How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

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How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by DaveM on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 12:04 pm

England next play NZ in the autumn of 2018. We can be confident that they will be ranked 2 and 1 in the world, but England will have home advantage. I expect this will be one of the most hyped games in the history of rugby. But how will England change between now and then? Obviously there will be injuries, loss of form, players coming from nowhere, etc, but here are some things I expect:

- England will get a lot better. We are still a young and inexperienced side, and I would have thought we would naturally get about 20% better over this timescale.
- Elliot Daly will be fullback. Mike Brown has been a great servant but is in decline, and Daly is a wonderful footballer. I think this might be Daly's long-term position for England.
- Jamie George will be hooker, Luke Cowan-Dickie will be the 'finisher' on the bench, and Itoje will be Captain. Hartley has been lucky in terms of not missing internationals, when he eventually does I think the case for change will be clear.
- Underhill will be in the matchday squad, and will quite possibly be the starting 7. England have some fantastic backrows at age-group level, but Underhill will come into contention before them and he may be able to push past Haskell. I think Robshaw will still be the starting 6 at this point.

What does everyone else think?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by kingelderfield on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 12:11 pm

Can Wade play on the wing Very Happy

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 12:11 pm

I don't expect to see much personnel change before the next world cup and Hartley won't be dropping out of the matchday 23 any time soon but George will probably take over starting. I don't see Itoje as the captain just yet, fantastic a player as he is he's not actually guaranteed to be starting when everyone's fit. There's an argument to be had that if Robshaw was fit he'd be on the bench at the moment.

Haskell will continue at 7 for the forseeable future too, he's pivotal to the defensive set up, he's used to blitz the line as well as clear out as many rucks as possible.

I'd agree that we need a change at full back though.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 1:33 pm

Who is the next full back to back up Mike Brown?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Scottrf on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 2:46 pm

Watson.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:07 pm

I would prefer Daly, with Watson on the wing. Daly has a better kicking game which is crucial for a 15.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Scottrf on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:22 pm

But Daly doesn't play there, Watson does.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by king_carlos on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:45 pm

The summer tour will be an interesting indication of who Jones sees as genuine challengers to the settled match day squads he has selected.

If Ford goes on the Lions tour as well as Farrell - by no means guaranteed of course with the strength at 10 - then who plays 10 will be particularly interesting. Lozowski is the next man in the squad but I don't think many would argue him better than Cipriani.

1.Genge 2.Taylor 3.Sinckler 4.Ewels 5.Lawes/Launchbury 6.Clifford 7.Underhill 8.Hughes
9.Care 10.Lozowski 11.May 12.Te'o 13.Slade 14.Yarde 15.Haley

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Mullan 18.Hill 19.Attwood 20.Wood 21.Robson 22.Cipriani 23.Roko

With many on the Lions tour and/or rested it isn't out of possibility for a side that different to be fielded in Argentina.

A few players such as Brown, Robshaw and Haskell that may miss out in very competitive positions could realistically be rested anyway. That's valid for the second rows too but I expect that Jones will take an experienced lock with him if he can.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by englandglory4ever on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:49 pm

Mike Brown is not in decline. He does what Mike Brown always does. ie, be a very solid fullback with a great left foot clearance kick that often gets the team going forward on the counter attack.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by king_carlos on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:50 pm

As for the full strength side.

For what it's worth I think that Jones will keep Daly on the wing and Watson will be long term full back. Watson is stronger defending at full back than he is on the wing. His positional play is also much better than Dalys. He's also a fantastic support runner which aids him joining the line from the back.

This is what I think the coaches are moving towards:

1.Marler 2.George 3.Cole 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.Robshaw 7.Haskell 8.Vunipola (c)
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.Daly 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Nowell 15.Watson

16.Hartley 17.Vunipola 18.Sinckler 19.Lawes 20.Underhill 21.Care 22.Te'o 23.May

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by king_carlos on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:51 pm

englandglory4ever wrote:Mike Brown is not in decline. He does what Mike Brown always does. ie, be a very solid fullback with a great left foot clearance kick that often gets the team going forward on the counter attack.
I'd largely agree with that. Whether he's in decline may become an irrelevant argument if someone overtakes him though.

I can see Watson doing that.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 4:54 pm

Not looked at the stats, but I think Brown is making fewer breaks and beating fewer defenders than before. The way he plays, that would be decline and highlights his weaknesses, e.g. you can excuse him not passing if he's beating the first man.

How long Robshaw and Haskell stay in the team will depend on their fitness and maintaining their form, but even shorn of them we have the option of Itoje at 6 or starting both Vunipola and Hughes, with Clifford and Underhill as options on the other flank. Harrison is also an option, and then Jones and Williams have been in squads. I think this is going to be a real test of Eddie Jones' ability to identify talent, as there will be limited opportunities and he'll want to give those to his best prospects, starting in Argentina.

I'd love to see England look to develop their team by starting more carrying options. So a pack like: Mako, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Launchbury, Billy, Underhill and Hughes. Then we could load up more options on the bench like Genge, LCD, Hill, Lawes and Clifford and batter teams for 80 minutes. But them we were fine as were against Scotland, so whether that's overkill I'm not sure.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by DaveM on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 5:45 pm

king_carlos wrote:As for the full strength side.

For what it's worth I think that Jones will keep Daly on the wing and Watson will be long term full back. Watson is stronger defending at full back than he is on the wing. His positional play is also much better than Dalys. He's also a fantastic support runner which aids him joining the line from the back.

This is what I think the coaches are moving towards:

1.Marler 2.George 3.Cole 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.Robshaw 7.Haskell 8.Vunipola (c)
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.Daly 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Nowell 15.Watson

16.Hartley 17.Vunipola 18.Sinckler 19.Lawes 20.Underhill 21.Care 22.Te'o 23.May

I disagree on FB - Jones said quite clearly earlier in the tournament that he didn't think wing was Daly's long-term position. And I don't think Bath or England see Watson as a fullback anymore. As I recall a couple of seasons back Daly had quite a run at FB for Wasps, and I think he is a far better player now. His play-making and boot, as well as his pace and step, seem to make him well suited to FB - an Alex Goode with added pace. I'll be amazed if Jones doesn't give him some starts there over the next 18 months to see if he can handle the high ball. In general I can't see how anyone can argue Brown isn't in decline - he's not the player of a few years' back.

For me lock is wide open. I expect Itoje will start, but then you can make a case for any of Kruis, Launchbury or Lawes. In 18 months time I think Earls will have taken May' bench spot. I don't see the point of having Hartley on the bench - I think you either start him or drop him. Whether Haskell is starting in 18 months depend on whether he can stay reasonably fit (it sounds like his toe will be an on-going issue) and keep the intensity up for that long, as well as how quickly Underhill settles at Bath. I like Haskell as a 7 and would have no problem with him still starting if he has earned the spot.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by DaveM on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 5:52 pm

king_carlos wrote:The summer tour will be an interesting indication of who Jones sees as genuine challengers to the settled match day squads he has selected.

1.Genge 2.Taylor 3.Sinckler 4.Ewels 5.Lawes/Launchbury 6.Clifford 7.Underhill 8.Hughes
9.Care 10.Lozowski 11.May 12.Te'o 13.Slade 14.Yarde 15.Haley

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Mullan 18.Hill 19.Attwood 20.Wood 21.Robson 22.Cipriani 23.Roko


I think this is broadly right, although I doubt Cipriani will tour. It will be interesting to see if Jones sees Lozowski or Slade as being the next cab of the rank at 10. I also wonder if Tompkins or James will feature in the centres. I wouldn't mind Addison being given a go at OC, but suspect that would be unlikely. LCD seems to be closer to the senior side than Taylor to date doesn't he? And how has Haley's form been this season?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 7:11 pm

What do we think for the Argentina game? Will it purely be eyes on the future or will we want some experienced heads in there to give them more shape and structure? For example, I could easily see Wood captaining the tour and just as easily see him not going.

If any of these players aren't injured or called up on the Lions, I wouldn't consider them for Argentina. Hartley, Cole, Robshaw, Haskell, Youngs, Farrell and Brown. Other than that I guess just pick the best of who doesn't go.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Cumbrian on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 7:40 pm

Eddie has got to be looking to the future with the Argentina tour hasn't he? Some of our first choice players are desperately going to need a rest by then. Also, teams that supply lots of players to the Lions suffer in the post Lions year (injuries, player burn out etc) I would like to see some players brought on.

I believe we'll see a fringe squad with guys like Clifford / Sinkler included. A name I would throw in is Val Rapava-Ruskin.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 7:55 pm

I think for the summer tour, depending on how many p-layers go on the lions tour. England will bring on players from maybe the under 20s. players who have been in the eps squad but have not had much game time.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by DaveM on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 8:26 pm

I don't think he will take an under 23 side, as he will want to keep the momentum up. However, as England should have a decent umber of Lions there should be opportunities for some new combinations. I think we will see players who have previously ben involved in extended squads, and quite a few from the 6 Nations squad. Newish players will include:

Sinckler, Genge, Marchant (I forgot him above), Slade, Lozowski, Teo, Ewels, Clifford, LCD, Taylor, Hughes, Hill, Robson etc and possibly Underhill. I wouldn't be surprised if players like Brown, Care, Mullan, Robshaw (if he doesn't make the Lions), May, Yarde plus which ever of the regular locks doesn't make the Lions, and either of the first choice loose heads, travelled.

I'd like to see Earls go if he keeps his form, and I'd also like to see Mallinder picked to give the England coaches time to work on his defence (from what I've seen his attacking play is fantastic).

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 8:33 pm

Cumbrian

How far in the future though? We don't want to make it a glorified Saxons tour, otherwise you'll miss some of the intensity you get from the first team squad. You need some leaders that know what a full-blooded test series is like, or the whole tour will be at a lower intensity and the players won't get the full benefit of am international tour.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Cumbrian on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 8:53 pm

Yeah I'm not talking about sending kids down there for a jolly. Should have a core of experienced players including the likes of Jamie George, Matt Mullan, at least one of the second rows, Danny Care, Jonny May etc.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Poorfour on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 9:12 pm

Realistically, England could be missing pretty much an entire first XV with Lions and injuries, so there will be plenty of new players being tried out regardless.

I'd support perhaps resting any senior players who don't go with the Lions , or maybe taking them but not playing them too hard.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 9:42 am

Whilst players are doing the job asked of them...don't expect huge changes. They will be individually expected to continue to improve.

For example as long as Haskell is hitting the heights of his Aussie tour performances then he wont be replaced.

The challengers be it Underhill, the Currys, Haley, Addison, Mercer etc etc etc will need to match the required standards.

The summer tour to Argentina wont be a weak Saxons tour. Every senior player not on the lions will tour. Have no doubt.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by cascough on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 9:50 am

I wouldn't rest anyone.

Usually, I'd agree that the summer tour presents an opportunity to rest a couple of players, but given we will already be shorn of players because of the Lions, I don't think we will have the luxury.

It's important to keep some consistency/structure/momentum. How much do you really learn about players if you're putting out an entirely second string side?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:03 am

Effectively whos going on the lions will decide the make up of the squad to tour Argentina?

If there are certainties...you'd possibly say:
Farrell
Cole
Mako V
Billy V
Joseph
George over Hartley I think
Itoje
Watson
Daly (Covers 3 positions)
Youngs

The rest...who knows. Launchbury has put his hand up as has Lawes..but all nations have some amazing locks!

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:10 am

Is Watson really a certainty to tour with the lions?

This round of 6 nations shows that there is still a lot of change that can happen.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:10 am

Team to play Argentina?? Rough idea

1 Marler (Lions??)
2 Hartley
3 Sinkler
4 Kruis
5 Launchbury / Lawes (Unless they're Lions?)
6 Robshaw
7 Haskell (Lions?)
8 Hughes

9 Care
10 Slade?  
11 Yarde
12 Teo
13 Nowell (Is he with the Lions? Probably not)
14 May
15 Brown (Cant see him being a Lion but who knows??) if he is Haley


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:11 am

beshocked wrote:Is Watson really a certainty to tour with the lions?

This round of 6 nations shows that there is still a lot of change that can happen.

In my eyes yes. He's a winger that can make things happen and is scintillating when fit.

Which wingers are better in the other home nations?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Fluxy on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:14 am

Based on that, you can midly assume that the side could be made up of:

1. Genge/Mullan
2. Cowan-Dickie/Taylor
3. Sinckler/Hill
4. Attwood/Lawes (possibly the least likely of our four best locks to tour with the Lions)
5. Ewels/Kruis (want to see him on the Lions, but don't see him getting enough time)
6. Ewers/Robshaw (see Kruis)
7. Underhill/Thacker/J Chisholm
8. Hughes/Morgan
9. Care/Robson
10. Lozowski/Cipriani
11. Yarde/Rokodoguni
12. Te'o/Slade
13. Tompkins/S James/Marchant
14. May/Solomona (maybe!)
15. Haley/Brown

Hardly a bad 30 odd players to test out in different combinations over the summer.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:21 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Is Watson really a certainty to tour with the lions?

This round of 6 nations shows that there is still a lot of change that can happen.

In my eyes yes. He's a winger that can make things happen and is scintillating when fit.

Which wingers are better in the other home nations?

Well I think North and Williams will be first choice. Williams is arguably the form winger and North had a good game vs Ireland.

Watson might tour though.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:23 am

beshocked wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Is Watson really a certainty to tour with the lions?

This round of 6 nations shows that there is still a lot of change that can happen.

In my eyes yes. He's a winger that can make things happen and is scintillating when fit.

Which wingers are better in the other home nations?

Well I think North and Williams will be first choice. Williams is arguably the form winger and North had a good game vs Ireland.

Watson might tour though.

North had a good game and will be 1st choice. Williams...don't see him better than Watson sorry and Watson is just returning from injury. He's not in full fitness mode just yet. Nice options to have though.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:26 am

If Watson has a good game vs Ireland he'll put himself into contention but as things stand L.Williams is in the driving seat IMO.

Plus Gatland is in his corner.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:26 am

English Lions Tourists (just my opinion):

Certainities:

Cole, Itoje, BillyV, Farrell, JJ


Strong Contenders:

Mako, Marler, Hartley, George, Launchbury, Lawes, Kruis, Youngs, Daly, Watson


Contenders:
Robshaw, Haskell, Care (instead of Youngs as a dynamic bench option),Ford,


Left Field Contenders

Cipriani, Solomona


No-chance

Hughes, Brown



IF we lose all 15 I have in the top two groups, then the front five would be very short of experience - though with the quality of locks in other countries we probably will not lose all four. It will be very much a make-shift lineup in Argentina - but even with the players missing I would like us to be phasing out anyone at this point rather than waiting to Autumn or 6Ns 2018.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:29 am

Cipriani seriously? If you think he has a chance go to the bookies.

Surely you'll have great odds.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:32 am

I believe he should have no chance, but Gatland has name checked Cipriani in the press.

I appreciate your mocking tone too, always welcome on a Monday morning.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:34 am

beshocked wrote:If Watson has a good game vs Ireland he'll put himself into contention but as things stand L.Williams is in the driving seat IMO.

Plus Gatland is in his corner.

Expect a heavily loaded Welsh squad then...

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:35 am

If Williams gets in though it's not due to bias. Fantastic player and really showed his physicality too Friday.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:37 am

Cipriani is one of those players that a long time ago there were high hopes for - he'd won the HC at full back as a young man in 2007 - looking composed.

Ran the show beautifully from 10 vs Ireland in 2008. Then injury struck and also his ability went to his head.

Not dissimilar to Henson - two pretty boys with bags of talent but not quite composed/focused enough.


To be fair both have knuckled down a bit but still the composure isn't quite there.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:49 am

Would love to see Zach Mercer get more exposure to senior rugby. He turns 20 in June, so is still young, but has a lot of promise.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:51 am

Is Zach Mercer big enough currently? Obviously at the moment England have a lot of bulk in the backrow.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:11 am

Most of our backrowers coming through aren't that big.

We have no Haskell sized freaks coming through.....that I can think of anyway.

But I do agree Mercer needs to just but a bit of bulk on, but not too much that it affects his game.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:13 am

Geordiefalcon but when you look at the size of Hughes,Billy,Haskell and now putting Itoje in the backrow it seems to be where England are planning to stay.

It's based on power and managed to dominate the smaller Scottish backrow.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:16 am

You debate with me even though im in agreeance he needs to put weight on?? Headscratch

Im merely saying he needs to be careful not to put too much as his game is different to that of Hughes, Billy and Haskell. They're power machines...Mercer to me looks more of a glider..

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by propdavid_london on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:28 am

Chisholm isn't the biggest chap - and yet aggression in the carry is very good.
Mercer needs a little bit more on him before senior rugby though - wont take long.
These are all quite young chaps and they have plenty of time to fill out. Lawrence Dallaglio wasn't the hulking specimen he became in his latter playing years - although wasn't any less of a ball carrier.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by robbo277 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:38 am

Beaumont is in the England squad this week, and with Lions out this summer I can easily imagine him getting a couple of caps.

Mercer should go to the JWC, assuming he'll still be eligible? A fantastic tournament and one we should be encouraging people to go to.

What about the back-ups? Let's take 12 for instance.

Farrell, our best 12, will go with the Lions, unless injury rules him out.
Te'o, our second best 12, will start for England against Argentina.

Who should be our centre cover? Should we go with a player like Devoto or Hill, who have been in squads previously? Or do we go with a Harry Mallinder so the coaches can have a look at him and give him some pointers and work-ons over the 2017/18 season.

A midfield of Ford (Cipriani if Ford goes with the Lions) and Lozowski at 10, Te'o and Slade starting in the centres and Mallinder and Marchant going for the ride would be a good blend of proper test players and eyes on the future.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:41 am

Yeah Dallaglio is a good example.

I just think bar the trio mentioned above...most of the back rowers coming through aren't huge...

Chisholm, Clifford, Harrison, Mercer, Underhill, Curry's, Evans, etc etc.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by propdavid_london on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:59 am

Agree that we have shied away from the English Orcs of old.....and have gone down the wiry mobile back rowers of Woods, Tom Johnstons etc.
The impact of Billy V does prove that we really do still need some ballast there at all times.

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by propdavid_london on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 12:00 pm

Or that weird 6N when we played Wood at no.8..

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Fluxy on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 12:05 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yeah Dallaglio is a good example.

I just think bar the trio mentioned above...most of the back rowers coming through aren't huge...

Chisholm, Clifford, Harrison, Mercer, Underhill, Curry's, Evans, etc etc.

Dave Ewers perhaps?

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by cascough on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 12:10 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Agree that we have shied away from the English Orcs of old.....and have gone down the wiry mobile back rowers of Woods, Tom Johnstons etc.
The impact of Billy V does prove that we really do still need some ballast there at all times.

Did Ben Woods ever get capped? He could play in the centre a bit couldn't he?

I don't know who Tom Johnston is?

Seriously though, it's always been and always will be about balance, surely?


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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by lostinwales on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 12:25 pm

Dallaglio reinvented himself as a muscly no.8 following a knee injury that killed his pace.

I first remember him from that first 7's world cup that England managed to steal under the noses of the SH teams. He was pretty quick in those days

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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

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