England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

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England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:49 am

At some point in the summer, Eddie Jones will announce his initial EPS. He has been talking about the difficulty he faces trying to whittle it down to that number and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with. Who would be in your EPS?

As a reminder:

The deal with PRL allows Eddie Jones to name a 45 man squad. the clubs get money for players contributed, Jones can call on them for an agreed amount of training camps and England can (to a degree) manage their workload. Jones is allowed to make a number of changes to this half way through the season. Separate 33 man training squads are announced prior to the AIs and the 6Ns - these squads are NOT restricted to players in the EPS.

Last Seasons EPS members (Bold in Both, Italics added on 31st December, normal font dropped from squad):

Forwards

Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks)
Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)

Will Evans (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Jamie George (Saracens)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Paul Hill (Northampton Saints)  
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)

Sam Jones (Wasps)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Matt Mullan (Wasps)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)

Tommy Taylor
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers)

Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)

Alex Goode (Saracens)
Mike Haley (Sale Sharks)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)

Alex Lozowski (Saracens)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps)
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)

Joe Simpson (Wasps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Spencer (Saracens)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:54 am

Backrow is the one that really interests me.

Curry brothers, Underhill and Wilson have all put their hands up, can see Evans and Harrison dropping out and not really sure what Haskell has to offer apart from defence. Haven't seen him have a properly decent game since the Aussie series.

Sam Jones could be another who could drop out but he was looking very good for Wasps before his injury. Tom Wood might also be coming to the end as we suddenly have decent set of backrowers coming through, Clifford needs to kick on again though for us before playing for England.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Poorfour on Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:02 pm

If Clifford was carrying a shoulder injury through last season, then we need to see how he comes back from surgery. If he's learned from Robshaw on how to do it properly, he could force his way back into contention pretty quickly.

Which said, I wouldn't have a big problem with Wilson replacing him in the squad. He's shown he can do the job. I think Underhill will be persevered with, but has shown a slight lack of maturity in his decision making (ironic, really, given how mature the Currys looked).

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by BamBam on Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:06 pm

I was impressed with Underhill, the turnover when both he and Robshaw got over the ball following a strong chase by Yarde was excellent

He looks to have great physicality in the tackle, agree that some decision making was a bit off but nothing to be concerned about

Agree with others that the Currys should be left to play in the AP this year, the 2018/19 season could see us using Robshaw, Curry x 2 and Underhill as our flanker options which looks very good

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by robbo277 on Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:32 pm

So I tried to pick my autumn squad and had 30 names nailed on. I've then picked 15 development guys to go in there as well.

My ones for development should be obvious, but will be in italics.

EPS:
Marler, Mako Vunipola, Genge
Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie
Cole, Sinckler, Paul Hill
Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Launchbury, Ewels, Isiekwe
Robshaw, Wilson, Haskell, Underhill, Tom Curry, Ben Curry
Billy Vunipola, Hughes, Mercer
Ben Youngs, Care, Maunder
Ford, Farrell, Lozowski
Te'o, Joseph, Slade, Francis, Mallinder, Marchant
Daly, Watson, Nowell, May, Solomona, Earle
Brown, Haley, Malins

A lot of my development guys are in the backs, where we have a lot of good players coming through and we could really kick on well here.

With Mullan, Taylor and Collier, we have good front row stocks too, however I'm not sure any of them will go on to make test superstars, so they would be available as cover if needed. Otherwise, we've got some good young players that could do with a bit of technical and physical development.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:52 pm

If I read my own post correctly, there were 6 players replaced from the the initial EPS (Evans, Genge, Harrison, Youngs, Goode and Simpson). Of these Genge will probably come back in, but of the others only Harrison stands a chance.

Of the 6 players added Taylor should keep his spot, and Lozowski might (but is under pressure from Francis). Catt, Jones, Wood & Spencer are, imo, unlikely to feature.

Of those in both squads Beaumont, Clifford, Hill & Williams in the pack, and Haley, Roku and Manu in the backs are the guys most at risk.

In December Jones named: 7 props, 4 hookers, 5 second row, 9 back row, 4 SHs, 3 FHs, 5 centres, 6 wingers & 2 FBS (accepting, especially in the backs, players can be in more than one group).


Should he do the same, I expect to see:

Mako, Marler, Genge, Mullan, Cole, Sinckler, ANO1; Kruis, Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury, Ewells; Billy, Hughes, Robshaw, Haskell, Underhill, Clifford, Wilson, ANO2, ANO3, Youngs, Care, Robson, Maunder, Ford, Farrell, Lozowski; Te'o, Joseph, Slade, Francis, Marchant; Daly, Watson, Nowell, May, Solomona, Yarde; Brown, ANO4


ANO1 - Collier really impressed me, but Jones may stick with Hill.
ANO2/3 - I see the logic in excluding the Currys, perhaps this allows Harrison a second chance and Wood will never let England down. England really need a 3rd number 8 pushing for inclusion, surely Beaumont is not that man?
ANO - Most of the backs will stay as are. We all know we need a FB, but there has not really been anyone demanding a place with AP performances. Haley might stay in the squad, EJ may look at one of the wingers to do this job.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Curry brothers both need to grow, Jones seems to be an excellent man manager and can see him not giving them too much game time as could be detrimental to them both long term. They look some players, hadn't seen them play before this tour.

The England u20 captain will get into this squad, but can't see him being a number 8 as he's got to get bigger, but another option we can add to the flanks.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:31 pm

Mercer may be involved for development but with the players ahead of him at Bath, he may struggle for significant gametime perhaps.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:43 pm

Well its nice to see everyone putting Mark Wilson in there. Ive only been telling people for years how good the lad is.... Whistle

Next up....Calum Chick and Will Witty....although I doubt Witty will make it with all the competition at lock!

Chick will be in the England squad one day though....possibly too early yet.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:15 pm

That young Newcastle lock is one of the biggest young players I have ever seen at the Rec - truly enormous !!

I think Collier may well be the best TH scrummager in the AP but his progress will depend on how much he offers around the park at Test level.

The choices EJ has at flanker is improving all the time and like Wilson, fully expect a further few older stagers to come into the reckoning in addition to this raft of youngsters. Good to see.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:24 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:That young Newcastle lock is one of the biggest young players I have ever seen at the Rec - truly enormous !!

I think Collier may well be the best TH scrummager in the AP but his progress will depend on how much he offers around the park at Test level.

The choices EJ has at flanker is improving all the time and like Wilson, fully expect a further few older stagers to come into the reckoning in addition to this raft of youngsters. Good to see.

Yeah hes a big lad...it just seemed to happen one summer...he was very lean then after the summer break he returned massive! He has competition at the falcons that will be a battle, but I just wonder if the level of Englands locks will be too much for him.

The likes of Kruis are immense!

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by yappysnap on Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:18 am

Who's third choice scrum half then? Right now we have Care and Youngs, with Care showing his best form of the season. But I still feel sh is a bit of a weakness for us when you look at how good the Lions sh's are by comparison. Neither of ours really boss games like they did when they first broke into the scene.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:25 am

It is always hard to second guess Eddie. Robson was in both EPS last year, with Simpson in first but then replaced by Spencer.

My guess is that Robson will probably be 3rd choice with Maunder in the EPS as a development player. For the younger lad to progress though he needs to be starting for Chiefs next season.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Cumbrian on Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:15 pm

robbo277 wrote:So I tried to pick my autumn squad and had 30 names nailed on. I've then picked 15 development guys to go in there as well.

My ones for development should be obvious, but will be in italics.

EPS:
Marler, Mako Vunipola, Genge
Hartley, George, Cowan-Dickie
Cole, Sinckler, Paul Hill
Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Launchbury, Ewels, Isiekwe
Robshaw, Wilson, Haskell, Underhill, Tom Curry, Ben Curry
Billy Vunipola, Hughes, Mercer
Ben Youngs, Care, Maunder
Ford, Farrell, Lozowski
Te'o, Joseph, Slade, Francis, Mallinder, Marchant
Daly, Watson, Nowell, May, Solomona, Earle
Brown, Haley, Malins

A lot of my development guys are in the backs, where we have a lot of good players coming through and we could really kick on well here.

With Mullan, Taylor and Collier, we have good front row stocks too, however I'm not sure any of them will go on to make test superstars, so they would be available as cover if needed. Otherwise, we've got some good young players that could do with a bit of technical and physical development.

I like the idea of Malins getting involved early. He looked a class above for a lot of the U20s and it continues that link between the U20s and the main squad as a path of progression. If I had the choice I would probably start to phase Hartley out and replace him in the squad with Jack Walker (George and LCD as main men). Not sure I would include Isiekwe just yet though, looks to have potential but isn't demanding selection (positional strength and depth). Probably agree with Mercer, but I would be tempted to go with James Chisholm instead at the moment.

Not sure I would include Francis just yet, he didn't overly impress me against the Pumas and I would like to see where and how he settles at Saints.
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Scottrf on Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:41 pm

Cumbrian wrote:Not sure I would include Francis just yet, he didn't overly impress me against the Pumas and I would like to see where and how he settles at Saints.

Two assists and a try in his first 80 minutes at international level didn't impress you?
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:53 pm

Not sure you can give Malins a look in at all yet, he's got 2-3 players to get in front of at Saracens before he deserves a shot with the full squad, similar to their young lock, who has Itoje, Kruis and Skelton to get ahead of and I think they've signed Dominic Day as well. That's the slight problem they have with Saracens is that it will be harder for youngsters to properly break through unless they are as good as Itoje.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:42 am

SamTheQuin wrote:Not sure you can give Malins a look in at all yet, he's got 2-3 players to get in front of at Saracens before he deserves a shot with the full squad, similar to their young lock, who has Itoje, Kruis and Skelton to get ahead of and I think they've signed Dominic Day as well. That's the slight problem they have with Saracens is that it will be harder for youngsters to properly break through unless they are as good as Itoje.

On the other hand...Saracens seem adept at bringing their youngsters through very well....

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:17 am

In general I would agree, but would argue that they probably held George back for a year too long, as he only got regular starts in 2013/14 and became Sarries first choice in 2014/15. When he was 3rd choice behind Brits and a faded Smit there were whispers he was looking at the progress made by his peers and looking to leave. Of course now he is far ahead of them, so perhaps it was the right call - though the progress he has made since becoming second choice for Sarries in 13/14 woudl perhaps suggest he should have been ahead of Smit the previous season. Maybe then he would not have started the 14/15 season as England's 9th choice hooker?

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by beshocked on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:34 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
SamTheQuin wrote:Not sure you can give Malins a look in at all yet, he's got 2-3 players to get in front of at Saracens before he deserves a shot with the full squad, similar to their young lock, who has Itoje, Kruis and Skelton to get ahead of and I think they've signed Dominic Day as well. That's the slight problem they have with Saracens is that it will be harder for youngsters to properly break through unless they are as good as Itoje.

On the other hand...Saracens seem adept at bringing their youngsters through very well....

Being a Saracens academy player is tough, of course a lot of the focus in on the success stories but plenty of players don't make it for whatever reason obviously.

Even been a couple of examples of ex Saracens academy players going abroad to re-ignite their rugby careers like Piers Francis and Matt Symons.

I guess it's the same with the England U20s and every other academy in the country, not every player has a successful career.

It also must be quite frustating to see your peers succeed whilst you don't quite.

There's also injuries - Will Fraser is the unluckiest Saracen at the moment. Injury after injury. His family have been unlucky too. I do feel for them.

Samthequin agree.

Sometimes as an academy player you need a bit of luck, Farrell Jr got a good run when Hougaard was injured (just shows you how Saracens has evolved as a club when Hougaard was no 1 fly half).


George and Kruis' rise has been gradual but now they are cementing themselves in the England squad.


Saracens 9 shirt is up for grabs next season, I hope someone can become the next Kyran Bracken!

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:52 am

Yes George was the puzzle...but there must have been a very good reason that he was "held back" . Maybe his core skills weren't deemed good enough? Only the coaches will know.

its just important that all clubs continue their good work with their academies.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:10 am

Saracens produce top quality in their academy, but look at the signings they make and they bring in some very good club players like Rhodes, Taylor etc that stop them getting more game time.

Now they have signed Will Skelton, Calum Clark, Dom Day, Christopher Tolofua and Liam Williams it is going to be so much harder for youngsters to break through and get game time. Isiekwe now has to get ahead of Kruis, Itoje, Skelton and Day to get game time.

Whilst you look at Quins and because they don't have as many stars in their squad it is easier for our guys to break into the first team and get game time.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:15 am

The flip side of that is if a Sarries academy person makes it, then you know they are pretty good.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by beshocked on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:29 am

Samthequin that's the dilemma.

Stay at one of the best clubs in Europe and learn from some of the top players or look elsewhere for more gametime.

Isiekwe will struggle for gametime but he'll be able to learn a lot.

George and Kruis I am sure have benefited from experienced mentors. They are in a good position now.

Farrell Jr's attacking game has evolved and Charlie Hodgson has probably helped with that.


Gametime isn't always guaranteed either if you do move to another club as you still need to perform.

Another point is being in a stronger team should present more opportunities.


Jackson Wray isn't a household name but he's held down a space in the Saracens 23 for quite a while now.

Being keeping S.Burger out of the starting line up which is an impressive feat.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Cumbrian on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:45 am

Scottrf wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Not sure I would include Francis just yet, he didn't overly impress me against the Pumas and I would like to see where and how he settles at Saints.

Two assists and a try in his first 80 minutes at international level didn't impress you?

My impression of him was that he drifted in and out of the game, I didn't think either centre was particular impressive in the second test. I wouldn't say that he absolutely demanded future inclusion. He did okay, not enough to displace the squad incumbents in my opinion. A decent season with Saints would certainly see him come into the picture though.
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:53 am

beshocked wrote:Samthequin that's the dilemma.

Stay at one of the best clubs in Europe and learn from some of the top players or look elsewhere for more gametime.

Isiekwe will struggle for gametime but he'll be able to learn a lot.

George and Kruis I am sure have benefited from experienced mentors. They are in a good position now.

Farrell Jr's attacking game has evolved and Charlie Hodgson has probably helped with that.


Gametime isn't always guaranteed either if you do move to another club as you still need to perform.

Another point is being in a stronger team should present more opportunities.


Jackson Wray isn't a household name but he's held down a space in the Saracens 23 for quite a while now.

Being keeping S.Burger out of the starting line up which is an impressive feat.

Jackson Wray reminds me of Mark Wilson ....hes a players player that does a lot of nitty gritty stuff that the rest of his team mates appreciate.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by beshocked on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:26 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
beshocked wrote:Samthequin that's the dilemma.

Stay at one of the best clubs in Europe and learn from some of the top players or look elsewhere for more gametime.

Isiekwe will struggle for gametime but he'll be able to learn a lot.

George and Kruis I am sure have benefited from experienced mentors. They are in a good position now.

Farrell Jr's attacking game has evolved and Charlie Hodgson has probably helped with that.


Gametime isn't always guaranteed either if you do move to another club as you still need to perform.

Another point is being in a stronger team should present more opportunities.


Jackson Wray isn't a household name but he's held down a space in the Saracens 23 for quite a while now.

Being keeping S.Burger out of the starting line up which is an impressive feat.

Jackson Wray reminds me of Mark Wilson ....hes a players player that does a lot of nitty gritty stuff that the rest of his team mates appreciate.

True but the difference is that for whatever reason, Wray is never in line to play for England. I think he was unfortunate to be overlooked with all the backrowers out but Jones decided to go with youth in most cases.

I do think Wray has had one of his best seasons - I'd say it was between him and Rhodes for the best Saracens club player this season.

Of course internationals are different but I would have liked him to get a chance some time.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:33 am

Neither was Wilson bar one flirt with the Saxons. Finally however his consistent excellence was rewarded.

I doubt Wray will make the squad now, just like I doubt Mark Wilson will be in the squad once the full allocation return in the Autumn.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Welly on Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:58 pm


My 33 man squad
1) Vunipola, Marler, Genge
2) George, Hartley, Taylor
3) Cole, Sinckler, Collier
4) Kruis, Launchbury
5) Itoje, Lawes
6) Robshaw, Wilson
7) Haskell, Underhill
8) Vunipola, Hughes
9) Youngs, Care
10) Ford, Francis
11) Watson, Daly
12) Farrell, T'eo, Slade
13) Joesph, Manu ( Wink )
14) Nowell, Solomona
15) Brown,

Then the additional 12 players to make up the 45 man EPS.
Mullan, Cowan-Dickie, Beaumont, Mercer, Curry 1, Curry 2, Maunder, Malins, Marchant, Earle, Lowoski, Haley.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:05 pm

One thing that was noticeable on the tour was how Ford stepped up with his goal kicking when he was given responsibility. Player of the tour.

On guys like Wray and Wilson, Jones always talks about point of difference or that extra quality that makes them stand out and both are great club players but not sure whether they are capable of dominating top international players in any area of their games, apart from work rate.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:51 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:One thing that was noticeable on the tour was how Ford stepped up with his goal kicking when he was given responsibility. Player of the tour.

On guys like Wray and Wilson, Jones always talks about point of difference or that extra quality that makes them stand out and both are great club players but not sure whether they are capable of dominating top international players in any area of their games, apart from work rate.

I thought Mark proved he has what it takes to be a solid, reliable back up at that level (he didn't look out of place on this tour)...but yes others will have the "extra" needed to really push England on.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:05 pm

I really rated Wilson on the tour, he stood up and was excellent in his appearances. Talk of Tigers and Northampton wanting to sign him this summer.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Scottrf on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:07 pm

Yeah he was very good but Saints don't need another flanker.
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:33 pm

Yeah I heard the rumours but Ah hes settled in Newcastle (and not far from his Cumbrian home)...don't see why he would want to move now when he's the main man with us and we are improving and attracting excellent players...

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Welly on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:08 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yeah I heard the rumours but Ah hes settled in Newcastle (and not far from his Cumbrian home)...don't see why he would want to move now when he's the main man with us and we are improving and attracting excellent players...

Guess it depends on if Eddie has told him he would be more likely to be picked if he was playing in the champions cup or something.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:14 pm

Saints could do with someone like that, they've lost Clark to Saracens and need a bit more grit in their back row. Not convinced with Harrison or Gibson - was Harrison injured to miss the tour or has he been cast aside?

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by lostinwales on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:21 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:Saints could do with someone like that, they've lost Clark to Saracens and need a bit more grit in their back row. Not convinced with Harrison or Gibson - was Harrison injured to miss the tour or has he been cast aside?

Cast aside. Maybe injured but after his Oz tour where he played like Jayne despite looking like tarzan, I think he has a bit of ground to make up to get back into consideration. Plus there is a lot more competition than there was a year ago.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:31 pm

Wray is going to be forgotten now. I imagine by the AI s that clark will have his backers.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by lostinwales on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wray is going to be forgotten now. I imagine by the AI s that clark will have his backer s.

Hmmm

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:49 pm

Cough.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Poorfour on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:20 pm

Anyway, George gets his first test start for the Lions. We will never hear the end of it if Hartley starts the AIs.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by lostinwales on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:22 pm

Poorfour wrote:Anyway, George gets his first test start for the Lions. We will never hear the end of it if Hartley starts the AIs.

But we wouldn't want to put George on a pedestal

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:40 am

Can we put players in a pedalo instead?

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by robbo277 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:04 am

Poorfour wrote:Anyway, George gets his first test start for the Lions. We will never hear the end of it if Hartley starts the AIs.

As I said, Lions selection alone doesn't mean that he should be ahead of Hartley for England. It's one man's opinion (Gatland) vs anothers (Jones) - and I know who's opinion I respect more.

However, forming my own opinion on the situation, if George has a good test series he has to start. He's there or thereabouts ahead of Hartley anyway now, he can really cement that position with good performances over the next 3 Saturdays.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by LondonTiger on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:13 pm

It will be interesting if George goes well, but perhaps more interesting if he is OK but not world beating and is moved to the bench.

Assuming everyone is fit, what team would people like to see com 11th November when we meet Argentina again?

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by king_carlos on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:43 pm

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

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

Call me unadventurous but I think it's the best we have available currently.

Watson moving to full back is something that interests me though. I'm a Mike Brown fan but the out and out pace Watson offers from full back is a different prospect.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Underhill replace Haskell by offering the same physicality in the tackle but targeting the breakdown better in defence. If Underhill has claimed that 7 shirt by the 6 Nations I wouldn't be shocked.

I think the centre partnership can improve but I'm unconvinced by Te'o. He is strong in contact but I haven't seen anything to suggest he has the power there to improve on the current midfield. I'm interested to see how he goes on Saturday. I think Te'o (and JD2 for that matter) will struggle to come up with with much against the AB pressure. Obviously I hope to be proved wrong though.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by robbo277 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:08 pm

LondonTiger wrote:It will be interesting if George goes well, but perhaps more interesting if he is OK but not world beating and is moved to the bench.

Assuming everyone is fit, what team would people like to see com 11th November when we meet Argentina again?

It will obviously depend on how people go for the Lions, but sticking my neck out on the line:

Mako, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Robshaw, Underhill, Billy
Care, Ford, Daly, Te'o, Joseph, Nowell, Watson
Hartley, Marler, Cole, Launchbury, Hughes, Youngs, Farrell, Brown

I'd like to see how that starting team went, but with a huge safety blanket of a bench. If the structure isn't there, changes could be made early to calm the team down.

I think that team should be enough to take on Argentina, Australia and Samoa all at home, so would be happy to give them the series together.

We would then take stock before the Six Nations as to whether we need more structure from the outset, or whether we are happy with the starting team and would like to get some more tyros on the bench - Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Hill, Solomona would be some of the names in contention.

In the 2017 Six Nations we scored a decent 16 tries (3.2 tries per game). However, 11 (69%) of those were scored in the second half and 7 (44%) of those were scored in the last 20 minutes.

Contrast that to New Zealand, who scored 38 tries in the 2016 Rugby Championship (6.33 tries per game). They scored 21 (55%) tries in the second half of games and 10 (26%) in the last quarter.

I think if we are going to get to that level (maybe not quite 6 tries a game - that seems like a lot - possibly even an anomaly) then we attack more in the first 40/60 minutes and bury teams early on.

Looking back over the two tournaments, a number of times we needed to score a try late on (France, Wales and Ireland - although we didn't manage it on the last one). For New Zealand, on two occasions they had a bonus point by half time and possibly even eased off a bit.

I think the starters/finishers split is slightly misleading in this regard. A lot of people advocate "impact" players on the bench, but it depends. Either you stick in the game and look to finish it, or you rack a lead up early and bring on players who can shut it down. E.g. in my autumn team, you'd be looking to run up a lead before bringing on a strong scrumaging front row and 3 tactical kickers to work territory, eek out scrum penalties and hit the corners or keep tacking 3 on to the lead.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by dummy_half on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:20 pm

Looking at the 23 King Carlos has listed (for me an Eric Morcambe 23 - all the right players, not necessarily in the right order...), and thinking ahead to RWC 2019, where do we see room for improvement and players that may fade away:

LH - Injuries permitting, I see Marler and Mako having this sewn up.
Hooker - George starting, but I can see Hartley drifting out if a decent alternative develops.
TH - I think Cole is at risk. For me he's never come back to the scrummaging form of before his neck injury. Not sure I see Sinkler as a first 60 minutes player.

2nd row - Strong and gaining experience.
6 - Can Robshaw last 2 more years without losing the workrate that sets him apart? Arg tour identifying some strength in depth, but not likely to gain much experience.
7 - Haskell a bit like Robshaw, plus with the concern over coming back from the foot injury. Back up potentially excellent but very young and inexperienced.
8 - Billy V, Hughes and hopefully Ben Morgan is good strength in depth.

9 - Youngs OK. Will Care last long enough? Waiting for a young back up to emerge from a pack of decent options.
10 - Ford & Farrell is good.
12 - Farrell at 12 has been more successful than I expected, but we're still looking for a genuine inside centre. A few interesting cameos from the youngsters in Arg, but there appear to be strengths and weaknesses in each.
13 - JJ, Slade and (if by some miracle the gaffer tape keeps him together) Manu would offer some options. Don't see much space for youngsters in the near future.
Wings - Plenty of good options, most of whom are relatively young.
15 - Brown surely on the way out over the next 12 months, and it looks like Goode has also been put aside (regardless of how good a club player he is). THe question is whether there is a proper FB specialist coming through or if one of the (abundance of) wingers will take over - I know Watson has played a fair bit at FB for Bath last season, and many think it could be Daly's best position, so could be a case of 'promoting from within'.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by robbo277 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:39 pm

dummy_half wrote:I know Watson has played a fair bit at FB for Bath last season[/b]

My understanding of it, and backed up by the Bath website, is he is first and foremost a full back for Bath. They list him as a "Full Back, Wing", and in his biog they refer to him as "Fullback Anthony Watson".

With so many wingers, if he beds in at full back for England it could be the best thing all round.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:34 pm

Haskell needs to show his ferocious physical level he showed in Australia. On that form hes one of the first names...but if hes not...he loses out on technical skills to others.

We will only really be able to judge that in the upcoming season...if Haskell is over his injury.

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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by SamTheQuin on Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:35 pm

How old is Haskell these days? I can't remember him having a top, top game since the Australia series and would like to see some replacements in there for him. He gives away so many silly penalties, similar to Marler who is so petulant at times, he's been better this season at Quins but you can wind him up so easily and is a yellow card machine at times.

How do you choose the locks out of Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury and Kruis - four top class players.


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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

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