England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

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England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Wilkinson sword on Wed 19 Sep 2018, 8:37 am

First topic message reminder :

It gets picked tomorrow.

My squad for the autumn series:

Brown (still the best defensive FB by far).
Daly (Must be in first XV. With only 1 year out from the WC, just stick with him at wing or else bet the house and put him at 13).
Nowell (back up wing. Injury hasn't helped him).
May (1st choice now with Daly).
Ashton (with Watson out good to see how he performs, albeit short of match practice).
Cokanasiga (Very raw, but looks a better bet than Solomona/Roko/Yarde as a brick house wing that EJ needs in his armoury).

Tuilagi (looking fit, fingers crossed...EJ needs to get that witch doctor into camp).
Twelvetrees (in for Te'o who is just back from injury and needs time. Twelvetrees has been in impressive form dovetailing with Cips in 10/12 axis. Experienced, a goalkicker, strong in tackle and fleet of foot).
Slade (utility back with pace and left foot kicking option. Prefer to see him develop his game at 12 but looks like EJ sees him as a 13).
Farrell. (This is the year to show us that he deserves to be recognised as the best fly-half England has ever had; next to JW)

Ford. (urgently needs competition for his place)
Cipriani (is he the man to bring out the best in this England backline? Yes!).
Youngs. (needs to maintain consistency and get back to his sniping best)
Care. (Is he better than Robson?)
Robson (Care needs to feel some heat).

B. Vunipola. (Indispensable. Seems to have lost more weight)
Hughes (just back from injury but too good to ignore as back up 8. Simmonds is too small and better 7s are already in place).
T. Curry. (Lead contender for 7 jersey with a better game in the loose than Underhill)
Underhill (Curry and Underhill to fight it out for the 7 jersey and if neither prevail, then bring back Haskell).
Robshaw (under threat from Shields or Rhodes who are both more athletic and comparable in terms of work rate).
Shields (hope that cheekbone heals in time. In for his highly credible tackling and carrying stats in SR).
Rhodes (Flanker/Lock who can displace Kruis and give Robshaw a run for the 6 jersey).

Lawes. (always 1st choice)
Launchbury. (needs to show he is a better player than Itoje.)
Itoje. (a big season after losing steam)

Cole. (well rested. Should see him back to his scrummaging best)
Sinckler. (needs to grow a little wiser on the pitch)
Williams. (could displace Sinckler as bench option)
Marler. (superior to Vunipola in the scrum and should start matches)
Vunipola. (needs to get back to his rampaging best. Should draw inspiration from Codie Taylor's recent displays in the loose)
Hepburn (in for injured Genge).
Hartley. (once again, he needs to prove himself.)
George. (perfect bench option)
Cowan-Dickie. (just got injured so may have to sit it out, in which case Dunn is a good option)

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 12:38 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yes I appreciate that 7.5, but normally theres a middle ground...or a core of the team that we'll generally agree on.

Im not sure there is at the moment.

We do not have a core of world class players, so form, club loyalties and what side we got out of the bed will always lead to debate.

If we look back at our most settled World Cup approach in 2003, many would have viewed Thompson, Vickery, Johnson, Hill, Dayglo, Wilkinson, Greenwood and Robinson as a solid core, with most being able to lay claim to being world class. Yet even then there were debates with some people wanting Simon Shaw in the side ahead of Jonno, had injuries and a drop in pace affected Dayglo, questions over whether Greenwood would play outside Catt or inside Tindall, was Robinson a FB or a winger.

Right now unlike us fans, Eddie will have a core he wants to build around perhaps including Mako, Hartley, Itoje, Billy, Youngs, Farrell and Daly. Of course nostalgia allows us to view the previous generation in a more rose tinted light, but this core is some way below that of the last generation.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 12:42 pm

And some of that is down to the stage in their careers as well.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 12:50 pm

True.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:10 pm

Sadly im going into this world cup with hope of just getting out of the group. I think we're a million miles away from even thinking about doing well in it.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:22 pm

You'll feel better by Christmas and better after that.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:28 pm

That depends on the performances in the AI's (not necessarily the results) and how much Rum I get for Christmas....

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:33 pm

And on cue...Cipriani wins Player of the month...but Eddie Jones says hes out of form...

Says it all...

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:33 pm

So what are looking for vs what are you expecting?
I think we'll see curry slotting in nicely vunipola on the rampage and a slightly tighter game plan initially. I'm Intrigued by mitchell and defence into attack.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:54 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:And on cue...Cipriani wins Player of the month...but Eddie Jones says hes out of form...

Says it all...

Not quite what he said. His comments:

“At the moment we’ve got Owen and George, who I believe are the first two fly halves. If Danny is a better player than Owen and George, he can certainly promote himself ahead of them. From what I’ve seen at the moment, he is not, in terms of the whole context of the team. Certainly, he’s a good player, and he’s done some good things, but there are areas of his game that he needs to attend to and I’ve spoken to him about that.

“[Ford] has got back to being what he’s good at and that’s taking the ball square and flat, attacking the line, looking for opportunities. I watch three club games a week and some of the quality of his play is absolutely outstanding — but it’s like he’s the Invisible Man [when it comes to the debate over the England fly half]. Whereas one other player throws one pass and he’s Superman.”


Cipriani has played well in the first 3 rounds but arguably went missing slightly against Saracens and Quins. That he won a popularity contest among writers and fans is no surprise:

Cipriani was voted for by a panel of media professionals based on his performances in September, alongside a public poll which drew 1,200 votes on the Premiership Rugby app. The judges were: Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport), Mick Cleary (The Daily Telegraph), Sarah Mockford (Rugby World), Jonny Fordham (The Sun), Robert Kitson (The Guardian), Chris Jones (BBC 5 Live), David Rogers (Getty Images) and Tom Hamilton (ESPN). The panel was chaired by Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director.


It should be noted that the other two contenders were Sam Simmonds and Henry Slade who could have split some votes.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 2:05 pm

George Ford is the best out half in England. Great player.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 2:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So what are looking for vs what are you expecting?
I think we'll see curry slotting in nicely vunipola on the rampage and a slightly tighter game plan initially. I'm Intrigued by mitchell and defence into attack.

The two biggest areas for me are:

1.
Im looking for some real aggression and power in the breakdown...both clearing out / protecting on our own ball and then when its on...being brutally aggressive on their ball - (note I said when its on..ie showing intelligence.)

2.
Effective Carrying.
We're a one trick pony in the pack at the moment relying on Mako and Billy. And when they aren't there, wow I think we've really struggled.
In Jones defence, possibly too many players who you expect to carry well simply haven't. they what I call passive carriers...Ie they seem to slow down going into actual contact instead of speeding up and smashing the defenders as Billy and Manu used to do.
Either way...that needs to be rectified. Its all very well having flying wingers and such, but its nullified when the ball goes side to side across the pitch because no one is taking it up the middle route one making impact in the hard yards.


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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by yappysnap on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 10:07 pm

Improved scrum and some more mauling as well please. Both were disappointing over the 6Ns and we should expect them to be a strength of ours.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 9:56 am

One of the key requirements of having a good maul is a 9 that understands the dynamics of it, they are the ones directing where the push should go, Matt Dawson was great at this, bossing the forwards around and physically manhandling them into position when necessary. We have not had anyone that understands the maul as well since he retired.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:12 am

Harry Ellis could boss a maul pretty well, but he is long gone.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:28 am

We're short on SH's full stop...

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:33 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:We're short on SH's full stop...

I am not sure we are. I will admit that Youngs is out of form yet may still play and despite having only turned 29 last month he is an old hand. There are a lot of SHs playing well in teh premiership this season. The issue perhaps is that for so long Youngs and Care have been very good for us, which has reduced the opportunities for others.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Fluxy on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:37 am

Youngs is a poor man's Harry Ellis

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 11:08 am

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:We're short on SH's full stop...

I am not sure we are. I will admit that Youngs is out of form yet may still play and despite having only turned 29 last month he is an old hand. There are a lot of SHs playing well in teh premiership this season. The issue perhaps is that for so long Youngs and Care have been very good for us, which has reduced the opportunities for others.

Who would you say LT?

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 11:23 am

Robson seems to be playing very well, and may well be on the bench this autumn. Spencer seems to be in form (though is rotating with Wigglesworth), Randall looked good for Bristol, Maunder and Townsend have both looked good for Exeter.

Not sure on Danny Care's form. Youngs seems to have lost all confidence and is not kicking well nor running with the ball.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Poorfour on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 6:58 pm

Mulchrone has arguably been in better form for Quins than Care, but Care hasn't been playing badly.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 9:00 pm

I suppose in good way at least burns isn't muddying the picture at full back by being absolutely shocking.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 9:34 pm

Cokanasiga and mercer were again very good.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by nathan on Sat 06 Oct 2018, 7:57 pm

May underwent an x ray, it didn't reveal any breaks

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 4:43 am

Marland Yarde dislocated his knee.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 7:28 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Marland Yarde dislocated his knee.

Ouch

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 8:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cokanasiga and mercer were again very good.

Mercer would look good on a highlight reel but not sure he gets stuck in (or isn't as effective at doing this) around the tight play. I though Armand was much more effective and outplayed the youngster. It's quite baffling why Armand isn't in contention for the 6 jersey, the guy is an animal.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 9:16 am

He looked good in the full match I watched to be fair to him.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 10:05 am

Yea he was pretty good, did some nice flashy things that catch the eye. He's got a good attacking skill set without doubt, not ready to be an England starter imo.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 10:26 am

Best performing back row on friday. Feel you're wanting to make out he doesn't graft which isn't true.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 10:37 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Best performing back row on friday. Feel you're wanting to make out he doesn't graft which isn't true.

Not seeing that at all. Not saying he doesn't graft, just he's not as effective in the tight exchanges. I'd have Mercer as 4th or 5th best on Friday.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 10:40 am

Well didn't see it on Friday even if armond was wearing 7.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 11:35 am

Well everybody looks for different things I guess. Mercer certainly has a good game awareness and carrying in the spaces, he's got plenty of potential.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 12:03 pm

Just finished watching quins saracens tomkins and marchant both looked decent. Wouldn't be surprised to see the latter pulled into the squad tbf.
Watch the game again and you'll see mercer carrying plenty in the tight and doing a lot of work in the rucks. Rightly ahead of armond imo.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Yoda on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 11:28 pm

Mercer is there through merit however would still pick Armand ahead of robbo. Room for both when tactics dictate. Looks like Robson's out but velacott looks promising. Youngs looked like he marshalled Leicester efficiently as well as kicking well. Eastmond looked good at 12. But Eddie knows who he likes and won't change so we better just see how we do in the autumn. Watching through hands this year and may just have watch them away from home so I don't swear in front of the kids!

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by yappysnap on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 12:16 am

Care had a better game for Quins too.

Fingers crossed players are beginning to peak for the AI's.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by propdavid_london on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 1:33 pm

Or getting crocked yappy.
I think someone said earlier in the thread - For the AI's quite often teams are picked on who's left standing come selection time.
There are still plenty of high intensity European fixtures and then Eddies training camps to survive.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by yappysnap on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 8:09 pm

Very true, I'm just waiting on vunipola or Manu to get crocked

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 3:13 am

Nathan Hughes has been cited for a punch. Anything more than a two week ban would threaten his chances of playing in the Autumn Tests.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by propdavid_london on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 12:20 pm

That would pose an interesting question to Eddie.
If Hughes is banned for a decent stretch (not unlikely in a punching incident)
Simmons is out for reasonable length of time.

Fortunately Billy V is back at the moment (but susceptible to injury lately).
Who comes in to the squad - surely we need a specialist no.8 in the squad if not able cover on a bench as 'finishers'.
Mercer is the one most likely for Eddie to call on.

We've seen Robshaw packing down at 8 in training squads - but surely that's just cover
Ben Morgan has been playing well.
It could be the chance for Dave Ewers and/or Don Armond who've both played 8 for chiefs (or more lately Kvesic)



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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 12:28 pm

Would have to be mercer. Likelihood him.covering the back row anyway.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 12:34 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Would have to be mercer. Likelihood him.covering the back row anyway.

Yes. Ewer and Morgan both big lumps but Eddie hasn't shown any interest in either. I think it is possibly too soon for Mercer but it will be interesting to see how he goes.

Almost feels that EJ isn't that keen on Exeter. Their representation in the training squad does not reflect their league position and its not like they are dependent on NEQ players.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 1:26 pm

Brad Shields played eight for the Hurricanes quite a few times. That does give me Tom Wood flashbacks, however, especially because they are around the same size.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 1:33 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Brad Shields played eight for the Hurricanes quite a few times. That does give me Tom Wood flashbacks, however, especially because they are around the same size.

Problem is we are apparently dependent on having a heavy duty carrier, and for the last few years we have had some excellent 8's. The carrier or carriers do not have to be the no.8, but we don't seem to have other options, except for Mako. There are the other carrying props but they seem to be crocked. We don't seem to have options on the flanks and the 2nd rows are OK but not able to have the same impact.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Poorfour on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 4:38 pm

I'm hoping that if he needs another Number 8 he'll take a look at James Chisholm, who finally seems to be over his concussion and has been playing well for Quins.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by robbo277 on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 10:25 pm

Latest story coming out on the BBC that the PRL won't release South African players for the England fixture, including Faf and Le Roux. Entirely predictable sequence of events it has to be said. Although I'm sure some will use this as a stick to beat the RFU with.

It does mean that England may be left playing an understrength South Africa side, although a home-based South Africa squad wouldn't exactly be weak.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Cyril on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 10:45 pm

As you say, Robbo, it’s entirely predictable. It’s outside the international window. If they released them, what’s the point of the agreement? We can’t blame clubs for trying to protect their interests against the over-saturation of international games. The Beeb likes a ‘controversy’. The greed of international fixtures is to blame here if anything.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Poorfour on Wed 10 Oct 2018, 1:46 am

The RFU are to blame to the same extent that people blame the WRU for organising internationals outside of the window.

The way to think of it, though, is probably that the RFU simply didn’t want to go straight into a match against the All Blacks. Viewed that way, an under strength South Africa is pretty good prep for England.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 10 Oct 2018, 6:48 am

Luke Fitzgerald was quite forthright speaking about Cipriani on The Left Wing podcast. He wouldn't have Cipriani in the England team, believeing him to be a liability in defence - he actually said "I think he's a bit of a coward" - and carrying too much off-field baggage.

Fitzgerald based his opinion partly on his own experience playing in matches featuring the Englishman. He does admire Cipriani's talent, but feels it's wasted. because he's gone astray too often.

I found that intriguing, because the current mood among a lot of England fans and pundits seems more inclined towards giving him a chance.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by Gooseberry on Wed 10 Oct 2018, 8:20 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Luke Fitzgerald was quite forthright speaking about Cipriani on The Left Wing podcast. He wouldn't have Cipriani in the England team, believeing him to be a liability in defence - he actually said "I think he's a bit of a coward" - and carrying too much off-field baggage.

Fitzgerald based his opinion partly on his own experience playing in matches featuring the Englishman. He does admire Cipriani's talent, but feels it's wasted. because he's gone astray too often.

I found that intriguing, because the current mood among a lot of England fans and pundits seems more inclined towards giving him a chance.

When did Fitz last play against him?
Its certainly fair comment form the past, but hes shown a bit more inclination to get stuck in over recent times.

The real surge for Cipriani came though when Ford was struggling and Englands results were poor. Farrells always been seen as blunt in attack, whereas Cipriani is hands down the most creative halfback England have had in the modern era, and was also seen as a possible answer at fullback when the "retire Brown" bandwagon was in full swing. Jones has always wanted a more creative fly half, even omittting Farrell from the side initialy.

It does seem Jones shares concerns about his overall attitude and aspects of his play. He specificaly said that leaving him out wasnt down to his off field behaviour ( and backed him as hard done by on the recent nightclub incident ...albeit that this shows that the England coaching staff seem to be OK with their players engaging in excessive drinking and even clubs promoting this as part of their preseason preperations still which shows the culture hasnt moved on much from the amatuer days), but down to him needing to show more form on the field. Whetehr thats just his defence or maybe his decisions making I just downt know. Bearing in mind that Ford isnt exactly known as a rock ( and Jones has previously mentioned that they try to protect him in defence) it does seem harsh on Cipriani that despite seeming to play pretty well for England when given the chance hes still being kept at arms length.

The middle part of his career was certainly a waste land because of his personal decisions and off field behaviour. But he has fought really hard to overturn that image since returning to England and done everything he can, including turning down bigger wages and an easier life in France. Its been long enough now that I dont beleive its just the stigma of the past thats leading to Jones overlooking him, and Jones certainly hasnt indicated this in what hes said publicaly. Also look at troubled players like Tuilagi and Hartley, he seems to have no issue with them.

Maybe a wasted talent, but maybe also not talented enough for Jones.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 10 Oct 2018, 9:35 am

Reading a few articles, and watching EJ's sel;ections and how they then play, Eddie seems to want the following from his starting HBs:

SH - Must get to the vast majority of breakdowns to play the ball. He really does not want them caught at the bottom of a ruck which limits how much running he wants from them. Control territory with kicking.

FH - Must be involved in play and ready take the ball from the SH at all times.


The first is why he has been talking about Robson as a great bench option rather than starter, why Youngs may well play this Autumn despite poor form and why Care struggled as a starter in the 6Ns

As to the latter  Jones has stated that Cipriani needs to get involved more. For several phases in attack he can be found further out that the standard FH channel - with critics suggesting he does not work hard enough to get back into position and his fans stating he is trying to find the best place to orchestrate an attack.



In several areas of the team Jones has clear ideas on what he wants players to be doing. Sometimes he will pick the "best" player and get them to change how they play, but more often it seems that he will look for players who are meating his requirements every week with their clubs. This may explain why the likes of Don Armand are largely ignored as Jones selects a series of identikit 6s.

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Re: England Squad for Autumn Series - My take on who's in and why?

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