England 45-man EPS

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

First topic message reminder :

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 WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:01 am

I have to agree the lack of Prince Harry is surprising, the out and out star of the U20 RWC backs, playing out of position as well. His ability to play both a Farrell (2nd kicker), playmaker and bosh merchant would offer so much more to a side. No other player has those all round skills at 12 as well as cover for 10 and 15.

Slade gets close but lacks the physicality.

Youngs??????????? Definitely a retro step unless he has been practising both hooking and scrummaging, all the alternatives do both basics and as well as throw in consistently LCD excepting.

Not sure about Simpson, needs to sort out his passing form the ground but worth a try in the squad to see how he performs; he does offer something different.

Glad May is back, in my opinion the best winger in England. Better than most in defence and attack, but also offers that re-start ability that only Watson gets close to and close in this case is not that close.

Marchant there presumably for the experience and a look at him in comparison to JJ, he looked even quicker in the U20 RWC, but that was in age group rugby, might not look as quick against international standard centres.

Still don't understand the Teo thing. Not shown he can do anything in the AP yet and he goes to AUS and retains his spot in the EPS

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:24 am

I wonder if the Cipriani absence is to do with him moving clubs, which can mess with a player's form for a while.

Youngs(T) is probably there to teach LCD set piece skills.... He does have his strengths but whoever is there is always going to be back up to George and Hartley. Lets hope Hartley avoids any more bangs on the head.

If Manu is fit he'll be back in the team. He also has that 'talismatic' thing that excites the fans and will always give the opposition something to think about. That is something that Brown provides now but he must be into the last phase of his international career.

Whoever is there its going to be a gradual evolution.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:47 am

Simpson and Robson both looked the in form scrum halfs in the prem when they were in the Wasps team. May just be the way Wasps play highlighting their strengths but both worth a closer look for me.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:48 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
beshocked wrote:No Mallinder seems a shocking oversight.

Centres still seem a bit of a weak area. Some poor selections there.

Poor Wade too.

Most overrated winger in England makes it..... picard

World's smallest hooker makes it too..... picard

Joe Simpson....  picard Must be a better performing young 9 who could have been picked instead.

Quite a few poor selections but still a strong squad. Just got to hope certain players don't get injured.

And to top it off, bloody Goode is still there!!!

Don't see what's wrong with having the AP player of the season....

Where are the world class full backs lining up to replace him?

lostinwales wouldn't say that Manu has been much of a talisman since his MOTM performance vs NZ back in 2012.

As for Brown he's been in poor form this season


Really well past it? You think Simpson offers something different to Youngs and Care? I just see him as a flakier, more erratic 9 than both of them and they have their own wobbles.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 11:52 am

Apart from the 20 caps showing he's not international standard...

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:24 pm

I think Brown has been in poor form but his poor form was still pretty good. He was an important part of the Australian tests, and I still think the leadership, aggression and 'go-forward' he offers (and the 'talisman' thing) are hard to replace. He will need to be replaced, but I am not alone in thinking that Goode is not the replacement we need.

As for Manu. It is a brand new start and he will have to 'prove' himself, but I still think what he showed last season when he did play was beyond what we could have hoped for given his general fitness levels. If he gets to full fitness (and that is still a huge IF) he will be back in the team, probably as a sub to give other teams nightmares but there you go.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:32 pm

I think that's fare comment Lost - I thought that Brown was obviously showing signs of fatigue and hopefully some time off will allow him to re-charge.
If he doesn't then there are lots of other possibilities - Watson moving to 15, Jonny May at 15, Mike Haley, Chris Pennel (looks like he has missed his chance), and yes Alex Goode - but none of those bring the aggression that Brown brings to the back 3.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:39 pm

beshocked wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
beshocked wrote:No Mallinder seems a shocking oversight.

Centres still seem a bit of a weak area. Some poor selections there.

Poor Wade too.

Most overrated winger in England makes it..... picard

World's smallest hooker makes it too..... picard

Joe Simpson....  picard Must be a better performing young 9 who could have been picked instead.

Quite a few poor selections but still a strong squad. Just got to hope certain players don't get injured.

And to top it off, bloody Goode is still there!!!

Don't see what's wrong with having the AP player of the season....

Where are the world class full backs lining up to replace him?

lostinwales wouldn't say that Manu has been much of a talisman since his MOTM performance vs NZ back in 2012.

As for Brown he's been in poor form this season


Really well past it? You think Simpson offers something different to Youngs and Care? I just see him as a flakier, more erratic 9 than both of them and they have their own wobbles.

Care has electric pace over 10-15m, Youngs is reasonably quick, Simpson has blinding pace over long distance, i.e. 70m or so and is a massive threat in open play if he can find space. As for a more flaky version, can't argue that; but extreme pace is a great asset, IF he can hold the rest of his game together like he did earlier last season.


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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:39 pm

Sgt Pooly think he deserves another chance after an excellent season. He's there on merit, not an injured player picked or some youngster whose done nothing of note. Whistle

lostinwales perhaps Goode isn't the replacement we need but he's not been given a fair go with Eddie Jones in charge.


Jonny May isn't international standard - 6 tries in 19 appearances is poor indeed- strike rate of 34% and yet he's popular.

Find it utterly bizarre personally. I know one of the arguments is that he's good at running after the ball, I'd rather he scored tries and ran forward instead of sideways and fail to score.

As for Manu - he's still got the same old problems over his fitness, he needs to string some games for England together.

Can't keep being in the frame if he's always injured. Better to give the centre spot to someone whose not going to keep breaking down.

Reminds me of JSD and Corbisiero.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:50 pm

You've missed a lot of Mays games though beshocked and won't admit when he's been on form such as the world cup warm ups.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 12:59 pm

Can't help but feel that Goode will only get his chance should Jones go for the brute at 12.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:03 pm

Goode has proven he's not good enough time and time again, similarly to Youngs.

Club form is not in question, these guys are simply not good enough to reach the next level.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:04 pm

no 7 & 1/2 of course world cup warm up games are the most important to win and play well in instead of the RWC, 6 nations and AIs.

May is world class. notworthy

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Post by BamBam on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:05 pm

Does it make a difference that Goode hasn't had a shot with Jones? Maybe Jones sees what the rest of us does, and that he's just not good enough, and is only there because we don't have any other options?

As for wings, May has been out injured a long time, but EJ is apparently a fan and if he gets back to his usual form I'd expect him to get a shot.. maybe even with Watson going to FB

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:06 pm

I wouldn't say May is world class, not sure anyone has. Are we back to warm ups are worthless again now? But like I said you've only seen May when he's on the BBC or ITV so hard for you to get a full picture I appreciate.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:20 pm

Lets just accept that there are a lot of things that we don't see in training camps that EJ does.
Goode presumably was outshone by Brown in Oz training camps.
Teo, is he a 12 or 13 - in any event Farrell or Joseph and or Daly showed more in camp.
Presumably even Burrell showed more in camp than Ben Teo!

Sinkler and Genge didn't get any gametime but must have learnt a lot in that environment.
Remember Itoje being in the EPS training camps a long time before getting capped.

As for those that he hasn't seen before - this is their chance to showcase and EJ's chance to have a chat and communicate his individual expectations for them.

Malinder is one surprise - but whos to say that EJ hasn't already had that conversation with Harry and/or Northampton.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:27 pm

Guys that are conspicuous by their absence are -
Attwood - perhaps wont get much of a look in, too many other options here
K.Brookes - His understudy doing well on tour suggests he wont be in the EPS for some time
Chris Pennel - His loyalty to club was his downfall, missed his chance.
Danny Cips - Lots of people touting him as 3rd choice, probably already had a chat with EJ about what he needs to do.
Ashton - ruled himself out completely
Luther Burrell - I think finally his time has been and gone (just like 36)


Players of interest -
Brendan O'Conner - touted very early last season then got injured (one to watch perhaps if he starts well for tigers)
Freddie Burns - injured too much last season. A good start to the season might see him step up and be considered.

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Post by nlpnlp on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 1:59 pm

I think we have seen the end of Cipriani, his displays in South Africa were typically Cipriani - some good things going forward, but tackling was pretty poor.  I think that was his chance with EJ and I don't think he took it.

It is interesting the comments on Goode, May, etc.  12 months ago there were similar comments about Haskell - card magnet, flaky, unreliable.  However, a simple game plan from EJ and he suddenly looks a world beater.  Perhaps EJ can do the same for some of the other less popular picks.

Harry Mallinder, sorry but I just don't understand all the love for him on this site.  I admit that in the u20 world cup he looked like a man playing against boys, but when you step up to full internationals he will be up against men as big as him - Sonny Bill Williams, etc who I think will eat him for breakfast.  Has he done that much consistently for Northampton in the ERP?  I hope he does turn out to be half the player a lot of people think he is, but at junior rugby you see a lot of well developed physical players dominating, who then struggle when they step up to adult rugby.  Matt Banahan is a decent club player, but couldn't handle the step up to international rugby. In the size isn't everything mould, forget how big he is and look at what he actually does.

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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:20 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Guys that are conspicuous by their absence are -
Attwood - perhaps wont get much of a look in, too many other options here
K.Brookes - His understudy doing well on tour suggests he wont be in the EPS for some time
Chris Pennel - His loyalty to club was his downfall, missed his chance.
Danny Cips - Lots of people touting him as 3rd choice, probably already had a chat with EJ about what he needs to do.
Ashton - ruled himself out completely
Luther Burrell - I think finally his time has been and gone (just like 36)


Players of interest -
Brendan O'Conner - touted very early last season then got injured (one to watch perhaps if he starts well for tigers)
Freddie Burns - injured too much last season.  A good start to the season might see him step up and be considered.

I missed Brookes' omission, I think you could be right; he may be out of the squad for a long time.  What is the average age of his competitors? Something stupid like 22?!  They are tighthead props for goodness sake!

I reckon the Attwood ship has sailed, he will curse himself for getting banned for stamping a few years ago.  He was 23 had virtually no competitors and and could have cemented his place in the squad.  Fast forward 18 months and Lawes and Launchbury were establishing themselves as a partnership and along came Kruis and Itoje and the rest is history.  Shame really, he could have been a real boon in the lean years.
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Post by lostinwales on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:21 pm

nlpnlp wrote:I think we have seen the end of Cipriani, his displays in South Africa were typically Cipriani - some good things going forward, but tackling was pretty poor.  I think that was his chance with EJ and I don't think he took it.

It is interesting the comments on Goode, May, etc.  12 months ago there were similar comments about Haskell - card magnet, flaky, unreliable.  However, a simple game plan from EJ and he suddenly looks a world beater.  Perhaps EJ can do the same for some of the other less popular picks.

Harry Mallinder, sorry but I just don't understand all the love for him on this site.  I admit that in the u20 world cup he looked like a man playing against boys, but when you step up to full internationals he will be up against men as big as him - Sonny Bill Williams, etc who I think will eat him for breakfast.  Has he done that much consistently for Northampton in the ERP?  I hope he does turn out to be half the player a lot of people think he is, but at junior rugby you see a lot of well developed physical players dominating, who then struggle when they step up to adult rugby.  Matt Banahan is a decent club player, but couldn't handle the step up to international rugby.  In the size isn't everything mould, forget how big he is and look at what he actually does.

You could say that the best way of finding out how to play vs the SBW's of the world is to play against them rather than being hidden. Plenty of time for prince Harry to develop, but he was getting a lot of game time for such a young player last year. Funnily enough I actually think Banahan could of made a very useful inside center. He was very good at getting offloads away and had a better skill set that many would give him credit for. He did more in his career than getting tackled by ickle shane. Still that ship has long sailed.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:33 pm

no 7 & 1/2 warm ups have their uses but I don't think that it makes May international class because he looked good in one or two warm up games.

Hard to get a full picture perhaps but normally when I've watched him he's not been good enough. I've watched him enough to come to that conclusion.

propdavid london the training..... Laugh Lancaster was impressed with May in training. Of course Lancaster looked after a successful RWC campaign and his training regime has been praised.

Too many people on here focus too much on training. I am sure in training T.Youngs probably nails most of his lineouts but counts for nothing if he's not competing in a real live situation.

Training can only tell you so much.

Mallinder should be in the squad, that's obvious.

Ashton took the summer off, don't blame him for that. What's the point playing against a much weakened SA B team when he's such an experienced player. It gave other wingers an opportunity.

Marler takes the summer off and he's not excluded, Ashton does and he's out.

nlplp Haskell has occasionally had very good games even under Lancaster, notably against Wales he was excellent, just didn't have the consistency. Eddie Jones is clearly a better coach than Lancaster.

Northampton haven't really trusted H.Mallinder as of yet. I think he's one of those players who if trusted, will perform.

You say size isn't everything but Itoje showed that if you have the talent you will make it, I think Mallinder is similar.

U20s England captain winner like Itoje, both similar height. Both can play in more than one position.

If you don't have the size it's harder to make the step up earlier IMO.

Of course there were many doubters of Itoje, who conveniently when he proved his worth changed their minds - pretending that they were always confident he would be great.

Put it this way - I think Mallinder has more chance of being a great rather than Sinckler or Genge. Certainly more than Twelvetrees ever did.


If May one day becomes an international standard player, I will praise him. I want to see him succeed but unless he becomes a good finisher, runs straight and improves his defence he will not.

Maybe Eddie Jones can work his magic on May, I hope so.

I have freely admitted to doubting players and been proven wrong like with Hartley as captain, Haskell under Jones.

Could May fit that? Perhaps.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:47 pm

Beshocked - Don't take it to heart that I have criticised a Sarries player!
I was under the impression that Marler ruled himself out of the tour before selection in order to take time out and recover from a series of stupid events.
Ashton gave the impression of chucking his toys out of the pram when selected for the Saxons. If he was selected for senior tour would he have taken time out?
That may be incorrect but that was my opinion and to me, two very different situations.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:48 pm

nlpnlp wrote:I think we have seen the end of Cipriani, his displays in South Africa were typically Cipriani - some good things going forward, but tackling was pretty poor.  I think that was his chance with EJ and I don't think he took it.

It is interesting the comments on Goode, May, etc.  12 months ago there were similar comments about Haskell - card magnet, flaky, unreliable.  However, a simple game plan from EJ and he suddenly looks a world beater.  Perhaps EJ can do the same for some of the other less popular picks.

Harry Mallinder, sorry but I just don't understand all the love for him on this site.  I admit that in the u20 world cup he looked like a man playing against boys, but when you step up to full internationals he will be up against men as big as him - Sonny Bill Williams, etc who I think will eat him for breakfast.  Has he done that much consistently for Northampton in the ERP?  I hope he does turn out to be half the player a lot of people think he is, but at junior rugby you see a lot of well developed physical players dominating, who then struggle when they step up to adult rugby.  Matt Banahan is a decent club player, but couldn't handle the step up to international rugby. In the size isn't everything mould, forget how big he is and look at what he actually does.

I've seen this a few times on here now, but Ciprianis defence wasn't suspect at all on tour.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 2:52 pm

You've missed his better games beshocked but you do tend to turn a blind eye to his qualities in general.

And more lies about Itoje, you don't have to make stuff up mate.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:09 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
propdavid_london wrote:Guys that are conspicuous by their absence are -
Attwood - perhaps wont get much of a look in, too many other options here
K.Brookes - His understudy doing well on tour suggests he wont be in the EPS for some time
Chris Pennel - His loyalty to club was his downfall, missed his chance.
Danny Cips - Lots of people touting him as 3rd choice, probably already had a chat with EJ about what he needs to do.
Ashton - ruled himself out completely
Luther Burrell - I think finally his time has been and gone (just like 36)


Players of interest -
Brendan O'Conner - touted very early last season then got injured (one to watch perhaps if he starts well for tigers)
Freddie Burns - injured too much last season.  A good start to the season might see him step up and be considered.

I missed Brookes' omission, I think you could be right; he may be out of the squad for a long time.  What is the average age of his competitors? Something stupid like 22?!  They are tighthead props for goodness sake!

I reckon the Attwood ship has sailed, he will curse himself for getting banned for stamping a few years ago.  He was 23 had virtually no competitors and and could have cemented his place in the squad.  Fast forward 18 months and Lawes and Launchbury were establishing themselves as a partnership and along came Kruis and Itoje and the rest is history.  Shame really, he could have been a real boon in the lean years.

Wasn't Brookes the premier tighthead a year or so ago? I remember him being on the fringe of the England squad, and then suddenly turning in some brilliant scrummaging displays.

Agree that Attwood's time has gone. It's a shame because I actually really liked him as a player. I reckon he was at his best when he was at his heaviest. He really provided that scrum ballast, and was a brute in defence. Mixed messages from Lancaster and co. regarding what they wanted from him scuppered his world cup chances and like others have said, we're now loaded at lock without him.

Tom Wood is another who I think is done. An excellent servant to English rugby, but what is he? What's his point of difference? Loved him for along time but the England team and game has moved on.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:15 pm

That's true bluestone - Brookes had 1 or 2 strong displays and then has dropped off! Cant remember if he was injured mid season or not but has been overtaken by Hill it seems.
I am not sure if its just me but for Saxons and in some Saints games he has appeared disinterested! Again, not sure if he is still carrying an injury but he is still comparatively young for a prop.....so could have a resurgence.
And Lee Dixon is another that has dropped off the radar - would have thought he was a better option than M.Young on Saxons tour.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:17 pm

beshocked wrote:Marler takes the summer off and he's not excluded, Ashton does and he's out.
That comparison makes no sense at all.

Marler told the coach before both touring squads were announced that he'd prefer to take a break. Ashton waited to hear he wasn't selected for Australia, then told the coach he thought he'd be better not travelling with the Saxons.

If Ashton had travelled with the Saxons then it might have helped him but probably not. None of the Saxons wings made it. It looks like Ashton was competing with Yarde and May. May wasn't available to Jones before, so we don't know whether he would have been preferred. We do know Jones decided Yarde was a better option than Ashton for Australia.

It's possible Ashton might be next in line but it could just as easily be Rokoduguni. Or even Wade. The good news for Ashton is that he is playing in a top team, so will have a good club platform to continue to demonstrate his value.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:17 pm

propdavid london you're welcome to criticise Saracens players if they warrant it. Both Marler and Ashton still ruled themselves out. Yes Ashton would have wanted to tour in Australia and on form he deserved to. I can understand why he ruled himself out. I don't think it's throwing his toys out of the pram when he is indeed too experienced to go on a development tour.

The purpose of a development tour is generally to look at new players surely?


no 7 & 1/2 Lies about Itoje? What lies? You did doubt Itoje's ability yet have changed your tune.


Sadly running fast like a headless chicken only gets you so far.

Rugby Fan obviously club form meant nothing because Jones picked an injured wing (May) and a winger in poor form (Yarde). Ignored Wade who finished the season strongly too.

Made sense for Ashton not going with the Saxons. As you've just highlighted going with the Saxons hardly helped the wingers who went.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:22 pm

Some players might take the opportunity to go on a development tour and be one of the senior players, leading the youngsters, and show how good a team mate they are.

Others aren't built of that character, and choose to throw their toys of the pram. If I was a coach I'd have no intention of putting the snivelling little children into any future side

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:26 pm

I must admit Beshocked, May was like a headless chicken...but it did look like he had been given instructions to work on that and before his injuries was looking much more direct.

It'll be interesting to see how he goes once hes back fit.

I wasn't happy with Yarde, but he looked like the player of old when he first came on the scene...so players can improve.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:28 pm

Suppose it depends on what you're trying to imply beshocked. I'd still say that the WC last year was too soon for Itoje and he wasn't in the top 4 or 5 locks. And I still think there is a question of whether he will be considered a 6 for England for a time. Don't think I ever saw anyone saying he was going to be a seriously good player. Even remember someone being accused of racism for saying he wasn't quite ready, despite being unproven at the time.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:31 pm

Bambam Of course wingers are famous for being leaders.....

Ashton doesn't need to be a nice bloke to be a good rugby player. He just needs to perform.

That's why people like Farrell for example. He's dumb as bricks and uncouth but as long as he kicks his goals and plays well, he's one of the top men for England.

If Ashton went on the tour he would have taken Lewington's spot, his absence gave the young man the opportunity.

Eddie Jones' England isn't full of nice blokes. It's full of people with the will to win and the ability.

Geordiefalcon actually when you say headless chicken it made me think of Haskell with Lancaster in charge.

Perhaps Jones has the ability to turn May into a fast moving chicken with a head.

no 7 & 1/2 Itoje was ready, Lancaster failed to take the risk and it's worked against him.

Jones picked Itoje vs Wales, something you didn't want and it worked. MOTM. I remember you said to me - what was the difference between Wales in the RWC and Wales in the 6 nations results and performances - it was Itoje who put in a MOTM performance.

Winning an AP is not unproven, winning, winning and winning is not unproven. He's a proven winner.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:36 pm

Wingers might not be famous for being leaders, but they aren't famous for being arrogant little pricks towards their own team mates either

Farrell might be many things, but I've never heard a bad thing about his attitude within the squad, and I highly doubt he would have turned down a Saxons tour in the same situation

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:37 pm

I think May was improving...just unlucky he got this serious injury.

My biggest complaint with him was that he never seemed to back himself in open space...always seeming to look for the pass rather than pin those ears back and go for it. But he did seem to be having a go more just before the injury.

I have no doubt he will continue to get the same kind of instructions...be more direct!

But Yarde in this kind of form is a very good winger...and will be difficult to over take. Then you have Nowell and Watson.

Though Nowell didn't really impress me hugely this tour. I really wonder if he'd be a better 13 - but we have loads of them!!


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:39 pm

Nah, don't think he was ready. Yup I wouldn't have played him but said at half time I doubted Launchbury would have performed better. Launchbury went onto have an even better performance vs them recently. Itoje didn't prevent a similar tail away under pressure vs Wales though. Like I said 2 v similar performances in those games.And yes performing for a club doesn't prove you as international class.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:41 pm

Or at least better than the guys who went to the world cup and some who didn't anyway.

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Post by beshocked on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 3:46 pm

Bambam to be fair you're probably right about him being arrogant. I am not saying Ashton isn't arrogant, he probably is but I actually think he has a point about not going on tour. True Farrell is a hard working rugby player but as for highly doubting he would turn down a Saxons tour in a similar situation, I don't know.

Geordiefalcon I hope you are right. I want May to improve.

I am most interested in how Cipriani,Lozoskwi,Wade,Tompkins and Robson do next season. Obviously H.Mallinder too.

Forwards looks fine to me.

Launchbury did well in an inconsequential dead rubber vs Wales. Not the same.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 4:23 pm

Ah of course. If you've got time could you do me a list of what games we can just ignore or do you decide afterwards?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 4:30 pm

I do love these Beshocked v 7.5 debates...

Its like Ali v Frasier / Foreman

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 4:54 pm

I'm not a fighter, so maybe more Audley Harrison for me.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 5:41 pm

I imagine it would go something like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLMSUTchfzs

Decide for yourselves who is who ...

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 6:41 pm

Updated the original post for the squad announcement, a bit behind.

Good to see you all playing nicely though!

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 7:31 pm

With regard to May being international quality, 10 seconds in the 2012 NZ game showed that, being able to repeat that level is something else.

However he did start to show that he was a bit more than Mike the Headless Chicken in his last few games.

His main attribute though is the ground he can make from the re-start, Lancaster did not recognise this and hardly used it, but if the kicker can land the ball 5m from touch and 10m from the try line, May can usually get under it and with his height compete for possession. Worst case, disrupted ball and an England lineout around the 22. Best case, May knocks back and England secure ball close to the try line.

He has the capability to be world class, fantastic pace, step, and reasonable defence, just needs to have more confidence, something Lancaster failed to install in anybody and back himself. Jones seems to have this skill in abundance, Haskell for instance. Give him a bit od time with May and we may wonder why we didn't all see it before.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 8:36 pm

Eddie has been very clear that one of the key things he wants from players is the ability to respond to coaching. Ashton has shown repeatedly that his particular skill set only works in certain game plans and doesn't adapt well to others, that he's not a reliable defender at international level and, by turning down a place on the Saxons tour, that he can't or won't always do what's asked of him. Also remember that he lost out on a place in the 6N squad for disciplinary reasons.

Marler's situation is very different - he's been around the squad and performed well, and was set to tour Australia but withdrew because he didn't think mentally and physically he was in shape to perform at the intensity required.

One player let down his squad mates by withdrawing, the other withdrew to avoid letting them down. I would imagine the coaches would see a difference.

I have nothing against Ashton per se, but he's not a player who fits every set up and he's only worth including if you have a game plan that gets full value from what he does well. England's current plan centres on defence and counter attack, and doesn't have either the room for a roaming winger or a Foden-like player for Ashton to track. The squad also has plenty of other wingers who do suit the game plan.

It's unfortunate for Ashton but it's hard to make a case that it's done England any harm. His best chance of a return might be if Tuilagi gets back into the side, giving him a target man to chase.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 1:17 am

Poorfour wrote:...One player let down his squad mates by withdrawing, the other withdrew to avoid letting them down. I would imagine the coaches would see a difference...
Mark McCall explained that Eddie Jones cleared Chris Ashton's decision not to tour, just as he had Joe Marler's.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 8:45 am

I think lets just wait and see what transpires - Having watched the OZ matches I did think that Marler has his work cut out to get back into that group. While solid he wasn't spectacular in the 6N.
Ashton will have to work even harder as he wasn't in the starting squad to begin with. If they both do as EJ asks then there is every chance that they will get looked at/selected.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 8:51 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm not a fighter, so maybe more Audley Harrison for me.

laughing

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 8:57 am

propdavid_london wrote:I think lets just wait and see what transpires - Having watched the OZ matches I did think that Marler has his work cut out to get back into that group.  While solid he wasn't spectacular in the 6N.
Ashton will have to work even harder as he wasn't in the starting squad to begin with.  If they both do as EJ asks then there is every chance that they will get looked at/selected.

On the other hand in his defence, the current set up is quite defensive and counter attack. Marler on form has impressed always me with his close in defence and ruck work. His defence in particular is very good. On that form he could work his way back in to the side.

But he will need to up his carrying ability. Mako has always been a big carrier, but in the Aus series his ruck and defensive work was very good aswell.

Its all about competition though...players need to improve to make the squad / team and that in turn raises the standard of the team as a whole.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 10:19 am

Ashton. When he first came into the England squad there wasn't much competition, (and the game plan suited him). He did very well. He hasn't for a while though and there is a lot of competition for the wing now.

Marler - assuming form/fitness etc he'll be back. Who starts is another matter.

Argument with Beshocked.
Me 'If Manu gets back to full fitness he will get back in the squad'
BS 'Unless Manu gets back to full fitness he won't get back in the squad'

Sigh....

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Post by englandglory4ever on Wed 03 Aug 2016, 10:38 am

Pretty good squad overall. Obviously when trimmed to 33 we will see the true nature of it all.

Ashton must improve his defence to be considered again. High balls both in attack and defence is his main weakness.

Glad to see Simpson given a shot. He was the undisputed 1st choice 9 at Wasps until his injury. So fast.

Attwood. Coaches can see he doesn't really step up at test level. Seems half-hearted most of the time.

T Youngs. Somebody must be pushing his case hard because he is ineffective in most aspects of his game at test level. Its a mystery why he is there.

The rest of them are good and can be even better. Manu needs a good run of games in the AP before being selected for England again.

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