England v Fiji, 19 November

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 7:08 pm

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England v Fiji, 19 November - Page 2 Englan10 England v Fiji, 19 November - Page 2 Fiji_r10
ENGLAND v FIJI
19 November 2016
14:30 GMT (UTC+0)
Twickenham Stadium, London

Live on [Sky Sports 1]

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
Television match official: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)
Assessor: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

A. Head to Head

6 Played 6
6 Won 0
0 Drawn 0
0 Lost 6
245 Points 94

B. Recent Form

18 September 2015
England 35 - 11 Fiji
Twickenham

10 November 2012
England 54 - 12 Fiji
Twickenham

20 October 1999
England 45 - 24 Fiji
Twickenham

20 July 1991
Fiji 12 - 28 England
National Stadium, Suva

04 November 1989
England 58 - 23 Fiji
Twickenham

17 June 1988
Fiji 12 - 25 England
National Stadium, Suva

C. Teams

ENGLAND 
England v Fiji, 19 November - Page 2 Oak_tr10
A Goode; S Rokoduguni, J Joseph, O Farrell, E Daly; G Ford, B Youngs; M Vunipola, D Hartley, D Cole, J Launchbury, C Lawes, C Robshaw , T Harrison, B Vunipola.

Replacements: J George, J Marler, K Sinckler, C Ewels, N Hughes, D Care, B Te'o, H Slade.

FIJI
England v Fiji, 19 November - Page 2 Palm-t10
M Talebula; B Masilevu, A Tikoirotuma, A Vulivuli, N Nadolo; J Matavesi, S Vularika; C Ma'afu, S Koto Vuli, M Saulo, A Ratuniyarawa, L Nakarawa, D Waqaniburotu, P Yato, A Qera.

Replacements: T Talemaitoga, P Ravai, L Atalifo, N Soqeta, N Dawai, E Radrodro, N Matawalu, K Murimurivalu.


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:46 pm

JJ was injured wasn't he and wasn't quite match fit, meaning Daly started.
He's a week fitter so will probably start.

Jones has a few instructions from his bosses.
1) Build a winning side!
2) Build a winning side!
3) Build a winning side!

Hes sticking with his basic / core side regardless of who they play! He wants a tough physical side that knows how to win...and are familiar with themselves.

And when its right and he thinks they're ready...the odd player gets a chance.

It wont change that much against Fiji.

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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:48 pm

You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend. Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:55 pm

EST wrote:You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend.  Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.


Well, a side that is mostly wingers and backrowers to be honest
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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 12:58 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
EST wrote:You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend.  Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.


Well, a side that is mostly wingers and backrowers to be honest

True, thats why I said begin, but maybe I should have limited it to backline - a proud scrummaging nation they are not.

It's inevitable considering the inequality between the south sea islands and those at the top table, but as a rugby fan I do find it pretty depressing.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:06 pm

Making wholesale changes leads to a situation where it is hard to judge players. Incremental changes introduces players to a settled environment and makes it so much easier to see what the newcomer brings to the table.

Now Jones could have selected a front row of Genge, George and Sinkler, with Ewells and Hughes in the back 5. If the setpiece faltered, how the heck do you apportion responsibility.

In Eddie Jones 10 games in charge 27 players have started for England, with just 3 starting all 10. A further 14 have made appearances from the bench. So please, anyone claiming that Jones is not trying things just (ever so politely) stfu.

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Post by mid_gen on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:19 pm

It seems quite strange that we're sitting on a 10-match winning streak including a SH away whitewash and comfortable win over SA, and yet apparently EJ's selection policy is wrong?

We've had plenty of different players involved, and we've won every game under EJ. I'd say he's doing a pretty damn good job!

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:33 pm

Actually I've changed my mind-

If Goode is ok vs Fiji, and expect he will be, start him vs Argentina.

If he doesn't look at least good, 7/10 minimum, against Argentina, and safe at the back, that's it. Experiment over. Worth a try, he's been class for Sarries and it's fair that Jones thought he might be able to replicate that at Int level against all evidence- other players have stepped up after previous disappointment and changed their game and worked on their weaknesses and Jones so far is a good manager. But there's only so long you can keep hoping and I think this is last chance saloon as he currently has debt rather than credit in the bank
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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:41 pm

If Goode does work at 15, then we can more consider a non-playmaker at 12. I think currently you need one at 12 or 15
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 1:52 pm

He's unliklely to change the Ford- Farrell axis .

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:03 pm

mid_gen wrote:It seems quite strange that we're sitting on a 10-match winning streak including a SH away whitewash and comfortable win over SA, and yet apparently EJ's selection policy is wrong?

We've had plenty of different players involved, and we've won every game under EJ. I'd say he's doing a pretty damn good job!

Youre forgetting that hes ahead of the curve, England will lose games at some point ..and when they do we can trace it back to the mistakes identified now. BS is never wrong...hes just not right yet.

Please keep up.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:07 pm

EST wrote:You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend.  Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.

4 players isnt exactly a team is it? get this straight too : they arent Fijian players; they are players who are Fijians.

What about all the England qualified players turning out for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the rest? Indeed a fair number of teh Fiji team are also England qualified.

That aside though yeah its getting a bit ridiculous when Hughes (Must be Welsh with that name) says its not about the money, just he doesnt fancy the commute to Fiji as a great justification for why hes 100% all about England now. Its up there with "I know all about Scotland, I went there"

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:14 pm

Or that England players get £20,000 a game and Fiji get £60!

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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:32 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
mid_gen wrote:It seems quite strange that we're sitting on a 10-match winning streak including a SH away whitewash and comfortable win over SA, and yet apparently EJ's selection policy is wrong?

We've had plenty of different players involved, and we've won every game under EJ. I'd say he's doing a pretty damn good job!

Youre forgetting that hes ahead of the curve, England will lose games at some point ..and when they do we can trace it back to the mistakes identified now. BS is never wrong...hes just not right yet.

Please keep up.

Gooseberry I don't remember you wanting Jones,Borthwick and Gustard as coaches of England..... I did.

People happy to jump on the bandwagon when it's rolling though...

mid gen it's not as straightforward as the selection policy being wrong. It just needs fine tuning. Jones and co are doing well but if England need to plan ahead.

Londontiger even you have to admit that Jones is not willing to make changes at hooker and no 8 till proven otherwise.

I haven't seen anyone including myself suggesting starting an entirely new pack.

If you actually read what I said properly you would find that most of my suggestions are not outlandish or far fetched.Surprisingly quite a few others agree with and have suggested themselves.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:37 pm

God only knows how much better we'd be with your 1st or 2nd choices.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:50 pm

no 7 & 1/2 10/10 is great. Jones and co are doing a good job but come on, England need to always look to improve.

If you had your way Itoje wouldn't have started in the 6 nations...

£75,000 is obviously peanuts for the RFU. Though saying that the overall financial support for Fiji is appalling.

It's hardly surprising Hughes is playing for England. He says he's not playing for England because of the money...

Though saying that players moving to other nations because of superior financial gains is not a new problem and not exclusive to Fijian players.


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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 2:58 pm

Eddie has inherited Lancaster's squad which is great, but he's also inherited Lancaster's effect on our faith in coaches. Some of us trusted for too long. Maybe that means we will now be unfairly critical of decisions. I'm not sure that's entirely a bad thing, though it can be taken too far
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:03 pm

Old discussion beshocked, like I said no more rehash just as you were patting yourself on the back for your 3rd preference just made me wonder what the teams would be under the top 2. Probably about the same with the core left over.

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Post by EST on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:04 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
EST wrote:You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend.  Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.

4 players isnt exactly a team is it? get this straight too : they arent Fijian players; they are players who are Fijians.

What about all the England qualified players turning out for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the rest? Indeed a fair number of teh Fiji team are also England qualified.

That aside though yeah its getting a bit ridiculous when Hughes (Must be Welsh with that name) says its not about the money, just he doesnt fancy the commute to Fiji as a great justification for why hes 100% all about England now. Its up there with "I know all about Scotland, I went there"

This isn't the place to discuss the massively complicated issue surrounding eligibility.  The world, and the game of rugby, is a rapidly changing place, most teams work within the boundaries of the rules in order to get the best team on the pitch.  Samoa, as one example, have a huge proportion of their players born in NZ from Saomoan ancestry.  The rules are in place, and as long as they are being followed, I have absolutely no qualms about each player doing what is best for themselves.

My point was this.  As a Fijian fan you must look at Vakatawa scoring a hatrick against Samoa, and be justifiably annoyed that he isn't pulling on the white (or whatever the change strip is) of Fiji this weekend.

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Post by mid_gen on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:11 pm

I think we're doing a fine job of planning ahead. We're missing half our first choice XV and still winning games.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:11 pm

Chequeredjersey of course I am probably overly negative. I just want to see England keep on pushing to new heights.

I was actually positive of Lancaster in his first season. I thought 2nd in his first season as a novice coach was good. Win over ABs, great.

It's just after consecutive 2nds, I never really felt Lancaster's England was improving. Others said - look at the try count, look at other aspects. Well, England should naturally improve thanks to the U20s and clubs helping out. I didn't really feel Lancaster's England was kicking on.

Don't worry others said, Lancaster's side will come good in the RWC. Exit in the pool stages... oops. I even myself thought England would do better but we didn't.

2nd is not bad but then again, it's England we are talking about, the richest rugby union in the world.


Let's not forget the amount of resources, an England coach has at their disposal, it's one of the best jobs in rugby union.

Jones and co have won 10/10. Impressive indeed but with the player resources expected, perhaps losing 1 or 2 to the Aussies might be expected but in all others England have been the favourites.


mid gen yes it's good to win with absentees, of course it is but SA missed players too. Jones has not yet resolved back up hooker, back up no 8, more options at 12, a long term 7, back up 15

England need to keep building and fixing potential weaknesses.

When would you look to resolve these issues? Just let things continue until Vunipola,Farrell,Hartley and Brown pick up injuries? Not be pro active?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:18 pm

Sorry 2nd choice my mistake.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:19 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
EST wrote:You could probably begin to put out a pretty good Fiji team from Fijian players playing for other countries this weekend.  Without getting into the eligibility debate, it must be absolutely infuriating from a Fijian perspective.

Hughes
Vakatawa
Naholo
Rokoduguni

off the top of my head.

4 players isnt exactly a team is it? get this straight too : they arent Fijian players; they are players who are Fijians.

What about all the England qualified players turning out for Wales, Ireland, Scotland and the rest? Indeed a fair number of teh Fiji team are also England qualified.

That aside though yeah its getting a bit ridiculous when Hughes (Must be Welsh with that name) says its not about the money, just he doesnt fancy the commute to Fiji as a great justification for why hes 100% all about England now. Its up there with "I know all about Scotland, I went there"
Always fun to do this one:

North, Jarvis, Cuthbert, Lydiate, JD2, Francis, Ball, Charteris, Moriarity, Amos all for Wales to start. 
Pyrgos, Swinson for Scotland
Josh Matavesi for Fiji!

I'm sure there are others
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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry 2nd choice my mistake.

What I actually said - read the first sentence.

Very much depends on who throws their hat in the ring.

Probably in order of preference for head coach.

1.Wayne Smith
2.Eddie Jones
3.Jake White
4.Shaun Edwards

All very experienced international coaches with good track records.

For other positions

Gustard - defence - proven track record with Saracens.
Baxter or Borthwick (if Eddie Jones in charge) - forwards, Baxter has turned Chiefs into a strong team, Borthwick has experience working with Eddie Jones.
King - attack - has done great job with Clermont and Saints attacks

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:34 pm

Yup like I said, my mistake 2nd choice.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:35 pm

beshocked wrote:
mid gen yes it's good to win with absentees, of course it is but SA missed players too. Jones has not yet resolved back up hooker, back up no 8, more options at 12, a long term 7, back up 15


That's true but is not straight forward. Many of those positions have been problematic for the last decade.

Hooker - has not been fixed but until this season none have really put their hand up? George was injured for long periods, LCD has throwing issues, Taylor was not playing to this level...He has competition now and letting them fight to make that backup spot.

12 - Name a player who has put their hand up for that spot?? Hence Farrell is there at default.
8 - Again, name them? Ewers was a hope who hasn't come through. Ben Morgan has huge fitness issues, Beaumont is seemingly seen as a lock
Nathan Hughes needs to work on his fitness, but is in the squad now at least (though im still not happy about him being there)

Who else is there? Waldrom again?

7 - Kvesic not rated by Lancaster nor Jones. Evans is very young, Fraser fallen away....Harrison was given a chance and fluffed it big time...Clifford is injured...
Who is there??

15 - Goode will play against Fiji, and Haley will come through aswell.

Jones first job was to sort out the starting 15 and squad....and get some big wins under the belt. That has been achieved, he will continue to hunt for wins first, but slowly will start looking at the 2nd/3rd choice players now....

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:39 pm

No stand outs really, suppose you're now really looking a year down the line to Underhill and Mallinder if they continue to improve though just going on the supposed comments from Eddie on Underhill only seen him twice.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:42 pm

Exactly 7.5 most options are a good year away at the moment and are not ready.

That's not Jones job that's the clubs job to get them ready

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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:48 pm

no 7 & 1/2 my point still stands that I wanted Jones,Borthwick and Gustard for England.

Geordiefalcon George has been in better club form than Hartley for the last two seasons, sure I know that's not internationals but he's not been given many opportunities by Lancaster or Jones. George has not been injured for long periods.

As for the others - now the contenders are there they need to be picked.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:50 pm

Name the contenders Beshocked.

George has been good yes I agree, but Hartley is captain and proving his worth. I do feel sorry for George.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:53 pm

Yes they were on your list, just thought it would be interesting to consider where we would be with Smith, white, Edwards, King etc. Fairly different approaches.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 3:56 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Exactly 7.5 most options are a good year away at the moment and are not ready.

That's not Jones job that's the clubs job to get them ready

Well yes and no, you're already seeinng guys called up who appear to be a while ready. He's not going to call them up this AI, by 6Ns you never know.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:12 pm

Geordiefalcon you've already mentioned the contenders.

Yes I had a list no 7 & 1/2. Just like I am sure most people do. Not like I had hundred names. I was pretty specific. Another post...

by beshocked on Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:42 am

Technically Gregor Townsend does have international experience, being assistant coach of Scotland - 2009-12, not an impressive accolade though.

FES you can keep him - there are better coaches around IMO. If we were going to get a club coach who isn't English then Mark Mccall would be pretty high up the list though then again he suffers because of his lack of international experience.

Goes back to wanting a top class coach with international experience.

A dream coaching team would be something like though there is some realism:

Eddie Jones - head coach
Wayne Smith - attack coach
Paul Gustard - defence coach
Rob Baxter - forwards coach
Jonny Wilkinson - Kicking coach
Steve Borthwick - Lineout advisor
Richard Hill - breakdown advisor

The last two would be part time advisors coming in once a week.

Quite funny how accurate I've been actually....


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:13 pm

Oh he'll bring them in and have a look at them and give them instructions, but essentially its not his job to make them ready for international rugby.

Its his job to take them and make them even better and build a winning international side.

But there are players who in a year will be in the mix.

The Chisholm brothers, Evans, Mallinder, Calum Chick, etc etc

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:18 pm

beshocked wrote:Geordiefalcon you've already mentioned the contenders.


Yes I mentioned them, but they aren't ready.

Has Mallinder done enough to move Farrell from the 12 spot? Not in my eyes he hasn't...
Has Kvesic, Evans, Harrison, Clifford done enough to make the 7 spot? Again nope. Actually the Quins flanker Chisholm has done more!
Has Haley and Goode done enough to replace Brown? A tougher call...as Goode has been excellent at club. But brown is always excellent at international level! I would have given Haley a go v Fiji.
Noone has stood out at 8. Billy is heads and tails above any of them. But it looks like Hughes will start v Fiji. Maybe if the conditioning team can work their magic on Hughes as they have with Billy and Mako then it will be a different matter.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:19 pm

beshocked wrote:Geordiefalcon you've already mentioned the contenders.

Yes I had a list no 7 & 1/2. Just like I am sure most people do. Not like I had hundred names. I was pretty specific. Another post...

by beshocked on Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:42 am

Technically Gregor Townsend does have international experience, being assistant coach of Scotland - 2009-12, not an impressive accolade though.

FES you can keep him - there are better coaches around IMO. If we were going to get a club coach who isn't English then Mark Mccall would be pretty high up the list though then again he suffers because of his lack of international experience.

Goes back to wanting a top class coach with international experience.

A dream coaching team would be something like though there is some realism:

Eddie Jones - head coach
Wayne Smith - attack coach
Paul Gustard - defence coach
Rob Baxter - forwards coach
Jonny Wilkinson - Kicking coach
Steve Borthwick - Lineout advisor
Richard Hill - breakdown advisor

The last two would be part time advisors coming in once a week.

Quite funny how accurate I've been actually....


So....how do you think it would be different under smith,, white edwards etc which was the only point?

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:20 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Oh he'll bring them in and have a look at them and give them instructions, but essentially its not his job to make them ready for international rugby.

Its his job to take them and make them even better and build a winning international side.

But there are players who in a year will be in the mix.

The Chisholm brothers, Evans, Mallinder, Calum Chick, etc etc
Ross Chisholm won't be, James will be
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:20 pm

Well you'll know that better than me CJ Smile

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:27 pm

Goodes come out to say nothing flashy, normal game etc as you would expect. What's he needing to do to push himself to the bench again (assuming nothing he can do in 1 game can push him to 1st choice)? The club lines breaks? Flawless in air? Trademark finding team mates the space and time to attack? Strong defence? All of the above and find a higher top speed!?

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:30 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Name the contenders Beshocked.

George has been good yes I agree, but Hartley is captain and proving his worth. I do feel sorry for George.

Yep. Hartley offers two things

Rock solid basics
Captaincy

When someone takes over the captaincy and its a straight shootout over the job you would expect George to take over as first choice. Until then Hartley is actually doing a great job.


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Post by lostinwales on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 4:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Goodes come out to say nothing flashy, normal game etc as you would expect. What's he needing to do to push himself to the bench again (assuming nothing he can do in 1 game can push him to 1st choice)? The club lines breaks? Flawless in air? Trademark finding team mates the space and time to attack? Strong defence? All of the above and find a higher top speed!?

To be fair the tactical kicking skills he offers could be used to make life very hard for Fiji. Doesn't make him a great pick in my mind but there are things he can bring to the game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 5:39 pm

I like him. Think his time to impress is almost up though.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 5:51 pm

As the squad for this game been named yet?

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 6:31 pm

Probably tomorrow

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 6:34 pm

It will be very interesting to see Harrison start in Test with less pressure on him. Last season he was brilliant for Saints, I feel their general malaise hasn't helped him after getting dropped by Eddie.

But a clean slate, a relatively less organised opposition and hopefully playing in a pack that's dominant should give him a chance to bring his good club form to test arena.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 7:06 pm

George Carlin wrote:Fiji have plenty of first choice players missing so you could could put out the Saxons second team and still win by 2 scores.

Why are they missing a lot of players George? I thought all clubs had to release their players for these games? Unless you mean injuries?

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Post by George Carlin on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 7:47 pm

yappysnap wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Fiji have plenty of first choice players missing so you could could put out the Saxons second team and still win by 2 scores.

Why are they missing a lot of players George? I thought all clubs had to release their players for these games? Unless you mean injuries?
I suppose that I meant both Yappy but then I realised that the Barbarians game was he first of their series and I suppose they intentionally needn't have picked their strongest side for that. If all players in their squad are fit, then I would expect to see Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa and Vatemo Ravouvou all starting against England because none of them did against the Babas. Matawalu might also play if he's fit instead of Vularika.
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Post by robbo277 on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:40 pm

I would have no problem with Eddie Jones picking his strongest available 15 from now until the World Cup, whether we were playing Fiji, Italy or the All Blacks.

That's not to say he has to pick his World Cup team now and can't evolve the team over the next 3 years, but if every week he selected his "if the world cup final was this Saturday" team, I'd have no problem.

Mako has managed to leapfrog Marler, Daly has managed to force his way into a starting position. Ford has survived being dropped for Burrell for those 30 minutes in that first test to come back.

Then look at the injuries, both in the summer and the autumn. Launchbury, Lawes, Harrison, Wood, Yarde and May have all been given starts, with Hughes and Rokodoguni likely to get starts this weekend. Mullan and Clifford also started the game against Wales in May. Launchbury in particular may have forced the coaches' hands in that when everyone is fit again, he might keep his place (either for Kruis or moving Itoje into the back row).

Come the 6 Nations, we may get Itoje, Kruis, Haskell, Watson and Nowell back, but lose Brown, JJ, Ford, Robshaw and Cole. That would force us to give other guys a try naturally. You'd then think that Launchbury would keep his place, Itoje would go to 6 with Kruis and Haskell also coming in there. The wings would return, Daly would keep the 13 shirt, Goode could come in at 15 and Sinckler would come in at 3. Losing Ford would either give Farrell a shot at 10 (with Tuilagi, Te'o, Burrell or even Slade coming in at 12), or Farrell staying at 12 with Lozowski, Cipriani or Slade again coming in at 10.

When the Lions tour comes around, you'd think there would be a healthy contingent of 10+ England players, while a few more injuries will probably have you looking at a complete 2nd XV. Players like Underhill or Mallinder could come into the equation off the back of that tour.

If you look at the All Blacks, how often do they rest players? McCaw started every week, they won 2 World Cups, and then when he retired they brought in the guy who had been sitting on the bench and they haven't exactly stepped down.

I hope Eddie picks what he believes is his strongest team for Fiji, and for me that's bringing in Hughes and Roko for Wood and Yarde, with Ewels and Slade coming onto the bench for Attwood (injured) and Te'o. We need to get this team settled down for bigger tests against Argentina and Australia. If Hartley, Cole, Farrell or Brown go down against Fiji, then we bring in the next guy next week to cover, but the other 14 players on the pitch will be up to speed and ready to help them out.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 6:58 am

I agree Robbo, only with Mccaw hadn't Sam cane already accumulated about 30 odd caps.


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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 8:45 am

robbo277 wrote:I would have no problem with Eddie Jones picking his strongest available 15 from now until the World Cup, whether we were playing Fiji, Italy or the All Blacks.

That's not to say he has to pick his World Cup team now and can't evolve the team over the next 3 years, but if every week he selected his "if the world cup final was this Saturday" team, I'd have no problem.

Mako has managed to leapfrog Marler, Daly has managed to force his way into a starting position. Ford has survived being dropped for Burrell for those 30 minutes in that first test to come back.

Then look at the injuries, both in the summer and the autumn. Launchbury, Lawes, Harrison, Wood, Yarde and May have all been given starts, with Hughes and Rokodoguni likely to get starts this weekend. Mullan and Clifford also started the game against Wales in May. Launchbury in particular may have forced the coaches' hands in that when everyone is fit again, he might keep his place (either for Kruis or moving Itoje into the back row).

Come the 6 Nations, we may get Itoje, Kruis, Haskell, Watson and Nowell back, but lose Brown, JJ, Ford, Robshaw and Cole. That would force us to give other guys a try naturally. You'd then think that Launchbury would keep his place, Itoje would go to 6 with Kruis and Haskell also coming in there. The wings would return, Daly would keep the 13 shirt, Goode could come in at 15 and Sinckler would come in at 3. Losing Ford would either give Farrell a shot at 10 (with Tuilagi, Te'o, Burrell or even Slade coming in at 12), or Farrell staying at 12 with Lozowski, Cipriani or Slade again coming in at 10.

When the Lions tour comes around, you'd think there would be a healthy contingent of 10+ England players, while a few more injuries will probably have you looking at a complete 2nd XV. Players like Underhill or Mallinder could come into the equation off the back of that tour.

If you look at the All Blacks, how often do they rest players? McCaw started every week, they won 2 World Cups, and then when he retired they brought in the guy who had been sitting on the bench and they haven't exactly stepped down.

I hope Eddie picks what he believes is his strongest team for Fiji, and for me that's bringing in Hughes and Roko for Wood and Yarde, with Ewels and Slade coming onto the bench for Attwood (injured) and Te'o. We need to get this team settled down for bigger tests against Argentina and Australia. If Hartley, Cole, Farrell or Brown go down against Fiji, then we bring in the next guy next week to cover, but the other 14 players on the pitch will be up to speed and ready to help them out.

Youre missing the pouint though, its far more important to know who your third best hooker is (based on one cap off the bench obviously) than to build a team. What happens if they dont all get injured? England will be in all kinds of trouble then.
Eddie Jones really missed a trick by picking man of the match Ben Youngs against South Africa. We already knew he was better tyhan the third choice player so why no start him to give him a chance to prove he isnt as good?

I think everyones missing the point about the need to be ahead of the curve here.


Joking aside I pretty much agree with that. There is some room for flexibility though, and also a need to rotate players out of the line based on workload, you'll also get some " horses for courses " picks ...sometimes going with the 6 2 bench split for example.
But so long as the teams winning and developing making changes for the sake of it is wrong. Guys like Youngs and Care are a case in point; theyve flip flopped places and had dips in form but remained the two consitent stand out scrum halves for years now. Till another candidate is tearing up trees in the Euros/Jeff and demanding selection their chances will and should be limited to occassions when one of more of them is unavailable.

Its interesting too with fullbacks that under successive regimes Goode and Brown have remained the only real viable choices; without getting into Jamie Noon territory. Maybe theres a bit more about those guys than some would have it.

Right now Englands depth in positions like lock is being sorely tested, yet we've found guys able to step in and make "when everyones fit" selections genuinely difficult. Jones had it easy in his first few months with almost everyone available and coming up trumps having his hand forced into the Youngs Farrell combination. The magic still seems to be there even with a mini crisi in injuries which has allowed a chhunk of the wider squad to "get a game". Thats going to keep happening naturally; its quite normal to have around 25% of the squad unavailable for one reason or another.

So yeah change for change sake or to " give a player a game" isnt something Im a massive fan of. Bllody minded banging heads against a brick wall with sides / players that arent working has been a problem in the past, as has constant tinkering and a complete inability to build a consistent side / squad.

Im not going to complain about anything Jones is doing whilst they keep beating SANZAR oppsoition. England havent had a runthis good for over a decade, and its with a group of players not much different to those the previous regime had available. Hes doing something right.

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Post by cascough on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 9:21 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I agree Robbo,  only with Mccaw hadn't Sam cane already accumulated about 30 odd caps.


True, and this goes for a lot of the NZ players who have replaced the likes of Nonu, Smith etc. I think Robbos point still stands though as without checking, from memory it feels like the likes of Cane, Fekitoa, Crotty etc only got their chance when others were injured and would have accrued most of their caps off of the bench. It's always felt like if Nonu, Smith, McCaw and Carter were available, they were picked.

Where NZ are slightly different to ENG is that there is a much smaller pool of players, this has generally meant they have identified someone early and they are consistently involved from the bench or stepping in for injury. The results are by the time McCaw et al retires, the replacement is already very experienced. It's the ultimate next man in.

In this respect ENG player pool can muddy the issue somewhat as the temptation is to try everyone or chop and change between squads or matchday 23s.

To get back to the original point, EJ doesn't want to give out caps willy nilly but he does (as we all do) want to have one eye on the future. EJ has used 41 players in his reign, 11 of which are new caps. Along the way he's won a Grand Slam, 3 tests in Aus and ended a 10 year losing streak against SA. It's going just fine.

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