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 Poorfour on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 2:49 pm

This squad has what it takes to qualify from its group, whomever Eddie picks. What I am now much less sure about is whether it has the control of the game to beat Wales or New Zealand - the likely QF and SF opponents if they top the group. On any given day, they probably can. What I don't think they can do is beat them on successive weekends and then win the final.

I think England will need to rotate the squad at some point in the Group stages. If they finish the Argentina match certain of qualifying, I would rotate the side for the France game and give the likes of Mako and Billy the best chance to be in shape for the knockout rounds. If that leads to a loss, it also means they are in the half of the draw with teams better suited to England's style of play.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 3:12 pm

Poorfour wrote:This squad has what it takes to qualify from its group, whomever Eddie picks. What I am now much less sure about is whether it has the control of the game to beat Wales or New Zealand - the likely QF and SF opponents if they top the group. On any given day, they probably can. What I don't think they can do is beat them on successive weekends and then win the final.
 First of all I feel we are more likely to face Australia in Q/F if we win top our group (ie I believe Wales would top their group).

Second, and noting that Eddie has completely buggered up the situation at 9 (or rather 21), I do not see anyone not in the squad who would make a massive difference to the side when it comes to winning a series of knock out games. Arguments can be made for a variety of players, including the experienced Quins trio, yet it is eminently arguable that none of them would strengthen the team. What they bring in one area could be negated in another. The likes of Ludlum and McConnochie are surprise inclusions but unless they show up really well are unlikely to make the 31, nor the back up list. Robshaw and Brown are known entities and could easily be called up at pretty short notice and slot into the setup.

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 4:31 pm

From what I heard from an Eddie interview, Marler is in the squad to challenge for a World Cup place, not just to go if Mako isn't fit.

There's also word that Hartley is unable to join the squad due to persistent knee injuries. If he was able to rejoin the squad, Eddie would then consider him. But he wouldn't be drawn on whether Hartley would automatically get a place.

I'd rather have Robshaw than Shields, but I guess with Kruis an injury doubt that opens the possibility that we may take 3 locks and 6 back row (with Shields covering in) rather than 4 locks and 5 back row (with Lawes covering out). In which case, with Hughes out the squad, Shields ability to cover second row as well as 8 probably sits him above Robshaw, who could only cover 8. (I get that neither are ideal at 8, but neither have a particular advantage).

However if we take 6 back row, that would be all of Wilson, Shields, Ludlum, Curry, Underhill and Vunipola, and while I don't know loads about Ludlum, it would seemingly make more sense to bring a second specialist 8 there. I guess Eddie just isn't impressed with any of the options?

In the backs, we have our Six Nations backline with Anthony Watson back in. We've got Cipriani as an additional option, Jonathan Joseph back and Te'o and Francis competing for the final midfield spot. I think we're looking decent, and Eddie has decided to look round the fringes for perhaps a breakout star in McConnochie, who has international 7s experience.

If Eddie thinks he knows 28 of his squad I'd say that we'd probably all agree with that 28 by and large and it would just be the extra 3, so it's not a bad squad. Key will be how he prepares the players and how he manages his resources across the next 3 months.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 6:52 pm

I think, basically, it's Marler's choice: if he's prepared to leave his family for 3 months, then he'll go. England with Marler or Mako are at par with any other team in the world at loosehead. England with both have a distinct advantage. England without either are at a disadvantage. If I were the RFU, I would be doing whatever it takes to get his family out to Japan with him.

If you want an inexperienced back row who can cover 6, 8 and lock, I'd rather it were Dombrandt than Shields. It too early for him, but he gets through more around the park than Shields and other teams won't have worked him out. He'd also offer a point of difference as a finisher at 8 with his ability to offload.

But then, maybe there is something about Shields that I am not seeing. Anyone know what it is?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 7:32 pm

Equally as good as Wilson at carrying. Better in the lineout. Better at the breakdown in clearing out.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 8:25 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Equally as good as Wilson at carrying. Better in the lineout. Better at the breakdown in clearing out.

Really? I must say I haven't noticed that in his appearances in a white shirt.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 8:29 pm

Wilson has in his favour that he was born in England. Too many have seen what they want from his appearances.
Watch them back really looking at the contributions. They're not too different between those 2 playes but shields is better.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 11:16 pm

Poorfour wrote:I think, basically, it's Marler's choice: if he's prepared to leave his family for 3 months, then he'll go. England with Marler or Mako are at par with any other team in the world at loosehead. England with both have a distinct advantage. England without either are at a disadvantage. If I were the RFU, I would be doing whatever it takes to get his family out to Japan with him.

Problem with the last bit is Jones has come out and stated that families will not be allowed at the team hotel, covering training camps and RWC. I would prefer Marler to be available but the rules have to be applied without favouritism. Not trying to downplay his anxiety issues when I suggest that others will also struggle away from their families for so long. Thus if Marler is allowed his family with him the same should be offered to all.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 05 Jul 2019, 11:51 pm

I've seen moments from Shields in an England shirt where he seems more like the kind of player he was in Super Rugby. His leap to rescue a wayward lineout thow is one passage of play which stands out. Against that, there's occasions like the time (was it in South Africa?) where he tried to dive over the line to score and had the ball knock out his hands.

Hearteningly, the better moments are the more recent moments, which suggests he is finding his feet in Englis rugby.

However, I expected one of his unique selling points would be his on-field leadership, and that still seems to be missing. Perhaps he is spending too much time on his own performance to have any influence.

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Post by yappysnap on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 12:18 am

When Shields left NZ the kiwi media wrote a few articles basically saying good riddance and we don't need you (like they do for most Kiwi's going abroad). But later this season there were some articles and comments about the Hurricanes missing his on field leadership, I think that's one of the big draws for Eddie, and at the moment he'll take the chance for good leadership over the percieved drop in quality.

What I don't get is why Robshaw doesn't or can't bring that leadership? He's a better player and should be more experienced as a leader.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 1:16 am

yappysnap wrote:..What I don't get is why Robshaw doesn't or can't bring that leadership? He's a better player and should be more experienced as a leader.
I think Robshaw was playing that role for England. In Jones' first season, Robshaw was a stand-out at cleaning up England errors, which might otherwise have been moments when the opposition could have turned momentum their way.

Overall, though, it looks like Jones wants more lineout options. Again, in that first Jones season, the Robshaw/Haskell/Vunipola back row only featured occasionally, with Hartley, Kruis and Itoje doing all that was necessary. Hartley and Kruis are both doubts, and our lineout has sometimes struggled in their absence. With Curry or Underhill at openside, and Vunipola at number eight, then blindside is the only position left.

I've also read that Jones has tried to rely less on Vunipola's carrying. Partly to protect him, but also to keep the opposition guessing. Consequently, he wants the workload shared around more, and I suppose that's not a major part of Robshaw's game at Test level.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 12:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Equally as good as Wilson at carrying. Better in the lineout. Better at the breakdown in clearing out.
You been on the strong stuff mate? Must have been with a comment like that....

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 2:07 pm

No. Obviously in the minority on here but you lot will see it eventually I'm sure!

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Post by Poorfour on Sat 06 Jul 2019, 2:44 pm

I have never understood why neither Lancaster nor Eddie tried Robshaw as a lineout option internationally. He is a very capable back jumper and Quins throw a lot of clutch lineouts to him.

Anyway. It is what it is. I think England will suffer for it, but there you go.

And I would make an exception for Marler, if that's what it takes to get him on the plane. Most players need the focus of being "in camp" for the whole period, but Marler plays better when he's close to his family. If the other 50+ cappers with children wanted the same thing, I'd let them have it too.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 07 Jul 2019, 1:49 pm

I'd be fascinated to know what Jones' thinking has been on players. It's unwise to take anything he says at face value but it was curious the way he spoke of unearthing McConnochie and Ludlam, as if both were completely off his radar before.

If you are a member of the national sevens squad, or voted your country's Player of the Tournament at the u20 World Cup, then I don't think you'd ever be off the radar if you were a New Zealander. McConnochie and Ludlam had that status for England but it took a late run this season for both to get noticed.

I'm probably reading too much into an off-hand comment but it was a surprise in another way, as it suggested Jones is prepared to value Premiership form. That hasn't really been apparent in his selection decisions over four years.

In almost all positions, however, you can attribute most selection decisions to Jones just having a clear preference for certain players, and a decided aversion to others. The one where nothing seems to make sense is scrum half. Perhaps Jones intended to include Robson over Care, and those plans got derailed by his illness.

I've seen it noted that Heinz, Spencer and Youngs are matching scrum halves for Cipriani, Farrell and Ford, However, relying on club combinations - if that's what it is - seems like something you wouldn't need to do if you'd given sufficient game time to other 9s over the last two seasons.

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Post by Yoda on Sun 07 Jul 2019, 2:19 pm

Regarding shields he did have a slow start but does the hard yards well and is excellent in the line out. He does do what Wilson was doing e.g. Hitting attackers past the tackle line, and carrying quite well but for me Wilson is just that little bit more niggly and a bigger pain in the arse for the opposition. I think we have some cracking players in the back row that complement each other. Robshaw is a fine player but sadly has had his day. He's not as an aggressive carrier as shields or Wilson nor gets to wider channels for hitting rucks quickly enough. Leadership wise I think England struggle and that will be their downfall this autumn I'm afraid.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 07 Jul 2019, 5:38 pm

Leadership is the issue England have, especially with Hartley out. Shields may have it, but Wilson exudes it, watch him at every break, he is the one who is egging people on, having a quiet word after a mistake, just telling people how great it is to wear the red rose, be proud, live up to your countries expectations.

I think that Wilson is a bit better all round than Shields, but England lack that in your face leadership that the likes of Jonno gave, people like Wilko, Greenwood etc. gave the calming influence. With Farrell as captain, we need someone who is going to rouse the spirits, egg people on. Unfortunately, Farrell does not do this, he lacks vocality, Wilson on the other hand has been doing it for years with Falcons in their perpetual struggles, (2017/18 apart).

As a Saints man, I am completely neutral on the subject with no club bias.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 07 Jul 2019, 9:05 pm

Tony Rowe, the effective owner of Exeter, has said England will bomb out of the WC because they are not good enough.

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Post by yappysnap on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 12:07 am

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that a RWC squad with Brown, Care and Robshaw in it would be far more competitive then one without. Brown and Robshaw are very good at tournament rugby, where the scores are low and mistakes cost games. Care is the opposite but is a proven impact sub and has literally won games for England when he's come on, i'd take that chance come the last 20 of any game if we're losing.

The squad without those three, and with some of the players it does seem to have just doesn't look good enough. We should make it out of our pool but I can see us losing a pool game for sure. Can't see us winning any knock out matches, it'll be like final 6N's games all over again.

I really hope i'm wrong though.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 1:05 am

Jones may have concluded that a squad with Brown Care & Robshaw can be competitive but, ultimately, will fall short. His only target is to try and win the tournament, so it feels a bit like he has rolled the dice in a few positions.

I have mixed feelings. The odds of success are better if you have a settled squad. Against that, there's a certain tyranny imposed by a four year World Cup cycle, where coaches can be averse to switching horses late in the game when it actually would improve the squad.


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Post by yappysnap on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 7:59 am

It's quite interesting listening to house of rugby, when asked about Eddie Jones, a journalist on there (forgot the name) says at length that basically it's a very difficult relationship between him and the press. Now seeing how the journos over time have become more and more hyperbolic you can forgive EJ not wanting much to do with them, but then as mentioned it means the press get very little from him, and they can never be certain (and they often suspect otherwise) that what he say's is actually true.

Basically no one really knows Eddie's mind except Eddie, and he isn't telling any of us.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 9:15 am

Theres certainly fewer leaks than in Lancaster's tenure. Does it really matter from a rugby perspective. Not really. Coaches always have a love hate relationship with most of the press.

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Post by Yoda on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 9:40 am

I guess we will have to judge Eddie on the teams performance. As long as he learns from his mistakes e.g. Prepare in the same environmental conditions pre game (SA at altitude) and don't friggin over train the lads (last two 6 nations). The squad he's got is quality and can, provided they find some game brains, be there towards the business end of the tournament. I don't know whether we are going to be a total basket case or a bloody difficult team to beat, at least we are no where near favourites and not getting ahead of ourselves.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 10:20 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Leadership is the issue England have, especially with Hartley out. Shields may have it, but Wilson exudes it, watch him at every break, he is the one who is egging people on, having a quiet word after a mistake, just telling people how great it is to wear the red rose, be proud, live up to your countries expectations.

I think that Wilson is a bit better all round than Shields, but England lack that in your face leadership that the likes of Jonno gave, people like Wilko, Greenwood etc. gave the calming influence. With Farrell as captain, we need someone who is going to rouse the spirits, egg people on. Unfortunately, Farrell does not do this, he lacks vocality, Wilson on the other hand has been doing it for years with Falcons in their perpetual struggles, (2017/18 apart).

As a Saints man, I am completely neutral on the subject with no club bias.

I've just read an interesting book on leadership called The Captain Class, by Sam Walker. He set out to objectively identify the highest performing teams in the history of sport, and then to try to work out what makes them tick. The end result is 16 or so teams across all sports who stood out ahead of everyone else (he includes the 87 and 2011-15 All Blacks). He then looked at what they all shared and found that their periods of dominance all correlated with a captain who had certain characteristics.

Some of those were the sorts of things you might expect - very strong tactical understanding and an absolute commitment to the team. Others were the opposite of what you'd expect - they mostly weren't big motivational speakers, they weren't star players, they eschewed fame, they were often "water carriers" who did a lot of unglamorous work for the team (one of them even carried her team mates' bags up to their hotel rooms), they were prepared to stand up to anyone (opponents, management, press and even teammates) who was holding back the team's success, and they were prepared to play to the edge of the law.

He doesn't really understand rugby (Richie McCaw rates only a couple of pages and he completely misinterprets the one incident he cites, though there's a good chapter on Buck Shelford), but the analysis rings very true. He doesn't include England in 2003 in his list of elite teams (one of his criteria was four years of dominance and England didn't manage that), but Martin Johnson ticks every box - at least as a captain.

The current England player who comes closest to the characteristics is probably Hartley. Farrell is probably closest after that, but the positional responsibilities of playing fly half don't sit comfortably with the description of the captain's role.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 1:13 pm

So who are the potential future captains of the next gen?

Itoje?
Curry?
Mercer? If he makes the team on a permanent basis?

Who else?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 1:26 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:So who are the potential future captains of the next gen?

Itoje?
Curry?
Mercer? If he makes the team on a permanent basis?

Who else?  
Farrell will be 28 this year, six years younger than Sexton, so he's still got mileage. Jack Clifford captained the U20 side in 2013, when England won it for the first time; Itoje and Harry Mallinder did it in 2014 & 2016.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 2:24 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:So who are the potential future captains of the next gen?

Itoje?
Curry?
Mercer? If he makes the team on a permanent basis?

Who else?  
Farrell will be 28 this year, six years younger than Sexton, so he's still got mileage. Jack Clifford captained the U20 side in 2013, when England won it for the first time; Itoje and Harry Mallinder did it in 2014 & 2016.

I would probably bet on it being Itoje, though Clifford is a potential rival if he can nail down a shirt. I think Itoje needs to recalibrate his attitude a bit, though - seems to be picking up a few too many cards and unnecessary penalties at the moment.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 2:53 pm

Im really not a fan of Farrell as captain. i love his aggression and will to win...but im not sold on his "captaincy" skills...if that makes sense. i think he can be a little petulant and he can lose his head sometimes in the heat of battle, which is a bad trait for a captain.


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 2:57 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:So who are the potential future captains of the next gen?

Itoje?
Curry?
Mercer? If he makes the team on a permanent basis?

Who else?  
Farrell will be 28 this year, six years younger than Sexton, so he's still got mileage. Jack Clifford captained the U20 side in 2013, when England won it for the first time; Itoje and Harry Mallinder did it in 2014 & 2016.

I would probably bet on it being Itoje, though Clifford is a potential rival if he can nail down a shirt. I think Itoje needs to recalibrate his attitude a bit, though - seems to be picking up a few too many cards and unnecessary penalties at the moment.

Do you really think thats likely Poorfour?

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Post by Cumbrian on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 4:01 pm

Clifford isn't as far away from the squad as you might think. An injury to Wilson and/or Shields could see him come into contention, he is unlikely to have competition from Robshaw anymore. Lets not forget that although guys like Dombrandt, Hill and Willis have potential they are far from proven at international level and Clifford is (perhaps) rightly seen as ahead of them in the queue.

I feel bad for Clifford because I think he could have been a very good player for England, but he is on the edge of being a 'nearly man'. I feel his England career could go either way in the next 18 months.
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Post by Poorfour on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 4:42 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
I would probably bet on it being Itoje, though Clifford is a potential rival if he can nail down a shirt. I think Itoje needs to recalibrate his attitude a bit, though - seems to be picking up a few too many cards and unnecessary penalties at the moment.

Do you really think thats likely Poorfour?

Not really, no. But that's not the point. He is in a highly competitive position, and we won't know whether he's even in contention until we see who is retiring after the RWC. But if he does manage to force a way into the squad then he has a lot of the attributes to be a very good captain. His performance as captain in the JRWC final was one of the best individual performances in a team game that I have ever seen.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 4:46 pm

At U20 I think Mercer's leadership could make a decisive difference. I do wonder if he's good enough to get into the senior team on merit alone. There is increasing competition across the back row.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 08 Jul 2019, 11:50 pm

Cumbrian wrote:...he is on the edge of being a 'nearly man'....
Talking of nearly men, Itoje always gets a mention as captain of the 2014 U20 World Cup winning side but he only took over the role in the final. The captain at the start of the tournament was scrum half Callum Braley. It just didn't take off for him during stints at Bristol and Gloucester but he did get invited into the Italian training camp earlier this year. I think he even got named in the squad at the end of the Six Nations but it doesn't look like he picked up a cap.

We haven't had a scrum half as captain since the days Bracken and Dawson wore the armband in the occasional match. Always imagined Youngs or Care would grow into leadership roles in the same way those two did, but it never really turned out that way. Care captained the U20 side one season, and I suspect he might have kicked on if he was French, given their tendency to run the game through the scrum half.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 8:55 am


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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 10:12 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:...he is on the edge of being a 'nearly man'....
Talking of nearly men, Itoje always gets a mention as captain of the 2014 U20 World Cup winning side but he only took over the role in the final. The captain at the start of the tournament was scrum half Callum Braley. It just didn't take off for him during stints at Bristol and Gloucester but he did get invited into the Italian training camp earlier this year. I think he even got named in the squad at the end of the Six Nations but it doesn't look like he picked up a cap.

We haven't had a scrum half as captain since the days Bracken and Dawson wore the armband in the occasional match. Always imagined Youngs or Care would grow into leadership roles in the same way those two did, but it never really turned out that way. Care captained the U20 side one season, and I suspect he might have kicked on if he was French, given their tendency to run the game through the scrum half.

I think Braley was dropped during the pool stages with Townsend (I think) playing so much better. He was though, as you say, the tournament skipper - something I pointed out to our dear departed Sarrie poster whenever he said that at 18 it was obvious Maro would skipper England, so obvious that Braley was appointed leader ahead of him Smile

When you here what is said about the England and Saracens players and how they look up to Farrell, desperate to please him, you can see that there is an element of being a natural leader. It should be remembered that we perhaps treat Martin Johnson with rose tinted specs. He too was a firebrand on the pitch who committed too many violent infringements. Main difference though is he never appeared to be flustered. I do feel that the combative edge Farrell needs to make him the best player he can be can serve as a hindrance to things like speaking to the ref and keeping matters calm.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 11:29 am

Not this 6 nations though. His communication was good with the refs. I do find it interesting that his moaning to the refs was or possibly is still seen as bad from a captain where everyone is point ironically to Jones as the current best captain.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 3:29 pm

Robshaw and Hughes being left out of the training squads makes me wonder if Underhill and Curry will be trialled together at some point.

6.Wilson, Shields
7.Curry, Underhill, Ludlam
8.Vunipola

That's the back row options in the training squad. The 3 opensides makes me wonder whether Jones is eyeing up Underhill for selection at blindside during the warm-ups. He'd suit the role that Jones has asked of Haskell and now Wilson. Effectively 'tackle every forward coming round the corner in defence and hit every other ruck as hard as you can in attack'.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 3:44 pm

On the Farrell captaincy debate, is it fair to compare him with Roy Keane?

Similar firebrand, desire to win, drag everyone with you type.... Keane was pretty successful as captain of ManYoo at the end of the last century (wow, how old do I feel now...)

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 3:45 pm

I love how everyone spent so long slating Brown, Hartley and co and Johnson/Lancaster for picking their old favourites and are now freaked out at the idea of leaving a bunch of failures at home. 

(FWIW though Im very surprised to see Brown left out. Its a very brave move) 

Picking a bunch of wildcards in a wider squad is very Jones, hes rolled the dice on fringe players a few times where hes clearly felt theres a genuine need for improvement rather than relying on the same on players who arent quite doing enough. 

Happyish to see Marler back but Im not sure what message any of this sends out to the core squad members who have busted a gut for the last couple of seasons in difficult circumstances.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Tue 09 Jul 2019, 9:48 pm

yappysnap wrote:I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that a RWC squad with Brown, Care and Robshaw in it would be far more competitive then one without. Brown and Robshaw are very good at tournament rugby, where the scores are low and mistakes cost games. Care is the opposite but is a proven impact sub and has literally won games for England when he's come on, i'd take that chance come the last 20 of any game if we're losing.

You're kidding right? Robshaw and Brown were two of the players at the heart of England's team at the 2015 RWC. Robshaw got it spectacularly wrong in the game against Wales by not taking the draw, and despite them being good players, neither are as good as they were 2 years ago. Rugby players fade over time. These guys have faded at the wrong time for the RWC. Don't get me wrong, they're still good players, but we want the best for our team and Eddie obviously doesn't think they quite cut it anymore. An injury could change everything though.

Also let's not forget that the last time either Brown or Robshaw put on an England shirt was in the SA tests over a year ago.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 13 Jul 2019, 9:38 am



Another Squidge video

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 2:14 pm

Poorfour wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Equally as good as Wilson at carrying. Better in the lineout. Better at the breakdown in clearing out.

Really? I must say I haven't noticed that in his appearances in a white shirt.

Because he's never shown any of these attributes except possibly the line out. Wilson has better tackling, he tackles harder, he carries harder (hence being deployed at 8) and is better on the deck.

Shields has qualities but Wilson has shown so much more in an England shirt.

I cant even be called biased as he plays for Sale Wink

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 2:19 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:No. Obviously in the minority on here but you lot will see it eventually I'm sure!

You've been saying it for about 2 years...yet it's still not happened. I've never read or heard another England fan with this opinion so that's quite a minority...each to their own though. Maybe you just prefer blondes to brunettes mate Wink

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 3:03 pm

40 named for Bristol.

"Danny Cipriani (Gloucester Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby) and Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) will do specialised strength and conditioning work separately off site."

Mike Brown back. Dombrandt & Ollie Thorley there too. Marcus Smith is a third fly-half.

Forwards
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, uncapped)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)
Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)
Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

Backs
Mike Brown (Harlequins, 72 caps)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, upcapped)
Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)
Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/england-squad-for-bristol-training-week

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 3:14 pm

If those three in S&C are still squad members but doing something different, then the full squad sounds like it is 43 players. 44 if you count Hartley as a possible injury bolter.

Eight of the 40 players in Bristol are uncapped.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 3:23 pm

wrong thread!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 4:33 pm

Been saying it since the autumn geordie. Wilson has been steady. Hes managed to avoid criticism so far but hes been by far the weakest back row forward during that period. You cant always have world class players in every position but currently hes slightly worse version of robshaw at robshaw best. Reason I want shields starting over him come the world cup as I feel he offers far more threat in the lineout and that then favours my preferred lock paring of itoje and launchbury.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 6:46 pm

Having said that Dombrandt back in. Really stands a chance.

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 14 Jul 2019, 11:09 pm

What can we read into this weeks selections then?

Are Underhill, Cipriani and Watson our for their own benefit? In which case are the players called up just over? Dombrandt, Smith and Thorley/Brown are close enough to like-for-like.

Then Tom Dunn is an odd one. Maybe a hooker is carrying a bit of a knock but they want to keep them all in camp. Hartley obviously not back fit yet. Dunn is probably there and thereabouts with Singleton, but barring injury a maximum of 1 of those will go to the tournament, if either.

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Post by Pie on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 1:01 am

Ok

Definitive opinion

Can but won't win RWC

Reason being is have no clue what first team is even now.....Cips or not, Ford or Farrell or not....back 3...only May for certain...can Tuilagi stay fit. Scrum half.... who knows probably Youngs, likewise back row who really knows bar Billy if can stay fit. Front row...Marler back in says it all.

A year out Eng should have cemented a first 23 but they didnt and now they still dont really have a clue

Bar. a champagne super nova over they ain't winning diddly in the Land of the Rising Sun

Just sayin'

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