England's strength in depth...and who makes their RWC squad?

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Post by miaow on Thu 11 Apr 2019, 8:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

Mirroring the thread I did for Wales, England have had huge strength in depth for the last 9 years or so. Under Lancaster it seemed to be a hindrance as much as a strength, with no-one really leaping out to claim key positions, cycling through the likes of Twelvetrees, Burrell, Barritt etc. in the centre.

Now, it feels like England do have some real test quality players who have grabbed shirts with both hands and are nailed on: the Vunipolas, Tuilagi, Lawes, and latterly players like May, Curry, and Underhill.

With that in mind...who makes England's 31 man squad based on who's fit and available (as well as who's out injured)? If you want to include who you'd personally pick as well that'd be interesting, but who do England fans think will be in that squad in Japan?

Also, who is in the starting 23 and who are the 6-7 reserve players who stand a good chance of a call up?

I've done it for Wales in the Wales thread - think it's looking very settled, with a few first 15 positions up for debate depending on opposition. From the outside England's squad looks a lot less settled or certain.

Squads ten to be:

17-18 forwards
5 Props
2 or 3 Hookers
5 Second rows
5 or 6 Back rowers

13-14 Backs
3 Scrum-halves
2-3 Fly-halves
3 Centres
5 Back 3

So who/what is the current England squad?

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 12:07 pm

The problem with Goode is that he was so deeply disappointing in internationals when he did get the chance.

And we have had this conversation many times.

He had 2 good games. One in that game vs NZ, and one vs Ireland when the weather was appalling, they kept kicking the ball to him and he kept on booting it further back. In his other games his 'deceptive' pace was very much off and he had perfected the art of jinking into the tackle. For all his domestic achievements, at international level he felt like a liability unless conditions were perfect for him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 1:30 pm

We seem to be using sinckler mainly and Mako Vunipola as alternative first receiver as so perhaps negates the need or bonus of the role Farrell took in the last few years.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 3:31 pm

Think someone has mentioned this here somewhere but Watson is back in the first team at full back this weekend. Would be good to see him hit the ground running.
Premiership: Sale Sharks v Bath - Anthony Watson to make comeback - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48027397

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Post by BamBam on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 3:44 pm

They must be pretty confident in his recovery to put him straight in the starting line up

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 3:50 pm

Yup. There's a great chance for this tonqork really well for England should him, Joseph and Cokanasiga strike up a good partnership. Think this is a first start of Obano since he's been back as well? Personally rate him as our 3rd best loose head after vunipola and Genge.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 4:43 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup. There's a great chance for this tonqork really well for England should him, Joseph and Cokanasiga strike up a good partnership. Think this is a first start of Obano since he's been back as well? Personally rate him as our 3rd best loose head after vunipola and Genge.

Obano was certainly hitting some serious form before his injury. Tremendous carrier and aggressive around the park. The sort of player that I love watching play. Hear's to hoping he can hit the same levels again soon.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 4:49 pm

Watson and Joseph certainly have a chance to force their way in. Watson looked like the long term plan at fullback prior to injury and Joseph was a defensive lynchpin when on form. Really good to see both back.

It's also nice to see Underhill stringing some games together to close out the season.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 5:35 pm

I’ve seen little sign that Slade is providing the leadership and communication that Barritt does for Sarries. Daly is a good runner but he does not seem to release others like Goode.

I don’t think Slade, Daly, Tuilagi, Teo or Brown are leaders and this leaves it all down to Farrell and he clearly cannot take on that role. Hence when things go badly they just continue in the same way.

Either go with a player who takes complete control of an attack like Cipriani or provide the support Farrell needs.

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Post by miaow on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 8:24 pm

Best player in the England team


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 8:57 pm

What do you mean by a settled first 15 miaow?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 11:21 pm

miaow wrote:Best player in the England team

That's an over-generous assessment of Andy Goode

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 11:28 pm

Goode was ripped apart for those comments. He's just a click bait column filler now looking to try to cling to relevance by being outspoken. No one takes what he say's seriously, or at least they shouldn't.

Synkler has the skills and physicality to be brilliant and he has been for England, Lions and Quins right from his first caps. Yes he's young and hot headed, and yes far more experienced players have conned him and got the better of him. But he has time on his side and he is one of the best players in the team when he's not sin binned.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 25 Apr 2019, 11:50 pm

Goode is one of several pundits whose 'opinions' are somewhat undermined by him being employed by a club he's 'commentating' on. The cushty ambassadors role he has at Wasps pays him a pretty sum.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 12:28 am

Na, disagree about Goode. He's absolutely a Little Englander at heart but he does call it how he sees it - even if his political views are shocking.

On rugby matters, he's pretty level headed. I've heard him criticise Wasps enough times to know his heart's not there - including slagging off the training ground situation with Daly. If anything, he's pro-Leicester as that's 'his' club, but then he's played for enough Premiership teams you can hardly accuse him of bias. Certainly no reason for pick out certain clubs or players to criticise for Wasps' benefit: that's a bit of a weird suggestion tbh.

Anyway, just think it was a laughable suggestion calling Sinckler England's best player. Not only that, but also laughable that he's somehow a victim of other players 'milking' the situation rather than the fact he can't shut up/not get involved in the sledging. Good dynamic loose player who's decent enough in the scrum, but who's severely let down by his mindset. The Lions players/coaches saw enough of it, and clearly other teams are working him out.

Your definition of 'best' must be very different to mine, yappy. And I definitely wouldn't take the opinions of twitter/whoever else is 'ripping him apart' any gravitas. Is what he says wrong? No (if he is, pick out where he is). Is he being succinct and 'entertaining' in his role in the media? Yes.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 6:27 am

Still not answering a simple question but moving on again. This time changing one of the best players in the squad to the best. And yes of course Wales milked it and played to it. Dear me miaow.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 10:38 am

One of the best along with Mako. So joint best. Basically, best. Ok... thumbsup

Your 4th-rate Paxman impression is better ignored than humoured. The mods have had a hard enough time without me engaging with you and causing them more issues. You're a joke of poster who makes up lies and plays dumb. Stop fawning for attention. It's unbecoming.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 11:26 am

Yet I haven't lied but you're twisting comment to breaking point.
Regarding the settled team comment am I right in thinking you've made a throw away remark without really thinking through what it actually means hence when asked for clarification you don't want to as it pick a apart your point? Seems that way.
I would also like to point out you're back to throwing insults after being warmed already.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 11:32 am

You have lied. You claimed I said something I haven't.

You're not correct, no. There have been countless occasions where I've explained something to you, only for you to turn around at the end and go 'so what you're saying is...' and come up with some weird, reductive interpretation you'd already settled on long before the explanation began. You've got the tactics of a very subtle troll and it's boring.

I wouldn't call it an insult. To be compared (albeit highly unfavourably) to an acclaimed journalist and interviewer should be high praise indeed...you should be flattered, if anything...

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 12:01 pm

How about you two taking a breather, leave this thread alone and maybe discuss rugby elsewhere without pin pointing your previous grievances with each other.

I am sure there are plenty of rugby fans that wish to discuss the topic rather than read your opinions on other posters..!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 12:15 pm

England thread and I'm trying to discuss points maes. Miaow is the chap throwing insults for no other reason than he doesn't want his point scrutinised. If you'd like to deal with that fair enough but there's no reason to warn me.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 12:52 pm

https://youtu.be/3dm2lBzm2AE?t=8

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 1:02 pm

ANYWAY

Looking back to England under Lancaster - and relating to depth, squad prep for a RWC etc. - I look at the 2014 tour to NZ where they pushed them close in 3/4 tests with 3 of those coming in NZ.

Despite losing all 4 it was a sign 2012 wasn't just a fluke. It was also a sign that they had built genuine squad depth without really nailing down key positions.

Here's the team that played in the AI game at HQ.

England: M Brown, S Rokoduguni, B Barritt, K Eastmond, J May, O Farrell, D Care; J Marler, D Hartley, D Wilson, D Attwood, C Lawes, T Wood, C Robshaw, B Vunipola.

Replacements: G Kruis for C Lawes (22), B Morgan for B Vunipola (52), M Mullan for J Marler (54), B Youngs for D Care (62), A Watson for S Rokoduguni (62), G Ford for K Eastmond (64), R Webber for D Hartley (73), K Brookes for D Wilson (73).

And the teas that played NZ:

FB 15 Mike Brown
RW 14 Marland Yarde Temporarily suspended from 69' to 79' 69' to 79'
OC 13 Manu Tuilagi
IC 12 Kyle Eastmond
LW 11 Jonny May Substituted off 79'
FH 10 Freddie Burns Substituted off 71'
SH 9 Ben Youngs Substituted off 79'
N8 8 Ben Morgan
OF 7 Chris Robshaw (c)
BF 6 James Haskell Substituted off 70'
RL 5 Geoff Parling
LL 4 Joe Launchbury Substituted off 70'
TP 3 David Wilson Substituted off 70'
HK 2 Rob Webber Substituted off 70'
LP 1 Joe Marler
Replacements:
HK 16 Joe Gray Substituted in 70'
PR 17 Matt Mullan
PR 18 Henry Thomas Substituted in 70'
LK 19 Dave Attwood Substituted in 70'
FL 20 Tom Johnson Substituted in 70'
SH 21 Lee Dickson Substituted in 79'
FH 22 Danny Cipriani Substituted in 71'
FB 23 Chris Pennell Substituted in 79'

FB 15 Mike Brown
RW 14 Manu Tuilagi
OC 13 Luther Burrell Substituted off 74'
IC 12 Billy Twelvetrees
LW 11 Marland Yarde
FH 10 Owen Farrell Temporarily suspended from 58' to 68' 58' to 68'
SH 9 Danny Care Substituted off 71'
N8 8 Ben Morgan
OF 7 Chris Robshaw (c)
BF 6 Tom Wood Substituted off 56'
RL 5 Geoff Parling
LL 4 Joe Launchbury Substituted off 56'
TP 3 David Wilson Substituted off 76'
HK 2 Rob Webber Substituted off 47'
LP 1 Joe Marler Substituted off 71'
Replacements:
HK 16 Dylan Hartley Substituted in 47'
PR 17 Matt Mullan Substituted in 71'
PR 18 Kieran Brookes Substituted in 76'
LK 19 Courtney Lawes Substituted in 56'
N8 20 Billy Vunipola Substituted in 56'
SH 21 Ben Youngs Substituted in 71'
FH 22 Freddie Burns
WG 23 Chris Ashton Substituted in 74'

FB 15 Alex Goode Substituted off 56'
RW 14 Ben Foden
OC 13 Henry Trinder Substituted off 56'
IC 12 Brad Barritt
LW 11 Anthony Watson
FH 10 Danny Cipriani Substituted off 47'
SH 9 Lee Dickson Substituted off 47'
N8 8 Tom Johnson
OF 7 Matt Kvesic
BF 6 James Haskell
RL 5 Dave Attwood Substituted off 67'
LL 4 Ed Slater (c)
TP 3 Henry Thomas Substituted off 56'
HK 2 Joe Gray Substituted off 59'
LP 1 Alex Waller Substituted off 56'
Replacements:
HK 16 Dave Ward Substituted in 59'
PR 17 Nathan Catt Substituted in 56'
PR 18 Kyle Sinckler Substituted in 56'
LK 19 Michael Paterson Substituted in 67'
SH 20 Richard Wigglesworth Substituted in 47'
FH 21 Stephen Myler Substituted in 47'
WG 22 Jonny May Substituted in 56'
FB 23 Chris Pennell Substituted in 56'

Are England in danger of repeating mistakes of 4 years ago? Or is it even worse this time? Here, they rotated heavily and gave players important game time - even if they ended up offering very little to the RWC squad. The issue was they didn't have a solid idea of a test XV - evidenced by the mess with picking a rookie at 12. There's an over-reliance on certain key positions now but EJ does at least know some key positions like 8, 9 and 10, where Lancaster perhaps didn't. What's more concerning for England should how the other key positions aren't clear.


Last edited by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 1:05 pm

Doesn't appear a settled team back then despite having huge strength in depth.
What mistakes do you mean? Conditioning issues going into the wc for Lancaster altering the plan drastically going into that tournament?

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 2:14 pm

miaow wrote:
FB 15 Alex Goode Substituted off 56'
RW 14 Ben Foden
OC 13 Henry Trinder Substituted off 56'
IC 12 Brad Barritt
LW 11 Anthony Watson
FH 10 Danny Cipriani Substituted off 47'
SH 9 Lee Dickson Substituted off 47'
N8 8 Tom Johnson
OF 7 Matt Kvesic
BF 6 James Haskell
RL 5 Dave Attwood Substituted off 67'
LL 4 Ed Slater (c)
TP 3 Henry Thomas Substituted off 56'
HK 2 Joe Gray Substituted off 59'
LP 1 Alex Waller Substituted off 56'
Replacements:
HK 16 Dave Ward Substituted in 59'
PR 17 Nathan Catt Substituted in 56'
PR 18 Kyle Sinckler Substituted in 56'
LK 19 Michael Paterson Substituted in 67'
SH 20 Richard Wigglesworth Substituted in 47'
FH 21 Stephen Myler Substituted in 47'
WG 22 Jonny May Substituted in 56'
FB 23 Chris Pennell Substituted in 56'


This was not a test XV. It was the side that played a midweek game (against Crusaders I think).

It should also be noted that neither Northampton nor Saracens players were available for the first test of that Summer tour, with RFU and NZRU disagreeing on when a weekend started and thus when teh International window started.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 2:16 pm

The final point I missed out from the NZ games in 2014 - that's as good as England played under Lancaster, and as good as anythin EJ's England have done as well. The difference - as ever - is Lancaster's teams failed to get the right side of the winning line.

But that NZ was very good - better than their side now. Have to ask whether England are in a better position now than in 2015?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 2:29 pm

You're still avoiding questions and points miaow. What do you mean by a settled side. Given the majority of the sides you described as having great depth are still available but have been surpassed I'm still unsure how you can proclaim our strength has reduced.

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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 2:33 pm

Please stop.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:16 pm

It's a forum miaow. You appear to posting questions and points on England yet you don't want to clarify anything or have your points discussed in any way. Why?
Particularly confusing as you created the thread crediting England's great strength in depth in the recent past. Presumably you wanted to talk about it?

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:27 pm

miaow wrote:The final point I missed out from the NZ games in 2014 - that's as good as England played under Lancaster, and as good as anythin EJ's England have done as well. The difference - as ever - is Lancaster's teams failed to get the right side of the winning line.

But that NZ was very good - better than their side now. Have to ask whether England are in a better position now than in 2015?

England's performance against New Zealand in the AIs was overshadowed by Ireland's win the following week, but a team that was far from "settled" (half the pack had less than 10 caps between them) were the length of Courtney Lawes' boot away from beating a strong (if slightly experimental) NZ side and forcing them to change their game plan three or four times on the go.

Which is kind of my point. England have enough players at or around test quality that they don't particularly need a "settled" side. They need a winning gameplan and a side with the ability to execute it. On the plus side, they've shown several times under Eddie that they can execute different game plans and win (Australia tour 2016, Ireland 2019 etc), and to be able to change their style of play with the replacements (most of Eddie's first two seasons). On the minus side, they've also shown a worrying tendency to lock into the wrong gameplan and not be able to change it (Ireland 2017, Scotland onwards 2018, South Africa 2018, Wales 2019), and there are certain players whose absence weakens the team's attacking threat (as a general rule, they are much better when they have at least two of Mako, Sinckler, Billy and Tuilagi).

Is that fixable by the RWC? Don't know. The inconsistency is a bit maddening to be honest, and I think it's down to Eddie. When he prepares the team well, they are competitive with the best in the world, but since his second season he has struggled to prepare them correctly for at least one game per series. It's entirely possible that he's just building up a bag of tricks for the RWC. Or maybe he's losing the plot. Who can tell?
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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:36 pm

Ireland's win? In 2014? You'll have to jog my memory here Poorfour?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:38 pm

What do you mean by settled first 15 miaow. How do the current side strength in depth in comparison to the great strength in depth we've had for the last 9 years in your opinion?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:47 pm

If you ever get round to answering that perhaps we could then find out if having a lot of your side as interchangeable is a good or bad thing. Apparently it's bad for England but demonstrates good strength for other sides. All a bit confusing hence why I'm asking for clarification.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 3:57 pm

Those 2 minutes Chris Pennell got in the first test in 2014 was a very hard earned 1 cap wonder. The guy was on fire for Worcester for several seasons either side of that cap. Solid as anyone under the high ball with an excellent kicking and passing game.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 4:33 pm

miaow wrote:Ireland's win? In 2014? You'll have to jog my memory here Poorfour?

When I said "the AIs" I meant the 2018 ones. Sorry, should have been clearer.
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Post by miaow on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 5:14 pm

No problem, but it's interesting - parallels with the last WC cycle aren't miles away. NZ being pushed close by Ireland and England in 2013/14. Now Ireland are getting the right side of the result, and England came close in 2018. The gap's closing for sure - partly because the ABs team from 2011-2014ish was next level good - but also because of NH improvement generally.

But it's interesting to see if similar issues crop up this time. Barritt was dropped for Burgess - could we see a similar situation with Daly at 15? Trying to make a key talent 'stick' even if it hurts the balance of the side?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 6:39 pm

Some questions you missed above there miaow.

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Post by yappysnap on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 8:00 pm

king_carlos wrote:Those 2 minutes Chris Pennell got in the first test in 2014 was a very hard earned 1 cap wonder. The guy was on fire for Worcester for several seasons either side of that cap. Solid as anyone under the high ball with an excellent kicking and passing game.

Didnt he opt to go down with Wuss? I guess he was too loyal to his club in the end, and then right about that time Brown hit some good form.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 8:40 pm

yappysnap wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Those 2 minutes Chris Pennell got in the first test in 2014 was a very hard earned 1 cap wonder. The guy was on fire for Worcester for several seasons either side of that cap. Solid as anyone under the high ball with an excellent kicking and passing game.

Didnt he opt to go down with Wuss? I guess he was too loyal to his club in the end, and then right about that time Brown hit some good form.
Yep. I'm not suggesting he would have made a big difference to that England side. Brown was fantastic for England when he broke through, at least he was when played at full-back. Whilst Goode never shone consistently at international level he definitely earnt his chances as well.

Nick Abendanon was excellent for Bath around the same time and Mat Tait had a couple of fantastic seasons for Tigers at full-back when taking over from Geordan Murphy. England had several very good full-backs shining in the Prem at the same time.

Plenty of much worse players than Pennell have had a lot more than 2 minutes game time for England though!

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 27 Apr 2019, 1:03 am

Poorfour wrote:
miaow wrote:The final point I missed out from the NZ games in 2014 - that's as good as England played under Lancaster, and as good as anythin EJ's England have done as well. The difference - as ever - is Lancaster's teams failed to get the right side of the winning line.

But that NZ was very good - better than their side now. Have to ask whether England are in a better position now than in 2015?

England's performance against New Zealand in the AIs was overshadowed by Ireland's win the following week, but a team that was far from "settled" (half the pack had less than 10 caps between them) were the length of Courtney Lawes' boot away from beating a strong (if slightly experimental) NZ side and forcing them to change their game plan three or four times on the go.

Which is kind of my point. England have enough players at or around test quality that they don't particularly need a "settled" side. They need a winning gameplan and a side with the ability to execute it. On the plus side, they've shown several times under Eddie that they can execute different game plans and win (Australia tour 2016, Ireland 2019 etc), and to be able to change their style of play with the replacements (most of Eddie's first two seasons). On the minus side, they've also shown a worrying tendency to lock into the wrong gameplan and not be able to change it (Ireland 2017, Scotland onwards 2018, South Africa 2018, Wales 2019), and there are certain players whose absence weakens the team's attacking threat (as a general rule, they are much better when they have at least two of Mako, Sinckler, Billy and Tuilagi).

Is that fixable by the RWC? Don't know. The inconsistency is a bit maddening to be honest, and I think it's down to Eddie. When he prepares the team well, they are competitive with the best in the world, but since his second season he has struggled to prepare them correctly for at least one game per series. It's entirely possible that he's just building up a bag of tricks for the RWC. Or maybe he's losing the plot. Who can tell?

I would massively blame any coach in these situations.

England showed some great ability this season putting Australia, Ireland, France and Italy to the sword but maybe unerestimated what other teams could throw back at them after good starts.

A coach can do little about the second half if the opposition up the game and out play their opponents

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 27 Apr 2019, 6:41 am

I think it's right that a little bit of complacency crept in allowing Wales and Scotland into it.
It did show the limits of the strength though. I think Moon is a decent player but realistically nothing more. Having Vunipola missing with genge still in the stages of being introduced hit us. That along with Obano injured and marler retired a bit unexpectedly. We then lost Itoje and Lawes carrying an injury and Launchbury coming back from injury wasn't ideal. Players coming on did a job but clearly when you lose that quality it's impossible to exactly replicate it.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 28 Apr 2019, 9:57 pm

Those that have been given the chance only build the depth and strength of the future.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 4:20 am

It was probably a month or two too early for Billy V to be in top form as well, he never looked 100%.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 7:42 am

Quite true. Some players hit the ground running but they are few and far between.
That said I was far more comfortable watching Watson in defensive situations than Daly during the weekend.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 9:21 am

Watson was good ay 15 for England never great, I remember most people saying he was best on the wing when he was trialled at 15 pre injury.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 9:41 am

yappysnap wrote:Watson was good ay 15 for England never great, I remember most people saying he was best on the wing when he was trialled at 15 pre injury.

I'm not sure he got more than 1 game there, did he?

When Jones wanted to look away from Brown and he had Watson and Daly as options in the squad he went to Watson first, who has played more 15 for his club.

I'm not sure if Jones will stick with Daly now he has 10 caps experience at 15 or go back to his initial choice in Watson. But I'd assume both names would be in the running.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 9:49 am

robbo277 wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Watson was good ay 15 for England never great, I remember most people saying he was best on the wing when he was trialled at 15 pre injury.

I'm not sure he got more than 1 game there, did he?

When Jones wanted to look away from Brown and he had Watson and Daly as options in the squad he went to Watson first, who has played more 15 for his club.

I'm not sure if Jones will stick with Daly now he has 10 caps experience at 15 or go back to his initial choice in Watson. But I'd assume both names would be in the running.

Watson has started 3 matches for England at FB.

Australia in 2017 AIs - do not remember much about him, this was the game that was tight for so long (13-6 at 70 minutes with Aus having had two tries ruled out by TMO and butchered a couple of chances) before England scored 3 tries in last 9 minutes.

France in 2018 6Ns - 9-9 when Watson concedes a PT and gets a YC for high tackle on Fall.

Ireland where Sexton was tormenting Watson with high balls - only relief for the Englishman coming when his achilles went and he had to be replaced.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 9:58 am

He also covered there vs Scotland after Brown got injured i think. It was his positioning that was picked on after those few games. Still think he's a much better option than Daly and those wing positions are very well stocked.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 10:05 am

Spencer played well also. Another guy who seems to have been around an age without truly getting a run. Tomkins and malins also.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 12:33 pm

Casting an eye over the extended Wales squad suggests that England have more strength than suggested at least comparatively.

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Post by Sharkey06 on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 1:07 pm

I don't think there is a question mark over England's squad depth, the question would be how many of our players would be first choice in a combined England Wales team. Based on the last 6 Nations game I think Wales would certainly have the lions share. We seem to lack truly top class individuals and the Welsh players seem to perform better/hit the game plan better than England players are able to do.

I appreciate that you are going to have injuries and need a squad to cover the number of games you need to play to win a world cup, but even with lots of injuries Wales were too good for England at world cup 2015. Having squad depth/strength is all well and fine, but won't ultimately help if you 15 on the park aren't good enough to win.

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