England 6N's Postmortem & Look Ahead

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 10:34 pm

First topic message reminder :

Pinched this idea from the Scotland thread as it's so nicely done.

6 Nations results

Ire 20-32 Eng  clap
Eng 44-8 Fra  clap
Wales 21-13 Eng  raspberry
Eng 57-14 Italy  clap
Eng 38-38 Sco    Headscratch Hug

World Cup Warmups

England v Wales
Twickenham Stadium, London
Sunday 11th August 2019
Kick Off: 2:00pm


Wales v England
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 17th August 2019
Kick Off: TBC


England v Ireland
Twickenham Stadium, London
Saturday 24th August 2019
Kick Off: 3:00pm


England v Italy
St James' Park, Newcastle
Friday 6th September 2019
Kick Off: 7:45pm

World Cup Fixtures

England v Tonga
Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Kick Off: 11:15am

England v USA
Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
Thursday 26th September 2019
Kick Off: 11:45am

England v Argentina
Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 5th October 2019
Kick Off: 9:00am

England v France
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Saturday 12th October 2019
Kick Off: 9:15am

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 12:50 pm

Gooseberry wrote:...
Theres talk of Itoje as a future captain and currently part of the leadership group, but hes not exactly a Wyn Jones type character is he....

Worth noting that it took a very long time before AWJ became captain.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 12:52 pm



This interview covers a lot of topics, including the press relationship with England, leadership in the team etc. Interesting to see Tindall say how he thought Woodward was right at the time to focus entirely on wiinning the World Cup at the expense of future planning but now sees how that caused problems.

Doubt Tindall will win many Welsh plaudits for his views but, as he says, he made similar observations about Ireland in the Autumn to much ridicule, but it seems he may have had a point.

There's talk about the press relationship changing with rugby after 2003 but I'd date it earlier. Matt Dawson's diary and Eddie Butler's ghost written columns for Healey during the 2001 Lions Tour were very destructive, and the first time I really felt the rugby press didn't have our team's back in the same way as the southern hemisphere press.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 1:58 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:...
Theres talk of Itoje as a future captain and currently part of the leadership group, but hes not exactly a Wyn Jones type character is he....

Worth noting that it took a very long time before AWJ became captain.

True but not exactly relevant to the point I was making. The current England side is lacking in on field leadership, not just the actual captain but across the team. This has been more evident since the likes of Hartley and Brown have gone. Itoje is now considered one of the on field leaders, and was talked about (including on this forum) as a potential captain for the world cup before he was even picked, largely because he'd won the age group cup as one and also because hes better at rugby than Chuck Norris. Turns out the reality is hes not got the kind of on field presence and persona that the likes of AWJ does, I picked him as an example cos hes seen as the major point of difference between the way Wales performed and England...it wouldnt really matter if he was the actual captain or not, hes bought that to Wales for some time. Same with Robshaw to a lesser extent when he was playing under EJ, he was still influential and although not flashy helps lift those around him in all kinds of ways. Mind Robshaw didnt make a great captain either and seemed out of his depth when it came to decision making. Which really comes back to the point...the leadership group isnt just all about whos a captain, its about more than one person. I mentioned it in relation to Itoje to emphasise just how much hes been held up as one of the new generation of leaders in the team, but to my mind really hasnt lived up to that. Also not the lack of caller for lineouts when launchberry and Kruis arent on the pitch (Something Jones mentioned in 2018 when overlooking Attwood), it took England a long time to rebuild their lineout after post Borthwick ..again a rubbish captain but hugely important for the lineout organisation.
This has become a complete ramble now but the essence is with all the chopping and changing and gradual pushing out of senior players (add Cole to the list) theres a lack of inspirational leadership and clear headedness under pressure on the field. The new generation of players arent naturals too that, Itoje one example.
Im not overly impressed by Farrell as a captain either, but right now Im not sure who else would do it better. Hes got Carlings backing ( apparently a leadership consultant for England ..who knew!) so thats certainly unlikely to change anytime soon. So chaps like Itoje maybe do need to come out of their shells a bit more and step up. The argument to bring back Brown is also strengthened if you buy this theory.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 3:33 pm

Gooseberry wrote:...Itoje is now considered one of the on field leaders, and was talked about (including on this forum) as a potential captain...Turns out the reality is hes not got the kind of on field presence and persona that the likes of AWJ does.
Itoje is certainly nothing like AWJ but why is AWJ the standard to measure other captaincy candidates? I doubt the next regular Wales captain will be like AWJ.

John Eales was a lock, but he also wasn't like AWJ, and I don't see AWJ as a Martin Johnson, POC, Willie John type of captain/lock either. Judging from what people say about how he quietly goes about his business in an inspiring way, I think one of AWJ's closest comparisons among international captains is Bill Beaumont.

No idea about Itoje. He's smart like Eales, but niggly like Gregan or Fitzpatrick. A modern international captain with one of the best reputations is Sam Warburton but he picked up a red card in a key World Cup match, so it's easy to see how there is no clear pattern for who has what it takes.

Mark Evans noted on the Times Ruck podcast that fly haves rarely captain Test sides. I think he mentioned only Lynagh and Ella among the historic top 8 rugby nations have captained more than 10 times. If he'd widened the criteria, then Hugo Porta for Argentina would have been included, and Naas Botha would have hit more than double figures if the Springboks hadn't been banned.

The thinking about Farrell is that the fly half has too many decisions to make already, without the added responsibility. Then again, scrum halves have almost as much to think about - especially in France - but it is common to see them as captains, because they are closer to the forwards, and usually right next to the referee. With all the stoppages in the modern game, it's not hard for another back to get over to the officials to make a point.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 3:49 pm

Is Eddie Jones contracted after the world cup...or is that to be discussed after the WC?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 5:18 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Is Eddie Jones contracted after the world cup...or is that to be discussed after the WC?
He has a contract beyond this year but there is apparently a break clause. Nothing is public, but most talk suggests that Jones can remain under contract, if England reach the World Cup semi-final in Japan.

Jones is out if we don't make it that far, but he could also decide to move on himself. Another international team might make him an offer which appeals more than staying with England as a mentor for two years. Realistically, that's probably only Australia.

The RFU could also decide to bit the bullet and appoint an England manager to succeed Jones who doesn't report to him, even if we do make it beyond his break clause.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 6:25 pm

Touch too much being made of leadership?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 7:07 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Touch too much being made of leadership?

I think it's fair to question leadership but I'm not sure we really understand how it works. New Zealand were a great team in their choking years, and it took the brains trust a long time to figure out why they kept losing. England's recent reversals are a concern but France coming back from 24-10 down to beat the All Blacks 31-43 in a World Cup is still the benchmark meltdown.

England's World Cup winning side was full of captains. Johnson, Dallaglio, Leonard, Vickery, Wilkinson, Robinson, Tindall, Dawson, Back, Catt and Moody all wore the armband before or after the 2003 tournament. Still, we blew a lot of Grand Slams along the way and Johnson was captain of the 2001 Lions, so must share responsibility for their defeat. Fat lot of good leadership did us outside the big one.

Ireland had great leaders in POC and BOD, to the extent that we wondered if Ireland had missed their chance to beat the best when they retired. However, the team has recorded hugely significant wins since. Does that make POC and BOD bad leaders, or Rory Best a better leader? It's not that simple.

I question whether Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have significantly stronger leadership groups than England. They might beat us, but that doesn't mean everything about their team environments is better.



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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 7:48 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Touch too much being made of leadership?

I think it's fair to question leadership but I'm not sure we really understand how it works. New Zealand were a great team in their choking years, and it took the brains trust a long time to figure out why they kept losing. England's recent reversals are a concern but France coming back from 24-10 down to beat the All Blacks 31-43 in a World Cup is still the benchmark meltdown.

England's World Cup winning side was full of captains. Johnson, Dallaglio, Leonard, Vickery, Wilkinson, Robinson, Tindall, Dawson, Back, Catt and Moody all wore the armband before or after the 2003 tournament.  Still, we blew a lot of Grand Slams along the way and Johnson was captain of the 2001 Lions, so must share responsibility for their defeat. Fat lot of good leadership did us outside the big one.

Ireland had great leaders in POC and BOD, to the extent that we wondered if Ireland had missed their chance to beat the best when they retired. However, the team has recorded hugely significant wins since. Does that make POC and BOD bad leaders, or Rory Best a better leader? It's not that simple.

I question whether Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have significantly stronger leadership groups than England. They might beat us, but that doesn't mean everything about their team environments is better.



I wouldnt say its the only issue by any means (defending!) but England have performed well below their potential too often, and have a repeated pattern of falling apart for a number of years. They have players with bags of ability, but seem to get lost too easily still. England produced the best performances in the 6 nations this year, but lost one a drew one game. Its not because Wales were better players, but they were more consistent and kept to their game better when it mattered. Sure you can wave the same stick at Ireland, but they also have a deep issue with Sexton being mentally crocked currently (and no doubt physically too). England clearly know they have an issue here, they have pulled in a psychologist and are paying Will Carling as a consultant. Team culture/psychology and leadership aren't exactly the same thing of course, but they are interrelated. They can have a massive impact , especially in team sports, on performance.

Australia and South Africa havent been beating England under Jones, or at least not more than England have been beating them. New Zealand narrowly but call Taylorman and his cohort to explain at length about the greater skills and ingrained rugby culture they have.

Its one thing that regardless of how much they shuffle the backrow could make a difference to how they go at the world cup. You can get away with a bad half in the group stages, but the knock outs is very different. England wont want to lose a semi to Wales (giggle).

But still just one piece of the puzzle yes.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 03 Apr 2019, 11:36 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:...
Theres talk of Itoje as a future captain and currently part of the leadership group, but hes not exactly a Wyn Jones type character is he....

Worth noting that it took a very long time before AWJ became captain.

True but not exactly relevant to the point I was making. The current England side is lacking in on field leadership, not just the actual captain but across the team. This has been more evident since the likes of Hartley and Brown have gone. Itoje is now considered one of the on field leaders, and was talked about (including on this forum) as a potential captain for the world cup before he was even picked, largely because he'd won the age group cup as one and also because hes better at rugby than Chuck Norris. Turns out the reality is hes not got the kind of on field presence and persona that the likes of AWJ does, I picked him as an example cos hes seen as the major point of difference between the way Wales performed and England...it wouldnt really matter if he was the actual captain or not, hes bought that to Wales for some time. Same with Robshaw to a lesser extent when he was playing under EJ, he was still influential and although not flashy helps lift those around him in all kinds of ways. Mind Robshaw didnt make a great captain either and seemed out of his depth when it came to decision making. Which really comes back to the point...the leadership group isnt just all about whos a captain, its about more than one person. I mentioned it in relation to Itoje to emphasise just how much hes been held up as one of the new generation of leaders in the team, but to my mind really hasnt lived up to that. Also not the lack of caller for lineouts when launchberry and Kruis arent on the pitch (Something Jones mentioned in 2018 when overlooking Attwood), it took England a long time to rebuild their lineout after post Borthwick ..again a rubbish captain but hugely important for the lineout organisation.
This has become a complete ramble now but the essence is with all the chopping and changing and gradual pushing out of senior players (add Cole to the list)  theres a lack of inspirational leadership and clear headedness under pressure on the field. The new generation of players arent naturals too that, Itoje one example.
Im not overly impressed by Farrell as a captain either, but right now Im not sure who else would do it better. Hes got Carlings backing ( apparently a leadership consultant for England ..who knew!) so thats certainly unlikely to change anytime soon. So chaps like Itoje maybe do need to come out of their shells a bit more and step up. The argument to bring back Brown is also strengthened if you buy this theory.



Perhaps it's not so much that these players like Itoje or Farrell don't have the required skills of a captain that we expect. But that the culture of the team doesn't let them express it. Let's be honest, no player has come in to the team and been a dominating big personality, which I think is what we want. A personality that grabs people and makes them follow, that can change games and get people doing things they may not want to do, a player and personality that guys use up every last ounce of energy for. It can't be that there is no one in the whole Prem with this quality, isn't it more likely they're not allowed to be like this, that the leadership from top down has them keeping in line and to the gameplan, and the senior players that are there don't let anyone deviate?

Itoje has all the attributes, he's smart, passionate, skillful and by all accounts incredibly knowledgeable about the game. When he interviews he has some charisma. So why is he not like this on a rugby field?

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:45 am

There can be a difference between being smart, which Itoje undoubtably is, and being able to think and communicate clearly under pressure. It is possible to train the latter although not the former. I suspect Itoje is going to be a work in progress as far as on field leadership goes, but there is potential.

Mercer is the guy who I think is much more promising, although he's going to have to up his game to get a look in. At U20 level he had a lot of impact, both leading by example and by getting in everyone's ear.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 6:25 am

I just don't believe that none of these players, of any age, have any on field leadership. Surely it's more likely that they're trained to not go away from the plan, to follow instructions brought on by the water boys and to do as they're told? Farrell i'm sure is a perfectly good leader, but perhaps he's not given the freedom to change the gameplan off the cuff if he wants to, or perhaps he's never had that freedom so it doesn't occur to him?

Or have we honestly not produced a single outspoken leader in England in the past 5 years or so?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 8:55 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/38692947

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:03 am

Owen Farrell: Will Carling says England captain needs 'support' from others - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47787170

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Post by Rinsure on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:11 am

It's interesting, I think to consider where JJ fits into the discussion - both as a player and as a leader. When England were carrying all before them JJ was as close as you could get to an automatic selection, and widely regarded as the defensive leader in the backs.

With his injury, and the return of Manu, combined with the breakout of Slade in this season's 6N, where does this leave the England back line? Who are the defensive captains? Is there an argument for bringing JJ back into the starting XV for his defensive qualities alone?

If everyone is fit... Te'o at 12 and JJ at 13? Manu a "finisher"? Where does that leave Slade, arguably our best back of the 6N?


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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 11:25 am

Gooseberry wrote:England produced the best performances in the 6 nations this year, but lost one a drew one game. Its not because Wales were better players, but they were more consistent and kept to their game better when it mattered.

I'm not trolling, but Wales were better. Not just collectively or in the 'they just stuck to the gameplan' way either. Individually, skills-wise - there were some big mismatches out there. Liam Williams v the English backfield, particularly Daly. Biggar v Farrell. Curry played well but he was just about the only player to shine v his opponent (and even then I'd say Tipuric was very effective, in a different manner). Perhaps Tuilagi as well but he wasn't used enough.

"Best" is such a vague term anyway. The big issue with England is they are flat track bullies. They produce really good performances when things go their way, and they have done for years. And what makes things go their way? Physical dominance. It's literally the Saracens model - make sure you win the battle of the basics and then you can spread the ball. But first of all, make sure you are significantly more powerful than your opponents. You can even get away with zoning in and out of games, and being a bit sloppy at times. You know you have the quality the grind the opposition down. Very simply, when England don't have that, they look average - as do players like Youngs, Farrell, Villiame Vunipola etc. - players who are heralded when England hit a rich vein of form, and who are good players, there's no doubt. But they're not really judged fairly by most English fans/the media, as far as I can tell. Particularly Farrell, who was set up as Sky Sports' marketing tool for rugby/Wilkinsonv2 in 2012. What changed, in this 6Ns, is England's performance against Ireland was the 'best' game. It was very, very good. But even then - Ireland were only 4 points behind with 15 minutes to play. Ireland weren't miles away, and could have scraped them win - they just weren't winning any of the mini-battles and capitulated in the final minutes as a result.

But because England did put in a performance like that, and the first 40 v Scotland etc., people think this is their 'level'. That they are the 'best'. But you take the WHOLE, rather than just the parts, and England still look in and around the same level as Ireland and Wales' first choice 23s, both individually and collectively. What do you really mean by 'best'? Is it basic skills and talent; potential? Is it ability and consistency? The very things you're trying to dismiss as unimportant are totally relevant. Ken Owens is 'better' than Jamie George. Stockdale is 'better' than May. Even Jamie Ritchie performed at least as well as Curry this 6Ns.

I think it's hard for English fans to 'see' this - and harder still to accept it. But it definitely ties into the leadership issue. The problem, in my opinion, is cultural. English rugby - particularly surrounding the pro game and the channels that feed it - is still very traditional, very...culturally specific...shall we say.

And like the upper classes in general, the attitudes, the elitism inherent to them, are only powerful if they're dominating. Which is tricky to really justify, as that has been on the decline for a century as the titled aristocracy gave way to business. And even though there's been a fusing of those two worlds in British/English culture, English rugby and the schools and clubs that are the 'pinnacle' of the game still have what is, ultimately, a limiting mentality. Because England don't dominate in rugby - just as the aristocracy no longer owns and dictates British culture/the empire. And so the inherent elitism and, basically, the 'metric' by which English rugby players are judged and exposed to from an early age doesn't really suit them when they get to the top level, where they're not just outplayed by the Boks and ABs, but struggle with Ireland and Wales as well. If you know what they metric is - what is valued and what is not - then you know. If you don't...you don't.

As long as England look to leaders who come from this world - Robshaw, Haskell etc. - who are good players but nothing more, they're going to struggle. Because the weakness isn't just in terms of ability, either: it's mentality and culture and the absence of knowing what to do when simply celebrating the fact you're intrinsically better than someone else can be challenged in a really quantifiable way: a scoreboard.

The reality is, English rugby isn't even close to tapping into England's potential as a country. When they won the RWC in 03, Wilkinson was the headline boy because he was, in many ways, a symbol of what English rugby wants to celebrate - what it used to be, or at least the romance around what it used to be, when Britain ran the world. Wilkinson was the pin-up boy of that pastiche, its acceptable face. The public school eduction, the good 'blond' looks, the unwavering upper lip/left boot, the partnership with Hackett, the whole lionheart look - he came across like a polar explorer of yesteryear at times. But they didn't just win on that basis. It look Johnson's captaincy - himself from a rugby heartland but not in the traditional public school manner. Clearly a good player in a good system, but also personally driven: going to NZ when young to test himself etc. It took Jason Robinson's skill and mentality as well. Likewise, Jason Leonard and Phil Vickery played key parts. As did Richard Hill and Dallaglio, the latter who certainly came from the elite world of English schooling and had the belief and mentality to match. But basically, it took a fusion of 'posh' English players and very good players from England's other heartlands - the South West, Leicester, and Rugby League.

For English rugby to really succeed it needs to do two things, and getting a mix of the 'best' of England and English culture/mentality is one of them. It's one they're doing, but perhaps not well enough. There's clearly a lack of concentrated talent/pathways in some areas and, as players like Genge have said, it can be disheartening to be an outsider coming 'in' to an elite set-up. English rugby is still racist and classist. There's no doubt about that. However, the reality is, white people - and the kind of white people typical in public schools - aren't necessarily the best build for rugby. As British athletics has shown, tapping into Britain's current state as (arguably) a postcolonial country helps, as there is a clear genetic benefit to certain 'types' of people. Whether that's Nepalese and their ability to run at altitude or Kenyans' ability to run long distances. Pacific Islanders are definitely blessed when it comes to explosive power and solidity through the shoulders and hips. There's no way a player like Joe Launchbury is the genetic 'peak' of what a rugby player can and should be - and a player like Maro Itoje exposes the inherent lie at the heart of English elitism and what is considered the 'best'. It's a tricky dichotomy: wanting to celebrate English superiority when that means certain things, but at the same time using players who - although culturally, socially, legally English/British, are not what is traditionally conidered 'genetically' British. But anyway, that issue aside, picking players like Tuilagi, Itoje, and Mako Vunipola makes England a better team, no doubt. If rugby was less white, and more meritocratic based on ability and potential, England would be better at rugby.

The second point is very simple as well - it's what Woodward did in 03, and it's what the athletics and, in particular, British Cycling/Team Sky have done. World class coaching: be leaders in every aspect you can be. In terms of the top level, England have had a succession of average coaches - Robinson, Ashton, Johnson...even Lancaster and EJ come under the 'good but not world leading' category. England have the resources to revolutionise rugby, just as they did with cycling. Whether they have the inclination, the desire, or the personnel is another matter. Coaches like Gatland and Schmidt probably come closest to this Dave Brailsford model - maximising potential, all about winning, creating a culture/environment etc.

The best way to create leadership and a healthy, competitive, winning culture is to integrate it into the schools - but without the misplaced entitlement and arrogance that exists in the English public school system. Confidence based on ability not arrogance based on what you've received. It's also a model that could be extended right across the UK: the reality is there simply isn't the desire/political culture to create such an education system, and a combination of right wing ambivalence and left wing paranoia towards competition and excellence creates a state of inertia, leaving most of Britain reliant on access to a club system, which itself is underfunded and often of poor quality. But anyway...at the moment, SA and NZ are way, way out in front in terms of school level development - and in fact, SA are world leaders. Their school teams regularly beat NZ's with relative comfort, and not just by overpowering them. They play quicker and more skillful rugby than NZ up to a certain age - it's a serious blight on SAn rugby that they can't translate their school system into the pro game and the Boks.

The easy answer for English fans is to look at the current set-up and try to shoehorn someone in - like Owen Farrell - and hope it works. But this is a far longer and deeper issue, no doubt about it. And it ties right in to culture at its core.

For the RWC, the best bet is to pick Hartlet and hope for the best. But, in reality, making your 10 your captain is foolish at the best of times, particularly when it's someone with the mentality of Farrell.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 12:51 pm

Nah. England are better. Practically man for man and as a team. Wales were very good defensively on the whole though.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:09 pm

I don't think anybody gives any credibility to your posts anymore, but good effort...

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Post by Sharkey06 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:30 pm

miaow - if Wales are so good, why are their club sides so poor?  If England are so average, why have their club sides won so many European cups?  I do agree that England internationally under perform and it would be nice to be able to hang our hat on why.  In terms of finances and player numbers, England should be at the top of the tree.  As we have seen in rowing and cycling, when we set our minds at something we can dominate a sport.  There is no way Scotland should have been able to come back as they did against England - without being arrogant how many of the Scotland players on the field that day would get into an England squad?  Yet they were very unlucky not to win the game.

it is a conudrum why England are so average.  Some of it is down to a lack of leadership and some of it seems to be an inability to manage the referees as AWJ and others are able to do.  But there does seem to be an English issue which affects us in many sports, where we seem unable to rise to the occasion or react to a situation.  Perhaps we just lack confidence and need to be a bit more bolshy and arrogant, ala All Blacks?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 1:31 pm

miaow wrote:...I'm not trolling, but...

I don't think you are trolling but I do think you are guilty of trying to make the facts fit a theory. It wasn't a colonial hangover which made New Zealand choke in successive World Cups, or Wales go on a lengthy losing streak against Southern hemisphere teams, when even Scotland and Samoa could beat Australia. It's not a colonial hangover which means Australia have lacked leadership across the team for the past few seasons. You can't blame colonial hangover for South Africa losing to Japan in a World Cup, or France finishing last in the 2013 Six Nations, and averaging 4th place since then.


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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:09 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:...I'm not trolling, but...

I don't think you are trolling but I do think you are guilty of trying to make the facts fit a theory. It wasn't a colonial hangover which made New Zealand choke in successive World Cups, or Wales go on a lengthy losing streak against Southern hemisphere teams, when even Scotland and Samoa could beat Australia. It's not a colonial hangover which means Australia have lacked leadership across the team for the past few seasons. You can't blame colonial hangover for South Africa losing to Japan in a World Cup, or France finishing last in the 2013 Six Nations, and averaging 4th place since then.


I don't think that's unreasonable, but I think I am bringing up something that isn't really spoken about - and that's the way culture has changed and is changing, not necessarily for the better when it comes to something like potential and leadership. Nothing is every really unitary or simple and I hope I've tried to show that - public school mentality can be a bonus in someone like Dallaglio...or it can maybe be a weakness in others. Overall, I think it's an outdated and outmoded model of structuring society, but also of creating rounded/competent individuals through an institution (it's arguable those were ever the aims, but that's the ideal, surely). And it's been left with a remnant of elitist culture, one that abounds in rugby and English rugby in particular, despite the clear evidence that - for the most part - it's misplaced and success/leadership is increasingly propped up/being siphoned off by money, intelligence, and talent from overseas. Again, that sort of relates to rugby, it's not just an educational issue - separating the two is actually quite hard.

Forget all the talk of OZ/SA etc. They have their own reasons - but they're certainly related to culture and demographics as well, no doubt about it. But I'm specifically talking about England and English rugby's problems. If anyone disagrees, fine - we all have what we have experienced to go on, and it is just my opinion. But I think there's some solidity to it, for sure.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:15 pm

It's not like you to be dismissive and rude miaow.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:43 pm

miaow wrote:...I think I am bringing up something that isn't really spoken about...

You see, I think the points you raise are brought up quite regularly. So regularly, that they seem to be used to describe whatever state the England team happens to be in at the time, which I think undermines the explanatory power of the thesis. As a case in point, only a couple of months ago, Welshman Nick Bishop made almost exactly the same points on The Roar. Warren Gatland has touched on the topic recently too. I think they are both mistaken, and I was pleased to see even Australians in the comment section rejecting Bishop's crude depiction of what it feels like to attend a rugby match at Twickenham.

https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/02/13/will-england-rule-the-world-in-2019/

I don't doubt there is an English rugby culture but it's a fairly broad church in the same way Irish rugby has "humble Wexford farmers" and Blackrock College private schoolboys.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:55 pm

Farrell went to state comp and its (partly) him we are criticising for not being a good captain, unlike AWJ of course who went to posh schools. Theres also a fair few of both the England and Wales teams who grew up nowhere near any part of Britain.

I would say though that the lack of facilities in state schools and lack of interest in the sport from anyone but the upper middle classes in England has long been noted as an issue holding back the longer term recruitment of potential players. This is exactly a revelation and as withe the "colonial attituide" thing gets bought up by a variety of sources every couple of years a s a talking point. There is a genuine push to recruit form outside the posh schools now, as well as spreading interest in the game through marketing. Academy schools have made a difference too with better facilities and a route for those who have the potential to go on to be pro sportsmen to stay in mainstream academia till they are old enough to play RU. Hinckley school is one I can think of thats bought through a number of good players, including Manu Tuillagi, in recent years. Hinckley is certainly not posh, but it does have a solid rugby culture and relatively good facilities at the school and local club. I think Nowell came through a state academy school too. Theres probably more of the current side but CBA to check.
The London clubs (like err Wasps) have also made a big deal of trying to recruit form a wider background. Whilst Maro Itoje is an old guard Hogwarts prefect type (go on say something about his colonial attitudes Whistle ) and there are a few double barrel surnames floating around I dont think anyones going to accuse Brad Shields of being one.


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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:57 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:miaow - if Wales are so good, why are their club sides so poor?  If England are so average, why have their club sides won so many European cups?

I can't tell if this is a wind up or what? 1. I didn't say that. 2. If the Welsh regions are so poor, why has the Welsh national team overachieved since 2003? Just as valid a question to ask.

 
Sharkey06 wrote:I do agree that England internationally under perform and it would be nice to be able to hang our hat on why.  In terms of finances and player numbers, England should be at the top of the tree.  As we have seen in rowing and cycling, when we set our minds at something we can dominate a sport.

Partly yes, partly no. Rowing is a hyper-specific sport - as rugby is in many ways - in that the modern iteration has the same sort of roots as rugby. Its origins lie in the public school system. Where football in particular has spread all around the world, and England is now a relative also-ran in the global scheme of things, rowing isn't all that widely 'done' outside Britain and the first British Empire (i.e. USA), and some of its colonial competition in Europe. USA tops the Olympic medals chart, with Germany/East Germany second, and Britain third. The only 'surprise' country that's taken up rowing successfully is Romania. But in any case, Britain's success in rowing is because it's a fringe sport.

That sort of relates to cycling, but less so. It's more widely practised and doesn't have that link to the schol system. And Britain's dominance is not a continuation of a centuries old tradition - quite the opposite, its taken a core group of very passionate and dedicated British enthusiasts over the years, and then with Olymic success in the 00s has seen it gain wider popularity, initially as a spectator sport. As it's a very accessible 'sport' - everyone rides a bike growing up, lots of people use to commute or to explore their surroundings etc. - and so it captured the 'hearts and minds' so to speak, as well as all the other elements that make watching competitive racing enjoyable. From the velodrome to the track, it's also a universal sport in some ways: just as urban as it is rural. But make no mistake - cycling's success came from amassing talented and dedicated professionals, rather than a groundswell of public support. That came after the success. Also, I don't think anyone doubts that Sky/BC have traversed the grey area of legality for a while, and get some of their edge and success from doing that so well.

So, perhaps we can compare those two sports to rugby - but only so much. They're both racing, they're both very, very different to a ball game. There are only so many ways you can change your rowing or pedalling form. Or at least, they're quantifiable, controllable. Barring accidents, the tactics can be planned and maintained in a way you simply cannot for rugby. There's so many variables - from teammates, to the bounce of the ball, to the referee's interpretation - that creating success and a winning culture takes infinitely longer than it does to make cyclists 5% fitter, 3% more efficient etc.

The playing numbers in England suggest they should be dominating. But just like with village cricket, for the most part it's a dreadful standard. There's too much of a disconnect between the amateur and pathway programmes. Which is an inquality reflective of British culture as a whole - if you're good enough, you get plucked out and displaced into a well funded set-up and expected to thrive, or you get cast out again. Overhauling the system of sport/rugby is hard, and I don't think anyone has the desire to do that.

And that isn't just leadership based. It's skills based as well. And for all the academies in the world, you cannot replicate things like natural durability, toughness, savvy, and tactical creativity that comes from intrinsic knowledge of the game (and not just the sport). There is definitely something to be said for having a safe, competitive, self-regulating environment (like throwing a ball around in a park) from a very young age, rather than institutionalising everything. But there we go. You're never going to go 'back' to that in the age of Fortnite and Snapchat.

 
Sharkey06 wrote:There is no way Scotland should have been able to come back as they did against England - without being arrogant how many of the Scotland players on the field that day would get into an England squad?  Yet they were very unlucky not to win the game.

No, they shouldn't - and it's why England's leadership and overall quality is rightly being questioned. Because although this is the most dramatic capitulation, it isn't the first time. And it seemed to stem from arrogance which EJ fuelled beforehand, and then incompetence when Scotland scored 2-3 tries and the English players didn't know how to control the game and just 'kill' their momentum. They were still in the old (Saracens) mode of thinking - if we get the next score those 2 we've just conceded won't matter. The parallels between Saracens and England are very strong - I saw a similar mentality in the Glasgow game, the difference was simply the bounce of the ball, Saracens' power etc. And it ended in a scoreline England could easily have got v Scotland - certainly it was more likely than the 38-38 score it ended on. Eventhough you're missing the point with this question - as Scotland are clearly on the rung below Ireland, England, and Wales and have been for 20 years - I'd say the likes of Hamish Watson, Finn Russell, Stuart McInally are all arguably better than their opposite numbers, even if they're quite different players. Then Sean Maitland, Greig Laidlaw, Adam Hastings, Magnus Bradbury, Fraser Brown, WP Nel, and (on form) Jonny Gray would be in and around the squad. Although young and green, Darcy Graham and Sam Johnson looked very good - so we'll have to keep the verdict out on them. There's no doubt Hogg, who didn't play, would walk in to the England team based on ability as well. Certainly, when you look at some of the players England have picked in their positions in the last 12 months, a good number of the Scotland squad are at least their equals. But, again, that's not really the point.

Sharkey06 wrote:it is a conudrum why England are so average.  Some of it is down to a lack of leadership and some of it seems to be an inability to manage the referees as AWJ and others are able to do.  But there does seem to be an English issue which affects us in many sports, where we seem unable to rise to the occasion or react to a situation.  Perhaps we just lack confidence and need to be a bit more bolshy and arrogant, ala All Blacks?

I wasn't calling England average? Based on your first line, I thought you were taking issue with such a suggestion?

The leadership issue is clear, but it's a collective one. Interesting that EJ saw it and remarked on it 2 years ago. I think with EJ, there's an element of admiration and disgust with England. Admiration with what it could be, and the power they have, but also the classic Australian chip on the shoulder, as well as the well-placed snide at the fact they've underachieved relative to their potential for years. The Robshaw comment in 2015 was a good example of that. And even then, why is Carling making it public that Farrell needs more support? Yes, clearly he does; but why make that public? Why not sort that out in house and then do what EJ is usually fairly good at, which is have a bit of a faux-happy siege mentality, where he brushes over the obvious issues and tries to pretend everything's fine. The issue is when he blows up and lets slip what he really thinks to the media, and that's England's issue - any success still feels like it's built on slightly sandy foundations. Just as the first 2 years of EJ always did (to many neutrals, at least). Carling's comment in itself is really, really poor, and a sign of a poor culture. He's using the media for short term protection of Farrell (something we haven't talked about is the rabid UK/English press, which DEFINITELY makes things harder for England and is probably a net deficit) at the sake of, effectively, undermining him in the eyes of opposition and maybe even his own teammates. Psychology is an interesting thing and not to be dismissed lightly - I don't think Carling is right to come out with that. He's an entertaining man, and no doubt brings a bit of that old school, tweed jacket charm with him, but was he ever a thinking man's captain?

I wouldn't call England average. They're a good, powerful team with the potential to put in potentially world beating performances once in a while. Just like Ireland, really, and to a lesser extent Wales. Get the personnel right - Tuilagi is your most important player, in my opinion - and if they have enough of that power across the 15 as they can, they could win the RWC in Japan. But there is still a real flakiness to them that they haven't been able to shake since Woodward left. I'm not sure 2007 really counts, either, as it was a case of hitting rock bottom before just grinding their way past a powerpuff Australia and a skittish France. But in terms of mentality, that's probably been their 'best' since 2003, as it appeared they were all pulling together, all aware of their relative deficiencies, and they did what it took to win rugby games - and it worked.

Short term leadership, I think Farrell and England could end up doing something similar. But it's not a recipe for success. Long term leadership? Well, cultural change is long and slow and rugby is an example of that, because it is a cultural anachronism in many ways that reflects a bygone era of Britain, at least in England. Some of that is good, some of that is bad.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:05 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Farrell went to state comp and its (partly) him we are criticising for not being a good captain, unlike AWJ of course who went to posh schools.

Exactly, it's not an exact science. But, of course, things are more nuanced than labels - it's also culture, and I know someone who went to school with Farrell down in the south of England, and, of course, it was anything but your average 'state comp'.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/03/18/how-englands-class-of-2016-was-made-in-harpenden/

Which would make sense. His father was a pro rugby player etc., and the school's links with Saracens are very strong. But the point is - look beyond the surface. Farrell isn't a 'typical' English rugby player at all; he's gifted with his father's steel and drive, and some northern grit, to use a cliche, from League. But, with all due respect, he's also a stereotypical 'coach's son' player: yes, he's good...but he's not quite as good as people make out. He's making the most of his talents but he's not a 'gifted' 10, and is now too small for a test 12 - which is unfortunate, as I always felt that was his better position.

But anyway, the Welsh culture and English culture is another topic. Particularly when it comes to educational excellence or independent schooling. It's not as if it's solely based on paying to go to school. So, interesting, no doubt, but very different - there's a reason Wales struggle when favourites, that's the easiest way of summing that up.

What AWJ's background has probably helped him with is transcending some of those self-destructive, pessimisstic modes of thought that run right through Wales. But he hasn't lost a sense of national passion: which, for the sad, is based on hating the England, but for most people it's a sense of community and inter-generational connection, a relationship with the land, and a quiet pride in the better parts of the country, from its history and culture, to its work ethic. It's very hard for England to replicate that and I sympathise with this: because English nationalism is associated with the far right, and UKIP, and intolerance, and superiority etc. Eventhough, in many ways, British culture (lots of Scottish involvement, of course) from the Enlightenment onwards did produce some truly wonderful things that were superior to what preceded it. The same sort of embarrassment applies to Germany, expect they still seem to produce an excellent football team, so it's not an exact science at all.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:22 pm

miaow wrote:...rowing isn't all that widely 'done' outside Britain and the first British Empire (i.e. USA), and some of its colonial competition in Europe....
So, Italy is a major rowing power because...it was a colonial competitor to Britain? Think that is an enormous stretch!

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:30 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:...I think I am bringing up something that isn't really spoken about...

You see, I think the points you raise are brought up quite regularly. So regularly, that they seem to be used to describe whatever state the England team happens to be in at the time, which I think undermines the explanatory power of the thesis. As a case in point, only a couple of months ago, Welshman Nick Bishop made almost exactly the same points on The Roar. Warren Gatland has touched on the topic recently too. I think they are both mistaken, and I was pleased to see even Australians in the comment section rejecting Bishop's crude depiction of what it feels like to attend a rugby match at Twickenham.

https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/02/13/will-england-rule-the-world-in-2019/

I don't doubt there is an English rugby culture but it's a fairly broad church in the same way Irish rugby has "humble Wexford farmers" and Blackrock College private schoolboys.

Interesting, I can't see I've read/heard too much other than the typical jokes about England being posh or whatever. Incidentally, comparing the Twickenham crowd to the development pathways towards playing at Twickenham is a poor one to make.

Don't confuse the two: English rugby is surely a lot less elitist than it used to be, and 2003 helped with that, for sure. But it's also an aspirational thing - the guy from Conventry or Bristol bringing his wife and two kids who play mini rugby down for the day as a treat etc. And even then, the old guard of Land Rover picnics and tweed jackets are more...supporters...these days, than the lifeblood of the English game. Not only are they less concentrated, but they're less emboldened and less in control. So of course you're not going to come across the same kind of elitism from the 90s that was mentioned in that article. But, still, the attitudes and environment is still 'traditional'. When you think about absolutely EVERYTHING, even something like the banter is important. In fact, it's a vital part.

And one key thing is how a system works, right? How each component interacts with another. And for the most part, inequality worked really well in Britain...very well for the ruling class, and even then, relatively well for those beneath it: a mercantile middle class was created, before finally an improving of standards and laws for the working classes as well. In the 20thC, that's mostly been growing and growing with globalisation, and UK is more egailtarian, or at least was until the 80s, I believe. For something like the military, the class system works really well. So, too, for rugby in a way - as I said about 03, it was a marriage of all sorts of backgrounds, and that can only have helped. And, probably, the Ireland situation you describe is how it works well. If you can successfully marry different worlds together, with different strengths, you can create something special. But the difference with Ireland is they didn't colonise the world, their public schools (as far as I know...) aren't directly linked to the cultures and systems that effectively conquered and colonised much of the globe. There simply isn't quite the same culture to come from that...at all...in fact, that's a understatement...!

The issue isn't so much the presence of public schools, it's the importance the negative/destructive/elitist attitudes have within it. And, specifically, the sense of being 'born' into something superior, despite actually being inferior. It's a bit like cognitive dissonance-lite that Hitler would have experienced with Jesse Jones at the 1936 Olympics: you think you're intrinsically the 'best', and many English people do grow up believing they are inherently superior (although in the age of the internet, that's become white guilt as a sort of weird inversion of that to offset arrogance despite the ramifications, or perhaps because of what it creates in people!). That's the issue - that individuals within the system ultimately create an unhealthy competition within in that damages the whole.

The antidote? Not sure. The revolutionary delusion is you can just tear a system down and build it up in exactly the way you want it. But evolution is how things always work. NZ seem to have the healthiest system, and why they've probably sustained their dominance in the game for so long. They're not troubled by anywhere near the same racial issues as the UK and, in particular, SA have. Or class problems like in Australia and the UK.

What was the Warren Gatland quote? I saw him call them bottlers but nothing in relation to background.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:33 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:...rowing isn't all that widely 'done' outside Britain and the first British Empire (i.e. USA), and some of its colonial competition in Europe....
So, Italy is a major rowing power because...it was a colonial competitor to Britain? Think that is an enormous stretch!

Was it a major Western European culture, albeit it relatively impoverished and divided during Britain's rise? Yes. But, still, it's missing the point. Italy isn't exactly a world away from Britain. It's not quite the same as football flourishing in Brazil, or rugby in NZ and the Pacific Islands. It still requires wealth and access to a quite specific form of eventing landscape. It's also a fringe sport in a way rugby no longer really is.

As ever, the best way to try to disprove something is at its strongest points. Try doing that? I cba getting hung up on the most minor details - as I said, this isn't a huge unifying theory that's going to be perfect. It's a rugby forum and I'm making a point about English culture in rugby. Why are you focusing on Italian rowing as the only thing to query...?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:48 pm

So to summarise English rugby is racist and we'd be better if there were more ethnicities and mixed race players. Our coaching staff could do with improvement including removal of the mixed race head coach. We're still better than the rest of the nh but could be better. We pack working class players. We lack leaders. We're too colonial. And that allows teams like australia maintain their current iron grip they have over the team. England are a power based team and should presumably spend some more time allowing our backs to play.
As a short summary. Yeah. No. To quote Mr Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 3:57 pm

I do wonder on the post mortem how much Mitchell s influence will come to the fore. I think most of us had picked out Daly as a defensive weakness in regards positioning and high balls to a lesser or greater extent. Mitchell himself had said one of the most important aspects of defence is how qu8ck it can be turned to attack. I'm wondering if they're looking overall on the balance of someone like Daly there and seeing it as it's worth the risk and that he'll get better as Mitchell works with him. I'm.very much hoping they're looking around personally at other options.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:02 pm

miaow wrote:It's a rugby forum and I'm making a point about English culture in rugby. Why are you focusing on Italian rowing as the only thing to query...?
I mentioned rowing only because you did. While you started talking about rugby, you then looked to bolster your point with examples from other sports, but it seemed to me your descriptions were inaccurate there too.

No-one disputes that, at the peak of Britain's colonial power, our public school sporting culture was a major cultural export. De Coubertin acknowledged the influence explicitly when he started the modern Olympic movement.

However, if you want to bring colonial power and dominance into the discussion of how England engages with any particular sport, then the onus is on you to explain why it should be a major factor in some sports but not others. The narrative you outline for rugby doesn't align with athletics, cricket, tennis, croquet, hockey, rowing, sailing, or equestrian disciplines, which all have class and education links in common with rugby.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So to summarise English rugby is racist

In a lot of ways, yes, absolutely. Very racist in certain environments.

No 7&1/2 wrote:and we'd be better if there were more ethnicities and mixed race players.

If the culture was less hostile to 'unwanted' players - where class, wealth, family, race, religion, sexuality all plays a part - and based more on talent and ability, then English rugby would be better. Of course. Only an idiot would think a meritocratic system based on as much equal opportunity as possible is a poor one. And as British athletics shows, there aren't many white track athletes. As evidence of using the best of human diffence, 3 of England's star players - Vunipolas and Tuilagi - are not white and come from the Pacific Islands, an area with people genetically blessed in rugby terms.

No 7&1/2 wrote:Our coaching staff could do with improvement including removal of the mixed race head coach.

Interesting. His race has nothing to do with this, but then I suppose from this point you've really gone off the rails, so let's just ignore that part. EJ is a good coach and he more than paid his due with his 2 6Ns titles. Came close to losing his job last year but just did enough to hold on. Should be gone soon, and presumably the succession plan is well under way.

No 7&1/2 wrote:We're still better than the rest of the nh

Errrr... England 6N's Postmortem & Look Ahead - Page 3 _106051850_walescelebrate_getty_hero

Hmmmm... England 6N's Postmortem & Look Ahead - Page 3 000f8dc1-500

Headscratch  Headscratch  Headscratch ...England 6N's Postmortem & Look Ahead - Page 3 2019-034


No 7&1/2 wrote:but could be better.

Well, yeah, obviously... https://www.the42.ie/lynne-cantwell-column-england-ireland-six-nations-2621597-Feb2016/

No 7&1/2 wrote:We pack working class players.

Yeah, for sure. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-6499941/Rugby-denied-real-talent-class-says-England-prop-Ellis-Genge.html

No 7&1/2 wrote:We lack leaders.

Most definitely...https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/38692947

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/rugby-union/47596576

No 7&1/2 wrote:We're too colonial.

In my opinion, the echoes of it and the undeserved superiority derived from it are still explicitly hampering English rugby, absolutely.

No 7&1/2 wrote:And that allows teams like australia maintain their current iron grip they have over the team.

Australia are dreadful comapred to what they used to. But still a handy team. The game is dying there because Rugby League is harder, faster, and more working class - all of which suits Australia better - and has an established internal pro competition which Super Rugby cannot compete with. Add in Aussie Rules and it's the third most popular egg-shaped ball game in the country.

No 7&1/2 wrote:England are a power based team

Absolutely.

No 7&1/2 wrote:and should presumably spend some more time allowing our backs to play.

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. Your understanding of rugby is stuck in the 1980s.

No 7&1/2 wrote:As a short summary-

raspberry vomit oh yeah

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:15 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:It's a rugby forum and I'm making a point about English culture in rugby. Why are you focusing on Italian rowing as the only thing to query...?
I mentioned rowing only because you did. While you started talking about rugby, you then looked to bolster your point with examples from other sports, but it seemed to me your descriptions were inaccurate there too.

No-one disputes that, at the peak of Britain's colonial power, our public school sporting culture was a major cultural export. De Coubertin acknowledged the influence explicitly when he started the modern Olympic movement.

However, if you want to bring colonial power and dominance into the discussion of how England engages with any particular sport, then the onus is on you to explain why it should be a major factor in some sports but not others. The narrative you outline for rugby doesn't align with athletics, cricket, tennis, croquet, hockey, rowing, sailing, or equestrian disciplines, which all have class and education links in common with rugby.

Sharkey was the first to mention rowing. They said Britain is great when it puts its mind to things in sport. I had mentioned cycling as an example of where pro coaching revolutionised the sport and saw Britain dominate. I suggested English rugby needs something similar a la Woodward in the late 90s. But then that in itself was a unique period of the NH adapted to the game going pro, at a time when the SH were really starting to dominate as they were better prepared for the end of amateurism. You cannot replicate Woodward but, still, England is the richest rugby nation and has the resources to produce/bring in a Dave Brailsford type figure, as far as that is possible in rugby. Clearly, England haven't had coaches as good as Galtand and Schmidt, so a focus on coaching is paramount, top down.

Sharkey included rowing in the same bracket as cycling as an example that Britain can/does do this regularly. But, quite simply, Britain's rowing success is as much down to the lack of competition as it is revolutionary coaching - unlike cycling! No doubt they have a good rowing set-up but it's a much less popular sport than either cycling or rugby, far less accessible. The point is: thinking 'well, all England has to do is puts it mind to it and we'll dominate the world in rugby' is exactly the kind of obliviousness I am talking about! But there we go...

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:27 pm

Examples of racism miaow?
Surely you're not trying to say the format of the 6 nation's guarantees the best team wins? And surely you don't ignore context of defeats:I know you don't do that as you were saying Wales were better when we have beaten you quite a lot recently?
Do presumably Wales Scotland and to a lesser extent Ireland are all colonial too?
All your points touch upon real issues but you just lack a bit of knowledge of England and are too keen to try and put the boot in. A recent example apart from the points above is that Jones has been too stuck in his ways with the same players and hasn't integrated new players and developed. Just lacks a little when you scratch beneath the surface which in itself is fine as most people will take on board points others make. You have a tendency to come put with arrogant remarks and insults. Just my point of view and I'll leave it there with you again as it'll just be another point to insult the English.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:28 pm

miaow wrote:.. England is the richest rugby nation...
France is probably the richest rugby nation. You might be thinking of union revenue. Then again, we already know that money doesn't buy automatic success in sport. It is probably better to have it than not have it but no-one has ever said Brazil is the richest football nation. A lot of stars have to be aligned at the same time. On many measures, Japan is a far richer rugby nation than teams ranked above it but there are several reasons why the country makes poor use of its resources.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:39 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:.. England is the richest rugby nation...
France is probably the richest rugby nation. You might be thinking of union revenue. Then again, we already know that money doesn't buy automatic success in sport. It is probably better to have it than not have it but no-one has ever said Brazil is the richest football nation. A lot of stars have to be aligned at the same time. On many measures, Japan is a far richer rugby nation than teams ranked above it but there are several reasons why the country makes poor use of its resources.

I did think when writing that whether France have now surpassed England. In club terms, then sure, they have. But still, as you say, the RFU is the most powerful and wealthiest union, even if they're having financial and structural problems. And more than that, the French owners have no interest in the game outside their own club. Not the national team, not the grassroots, not the culture. As the structure of rugby is still up for debate, in terms of who funds what and who owns whom, going on the basis of unions is a decent way of looking at things. But, still, England is still the main rugby powerhouse in terms of clout in most appreciable ways. And the point about not using money correctly is one I wouldn't argue with - exactly what I was suggesting, that they could use their resources better and, at the very least, hire someone in the Joe Schmidt or Warren Gatland bracket. EJ hasn't been a bad shout but I don't think many would rate him as highly as those two. Even Lancaster, who did fairly well, was - if we're honest - the product of a poor recruitment process. And of course Johnson, Ashton, and Robinson before them were all...fairly poor in their jobs (although I feel sorry for Ashton somewhat as he's a good coach, and rugby was changing quickly. Rob Andrew also has a lot to answer for around that period).

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:you just lack a bit of knowledge of England.

You keep saying this but it has no grounding in reality. I have to come to the conclusion that it's projection of a personal anxiety. Only explanation because it is such a strange and arrogant thing to say when you couldn't possibly know.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:48 pm

miaow wrote:...as you say, the RFU is the most powerful and wealthiest union...
I didn't say the RFU is the most powerful union, and I doubt it is.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 4:49 pm

Really my last point now as it's getting to be obvious wumming. Tell us again how Jones hasn't introduced and integrated players into his setup.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:11 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
miaow wrote:...as you say, the RFU is the most powerful and wealthiest union...
I didn't say the RFU is the most powerful union, and I doubt it is.

In terms of power to attract a coach, its finances and resources make it the most attractive prospect. Its domestic control isn't as strong as Ireland or Wales, but then it's better than in France. So, I think it's a fair statement - but, again, it's not really the most crucial issue. If Ireland and Wales can attract world class coaches who are able to help restructure their rugby system, England can as well.

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Post by Cyril on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:27 pm

I think miaow is mistaking ‘Englishness’ for Britishness’ and vice versa. Again. Sigh.

You really do despise England with every fibre of your being, miaow. Haven’t you got better things to do?


Last edited by Cyril on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:27 pm

Perspective is needed. England beat two crap teams in France and Italy- the manner of the beating was impressive but still, It was France and Italy. The win against Ireland was very good but an anomaly, definitely not the norm. There was something very average about Ireland throughout the tournament though. England weren’t the best team in the 6N, sorry to burst your bubble. #notsorry

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Post by Cyril on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:30 pm

Wales struggled to beat both those ‘crap’ teams and had their ‘anomaly’ against England. Wales raised their game, their cup final etc. Amazing how you can spin it.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:42 pm

There is a tad of irony picking up on two games where Wales squeezed through, even with that 2nd half against France and B team against Italy.

Anyway, nice to see another thread gently amble off the rails.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:47 pm

Cyril wrote:Wales struggled to beat both those ‘crap’ teams and had their ‘anomaly’ against England. Wales raised their game, their cup final etc. Amazing how you can spin it.

After each game you all said it was because of the refs, so which is it exactly?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:49 pm

lostinwales - the thing is Wales actually are the best team in the 6N; they didn't lose a game, draw another at home versus a team that finished 5th, and then claim to be the best. They did it by winning all their games. If you could end the delusion and get back to talking about rugby that would be swell.

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 5:53 pm

Cyril wrote:I think miaow is mistaking ‘Englishness’ for Britishness’ and vice versa. Again. Sigh.

You really do despise England with every fibre of your being, miaow. Haven’t you got better things to do?

No, no and most certainly yes. But no harm in upping the quality of #content on these boards once in a while Hug

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Post by Cyril on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 6:01 pm

Haha. You do remind me of Adrian Mole with your writing style, miaow. Sub-GCSE waffle from a wannabe ‘writer’. I’m sure your parish newsletter enjoys your monthly ‘musings’.

Give the rest of us a break though, eh?

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Post by miaow on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 6:08 pm

Haha. Nice on Cyril. Now, off you go to look up the definitions of 'English' and 'British'...

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