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 Mar 12, 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 GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:35 am

Ok moving away from captains slightly....

Is Ford (10)- Farrell (12) still the right direction?

Or is Farrell (10) - ?? (12) the change to move on to the next level?

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:36 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:He obviously thinks george is overrated as some sort of deity.

Who? Farrell? Nah, I think they get along well.

I wouldn't be surprised if Farrell is popular with the players because he is a grafter and does have an edge to him.

He's not easy to talk to unlike the vast majority of players at the club though.

George is a nice bloke so that's partly where my bias comes from.


England's performances in the 6 nations were not great. Let's be honest.


Geordiefalcon difficult to say - the balance needs to be there. I'd like to see Gustard working with H Mallinder as I think he's got real potential but his defence is pretty poor.

I think Mallinder alongside either Ford or Farrell at 10 could be the future IMO.

Mallinder is still raw but has a siege gun of a boot and is obviously a big bloke but has good hands.

Hopefully he's better than 36 though!

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:40 am

Mallinder isn't even good enough for senior club level yet.

I really hope his defence is worked on but there's no sign of it. A shame that Saints coaching is so poor. I think it's probably a mental thing too with his shoulder ops.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:41 am

At least you're honest in rating players on how smiley they are I suppose.

I had doubts of Farrell at 12 gf but he was very good this 6Ns. I still prefer a playmaker at 12 so for me it would be slade next in line and mallinder somewhere down the line.

The headache for would come when and if Tuilagi comes back to form and fitness.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:41 am

Mallinders defence is utterly woeful. He does need to work on that big time.

England's performances in the 6 nations were not great. Let's be honest

It wasn't your absolutely correct, however don't forget they lost Haskell, Robshaw, Billy V and Kruis to injury. And even when they returned they weren't in the form and fitness we had seen from them in 2016. So its a little unfair to expect the same performance from the team, especially as we all agree the back ups - Clifford, Harrison etc etc aren't at the level required.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:46 am

Scottrf I disagree. I think the potential is there, just Mallinder needs to get some confidence.

Surely fixing his defence shouldn't be too hard. He's a big guy and young.

I'd love it if Saracens signed him but not going to happen.

Geordiefalcon the back up should perform better plus some of the more experienced players weren't good enough.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:54 am

The back up players ARE NOT good enough....yet..... And which experienced players?

When you lose key players like Billy V, Kruis, Robshaw, Haskell, etc on mass....that's difficult to replace. And when they returned they weren't match fit on in the form of previous.


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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:56 am

beshocked wrote:Scottrf I disagree. I think the potential is there, just Mallinder needs to get some confidence.

Surely fixing his defence shouldn't be too hard. He's a big guy and young.

I'd love it if Saracens signed him but not going to happen.

Geordiefalcon the back up should perform better plus some of the more experienced players weren't good enough.
Disagree with what? We're conceding 1-2 tries a game from players breaking through on Mallinder's shoulder.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:59 am

Obviously I didn't think Hartley was good enough, Brown was frustating, Joseph IMO only turned up in one game.

Ford didn't have a particularly good tournament. Billy was neutralised vs Ireland. Haskell wasn't back to his best.

scottrf defence isn't good enough by H.Mallinder but I think Myler is more to blame for your narrow losses to Leicester and Wasps personally.

Plus who do you replace Mallinder with? Burrell?

I would still take Mallinder with England because I think it will be good for his development and if any coach can fix Mallinder's defensive faults I think it's Gustard.

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

Post by robbo277 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:17 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ok moving away from captains slightly....

Is Ford (10)- Farrell (12) still the right direction?

Or is Farrell (10) - ?? (12) the change to move on to the next level?

I think Ford and Farrell at 10/12 work well together. It's not like we have loads of centres queuing up, and it allows us to utilise our running threats in the outside channels, of which we have quite a few.

As mentioned, Slade is coming through as a back-up to these two positions, with Lozowski also a contender at 10, so we aren't short of playmaking options. Mallinder is also there but quite a way behind in the pecking order at the moment.

Assuming Farrell goes with the Lions, I'd take Slade as first choice 12 and Mallinder as his back-up. I probably wouldn't give Mallinder any game time, but he does have potential and I think it would be beneficial for him to be around that environment. He can then go back to his club with a good idea of the level he has to perform at to get international honours and specific instructions with regards to his weaknesses.

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

Post by cascough on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:20 pm

beshocked wrote:Scottrf I disagree. I think the potential is there, just Mallinder needs to get some confidence.

Surely fixing his defence shouldn't be too hard. He's a big guy and young.


Sigh, this again. Being big is not the most important part of defence. His size in no way indicates that he has a desire to tackle, that his positioning is good, or that his tackle technique is good. His size has nothing to do with those things.

When people talk about size as being a precursor to being a good defender, really what you're saying is, he could be a dominant defender if he was a good defender. But he isn't, so his size is irrelevant.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:35 pm

cascough wrote:
beshocked wrote:Scottrf I disagree. I think the potential is there, just Mallinder needs to get some confidence.

Surely fixing his defence shouldn't be too hard. He's a big guy and young.


Sigh, this again. Being big is not the most important part of defence. His size in no way indicates that he has a desire to tackle, that his positioning is good, or that his tackle technique is good. His size has nothing to do with those things.

When people talk about size as being a precursor to being a good defender, really what you're saying is, he could be a dominant defender if he was a good defender. But he isn't, so his size is irrelevant.

Not saying that being big is the most important part of defence. Being big is useful if you can use that size to your advantage because you can hold your ground and make a tackle on your own. You can also force the opposition backwards if you have the power. Harder to be brushed off if you are physically stronger.

Obviously Mallinder's defence is poor at the moment, I am not claiming it's good but if he can sort out the basics he has a lot of potential.

Farrell being bigger than the average 10 helps his physicality.

Being a good defender simply isn't about making your tackles if the opposition is forcing you back.

Technically you could make a tackle but concede a try because you've been forced back by the power of the carry.

On the stats it wouldn't be a missed tackle but would still be a conceded try. If player X needs his team mate to stop player Y, doesn't necessarily make player X a good defender.

Defences can obviously be unpicked if more defenders have to assist, creating gaps.

Many parts of a good defence.

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

Post by cascough on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:47 pm

Being big is useless if you're a bad defender. Since he is a bad defender, his size is irrelevant.

I'm not saying his defence can't or wont improve, but you mentioned his size as if that in any way shape or form enhances his chances of becoming a good defender. It doesn't.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:57 pm

I agree it's currently useless but clearly he's not using his size well. If he starts using his size in a positive way then yes I think he could be a better defender.

When I mean better, I mean stopping opposition attacks before they get going, making tackles on his own and preventing momentum of the opposition.

Obviously teams are rightfully targetting Mallinder's weaknesses but you can fix technique and hunger to make tackles but can't magically make a player grow a few inches.

A coach can improve cohesion, technique,positioning.

One would hope Gustard would be able to improve H.Mallinder's defence.

If he can't...well then obviously H.Mallinder won't be good enough.

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Mallinder needs ALOT of work in defence, he's all over the place. Positioning, technique, it's not a simple fix. Twelvetrees is quite a lump, yet he's struggled to ever be a fully effective defender.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:18 pm

Twelvetrees is actually a good example.

What a shame, he should have been Englands 12 for a long time. But just not good enough.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:26 pm

H.Mallinder is only 20 though. Not over the hill just yet.

If we want a good defensive centre, could always recall Barritt. Whistle

Think England have to look at potential though.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:31 pm

Or Farrell will just stay at 12....

Or Teo...

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:33 pm

We could alway play Haskell at 12? He'd offer more in attack than Barritt Wink

Agree, Mallinder is still a boy. I doubt many people actually involved in the game are suggesting he's ready.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:43 pm

Geordiefalcon you think Farrell will not make the Lions?

Ford-Teo is this the go to 10-12 combo for the future?

Ready for what? I think he's ready to go on a development tour. Not ready to start in the 6 nations.

England have to identify players for positions.

If some posters had their way then Itoje would have been held back and we'd probably not have been talking about a GS last year.

I know it's the logic of some to throw in raw players into the toughest games which sadly inevitably sees quite a few sink.

If you don't bring H.Mallinder on tour now then when? Wait for a tough opener like France away?

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:52 pm

Ah no I was referring to post lions, for England.

Farrell will obviously go to NZ with the lions. And no I don't believe T'eo is the answer at 12.

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:59 pm

Mallinder isn't ready, when he's ready get him in.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:02 pm

Sgt Pooly you haven't answered the question - ready for what?

Do you think Ford-Farrell is the best balance?

I still think England are still building towards NZ, not there yet.

Who is the answer at 12 then?

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:10 pm

Well that's the question...who is coming through at 12? I don't think there is anyone special at the moment.

And Jones selection of Ford and Farrell would suggest he is of the same mind.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:14 pm

Well we have H.Mallinder and Slade plus Teo. Indeed there is no one special but that's surely what the tour is for?

You don't think some of Jones' selections are merely stop gaps? I do.

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:16 pm

beshocked wrote:Well we have H.Mallinder and Slade plus Teo. Indeed there is no one special but that's surely what the tour is for?

You don't think some of Jones' selections are merely stop gaps? I do.
Yeah, Itoje while Robshaw was injured.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:22 pm

Yes that's one position that must be looked at this summer tour.

Has Slade set the world on fire since the hype of him coming through? I don't think so. Has Mallinder nope, Has T'eo. He's done ok.

So Farrell maybe a stop gap but maybe long term unless someone steps up.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:23 pm

Scottrf wrote:
beshocked wrote:Well we have H.Mallinder and Slade plus Teo. Indeed there is no one special but that's surely what the tour is for?

You don't think some of Jones' selections are merely stop gaps? I do.
Yeah, Itoje while Robshaw was injured.

It's funny how Robshaw has been hyped so much in his absence.

Gone from underappreciated to overhyped. Not playing has made him have almost mythical status.

A player's flaws can be forgotten because what they offer is focused on.


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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:24 pm

beshocked wrote:Gone from underappreciated to overhyped. Not playing has made him have almost mythical status.

A player's flaws can be forgotten because what they offer is focused on.


Yeah, Itoje's penalty count is often ignored.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:27 pm

I think there are a couple more youngsters who are step ahead of mallinder at the moment. If you consider slade and te'o are most likely available jj and Daly most likely not won't it more likely be a Tompkins or marchant chosen?

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:28 pm

Ready for International rugby...........it's not that hard to understand.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:28 pm

Scottrf wrote:
beshocked wrote:Gone from underappreciated to overhyped. Not playing has made him have almost mythical status.

A player's flaws can be forgotten because what they offer is focused on.


Yeah, Itoje's penalty count is often ignored.

Not by me. I have mentioned it a few times but if people decide to ignore my criticisms of players I can't do anything about it...

Sgt Pooly if you had your way then would Itoje have played international rugby by now? Not sure.

no 7 & 1/2 is Marchant really that good? Tompkins is a 13 and needs more game time. I'd say Mallinder is in the mix.

Important to get the right balance between giving opportunities to youngsters at the right time and being a bit safer.

Unfortunately too often England have been too safe at times and too reckless at others.

Don't think Lancaster managed to get the right balance in general which cost him key matches. Jones has been better but still a little room for improvement.


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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:33 pm

Here come the made up tales of Itoje.....

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:34 pm

Strange thing for me with Mallinder is he spends warm-ups practicing kicking from 40 metres. Myler doesn't do that and Harry doesn't even take the longer kicks. I get that he's backup kicker but seems excessive and as if the focus is wrong.
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:35 pm

Itoje is actually a perfect example. He was picked when ready and thrived that first year. Hes struggling a bit now but is settling into Int rugby well. No need to rush these lads.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:37 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yes that's one position that must be looked at this summer tour.

Has Slade set the world on fire since the hype of him coming through? I don't think so. Has Mallinder nope, Has T'eo. He's done ok.

So Farrell maybe a stop gap but maybe long term unless someone steps up.

Farrell was a stop gap when he came in, or very much a plan B at least.

But hes been there for a year solidly in the most succesful run England have ever had. So I think hes become a bit more than that now.

Jones has always had a well publised crush on Ford and is quite happy for what he brings in attack to outweigh his defiencies (Im sure the same goes for Itoje and his penalties...which of course you are more liley to give away if youre getting ivolved in the game).

Obviously if there were alternatives banging the door down or a cleare issue with the combination ruining england then they woudl be actively be looking to replace it, but both players look pretty firmly established as is and its not one of the areas that Jones highlighted as needing improvement. Farrell has clearly won him over, and importantly Jones has pointed to his attitude and leadership (something he monaed about the younger players lacking).

Well Farrell wont be there for the summer tour, and theres a chance Ford wont be either. So an alternative will be tried ...but Id see that as stop gap (pending a yip in Fords form when he changes clubs or Farrell coming back in pieces from the Lions) rather than the current incredibly successful and cosnistent partnership.

Looking back it was Tuillagi who Jones initially wanted as his 12. He wont be on the tour though due to theongoing injuries and frankly looks like his boat has sailed after he jumped off it. Its sad but I see him as a real outside figure now having barely played since he was part of the side that tore New Zealand up.
If thats the type of player Jones favours at 12 though then T'eo is the nearest equivelant in the frame for the summer tests.

If England want to devleope a genuine plan B to Ford Farrell then many Teo at 12 is something to look at. The alternative is to give Slade a go as the nearest "like for like" playmer 10/12 as Farrells understudy. But I dont see either making themsleves first choice ahead of a fit Farrell purely on the basis of what they do on the summer tour.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:37 pm

Marchant has been included in the wider squads hasn't he? Plus with england losing 2 outside centres would make sense. I think we've been through this chance to youngsters thing and last time we agreed that they should only be given a chance when you think they're good enough rather than when or who they are playing. As I'd forgotten that I back mallinder to get some game time with england despite everyone saying his defence isn't good enough.

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:47 pm

Well with the way Myler kicked on the weekend perhaps a change of kickers is needed.

Difficult to win a game if you leave that amount of points unscored. 5 tries should have been enough.

Sgt Pooly it's all relative, Itoje isn't as good as last year but he's hardly struggling. He has aspects of his game to work on but he was still one of the better England players in the 6 nations IMO.

 I still think Itoje was ready before, just not given the opportunity. Just as I think George would have improved England in this year's 6 nations but not allowed to start.

Jones has enough credit in the bank though to get away with it. Lancaster on the other hand - his poor selections caught up with him. Too many big games lost.

Jones has only lost 1 game so the scrutiny hasn't started yet. England's poor performances will be glossed over in this 6 nations - cracks papered over.

Only Ireland were capable of making England looked limited.

Jones must sort out the cracks before facing NZ because if not they will ruthlessly exploit them.

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:53 pm

beshocked wrote:Well with the way Myler kicked on the weekend perhaps a change of kickers is needed.
Tough kicks apart from the first and he was at 83% in the prem before that (I think higher in Europe).
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:01 pm

beshocked wrote:Well with the way Myler kicked on the weekend perhaps a change of kickers is needed.

Difficult to win a game if you leave that amount of points unscored. 5 tries should have been enough.

Sgt Pooly it's all relative, Itoje isn't as good as last year but he's hardly struggling. He has aspects of his game to work on but he was still one of the better England players in the 6 nations IMO.

 I still think Itoje was ready before, just not given the opportunity. Just as I think George would have improved England in this year's 6 nations but not allowed to start.

Jones has enough credit in the bank though to get away with it. Lancaster on the other hand - his poor selections caught up with him. Too many big games lost.

Jones has only lost 1 game so the scrutiny hasn't started yet. England's poor performances will be glossed over in this 6 nations - cracks papered over.

Only Ireland were capable of making England looked limited.

Jones must sort out the cracks before facing NZ because if not they will ruthlessly exploit them.

On the other hand...this much vaunted Ireland team that beat the AB's and every one seems to fancy for a world cup win, could only beat a poor England side by 4 points......

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

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:04 pm

Scottrf Myler might well have a 83% but his misses have been very costly. Costing Saints vs both Wasps and Leicester.

Remember his composure being poor vs Leicester too. Missing a relatively easy kick which would have put you 8 points ahead.

Geordiefalcon Ireland are a good side but not that good. Afterall they lost to Wales and Scotland plus lost to NZ. Not unbeatable.

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

Post by cascough on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:06 pm

Scottrf, Myler has consistently had a high percentage for Saints. In fact I'd say Myler has a pretty good reputation of being a steady player - kicks his goals, reasonable in defence and takes the right option at the right time. I remember when Lancaster was including Myler in squads and people were clamouring for Cipriani, Lancaster by way of defending Myler (rather than criticising Cipriani) said that international rugby is built around solid basics. I happen to agree with that and was in favour of Myler getting a shot.

However whenever I've watched him in a big game for Northampton his basics seems to crumble somewhat. They were difficult kicks as you say, but he is a frontline kicker with a high percentage, he would still be expected to land more than 2. I'm sure he would have expected to. I'm sure you can give me a long list of all the games he has won you, and I'm only basing my opinion on a few times I've seen him on TV. Is there anything in that, or am i way off?

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

Post by Scottrf on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:17 pm

cascough wrote:However whenever I've watched him in a big game for Northampton his basics seems to crumble somewhat. They were difficult kicks as you say, but he is a frontline kicker with a high percentage, he would still be expected to land more than 2. I'm sure he would have expected to. I'm sure you can give me a long list of all the games he has won you, and I'm only basing my opinion on a few times I've seen him on TV. Is there anything in that, or am i way off?
I'm not sure I agree with it. Maybe it right but doesn't feel it to me. Pretty sure his teammates call his the Iceman. It's tough for me to recall exact games but this season had a tough last minute kick to beat Montpellier (important game at the time). And can't think of other big games where his form has been especially poor, just solid. I think that's the difference, the better teams have game winners at FH, and he's not that. But he does have games where he completely controls the action (Sale away for example).
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Re: How will England evolve before they next play New Zealand?

Post by beshocked on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:34 pm

Not convinced Cipriani will make the Argentina tour at 10 either unless he has an upturn in fortunes at Wasps pretty quickly.

Lozowski is likely to start vs Saints with Farrell needing a rest so an opportunity for him to make a statement for that 10 shirt in the potential absence of Ford and Farrell.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:24 am

Its going to be hard for Cipriani to force his way onto the tour if hes sat on the Wasps bench for sure. I dont think heres there through being poor though, perhaps more that Gopperth is hands down the best non capped fly half the premiership has ever had...and perhaps brings a bit more stability to whats a very exciting but flakey backline. Its only the last game he ended up on the bench too, prior to that hed been starting with Gopperth outside him.

Ciprinai though is behind Lokow Luozkw the kid form Saracens, and assuming Slade goes as well if Ford isnt with the Lions then there isnt a space for him or anyone else.

If Ford is with the Lions then maybe just maybe, he was the starter for the Saxons last summer and theres noone else in the senior squad at 10. Hes certainly further up the pecking order than Myler has been. The only listed fly half in the current Saxons squad is Mallinder, who doesnt play there. In teh days when Lancaster was in charge of the Saxons it wouldve been quite normnal to go out with just one specilast fly half and a couple of 12's who could cover...but you could colour me amazed if Jones took Slade, Mallinder and Lokowski as the only options for 10.

So it comes down to Ciprinai vs Myler, one of whom has been on the radar and is the type of attacking player Jones likes, the other one pretty dull and limited. The only other possibility would be Burns, but again hes a real outsider and not producing week in week out. Ciprinai has consistently been ahead of those two, I dont see that having changed through this season.

Regardless the Argentina tour is likely to be about giving Lozowski chances than it is the fourth choice (or fifth if you consider Slade). And Ford may well make the argument moot anyway.
And regardless of that ... its even more unlikely that whoever the spare 10 who tours Argentina will directly affect the first team come Autumn unless theres injuries. I dont really see it as part of Englands evolution or long term plan when theres two clear proven quality internationals already well embeded in the team.

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

Post by beshocked on Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:41 am

Gooseberry injuries do happen though. I also think it's good when there are 3rd choices who can cause selection issues.

At lock, England now have positive headache - pick a 2nd row of Itoje,Kruis,Launchbury and Lawes.

England do need someone who will challenge both Hartley and George at hooker because if one of them is injured we need another option.

If Ford or Farrell goes down, it opens up opportunities.

Is Haskell-Robshaw-Vunipola really the dream backrow? Sure it was effective enough in 2016 but we didn't face the ABs.


If Underhill does force his way in the backrow who makes way?




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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:14 am

Can Haskell repeat his performances in Oz? Im not sure he can.

Can Robshaw continue as the engine man, cleaning things up.


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

Post by Gooseberry on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:25 am

beshocked wrote:Gooseberry injuries do happen though. I also think it's good when there are 3rd choices who can cause selection issues.

At lock, England now have positive headache - pick a 2nd row of Itoje,Kruis,Launchbury and Lawes.

England do need someone who will challenge both Hartley and George at hooker because if one of them is injured we need another option.

If Ford or Farrell goes down, it opens up opportunities.

Is Haskell-Robshaw-Vunipola really the dream backrow? Sure it was effective enough in 2016 but we didn't face the ABs.


If Underhill does force his way in the backrow who makes way?




Right but if the question is " how will england evolve" is the answer likley to be that a position thats not been identified as an area of concern by the coach be fixed by guys who are only on the fringe of the side at the moment, or barely in the picture at all? Its possible but not likely.

I think we both agree that Lozokski is the only player really in a position to push on over the next year and is next in line when (not just if) ford farrell arent available to start 10. Even with that Im hard pressed to see it as a forward move at this point ...hes already the cover 10. The options behind him being Slade who rarely plays there, Mallinder who rarely plays there, Cipriani awhos Cipriani, and Myler + Burns who are nowhere near the squad does nopt show any real promise of someone miraculously stepping up and turning england from a good side into a great one off the back of a few B games in Argentina.

So OK maybe the evolution is we get a more firmly established 3rd 4th choice.


As for teh dream back row .... well last time England beat the All Blacks it was Wood, Robshaw, and Haskell. #justsaying



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

Post by beshocked on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:36 am

Gooseberry I think the way England evolve which has been the issue for some time.

Sort out the backrow issue once for all - Robshaw,Haskell,Vunipola has worked fine but I still think it's missing balance, especially if players aren't doing their jobs properly.

Wood-Robshaw-Morgan actually but do you think it's a complete backrow?

The benchmark - Back,Hill,Dallaglio of course.

What that backrow did that current England could not is beat Ireland in Ireland to win the GS.


Have a more all round hooker at 2 with an all rounder on the bench. Forwards these days should be able to attack.


Finding a more complete full back- whether that means converting Nowell or Watson to 15 or finding someone else.

No it doesn't mean I want a recall for Goode. Goode has the brain but lacks the athleticism.

Brown is no longer making breaks and beating defenders like he used to - he's also not passing the ball enough.

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

Post by Poorfour on Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:50 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can Haskell repeat his performances in Oz? Im not sure he can.

Can Robshaw continue as the engine man, cleaning things up.


On Haskell, I think the jury is still out. I'd heard that he's having to manage his damaged toe very carefully. If that loses him even a fraction of his physicality, then it's a big impact on his effectiveness.

Based on his two games back so far, Robshaw has picked up where he left off and even looks a bit fresher. Still consistently in the right place to tidy up after everyone else, and against Sarries he was probably the only Quin to consistently get over the gain line - not big yards, but getting front foot ball from close quarter carries.

Assuming Underhill does come through at 7 this summer, I'd expect 6. Robshaw, 7. Haskell, 8. Billy, 20. Underhill in the AIs with Underhill and Haskell swapping shirts before too long. People will no doubt continue to write Robshaw off, but I don't see another EQP who could replace him at the moment. I think the Itoje experiment showed pretty clearly that it's not as easy as it looks, and he'll still be younger in 2019 than Back was in 2003 and McCaw in 2015.

It's possible that if Underhill does step up seamlessly, that would allow for a different backrow balance and might make room for a different style of player but I suspect - barring injury - that that won't happen until Underhill is fairly established.

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

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