6N 2017: Wales v England, 11 February

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 06 Feb 2017, 3:57 pm

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6N 2017: Wales v England, 11 February - Page 3 Wales106N 2017: Wales v England, 11 February - Page 3 Englan11
WALES 
ENGLAND 
11 February 2017
KO:16:50 GMT
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Live on [ITV, RTE, SC4, FR2, DMAX / BBC (H)]

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Touch judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

A. Head to Head

129 Played 129
57 Won 60
12 Drawn 12
60 Lost 57
1,673 Points 1,518

B. Recent Form 

29 May 2016: Twickenham, London
27 – 13 to England
2016 mid-year rugby union internationals

12 March 2016: Twickenham, London
25 – 21 to England
2016 Six Nations Championship

26 September 2015: Twickenham, London
25 – 28 to Wales
2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A

26 September 2015: Twickenham, London 
25 – 28 to Wales 
2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A 

6 February 2015: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 
16 – 21 to England 
2015 Six Nations 

9 March 2014: Twickenham Stadium, London 
29 – 18 to England 
2014 Six Nations 

16 March 2013: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 
30 – 3 to Wales 
2013 Six Nations 

25 February 2012: Twickenham Stadium, London 
12 – 19 to Wales 
2012 Six Nations

13 August 2011: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 
19 – 9 to Wales 
2011 Rugby World Cup warm up test 

6 August 2011: Twickenham, London 
23 – 19 to England 
2011 Rugby World Cup warm up test 

C. Teams


WALES
6N 2017: Wales v England, 11 February - Page 3 Burton10
15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Scott Williams, 11-Liam Williams, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Rhys Webb; 1-Rob Evans, 2-Ken Owens, 3-Tomas Francis, 4-Jake Ball, 5-Alun Wyn Jones, 6-Sam Warburton, 7-Justin Tipuric; 8-Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: 16-Scott Baldwin, 17-Nicky Smith, 18-Samson Lee, 19-Cory Hill, 20-Taulupe Faletau, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Sam Davies, 23-Jamie Roberts.

ENGLAND
6N 2017: Wales v England, 11 February - Page 3 Carygr10
15-Mike Brown, 14-Jack Nowell, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Elliot Daly, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Dylan Hartley (captain), 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Courtney Lawes, 6-Maro Itoje, 7-Jack Clifford, 8-Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Matt Mullan, 18-Kyle Sinckler, 19-Tom Wood, 20-James Haskell, 21-Danny Care, 22-Ben Te'o, 23-Jonny May.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 06 Feb 2017, 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 7:13 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
Breadvan wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:The Alex Cuthbert of 2013 is unavailable for selection.

Laugh ...and England won't play Wood at 8, Brown on the wing and Goode at FB.


You are so correct there. Erm

I would be surprised if Tom Wood gets another game, Eddie Jones was not a fan of his before and Wood didn't exactly tear up trees last Saturday..!

What would the other options be if Haskell is not at full fitness...?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 7:30 pm

Harrison....whos not too hot either.

Ideally I'd love to see Haskell & Underhill on the flanks but zero chance of that.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 7:35 pm

Wasn't Wood FEC at some point…..a long long time ago (before Farrell, Itoje and launchbury) Now he looks ponderous and you just get the feeling he's a stop gap as we know Eddie is no fan. I can't fathom that England don't have better options than Wood/Itoje and Hughes in the back row even with Robshaw and Billy out; they need a flat out 7. If Wales play Sam and Tipuric then the breakdown is going to be an issue for England; Haskell is starting to really show his worth to England and he has to start if fit. I think it will be Wood Haskell hughes. England will attempt to destroy Wales at the set piece so i expect to see Evans and Francis start with Charteris a must in the 2nd row if fit. I dont think Faletau will start but hope he has a place on the bench and expect the back row to be the same. If Biggar is fit he'll play, its a huge call to start Davies in this game and while i say lets get on with the inevitable changing of the guard, we know Howler is pretty conservative - doesnt even recognize Willaims proper role is at 15 in terms of attack - so, same back line with Cuthbert to replace North if necessary.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 7:43 pm

We've not had a real 7 option for a long time. Flank has been a major issue over the years with Robshaw/Haskell only really proving their worth over the last year or so.

Billy is a WC 8 and Hughes has potential to be quality, but he's still very raw to the Int scene. We're also not using Hughes as Wasps use him. Billy can take static ball and get us on the front foot. Hughes is much better coming into the line with a bit of pace and breaking tackles, as we seen in the last 20 mins against France.

Flanks have improved but we've still not really integrated them into Int rugby. The likes of Clifford, Underhill etc should really be the next in line.

Wood had a few good seasons but has largely lacked physicality throughout his carrier imo.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:13 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:Can Wales win, yes we can - Will we win, well if I could predict the future I'd pick the lottery numbers.

We have to make at 4 changes in my mind but not sure he will or not.

I'd start Evans and Francis in the front row bring Faletau onto the bench if they think he's fit enough.  Would be tempted to start him but harsh on Moriarty.

I'd start Davies at 10 and swap Williams and Halfpenny around.

I don't disagree with your thoughts though bar injury toll, I would expect to see the same 23.

I think it would be interesting to see how we go if Biggar is not fit. Sam Davies to start with young Owen on the bench?




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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:14 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Harrison....whos not too hot either.

Ideally I'd love to see Haskell & Underhill on the flanks but zero chance of that.

Underhill has a lot of potential

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:27 pm

Gwlad wrote:Wasn't Wood FEC at some point…..a long long time ago (before Farrell, Itoje and launchbury) Now he looks ponderous and you just get the feeling he's a stop gap as we know Eddie is no fan. I can't fathom that England don't have better options than Wood/Itoje and Hughes in the back row even with Robshaw and Billy out; they need a flat out 7. If Wales play Sam and Tipuric then the breakdown is going to be an issue for England; Haskell is starting to really show his worth to England and he has to start if fit. I think it will be Wood Haskell hughes. England will attempt to destroy Wales at the set piece so i expect to see Evans and Francis start with Charteris a must in the 2nd row if fit. I dont think Faletau will start but hope he has a place on the bench and expect the back row to be the same. If Biggar is fit he'll play, its a huge call to start Davies in this game and while i say lets get on with the inevitable changing of the guard, we know Howler is pretty conservative - doesnt even recognize Willaims proper role is at 15 in terms of attack - so, same back line with Cuthbert to replace North if necessary.

I understand the logic in selecting Biggar but I'm a bit more excited about the idea of Davies. He has much better vision in attack for playing what's in front of him and I think we will need to take chances if they are there.

We are lucky that Webb is equally experienced with both players.

As I don't think Wales are fully up to speed, in a period of transition maybe starting Davies and bringing in Biggar to either add solidity or to close out a close match might be a good selection...?

I'm really not to worried about the result, but the performance going forward is hugely prevalent.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:29 pm

assuming fitness:

Evans
Owens
Francis
AWJ
Charteris (Ball)
Sam
Tipuric
Faletau (Moriarty)
Webb
Biggar (Davies)
North (Cuthbert)
Scott
JD2
Liam
Half

Smith, Baldwin, Lee, Hill, King (Faletau/Moriarty), G Davies, S Davies (O Williams), Roberts.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:37 pm

Gwlad wrote:assuming fitness:

Evans
Owens
Francis
AWJ
Charteris (Ball)
Sam
Tipuric
Faletau (Moriarty)
Webb
Biggar (Davies)
North (Cuthbert)
Scott
JD2
Liam
Half

Smith, Baldwin, Lee, Hill, King (Faletau/Moriarty), G Davies, S Davies (O Williams), Roberts.

I don't think I would start Faletau.

Not unless I was 100% guaranteed his fitness. He has rarely ever been injured in his career but has hardly played a game this year due to injuries. We need to respect his recovery and make the most of his career

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Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 9:49 pm

I'm torn, i get all that but we also need the best 8.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 10:01 pm

Gwlad wrote:I'm torn, i get all that but we also need the best 8.


Faletau when fit is one of the best in the game, but Moriarty and King are good reserves both can do a job for Wales.

Front five is our bigger selection issue. AWJ is our only certain selection. No one else is holding on to their shirt. To be fair I think Owens is definable our best hooker, but the other three are interchangeable and seemingly incapable of making their shirt their own.

England have a very settled front five and they will take advantage of Wales in that area.

We all have criticised Adam Jones, Geth, Smiler et al but they added a bit more brains than our current options.

Rob Evans and Nicky Smith are full of exciting potential. But bar AWJ we have a lot of polish to add up front.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 10:07 pm

You're not wrong. Though if fit Charteris will be a huge plus against England.

Top 2 inches has always been an issue for us IMO but Geth Smiler and jones was an exceptional unit. Its suggested that Francis and Evans shored up a crabbing scrum and lets face it lee is no Jones, Smith no Jenkins. I really would like to see Hibbard back in the mix but whatever he did/said he is obviously out of favor in camp. Owens threats to make it his shirt but really only shows his best as a sub IMO. Still i think he has a better all round game than Baldwin.

Luckily i'd say the English front row is far from its best right now and with no Kruis and possibility of Itoje having to cover 6 again i think England's pack, while very potent, isn't where Jones would wish it to be. Its a huge game for Hartley for sure.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 10:30 pm

Gwlad wrote:You're not wrong. Though if fit Charteris will be a huge plus against England.

Top 2 inches has always been an issue for us IMO but Geth Smiler and jones was an exceptional unit. Its suggested that Francis and Evans shored up a crabbing scrum and lets face it lee is no Jones, Smith no Jenkins. I really would like to see Hibbard back in the mix but whatever he did/said he is obviously out of favor in camp. Owens threats to make it his shirt but really only shows his best as a sub IMO. Still i think he has a better all round game than Baldwin.

Luckily i'd say the English front row is far from its best right now and with no Kruis and possibility of Itoje having to cover 6 again i think England's pack, while very potent, isn't where Jones would wish it to be. Its a huge game for Hartley for sure.

I rate the potential of Evans and Smith to make it to the top. But this will take another two seasons with full fitness.

I think Owens has head above the other options at 2.

I saw Hibbard against Worcester, probably his best game in a few years and he isn't the player he was.



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Post by Scottrf on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 10:46 pm

Tom Wood is injured and out. England pack is getting ravaged.

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Post by miaow on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 10:49 pm

1. Evans
2. Baldwin/Owens
3. Francis
4. Ball
5. AWJ
6. Warburton
7. Tipuric
8. Moriarty

9. Webb
10. Biggar
11. North/L Williams
12. S Williams
13. J Davies
14. L Williams/North
15. Halfpenny

16. Owens/Baldwin
17. N Smith
18. S Lee
19. Charteris
20. Faletau
21. G Davies
22. S Davies
23. A N Other

Charteris, Faletau, and Lee aren't match fit. The first two will be useful to bring on when the game is looser. Charteris will be vital for the lineout defence/securing own ball in the final quarter. Let Ball flog himself for 55 minutes or so, we need all the ballast we can get to counter England's pack.

Likewise Faletau. I don't doubt that due to his natural fitness he could play 80 minutes, but it would be asking too much. Push the starting back row, and whoever tires first/the most, bring Faletau on for the final 20. His link play in between the lines is nearly as good as Tipuric's at times.

Lee's looking like a weakness, so it's whether you start with your best scrum from the first minute, or look to finish strongly with Francis instead.

Asking Sam Davies to start is like going back in time. Fairly certain no-one was rating him before the AIs? And yet now we're in another James Hook pick-him-quick situation. Like the above, you bring him on as and when necessary. It may even be that we don't need him, as England's bench will see their physicality stay at the same level, whereas ours won't. That's why Roberts will be #23, but I'd prefer a more versatile option, and for the midfield to last 80 minutes together.

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Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 11:40 pm

Clearly its Roberts role now to act as centre understudy.

England will come out like men possessed to try and shut Wales down from the start so i think we need the strongest set piece we can field. For me that's with Evans Francis and Charteris. And i think Faletau is more than capable of stepping up being the class act he is. The tendency is to ease a player back and I just can't decide ut i think it would be a huge statement of confidence to start him if fit.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 5:35 am

Looks like the back row will be

Itoje
Clifford
Hughes

Very inexperienced internationally - our pack has been decimated since the AIs.
In fact Cole is the only first choice forward that hasn't been injured or isn't coming back from injury.
Still England showed 2 years ago, with a number of injuries, they were still good enough to win away to Wales.

I hope there is no shenanigans before the game starts this time.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 5:41 am

I'd be seriously worried with that backrow and be much happier with Haskell starting at 6. I wonder if it's a bit of kidology from EJ as Haskell can't be too far away.

6. Haskell v Warbs (Pretty equal)
7. Clifford v Tips (Tips)
8. Hughes v Moriarty (Hughes)

Gives it a pretty even look. With Itoje in there, I feel Wales have the edge slightly.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 5:50 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'd be seriously worried with that backrow and be much happier with Haskell starting at 6. I wonder if it's a bit of kidology from EJ as Haskell can't be too far away.

6. Haskell v Warbs (Pretty equal)
7. Clifford v Tips (Tips)
8. Hughes v Moriarty (Hughes)

Gives it a pretty even look. With Itoje in there, I feel Wales have the edge slightly.

Hask has come back from major surgery on his toe & already had to delay visiting the first training weekend in Portugal for more rehab. I'm fairly sure it's not kidology. It would be the relative inexperience I would be worried about in the back row. Even Clifford is coming back from an injury!

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 7:45 am

That's one of the things about having a squad of young replacements. When a few of your experienced hands go down, you sometimes wouldn't mind bringing in at least one player with a bit more mileage.

This kind of situation probably would suit someone like Carl Fearns or, if Geordie Falcon is right, Mark Wilson.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 7:53 am

I personally would love to see Itoje Clifford as Hughes starting but it ain't going to happen.

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Post by munkian on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:30 am

Is Wood really injured or just dropped as hes a penalty magnet ?
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Post by Cyril on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:34 am

Warbs says what we all know is true Smile

"If you're Wales, the biggest game you play in in the Six Nations is England," said Warburton.

"If you're Scotland, it's England. If you're Ireland, it's England. Or if you're France or Italy, it's England," said Warburton, whose father was born in England.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/38893904

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:34 am

Rugby Fan wrote:That's one of the things about having a squad of young replacements. When a few of your experienced hands go down, you sometimes wouldn't mind bringing in at least one player with a bit more mileage.

This kind of situation probably would suit someone like Carl Fearns or, if Geordie Falcon is right, Mark Wilson.

The problem with a Fearns or a Wilson is that it's not clear whether they'd add anything in 3 years' time, or beyond. I think Eddie is doing the right thing in leaning on younger players, even if it means that occasionally he will end up putting out a much rawer side than is ideal. Long term success means integrating several generations of players into a squad, so that this cycle's inexperienced young bolters are ready to be next cycle's core players.

Eddie's even said something to that effect in one of the pre-tournament interviews. The gist of it was that this year will be about finding out who's in the wider squad, even if it means losing a couple along the way.
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Post by Scottrf on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:39 am

munkian wrote:Is Wood really injured or just dropped as hes a penalty magnet ?
You think Jones dropped him because he was penalised for playing a ball the ref called out?

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Post by munkian on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:40 am

Scottrf wrote:
munkian wrote:Is Wood really injured or just dropped as hes a penalty magnet ?
You think Jones dropped him because he was penalised for playing a ball the ref called out?


Not exclusively, mostly because he's awful.
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Post by Scottrf on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:40 am

Rolling Eyes

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 8:53 am

Poorfour wrote:...The problem with a Fearns or a Wilson is that it's not clear whether they'd add anything in 3 years' time...
They are only 27, so not sure that would worry Jones. After all, Ben Te'o is 30.

Apropos nothing at all, I've just remembered Haskell once said the closest thing in the Premiership to the way he plays is Dave Ewers.

Just found out Tom Johnson is 34. Never realised he was one of the oldest forwards in Lancaster's squads. That's older than Tom Croft.

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Post by mid_gen on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:02 am

Itoje Clifford Hughes is certainly a rapid athletic and extremely skillful backrow but I'd worry again about our ability to secure quick ball for Ford without a wrecking ball.

Hughes, Clifford, Haskell to start with Itoje moving to the backrow later would be my choice with the selections available.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:15 am

Itoje didn't play particularly well at 6 vs the French doesn't mean he won't improve vs Wales. The French backrow were very physical and Picamoles was in excellent form.

Moriarty isn't Picamoles.

Itoje is still a relatively inexperienced international, was playing with a non familiar no 8, if he was partnered with Billy I am sure he would have been more at ease. Also Wood at 7... one of the least physical flankers in England.

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Post by hugehandoff on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:15 am

Latest from Warbs....pure comedy gold. The build up and need to keep publishing articles is going to seriously damage our good health.

"England are deservedly tagged as the best team in the northern hemisphere," said Warburton.

"It's a fair judgement to compare them to the All Blacks right now - that's how good they are.

"It is going to take a huge game out of us to get a win, and it will be one of the biggest games of the championship for sure."

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:16 am

maestegmafia wrote:

I would be surprised if Tom Wood gets another game, Eddie Jones was not a fan of his before and Wood didn't exactly tear up trees last Saturday..!

What would the other options be if Haskell is not at full fitness...?

Woods been injured an not trained all week, hes a major doubt. Jones is also saying that he doesnt think Haskell is 80 minutes ready. Hughes has an ongoing knee problem.

Thats going to make selection a bit interesting considering they only have Itoje and Clifford in the training squad definately fit to start.

From the wider squad theres Teimana Harrison and Mike Williams


It could be a very scratch England backrow playing against a very solid and far more experienced Welsh unit. Under the circumstances if Wood is fit and able to start training again I cant see him not starting, even if hes far from a first choice.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:22 am

Certainly sounds like Itoje will remain at 6 now. Slade also still there suggests to me Jones may be planning dropping Ford, Te'o to start and Slade on the bench.

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Post by munkian on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:23 am

Just hope the ref questions how the 2m 19 stone Itojie can support his bodyweight over a ruck whilst balancing on his tip toes... Shocked
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Post by mid_gen on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:27 am

It's just good technique, the angle he gets over the ruck with hands on the ball just screams to the ref "if he doesn't come away with that ball it's a penalty", even if his centre of balance is slightly forward. All the best jacklers are exactly the same!

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Post by munkian on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:32 am

Slightly forward ? Laugh

The best jacklers aren't that tall though - massive difference between Hooper doing it and him.
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Post by beshocked on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:34 am

hugehandoff if England aren't the best in the NH then who are?

No one else can really claim they are in my opinion.

I don't think the French are as bad as people think hence why I think they'll beat Scotland.


The only plus is that Moriarty in my opinion is a level below Faletau in quality and experience.


Also surely both Itoje and Hughes will perform better than they did vs France? We both know that they have the capability to do so.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:38 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Poorfour wrote:...The problem with a Fearns or a Wilson is that it's not clear whether they'd add anything in 3 years' time...
They are only 27, so not sure that would worry Jones. After all, Ben Te'o is 30.

Apropos nothing at all, I've just remembered Haskell once said the closest thing in the Premiership to the way he plays is Dave Ewers.

Just found out Tom Johnson is 34. Never realised he was one of the oldest forwards in Lancaster's squads. That's older than Tom Croft.

27 is fine if a player is going to be a regular starter, but a 30-year old with a handful of bench appearances in 2020 is less useful than a 26 year old in the same position. Te'o, I think, is slightly different in that he has been picked as the best (fit and available) option to fill a very specific role.

Which said, I wouldn't be averse to seeing Ewers given a shot, but he doesn't seem to be Eddie's cup of tea.
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Post by Poorfour on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:45 am

beshocked wrote:
Also surely both Itoje and Hughes will perform better than they did vs France? We both know that they have the capability to do so.

We know that Itoje can perform (much) better than that when playing at lock. That was his first game as an international 6 and for me the jury is still very much out as to whether he can cut it in that position. He has exceptional decision-making, athleticism and positional sense as a lock, but the demands on a flanker are very different.

Likewise, Hughes has played better in his other games - but generally in a pack that was much more in control of the game, and with his focus largely being on carrying.

Both of them seemed to struggle with a situation in which they collectively had to shoulder a bigger workload than usual.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:47 am

Yeah but everyone played below par. Too soon to judge; if we see another performance from the team thus weekend I think that's when we look at what's missing.

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Post by hugehandoff on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:47 am

beshocked wrote:hugehandoff if England aren't the best in the NH then who are?
.

Surely you must understand the comedy gold bit refers to the All Blacks.....no one is on a par with them until proven on the pitch. Stating England are on their level is ridiculous.

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Post by munkian on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:48 am

Flat track bullies then ? Wink
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Post by beshocked on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:49 am

I wouldn't be against seeing Farrell at 10 and Teo at 12.

Teo did well in his cameo off the bench and Farrell looked more comfortable at 10 in my opinion.

Still think Farrell's performances at 12 aren't particularly good but makes up for it with his goal kicking which is generally very good.

England lack ball carriers without the Vunipola bros/ with Haskell on the bench so having Teo to be crash ball in the centres I think has to be considered.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:53 am

I don't think the development age thing comes into it when you are looking at 4th 5th choice fill in players for a competitive game .... rather than worrying about capping fringe players for the sake of it you pick the one you think can do the bet job on the day.
England are hardly short of development players...if anything it's too many that's causing the worry about the lack of experience in the back row.
But by the end of this series England will have a healthy range of backrow players with a decent number of recent caps as well as some genuine experience in Haskell Wood and Vunipola. That's come organically through tactical change and injury, not just picking kids to give them a cap.

That said I'm not sure why he would look to select outside of the wider training squad when there's two fit backrowers available to be called back should wood or Hughes not be match fit. I guess neither being retained for the travelling party suggests it's expected that both will be OK anyway.

Wood talked before the last game about the rate of attrition on forwards now and the need to play day to day and hope they will be fit for the next game. Englands depth is being tested here but in the long run it will help them shape a deeper more flexible squad.

Slades retention as the drinks carrier is interesting. I really don't see Ford getting dropped but he does give Jones a lot of options, including leaving Teo.




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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 9:55 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah but everyone played below par. Too soon to judge; if we see another performance from the team thus weekend I think that's when we look at what's missing.

Devalued grand slam, summer tour, autumn internationals and first game of this year?

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 10:02 am

beshocked wrote:I wouldn't be against seeing Farrell at 10 and Teo at 12.

Teo did well in his cameo off the bench and Farrell looked more comfortable at 10 in my opinion.

Still think Farrell's performances at 12 aren't particularly good but makes up for it with his goal kicking which is generally very good.

England lack ball carriers without the Vunipola bros/ with Haskell on the bench so having Teo to be crash ball in the centres I think has to be considered.

I would be up for seeing that, but I think it means you also need to start Care. I think having Farrell and Youngs together lacks a little bit of creativity compared to Ford and Youngs or Farrell and Care.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 10:06 am

I don't understand gooseberry; I don't think any English player played well against France. I'd say best of the bunch were Farrell, Brown and Daly who were still average.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 10:09 am

Poorfour wrote:
beshocked wrote:
Also surely both Itoje and Hughes will perform better than they did vs France? We both know that they have the capability to do so.

We know that Itoje can perform (much) better than that when playing at lock. That was his first game as an international 6 and for me the jury is still very much out as to whether he can cut it in that position. He has exceptional decision-making, athleticism and positional sense as a lock, but the demands on a flanker are very different.

Likewise, Hughes has played better in his other games - but generally in a pack that was much more in control of the game, and with his focus largely being on carrying.

Both of them seemed to struggle with a situation in which they collectively had to shoulder a bigger workload than usual.

I agree. My solution would be to start Haskell with Hughes and Itoje. I think this was Itoje and Hughes first game playing together too - correct me if I am wrong. Itoje might have not even had played with Wood before either.

It would have been immense if it performed as well as Robshaw,Haskell,Vunipola but that was unfortunately unrealistic.

I still think Itoje has the capabilities to be a 6 but I agree he still must prove himself at international level at 6.



Poorfour I agree. Care-Farrell has worked well in the past.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 10:11 am

Thought you were all against playing guys who aren't match fit?

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Post by beshocked on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 10:15 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Thought you were all against playing guys who aren't match fit?

I am generally against it yes. I wouldn't say that Marler and Hartley were firing on all cylinders but perhaps you disagree.

Haskell was deemed fit enough to play vs France. If he's fit enough to be on the bench, surely he should be deemed fit enough to start as Londontiger suggested in another thread?

Also not like England have lots of other options with Wood struggling for fitness himself, Robshaw and Billy injured.

When you weigh up the options it's either starting the very experienced Haskell who was arguably our best player vs France IMO

or the relatively inexperienced Clifford who has been struggling for match fitness himself.

Yes perhaps there is Harrison too but he's also inexperienced and unproven.


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