England's Elite Performance Squad - 2017/18

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 10:52 am

First topic message reminder :

I missed the Chiefs game on the weekend - did Slade have a good one?
Seems like he is starting to focus on 13 - I do wonder if that is a directive from RFU.
12 is quite well stocked with Teo and hybrid 12's in Farrell, Lozowski.
After Saints demolition - Is Piers Francis still in the mix for some people?
Joseph I am sure will come back into the mix.

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Post by cascough on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 10:59 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Brookes only got 2 weeks for similar, as a low end incident. This appeared a bit more deliberate. It may not be too extreme a ban though.

Mid range 4 weeks.

EDIT: Thinking about it, have probably underestimated it. It was retaliatory which could give an extended ban and the other player wasn't really involved in the ruck anymore. Also as he was turning wasn't in a position to defend himself.

Another data point: Sekope Kepu got a three week ban when he did much the same against Scotland. Things have moved quite quickly on this kind of offence in the space of less than twelve months. Mako Vunipola wasn't banned for his should charge to Barrett during the second Lions test. I think he just saw yellow for 10 minutes.

Struggling to find a parallel between those two offences. Marler hit someone not in the ruck and made contact with the head. Vunipola went to clear out someone who was actually in the ruck and who was pulling away as Vunipola made contact. Not only did Vuipola make contact with Barrett's chest first, there isn't an angle that shows him make any contact with Barrett's head as he rides up, despite the protestations of the crowd as it's replayed.

Couldn't believe that was penned myself, let alone a yellow. The "late" hit on Barrett 2 mins earlier was undoubtedly a factor. I say "late" because not only, in real time, was it not late, it was also identical to NZ taking out Farrell earlier in the game. And that wasn't penned. Back to the clearout, Mako wasn't cited, which means even with the benefit of taking their time looking at replays, the authorities decided it wasn't a red card. Totally different ballpark to Marler's offence.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 11:19 am

cascough wrote:Struggling to find a parallel between those two offences.

Video here.

https://twitter.com/theblitzdefence/status/881116363548504064

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 11:26 am

Marler's was malicious and retaliatory, and clearly tried to hurt the player. Vunipola's was IMO a fairly standard clearout these days (not that I think it's acceptable).

One is a game incident, the other is not.

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Post by cascough on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 12:22 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
cascough wrote:Struggling to find a parallel between those two offences.

Video here.

https://twitter.com/theblitzdefence/status/881116363548504064

As I have already explained in my post, theres no angle that shows clear contact with the head, so thank you for posting an angle that backs that up. It looks to me that Barrett is hit in the chest and his head is rocked backwards, which is consistent with the reverse angle. Worlds apart IMO.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 1:22 pm

We will find out tonight how may games Marler will be banned for.
Fortunately Mako is looking to be in pretty good form (scrimmaging is still a bit of an issue - but he adds so much in the loose).
Shame that Genge is injured.
TH we should be OK with Cole and Sinks.
I forget, is Harry Williams a TH or LH?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 1:50 pm

Tight.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 2:03 pm

Scottrf wrote:Marler's was malicious and retaliatory, and clearly tried to hurt the player. Vunipola's was IMO a fairly standard clearout these days (not that I think it's acceptable).

One is a game incident, the other is not.

I think Vunipola's clearout wasn't serious at the time. As cascough says, it might not even have warranated a yellow. However, I'd be surprised if the same action didn't pick up more than a yellow now. That's how far I think standards have shifted in just a few months. The exception seems to be the Top14, where play can still be waved on, although some officials there are penalizing it.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 10:11 pm

Marler banned for 6 weeks

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/42629550

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 11:38 pm

Seems fair to me, tbh he's lucky to not get more with his record.

I imagine EJ will bring him straight back in once his bans up too.

Can he train in that time? And who is our second game against?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:09 am

yappysnap wrote:...And who is our second game against?

Wales at Twickenham.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 9:54 am

I would imagine that he will come straight back into the group once the ban is up.
Its a shame that we have a shortage at LH all at the same time.
As others have said - Alec Hepburn at Chiefs. Waller at Saints is injured I think. Collier at Quins is another TH.
Mullan is injured.
Obano is a TH isn't he?



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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 9:58 am

propdavid_london wrote:I would imagine that he will come straight back into the group once the ban is up.  
Its a shame that we have a shortage at LH all at the same time.
As others have said - Alec Hepburn at Chiefs.  Waller at Saints is injured I think.  Collier at Quins is another TH.
Mullan is injured.
Obano is a TH isn't he?



As demonstrated by this team list, obano is a LH:

https://www.bathrugby.com/news/priestland-to-make-50th-appearance-for-bath-rugby-against-worcester-warriors/

At 5ft8 it could make things interesting.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:06 am

There could be some merit for giving Dunn a game at the same time as Obano.
Not sure what the respective heights are of the rest of the front row - but a height differential on one side will cause as much problems for the opposition as it will for the home unit.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:13 am

At his best, Thomas Domingo was an outstanding LH prop and his similarly short stature caused opposition no end of issues.

Not sure Obano is anywhere near as technically strong as Domingo was, while Domingo was often paired with Nicolas Mas at 5ft11. With both Cole and Williams at 6ft3 it may give a chance for a recall to the shorter Sinckler (5ft10)

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:15 am

Marler has been given a six week ban.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:18 am

Technically Obano will be way off - but he does have plenty of time. Same for Sinks.
I've played both sides of the pack and one thing that really annoyed me were the shorter, squat props - if they can get under you then they can cause no end of problems. There are ways of dealing with that but I always preferred to line up against a taller or similar height of opponent. I'm 6ft1.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:25 am

LondonTiger wrote:At his best, Thomas Domingo was an outstanding LH prop and his similarly short stature caused opposition no end of issues.

Not sure Obano is anywhere near as technically strong as Domingo was, while Domingo was often paired with Nicolas Mas at 5ft11. With both Cole and Williams at 6ft3 it may give a chance for a recall to the shorter Sinckler (5ft10)

I recall Domingo taking Cole to the cleaners on numerous occasions, even when Cole was at his peak. The shorter props always seem to have more joy in the set piece although I agree you need the balance.

The French outfit of Mas, Servat and Domingo or Barcella(My fav of the time) was immense.

Off topic but pure rugby porn.....https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x28kg8r

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:36 am

Love the one where McCaw falls into the tunnel Very Happy

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Post by beshocked on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 11:21 am

Jones is in a good position at the moment in charge of a team that has only lost one game.

Looks very good on paper but where's the improvement? Do I think this current England look capable of beating Ireland away or indeed NZ? No.

How do I think England get there?

Make necessary changes.

The recall of Haskell and Jones' stubbornness to factor in form should be a cause for concern. Of course it won't concern all but it's still there.

Of course it's easy to see why Jones is being stubborn, these players have helped him to 22 out of 23 wins.

To Jones it doesn't necessarily matter if their performances have been individually sub par.

It's been the winning which is fair enough I guess - if you have a couple of passengers in a team what does it matter if the wins still come?


It's when the losses come when the pressure will come on.

I am interested to see if Jones has the humility to make changes if indeed the losses do come or he'll be like Lancaster.

Of course I'd rather the changes come before a loss but Jones has done well enough to instill faith in him.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 11:29 am

Eddie has admitted to making mistakes before. T.Harrison on the Australian tour was hoiked off early in one of the tests when it wasn't working!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 11:36 am

And a defeat will come; it's inevitable. May come this 6 nations as there are teams clearly capable of beating us. I'd still go for a grand slam as my prediction though. Would be interesting to do a form team of the aviva though as I imagine it would look remarkably different to the expected england side.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:And a defeat will come; it's inevitable. May come this 6 nations as there are teams clearly capable of beating us. I'd still go for a grand slam as my prediction though. Would be interesting to do a form team of the aviva though as I imagine it would look remarkably different to the expected england side.

Which is usually the case all the time I have been watching the game. Those of enough years will remember the "Regional" games against touring sides, and the short lived "Regional" Competition. Prior to Geoff Cooke's appointment teh team would change by large amounts regularly due to one off performances in these kind of games.


Now addressing other people's points, complete loss of form should not be ignored - but fans and media do at times get caught up in latest hot player. It is easy being an armchair pundit as there is no consequence for our "selections". We conveniently forget that we were part of the clamour for Players X,Y & Z when they are tried and failed. We demand changes to the team, yet if they happen and the team loses we castigate the coach.

I have to accept that Jones knows more about the game than I do; that he watches more than I do; that he knows what attributes he wants players to exhibit. I think he is wrong to have not included a 3rd SH in the squads, yet I am also aware that he has told certain players what they need to work on to get in his squads and (for whatever reason) that has not happened.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:29 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I have to accept that Jones knows more about the game than I do; that he watches more than I do; that he knows what attributes he wants players to exhibit. I think he is wrong to have not included a 3rd SH in the squads, yet I am also aware that he has told certain players what they need to work on to get in his squads and (for whatever reason) that has not happened.

I don't know if you saw the debate around it but basically, some teams play in a way that makes it hard for certain players to show the attributes Jones wants from a player i.e. not enough of a kicking game from SH.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:48 pm

Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I have to accept that Jones knows more about the game than I do; that he watches more than I do; that he knows what attributes he wants players to exhibit. I think he is wrong to have not included a 3rd SH in the squads, yet I am also aware that he has told certain players what they need to work on to get in his squads and (for whatever reason) that has not happened.

I don't know if you saw the debate around it but basically, some teams play in a way that makes it hard for certain players to show the attributes Jones wants from a player i.e. not enough of a kicking game from SH.

Yeah I saw the debate that seemed to centre around Robson and Armand. While Jones obviously wants his SHs to be able to kick, the main KPI (hate using management speak but hey ho) he uses for them is how quickly they can get to their feet and the time taken to get to each (and every) breakdown.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:49 pm

I suspect Haskell is only back around the squad because the young guns that EJ is keen on all seem to be injured. He is in the 'reliable short term fix' category. Simmonds should be in front of him

Billy coming back in is very good news, but the back row is an area where we are getting short on players. We could well start with Billy, Robshaw and Simmonds (or possibly Lawes if EJ can convince him his form is good enough) Bench options will be interesting until Hughes is back.

It is not inconceivable that we will start a game with Billy and Hughes in the back row.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 12:54 pm

Haskell.coming back does make sense after curry underhill Hughes were injured. Vunipola has obviously just returned. Bring back someone who you know will give you a certain level and type of performance vs capping another guy who is likely to be overtaken again by the returning players.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:06 pm

I was trying to think of all the questions which have been raised about Eddie Jones's England. Think it goes something like this:

1. Mike Brown - Not enough of an attacking threat. Past his sell by date. (said by lots of people, most recently, ex-England No.15 Matt Perry)

2. George Ford - Not the flyhalf to make England World Champions. Choose Farrell,  and find a centre pairing (said by Ben Ryan)

3. Dylan Hartley - Not our best hooker, we must be able to find leadership elsewhere rather than carry a passenger (lots of people, Stephen Jones this weekend)

4. No 3rd scrum half/no Dan Robson - Match day squad always needs two, so there's a risk our third choice won't know the game plan (LondonTiger above, and Austin Healey this week)

5. Elliot Daly not a proper winger, should be in the centre - Jones trying to shoehorn his attributes into the side at the expense of a specialist winger. (think Healey said that)

6. Scrum barely holding its own - two seasons in, we still don't know our best scrummaging unit because Jones places more value on work in the loose. Hurts us against good scrummaging teams. (my opinion, don't think I'm the only one holding it)

7. Back row uncertain - Armand overlooked. We seemed to be moving on from unit of Robshaw, Haskell, Vuniploa, but Haskell's recall suggests other flankers are still not getting much of a look-in. Jones still flirting with playing a lock on the flank but that wouldn't address our ineffectiveness at the breakdown. (favourite gripe of numerous rugby podcasts)

There are also general concerns about his preference for players like Piers Francis or Gary Graham, when they don't seem to be the obvious next cab off the rank.

As LondonTiger says above, these issues must have been considered by Jones and the England coaches, so they will have hunches or reasons for the decisions they are taking. If things do go wrong this season, I wonder if it will be in one of these areas, or another we haven't even though about.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:13 pm

I think they are all pretty fair, but it's always a balance between what someone brings to the team and their drawbacks.

The Ford comment is nonsense though imo.

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Post by beshocked on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:18 pm

Rugby fan to be fair those are the main questions.

Another is still what direction should England be going in regards to centres? It's linked to no 2 but is slightly different.

I still think the most balanced centre partnership is a power runner and someone with a bit more creativity.

There's the question of what would be best out of the players available. I've not really seen that much from Piers Francis to understand why Jones likes him so much.

If England stick with Farrell at 12 I'd like to see someone more physical than Joseph at 13.


Having power players who can get you over the gain line is important.

Billy in the pack has done that for us many times and I'd say England have been guilty of being over reliant on his carries.


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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:21 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:

5. Elliot Daly not a proper winger, should be in the centre - Jones trying to shoehorn his attributes into the side at the expense of a specialist winger. (think Healey said that)


Oh the irony if he did!

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:29 pm

lostinwales wrote:I suspect Haskell is only back around the squad because the young guns that EJ is keen on all seem to be injured. He is in the 'reliable short term fix' category. Simmonds should be in front of him

Billy coming back in is very good news, but the back row is an area where we are getting short on players. We could well start with Billy, Robshaw and Simmonds (or possibly Lawes if EJ can convince him his form is good enough) Bench options will be interesting until Hughes is back.

It is not inconceivable that we will start a game with Billy and Hughes in the back row.

Is it? Experienced back rowers yes...very good quality, physical back rowers...then no I don't think we are.

Ill harp on...but Mark Wilson will do a great job in the 6n if was put in. He's a cracking player as he showed in Argentina. Gary Graham has been a revelation this season and the epitome of physicality...the type of thing Jones likes.

That's just a couple at lowly us...there are others around the league that can also do a very good covering job in absence of the first choice players.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:36 pm

We were bossed in the back row away in Wales and Ireland last year. Definitely a problem area IMO.

Wilson I'm sure can do a good job but we are up against Warburton Tipuric Faletau or POM O'Brien Stander and we haven't put out a back row that can match them.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:36 pm

The other thing is Jones seems to have great belief in his set up and coaching team. He is confident that his system allows out of form players get back in to form quickly...and even out of form players can be effective.





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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:37 pm

Underhill is back in the next week or 2. Along with the obligatory warning from blackadder.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:44 pm

Wales look like they're struggling with injuries, Ireland less so.

To be honest, to fill a hole....Wilson would be perfect. He's strong at the breakdown and doesn't give an inch physically, also he's also a handy carrier. I'd take him over any of the other options mentioned whilst the youngsters are injured.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:46 pm

I'd take him over Haskell definitely.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:46 pm

Warburton and likely faletau are.missing.for the england game.will be good to see what borthwick has done to combat pom if he starts again.

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Post by Scottrf on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:51 pm

Oh, POM. I guess you see what you want to see on the internet.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 2:53 pm

?

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 3:18 pm

Scottrf wrote:Oh, POM. I guess you see what you want to see on the internet.

I read the m in pom as and r & n. Not a good advert for my mind.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 3:24 pm

Ah. Right. But to be fair borthwick would probably put me off looking at it.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 5:08 pm

Scottrf wrote:I'd take him over Haskell definitely.

I agree but he seems to have fallen out of reckoning. He was great in opportunities he has had - fitted right in.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:19 pm

Jones didn't seem to see what he wanted in Wilson, despite a good performance (imo) in Argentina. He's not the first that Eddie has checked out and not followed up with again...and wont be the last. Gary Graham probably wont be followed up either.

Has Chisholm been in the training squads? Is he fit or injured?

Is Simmonds able to play on the flank? Is he the type Eddie wants?

Which regular EPS back rowers are ACTUALLY fit...


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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 2:38 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Has Chisholm been in the training squads? Is he fit or injured?

Flanker Sam Jones has so far lost over a year in recovery after his England training camp injury, so anyone with an injury record like Chisholm might be wary of a call-up.

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Post by nlpnlp on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 3:01 pm

Looking at the number of injured players there are at the moment, you are just as likely to get injured on club duty as you are on international.

Yes Chisholm is back playing so should be available if required.  However, I would quite like to see Symmonds move to flank - Dayglo has also stated this - as I think good as he is he will struggle to get in as an 8 ahead of the more heavyweight duo of Billy and Hughes.  He definitely has the pace and dynamism to move to the flanks.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 9:54 am

Gregor Townsend was at KP on Sunday, theres rumours he's making a big time play to get Gary Graham to go the Scotland route.

Personally I think he'd be wise to go with Scotland.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 10:07 am

Too much competition for England. He would probably stand a better chance to cement himself for Scotland.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 10:15 am

He'd certainly stand more chance getting into the Scotland set-up and as a Falcons fan I'd prefer if he went North. Harris has really improved since getting capped, hopefully Graham can too.

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Post by Cumbrian on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 10:48 am

I wonder with Gary Graham. If he got capped by Scotland would we (Falcons) keep hold of him long term? His value diminishes somewhat, although if he keeps his current form up that would be overlooked. Mind you looking at Scotland, would he fit in at Glasgow or Edinburgh if he left? This is the problem with only having two clubs I guess, he would be a very handy player for a third Scottish team.
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Post by Poorfour on Fri 12 Jan 2018, 12:45 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Has Chisholm been in the training squads? Is he fit or injured?

Flanker Sam Jones has so far lost over a year in recovery after his England training camp injury, so anyone with an injury record like Chisholm might be wary of a call-up.

Are you mixing up Ross Chisholm with James? Ross has an horrendous injury record, James has only really had one major injury, but it was a concussion that took a long time to clear up.

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