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

First topic message reminder :

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 yappysnap on Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:59 am

This'll be an interesting season for Clifford to see if he can nail down a backrow position and put some weight on. Right now he's not a 7 or 8 and still lacking some power.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:28 am

Certainly lots of options both current and coming through. I guess much will depend on the players form themselves and also how Eddie Jones wants his back row to play..ie he currently has Haskell playing 7 as a demolition man....

Will that continue if say Underhill or Curry form is outstanding and gives him the chance of a "genuine" 7 (especially Underhill who would give a similar physical style)?

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:02 am

I do think the two main areas EJ will look at are the back row and the midfield.

Which options will he go with.

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

Post by yappysnap on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:38 am

Fullback too. Brown hasn't got long left imo and then you have Watson/Daly

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

Post by cb on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:56 am

I think EJ is looking more towards strengthening his squad of players.  For example there is now Ford/Farrell/Teo who can be chosen to fill the 10/12 positions with a variety of styles.  Teo gained creditability with his Lions performance and perhaps should have started more.

Of the backs, possibly only Full back is yet unclear who replacement for Brown would be.  All the other positions seem to have able deputies.

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

Post by cb on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:06 pm

I think Watson looks our best full back replacement for Brown, unfortunately he also looks our best winger.

I am not really sure about Daly on the wing or even at full back, but he is a good footballer.

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

Post by Poorfour on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:34 pm

yappysnap wrote:This'll be an interesting season for Clifford to see if he can nail down a backrow position and put some weight on. Right now he's not a 7 or 8 and still lacking some power.

The implication of Clifford's surgery was that he had been carrying the shoulder injury for some time. Assuming that it's now fixed, it will be interesting to see if he can recapture the dynamism of the previous season. I don't think he needs to add bulk necessarily - he's not small and it would be a trade off against his speed and agility - but does need to be hitting with full force (or finding the gaps). He was excellent in his debut against a Barbarians side that included George Smith, and I hope that fixing the shoulder will enable him to get back to that level.

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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:05 pm

Nathan Hughes has started to look good again. A fit Vunipola is our best option at no8 and we just have to find the players that best suit him. Personally think one has to be a decent lineout jumper as you can't really pick Billy up.

With emerging talents like Mercer, Chisholm and the Curry brothers there are plenty to pick from. Am really looking forward to watching Underhill play this season.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:13 pm

Im happy with plenty of options...but I want a settled team as Eddie has done so far during his tenure.

Midfield is going to be a hugely interesting one! One of Ford or Farrell "could" be dropped which is a massive decision. Unless he goes with the power of T'eo at 13 rather than 12.


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

Post by BamBam on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:16 pm

cb wrote:I think Watson looks our best full back replacement for Brown, unfortunately he also looks our best winger.

I am not really sure about Daly on the wing or even at full back, but he is a good footballer.

I'd back Watson as the FB replacement

There's plenty of candidates for wing - Daly, Nowell, May, Yarde, Solomona, Earle, Cokanasiga

Back 2 of them to come through, and let Watson play arguably his best position where we lack options


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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:18 pm

If Ford can kick like he did in Argentina in future games then he is our first choice no10, the way he builds attacks and his passing and offensive kicking game are on another level to Farrells.

Wings are still are problem.

You have to fit Daly in there somewhere and Watson is a starter but don't see Nowell, May or any others really nailing down a shirt at the moment. Solomana is a frightening prospect once he gets more union experience.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:21 pm

Mercer looks very lightweight for senior international rugby (in my opinion) however a certain Mr Dallaglio wasn't exactly the monstrous powerhouse he became when he first played in the 7's for England etc. Hopefully he will bulk up appropriately.

I agree...ive always preferred the format of:
6 - Massive, hugely strong neaderthal thug
7 - fast, intelligent, back playing in the forwards who just loves to win the ball.
8 - Huge but athletic guy, just a great all round rugby player and major lineout option.

But we don't play with that format with Billy there at 8, and not many teams do really play with that format anymore.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:25 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:If Ford can kick like he did in Argentina in future games then he is our first choice no10, the way he builds attacks and his passing and offensive kicking game are on another level to Farrells.

Wings are still are problem.

You have to fit Daly in there somewhere and Watson is a starter but don't see Nowell, May or any others really nailing down a shirt at the moment. Solomana is a frightening prospect once he gets more union experience.

Im not sure wings are a problem. They're a good problem if anything.

Browns time is very limited now. As we're only playing Argentina, Samoa and Australia in the AI's it may even be up already. Thus Watson or Daly to FB (id prefer Daly actually) and Watson and Nowell on the wing.

That gives us an all round footballer with a monstrous boot at FB, a speedster on one wing and a livewire, ball tracking workhorse on the other.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:38 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:If Ford can kick like he did in Argentina in future games then he is our first choice no10, the way he builds attacks and his passing and offensive kicking game are on another level to Farrells.

Wings are still are problem.

You have to fit Daly in there somewhere and Watson is a starter but don't see Nowell, May or any others really nailing down a shirt at the moment. Solomana is a frightening prospect once he gets more union experience.

You know Ford is the first choice 10 right?
How many wings do you think we need on the pitch at once?

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:02 pm

Ford is the 10 but we really don't know what EJ's thoughts are on Farrell v Ford.

If new centres come through that offer everything...Maybe Mallinder becomes much more physical or Sam James is brought in then Farrell "could" be shifted to 10 and Ford dropped.

We just don't know what goes through EJ's head!

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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:53 pm

[quote="Gooseberry"][quote="SamTheQuin"]If Ford can kick like he did in Argentina in future games then he is our first choice no10, the way he builds attacks and his passing and offensive kicking game are on another level to Farrells.

Wings are still are problem.

You have to fit Daly in there somewhere and Watson is a starter but don't see Nowell, May or any others really nailing down a shirt at the moment. Solomana is a frightening prospect once he gets more union experience. [/quote]

You know Ford is the first choice 10 right?
How many wings do you think we need on the pitch at once?[/quote]

What I was saying is that Watson is the only guy I believe has nailed down a starting slot in the back three, as great as Brown was in Argentina he is getting on a bit and we need a replacement and who else is guaranteed a start? Nowell, May, Yarde havent done enough to get the answer there.

Ford's taken a lot of criticism (most, if not all unfair) and I've said before he's my preferred option at no10, but if you put Farrell outside him you can't play Joseph or Daly there as backline becomes too small and no one to boosh the ball up the middle.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:57 pm

Wr have played that combo and beaten everyone bar nz who we've not played?

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

Post by LionsV2 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:06 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:

Ford's taken a lot of criticism (most, if not all unfair) and I've said before he's my preferred option at no10, but if you put Farrell outside him you can't play Joseph or Daly there as backline becomes too small and no one to boosh the ball up the middle.
Instead we play JJ who can just glide past players.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:34 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wr have played that combo and beaten everyone bar nz who we've not played?


Yeah but dont let facts get in the way of opinions.


And to be fair England have leaked tries at times. But it still isnt exactly an area of concern to have the Lions 12 at 12. It does rely a bit on having a Robshaw type on the flank to help protect that channel but fortunately England have a Robshaw type in Robshaw. Of them though Ford is the one who gets hidden in the defensive system, and JJ ( as covered extensively in prior threads) is a solid defender for all his perceived lack of physicality.
 
Having Te'o in the squad means they have a plan B already. I dont see the midfield as something England will be overly concerned about even if Ford refidning his kicking confidence removes the absolute requirement for Farrell to start. 
If guys like Maallinder were seriously being considered for the Autumn they wouldve got a chance in the Argentina games. Instead it was Slade, Lozowski and some other guy noone even remembers or mentions. What is notable is all the players used are "fly halves who cover 12" types, like Farrell. This signals to me that England are content to continue with the formula they fell into by accident and which has bought them so much success. Even if Farrell does go (more likely injury than Jones sudeenly losing confidence in him) it would be for a similar type of player rather than a defensive rock.

If Vunipolas fit its only one backrow spot thats really in question, and Haskell still offers a great bench option covering all positions.

Jones hasnt really seen any great desire to drop Brown either. Hes stayed on for 80 minutes for all games this year (has jones actually ever taken him off?). Even with the opportunity to try out some of the next generation in Argentina games noone really cared about he played the entirity of both games. The clamour to get rid of him is very much and internet thing.

England have 3 lions wingers and an experienced quality 4th choice in May. And Solomaonananomanana coming through. Its not in any way a psoition of weakness or something that needs messing with.

The tight 5 ... well theres no end of options. George vs Hartley. Marler vs Vunipola. Cole vs Sinckler and Genge coming through. Just about any combination of the big 4 locks. But squad wise its hard to see external pressure pushing a need to replace anyone in the core group. So shuffling of combinations but nothing revolutionary in the offing.

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

Post by Poorfour on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:36 pm

LionsV2 wrote:
SamTheQuin wrote:

Ford's taken a lot of criticism (most, if not all unfair) and I've said before he's my preferred option at no10, but if you put Farrell outside him you can't play Joseph or Daly there as backline becomes too small and no one to boosh the ball up the middle.
Instead we play JJ who can just glide past players.

Which works fine if you have Billy V for bosh and flankers who can cover everything else. We're a bit dependent on Billy, so need to work out how to get an extra carrying option on the pitch if he's injured without compromising elsewhere. The obvious candidates are Mako, George and (especially) Sinckler - but Eddie seems to prefer Marler's scrummaging even if Gatland doesn't, and George and the Sinck on the bench. Wonder if we might see one of them promoted to starting for the AIs.

(As an aside, I was amazed how little the Lions used Sinckler, given he troubled the All Blacks pretty much every time he carried)

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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:37 pm

[quote="LionsV2"][quote="SamTheQuin"][quote]
Ford's taken a lot of criticism (most, if not all unfair) and I've said before he's my preferred option at no10, but if you put Farrell outside him you can't play Joseph or Daly there as backline becomes too small and no one to boosh the ball up the middle.[/quote]
[/quote]
Instead we play JJ who can just glide past players.[/quote]

He's had one great game for England this year when he got a hat trick but otherwise been disappointing compared to how good he can be and justifiably didnt make the Lions test squad. Great defender, not so great attacking threat against the best teams imo.

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

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:38 pm

Don't really agree Chris, Ford needs to prove he can keep up the kicking percentages. He was impressive in Arg but has abilty to go into melt down, maybe he's turned a corner.

I don't rate Daly on the wing, he just doesn't really add much. He's not likely to beat his man and just seems a bit lost. Seems he's in the team because he can kick over a 50m pen every 3 games. I's prefer to see him concentrate on 15 where he gets a bit more space.

Plenty of options on the wing apart from Daly.

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

Post by LionsV2 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:48 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:
LionsV2 wrote:
SamTheQuin wrote:

Ford's taken a lot of criticism (most, if not all unfair) and I've said before he's my preferred option at no10, but if you put Farrell outside him you can't play Joseph or Daly there as backline becomes too small and no one to boosh the ball up the middle.
Instead we play JJ who can just glide past players.

He's had one great game for England this year when he got a hat trick but otherwise been disappointing compared to how good he can be and justifiably didnt make the Lions test squad. Great defender, not so great attacking threat against the best teams imo.


What you're doing there is rating him based on how he can play rather than how he did play.

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

Post by LondonTiger on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:50 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
Jones hasnt really seen any great desire to drop Brown either. Hes stayed on for 80 minutes for all games this year (has jones actually ever taken him off?).

Replaced by Slade on 74 minutes v Argentina AIs 2016
Replaced by Goode on 69 minutes v Italy 6Ns 2016

Only times (I think) EJ has not left him on for full 80

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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:19 pm

[quote="Sgt_Pooly"]Don't really agree Chris, Ford needs to prove he can keep up the kicking percentages. He was impressive in Arg but has abilty to go into melt down, maybe he's turned a corner.

I don't rate Daly on the wing, he just doesn't really add much. He's not likely to beat his man and just seems a bit lost. Seems he's in the team because he can kick over a 50m pen every 3 games. I's prefer to see him concentrate on 15 where he gets a bit more space.

Plenty of options on the wing apart from Daly.[/quote]

Quite literally a nutter. This whole 'Chris' thing is plane odd not. Do you seriously not have anything better to do. Have seen 3-4 people on the main boards mention you just wind people up and my gosh it is pathetic.

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

Post by lostinwales on Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:44 pm

SamTheQuin wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Don't really agree Chris, Ford needs to prove he can keep up the kicking percentages. He was impressive in Arg but has abilty to go into melt down, maybe he's turned a corner.

I don't rate Daly on the wing, he just doesn't really add much. He's not likely to beat his man and just seems a bit lost. Seems he's in the team because he can kick over a 50m pen every 3 games. I's prefer to see him concentrate on 15 where he gets a bit more space.

Plenty of options on the wing apart from Daly.

Quite literally a nutter. This whole 'Chris' thing is plane odd not. Do you seriously not have anything better to do. Have seen 3-4 people on the main boards mention you just wind people up and my gosh it is pathetic.

Pooly is OK. There are some as more sensitive than others, and there are very few who have not trolled a little at some point. Even Micky D can be a decent poster until he goes off on one

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

Post by SamTheQuin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:20 pm

lostinwales, he's going round convinced I am someone else. The guy needs to grow up and just stick to talking about rugby, surely that's what these boards are for!?

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

Post by LondonTiger on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:49 am

So, I guess we always have to be prepared to resort to 3rd choice thus what are peoples first, second and third match day squads (so 69 players in total).

Of course with this many players we are bound to forget someone, but I shall have a go:

First XXIII

Mako, Marler, Hartley, George, Cole, Sinkler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Robshaw, Haskell, Vunipola, Underhill, Youngs, Care, Ford, Farrell, Te'o, Joseph, Daly, Watson, Nowell, Brown



Second XXIII
Genge, Mullan, LCD, Taylor, Hill, Williams, Launchbury, Ewells, Isiekwe, Wilson, Clifford, Harrison, Hughes, Robson, Maunder, Lozowski, Francis, Slade, May, Yarde, Haley, Marchant, Solomona


Third XXIII
Really struggling - especially positions that have already used up 4+ players.
LH - ??
Hookers - ??
TH - Collier +?
Locks - Plenty good enough to be stand ins but any stand outs?
Back Row - Currys*2, Tom Wood to cover
SH - Simpson + 1
FH - A lot already used as centres, Freddie Burns would be a decent stand in
Centres - Mallinder, James, Manu (if fit)
Wings - Roko, Earle
FB - ???

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

Post by beshocked on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:11 am

Daly is an interesting one. He has had a good year and a bit aside from that red card.

I agree with Sgt Pooly. I don't see him as a long term option on the wing but he's done a good job.

Joseph certainly does seem to have had a dip in form.

With Joseph not firing on all cylinders, opportunities at 13 for others.

Maybe Daly to settle at 13.

It's interesting how fly half and centres seems to be blending almost one with the likes of Mallinder,Slade,Farrell,Lozowski and Francis all having games at 10 and in the centres.

This ball playing centre (basically converting a fly half into a centre) seems to be the vogue in England despite for me, the best centre partnership in recent years being Nonu-Smith in world rugby.


Teo is an exception and his hard running has won him fans.


It's balance which has been an issue in the backrow and centres.

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

Post by Gooseberry on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:28 pm

beshocked wrote:Daly is an interesting one. He has had a good year and a bit aside from that red card.

I agree with Sgt Pooly. I don't see him as a long term option on the wing but he's done a good job.

Joseph certainly does seem to have had a dip in form.

With Joseph not firing on all cylinders, opportunities at 13 for others.

Maybe Daly to settle at 13.

It's interesting how fly half and centres seems to be blending almost one with the likes of Mallinder,Slade,Farrell,Lozowski and Francis all having games at 10 and in the centres.

This ball playing centre (basically converting a fly half into a centre) seems to be the vogue in England despite for me, the best centre partnership in recent years being Nonu-Smith in world rugby.


Teo is an exception and his hard running has won him fans.


It's balance which has been an issue in the backrow and centres.


Right theres a huge difference between what we as individuals think and the path that its clear the england coaches are taking with players.
Daly getting picked on the wing was leftfield ...but Jones rates him very highgly and found a place on the picth for him. Its typical of the Aussie approach, as is the way hes devleoped the centers (despite initially looking for that big 12 and wanting Tuillagi) ....get good all round footballers and stick them pretty much anywhere in the line.
Hes consistently picked Daly as a first choice on the wing, theres no reason to expect that to suddenly change ....unless its to transition to full back ( despite as noted above Brown having played 80 minutes of all but 2 games in 2016 under Jones) or to go to 13 to replace an out of form JJ. It certainly wouldnt be because hes not doing a good job on the wing. Personally I feel his skillset is better ustilised in the oustide backs than at 13 (the long kicking).
And yes they are 10/12 or 12/10's hes using at center. Even Te'o started out as a fly half. If anything the signal is that JJ is more likley to get replaced by one of that sort of player than shifting Daly there...if there was any desire to drop him. Te'o at 13 would add that muscularity without going down the route of an out and out brick. I think thats a more likley change than Farrell being dropped or moved from 12.


Im in agreement with LondonTigers broad squad view .... injuries and form pending I dont see any evidence of planning for radical overhauls of the current core team (aside form Wood dropping back down). If anything the summer has only cememented it, despite the Ireland result. Its those fringe players we are likely to see changes in ...Harrison, Williams etc. Haskells position is probably at risk. Marler and Mako are still different side sof a slice of toast, I guess Care and Youngs too. Hartley will stay capatin so George will continue to bench and wave his Lions caps around.

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

Post by Hood83 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:24 pm

To be honest the Lions tour has made me more concerned not less, despite them being under par. There are quite a few areas I can't really see how we can compete with them.

The tight five has learnt to scrummage. I don't think Franks and Moody are great ball carriers but they're excellent defenders. Mako I think would struggle in the scrum and Marler in the loose. Who knows with Genge, possibly both.

As fantastic as our locks are, do we have a Retallick? How do we nullify him? It seems more and more that if you can do that, you have a chance of shutting down their engine room. Itoje I thought fronted up against Whitelock OK, but we don't have a player of the size of Retallick. Would Lawes, Kruis or Launchbury contain him or would we just look to Billy? Would we try and have a more mobile front 5 effectively and how would that alter our game?

Then there's the entire back-line. I'm fine with whoever is at 13, but with Ford/Farrell at 10/12 they'd run Laumape, Savea etc. up that channel all day. Would our back row get across to cover and if they do are they taken out for the next couple of quick phases? They'd almost guarantee to get over the gain-line and probably tie up our backrow. Then there's the problem of the Barrett's. How would we nullify a 6 foot 5 Jordie going up to claim pinpoint BB cross field kicks. It goes on and on!

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

Post by LionsV2 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:43 pm

You seem to think that Eddie Jones would approach things the same way as Gatland and have come to a conclusion based on that, it's also a very one sided appraisal of things as well overplaying non issues.

1. The English front five wouldn't have any problems against New Zealand come scrum time, in fact i'd expect them to have the edge there, Cole and Marler are rock solid in that regard while the latter is an excellent defender. This highlights to me a big problem with your post, you look at the positives of Franks and Moody but only the negatives their English counterparts.

2. Itoje did a very good job of nullifying both Whitelock and Retallick, give him a more physical second row partner like Lawes or Launchbury and you'll see a big difference, the NZ would have a slight edge most probably but nothing to be overly concerned by.

3. They can play Laumape at 12 if they wish, won't impact on the Ford/Farrell axis defensively, Farrell is used as the trigger for the rush defence and Robshaw then covers for him, something that has worked well during Jones' tenure, worth noting he's used to JJ outside him who has the pace to cover out wide.

4. Jordie Barrett has started one international where for the most part he was competing against Williams who was terrible under the high ball all tour, Mike Brown has his faults but he's not at all weak aerially nor is Watson.

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

Post by Hood83 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:21 pm

LionsV2 wrote:You seem to think that Eddie Jones would approach things the same way as Gatland and have come to a conclusion based on that, it's also a very one sided appraisal of things as well overplaying non issues.

1. The English front five wouldn't have any problems against New Zealand come scrum time, in fact i'd expect them to have the edge there, Cole and Marler are rock solid in that regard while the latter is an excellent defender. This highlights to me a big problem with your post, you look at the positives of Franks and Moody but only the negatives their English counterparts.

2. Itoje did a very good job of nullifying both Whitelock and Retallick, give him a more physical second row partner like Lawes or Launchbury and you'll see a big difference, the NZ would have a slight edge most probably but nothing to be overly concerned by.

3. They can play Laumape at 12 if they wish, won't impact on the Ford/Farrell axis defensively, Farrell is used as the trigger for the rush defence and Robshaw then covers for him, something that has worked well during Jones' tenure, worth noting he's used to JJ outside him who has the pace to cover out wide.

4. Jordie Barrett has started one international where for the most part he was competing against Williams who was terrible under the high ball all tour, Mike Brown has his faults but he's not at all weak aerially nor is Watson.

You could well be right, especially re my overplaying non-issues. Although I actually think Eddie would set us up pretty similar to Gatland. Rush defence, look to get it out wide relatively early etc. To the other point though:

1. Yes you could well be right. I think Marler would be better at scrum time, Cole, perhaps, but that's not a mobile front row and we lose a big carrying weapon.

2. Yes, and I really rate Lawes which is why I've suggested previously he's my first pick at lock due to his drastically improved carrying the past year...he is still not Retallick, but my question was a genuine one, does he nullify Retallick? Perhaps.

3. Yep, could well be fine, but he'll give them front foot ball either way so our back row has to decide whether to compete for the ball or fan out. My worry is a Laumape truck up, quick ball, Savea hitting the line at pace. Their handling let them down against the Lions, i'm not convinced it will again but who knows.

4. Yep, but they've not played against many people who are 6'5 on the wing. Again though, true, they might be fine.

I realise I'm speculating, but these are the issues I'd hope we have answers to. I'd love us to find a beast at lock, an all-rounder at LH and some backs with both size and skill, but we have what we have. Maybe it's good enough.

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

Post by Hood83 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:22 pm

Also my predictions are pretty much 100% inaccurate, so there's an upside here.

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

Post by Poorfour on Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:43 pm

I don't think we can draw any real conclusions from the Lions. Different coach, different style, different player pool.

The main things we have learned are about individual players:
- Sinckler and George are closer to being ready to start
- Mako's scrummaging was somewhat exposed; Collier's was quite the opposite. In the loose, the situation is more or less reversed
- Itoje, Farrell and Watson can cut it at the very highest level
- Underhill and the Currys can do a job, as can Wilson.
etc

Eddie will probably mix things up a little based on that. The autumn International squad may have more in common with the Argentina squad than the 6 Nations squad, because the Lions will probably get a rest. So we won't get a real idea of his plans until the 6N 2018

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:01 pm

It's a good point that the lions may present further opportunities in the AIs. You'd think that he will want guys like Itoje back in ASAP if fit but some of them like Kruis who was.coming back from.injury or others showing fatigue may have to bide their time.

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

Post by Cumbrian on Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:13 pm

LondonTiger wrote:So, I guess we always have to be prepared to resort to 3rd choice thus what are peoples first, second and third match day squads (so 69 players in total).

Of course with this many players we are bound to forget someone, but I shall have a go:

First XXIII

Mako, Marler, Hartley, George, Cole, Sinkler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Robshaw, Haskell, Vunipola, Underhill, Youngs, Care, Ford, Farrell, Te'o, Joseph, Daly, Watson, Nowell, Brown



Second XXIII
Genge, Mullan, LCD, Taylor, Hill, Williams, Launchbury, Ewells, Isiekwe, Wilson, Clifford, Harrison, Hughes, Robson, Maunder, Lozowski, Francis, Slade, May, Yarde, Haley, Marchant, Solomona


Third XXIII
Really struggling - especially positions that have already used up 4+ players.
LH - ??
Hookers - ??
TH - Collier +?
Locks - Plenty good enough to be stand ins but any stand outs?
Back Row - Currys*2, Tom Wood to cover
SH - Simpson + 1
FH - A lot already used as centres, Freddie Burns would be a decent stand in
Centres - Mallinder, James, Manu (if fit)
Wings - Roko, Earle
FB - ???


Third choice team aside from the guys you have suggested (I agree with your choices mostly.)


01. Val Rupava-Ruskin, Nick Auerac or Nathan Catt- Considering how far down the list they are, they are strong choices.
02. George McGuigan, Mike Haywood
03. Henry Thomas or Kieran Brookes?
04. & 05. As you say take your pick!
06. Sam Jones- Was making his way into the England set up before his broken leg.
07. Callum Clarke or Matt Kvesic?
08. Ben Morgan, Ross Chisholm, Dave Ewers, Josh Beaumont... Too early for Zach Mercer perhaps?

09. Stuart Townsend
10. Danny Cipriani,

11. & 14. Christian Wade, Joe Cokanasiga
12. Ollie Devoto, Ryan Mills, Luther Burrell
13. Will Addison,
15. Jason Woodward, Aaron Morris



So a squad of

01.Val Rupava-Ruskin
02. George McGuigan
03. Will Collier
04. Dave Attwood
05. Graham Kitchener
06. Sam Jones
07. Ben Curry
06. Ben Morgan

09. Joe Simpson
10. Freddie Burns

11. Semesa Rokoduguni
12. Ollie Devoto
13. Sam James
14. Christian Wade
15. Jason Woodward

16. Mike Haywood
17. Nick Auterac
18. Kieran Brookes
19. Dom Barrow
20. Tom Curry
21. Stu Townsend
22. Ryan Mills
23. Nathan Earle


To be fair, I think that squad could give a few NH teams a game and not disgrace themselves.

Without trying to (meterphorically) blow my load, that is some serious depth. I canno remember a time in my 20+ years of following English rugby a time where we had so much depth. The exciting thing is, more excellent player are coming through each year. It is a fine time to be an English rugby fan. It almost (I said almost) makes up for my time at university in Wales watching the mid 2000s English teams *shudder*.
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Poorfour on Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:20 pm

I think you mean James Chisholm rather than Ross there, Cumbrian. But otherwise a good shout. There is some serious depth building.

The reality is that, as I think Eddie has said, about 60 players have a realistic chance of playing over the rest of the RWC cycle, and barring injury or severe loss of form we probably won't see more than a couple involved who haven't already played.

Given that, I suspect that selections will skew towards the younger players who might be involved beyond 2019. The earlier they can get a taste of the England setup and earn some caps, the better.

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

Post by Cumbrian on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:46 pm

Oops, Ross is the older brother isn't he? The fullback/wing? Got a lot of time for him too TBF.
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Re: England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

Post by Hood83 on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:13 am

Poorfour wrote:I think you mean James Chisholm rather than Ross there, Cumbrian. But otherwise a good shout. There is some serious depth building.

The reality is that, as I think Eddie has said, about 60 players have a realistic chance of playing over the rest of the RWC cycle, and barring injury or severe loss of form we probably won't see more than a couple involved who haven't already played.

Given that, I suspect that selections will skew towards the younger players who might be involved beyond 2019. The earlier they can get a taste of the England setup and earn some caps, the better.

It's the age old problem though isn't it. It's great we have so much depth, and gives us a big advantage when you see the injury rates these days. But in terms of maximising potential it's a tough one. Identifying the players who can step up to international level is one thing, recognising those that will come good but need time is another, and knowing the best combinations is even harder. When players don't perform, especially young ones just learning, we can easily cycle them out. Plus take someone like Tom Curry. He played fantastically well but could conceivably not play international rugby again for 2 or 3 years. Would his development be accelerated if we had no choice and had to play him.

You can tell I'm a glass half full type :-)

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

Post by Poorfour on Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:05 pm

In his previous coaching roles, Eddie has often been accused of pushing the players so hard that they burn out and having to turn to players he's previously discarded to replace them. One of the great advantages he has with England is a nearly inexhaustible player pool to work with, and an age grade system that is now supplying consistently good players.

The big question is whether he can use that effectively to keep strengthening the team for this cycle but also often future ones.

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

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:04 am

Poorfour wrote:In his previous coaching roles, Eddie has often been accused of pushing the players so hard that they burn out and having to turn to players he's previously discarded to replace them. One of the great advantages he has with England is a nearly inexhaustible player pool to work with, and an age grade system that is now supplying consistently good players.

The big question is whether he can use that effectively to keep strengthening the team for this cycle but also often future ones.

Hopefully he's learnt Very Happy

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

Post by yappysnap on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:40 pm

Hood83 wrote:
Poorfour wrote:I think you mean James Chisholm rather than Ross there, Cumbrian. But otherwise a good shout. There is some serious depth building.

The reality is that, as I think Eddie has said, about 60 players have a realistic chance of playing over the rest of the RWC cycle, and barring injury or severe loss of form we probably won't see more than a couple involved who haven't already played.

Given that, I suspect that selections will skew towards the younger players who might be involved beyond 2019. The earlier they can get a taste of the England setup and earn some caps, the better.

It's the age old problem though isn't it. It's great we have so much depth, and gives us a big advantage when you see the injury rates these days. But in terms of maximising potential it's a tough one. Identifying the players who can step up to international level is one thing, recognising those that will come good but need time is another, and knowing the best combinations is even harder. When players don't perform, especially young ones just learning, we can easily cycle them out. Plus take someone like Tom Curry. He played fantastically well but could conceivably not play international rugby again for 2 or 3 years. Would his development be accelerated if we had no choice and had to play him.

You can tell I'm a glass half full type :-)

It's interesting isn't it. Using Curry as an example, he's just performed very well on tour, but could easily not play for England again until after the next RWC. At most he may get to play in Baabaa's games or that random one off test. The same could happen to a fair few other players on the wing and at lock in particular.

And then by the time their chance comes around, we could have 2 or 3 younger guys also throwing their hats in the ring.

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

Post by Hood83 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:05 pm

yappysnap wrote:
Hood83 wrote:
Poorfour wrote:I think you mean James Chisholm rather than Ross there, Cumbrian. But otherwise a good shout. There is some serious depth building.

The reality is that, as I think Eddie has said, about 60 players have a realistic chance of playing over the rest of the RWC cycle, and barring injury or severe loss of form we probably won't see more than a couple involved who haven't already played.

Given that, I suspect that selections will skew towards the younger players who might be involved beyond 2019. The earlier they can get a taste of the England setup and earn some caps, the better.

It's the age old problem though isn't it. It's great we have so much depth, and gives us a big advantage when you see the injury rates these days. But in terms of maximising potential it's a tough one. Identifying the players who can step up to international level is one thing, recognising those that will come good but need time is another, and knowing the best combinations is even harder. When players don't perform, especially young ones just learning, we can easily cycle them out. Plus take someone like Tom Curry. He played fantastically well but could conceivably not play international rugby again for 2 or 3 years. Would his development be accelerated if we had no choice and had to play him.

You can tell I'm a glass half full type :-)

It's interesting isn't it. Using Curry as an example, he's just performed very well on tour, but could easily not play for England again until after the next RWC. At most he may get to play in Baabaa's games or that random one off test. The same could happen to a fair few other players on the wing and at lock in particular.

And then by the time their chance comes around, we could have 2 or 3 younger guys also throwing their hats in the ring.

Exactly, it makes it very hard for EVERYONE to reach their potential, so it's a guessing game to fix on those with the highest potential, and how long it'd take them to reach it.

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

Post by Poorfour on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:56 pm

The upside of that, and of the high injury rate, is that the cream does tend to rise to the top. Players like JJ, Kruis and Itoje first got their chances as a result of injuries, and have become regular fixtures in the side. Anyone else who is similarly good will get their chance in time; it's up to them to take it.

To put it another way: with the arguable exception of George, which young players have excelled in an early International and then been left out of the squad?

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

Post by cascough on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:11 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Mercer looks very lightweight for senior international rugby (in my opinion) however a certain Mr Dallaglio wasn't exactly the monstrous powerhouse he became when he first played in the 7's for England etc. Hopefully he will bulk up appropriately.

I agree...ive always preferred the format of:
6 - Massive, hugely strong neaderthal thug
7 - fast, intelligent, back playing in the forwards who just loves to win the ball.
8 - Huge but athletic guy, just a great all round rugby player and major lineout option.

But we don't play with that format with Billy there at 8, and not many teams do really play with that format anymore.

Who was the last international back row to fit this mould do you reckon?

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

Post by beshocked on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:44 am

Geordiefalcon

I wouldn't say Richard Hill would have fit your bill at 6 yet he forged a very successful partnership with Back and Dallaglio.


England seemed to have moved more towards a primarily big ball carrier at 8 rather than more of an all rounder.

No 8 is a position, there is an opportunity to offer something different to Billy, not necessary better though.


Billy is not Read but his monstrous carrying does give a lot of problems to the opposition generally.

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

Post by cascough on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:54 am

Richard Hill!?

Richard Hill was a 7, a real fetcher with exceptional technique and a good rugby brain. He did a lot of mopping up much like Robshaw does now.

I don't think Massive, hugely strong neaderthal thug descirbes Richard Hill at all??

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

Post by kingelderfield on Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:06 am

Regarding the issues of selecting from depth and how this can promote or disrupt development, I do think that this highlights the importance of competent club coaching.
One of the key structural weaknesses of our club V country set is, that there little conducive opportunity for the 2 sides to work together in player development amongst other things, and so it is crucial there is quality coaching at the club level.
Obviously the standouts I think are Saracens followed by Exeter, but not everyone attains that level or even close to it.
Getting the coaching right is so important, but there will always be difficult selection decisions.

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

Post by beshocked on Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:12 am

Hill played primarily at 6 for England with Back at 7 and Dallaglio at 8.

My point is that the idea of the ideal backrow doesn't really work.

That's our best English backrow ever IMO and didn't have a thug at 6.

kingelderfield totally agree. I know some fans on here sing the praises of Diamond but I think he's a bit overrated.

Sometimes fans forget that coaches have to work on a lower budget because they struggle with a bigger one - basically they are mediocre.

Diamond is the Allardyce or Moyes of the Aviva Premiership IMO.

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

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