England's Autumn selections

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Post by kingelderfield on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:30 pm

First topic message reminder :

Saturday 12th November
England vs South Africa
Twickenham

Saturday 19th November
England vs Fiji
Twickenham

Saturday 26th November
England vs Argentina
Twickenham

Saturday 3rd December
England vs Australia
Twickenham

Obviously we're not playing New Zealand, but it's the other 3/4 of the Rugby Championship plus Fiji for good measure.

So given form and fitness who's going to make our starting 15 / 23?

No Haskell, but we will have Hughes. Neither Farrell, Tuilagi and Brown have played yet and injuries are certain to intervene for others to lose out or benefit as happens.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:25 am

I'd be surprised if Harrison started, he's dropped off a little this season imo.

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Post by beshocked on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:46 am

I see Harrison as Clark MK2 except not with the same disciplinary issues - neither look international class, both decent club players.

Propdavid london I like the look of that except for Yarde and Slade.

Inside centre - real area of weakness.

I think Robson might by the end of the AIs be the first choice 9 if he stays fit.


I just hope England don't yet again play a crocked Farrell, if he's not fully fit then give someone else a go.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:49 am

That is a monster suggested back row for Fiji.. Things might get interesting if we played both Roko and Hughes against them

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:54 am

propdavid_london wrote:
Mako V, Hartley, Cole, Kruis, Itoje, Robshaw, Harrison, Billy V, Youngs, Ford, Nowell, Farrell, Joseph, Watson, Brown

With plenty of combinations on the benches.  

That's 2 pretty strong 15s

While Harrison is in the training squad there are a few reasons I struggle to see him playing in the big games:

1) He is not in the EPS, so Jones would appear to favour other options more
2) Jones specifically said he is looking for a big, physical unit at 7 to replicate the tasks he set Haskell and made a nod to Jones and Williams.
3) Jones treatment of the Saint in T3.

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Post by propdavid_london on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:56 am

lost - why not Smile EJ has always said he wanted big and gnarly England pack. Not to take anything away from Fiji, but if EJ is going to blood newbies and new combinations then I would rather he does it in this game rather than the others.

I agree Beshocked - Robson could well be the first pick 9 by the end of the series - I do hope he takes his chance and stays injury free.

I also agree on the Harrison sentiments - but someone new is going to have to start there with Hask and Clifford out!
Of all the alternatives he has the most experience in England camps and had some gametime (if short). He was pulled as he was a bad link in the defence structure - with a bit more drilling he might have resolved issues.

Although I wouldn't object to seeing one of the other youngsters at 7 - but still not convinced of the Itoje at 7 suggestion. I see him as a nearly World Class 2nd row - why mess with that.

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Post by propdavid_london on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 12:01 pm

Sam Jones has been touted from quite a young age - nice to see him in the England fold.
Wasn't he in the BaaBaas side a few years back and did quite well in a very experienced squad?

Favoured over the other young Wasps back row - Guy Thomas!

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 1:03 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Sam Jones has been touted from quite a young age - nice to see him in the England fold.  
Wasn't he in the BaaBaas side a few years back and did quite well in a very experienced squad?

Favoured over the other young Wasps back row - Guy Thomas!

Sam Jones played very well for the Barbarians against England and the Lions back in 2013. Injuries have slowed his development, but I have always liked what I have seen.

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Post by Cumbrian on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 1:15 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Sam Jones has been touted from quite a young age - nice to see him in the England fold.
Wasn't he in the BaaBaas side a few years back and did quite well in a very experienced squad?

Favoured over the other young Wasps back row - Guy Thomas!

Do you mean Guy Thompson? If so he is 30 in January, all things being relative I wouldn't describe him as 'young' in a rugby sense. Very Happy

Sam Jones is an interesting one, my impressions of him are that he isn't as destructive as Haskell. I may be wrong, but he strikes me more as a Tom Wood type player.

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Post by propdavid_london on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 1:24 pm

Yup - that's the badger.
Tom Wood type player.........probably not what England are looking for.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 1:53 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Yup - that's the badger.
Tom Wood type player.........probably not what England are looking for.

Reputedly Eddie's explanation to Wood when he assembled his first squad was "You're not in my squad because you're not good enough, and you haven't been good enough for two years."

So if Jones has been better than Wood over the last two and a half years, he's in with a chance.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 4:18 pm

I guess the problem is...theres not many players around with Haskells physical abilities. Ie Strength, Speed, Size and Fitness in a back row player.

Hughes can match it...but not the fitness to do it over 80 mins at international level.
Others can match the fitness but probably not the power and size.

MIke Williams is the only one who possibly could.

However theres no reason why someone smaller..like Sam Jones couldn't be given the same instructions to just be a nusance etc. Seems to be doing it for Wasps.

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Post by B91212 on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 5:41 pm

[quote="Poorfour"]
propdavid_london wrote:Reputedly Eddie's explanation to Wood when he assembled his first squad was "You're not in my squad because you're not good enough, and you haven't been good enough for two years."

So if Jones has been better than Wood over the last two and a half years, he's in with a chance.
Pulling no punches if that is in fact true about Jones to Wood. Probably right (even though I'm a Saints fan). Either everyone else got better or his form dropped off after the 2012/13 season.

Sam Jones strikes me as a Richard Hill type player. Worker, non flashy backrow who allows others to do the eye catching stuff. Thinking about it kind of Robshaw-esq Very Happy Not sure he is explosive enough for the Haskell open side roll.

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Post by B91212 on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 6:12 pm

I'm surprised that Bookes isn't back in. He's been good so far this season for Saints, strong in the set piece, decent workrate in the loose and staying on the pitch longer proving his fitness levels are okay. I know Hill has more potential in the long term but for now Brooks looks the better option. There has been a couple of Saints games where Hill has come on for Brookes and Saints' set piece has squeaked after being solid.

I do wonder if EJ's comments after the 6N about certain players not doing as asked referred to Brookes among others. If so then I guess that once you are on the naughty step then it takes some climbing off, which is okay as long as it's the same for all players. Probably doesn't hurt for the other players to see what happens if they drop off. Just speculating really but I've seen a decent amount of games this season and on form alone it seems a strange decision that Brookes isn't in.

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Post by yappysnap on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 11:19 pm

Interesting that Marchant, Care and Yarde are all around the squad.

All have had poor seasons so far but I guess have enough credit in the bank, or potential, that Jones will over look club form.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 01 Oct 2016, 4:04 pm

Is form essential now Yappy? Jones seems to have a formula / set of tactics that players can follow and are given instructions. He seems to be picking his squad according to that...rather than free flowing ability/ individualism...hence Cips not there and possibly Kvesic....etc.

He seems to be trying to build a machine where players slot in... to the whole, rather than a free flowing spirit like the all blacks.

Maybe once he's built that he will start bringing a bit of life into it...and using more natural talent.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 02 Oct 2016, 2:03 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:...He seems to be trying to build a machine where players slot in...
Jones has always coached that way. You do exactly what he wants, or you don't play for him.

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Post by Poorfour on Sun 02 Oct 2016, 8:34 am

The All Blacks' system is a machine just as much as anything Eddie is trying to build. It looks freer flowing because the system's been in place longer and the players have all grown up with it. Flexibility comes with time and experience.

Eddie's also been very clear that one of the qualities he values is coachability. He seems to be giving players very clear instructions about what he wants to see, and if he's not seeing it - or someone else is doing it better - then players don't get picked. He has been very open about what Cipriani has to do to get picked: he has to be consistently better than Ford or Farrell.
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 02 Oct 2016, 10:52 am

A lot of talk that EJs will play left & right flankers with Itoje coming in on one side thus allowing Kruis & Launch to start as locks.
This makes logical sense & allows the best players to start the game & of course Itoje can last the whole game.




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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 10:51 am

Just as I like the laugh Stephen Jones is wondering why England are ignoring the greatest rugby league convert ever (possibly bar Jason Robinson;only possibly mind), Eastmond...

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 12:24 pm

yappysnap wrote:Interesting that Marchant, Care and Yarde are all around the squad.

All have had poor seasons so far but I guess have enough credit in the bank, or potential, that Jones will over look club form.

By all accounts EJ has been totally dismissive of the role of the club game in identifying international potential. It seems that he believes you can shine at club level without the skills required to be consistent at international. So while club form may get you noticed, he does not view it as the be all and end all.

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Post by munkian on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 12:48 pm

That must be hugely frustrating for the players, being measured on some sort unquantifiable 'x factor' rather than how they play week in week out.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 12:55 pm

Pretty fair to do so though. I certainly view some players the same.

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 1:03 pm

So Cips has to be the best in his position to get selected to the squads - so why is Alex Lozowski there? (aside from the obvious to country tie him).
Don't get me wrong, Alex is playing really well - but EJs explanation is a bit strange.

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Post by munkian on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 1:10 pm

I think Cips was black balled by the RFU after his extra curricular activities.
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Post by Cumbrian on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 1:13 pm

I haven't seen Lozowski play this season so genuine question, is he doing really well? Or are we trying to tie him to us so that his Italian grannie won't get him dozens of caps for Italy?

Part of me things it would be a good thing if he did opt for Italy. They are crying out for a good fly half and he is down the peck order for England (Ford, Farrell and Slade). Plus he may have competition from a couple of players who may challenge him in the future; Danny Cipriani and Freddie Burns. In all it is is commendable that he is taking the tough route into international rugby, rather than some such as Tom Francis.
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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 1:23 pm

From what I have seen he is doing well. Carrying the ball and distributing nicely - little bit indifferent off the tee but seems to be developing nicely with the greater gametime than he had at Wasps.
Last I heard was that he was keeping his options open with regards to international ambitions.....then he is named in the EPS.
Ben Spencer was taking penalties and conversions instead of Alex in the last game I saw.

It will be interesting to see what Sarries do with Farrell when he is back - like England will Farrell slot in at 12 or will they rotate the 2 as they did with Faz and Hodgeson.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 2:16 pm

propdavid_london wrote:So Cips has to be the best in his position to get selected to the squads - so why is Alex Lozowski there?  (aside from the obvious to country tie him).
Don't get me wrong, Alex is playing really well - but EJs explanation is a bit strange.

You really need the extended quote to provide context. Jones said he does not see Cipriani as the kind of bloke to come into the squad to be 3rd or 4th choice - thus he is either playing well enough to be in the match day 23 or he is excluded. It should be noted that Lozowski is only in the extended squad and not the training squad. Similar to Will Evans he is there for them to look at with a view to the future, and people from outside the EPS could be drafted into the training squad as needed (see Harrison replacing Haskell in the training squad despite being outside the EPS).

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 2:25 pm

propdavid_london wrote:So Cips has to be the best in his position to get selected to the squads - so why is Alex Lozowski there?  (aside from the obvious to country tie him).
Don't get me wrong, Alex is playing really well - but EJs explanation is a bit strange.

Coachability. Cipriani is 28, Lozowski is 23. It's similar to Eddie's reason for selecting Sam Jones over Guy Thompson (to which he commented that he wasn't sure how much more development Thompson has left at 29).

IIRC Lozowski was one of the players in the EPS who aren't in the training camp - so he's there for long term development. Cipriani is a known quantity and basically at his peak - it's too late to teach him much, if he could ever be taught. So Eddie's logic seems to be that if Cipriani is consistently outperforming Ford and Farrell over an extended period, he'll get selected, but he won't be brought in as a backup or bench player if there's a younger guy who could be developed into the role.

It's like a more nuanced version of Lancaster's policy on Nick Easter. There was no point including Easter in the squad when it wasn't clear whether he'd be over the hill in 2015. When injury left him as the country's form No 8, he got back into the squad. Cips will have a chance should form and fitness give him a clear shot at starting. Any other time, Eddie prefers to develop younger players.
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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 3:15 pm

When put like that it makes a lot of sense on Cipriani.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 3:27 pm

Poorfour wrote:....Any other time, Eddie prefers to develop younger players.

To some extent. Actually, Jones doesn't have much of a record developing young players in his international career. In a recent interview, he even went out of his way to say that it's not his job to teach professionals how to play rugby.

Jones actually hard-nosed professionals, which is why he was happy to try league players with Australia, and overseas-born players in Japan - after first saying he wouldn't. (Mind you, I also said Tom Youngs would be an Eddie Jones type of player, so feel free to take anything I say with a pinch of salt).

I'll be fascinated to see whether Jones can successfully introduce new young talent, or whether he'll be tempted to cycle through a whole raft of them should they fail to deliver. His main selection successes so far have been getting the best from players who were already in the squad or one the fringes. I'm sure there were plenty of ways to screw up Itoje's full England debut, so it would be churlish to deny Jones any credit for handling that smoothly. Still, the real test of Jones' ability as a coach will be to see whether he can get the best from guys like Slade, Daly, Mallinder, Clifford, Beaumont, Harrison etc who are all much newer to the international scene.

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Post by Cyril on Mon 03 Oct 2016, 3:46 pm

I'd love to read some of these letters that Eddie sends to the players Smile

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37537039

England prop Mako Vunipola has revealed head coach Eddie Jones advised him to watch his weight in the summer ahead of the autumn home Tests.

England beat Australia 3-0 in the June series down under but Vunipola says players were sent letters to keep them "on their toes".

"My interesting bit was don't eat too much, to lose some weight," he said.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 10:15 am


Not just the coaches who are getting a bit of the stick from Jones...



Paul Gustard, the England defence coach, knows he must improve


England defence coach Paul Gustard has emerged from “a pretty dark place”, following the five tries conceded against Australia in the third Test in June, to continue his quest to be “the best coach I can”, in an effort to help the England team achieve a similar goal.

On Monday that involved overseeing a judo session for the England squad at their Brighton College training base, the latest in a line of summer initiatives for the former Saracens coach in which he has also visited rugby league clubs in New Zealand as well as Wigan and Warrington, spent time with Team Sky’s cyclists and road-tested his new defensive ideas with several clubs around the country.

Gustard was one of the assistants criticised recently by his boss, Eddie Jones, who stated that the coaching in Australia had not been good enough, even though England completed a 3-0 series whitewash for the first time. Gustard agreed.

“I’ve worked with Eddie before and I knew he would be frank,” said Gustard. “I don’t mind that. I don’t want to be an ordinary coach. I want to be the best coach I can be. And it wasn’t unfair criticism from Eddie, it’s a critique. It is refreshing and it is rewarding. If you take it personally, then it’s your ego at work. The game isn’t about us, it’s not about our ego, it’s about the players and if we can make them better, then that’s my job.”

Gustard has certainly been putting in the hours to that end. He spent time last week in Wolverhampton with his fellow England coaches being tutored by GB judo coaches, four-time Olympian Kate Howey and Paralympic coach J P Bell, taking on board the skills and technique that were in evidence during yesterday afternoon’s session. Allied to that research was the work he undertook at various rugby clubs, flying immediately to New Zealand only a couple of days after the Test series in Australia had finished.

“I spent a day there with the Warriors and also with [All Blacks] coach Wayne Smith,” said Gustard, who was brought on board by Jones when he took over 11 months ago. “I was looking at league’s defensive systems and stuff around the tackle. There are transferable skills from judo. We missed 80 tackles in that series against Australia and that’s not good enough. If you do that against good opposition it will bite you.

“We conceded four tries during the [five-match] Six Nations yet let in 10 tries against the Wallabies in three games. My ultimate aim is not to concede any points, any tries. So, after that third Test [England won 44-40] I was in a dark place immediately. It is a long time since I was involved with a team that conceded that many tries. We made soft errors and I had to go away and look at the way we do things. We need to get to a 92-93 per cent success rate in our tackling and we were under that, just below 90, in Australia. Small margins is what it is all about at this level.”

The judo session involved groups of players practising body positions to help them grapple with their opponent at the breakdown and to use their body weight against them. It was a surprise to learn who was the most adept at the drills.

“George Ford was outstanding, technically very good,” said Gustard who has to condense all this knowledge acquired across the summer and distil it into drills which he has already started to take round different clubs, partly to test new ideas and partly to pass on what England are trying to do at the elite level. “I’ve been to Northampton and Saracens as well as Maidenhead. The more people know about the way England want to defend the better for me. We want there to be a clarity of message. The development of the individual player is at the heart of things for club as well as the national team.”

Jones has promised his squad a brutal session today ahead of them returning to their clubs tomorrow. The 37-man group were at their full complement on Monday after Gloucester No 8 Ben Morgan joined up after missing the Sunday get-together with a viral illness.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 10:16 am

Got to say that the more I read about Gustard, the more faith I have in England maintaining this winning form.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 10:41 am

yappysnap wrote:Got to say that the more I read about Gustard, the more faith I have in England maintaining this winning form.

Had the same feeling when I heard the words of Farrell snr...

Still this time it is different. One of the outstanding aspects of the Olympics for GB was the management of the sports teams (not universal - but that is another story). Nice to see the same vibe coming from the England rugby camp.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 10:47 am

Let's hope Team Sky didn't persuade him to take all their ideas...

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 10:57 am

yappysnap wrote:Got to say that the more I read about Gustard, the more faith I have in England maintaining this winning form.

Everything I hear about the current regime suggests that they have the same mentality as British Cycling: never satisfied with what they've achieved, always looking to improve. Great. That's what we need. I think Lancaster tried to do the same but for whatever reason couldn't make it stick.

Rugby Fan wrote:To some extent. Actually, Jones doesn't have much of a record developing young players in his international career. In a recent interview, he even went out of his way to say that it's not his job to teach professionals how to play rugby.

Jones actually hard-nosed professionals, which is why he was happy to try league players with Australia, and overseas-born players in Japan - after first saying he wouldn't. (Mind you, I also said Tom Youngs would be an Eddie Jones type of player, so feel free to take anything I say with a pinch of salt).

That's what he's done elsewhere, but elsewhere he hasn't had England's player pipeline available to him. If you look at the changes he's made to the (relatively young) squad he inherited from Lancaster, and who he's brought in:
Jamie George (25)
Maro Itoje (21)
Henry Slade (23)
Jack Clifford (23)
Paul Hill (21)
Ellis Genge (21)
Kyle Sinckler (23)
Teimana Harrison (24)
Alex Lozowski (23)
Sam Jones (24)
Nathan Hughes (25)
Will Evans (19)
Charlie Ewels (21)
Tommy Taylor (24)
Mike Williams (24)
Eliot Daly (23)
Mike Haley (22)
Dan Robson (24)
Ben Spencer (24)
Ben Te'o (29)
Ollie Devoto (23)
Joe Marchant (20)

plus, eventually, Sam Underhill (20). Average age 23. One player over 25. If that's not bringing through young talent, I don't know what is.

While it's not his job to coach people on how to play rugby, he clearly sees it as his job to coach them on how to improve. He's placed a lot of store on who listens and learns, and who doesn't; he's explicitly said that he's looking for coachability and implicitly said that he expects to find that in younger players rather than older ones (e.g. in selecting Sam Jones over Guy Thompson).

In his previous coaching roles, Jones has had to make do with what he can find. In the England role, he's got the luxury of being able to pick from several players in most positions (7 and possibly 12 being the exceptions), and he's also, I suspect, got a very clear brief from the RFU to develop young players and coaches. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that there's a big bonus element in his contract based on something like the average age of the squad he leaves behind.
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Post by yappysnap on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 11:04 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Let's hope Team Sky didn't persuade him to take all their ideas...

That's exactly what came to my mind...

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 11:06 am

How good is Ben Te'O then? He doesn't really fit any criteria for form, gameplan, coach ability or youth. But still makes the squads

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 11:19 am

Is Paul Hill seriously only 21? I mean - he's not a world beater now but he's pretty competent. In a few years he could be pretty special, If you think about how much, say, Marler improved over his first few years of experience in international rugby

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 11:23 am

Jones has said he wants a playmaking and battering ram option at 12 so that's where Te'o fits in. Presuming he's rated much higher than Hill and we wait for the hybrid in Mallinder in a year or so.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 11:38 am

yappysnap wrote:How good is Ben Te'O then? He doesn't really fit any criteria for form, gameplan, coach ability or youth. But still makes the squads

He is a bit of an odd man out, isn't he? I assume he's there to give a different option in the centres. Until and unless Tuilagi gets back to fitness, we don't really have a crash ball centre other than Te'o. For a team like South Africa, Eddie may want to have that option, at least on the bench. He seems to like using the bench to change the style of the team and force the opposing defence to adapt late in the game, and Te'o would fit that bill coming on for Joseph, Farrell or Ford (with Farrell to 10).
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Post by yappysnap on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 1:07 pm

If we were to change the backline and the tactics used that much against SA, I'd have quite liked us to have tried them out against another team first.

Big risk if we were to bench T'eo and then bring him on, you can't undo a tactical sub (blood capsules aside)

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 1:15 pm

http://www.planetrugby.com/news/jones-withdraws-from-england-camp/
Sam Jones has dropped out with an injury

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 1:19 pm

Hopefully Te'o doesn't become Lancasters Clarke!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 1:21 pm

Hope he does to be honest.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 1:55 pm

Poorfour wrote:...In his previous coaching roles, Jones has had to make do with what he can find. In the England role, he's got the luxury of being able to pick from several players in most positions (7 and possibly 12 being the exceptions), and he's also, I suspect, got a very clear brief from the RFU to develop young players and coaches. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that there's a big bonus element in his contract based on something like the average age of the squad he leaves behind.

I'm sure Jones is delighted by the luxury of choice. To date, though, he hasn't yet brought through the likes of Daly, Slade, Mallinder, Beaumont, Clifford etc to regular match day squad players, let alone starters. It's early days yet, and injuries have affected some plans, so it's more of a case of the jury being out, rather than Jones being in any way negligent. (Having said that, Lancaster's first season in charge saw debut caps for the likes of Farrell, Mako, Launchbury, Joseph, Goode, Marler, Parling and Morgan.)

What would worry me is if we start seeing a list of Harrisons - players who are given a go but don't quite deliver, and are then jettisoned in favour of another option. That's something Jones couldn't do before, so he's never had that temptation. Again, there's no evidence he will make that mistake. Even Harrison hasn't categorically been shunted out at this stage.

Incidentally, I would strongly doubt whether there's an incentive clause in Jones' contract based on the age of his squad. There may well be link to match results, in which case Jones' would have demanded as free a hand as possible to select who he wants.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 2:30 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:I'm sure Jones is delighted by the luxury of choice. To date, though, he hasn't yet brought through the likes of Daly, Slade, Mallinder, Beaumont, Clifford etc to regular match day squad players, let alone starters. It's early days yet, and injuries have affected some plans, so it's more of a case of the jury being out, rather than Jones being in any way negligent. (Having said that, Lancaster's first season in charge saw debut caps for the likes of Farrell, Mako, Launchbury, Joseph, Goode, Marler, Parling and Morgan.)

What would worry me is if we start seeing a list of Harrisons - players who are given a go but don't quite deliver, and are then jettisoned in favour of another option. That's something Jones couldn't do before, so he's never had that temptation. Again, there's no evidence he will make that mistake. Even Harrison hasn't categorically been shunted out at this stage.

Incidentally, I would strongly doubt whether there's an incentive clause in Jones' contract based on the age of his squad. There may well be link to match results, in which case Jones' would have demanded as free a hand as possible to select who he wants.

He's had 8 games in charge. In that time he's brought through Itoje (who's become a starter), Clifford, George and Hill (who have all been regular members of the 23, albeit with quite limited gametime). Given that the squad he inherited is fairly young already (Billy, Ford, Farrell, Joseph, Watson, Nowell all under 25, Mako and Launchbury are 25 and Marler and Kruis are 26) - but also still a bit light on international experience, I would not have wanted or expected any more. Especially as Slade and Beaumont were both injured for large chunks of last season and Mallinder only turned 20 in June.

As for Harrison, he was asked to come in and do a specific job, didn't, and was substituted. He's still been invited back to the training camp, but Eddie has said that he may not have been ready for that role at "this stage of his career". The door is never closed, but it sticks something rotten in England's wet climate and players are going to have to hit it very hard to force it open.

And I partially disagree with you on what Eddie's incentives might be. He'll definitely have incentives for winning, and he'll definitely have a free hand in selection (subject to the overseas player clause). But that doesn't preclude him having a different incentive for player and coach development. If I were in Ritchie and Melville's shoes, I'd have insisted on it, given Eddie's history of not doing that, and if I were in Eddie's shoes I'd have accepted it because a) I'd have wanted the job; b) I'd be being paid a ton of cash anyway; c) it'd be an interesting challenge and d) over the course of 4 years it wouldn't actually be that hard. What England don't want is to be where they were after Johnson: having to rebuild the squad completely because the old lags were favoured over the players coming through. It's pretty standard in business to give people a range of incentives covering a range of different goals, and leave them to work out how to balance them.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 2:30 pm

Watching Wasps, Robson and Daly have to very close to starting. Guy Thompson is very unlucky not to be involved, he's arguably been the best backrower in the AP.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 2:51 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Watching Wasps, Robson and Daly have to very close to starting. Guy Thompson is very unlucky not to be involved, he's arguably been the best backrower in the AP.

No they aren't, regardless of how they've been going at club level. Eddie hasn't shown much inclination just to drop people into the matchday squad because they've performed at club level. That gets you in the training squad. Even someone like Itoje had to wait for an injury to take his chance.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 3:17 pm

Daly has been around the 23 at least and with JJ injured must be in with a very good shout. We're crying out for a good 9 and with Care struggling, Robson has been outstanding.

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