England's 6 Nations Squad

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 20 Jan 2017, 9:59 am

First topic message reminder :

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22-27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for their opening match against France at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 4 February (kick-off 4.50pm, live on ITV).

Jones has named three uncapped players in a squad made up of 20 forwards and 14 backs. Back-row forward Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers) is included alongside prop Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby) and back Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

“I’ve been impressed with the three uncapped players named in the squad," said Jones.

"They’re all guys who have great physical capabilities and they all have a desire to improve. With a number of injuries to some key players it’s a great opportunity for them."

There are also returns for James Haskell (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Jack Clifford (Harlequins) and Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) who were unavailable for selection during the autumn.

“It’s good to welcome back a number of players who weren’t with us during the autumn," said Jones.

"This time last year I said that the long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby. Obviously I’ve been pleased with how the team’s progressing, but there’s still plenty to improve on."

Backroom addition
Joining Jones’ backroom team will be visual awareness coach Dr Sherylle Calder, who will work with the team on a consultancy basis.

Dr Calder, who helps improve players’ peripheral vision, their reaction times and co-ordination, has been involved with two Rugby World Cup winning teams and has worked with a number of high-profile athletes across a multitude of different sports.
“2017 for us is about building really strong foundations for the team and making sure our fundamental skills are improving,” said Jones.

“Part of that is hand-eye co-ordination and our ability to handle the ball adroitly - Dr Sherylle Calder is an expert in that field.

“She has won two gold medals, 2003 with England and 2007 with South Africa, I used her extensively when I coached in Japan and had success with her then. I think she is really going to add an edge to the players’ preparation.”


England Senior 34–man squad for RBS 6 Nations

Forwards

Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Tommy Taylor (Wasps), Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

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Post by cascough on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:04 pm

Better to hit a team behind the gainline than to try push them back over it.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why guns?

True Scott. Going to be interesting in general how tackling changes during the 6Ns in comparison to previous internationals.  Jones was vocal in more attacking from England so we may well see a lot more offloads.

Cause Im a big Hartely fan obviously. looking forward to seeing him lead England in Dublin this year.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:40 pm

And I'm sure you'll be cheering him just as loudly as the rest of the friendly Irish crowd right

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:55 pm

Always. England are my favourite visitors.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 1:59 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Big isn't necessarily better.
Bishop isn't saying "They are small, so big men will run over them".

He thinks that England, as a whole, defend in a certain pattern because they have a relatively small midfield. He cites two reasons why this might matter more now: (1) teams have now had a good look at how England operate under Jones. (2) The new tackling interpretations may see more offloads, which is a threat to the system England use.

I don't know whether the composition of our backrow is crucial to our midfield defence but, if it is, then Bishop may have a point.

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Post by cascough on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:16 pm

He says that because of the small midfield ENG defend narrower and then later says that because of the tackle laws ENG will be more susceptible to an offloading game.

These points seem at odds with each other to me. If you're defending narrowly and someone offloads then you're more likely to have another man close enough to tackle the recipient. It seems to me that ENG would be more vulnerable out wide. He does mention this too, but the offloading things is a misnomer for my money.

It seems like he is highlighting individual instances of defensive errors/problems (which is fine) but then going on to make an assessment of ENG's system. His assessment seems muddled. He's also citing some examples from last years 6N which is pretty daft, as new coaches/system/combinations etc.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:24 pm

Im pretty sure Mr Jones and his team will have looked into the defensive pattern and what the changes mean....

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:29 pm

Saracens defend narrow as well. Possibility this is how Gustard likes it rather than personnel?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:30 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Australia did cut through out defence at times, but it wasn't by overpowering our weaklings in the midfield, it was using pace of play to get the ball out wide quickly. Bit of a simplistic view IMO, not the biggest guys but decent defenders.

And they did so more often in the 3rd test (and tried to do so in the AIs) when we didn't have Haskell in the team. Eddie's 6N and summer defensive system relied a lot on using the Hask's size and pace to get him out of the line and into the face of the 2nd receiver to stop the ball going wide. There was a noted dog leg in the line, which would normally be a gift for the opposition but it worked because of how much pressure England exerted.

Absent Hask, Harrison / Wood / Itoje weren't able to bring quite the same impact to the role.

But yeah, the bottom line is that this England side have some obvious weaknesses and things to work on, but they still beat everyone they played last year, by bigger winning margins than anyone except the All Blacks.

I'm nervous about whether Eddie will be able to get a heavily changed pack functioning well enough to take on all comers in a 6N where everyone will be gunning for England, but we will learn whether the strength in depth is there.

It will be interesting to see...however they do seem to have a system that people are able to slot in fairly effortlessly and perform to the required level...

The majority of the pack will still be individuals that have played regularly...and very few who have never played for England if any...

Possible team...

1 Mullan
2 Hartley
3 Cole
4 Kruis
5 Lawes
6 Itoje
7 Wood
8 Hughes

Most have played and only Mullan (unless Marler is fit) and Hughes are newbies...but even Hughes looked made for this level in his last game.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:32 pm

I'm also not sure I buy the "Carter/McCaw defended well because they were the same size, therefore George Ford is a liability because he's small" argument. Which is, when you boil it right down, the upshot of what he's saying (Farrell and Joseph aren't that much smaller than their counterparts; Ford is the outlier)

Carter and McCaw defended well because a) they were, respectively, possibly the best player ever to play 10 and very possibly the best player ever to play rugby and b) they had played together, in the same system, since forever.

England's defensive system has had fewer than 20 games, and fewer than 10 games with the same personnel in the same positions. Inevitably there are still going to be misunderstandings and positional errors.

It's a fair point that England (and everyone) will be vulnerable to the offload with the new directives, and it's going to be interesting to see how they adapt. A lot is likely to depend on whether Itoje (or someone) has Robshaw's knack of being in the right place to make the crucial cover tackle, time after time after time.
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Post by cascough on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:42 pm

Poorfour wrote:I'm also not sure I buy the "Carter/McCaw defended well because they were the same size, therefore George Ford is a liability because he's small" argument. Which is, when you boil it right down, the upshot of what he's saying (Farrell and Joseph aren't that much smaller than their counterparts; Ford is the outlier)

+1

In fact they are bigger than some individuals and bigger than Ireland's pairing.


Poorfour wrote:
It's a fair point that England (and everyone) will be vulnerable to the offload with the new directives, and it's going to be interesting to see how they adapt. A lot is likely to depend on whether Itoje (or someone) has Robshaw's knack of being in the right place to make the crucial cover tackle, time after time after time.

Do we think that is Robshaws excellence, or the system, or both?

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 3:24 pm

cascough wrote:
Poorfour wrote:I'm also not sure I buy the "Carter/McCaw defended well because they were the same size, therefore George Ford is a liability because he's small" argument. Which is, when you boil it right down, the upshot of what he's saying (Farrell and Joseph aren't that much smaller than their counterparts; Ford is the outlier)

+1

In fact they are bigger than some individuals and bigger than Ireland's pairing.


Poorfour wrote:
It's a fair point that England (and everyone) will be vulnerable to the offload with the new directives, and it's going to be interesting to see how they adapt. A lot is likely to depend on whether Itoje (or someone) has Robshaw's knack of being in the right place to make the crucial cover tackle, time after time after time.

Do we think that is Robshaws excellence, or the system, or both?

I think it's a football cliche, but the first few steps are in your head. Robshaw's anticipation is excellent and it can get him where he needs to go quicker than a faster-footed player with a lower ability to read the game.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 3:34 pm

England's 6 Nations Squad - Page 4 16230511_249294708831467_8752448986180222976_n

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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 3:49 pm

That's pretty good. Out of interest what happened? I saw it on the press conference photo but there was no mention in the article I read.

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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 3:52 pm

robbo277 wrote:I think it's a football cliche, but the first few steps are in your head. Robshaw's anticipation is excellent and it can get him where he needs to go quicker than a faster-footed player with a lower ability to read the game.
I agree, think it's instinctive, not part of the defensive system. Many seem to think it's not a great loss as we can potentially get 3 of our 4 decent standard locks into the team but I worry we may realize just how much unseen work for the team Robshaw has done over the last 12 months.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 3:57 pm

B91212 wrote:That's pretty good. Out of interest what happened? I saw it on the press conference photo but there was no mention in the article I read.

I heard he told Dylan Hartely he wasnt going to be captain.


....really funny jokes aside he fell in his hotel.

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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 4:04 pm

Poorfour wrote:Eddie's 6N and summer defensive system relied a lot on using the Hask's size and pace to get him out of the line and into the face of the 2nd receiver to stop the ball going wide. There was a noted dog leg in the line, which would normally be a gift for the opposition but it worked because of how much pressure England exerted.

Absent Hask, Harrison / Wood / Itoje weren't able to bring quite the same impact to the role..
I've mentioned this before but that's why if Haskell is out then I think Lawes will start, regardless of if both Launchbury and Kruis are fully fit. Lawes isn't as good at leading the defensive line/ doing that role as Haskell but he's significantly better than Harrison was in the 3rd summer Aus test. If my aging memory serves me right that's why it was Lawes and not Launchbury who replaced Harrison after 30 mins when both were on the bench that day.

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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 4:06 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
B91212 wrote:That's pretty good. Out of interest what happened? I saw it on the press conference photo but there was no mention in the article I read.

I heard he told Dylan Hartely he wasnt going to be captain.


....really funny jokes aside he fell in his hotel.
Wow, that was a good tumble he took there. Thanks for responding.

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Post by cascough on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 4:42 pm

B91212 wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Eddie's 6N and summer defensive system relied a lot on using the Hask's size and pace to get him out of the line and into the face of the 2nd receiver to stop the ball going wide. There was a noted dog leg in the line, which would normally be a gift for the opposition but it worked because of how much pressure England exerted.

Absent Hask, Harrison / Wood / Itoje weren't able to bring quite the same impact to the role..
I've mentioned this before but that's why if Haskell is out then I think Lawes will start, regardless of if both Launchbury and Kruis are fully fit. Lawes isn't as good at leading the defensive line/ doing that role as Haskell but he's significantly better than Harrison was in the 3rd summer Aus test. If my aging memory serves me right that's why it was Lawes and not Launchbury who replaced Harrison after 30 mins when both were on the bench that day.

It was, but he slotted into the second row. Itoje went into the back row and we played left and right flankers.

Although from memory I recall Robshaw packing down at openside on all the scrums and he seemed to be popping up at openside far more often that Itoje was. Could be wrong on that.

I also don't remember Lawes performing Haskells defensive role, I think it was shared between Robshaw and Itoje. My memory is hazy though, I was so very drunk by this point.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 4:57 pm

B91212 wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I think it's a football cliche, but the first few steps are in your head. Robshaw's anticipation is excellent and it can get him where he needs to go quicker than a faster-footed player with a lower ability to read the game.
I agree, think it's instinctive, not part of the defensive system. Many seem to think it's not a great loss as we can potentially get 3 of our 4 decent standard locks into the team but I worry we may realize just how much unseen work for the team Robshaw has done over the last 12 months.

Well, we're going to find out. Robshaw came through the Quins academy at a time when Deano, Vos and Diprose were all part of the Quins setup and clearly learned a lot from them.

Itoje has a similarly high quality reading of the game but we don't yet know whether he can shift to the workrate of a flanker once freed of a lock's engine room duties. In particular - can he get up and across the line fast enough to provide the first line scramble defence.

The back three will also have to work harder - Brown's defensive experience probably secures his position as long as he stays fit.

The flip side, of course, is that England have a number of players with the brains to position themselves to take offloads and the power or pace to exploit it. I would guess, especially if we end up with Launchbury / Kruis / Itoje / Wood or Lawes, that we'll use the tall men as primary carriers offloading to secondary carriers. Haskell, Hughes or Sinckler as a second carrier down the same channel will almost certainly make yards. If there's a tiny bit of space Joseph, Nowell or Clifford have the pace to exploit it


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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 6:53 pm

cascough wrote:It was, but he slotted into the second row. Itoje went into the back row and we played left and right flankers.
I also don't remember Lawes performing Haskells defensive role, I think it was shared between Robshaw and Itoje. My memory is hazy though, I was so very drunk by this point.
Wasn't the game on in the morning UK time Wink Actually did I read you were there?

Agreed on Lawes but that was only for scrums, in open play I thought I saw Lawes holding off the side of rucks more. Could be wrong though, was late at night here! We all know how well he defended at 6 at scrums during his single appearance there! I just think that EJ and Gustard want an aggressive defender with good line speed/ acceleration in the team, traits that Haskell probably has better than anyone else currently available to England. Like I say, Lawes isn't as good as Haskell but he's better than some others currently available.

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Post by B91212 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 7:06 pm

Poorfour wrote:Itoje has a similarly high quality reading of the game but we don't yet know whether he can shift to the workrate of a flanker once freed of a lock's engine room duties. In particular - can he get up and across the line fast enough to provide the first line scramble defence.
I think he can. What I'm not so sure about is if he will pick and choose what he competes for as well as Robshaw does.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 9:15 pm

Haskell and Clifford have both flown out to Portugal. If there are any doubts over Haskell I'd say there's an argument for holding him back for the Wales game, if he's likely to play France and flair up and miss Wales.

I think the argument to start Lawes if Haskell isn't available is fairly sound. With Robshaw out I'd have Launchbury at 4 and Itoje at 6, and I don't think there's all that much between Lawes and Kruis. Different players though, so we can go horses for courses if need be.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 10:20 pm

Good news on Haskell and Clifford. Additional options and Clifford has been playing pretty well in a crappy Quins team since his return from injury.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 10:30 pm

Whats Clifford best spot? 6 or 8? Or indeed 7?

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Post by cascough on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 8:11 am

B91212 wrote:
cascough wrote:It was, but he slotted into the second row. Itoje went into the back row and we played left and right flankers.
I also don't remember Lawes performing Haskells defensive role, I think it was shared between Robshaw and Itoje. My memory is hazy though, I was so very drunk by this point.
Wasn't the game on in the morning UK time Wink Actually did I read you were there?

Agreed on Lawes but that was only for scrums, in open play I thought I saw Lawes holding off the side of rucks more. Could be wrong though, was late at night here! We all know how well he defended at 6 at scrums during his single appearance there! I just think that EJ and Gustard want an aggressive defender with good line speed/ acceleration in the team, traits that Haskell probably has better than anyone else currently available to England. Like I say, Lawes isn't as good as Haskell but he's better than some others currently available.

I wasn't there, but I was on holiday...so it was perfect drinking fare.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 8:48 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Whats Clifford best spot?  6 or 8? Or indeed 7?

Can, and does, play all three pretty well. Best spot long term is probably at 8, but England are better stocked there than in the other positions. Eddie's spoken about him being a natural 8 who "may have to play at 7 for a bit like Rodney So'aiolo" - but I suspect he actually sees him as the best bench option given his flexibility and ability to break a game with his pace.
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Post by mid_gen on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 9:12 am

Clifford is a very different 8 to Billy V and Hughes. Not as physically aggressive as either but has incredible gas for a forward and runs lines like a center. I think he'll be on the bench for a while. Batter defences with Billy/Hughes for 60 minutes and then bring on Clifford to up the pace when legs are getting tired.

His turnover work isn't bad either...not always in there slowing the ball down but picks his moments and if he he sees a chance he'll latch onto it like the best of em.

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Post by propdavid_london on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 9:33 am

Clifford is a re-invention in the Croft mould. For a lot of Crofts England career he was described as a luxury that England couldn't always accommodate. Will it be the same with Clifford?

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Post by thomh on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:16 am

propdavid_london wrote:Clifford is a re-invention in the Croft mould.  For a lot of Crofts England career he was described as a luxury that England couldn't always accommodate. Will it be the same with Clifford?

Clifford's more robust in contact than Croft, stronger over the ball, has better hands and a tad less pace, but the comparison isn't completely inappropriate.

If he fulfils his potential then he'll be one of those who you have to find a position for in the starting lineup in one of the three positions, but he hasn't quite nailed any one of them yet. I actually think his best season so far was 14/15 when he was tearing it up in attack and defence, but his work rate seemed to drop off a bit last year. His last few games since the injury have been excellent though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:18 am

In other words Clifford is a bench player at best...but will probably never challenge for a starting spot during Eddies reign as he desires different traits in the starting player in each of the back row position....

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:21 am

I think he'd be pushing more at this stage if not for his injuries. Quality player. Easily above people like Harrison for me.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:30 am

Harrison is a sack of sh$t

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:33 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Harrison is a sack of sh$t
Absolute nonsense.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:39 am

We'll agree to disagree...

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:42 am

He's just had 2 back to back possible MOTM performances and was our player of the season last season...

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:46 am

He's had 1 good season.....

Mark Wilson has had 4/5 consecutive outstanding seasons....

Harrison has looked so woefully out of depth in an England shirt its unreal....

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:48 am

In one match. In another he was top of our tackle stats and won a couple of turnovers.

Harrison is 24, Wilson is 27. 'sack of sh$t' is complete crap.

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Post by beshocked on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 10:53 am

So what do you all want from your flankers? Is it turnovers? Smothering the opposition? Lots of tackles?

Being aggressive?

Personally I think if Itoje replaces Robshaw he'll do well. It's not a like for like replacement but Itoje has strengths Robshaw doesn't.

Itoje is more suited to 6 than Lawes ever was. Itoje's turnover stats are superior to most English backrowers.

As for Harrison he doesn't look international class so far but I am not convinced Mark Wilson would be any better.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:12 am

He's played 4 games for England and not looked remotely of the level required in any.

Once all the players are back and fit...he wont make the squad. Not too mention Kvesic's move to Exeter and the Currys emergence and Underhill....

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:18 am

Looked good in the Wales game but 4 games is a little quick to judge as he has at least shown he's up to it over a period of time in games and not looked inept. Just feel he will get limited time to prove himself for a while as better players return to fitness.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:20 am

You could throw Chisholm into the potential list as well GF. Let's hope they all take to it like a duck to water.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:24 am

4 games is longer than some players have had 7.5

Yes Chisholm aswell....

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Post by beshocked on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:29 am

You say Harrison won't make the squad when everyone is fully fit but him and T'eo seem to have staying power in Jones' mind.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:30 am

And in some cases it's enough thinking back to certain rl centres but in this case a 24 year old who was very good on debut suffered a really bad game but then came back in and showed he can mix it and showed his potential to improve to the required level. For me he's not a write off by any means though as I've said he'll struggle when everyone is fit as there's just better options. He is not a bad player and hasn't been proven to be sadlya king for the international game as yet.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:42 am

beshocked wrote:You say Harrison won't make the squad when everyone is fully fit but him and T'eo seem to have staying power in Jones' mind.

Only because the bulk of back rowers have been injured during Eddies tenure.

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Post by beshocked on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:46 am

Geordiefalcon that's not true. Jones didn't have many injuries worries in last year's 6 nations and in the tour of Australia.

Billy is missing this year's 6 nations but Jones could call upon him most of last year, same with Robshaw.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 11:52 am

Harrison made his debut after the 6Ns.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 12:06 pm

beshocked wrote:Geordiefalcon that's not true. Jones didn't have many injuries worries in last year's 6 nations and in the tour of Australia.

Billy is missing this year's 6 nations but Jones could call upon him most of last year, same with Robshaw.

Well im glad you rate him so highly...Beshocked...I will remain to see how he develops.

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Post by beshocked on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 2:52 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Geordiefalcon that's not true. Jones didn't have many injuries worries in last year's 6 nations and in the tour of Australia.

Billy is missing this year's 6 nations but Jones could call upon him most of last year, same with Robshaw.

Well im glad you rate him so highly...Beshocked...I will remain to see how he develops.

??

I said this earlier : As for Harrison he doesn't look international class so far but I am not convinced Mark Wilson would be any better.

Not exactly me rating Harrison highly, I'd say he's in last chance saloon.

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