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

First topic message reminder :

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 BamBam on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:54 am

beshocked wrote:no 7 & 1/2 I've not actually claimed that Farrell has defended well, neither player has defended well going by those stats. I said Farrell isn't as defensively poor which going by the stats he isn't.

It's an area NZ will target.

Bambam no not really. Just don't expect 10s to be smashed backwards. Wilkinson was the best but Sexton and Carter are more physical than Ford.

The 10 most like Ford is Russell and he's not famed for his tackling.

I was replying more to cascough who posted about RL hiding their playmakers and wondering why we don't do the same in union

Wilko and Carter are arguably the two best fly halves of all time, and Sexton is known as a very physical 10 in the Farrell mold

How would you compare Ford to other fly halves like Biggar, Cruden, Barrett, Russell, Lopez, Sanchez, Jantjies, Foley etc

I wouldn't say Ford stands out as a massive weakness in comparison to any of those guys, none are particularly dominant defenders like Wilko/Sexton etc

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 9:56 am

Lies damn lies and stats eh. They're useful but not the be all and end all. The major evolution of this team will come at full back and the back row at 7.

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

Post by beshocked on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:16 am

6 is not the same as 8.


robbo277 defending at 12 is different than 10. We all know that Farrell is a big 10 but small centre.

Bambam compared to those other 10s I don't know. I still think it's an area to be targeted by other teams.

The tackle stats by Ford are still not good even if you say Farrell is almost as poor.

Perhaps England can target NZ's 10s too.

You have to ask the question - should Ford improve his defence? Yes. Is it likely NZ will target Ford? Yes.

Needs to work on it.

no 7 & 1/2 in the past I'd say an evolution in the backrow at 7 was needed but with Haskell's effectiveness under Jones not sure a specialist is needed at the moment.

He's been given an important role and is doing it.

England have to look at where they can attack NZ too. Perhaps they can do it with a strong balance of physicality and good game management.

I do worry that NZ would attack Ford-Farrell with more venom than any of the sides England has faced so far.

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

Post by robbo277 on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:40 am

beshocked wrote:robbo277 defending at 12 is different than 10. We all know that Farrell is a big 10 but small centre.

You have to ask the question - should Ford improve his defence? Yes.

Both fair points, the stats are limited with what they can tell you, but at the moment they're saying that they're missing tackles at the same rate. There may of course be mitigation.

Ford too should be looking to get his tackle percentage up, regardless of what others are doing.

beshocked wrote:I do worry that NZ would attack Ford-Farrell with more venom than any of the sides England has faced so far.

Ford's main weakness is his size, but New Zealand aren't going to be piling big one-off runners down his channel the way South Africa might. I'd definitely rather have a more nimble defender trying to mark Barrett, and positioning will be more important than technique or size.

You might see Savea running off his wing and down the 10 channel, but I think most, if not all 10s would have a problem with that. In that instance you'd really need a flanker helping out, regardless of who your 10 was.

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

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:44 am

While Wilkinson was a big hitter in defence, he also fell off tackles or missed entirely when faced by nimble opponents.

Excepting John Eales, nobody is perfect.

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

Post by ebop on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:45 am

Always think of Jonny boy as a boot and not much else. He was brave I guess but he wasn't no trail blazing hard man.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Cyril on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:51 am

ebop wrote:Always think of Jonny boy as a boot and not much else. He was brave I guess but he wasn't no trail blazing hard man.

Not just a boot mate Smile


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

Post by ebop on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:54 am

Whole lot of kicking there Cyril

Proved my point mate Smile
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Cyril on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:56 am

ebop wrote:Whole lot of kicking there Cyril

Proved my point mate Smile
Aye, Jonny was going for the drop-goal for that try near the end but it landed a bit short and he was forced to make it look like a chip-and-chase Smile


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

Post by ebop on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 10:59 am

Cyril wrote:
ebop wrote:Whole lot of kicking there Cyril

Proved my point mate Smile
Aye, Jonny was going for the drop-goal for that try near the end but it landed a bit short and he was forced to make it look like a chip-and-chase Smile

I'll be 100% honest with you Cyril

I fell asleep before I got to that chip-and-chase
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Cyril on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:04 am

ebop wrote:
Cyril wrote:
ebop wrote:Whole lot of kicking there Cyril

Proved my point mate Smile
Aye, Jonny was going for the drop-goal for that try near the end but it landed a bit short and he was forced to make it look like a chip-and-chase Smile

I'll be 100% honest with you Cyril

I fell asleep before I got to that chip-and-chase
All those sleepless nights worrying about Eddie and the Red Rose coming to get ya?

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

Post by ebop on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:08 am

Cyril wrote:
ebop wrote:
Cyril wrote:
ebop wrote:Whole lot of kicking there Cyril

Proved my point mate Smile
Aye, Jonny was going for the drop-goal for that try near the end but it landed a bit short and he was forced to make it look like a chip-and-chase Smile

I'll be 100% honest with you Cyril

I fell asleep before I got to that chip-and-chase
All those sleepless nights worrying about Eddie and the Red Rose coming to get ya?
Haha, yeah it's bubbling away nicely isn't it

Until then, England can talk about wanting to be great and wanting to be number one and wanting this and that

We'll just chill
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by lostinwales on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 12:11 pm

ebop wrote:Always think of Jonny boy as a boot and not much else. He was brave I guess but he wasn't no trail blazing hard man.

As for the tackling just ask N'Tamack...

JW wasn't always the most imaginative player, and he wasn't quick. But he was exceptional at most FH skills- passing for instance. And he was relentlessly brilliant at keeping the scoreboard moving. Had he not spent so much of his career injured his points total may well have stayed out of reach of even Carter.


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

Post by Poorfour on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 12:46 pm

lostinwales wrote:
ebop wrote:Always think of Jonny boy as a boot and not much else. He was brave I guess but he wasn't no trail blazing hard man.

As for the tackling just ask N'Tamack...

JW wasn't always the most imaginative player, and he wasn't quick. But he was exceptional at most FH skills- passing for instance. And he was relentlessly brilliant at keeping the scoreboard moving. Had he not spent so much of his career injured his points total may well have stayed out of reach of even Carter.


Wilkinson and Greenwood were an exceptional combination - Greenwood had the vision that comes with having a revolutionary coach for a dad, and Wilkinson's almost OCD pursuit of perfection enabled him to execute.

Ford and Farrell aren't quite as complete as a unit - Ford's defence being the obvious point where they don't match up to their illustrious predecessors. But they have a similar dynamic - one player with vision and one who can execute.

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

Post by cascough on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 12:49 pm

BamBam wrote:
beshocked wrote:no 7 & 1/2 I've not actually claimed that Farrell has defended well, neither player has defended well going by those stats. I said Farrell isn't as defensively poor which going by the stats he isn't.

It's an area NZ will target.

Bambam no not really. Just don't expect 10s to be smashed backwards. Wilkinson was the best but Sexton and Carter are more physical than Ford.

The 10 most like Ford is Russell and he's not famed for his tackling.

I was replying more to cascough who posted about RL hiding their playmakers and wondering why we don't do the same in union

Wilko and Carter are arguably the two best fly halves of all time, and Sexton is known as a very physical 10 in the Farrell mold

How would you compare Ford to other fly halves like Biggar, Cruden, Barrett, Russell, Lopez, Sanchez, Jantjies, Foley etc

I wouldn't say Ford stands out as a massive weakness in comparison to any of those guys, none are particularly dominant defenders like Wilko/Sexton etc

Agree with this. I'd be interested to see how Fords stats stack up against his performance in the autumn and in the summer tours, where I thought his defence was excellent. It would also be interesting to see how his stats hold up against other 10s. That would have limited value though as it depends how they are deployed in a system. Farrell will always be prone to miss more currently since he is often the one rushing up aggressively.

The other things stats don't measure in this context is how often they are in position to make a tackle. Dunbar and Jones only missed one each at the weekend but if you watched the game you'd know that was hardly indicative of their defensive performance. As well as his desire to make a tackle, Ford's line speed is excellent which will often force a pass. In that regard that's a defensive job well done which can't be captured in a stat as simplistic as missed tackles. Similarly when people talk about physicality in the tackle, there is so much more to defence than that. Think of someone like Alesana Tuilagi who used to tun his hips away from the touchline and rush from outside in to make a big hit. It was very eye catching and certainly a plus to his team if he connected. But he'd often get done on the outside or the opposition would pass it and waltz into the space he'd just left as a result. What he should have done instead was turn his hips to the touchline and drift out and allow his team to better defend as a unit to close the space down.

And that's the point really isn't it. It will be very hard to judge someones defensive capabilities on stats alone and as such will always be subjective. A team that plays with an aggressive blitz defence might be prone to missing more tackles and potentially getting done on the outside. A team that plays with a more passive drift defence will probably be less susceptible to missing tackles, but may concede more ground. I don't watch much Bath but with England I feel Ford brings good organisation and commitment and is overall a plus in defence. If he was the liability a lot of people claim, then I'd expect to be conceding a bucket load of tries. What I'm not seeing, is anyone being able to exert any sort of sustained pressure on England down the 10 channel.


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

Post by Alex_Germany on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 6:52 pm

I think England are slightly weak at:
- Scrum half. Youngs is good, but not as good as Connor Murray. Could Robson come into the team?
- Fullback. Discussed above. Hayley was all the rage a year ago - but doesn't get mentioned any more.

Also I think Sinkler has looked devastatingly good in broken play - to the point I would put him on the bench for the Lions. For the last 20 minutes, there is no one better. Anyway, if his scrummaging keeps improving, could he be starting?

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

Post by Alex_Germany on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 6:54 pm

cascough wrote:
The other things stats don't measure in this context is how often they are in position to make a tackle.
I think after a few years of playing, Wilkinson had to make fewer tackles. Attackers knew if they ran at him, they'd be dumped on their backside.

Those he did make though cost him with injuries.

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

Post by robbo277 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 12:27 pm

So how are we feeling on this after the Ireland game?

Do we need more carriers in the starting pack? As we don't have a big ball carrier in the backs?

Do we need to look at the back row balance? Do we have good enough candidates to replace Robshaw and/or Haskell?

Is our midfield as good as we thought after the Scotland game? Do we need to start with a Te'o type player?

In the back three, what are we thinking about Mike Brown? Good things still outweighing the bad, or having watched Payne link Ireland's attack do we think we should trial someone who is better at doing that?

I don't think we should be throwing the baby out with the bath water, but I think firstly we need to tweak the pack slightly as we don't have a big carrier at 12. We could consider Hughes and Vunipola in the same back-row, or some of our bench front-rowers coming into the starting line-up. Or both. We're not quite where we were in 2013, but we need more carrying options to push teams onto the back foot.

I would also change our 15 to try to get more out of our wings. We know Brown's limitations, and I think we need to expand our game and show more ambition with our counter-attacking game. I would think about Daly here.

If we put more of a passer at 15, we could eventually revert to one of Ford or Farrell at 10, Te'o at 12 and Joseph at 13. But I think for now that would be too much, if one experiment failed it might be hard to disentangle exactly which one had and why.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 12:42 pm

England arent much different from a cliche Australia side, just with a good front row.

When teams let them play their fast open game they are pretty lethal. But they will always leak scores, and in stodgy games they seem to lose their ability to execute skills.

I dont know why people are still trying to talk up Englands backs as solid defenders...they really arent, especially at 9-12 relative to other top teams. Its not what they are picked for, and what most of the internet has argued England and other teams should stop doing ...but it does move the pressure elsewhere.

Ultimately though its very hard for any team to compete when they keep collectively getting the yips, dropping passes and generaly fluffing good ooportunities. This seems to happen more against the "boring" sides, Italy really showed up how putting them off plan can lead to an all round collective freeze for a while. Wales and Ireland played pretty conservative defensive styles and restricted them with the same effect (in Wales' case not for long enough).

Reminiscent of Eddie Jones team of years gone by ...


Maybe its partly a psycological thing. I dont see a great deal of specific weak links in personel to change stuff. Robshaw back in the mix would be a bonus but not fundamental change the team. Ditto Kruis.

Change in Capatin will get reared again. If youre hauling him off at 55 minutes in a crucial game with the team behind its a thing. Espeically if its felt the team lacks leaders elsewhere. If Hartley goes witrh the Lions then someone else will get a go. It would still be a hell of a decision to make that change.

Really for me theres a need to look at how it is teams are putting them off their game and addressing how to control the tempo of the game and not lose the ability to perform when they cant.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:03 pm

Think you've also got to consider this was away in Ireland in not great weather after 18 games unbeaten and we lost by 4 after being rubbish.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:59 pm

Yeah Im considering also that England struggled against Wales, struggled for a period against Italy and didnt play well early against France.

Certainly no ripping up of the teamsheet but you can see a pattern of the games theyve had a rough time in. The weather etc certainly didnt play into their strong suit, nor did the wind in the Italy game.

Adapating better to those kind of games is where they can improve, and if they are going to make a step up to challenge as number one they have to do that.

Im dissapointed but far from despondant about the team and their potential. Its the best we have had for a long time.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:08 pm

Very much so. Would be interesting in another parallel universe where Te'o didn't get concussed how that would impact. Overall though there were several instances where we were getting jnto position where players made stupid mistakes. Certainly a game where you'd think Kruis would've thrived.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Think you've also got to consider this was away in Ireland in not great weather after 18 games unbeaten and we lost by 4 after being rubbish.

You lost because you were rubbish?

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:36 pm

Definitely contributed. If we'd played to our peak or close to it think we would have won.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:43 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Definitely contributed. If we'd played to our peak or close to it think we would have won.

Well you have won once in Dublin in 10 years and havent scored a try there in three games. Maybe you did play your best?

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:46 pm

Nope poor knock ons etc. Kicks out on full. Those are mistakes we haven't been making. Past ten years doesn't really matter as it's a different set of players on the whole and a different coaching team.

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

Post by king_carlos on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 2:46 pm

Many will say it's pointing out the obvious but as an England fan I felt we lost because we didn't gain the same ruck dominance as usually seen under Jones.

Under Jones the side as a whole, but forwards especially, have usually won the physical battle. There hasn't been subtlety to the tactics but Jones has targeted winning the breakdown battle with lots of numbers and huge aggression clearing well beyond the ball.

Ireland won that physical battle at the breakdown as well as in collisions. From there England didn't have a plan b to go to without the quick ball and security that ruck dominance has given them.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:09 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Nope poor knock ons etc. Kicks out on full.  Those are mistakes we haven't been making.  Past ten years doesn't really matter as it's a different set of players on the whole and a different coaching team.

Maybe you were put under a lot of pressure by a fairly committed Ireland side?

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:10 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Nope poor knock ons etc. Kicks out on full.  Those are mistakes we haven't been making.  Past ten years doesn't really matter as it's a different set of players on the whole and a different coaching team.

Maybe you were put under a lot of pressure by a fairly committed Ireland side?
That's true for sure, but it also wasn't the best performance.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:11 pm

We were. Doesn't go against the fact we played poorly though. You may be saying we played poorly as we weren't given the chance to play I'd disagree and say there were several poor unpressurised pieces of play by England which stopped us in our tracks.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:16 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Nope poor knock ons etc. Kicks out on full.  Those are mistakes we haven't been making.  Past ten years doesn't really matter as it's a different set of players on the whole and a different coaching team.

Maybe you were put under a lot of pressure by a fairly committed Ireland side?

Yeah and England tend to collectively go to pieces more than they should when that happens.

Whether its being over coached and not adaptable enough to work around the opposition not letting them play the way they wantedto or just plain "not liking it up em" England need to react better to not having things their own way and playing teams who make them fight for space. Part of that may be on the field leadership.
Irelands way of going about things is part of what triggered Englands poor performance. Same as happened for long sections of 3 other games

There may also have been some tactical errors in that game alluded to elsehwere, relying on smacking Sexton at every opportunity didnt work out for them ...just gavce away penalties.

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

Post by Breadvan on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:27 pm

5 lives Chris Jones said yesterday, part 2 of EJs 4 year plan had finished with the 6 nations and the next part was for quite a few changes to players. Mainly the ones that are 30 and over. So that's Haskell, Brown, Hartley, Wood. Maybe will see a more fresher look to the squad in the autumn?
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by mid_gen on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:29 pm

king_carlos wrote:Many will say it's pointing out the obvious but as an England fan I felt we lost because we didn't gain the same ruck dominance as usually seen under Jones.

Under Jones the side as a whole, but forwards especially, have usually won the physical battle. There hasn't been subtlety to the tactics but Jones has targeted winning the breakdown battle with lots of numbers and huge aggression clearing well beyond the ball.

Ireland won that physical battle at the breakdown as well as in collisions. From there England didn't have a plan b to go to without the quick ball and security that ruck dominance has given them.

We lost the game because we coughed possession whenever had the ball. Lineout was pants as well.

I don't think we've dominated any sides in contact this tournament. We've been winning because we've been clinical when we've had the ball. That went out the window in Dublin.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:30 pm

Its just a one off game anyway. Its hardly surprising that a team loses every now and then.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:32 pm

Breadvan wrote:5 lives Chris Jones said yesterday, part 2 of EJs 4 year plan had finished with the 6 nations and the next part was for quite a few changes to players. Mainly the ones that are 30 and over. So that's Haskell, Brown, Hartley, Wood. Maybe will see a more fresher look to the squad in the autumn?

You would have to expect that you will particularly with a fairly experimental touring squad in June.

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:34 pm

Who can we cap for the future? Is Underhill ready for an away series vs Argentina? Haley? Robson? Maybe get Slade back into the setup?


Last edited by Scottrf on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Gooseberry on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:34 pm

Breadvan wrote:5 lives Chris Jones said yesterday, part 2 of EJs 4 year plan had finished with the 6 nations and the next part was for quite a few changes to players. Mainly the ones that are 30 and over. So that's Haskell, Brown, Hartley, Wood. Maybe will see a more fresher look to the squad in the autumn?

Wood was only ever a fill in.
Brown, theres an increasing bandwagon against him but I dont think getting rid of him would sort out their defensive issues or leasdership problems.

Hartley...OK whos captain? There is an argument which Im sure beshocked will be happy to make against him. And also point out we dont really have a number 3 thanks to a lack of rotation.

Haskell...none of the contenders have stepped up to push him out.

Cares also over 30 now. If he or Youngs goes to the Lions someone will have to be given a chance over the summer at least from the Bench.

Cole will hit 30 in a few weeks. Is Siinckler ready to push him or do we go for the scrum first loose skill second (although Coles likley to be off with the lions again giving the opportunity to experiment)

Theres beena lot of natural rotation through injuries and some changes (like dropping JJ for a time) that have given Jones a chnce to try out the next generations. Some have shone bettr than others, certainly the backrow havent really put themselsves out there.




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

Post by robbo277 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:03 pm

I looked into it after Guns mentioned that Schmidt has trialled 19 new caps after the World Cup.

Eddie Jones gave out 4 new caps in last year's tournament, 4 in the summer, 4 in the autumn and none so far this year.


Players he's capped include Itoje, Daly, Sinckler, Te'o, Hughes who are all establishing themselves in the squad.

Obviously this will be added to in the summer, but maybe some of the senior players had an important role in bringing through some of these new caps, but now he can look at swapping some out?

I'd like to see Eddie Jones pick an Eddie Jones team. This is the team I'd pick with players in brackets if the starter goes with the Lions.

Mako Vunipola (Genge)
George (Taylor)
Sinckler (Hill)

2 of Itoje, Launchbury, Lawes or Kruis (Ewels as next option)

Clifford
Underhill
Billy Vunipola (Hughes)

Care (Youngs if Care goes with the Lions)
Ford (Lozowski)
Slade
Te'o (Hill)

Nowell (May first cover, Wade second)
Watson (May first cover, Wade second)
Daly (Haley)

Taylor (Cowan-Dickie)
Genge (Mullan)
Hill (Thomas??)
Any of the above second rows not picked (Attwood)
Hughes (Harrison)
Robson
Cipriani
Haley (May, Wade, Yarde)

I'd sit out Marler, Hartley, Cole, Robshaw, Haskell, Youngs*, Farrell and Brown regardless of whether they go with the Lions or not, although they would still be in contention for the Autumn. I'd then pick a second row or my 9 as captain.

*I'd sit out Youngs if Care was available. If Care goes to the Lions and Youngs didn't, I'd take Youngs to Argentina.

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:06 pm

It could be worse. Wales have only capped three players. Yes three players.

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

Post by robbo277 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 5:22 pm

What does Jones think of his squad?

After two Six Nations in charge, Jones runs the rule over his England squad:

Front row: "We don't have three tightheads. We've got Dan Cole doing an exceptional job, we've got Kyle Sinckler coming through. We want Paul Hill to come through, and we want one more in that position to come through. The rest of the front row is pretty good."

Second row: "At lock we're exceptional. At this stage Maro Itoje is essentially a lock who can fill in at the back row. Courtney Lawes is the same and that adds great flexibility."

Back row: "Like always we still need to revise the back row and see how we can improve it."

Half-backs: "We need a third scrum-half, but for fly-halves we're good."

Centres: "We're good at 12 and at 13."

Wingers: "We're outstanding for wings."

Full-back: "We're still looking for other options. We do need a couple of other guys, but I think they are within the squad."

Interesting stuff from Jones appended to the bottom of this BBC article. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/39329353

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

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 5:27 pm

Who is England's third scrum half?

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

Post by hugehandoff on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 5:43 pm

For me I would give England about a 3 out of 5 for their 6Ns performance. They might have won the title, but their performances, Scotland excepting, were underwhelming.

Areas to be addressed:

1. The forwards got beasted a few times. Initially I put this down to picking Marler and Hartley who had little game time, plus Billy and the Brand missing games and returning from injury. But this excuse was invalid by the time of the Ireland match. We always looked stronger with Jamie George and Dan Cole never impresses me.

2. Ford and Farrell combo are terrific when the pack is going forward and Ford can stand flat and put people into gaps, but when under pressure it does not work the same way. Then we need Farrell at 10 and some go forward at 12. I think I would prefer Ford to come off the bench.

3. Brown at 15 is amazingly brave and strong in defence, but he just does not link up with his wingers. Time to move on. Watson has to be given a chance.

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

Post by Poorfour on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 6:23 pm

Garces's interepretation of the breakdown suited Ireland's style of having players quickly in and over the ball - helped by not having Heaslip and so having all three back rowers having played flanker. England weren't able to match that as they have in previous games - Haskell and Billy perhaps missing a bit of match sharpness, Itoje a bit of experience.

Failing to get quick ball, England turned to kicking it away, which allowed Ireland to make yards, and on the few occasions when England got into an attacking position, nerves seemed to get the better of them and they gave the ball up too easily.

Match stats

The official stats make interesting reading: Ireland had about 60% of territory and possession (meaning that they scored a point for every 3.7 minutes in possession whereas England scored very slightly faster at one every 3.6 minutes), but had the ball 41 times in England's 22 versus 3 times for England.

There's parity in a lot of the other stats. England actually endured an Irish onslaught pretty well but simply didn't play in the right part of the field often enough.

How do you fix that? My view would be:
- Some of it will just come with experience. The team made mistakes under pressure that they haven't been making. I think the moment got to them - but I am encouraged that compared to previous grand slam disasters it wasn't a complete collapse. The defence worked (13 points is well below the 17 points they have on average conceded); the attack fumbled at crucial points. But there were points in the last 10 minutes when the game looked very winnable but attacks that came off against France and Wales went wrong. That's fixable with experience.

- I think this is the match in which Robshaw was most painfully missed. While he's widely criticised for not getting turnovers, his coaches consistently say he's one of the best at slowing down the ball. If Ireland were getting slower ball, England might have been able to apply more pressure through line speed and force more mistakes.

- England need a 7 who is in tune with modern refereeing. That's probably Underhill. I hope he is given a chance to tour to Argentina.

- Back three balance needs looking at, but it looks very clear to me that Brown has been instructed to look at the space, and if there's nothing on beat as many defenders as possible and then take the ball into contact. If that's what he was asked to do, he did it very well. He also hit a lot of rucks and secured ball that other backs wouldn't have. What was needed, though, was a plan for what to do with the ball afterwards. I had hoped that they'd have Billy and other big carriers lined up to take the ball up and get on the front foot, but it never seemed to gel. I was also very surprised that Sinckler wasn't brought on earlier.

- Ultimately, the players need a plan C. Plan A - dominate the setpiece and play a wide, high tempo game, and Plan B - outlast the opposition, were enough for 18 games, but foundered against a team fit and organised enough to match them. What is plan C? I don't know. But that's what Eddie's paid to devise.

Overall, if you look at where this team is compared to the 2003 RWC squad at the equivalent phase in the cycle (2001) I would say they are (just) ahead. SCW's army had been outfoxed by different nations in turn, had not plan B (and wouldn't until 2003) and were still vulnerable to anyone who could put pressure on Jonny. Eddie's England aren't fragile in quite the same way, have a plan B, but showed on Saturday that they could still run out of ideas.

A key point in Woodward's reign was when a very inexperienced England team toured Argentina in 2001 and won. Several of that squad were in the eventual 2003 squad. Eddie has the same chance this summer. I will probably watch that tour with more interest than the Lions, if I'm honest.

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

Post by kingelderfield on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 7:32 pm

I am concerned with regards our leadership / group. Woodward had Johnson who was very well backed up by (in no particular order) Vickery, Back, Dallaglio, Dawson who all captained at various times, plus other significant personalities; Greenwood, Catt, Hill Leonard and others. I know hindsight is wonderful thing and all that but I think it is plain to see that we're a long way off in terms of Leadership intelligence and maturity.

Added to this is the conundrum with regards to replacing Hartley?

The fear is that by replacing him too soon you expose his replacement to the damage that may result from the inevitable losses we are bound to experience. However with that said I do believe that time is against us and the sooner we begin to bed down the 2019 structure the better.

Therefore assuming he will be touring with the Lions this summer, I would make Otoje captain for the autumn tests, be that 3 or 4 games.

This player group now have no choice but to grow up fast and with Hartley and Haskell soon to vacate the departure lounge maturity will be at a premium.

post script regarding leadership/maturity back in 2003 is the fact that tragedy played its part for a number of that squad who were forced to face some very difficult family circumstances.

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

Post by Gwlad on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 7:50 pm

Greenwood's baby…who else? Surprised he came back in the circumstances, he must have had a very understanding wife.

There were more leaders than players in that team yet Jonno retained total authority. I think rugby has continued to become more formulaic with much more game plan than heads up going on and a lot less off load than recycle both of which stifle initiative and consequently leadership.

Rare you ever see a particularly vocal skipper anymore. All very politely negotiating with ref and mindful of on pitch microphones.


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

Post by Gooseberry on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 8:35 am

robbo277 wrote:
What does Jones think of his squad?

After two Six Nations in charge, Jones runs the rule over his England squad:

Front row: "We don't have three tightheads. We've got Dan Cole doing an exceptional job, we've got Kyle Sinckler coming through. We want Paul Hill to come through, and we want one more in that position to come through. The rest of the front row is pretty good."

Second row: "At lock we're exceptional. At this stage Maro Itoje is essentially a lock who can fill in at the back row. Courtney Lawes is the same and that adds great flexibility."

Back row: "Like always we still need to revise the back row and see how we can improve it."

Half-backs: "We need a third scrum-half, but for fly-halves we're good."

Centres: "We're good at 12 and at 13."

Wingers: "We're outstanding for wings."

Full-back: "We're still looking for other options. We do need a couple of other guys, but I think they are within the squad."

Interesting stuff from Jones appended to the bottom of this BBC article. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/39329353


That is interesting and its good to see hes been listening to us for the most part, although Beshocked will be much anger that he didnt mention Hooker Whistle

Good for fly halves isnt good news for Cipriani...its seems Jones views Losowwospoksklj;ljkasdjlaski the kid form Saracens as a legit 3rd option, and presumably Slade viable too despite using neither in anger. Nor does he appear to have any concerns about the butter which is Englands midfield defence.

The summer will be interesting for Brown, assuming he doesnt go on the Lions he may find himself benched anyway.

Tighthead(s) and a scrumhalf will get capped this summer. The backrow will get fiddled with, whether thats the previous guys like Harrison tried again or entirely new faces waits to be seen.

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 8:39 am

Gooseberry wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
What does Jones think of his squad?

After two Six Nations in charge, Jones runs the rule over his England squad:

Front row: "We don't have three tightheads. We've got Dan Cole doing an exceptional job, we've got Kyle Sinckler coming through. We want Paul Hill to come through, and we want one more in that position to come through. The rest of the front row is pretty good."

Second row: "At lock we're exceptional. At this stage Maro Itoje is essentially a lock who can fill in at the back row. Courtney Lawes is the same and that adds great flexibility."

Back row: "Like always we still need to revise the back row and see how we can improve it."

Half-backs: "We need a third scrum-half, but for fly-halves we're good."

Centres: "We're good at 12 and at 13."

Wingers: "We're outstanding for wings."

Full-back: "We're still looking for other options. We do need a couple of other guys, but I think they are within the squad."

Interesting stuff from Jones appended to the bottom of this BBC article. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/39329353


That is interesting and its good to see hes been listening to us for the most part, although Beshocked will be much anger that he didnt mention Hooker Whistle

Good for fly halves isnt good news for Cipriani...its seems Jones views Losowwospoksklj;ljkasdjlaski the kid form Saracens as a legit 3rd option, and presumably Slade viable too despite using neither in anger. Nor does he appear to have any concerns about the butter which is Englands midfield defence.  

The summer will be interesting for Brown, assuming he doesnt go on the Lions he may find himself benched anyway.

Tighthead(s) and a scrumhalf will get capped this summer. The backrow will get fiddled with, whether thats the previous guys like Harrison tried again or entirely new faces waits to be seen.

I'm going for Dan Robson at scrum half, Sam Underhill at 7 and Watson at FB.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 9:20 am

One further question around the back row is:

Will Jones continue with his "monsters" smashing the breakdown...or will he look to bring through some out and out fetchers. When your not winning the physical battle you need more specialists to turn the game using different methods than smash and bang...

Will the Currys, or Evans or Underhill (is he available) travel to Argentina??
Personally id not even look at Harrison again.

I also wonder how much we missed Robshaw this 6n! I personally think quite a bit.

Full back will be Daly...unless he goes to NZ.

But I stress this tour should not be a Saxons tour. Yes some positions need new kids brought to have a look at them, but in general take a strong team and iron out the issues we have seen through this 6n.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 9:34 am

Ps if what people are hinting at on the other thread that England could supply between 14- 17 players...it could very well end up a Saxons tour! Sad

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 9:39 am

It will be interesting to see what Jones takes from the tour. Last time for me the standouts were Wade, Morgan and Kvesic with only Morgan getting a look in afterwards.

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

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