November tests general

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November tests general

Post by profitius on Mon 22 Oct 2018, 3:52 pm

First topic message reminder :


The list is below. Any predictions as to what might happen?
https://www.autumn-internationals.co.uk/2018/


WEEK 1
Saturday 3rd November 2018

-Japan v New Zealand
Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo
Kick off: 5:45am

-Wales v Scotland
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick off: 2:45pm

-England v South Africa
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick off: 3:00pm

-Ireland v Italy
Soldier Field, Chicago
Kick off: 8:00pm



WEEK 2
Saturday 10th November 2018

-Italy v Georgia
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
Kick off: 2:00pm

-Scotland v Fiji
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick off: 2:30pm

-England v New Zealand
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick off: 3:00pm

-Wales v Australia
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick off: 5:20pm

-Ireland v Argentina
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick off: 6:30pm

-France v South Africa
Stade de France, Paris
Kick off: 7:45pm



WEEK 3
Saturday 17th November 2018

-Italy v Australia
Stadio Euganeo, Padua
Kick off: 2:00pm

-Wales v Tonga
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick off: 2:30pm

-England v Japan
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick off: 3:00pm

-Scotland v South Africa
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick off: 5:20pm

-Ireland v New Zealand
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick off: 7:00pm

-France v Argentina
Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Kick off: 7:45pm



WEEK 4
Saturday 24th November 2018

-Italy v New Zealand
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick off: 2:00pm

-Scotland v Argentina
BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick off: 2:30pm

-England v Australia
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick off: 3:00pm

-Wales v South Africa
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick off: 5:20pm

-Ireland v USA
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick off: 6:30pm

-France v Fiji
Stade de France, Paris
Kick off: 7:45pm



WEEK 5
Saturday 1st December 2018

-Barbarians v Argentina
Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick off: 2:30pm
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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 9:45 am

Guns, how will you feel if Australia beat England? Will you feel overjoyed with emotion given your part Australian because you live there?
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Re: November tests general

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 9:52 am

ebop wrote:Who remembers when England were riding high and Eddie Jones was all bluster and hot air?

Eddie Jones came out with this when talking about the ABs.....

"They're a bloody good side but they're beatable. You've got to take on their weaknesses ... and they've got significant weaknesses. I'm not going to share them with you now; in 2018 I will”

So I wonder, where are you Eddie? Been a bit quiet lately. Look forward to you showing us the significant weaknesses this November.

We've finally worked out to stop that pesky McCaw....oh you're going to get it now boys!

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Re: November tests general

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 9:58 am

England should be looking at winning 3 from 4 as a good return. A close game against NZ too and everyone will be reasonably happy.

It's a massive shame we're missing the Vunipola's, but it tests our strength in depth somewhat.

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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:01 am

Quality of player is there though obviously it's at a lower standard than billy et al. This issue is a completely new back row. Development can take time sometimes you get lucky. We'll learn which pretty soon.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:05 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Quality of player is there though obviously it's at a lower standard than billy et al. This issue is a completely new back row.  Development can take time sometimes you get lucky. We'll learn which pretty soon.

Not sure the back up at 7 and 8 is stellar at the moment. Who is likely to start in those positions?

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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:09 am

Will Brad Shields get a go?
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Re: November tests general

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

At the moment it's unproven to an extent but personally I'm very happy with the 7 options. Curry and underhill are the choices there. Both different players with underhill for abrasive and curry more the ground hog and link. Both have strong all.round games.
The back up 8 to vunipola is Hughes who is also.unavailable due to being a t*t. Simmonds is the back up to that and is injured....
So we have ben morgan who you will.probably know and then the young pretender zack mercer. Mercer is going to be a seriously.good player. The doubts on him currently are he isn't the biggest 8 and some doubt his tight carrying. There's a few options on who will line up. I know my preference now but I couldn't guess who jones will go with.

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Re: November tests general

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

Don't know ebop. He stands a good chance. 6 will be writer him wilson or mercer I think.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:11 am

ebop wrote:Guns, how will you feel if Australia beat England? Will you feel overjoyed with emotion given your part Australian because you live there?

I cant see Australia beating England. A couple of years ago when my uncle was the president of the ARU it would have hurt but not so much now. Its only a sport afterall.

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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:19 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Don't know ebop. He stands a good chance. 6 will be writer him wilson or mercer I think.
Who’s writer, any good? Or is that an auto correct error? Hope an Englishman gets the nod over Shields as it would only be right. Although it would be interesting in the week build up to see him squirm. Actually, hope he gets the nod.
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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:22 am

Arggh autocorrect and fat fingers. Either.
They all qualify so whoever jones chooses. Shields has been making a few defensive errors the last few weeks so will be interesting to see if jones or mitchell think those can be ironed out.

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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:24 am

It’s ok 7.5, we all have fat fingers and big feet
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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:34 am


So you said the English props are missing and the back row is new as well. That’s a serious thing isn’t it?
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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:37 am

Personally the tight head prop sinckler is I feel stronger in the scrum than cole and better around the field so a step up. He has scrummage with george plenty of times so perhaps disingenuous to say it's completely new. Loosehead is a question mark. Hepburn looks good but is a newbie. Moon is very good in the scrum but is clearly a place holder.

As said our back row may take time to gel. Sometimes you get lucky and they do straight away.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Biltong on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:10 am

ebop wrote:7.5, you reckon England will beat Australia and SA pretty comfortably? That’s a big call. If memory serves me correct, England recently lost a series to SA pretty comfortably with their best players. It will be interesting to see how England go this November with a bunch of no-names. How’s the scrum going, creaking?

We will see what Springbok squad is touring tomorrow after the Currie Cup final, personally I think that match can go either way.
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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 7:30 pm

Just realised there's a game tomorrow. Some fans too focused in having a pop at Australian nationality rather than rugby.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:17 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Hansens picked a slightly weird mix for the Japan Wallabies test. DMac at fullback?

But good to see the return of the Props. Moody, Franks, Tu'inukuafe, Laulala and a pretty awesome looking bench.

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody:

Reserves: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Matt Todd, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

Id imagine he realises DMac isnt really an out half.

Not quite. Its the only way he can get Dmac, barrett, b smith and mo’unga in the same match without compromising barrett as the no. 1 10. Good try though.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:19 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Personally the tight head prop sinckler is I feel stronger in the scrum than cole and better around the field so a step up. He has scrummage with george plenty of times so perhaps disingenuous to say it's completely new. Loosehead is a question mark. Hepburn looks good but is a newbie. Moon is very good in the scrum but is clearly a place holder.

As said our back row may take time to gel. Sometimes you get lucky and they do straight away.

When Moody and Laulala are in form and start I doubt any scrum will match them

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:20 pm

ebop wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Don't know ebop. He stands a good chance. 6 will be writer him wilson or mercer I think.
Who’s writer, any good? Or is that an auto correct error? Hope an Englishman gets the nod over Shields as it would only be right. Although it would be interesting in the week build up to see him squirm. Actually, hope he gets the nod.

Has Shields actually played a non test match in England? Anywhere? Ever?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:24 pm

ebop wrote:Guns, how will you feel if Australia beat England? Will you feel overjoyed with emotion given your part Australian because you live there?

I think they will. Oz have bottomed out this year. They might even win in Japan, They won this match last year.

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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 6:26 am

Shields plays for wasp s in the prem so yes he's played non test matches in England.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 9:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Shields plays for wasp s in the prem so yes he's played non test matches in England.

oh, didnt know that. Whats a wasp? A Muhammed Ali expression?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Poorfour on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 9:41 am

Biltong wrote:
ebop wrote:7.5, you reckon England will beat Australia and SA pretty comfortably? That’s a big call. If memory serves me correct, England recently lost a series to SA pretty comfortably with their best players. It will be interesting to see how England go this November with a bunch of no-names. How’s the scrum going, creaking?

We will see what Springbok squad is touring tomorrow after the Currie Cup final, personally I think that match can go either way.

Quite. It’s also easy to forget that England led the first two SA tests by big margins, but lost because Eddie got their altitude acclimatisation wrong and they ran out of puff in the second half. Twickenham, the last time I checked, is pretty much at sea level and not on a major tectonic boundary so the risk of it suddenly rising to altitude is quite low.

More seriously, the England v SA test will be an interesting one. Both sides are without some key players.

Overall, this series is a learning experience for England with a changed coaching squad and some real inexperience in the pack. Given the level of experience, it’s very possible that they will lose 3 out of 4, but I am more interested in whether the new props and back rows can settle in and whether tactically we can address the deficiencies of last season. Competitive losses would actually give me more confidence than narrow wins bought by closing down the game.

(Longer term, England may actually benefit from the injuries - an enforced break mid season for Mako and Robshaw should see them return fresh; Billy is more of a question mark but given it’s a completely different injury this time there’s a chance he can put it all behind him. We also have some nearly forgotten players starting to come back, like Clifford - who looked good in his 40 minutes last week).

Overall, I think the most exciting games will be Ireland - NZ, Wales - Australia and especially Scotland - South Africa. I think overall the series between the home nations and the SH big three are fairly finely balanced (disappointing that there are so few of them, though - only 7 out of a possible 12), and I am interested to see if the NH can get more than a 50% win rate. I think it will be close.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Maine man on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 11:37 am

Quick question for New Zealand fans. How do you reckon are your best centre combination?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Biltong on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 12:20 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Biltong wrote:
ebop wrote:7.5, you reckon England will beat Australia and SA pretty comfortably? That’s a big call. If memory serves me correct, England recently lost a series to SA pretty comfortably with their best players. It will be interesting to see how England go this November with a bunch of no-names. How’s the scrum going, creaking?

We will see what Springbok squad is touring tomorrow after the Currie Cup final, personally I think that match can go either way.

Quite. It’s also easy to forget that England led the first two SA tests by big margins, but lost because Eddie got their altitude acclimatisation wrong and they ran out of puff in the second half. Twickenham, the last time I checked, is pretty much at sea level and not on a major tectonic boundary so the risk of it suddenly rising to altitude is quite low.

More seriously, the England v SA test will be an interesting one. Both sides are without some key players.

Overall, this series is a learning experience for England with a changed coaching squad and some real inexperience in the pack. Given the level of experience, it’s very possible that they will lose 3 out of 4, but I am more interested in whether the new props and back rows can settle in and whether tactically we can address the deficiencies of last season. Competitive losses would actually give me more confidence than narrow wins bought by closing down the game.

(Longer term, England may actually benefit from the injuries - an enforced break mid season for Mako and Robshaw should see them return fresh; Billy is more of a question mark but given it’s a completely different injury this time there’s a chance he can put it all behind him. We also have some nearly forgotten players starting to come back, like Clifford - who looked good in his 40 minutes last week).

Overall, I think the most exciting games will be Ireland - NZ, Wales - Australia and especially Scotland - South Africa. I think overall the series between the home nations and the SH big three are fairly finely balanced (disappointing that there are so few of them, though - only 7 out of a possible 12), and I am interested to see if the NH can get more than a 50% win rate. I think it will be close.

I think what is more important is those first two tests were down to a brand new Back line combination and the second test under Rassie, so defensive organisation was non existent.
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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 12:52 pm

Maine man wrote:Quick question for New Zealand fans. How do you reckon are your best centre combination?
Crotty and SBW are the encumbants with ALB and Goodhue the next cabs off the rank and gaining good experience. Any combination of this four will be used plus Lumape and maybe Proctor. I like ALB and Goodhue personally but they wouldn’t be considered the go to combination. Probably a horses for courses situation but expect to see Crotty and SBW start the big games due to experience. It’s a shame Goodhue caught glandular fever recently so missed the last SA game (where he was to be paired with SBW) and today’s game. Goodhue is shaping up as a Conrad Smith type player for us.
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Re: November tests general

Post by Maine man on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 5:40 pm

Thanks for that ebop. Would I be right in saying SBW and Crotty are both normally inside centres?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 7:42 pm

Maine man wrote:Thanks for that ebop. Would I be right in saying SBW and Crotty are both normally inside centres?

Yes normally. Goodhue is certainly currently seen as the best long term outside centre so its about who’s best to support him at inside. If SBW you have two very big centres and thats not always ideal in terms of flexibility...ie more bash less subtlety. Crotty complements both and would play 13 with SBW and 12 with Goodhue.

Its still something we havent sorted since we lost both Smith and Nonu at the same time. Replacing both centres is one of the most difficult things to do at test level because of the complexities of getting a balance right and managing the midfield space on both D and attack.

Smith and Nonu will probably go down as the best weve had. Oz are still reeling from losing Adam Ashley Cooper at the same time, their midfield a shambles, particularly on defence. Kurandrani and Kerevi look possibly the best combo with Hodge in there somewhere but getting them all on the field has been difficult with injuries.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 7:46 pm

ebop wrote:
Maine man wrote:Quick question for New Zealand fans. How do you reckon are your best centre combination?
Crotty and SBW are the encumbants with ALB and Goodhue the next cabs off the rank and gaining good experience. Any combination of this four will be used plus Lumape and maybe Proctor. I like ALB and Goodhue personally but they wouldn’t be considered the go to combination. Probably a horses for courses situation but expect to see Crotty and SBW start the big games due to experience. It’s a shame Goodhue caught glandular fever recently so missed the last SA game (where he was to be paired with SBW) and today’s game. Goodhue is shaping up as a Conrad Smith type player for us.

Nonu is back at the Blues next year and although almost 60 I wouldnt think that timing has gone unnoticed. A Nonu Goodhue or Crotty pairing could go ok. I think of all our departeds from 2015 he looks to have kept the best form. I dont know about Conrad Smith or DC but neither will be AB bound again.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 10:10 pm

Does seem Hansen has taken these remaining tests fairly seriously based on the way hes selected 51 players- only ever all together for four days- and as Read said it will be weird being in London while an AB test is happening in Japan.

Fairly good start with the oz win, the players looking sharper for this end of the season, most playing right through from Feb.

Dont agree with Dmac ever starting, purely bench material when he can run at the oppn Starters.

Biggest gains are the return of three props and big Brodie who have had a good rest and have been eased back in off the bench so will be fresh for this as will Goodhue whos glandular fever bout has knocked him a bit.

England in two weeks with a rest for the main squad going into the England Ireland double header. Smart management from Hansen, ....provided... the seconds beat Japan.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 9:30 pm

This is exactly the sort of thing that grates:

"In fact, The Guardian seemed to refuse to acknowledge the latest team as All Blacks with Hansen and his fellow selectors having split their 51-man squad with the bulk of the stars already in the far north in preparation for the much more demanding assignments against old foe England and Six Nations champion Ireland on consecutive weekends.

"When New Zealand face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, the All Blacks will be thousands of miles away," wrote Gerard Meagher in The Guardian.
.
"Dress it up any way you like but by announcing a squad to face the Brave Blossoms featuring eight rookies at almost the precise moment 23 frontline players were boarding a flight to London, Steve Hansen is handing out confetti caps."

What gets me is how thick these so called rugby experts are. We have to prioritise in this day and age. When we lose players that choose to play elsewhere we have to be able to expect that in certain scenarios our next line of talent needs to be able to step up and wear the jersey and accept the pressures of modern international rugby.

There is a full expectation that this side is capable of beating Japan this weekend and even if they don't the overall goal to prepare the side for the English and Irish matches will have been met.

If its click bait journalism then that's understandable but it smacks of not being able to recognise innovation, player management and confidence levels in today's modern game.

If the ABs win all three games, something that will likely only probably happen with this approach, I will happily supply the eggs for Mr Meghear.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 4:28 am

Particularlyironic when England are the complete opposite of being able to manage their side. The pack for SA bar Hartley is bare in terms of caps and they play a resurgent South Africa this weekend who will smash them up some more. ABs to play England get a week to settle in, recover from the Wallaby match then take on an injury plagued England.

That someone can write such an article rather than admire the very astute manner in which Hansen has managed this is beyond me.

This is the game Eddie said last year that they wont be ready this year but we will in 2018.

Okey dokey, lets see how this pans out after such an obviously well thought out vision.

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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 6:28 am

Confetti caps, lol. Typical ignorant English media that can’t see a succession plan when it’s staring them in the face.
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Re: November tests general

Post by Biltong on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 6:37 am

They are taking a dig.

Something most countries'media do, pay no heed.
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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 6:51 am

Biltong wrote:They are taking a dig.

Something most countries'media do, pay no heed.

Welltheres a point if you want to make it one but ironic that the clubs demands on the English side has created a mess for the national team that someone wants to prod a side that has got their s***t together. I mean whos position would you rather be in prep wise?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Biltong on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 7:06 am

Taylorman wrote:
Biltong wrote:They are taking a dig.

Something most countries'media do, pay no heed.

Welltheres a point if you want to make it one but ironic that the clubs demands on the English side has created a mess for the national team that someone wants to prod a side that has got their s***t together. I mean whos position would you rather be in prep wise?

I think it is obvious in who's position any international coach would rather be.

I doubt Hansen is oaying any attention to this. He has his plans and it has proven over the last 7 years he knows what he is doing.
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Re: November tests general

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 7:45 am

It think the important things to note are I'd the media reflective of eveyone:you guys were pretty quick to distance rattues thoughts from from your own?
And more importantly has meagher the son of irish and new zealand parents been poached to represent the English media?

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Re: November tests general

Post by Cyril on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 7:46 am

It’s only Japan. Most top sides will pick a 2nd or 3rd strength side against them and expect to win handsomely. That said, it is much easier to get caps these days due to too many international games and increasing levels of injuries. You would have to be a pretty fragile sook to get offended by that article.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Taylorman on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 8:10 am

Cyril wrote:It’s only Japan. Most top sides will pick a 2nd or 3rd strength side against them and expect to win handsomely. That said, it is much easier to get caps these days due to too many international games and increasing levels of injuries. You would have to be a pretty fragile sook to get offended by that article.

Wasnt about being offended, it was about being thick enough to even pen it. How any modern reporter cant see the necessity in managing players in the test environment while seeing squads fall to pieces around him I dont know.

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Re: November tests general

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 8:36 am

I read the quotes as a moan against the ludicrous international calendar we now have.

So rather than criticising Hansen for throwing out caps like confetti, he is criticising a schedule that demands if. With the NZ Maoris playing USA and the full squad containing over 50 players to cover the schedule they have, that is a lot of players with a reduced off season.

Now the journalist could have also thrown the accusation Ireland's way, but being half kiwi and half Irish perhaps he only wanted to upset one parent.

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Re: November tests general

Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:07 am

Nothing quite like reading articles you know you're not going to like just to get your blood cooking at the desired temperature.

God, how I miss Stephen Jones. The auld codger went behind the pay wall and I ain't ever going to be subscribing to De Tymes just to hear his poetry...... sad times.


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Re: November tests general

Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:09 am

Anyway, since it's been brought up, what teams are showing...for everyone.

Yep, I'll admit, Ireland have a B team up for their first game.

What kind of team does Wales, England, Scotland etc have up?

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Re: November tests general

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:15 am

Autumn Tests are not sparring contests, as the coach claims, and it’s time his team played like they were genuine World Cup contenders






Now let us be fair. It is unkind to single out the insanity of this autumn’s international programme because insanity now pervades the whole Test rugby scene. It is a runaway train of gross negligence for the well-being of players, powered by rapacity from the major unions, and is steaming into large tracts of the sport and its spirit.
There is only one way for lovers of rugby to cope. Take one train at a time. The long view of the sport is horrible, and disturbing. So heads down. Just for now consider only England’s massive match against South Africa on Saturday, then the New Zealand collision the week after, and with the credibility of England’s team and coach on the line and maybe with big Manu Tuilagi back from injury (almost) without end.


Plans savaged by injuries: Eddie Jones has seen his England side win only once in seven games — their worst run for 12 years[size=12]DAVID ROGERS

Also in week two, Wales meet Australia, a team to whom it has become almost impossible to lose, but whom Wales have hardly beaten for what seems like decades. The Welsh status as dark horses for the World Cup is at stake.
In week three, the sound of thunder — Ireland v New Zealand, the top two teams in the world rankings — and in week four Scotland v Argentina, teams who have been improving and can prove their credentials against each other. These and others in the next month are significant games in World Cup terms but to hell with that. They are massive in their own right. That is the whole point.
There will also be the cathedral stadiums, the fun and fan monstering around the whole activity, and maybe even a few more youngsters in the stadiums — the reason many of us enjoy major club games more than Tests these days is that they are more the province of excited rugby-lovers and excited would-be rugby lovers, not, say, the muted M25 scene-makers.

Fiji, Tonga and the USA get games in Europe, and there will be lots of All Black hakas — and those of us who would rather watch bog-snorkelling than all that preening and posing welcome you to them. But none of this can divert from the murderous backdrop. During the series, Wales play Scotland and Ireland play Italy. Why? The Welsh Rugby Union has boldly streamlined itself, its administration is way better than ever, but adding a hollow extra Test against Scotland is way beneath them. So, too, Ireland and Italy.
The two games not only devalue the proper Six Nations encounters but lay bare the chief function of international rugby — as a cash cow for further purchase, gilding of lilies and similar glorified wastefulness. Rugby is great, but rugby is sick.
Last week we had the announcement of a new structured season for English rugby hacked out by the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA). It was portrayed as some kind of salvation from seasonal savagery.
What did we find? Not a single game has been called off, none of the cash cows have been taken to the abattoir and the three bodies between them have committed a further despicable atrocity on the Lions, choking them up into an ever smaller and more dangerous area of the season — more of a cat flap than a window. Despicable is the word. I absolve the RPA, good men and women, but caught in the dizzy vortex. Just scrap some games — it should be easy.
No further devaluation of the scene was needed but Eddie Jones came incredibly close to providing it anyway by his reported comments that the England games ahead were “sparring matches” — as if they were only there to develop his plans for the World Cup.
“We do not need to win any of them,” he said about England’s four games, admittedly in answer to a question about his own status but given that his team have only won once in seven games — their worst run for 12 years — would not the odd win be nice? To say the ruddy least.
When Jones sat down with The Sunday Times in his first major interview after arriving, his words were crystal clear. By this point, autumn 2018, he intended to have his team all sorted around him, together with a ruthless and inspiring gang of leaders and a new attacking system that he could call England’s own, rather than a mimic of New Zealand. He spoke about moving on to develop attacking play from the back.
He has been savaged by injuries, but the idea that the recent history of the England team is part of a grand plan is not even worth dismissing. They need the momentum of victory, however it is gained.
Jones remains the most baffling selector among all the England coaches on whom I have reported, and that takes in a good few. Still, he retains a core in his team who have simply not kicked on to become true Test-changing operators.
Sometimes you wonder if Jones is, as my old sports teacher told me during lectures on being polite, extracting the urine. For example, he picked in his big squad for autumn Charlie Ewels and Elliott Stooke, both of Bath, and not their teammate Dave Attwood.
As a means of powering up a pack which needs all the power it can get, it is a bizarre selection but it is almost as if Jones is trying to make some sort of point. He knows better than Bath (or Exeter, Wasps or Gloucester for that matter).


Key player: Manu Tuilagi provides a route-one force to the England sideDAVID ROGERS
Please England, show us something. Perhaps Manu Tuilagi, not the complete player but in his own way definitive, can concentrate some minds, as well as getting over the gain line. Perhaps the team can develop more power up front, more consistency and more attacking momentum. A back division which includes Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell and Chris Ashton is in business, whether or not fine young players such as Henry Slade and Alex Lozowski are supplanted by the route-one force that is Tuilagi.
Up front, no pack with Maro Itoje in it will ever be blown away, and there are three big (Exeter) Chiefs props in there — Harry Williams, Alec Hepburn, Ben Moon. Make this your time, fellas.
The autumn centrepiece will come in Dublin on Saturday, November 17. If Johnny Sexton stays fit and their pack keeps on rumbling, Ireland have an outside chance in Japan, and on November 17 we will see two teams shining up their trim rather than, like England, still working on the engine and the body.
Wales have physicality, they have options and if they can replace Sam Warburton — admittedly almost irreplaceable — they can become excellent.
Scotland, for reasons only known to officials, travel to Cardiff but the key game for them is that Argentina tussle. They will be favourites, and need to learn to be happy in that role. Scottish rugby is always stealing up on the rest of the game, about to tap it on the shoulder and glower menacingly. But they cannot quite get themselves within reach.
In the end, neutrals and Mums and Dads would be more interested in players walking off the field unaided. For the rest, the thrill will be genuine, but only if we forget for a few Saturday afternoons what rugby is doing to itself. And it is nothing honourable and nothing pretty.[/size]

Just for you SF

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Re: November tests general

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:16 am

SecretFly wrote:Anyway, since it's been brought up, what teams are showing...for everyone.

Yep, I'll admit, Ireland have a B team up for their first game.

What kind of team does Wales, England, Scotland etc have up?

Eddie has chosen what he believes is the strongest team available to him.

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Re: November tests general

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 10:18 am

Its obvious to me English rugby flogs its players to death more than any other union. The set up of the premiership just doesn't lend itself to a strong international team. Its a shame because England could be outstanding if their players were managed better.

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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:08 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Is this a punchable face?

Couldn’t miss the chins
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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:13 am

Guns, welcome back
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Re: November tests general

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:23 am

LondonTiger wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Anyway, since it's been brought up, what teams are showing...for everyone.

Yep, I'll admit, Ireland have a B team up for their first game.

What kind of team does Wales, England, Scotland etc have up?

Eddie has chosen what he believes is the strongest team available to him.
Has a Dr signed off on all England’s injuries? One year out from a RWC could be a good time to have a rest and recuperate from an ‘injury’.
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Re: November tests general

Post by munkian on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:24 am

SecretFly wrote:Anyway, since it's been brought up, what teams are showing...for everyone.

Yep, I'll admit, Ireland have a B team up for their first game.

What kind of team does Wales, England, Scotland etc have up?

I'd say Wales and Scotland have put out the strongest teams without their 'overseas' based players.

Wales may have an eye on Australia though so may have rested a few front rowers - although there are a few reports that Samson Lee is injured rather than rested.

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Re: November tests general

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:29 am

Taylorman wrote:This is exactly the sort of thing that grates:

"In fact, The Guardian seemed to refuse to acknowledge the latest team as All Blacks with Hansen and his fellow selectors having split their 51-man squad with the bulk of the stars already in the far north in preparation for the much more demanding assignments against old foe England and Six Nations champion Ireland on consecutive weekends.

"When New Zealand face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, the All Blacks will be thousands of miles away," wrote Gerard Meagher in The Guardian.
.
"Dress it up any way you like but by announcing a squad to face the Brave Blossoms featuring eight rookies at almost the precise moment 23 frontline players were boarding a flight to London, Steve Hansen is handing out confetti caps."

What gets me is how thick these so called rugby experts are. We have to prioritise in this day and age. When we lose players that choose to play elsewhere we have to be able to expect that in certain scenarios our next line of talent needs to be able to step up and wear the jersey and accept the pressures of modern international rugby.

There is a full expectation that this side is capable of beating Japan this weekend and even if they don't the overall goal to prepare the side for the English and Irish matches will have been met.

If its click bait journalism then that's understandable but it smacks of not being able to recognise innovation, player management and confidence levels in today's modern game.

If the ABs win all three games, something that will likely only probably happen with this approach, I will happily supply the eggs for Mr Meghear.

T-man - you've read an extract from a NZ news website - Stuff - who spend their time looking for articles in UK media to be offended by.    Even some of the NZ fans commenting on the article say the team in Japan should be called New Zealand A.   Maybe try reading the actual article in the Guardian rather than use some NZ click-bait sub-editor to stoke your flames.  

From Guardian article: "Hansen explained the decision on the basis that Read, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams et al will be afforded extra time to acclimatise before taking on England and Ireland in consecutive weeks while again taking aim at the increasingly cluttered international calendar.

“We play so many Test matches now that it’s a nonsense when you hear people say they didn’t give Test caps away years ago – they only played four or five Test matches and six or seven provincial games,” he said. “Today we’re playing 14 or 15 Test matches alone and you just can’t ask the same people to do it all the time and play to the level that we’re expecting them and asking them to play at.”

All valid points, but the fact that the All Blacks requested to extend their stay in Japan and arranged Saturday’s money-spinning fixture makes this look like having your cake and eating it. Granted Hansen’s first-choice XV could pull Japan apart but if this match is to warrant Test status it was incumbent on the head coach to sprinkle at least a few star names among his selection. Alas, second-string sides playing Test matches is a trend we are only going to see more of.."


Last edited by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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