maybe next year though.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 6:11 pm

Oh and I also forgot completely about Underhill. Given how highly Jones seems to rate him he should come into that openside spot I was talking about. So:

Hartley, George, LCD, Mako, Mullan, Marler, Cole, Hill, Brookes/Sinkler, Kruis, Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury, Robshaw, Clifford, Haskell, Underhill, Vunipola, Hughes as the forwards.

Backs: Care, Youngs, Robson/Cipriani, Ford, Farrell, Tuilagi, Slade, Joseph, Daly, Watson, Nowell, Yarde, Brown, Goode.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 7:14 pm

Is Tualagi actually back playing and at full fitness now? ...Or will he be at full fitness for the autumn internationals?

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 7:19 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Is Tualagi actually back playing and at full fitness now? ...Or will he be at full fitness for the autumn internationals?

Dunno but the last thing he did was a hamstring. I don't think its a long term problem just long enough to have kept him of the Oz tour. He's still got a lot of work to do in the pre-season. He did look out of shape when he did play last season. The fact that he still managed to have a decisive impact on some games despite not being in the best of shape is very promising though.

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 9:00 pm

I could see Hughes leapfrogging Harrison and Beaumont tbh, that third test showed that power, rucking and tackling was more important then almost anything else, and Hughes does that very well.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 9:09 pm

He managed to pull a different hamstring to the one that was giving him trouble. Tuilagi should be fit and firing with a full pre season come the start of the AP. At the end of the Super Rugby season he'll have Toomua over playing at 12 alongside him, that'll be a fearsome combination.

Not sure about the hype on Marchant in the OP. He was the third best centre in the under 20s squad and offered significantly less cutting edge than I expected to see. Previously I'd seen him offer clever feet and acceleration but little of that was in evidence. With Daly, Joseph and Manu all options at 13 he's some way off selection, getting hold of the Quins shirt may be his more pressing concern next season.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 9:14 pm

yappysnap wrote:I could see Hughes leapfrogging Harrison and Beaumont tbh, that third test showed that power, rucking and tackling was more important then almost anything else, and Hughes does that very well.
I loved the way Billy did a very Hughes-esque move off the back of the scrum for his try on Saturday.

Hughes is an incredible option to challenge Billy.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 9:35 pm

Sam, Marchant has more competition ahead of him than Mallinder, but if you think he didn't play well then you probably weren't watching closely enough.

England's midfield were not that well organised in attack for much of the tournament, probably a result of losing TBC early on. Mallinder and Williams did a lot of carrying, but the distribution wasn't great. Marchant was generally only getting the ball when everyone else had run out of ideas and most of the time the best he could do was make yards in traffic and get the ball back cleanly to reset. It wasn't flashy, but it was consistently smart play and the right thing to do. He also rescued a lot of dropped balls and bad passes.

On the few occasions when he did receive ball with room to do something you got to see his attacking ability. In the final he beat 5 defenders to score the first try, and fixed two more to create one of Mallinder's.

Williams, by contrast, I thought was one dimensional. He made a lot of hard yards but his first and often only instinct was to run and I felt there were plenty of times he could have fixed his man and passed to much greater effect. It was much more visible than what Marchant was doing, but much less mature.
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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 10:32 pm

What I liked about Williams was that he straightened the line allowing Mallinder to drift a little and pass closer to the gain line. It's a selfless task and he did it well and kept the pressure off the shoulders of Mallinder. He also got his hands out of contact ready for the offload regularly but had insufficient support.

Marchant didn't play badly I just expected more. He did little to bring the back three into the game and rarely ran off the shoulders of his fellow midfielders. We've seen some England backs cut loose and slice open opposition teams in prior years and I assumed Marchant would follow suit instead he often sought the safe option and waited for the opposition to tire where he could push through weak tackles. I didn't see anything to suggest he'll be in the Saxons next year let alone the first team, the major bonus he has is that he plays with George Lowe who is a classy operator and should prove a good mentor.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 10:42 pm

Maybe with Williams its that he offers more at this level, but he is a big guy who runs around people as well as through them. He was a real handful at this tournament

What will be interesting is to see if any of the props come through in 3 or 4 years

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Post by Welly on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:03 pm

Marchant is good but i don't see him getting the game Time at Quins as Williams at irish and Mallinder @ Saints. (also Evans was better than him in the JRWC IMO)

Would like to see Walker become a out and out starter for Quins aswell.


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Post by kingelderfield on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:10 am

As always its our back play that compares least well to the other relative strengths. So assuming EJ is reasonably happy with our halves and centres (plus Cipriani/Burns, Slade and Tuilagi), then the changes maybe in the back three, with any of Wade, Ashton or May plus either of the Sale three including the unknown league quantity that is Charnley, all in with a challengers shout of selection - dependent on form and club success propelling them forward.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 12:59 am

Welly wrote:Marchant is good but i don't see him getting the game Time at Quins as Williams at irish and Mallinder @ Saints. (also Evans was better than him in the JRWC IMO)

Would like to see Walker become a out and out starter for Quins aswell.


Unless Walker can improve his defence, he's unlikely to force his way into the starting team at Quins. Marchant I have higher hopes for. He reminds me of what Lowe was like when he first arrived, and given there's no certainty that Lowe will ever be fully fit again I'd expect Marchant to play a fair number of games next season.

I guess we will see. But it's nice to have so many promising options, especially when the England team as a whole is young by international standards but increasingly experienced.
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Post by robbo277 on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 7:46 am

I put Marchant in as a way of highlighting all the options but I don't realistically expect him to be in the EPS. Saxons maybe. He and Mallinder were the standouts in most of the games I watched.

However there are serious questions over our midfield still. Other than Farrell and Joseph, noone has played too much rugby for England recently. Daly has a few games off the bench, Burrell had his 30 minutes but other than that you have to look back to Barritt, Burgess and Slade who all featured to different degrees at the World Cup. Therefore I think these spots are very much open to new competitors.

In terms of back row, I think Jones has shown he's more interested in getting his best players on the park. None of his squads have had a fetcher in (other than injury replacements) and I don't think he'll start now until an outstanding candidate steps forward. Underhill is a possibility, although it's possibly a bit soon for him.

With regards to the back row I picked, they can all play 8 to a degree, but to my knowledge everyone bar Beaumont can cover flanker? So Jones could even go with Vunipola, Hughes and Beaumont from that squad if he thought that was the way to go.

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Post by Alex_Germany on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 7:53 am

Haskell, Robshaw, Clifford, Hughes
Vunipola, Beaumont

I think Hughes will be in to give like for like coverage for Vunipola - the power option.

Robshaw and Haskell can both cover each other for the "6 role", but who's the best cover for the "7 role". I suspect the answer might be Underhill.

What about Jonny May? When is he fit again?

England have South Africa, Fiji and Argentina. I expect the Fiji match to feature lots of experiments.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 8:03 am

Alex_Germany wrote:
Haskell, Robshaw, Clifford, Hughes
Vunipola, Beaumont

I think Hughes will be in to give like for like coverage for Vunipola - the power option.

Robshaw and Haskell can both cover each other for the "6 role", but who's the best cover for the "7 role". I suspect the answer might be Underhill.

What about Jonny May? When is he fit again?

England have South Africa, Fiji and Argentina. I expect the Fiji match to feature lots of experiments.

That does read like youre suggesting May as a flanker, but I assume wing?

He could be in the mix, if just to annoy Beshocked.

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Post by Alex_Germany on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 8:50 am

LOL. I always found wing and wing-forward quite interchangeable. But May wouldn't.

Just read Jones has said:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jun/26/eddie-jones-england-australia-tour-de-france-burnout wrote:A couple of other guys have been found out on tour … they did really well in the Six Nations and have been quite poor on tour. That’s a great learning experience for them.”

He has also suggested some members of England’s U20 World Cup-winning squad could be fast-tracked into the senior squad: “I can’t give you a number but the guys that really impressed me in the under-20s will get a guernsey [shirt] in the EPS squad.”

So who - from the 6 Nations - has been found out? The only guys with a red mark are Burrell and Harrison, neither of whom featured in the 6N. Who else could he mean?

And U20s? Guys in plural. Which guys?

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Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 8:51 am

If Jones has decided that he wants a ball player at twelve where does that leave Tuilagi? Long term I can see Mallinder playing there as he is a ball player but also has the power to make Tuilagi style line breaks. In the short term Farrell or Slade look better options.


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Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 8:53 am

Alex_Germany wrote:LOL. I always found wing and wing-forward quite interchangeable. But May wouldn't.

Just read Jones has said:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jun/26/eddie-jones-england-australia-tour-de-france-burnout wrote:A couple of other guys have been found out on tour … they did really well in the Six Nations and have been quite poor on tour. That’s a great learning experience for them.”

He has also suggested some members of England’s U20 World Cup-winning squad could be fast-tracked into the senior squad: “I can’t give you a number but the guys that really impressed me in the under-20s will get a guernsey [shirt] in the EPS squad.”

So who - from the 6 Nations - has been found out? The only guys with a red mark are Burrell and Harrison, neither of whom featured in the 6N. Who else could he mean?

And U20s? Guys in plural. Which guys?
Nowell for one. Possibly Brown.

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Post by Alex_Germany on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:01 am

Players who played better than they did in the 6N:
Haskell, Robshaw, Joseph, Farrell, Ford, Itoje, Cole

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:04 am

Kruis? Care? Brown? Nowell? Burrell? All could be thought to have underperformed perhaps.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:05 am

Alex_Germany wrote:Players who played better than they did in the 6N:
Haskell, Robshaw, Joseph, Farrell, Ford, Itoje, Cole

Youngs as well. He was a lot better, probably helped by Haskells revolution.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:05 am

Alex_Germany wrote:Players who played better than they did in the 6N:
Haskell, Robshaw, Joseph, Farrell, Ford, Itoje, Cole

Youngs as well. He was a lot better, probably helped by Haskells revolution.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:12 am

Watson was no where near his 6Ns form, neither was Kruis.

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Post by doctor_grey on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 10:06 am

Alex_Germany wrote:LOL. I always found wing and wing-forward quite interchangeable. But May wouldn't.

Just read Jones has said:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jun/26/eddie-jones-england-australia-tour-de-france-burnout wrote:A couple of other guys have been found out on tour … they did really well in the Six Nations and have been quite poor on tour. That’s a great learning experience for them.”

He has also suggested some members of England’s U20 World Cup-winning squad could be fast-tracked into the senior squad: “I can’t give you a number but the guys that really impressed me in the under-20s will get a guernsey [shirt] in the EPS squad.”

So who - from the 6 Nations - has been found out? The only guys with a red mark are Burrell and Harrison, neither of whom featured in the 6N. Who else could he mean?

And U20s? Guys in plural. Which guys?
Regarding Eddie's comments about players who played well in the 6 Nations, but poor on tour, I am not sure which 6 Nations player actually was poor.  
Burrell?  Could be, but I didn't think he played in the 6 Nations this year.  He did bounce in and out of the squad.  And I am not so sure he was poor in his one match against Aus.  Rather the team was not so good defensively overall and his removal was a shake-up.  I do agree England have better options going forward in the centres.  
Harrison?  Same thing, didn't play in the 6 Nations.  But most have shown something in training to earn the start against Australia.  
Brown?  I didn't think he was poor, just clearly burned out and needing rest.  
Mullan?  Cowen-Dickie?  
Watson was not very good defensively, slipping off tackles.  But was good on attack?

Struggling to understand about whom Eddie was referring?  Or perhaps Eddie is still playing games to keep people motivated?

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Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 10:55 am

Nowell has been poor but I would not read too much into what Jones says. He is hardly likely to say they have all played well and do not have to worry about their places.

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 11:02 am

Mullan, Cowan-Dickie, Hill and Especially George showed up really well on tour - I would expect these guys to all be in the EPS.
Brookes did nothing in the Saxons tour to suggest that he should be bumped back into EPS - his replacement for Saxons arguably did better against SA A's.

I personally thought that the whole England back 3 of Brown, Watson and Nowell didn't have the greatest of tours but still expect them all to be in the EPS. Yarde did nothing wrong and worked hard in 1st test so likely to be there too.

Youngs I felt still made silly errors and thought Care offered more, so pecking order may continue to rotate but still both in the EPS. If they need a 3rd then surely Robson is the man as was very feisty in SA - the whole game changed when he was off the pitch.

Guys unused on tour that could drop down to Saxons - Goode, Teo, Slade, Sinkler, Genge (probably still part of EJ's bigger picture).

Burrell and Harrison - fringe of EPS, might be unlucky come squad naming time.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 11:11 am

I really don't think Eddie sees Care as a starting scrum half. Barring injury, I expect him to keep using him from the bench to inject some pace and invention as the game opens up.

I don't think Sinckler and Genge will have dropped down the pecking order - they were there for tour experience as the 3rd guys in their specialist positions and weren't needed. Unless they really ballsed up in training they are likely to stay around the EPS but will have to wait for injury of loss of form to grant them an opportunity. Genge may drop to the Saxons, though, with Marler returning.

Anyway, we can but wait to hear... Eddie sees players quite differently from us and from most pundits so I have no doubt he will continue to spring surpries, and not much doubt that they will continue to work.
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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 11:20 am

Hi Poorfour, I don't really see why Youngs is the preferred no.9!
I think Marler has his work cut out for him to return! Mullan really impressed for me when he got the chance.

When is the EPS selected? Is this another one where it has to be picked before the next season starts? Or will there be an opportunity for players to showcase in a few games at the start of the season?

There are guys like Hughes to consider too! Does he come straight in as competition for Billy? We don't have any other out and out replacements for no.8. Clifford and Robshaw both covered very well but need a specialist backup in the EPS.

Don Armond and Ewers did very well with Saxons. Eliot Daly had a little cameo in 3rd test (demonstrating more versatility than we thought there).


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Post by jamesandimac on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 1:49 pm

Really pleased the Ford Farrell combination at 10 and 12 is paying dividends. I've long been an advocate of having Farrell at 12 for England and think we have considerable depth in coming through, with the likes of Slade and Malinder, in order to push this game plan/style forward.

Taking all 4 in the EPS with Slade on the bench and Malinder in there for experience would be my preferred choice.

I still think he needs a physical presence in the backline, however, at the risk of sounding like a football fan, "there's only one Tuilagi...". At least with Joseph and Daly you have 2 players who are similar rapiers and you can build on that consistency.

For me though the biggest question is posed in the back 3, specifically at Fullback. With Watson, Nowell and Yarde going well and with May due to come back, there is some real gas and options available in the backline. However Fullback is looking a little sparse, particularly when you look for a line breaking threat in that outside channel such as NZ and Aus have. For me, as good as he has been, Brown is very limited in that regard and we need to find someone who offers that role. The problem is there isn't anyone readily available. Do we see Eddie going to the clubs and saying, can you consider playing X at 15, such as Watson or Nowell? Or is there another "great white hope" on the horizon?



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Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 2:05 pm

Haley on the saxons tour had good write-ups. Otherwise a lot of people think Watson might be best at FB, and I think Nowell could do a good Brown mkII impression also.

I actually think Brown has done pretty well this tour, even if he hasn't been up to his standards of a couple of years ago. His leadership and shear presence have been very important. But time is ticking and you'd have to say the chances of him lasting too much longer must be slim.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 3:46 pm

During this tour, Jones has generally favoured the devil he knows, even when they aren't operating at full tilt. Brown is a case in point: nowhere near an attacking threat to match other full backs on show this summer, but he knows his way around England's defensive system, and was often shouting people into position. Australians say Rob Horne plays that role for them but its a lot harder to justify his limitations when you are losing.

Jones has been very lucky with injuries so far. Australia lost Beale before the series started, and then lost Pocock after one match. That's two players who could make an England starting XV.

We lost Tuilagi, without him having featured much in an England shirt anyway, and Haskell after the series was won. It's interesting that those are also the two positions where Jones made obvious selection mistakes, hauling off his first choices on the half hour.

I'll buy into the Ford Farrell double act if we get our back line moving. Rob Hunter once suggested that the two players are not that compatible

“When we did pick him [at 12], I’m not so sure it worked that well,” said Hunter, recalling the Under-20 World Cup final against New Zealand less than five years ago, a game which England lost 33-22. “It worked in the sense they were two very good players but, as a combination, I wouldn’t say it was the best. I think George always works better when he’s got a more direct guy [alongside him]. If he fits the job requirements, fine, but don’t just pick him because you want to get them both out there. You’ve got to pick the best person to do the job you want them to do.”
A lot can change in a few years but we didn't see anything resembling Bath's attacking prowess of last season, or Saracens' this season.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:06 pm

RF, attack is almost always the last element of a system to fall into place. Eddie has galvanised the setpiece and revolutionised the defence, but it will take more time with the squad to make the attack really sing.

Woodward's teams and Lancaster's teams went through the same cycle. Lancaster's first season was built on defence, but by 2014/2015 were playing some very attractive attacking rugby (remember the France game in 2015)? It always takes time to implement. I suspect Eddie will get his squad there faster than his predecessors - they have already shown that they can play in a variety of styles.

It will be interesting to see how the team's style evolves, especially if Slade or Mallinder can force their way in. But for the moment that Ford/Farrell axis is working pretty well for a newish pairing in a new system.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:22 pm

Cant Hughes play 6 aswell.

I would be amazed if he didn't come into the squad. He's a beast....aswell as a lineout option. He could play Haskell role if needed...he could play 8 or Robshaws 6 role.

It gives Jones options but more important he has exactly the physicality that Jones seemingly desires....

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Post by Cyril on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:29 pm

Hughes is ready for international rugby right now (well, when he qualifies). He's already been playing at international standard for Wasps (one of the best performers in the premiership for the last few years) and shouldn't need much in the way of settling in. While Billy is in fine form it's great to have a genuine challenger for his place (and at 6, as Geordie says).

Imagine sides seeing Billy come off after 50-60 mins and Hughes takes his place. It's almost unfair.

6 should be interesting with Robshaw, Itoje and Hughes (and Haskell) offering very different options.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:35 pm

Imagine the options....

6 Robshaw 7 Haskell 8 Billy

6 Hughes 7 Haskell 8 Billy  Shocked

6 Robshaw 7 Hughes 8 Billy

That's without Clifford, Harrison, Underhill etc.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:40 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Imagine the options....

6 Robshaw 7 Haskell 8 Billy

6 Hughes 7 Haskell 8 Billy  Shocked

6 Robshaw 7 Hughes 8 Billy

That's without Clifford, Harrison, Underhill etc.

That is a scary back row, has it's shortcomings but physically it would be without compare.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 4:46 pm

Poorfour wrote:...Woodward's teams and Lancaster's teams went through the same cycle...
I don't think it's clear that a coach gets defence right before attack. Cook and Carling's England posed attacking threats almost as soon as it came together in 1988. In 1990, England put Ireland, Wales and France to the sword before foundering in Murrayfield. We ditched that approach to win some titles.

Woodward had England's attack moving by the 2000 Six Nations, and it was probably at its peak a year later in the 2001 tournament, where we scored 29 tries. That's certainly further into his tenure than Cook, but that team still couldn't win a Grand Slam, or help the Lions to a series win over Australia.

Woodward's team found the real winning bug when they were past their best as an attacking proposition. That makes their 2003 tour, and later World Cup triumph all the more impressive. I don't think Woodward consciously guided his team to be less ambitious: they were just coming to the end of a good run.

Jones has actually bucked the usual English trend by accomplishing things with a team before it has really flowered. Then again, we could draw the line further back to Lancaster's time, when we often looked better in attack without achieving anything.


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Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 5:01 pm

For a rubbish attack we still scored 9 tries and 105 points over 3 games away in Australia. Not saying there isn't room for improvement, as we didn't often look fluent in the backs. I am saying that there is more to looking good in attack than running from side to side like the Australians.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 5:03 pm

lostinwales wrote:For a rubbish attack we still scored 9 tries and 105 points over 3 games away in Australia. Not saying there isn't room for improvement, as we didn't often look fluent in the backs. I am saying that there is more to looking good in attack than running from side to side like the Australians.

At the end of the day we won 3-0 so our attack was more efficient in each game than the Australians, despite the fawning over the defence in the second game it's not what actually wins games.

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 5:10 pm

jamesandimac wrote:Really pleased the Ford Farrell combination at 10 and 12 is paying dividends.  I've long been an advocate of having Farrell at 12 for England and think we have considerable depth in coming through, with the likes of Slade and Malinder, in order to push this game plan/style forward.

Taking all 4 in the EPS with Slade on the bench and Malinder in there for experience would be my preferred choice.

I still think he needs a physical presence in the backline, however, at the risk of sounding like a football fan, "there's only one Tuilagi...".  At least with Joseph and Daly you have 2 players who are similar rapiers and you can build on that consistency.

For me though the biggest question is posed in the back 3, specifically at Fullback.  With Watson, Nowell and Yarde going well and with May due to come back, there is some real gas and options available in the backline.  However Fullback is looking a little sparse, particularly when you look for a line breaking threat in that outside channel such as NZ and Aus have.  For me, as good as he has been, Brown is very limited in that regard and we need to find someone who offers that role.  The problem is there isn't anyone readily available.  Do we see Eddie going to the clubs and saying, can you consider playing X at 15, such as Watson or Nowell?  Or is there another "great white hope" on the horizon?


There is something to be said for that rock solid 15 type in any team. Admittedly Brown has been slightly off his high standards this season - mostly due to being knackered I suspect.
But there is a lot to be said of the Halfpennys, Pattersons, Percy Montgomerie ilk of 15s rather than the Falau, Israel Dagg attacking 15's.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 8:39 pm

So whos the players coming in from the JWC?

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:25 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
lostinwales wrote:For a rubbish attack we still scored 9 tries and 105 points over 3 games away in Australia. Not saying there isn't room for improvement, as we didn't often look fluent in the backs. I am saying that there is more to looking good in attack than running from side to side like the Australians.

At the end of the day we won 3-0 so our attack was more efficient in each game than the Australians, despite the fawning over the defence in the second game it's not what actually wins games.

Points difference wins games Smile You have to score yours and stop them scoring their's.

Across the 3 games we had 37% possession of average. Means we scored more points in half the time...


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Post by kingelderfield on Mon 27 Jun 2016, 9:42 pm

Here we go.....in 18 months or so.....Ford, Wade, Mallinder, Tuilagi, May, Watson....Pace, power and creativity.

The thing is we have real options and if we're going to seriously compete (which I really think we are/will) then talented options challenging each other for the shirt is what is required. Check out the AB's for example, competition for selection is paramount.

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