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 No 7&1/2 on Tue 14 May 2019, 5:45 pm

Subs are more an art than a science.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 May 2019, 5:50 pm

king_carlos wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I read somewhere that Jim Mallinder is in charge of teh England "Development" XV that will face the Barbarians.

Interesting. Will Eddie be wrapping his World Cup hopefuls in cotton wool for the match? And is Mallinder in the running for permanent England coach after Eddie?
The Baabaas game is on the same weekend as the Prem final so a significant pool of them wont be available anyway.

McCall is rumoured to be favourite to take over as England coach. I haven't heard anything to suggest Mallinder is in the running.

Which would suggest we're more likely to see a Saxons side to fulfil the fixture and take the gate receipts than the England Possibles side we would have potentially seen bereft of play-off players.

I imagine players like Singleton and Clifford who were around the Six Nations squad but didn't see the pitch will be involved (and I'd have added Isiekwe, Devoto and Thorely if other commitments weren't likely to rule them out), but I'd suggest some of the first choicers available might be put on ice.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 15 May 2019, 5:57 pm

Meanwhile the Barbarians have announced their first 4 players:

Charles Piutau
Facundo Isa
Liam Messam
Villame Mata

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 15 May 2019, 10:10 pm

I hope theres some nh players in the baabaas side. Gets a bit boring when its just a SH exports side.

Guys like Haskell would be great to see.

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Post by Pie on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:22 am

yappysnap wrote:I hope theres some nh players in the baabaas side. Gets a bit boring when its just a SH exports side.

Guys like Haskell would be great to see.

AWJ and Cipriani would be great

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:07 am

Yea AWJ would be brilliant to see in the Barbarians shirt

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Post by Pie on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:16 am

I expect he will lead them. Shame as I dont think he will make 2021 but I think Itoje will be Lions capt

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:19 am

yappysnap wrote:Guys like Haskell would be great to see.
He'd love to play but can barely walk.

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:33 pm

yappysnap wrote:I hope theres some nh players in the baabaas side. Gets a bit boring when its just a SH exports side.

Guys like Haskell would be great to see.

Guys like Haskell (although not Haskell) regularly make it. There's normally at least one English player lining up against us.

2018 - Ashton (also good NH representation with Laidlaw, Russell, Tipuric and others)
2017 - Goode, S. Armitage
2016 - no fixture (England played Wales instead)
2015 - Waldrom, Monye (Dave Ward also played, but is uncapped by England)
2014 - none
2013 - Tindall, Daly
2012 - Tindall, Balshaw, Sackey
2011 - Sackey

If we're looking at a cap count for those England players (excluding Daly) after they'd played this fixture, we'd probably be on single figures, even including Ashton. But that is 9 different England players facing England over 7 fixtures. Daly is the exception, but didn't play for England for another nearly 3 years.

If Haskell (and he is a prime candidate for a game like this) is unavailable, then there aren't a whole lot of England-capped players not from top 4 clubs who aren't being considered for selection. Maybe someone like Eastmond?


Last edited by robbo277 on Thu 16 May 2019, 4:43 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:38 pm

robbo277 wrote:

If Haskell (and he is a prime candidate for a game like this) is unavailable, then there aren't a whole lot of England-capped players not from top 4 clubs who aren't being considered for selection. Maybe someone like Eastmond?
 Flood?

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 16 May 2019, 2:45 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
robbo277 wrote:

If Haskell (and he is a prime candidate for a game like this) is unavailable, then there aren't a whole lot of England-capped players not from top 4 clubs who aren't being considered for selection. Maybe someone like Eastmond?
 Flood?

Probably a better option. More England caps, more widely known in rugby circles.

I'd love to see someone like Armand playing, but he's likely to be busy on play-off duty. Brown too if he's overlooked for England (and not involved in the play-offs).

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Post by bluestonevedder on Thu 16 May 2019, 3:10 pm

robbo277 wrote:
yappysnap wrote:I hope theres some nh players in the baabaas side. Gets a bit boring when its just a SH exports side.

Guys like Haskell would be great to see.

Guys like Haskell (although not Haskell) regularly make it. There's normally at least one English player lining up against us.

2018 - Ashton (also good NH representation with Laidlaw, Russell, Tipuric and others)
2017 - Goode, S. Armitage
2016 - no fixture (England played Wales instead)
2015 - Waldrom, Monye
2014 - none
2013 - Tindall
2012 - Tindall, Balshaw, Sackey
2011 - Sackey

If we're looking at a cap count for those England players after they'd played this fixture, we'd probably be on single figures, even including Ashton. But that is 8 different England players facing England over 7 fixtures.

If Haskell (and he is a prime candidate for a game like this) is unavailable, then there aren't a whole lot of England-capped players not from top 4 clubs who aren't being considered for selection. Maybe someone like Eastmond?

I've got a memory of Daly lining up against England too, and absolutely tearing it up. When was that, 2013?

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Post by BamBam on Thu 16 May 2019, 3:45 pm

Was that against the Lions?

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Post by robbo277 on Thu 16 May 2019, 4:39 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
yappysnap wrote:I hope theres some nh players in the baabaas side. Gets a bit boring when its just a SH exports side.

Guys like Haskell would be great to see.

Guys like Haskell (although not Haskell) regularly make it. There's normally at least one English player lining up against us.

2018 - Ashton (also good NH representation with Laidlaw, Russell, Tipuric and others)
2017 - Goode, S. Armitage
2016 - no fixture (England played Wales instead)
2015 - Waldrom, Monye
2014 - none
2013 - Tindall
2012 - Tindall, Balshaw, Sackey
2011 - Sackey

If we're looking at a cap count for those England players after they'd played this fixture, we'd probably be on single figures, even including Ashton. But that is 8 different England players facing England over 7 fixtures.

If Haskell (and he is a prime candidate for a game like this) is unavailable, then there aren't a whole lot of England-capped players not from top 4 clubs who aren't being considered for selection. Maybe someone like Eastmond?

I've got a memory of Daly lining up against England too, and absolutely tearing it up. When was that, 2013?

Yes, not sure why he wasn't on the list I looked at.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 16 May 2019, 5:08 pm

Perhaps because he was uncapped?

Sam Jones also featured once I think

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 16 May 2019, 6:26 pm

Whichever of Saints or Quins don't make the playoffs could provide a few players if wanted, Marler springs to mind from Quins, then Clifford, Earle, Dombrandt, Smith. From Saints Hill, Burrell, Francis, Grayson, possibly Hartley for a short stint, Wood. Not star names, but none of those would be out of place in a England vs BaaBaas side.

It would be interesting to see how the likes of Dombrandt, Grayson, Hill, Smith fare against a quality side a step up from everyday Premiership games.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu 16 May 2019, 7:32 pm

Marler wouldn't (though he might turn out for the BasBaas and I secretly hope that if England were facing a SF and short a prop he'd answer the call), and Earle is out until next season. In terms of "fringe" players, Quins could offer Clifford, Dombrandt, Smith, Marchant, possibly Ibitoye.

But I think it's also possible that the Barbarians team will mostly be the players on the edge of the RWC training camp. There aren't many matches to look at players, so unless they pick an extended training squad with some players whose time may come in the next RWC cycle, for whom the BaaBaas game is a chance to strut their stuff, I think there will be some real contenders in the mix.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Thu 16 May 2019, 10:33 pm

I wouldn't mind seeing Harry Thacker get a start. That boy has some potential. Ted Hill too?

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 17 May 2019, 12:37 am

Poorfour wrote:Marler wouldn't (though he might turn out for the BasBaas and I secretly hope that if England were facing a SF and short a prop he'd answer the call), and Earle is out until next season. In terms of "fringe" players, Quins could offer Clifford, Dombrandt, Smith, Marchant, possibly Ibitoye.

But I think it's also possible that the Barbarians team will mostly be the players on the edge of the RWC training camp. There aren't many matches to look at players, so unless they pick an extended training squad with some players whose time may come in the next RWC cycle, for whom the BaaBaas game is a chance to strut their stuff, I think there will be some real contenders in the mix.
There have been a few whispers of Marler making himself available for the World Cup. No idea how much truth is in them.

I reckon he'd get selected if he did. He's a step up on Moon whilst offering the same set-piece solidity and Genge has been in average form since the 6 Nations.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 17 May 2019, 6:22 am

Well Mako is out of Saracens end to the season with a tornhmastring. Shouldn't affect the world cup however.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 17 May 2019, 10:52 am

Given Mako's current fragility, I imagine Eddie would jump at the chance to have Joe back. I don't think he'd do it unless he could live away from camp with his wife and kids, though. But for a player of his calibre, you'd make an accommodation.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 17 May 2019, 6:15 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/17/dan-robson-england-wasps


Worth a read.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 17 May 2019, 7:40 pm

LondonTiger wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/17/dan-robson-england-wasps


Worth a read.

Sort of puts life into perspective, does it not

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 17 May 2019, 11:22 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/17/dan-robson-england-wasps


Worth a read.

Sort of puts life into perspective, does it not

That’s amazing...!

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Post by yappysnap on Sat 18 May 2019, 3:37 am

I know someone who had clots on their lungs and it is scary af. Hopefully he recovers fully and is back competing in the future.

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Post by BamBam on Sat 18 May 2019, 1:14 pm

Great to hear him sound so positive, it must have been a scary time

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 18 May 2019, 2:54 pm

Hmm. Minimum of 3 months for Vunipola. Glad Obano is back.

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 18 May 2019, 8:05 pm

Players around the England squad who - at current - won't be playing Champions Cup rugby next year:

Tom Curry, Chris Ashton, Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hughes, Brad Shields, Dan Robson, Jack Willis, Ted Hill, Dan Cole, Ellis Genge, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Mark Wilson.

Nature of the beast regarding the league, but it's disappointing that Tom Curry, Jack Willis and Ted Hill will all be missing out on the Champions Cup next year as we look to bring our back row on. Genge is another who, as an England fan, you want to see at the top level.

Do we think these players will be at a disadvantage missing out on the Cup?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 19 May 2019, 1:32 pm

Plus all the quins players now.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 19 May 2019, 2:36 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Plus all the quins players now.
????????????

Quins have made the Champions Cup though.

I am not sure it matters. After all Wales won the GS this year, with only Scarlets in the CC and they won just one game.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 20 May 2019, 7:54 am

robbo277 wrote:Players around the England squad who - at current - won't be playing Champions Cup rugby next year:

Tom Curry, Chris Ashton, Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hughes, Brad Shields, Dan Robson, Jack Willis, Ted Hill, Dan Cole, Ellis Genge, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Mark Wilson.

Nature of the beast regarding the league, but it's disappointing that Tom Curry, Jack Willis and Ted Hill will all be missing out on the Champions Cup next year as we look to bring our back row on. Genge is another who, as an England fan, you want to see at the top level.

Do we think these players will be at a disadvantage missing out on the Cup?

Maybe in the past. But this year Quins played Clermont as well as other strong sides in the Challenge Cup.

Next year Edinburgh and Toulon will be in it, both have plenty of Int players.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 20 May 2019, 11:04 am

Hartley supposed to be back for the semis so some.good news on injuries on some front.

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Post by Pie on Mon 20 May 2019, 6:16 pm

Hartley must be as old as J R Hartley by now

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 21 May 2019, 6:32 am

Anyone older than him is surely scraping the barrel and a team in trouble.

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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:24 am

Problem is we aren't exactly awash with high quality players in Hartley's position. After George there is LCD? He is often behind Yeandle for Exeter and has a history of the yips. Singleton is off to sit behind George at Saracens. Then there are a host of steady Eddies who will do a job at international level, but never really stand out.

It is a shame that Thacker isn't about 4 inches taller and about three stone heavier.

It is not exactly a worry post world cup, because we will always have a competent option, but it is going to be a part of the team that we will hope for improvements (much like 2nd row in the mid/late 2000s). Maybe times will call for an apprentice like Alfie Barbeary or Nic Dolly to join the squad.

I had high hopes for Jack Walker, but he doesn't appear to have kicked on.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:36 am

Not been a great time injury wise for Taylor either.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:08 am

I'd have Tom Dunn pretty high on the list of reserve hookers. Maybe even after LCD as he's been in and around the EPS and has not as recently been injured as Taylor.

I'd love to see Thacker in an England shirt, coming off the bench. Shoved between two strong scrummaging props, and depending on the opposition, I don't think his size would be too much of a hindrance. Certainly holds his own in the premiership with Afoa next to him

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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:13 am

To be fair, the Barbarians match would be a good time to have a look at Thacker. It is a no win situation for England, in terms of the result. Plus there might be slightly less emphasis on the set piece than a normal international.

Just a thought.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:16 am

Cumbrian wrote:To be fair, the Barbarians match would be a good time to have a look at Thacker.  It is a no win situation for England, in terms of the result.  Plus there might be slightly less emphasis on the set piece than a normal international.

Just a thought.  

Perhaps we may see him in black and white?

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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:19 am

Isn't it always the way? He would probably have the game of his life too, then get injured for 6 months in a freak 77th minute incident.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 21 May 2019, 7:43 pm

\mike Haywood was good enough to keep Hartley out of the team a while back, hopefully he can come back fit and strong next season. On form he is as good as Harley in a Jamie George sort of way.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:07 pm

Someone who can throw well is a must. After that scrummaging and then after that their defence. But any hooker options must be good at the lineout, we dont want another Tom Youngs situation.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:20 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:On form he is as good as Harley in a Jamie George sort of way.

In a everyone says hes better till he gets first choice then it turns out he isnt kind of way? Whistle

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 21 May 2019, 9:55 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:\mike Haywood was good enough to keep Hartley out of the team a while back, hopefully he can come back fit and strong next season. On form he is as good as Harley in a Jamie George sort of way.

Marshall and Fish have looked pretty good. Wonder if either of the older hookers will be regular started next season

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 22 May 2019, 4:55 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:\mike Haywood was good enough to keep Hartley out of the team a while back, hopefully he can come back fit and strong next season. On form he is as good as Harley in a Jamie George sort of way.

Marshall and Fish have looked pretty good. Wonder if either of the older hookers will be regular started next season

Hartley, Haywood, Marshall and Fish is a pretty healthy hooker squad, we have Claire as well this season who looked up the task.

I just rate Haywood, for a small guy he scrummages above his weight and is solid, in open play he is of the Sinkler, mould, he is an axis type player that the team play off in second and third phase play, a great distributor. More of Jamie George ball in hand, quick over 5m, looks to avoid contact when he can, but can truck it up when required. Line out throwing is pretty good as well.

Just hope he gets back to his old self next season, his knee injury was pretty serious from what I have heard.

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Post by Poorfour on Thu 23 May 2019, 10:16 am

It will be worth watching how Rob Buchanan goes next season, too. Buchanan is back playing after 17 months out with what could have been career ending nerve damage, and is still quite rusty, but he was good enough before the injury that he was on the fringes of the England squad.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 23 May 2019, 11:09 am

He was pretty terrible at throwing in but powerful ball in hand back then. Id hoped he'd improved his throwing while out but he still seems just as bad, cant see him getting picked again but i'd love to be wrong.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 23 May 2019, 11:12 am

Joe Marler will be playing for the baabaas against England, which I can not wait to see.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 May 2019, 11:34 am

Let's hope he doesn't annoy too many of the opposition just in case then.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 May 2019, 11:42 am

Jim Mallinder announces the England squad on Monday.

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