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 Rugby Fan on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 2:31 am

Pie wrote:...Reason being is have no clue what first team is even now...

We might not know, but that doesn't mean Jones is undecided.

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Post by Pie on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 2:51 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Pie wrote:...Reason being is have no clue what first team is even now...

We might not know, but that doesn't mean Jones is undecided.

Oh thats superb, bravo well played sir! If Jones knows then, maybe, he should at least let them know, you think?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 8:47 am

Have wales announced their team yet for Georgia?

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Post by Yoda on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 10:19 am

What does it matter to you pie? If I were you I would concentrate on beating Fiji rather than worrying about us. If anyone can break down Edwards defense it's those fijians.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 12:29 pm

Pie wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
Pie wrote:...Reason being is have no clue what first team is even now...

We might not know, but that doesn't mean Jones is undecided.

Oh thats superb, bravo well played sir! If Jones knows then, maybe, he should at least let them know, you think?

Jones keeps a lot of his thoughts to himself and the players seem to have been told not to say anything about what he tells them in private, so we do know diddly squat about what his thoughts are and or what he told the likes of Brown, Dombrandt etc.

I suspect that if Mike Brown had been told he was no longer part of Jones' plans, he would have voiced an opinion. There is probably more to be learned from what people are not saying than there is from what they are.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 3:56 pm

1.Vunipola
2.George
3.Sinkler
4.Itoje
5.Kruis/Lawes
6.Wilson
7.Curry/Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Farrell

11.May
12.Tuilagi
13.Slade
14.Nowell/Daly/Cokanasiga
15.Daly/Watson/Brown

Not sure I agree with the England can't decide on their starting XV shtick. There are weaknesses in the game plan and consistency of execution. There are worries about decision making and leadership. Most the full strength XV is clear though.

4 positions there that are undecided. At lock and openside it's a choice between 2 players who have performed excellently at test level.

The back three is the big question mark. Particularly where Daly will play as he is clearly one of Jones starters. Personally I'd have him on the right wing with May on the left. Daly played every minute of the 2017 Lions tests on the wing. He's an excellent winger and big attacking threat there.

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Post by Pie on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 7:03 pm

king_carlos wrote:1.Vunipola
2.George
3.Sinkler
4.Itoje
5.Kruis/Lawes
6.Wilson
7.Curry/Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Farrell

11.May
12.Tuilagi
13.Slade
14.Nowell/Daly/Cokanasiga
15.Daly/Watson/Brown

Not sure I agree with the England can't decide on their starting XV shtick. There are weaknesses in the game plan and consistency of execution. There are worries about decision making and leadership. Most the full strength XV is clear though.

4 positions there that are undecided. At lock and openside it's a choice between 2 players who have performed excellently at test level.

The back three is the big question mark. Particularly where Daly will play as he is clearly one of Jones starters. Personally I'd have him on the right wing with May on the left. Daly played every minute of the 2017 Lions tests on the wing. He's an excellent winger and big attacking threat there.

Youve named 21 Doh


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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 7:39 pm

Pie wrote:
king_carlos wrote:1.Vunipola
2.George
3.Sinkler
4.Itoje
5.Kruis/Lawes
6.Wilson
7.Curry/Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Farrell

11.May
12.Tuilagi
13.Slade
14.Nowell/Daly/Cokanasiga
15.Daly/Watson/Brown

Not sure I agree with the England can't decide on their starting XV shtick. There are weaknesses in the game plan and consistency of execution. There are worries about decision making and leadership. Most the full strength XV is clear though.

4 positions there that are undecided. At lock and openside it's a choice between 2 players who have performed excellently at test level.

The back three is the big question mark. Particularly where Daly will play as he is clearly one of Jones starters. Personally I'd have him on the right wing with May on the left. Daly played every minute of the 2017 Lions tests on the wing. He's an excellent winger and big attacking threat there.

Youve named 21  Doh


If we are being picky, who is youve?

Being even more pedantic, 2 of the surplus 4 would probably be on the bench.

There are very few if any sides that can name 11 just about certain starters as 6 of your 21 are competing for 2 positions and the other two positions would depend on who you would pick depending on the opposition rather than who is best i.e. Kruis for a hard forward slog, Lawes for a more open game.

Apart from 7 1/2 you would find very little criticism of that pack with either Lawes or Kruis, Curry or Underhill depending on the game. The wingers and 15 are perm 2 from 6 and you will have any good back three with any of them. Not many sides can offer that.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 15 Jul 2019, 9:07 pm

I agree with 6 out of 8 tbf.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 8:35 am

Tbh that team looks pretty damn good. Kind of miss an inform Haskell of a few years back, but otherwise looks good enough to make the knock outs.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 8:36 am

Itll be interesting to see how reliant we are on the Vunipola bros. In the past we were probably over reliant on them.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:00 am

I like the look of the team but Sinckler has me worried as the starting tighthead. I suspect that I might be being extremely irrational given he's started the last few games, but he still worries me. I'm not sure if it is his temperament or what, but I can't read his name in the starting 15 without getting slightly apprehensive. I think I tend to remember his total brain farts over his decent performances.

Can someone put my mind at ease please.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:06 am

king_carlos wrote:1.Vunipola
2.George
3.Sinkler
4.Itoje
5.Kruis/Lawes
6.Wilson
7.Curry/Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Farrell

11.May
12.Tuilagi
13.Slade
14.Nowell/Daly/Cokanasiga
15.Daly/Watson/Brown

Not sure I agree with the England can't decide on their starting XV shtick. There are weaknesses in the game plan and consistency of execution. There are worries about decision making and leadership. Most the full strength XV is clear though.

4 positions there that are undecided. At lock and openside it's a choice between 2 players who have performed excellently at test level.

The back three is the big question mark. Particularly where Daly will play as he is clearly one of Jones starters. Personally I'd have him on the right wing with May on the left. Daly played every minute of the 2017 Lions tests on the wing. He's an excellent winger and big attacking threat there.

5. Kruis
7. Curry
14. Nowell
15. Daly

Makes the team that beat Ireland in the 6Ns, in one of our most destructive performances. You can argue the toss about the relative merits of the alternates, but on that day, that team delivered. I'm pretty confident that on that day, with that showing, we would have turned over anyone put in front of us.

Does that make it the best team? Maybe, maybe not, but the depth and the fact that the discussion is there means that it's arguing from a postition of strength, and that's a good position to be in.

I guess if you went with that side, then the replacements would look like:

16. LCD
17. Genge
18. Cole
19. Lawes / Launch
20. Underhill
21. Whoever EJ's current second scrum half favourite is
22. Ford
23. Brown / Joseph / Cokanasiga / Watson...

It really comes down to that 23 shirt, and whichever 9 EJ picks out of the hat on the day.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:07 am

Re sinckler the most obvious example is wales where it all went pear shaped when he went off. Wales played it well in the game. Gatland highlighted his concerns over temper. The players hammed it up and he was withdrawn rather than risk a card. Up to that moment he was great. Up to jones and the captain in the next game to play it different get on the refs head and point out the opposition are worried about him and trying dirty tactics. No concern over his play from me.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:17 am

I tend to agree with 7.5 on this one - I don't have any concern about Sinckler's temperament. Quite the opposite, actually, I like the fact he's a bit more... loose... than some of the rest of the team. I think he riles the opposition - which admittedly they seek to do to him, but more often than not we get the better of it. Plus his distribution and soft hands at first receiver are such a great option; along with Mako this is a key part of the game plan.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:25 am

Rinsure

I’d go for Lawes over Launchbury on that bench every time, but otherwise I agree with a lot of your points.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:42 am

Actually, I guess following his return to the fold, Marler would supplant Genge for the 17 shirt.


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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 11:46 am

Thanks 7.5, Rinsure.

I've been wondering what the depth chart is at LH now Marler's back in the fold. I think Genge is an excellent player to bring off the bench, but assuming Mako is the starter, Marler is such a good all rounder and arguably the best scrummaging LH in the squad, surely he would be the bench option.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 12:02 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
I've been wondering what the depth chart is at LH now Marler's back in the fold. I think Genge is an excellent player to bring off the bench, but assuming Mako is the starter, Marler is such a good all rounder and arguably the best scrummaging LH in the squad, surely he would be the bench option.

I think that between the three of them, and with Hepburn and Moon in the background, that we have a pretty good stable of loosies. In terms of a single matchday 23, yes, I'd agree with you that Mako would start and Marler would have the bench spot.

For the RWC though, there will be rotation, fatigue and injury, and it will be a case of perming the best two for the day.

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Post by Yoda on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 12:27 pm

I think we have serious talent but it's the nuts and bolts of playing as a team under pressure that make us less than the sum of all our parts. Decision making in terms of tactics that are needed during an 80 min match is our downfall. I don't necessarily think we lose too much if our second row pairing is swapped around or our front row. The boys need cool heads when up against it and unfortunately I can't see that changing between now and september. No one will want to play us mind as if we get it right it can be very destructive.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 1:25 pm

Obano as well. Far better stocks at loose head at the moment than tight.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 1:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Obano as well.  Far better stocks at loose head at the moment than tight.

Let's talk tight-heads, then.

Sinckler and Cole, obviously. Williams, at Exeter. Who else is in the mix? Will Collier, Kieran Brookes, Nick Schonert?

What's the pecking order look like? Probably Schonert after Williams?


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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 2:07 pm

Rinsure wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Obano as well.  Far better stocks at loose head at the moment than tight.

Let's talk tight-heads, then.

Sinckler and Cole, obviously. Williams, at Exeter. Who else is in the mix? Will Collier, Kieran Brookes, Nick Schonert?

What's the pecking order look like? Probably Schonert after Williams?


I'd like to think Jake Cooper-Woolly is there somewhere. Cracking player and I'd have him above Schonert if i'm honest. Young Joe Heyes at Leicester has had an impressive first season and looks a real prospect for the future at only 19 years old. Far down the England pecking order at the moment but he'll shoot up there soon

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 2:11 pm

Ehren Painter is the one coming through, picked against the Barbarians, packed down against Marler and didn't look out of place. Started a lot for Saints this year and at a very mobile 21 stone takes some stopping.
Tigers do not have good memories of him this season, shoved them back at a rate of knots in the last derby game.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 2:23 pm

Haha, I completely forgot about JCW. Him leaving Wasps seems to have erased him from my memory Very Happy Quality player, should be in the wider conversation for sure.

I'll admit to not knowing too much about Heyes or Painter as yet, but I'm sure their time will come.


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Post by bluestonevedder on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 2:24 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Ehren Painter is the one coming through, picked against the Barbarians, packed down against Marler and didn't look out of place. Started a lot for Saints this year and at a very mobile 21 stone takes some stopping.
Tigers do not have good memories of him this season, shoved them back at a rate of knots in the last derby game.

Great shout. Knew I was forgetting someone

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 2:28 pm

I would think that a front row of Mako, George and Painter would be one of the heaviest around and all so very mobile

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 6:40 am

Collier got capped against Argentina in 2017 and went very well in the scrum but hasn’t really been seen since. Schonert has been in the squads more recently, although without actually seeing a match day squad.

Has Eddie ever picked Brookes?

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 6:46 am

That squidge rugby video is very interesting. Some good analysis there, I like the points about Jones and his own personal style with teams, and what that means for England. And the fact that there was a definite plan b is good to know.

One stat about the team leading in all but 2 Tests since Jones took over (win or lose) is very impressive! But also the stats on the leads we've given away aren't so great!

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Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 7:54 am

Thought the video came across just a little too anti English.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 8:37 am

robbo277 wrote:Collier got capped against Argentina in 2017 and went very well in the scrum but hasn’t really been seen since. Schonert has been in the squads more recently, although without actually seeing a match day squad.

Has Eddie ever picked Brookes?

Brookes was on the bench for the last two games in the 2016 6N Grand Slam, coming on in the penultimate game, versus Wales.

Toured with the Saxons in the Summer of 2016, but hasn't featured since - injuries kept him out, IIRC, for a sizeable chunk of the next season or so...

Showed flashes of quality for Wasps last season, but needs to get his fitness level back up to the top level, IMHO.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 11:53 am

Inevitably tempting fate but the biggest surprise for me so far, is that no-one has been injured in camp.

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 12:16 pm

robbo277 wrote:Collier got capped against Argentina in 2017 and went very well in the scrum but hasn’t really been seen since. Schonert has been in the squads more recently, although without actually seeing a match day squad.

Has Eddie ever picked Brookes?

Collier is probably the best technical scrummager we've got - he held the Argentina scrum stable for 20+ seconds on a couple of occasions, which is no mean feat - but he's struggled with injury, and doesn't offer as much around the park as, say, Williams. He seems to be going into Quins preseason fully fit.

I think the challenge on the tighthead side is that we seem to have one player who's strong across the patch in Sinckler, and then players who are either decent scrummagers or good in open play, but none who are both. Williams' scrummaging has improved since his first caps, but he's still a bit vulnerable at international level.

One of England's big advantages on the loosehead side is that both Mako and Marler have become strong scrummagers, and while Mako's game is more based around carrying and Marler's is more defensively oriented, they are both strong in the open. It must be a tough for an opposing prop to see Mako tiring but still know that there's Marler to come on, or vice versa. Genge, Moon, Hepburn etc are also fairly balanced players.

It would be good to see some more THs come through as all-rounders post the RWC.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 1:15 pm

Cole when he first broke into international rugby was a bit of a breakdown technician too. Its been a while since weve seen that side of Dan.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 1:24 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Cole when he first broke into international rugby was a bit of a breakdown technician too.  Its been a while since weve seen that side of Dan.
I was beginning to think I hallucinated that part of his career.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 1:54 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
propdavid_london wrote:Cole when he first broke into international rugby was a bit of a breakdown technician too.  Its been a while since weve seen that side of Dan.
I was beginning to think I hallucinated that part of his career.

He was a converted backrower, so that part of his game was probably still fresh in his mind in his younger days. Since then I think he's forgotten about it and just become a full time fat man.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 2:23 pm

I'm happy Cole has found some form again. William's is fine but nothing more. The only other guy currently who could be above average at international level is collier but hes been forever injured. Heyes is one of the Hope's but at least a couple of years away I'd imagine.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 2:49 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
propdavid_london wrote:Cole when he first broke into international rugby was a bit of a breakdown technician too.  Its been a while since weve seen that side of Dan.
I was beginning to think I hallucinated that part of his career.

He was a converted backrower, so that part of his game was probably still fresh in his mind in his younger days. Since then I think he's forgotten about it and just become a full time fat man.

I've got a nagging feeling that he effected a pretty spectacular turnover for Leicester at the back end of last season which had pundits and fans alike waxing lyrical about his history in that department. Was a one-off, mind you.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 17 Jul 2019, 5:03 pm

Vunipola had talked tested on not giving a distraction to the team ie media stories. Bets on england making it through a world cup without some sort of media storm?

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 18 Jul 2019, 12:14 am

propdavid_london wrote:Cole when he first broke into international rugby was a bit of a breakdown technician too.  Its been a while since weve seen that side of Dan.
After returning from surgery for a bulging disc in his neck that almost ended his career his game and strengths altered dramatically. Like many props who started their international careers prior to several law changes in the scrum he's also had to alter his game to suit the changes in what are expected of props.

He may not be the ideal tighthead for the modern game but I'd trust him to win a 5m scrum over Sinckler or Williams. It's a surprise that Nick Schonert hasn't broken into the squads more given his performances for Worcester.

Williams is a solid player but his tackling technique worries me with how strict refs are now. He has a tendency to fly in low for the no-arms chop tackle that gets penalised very quickly these days.

Sinckler should start for me though.

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Post by Pie on Thu 18 Jul 2019, 3:21 am

Just watched Rising Sons 1 and 2 (the sequel) .....wonder who came up with that #genius

Who knew that perhaps the most interesting character in English camp is Manu

Gulp Shocked


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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 12:28 am

Justin Harrison was a guest on the Australian Rugby Ruckus podcast this week. Around teh 39 minute mark, Ben Kimber asks him to elaborate on an earlier comment he made saying he felt a special obligation to Eddie Jones when he was coach. Morgan Turinui adds his views too. The whole chat is about a six minute segment.

https://www.therugbyruckus.com/

Harrison describes Jones' approach in much the same way I heard Haskell talk about it. He can be very good at getting inside player's heads, finding out what makes them tick, and getting the best out of them.

I do wonder whether that informs Jone's selections. He might prefer a player he knows he can inspire, over one he can't quite figure out.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 1:35 am

11th August - England vs Wales (Twickenham)
17th August - Wales vs England (Millennium)
24th August - England vs Ireland (Twickenham)
6th September - England vs Italy (St James' Park)

The IRB deadline for the 31-man squads is the 2nd September. That two week jump from the Ireland to Italy warm-ups means that the squad will be named prior to the final warm-up. The squad then flies out to Japan on the 8th September, 2 days after the final warm-up match.

I expect that we will see the squad whittled down after each of the Wales warm-ups. With around a 34-man training squad for the Ireland match consisting of the 31 players who travel to Japan and key reserves, likely in positions such as scrum-half, hooker and prop.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 2:16 am

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Sinkler 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.Wilson 7.Underhill 8.Vunipola
9.Youngs 10.Farrell 11.May 12.Tuilagi 13.Slade 14.Daly 15.Watson

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Marler 18.Williams 19.Lawes 20.Curry 21.Spencer 22.Ford 23.Nowell

Reserves: Genge, Singleton, Cole, Launchbury, Shields, Te'o, Joseph, Cokanasiga

I can't see past Jones selecting that 31-man squad from the current training squad.

- Moon and Genge will be a very close call
- If Hartley gets fit then he could leapfrog Singleton
- If either of Underhill or Curry get injured then Ludlam is in pole position, I'm delighted with that as he's a huge talent
- If Nowell or Watson don't make it after recent injury concerns then Brown could be in a good position to make the squad

Biggest concern for me remains what the plan is if Billy Vunipola gets injured. Dombrandt? Hughes? Shift Wilson to 8 and significantly alter the game plan?

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 8:02 am

That is the squad, assuming fitness, I expect to see selected. May quibble about rankings within the squad, but minor things.

As to what happens if Billy is injured. Much depends if it is minor, then Wilson covers, or tournament ending. That Hughes has not featured in trai I g so far would suggest Dombrandt, despite being a novice to the position, is in pole.

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Post by Brad71090 on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 8:18 am

I still can't get my head around how Watson can be considered a starter. The guy had 2 major injuries and has had little game time. I will say that I haven't seen much of him since his return but some of the media/podcasts are saying that he has one leg significantly smaller than the other now. Personally think the world cup could be too soon for him but wouldn't mind being proved wrong, you only have to look at previous England games and Watson was very good.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 8:37 am

Brad71090 wrote:I still can't get my head around how Watson can be considered a starter. The guy had 2 major injuries and has had little game time. I will say that I haven't seen much of him since his return but some of the media/podcasts are saying that he has one leg significantly smaller than the other now. Personally think the world cup could be too soon for him but wouldn't mind being proved wrong, you only have to look at previous England games and Watson was very good.

Watson’s been really unlucky with injuries - I think but for that he would be the obvious fullback choice now. Eddie’s only really got three candidates in the position though: Daly, who is not an international fullback when it comes to defence and the high ball; Watson, who’s not fully fit and hasn’t played there at this level; and Brown, whom Stuart Barnes hates, but who offers less attacking creativity than Daly but is far more secure in defence and who has plenty of club form. You could stretch to Nowell as well, but he hasn’t played there for England and is also coming back from injury.

Watson may well be in pole position for one of the fullback slots. There is a long time between now and September and he might prove himself fit. Or he might break down and then I assume Eddie will revert to Brown.


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Post by Rinsure on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 8:57 am

I think that for a RWC squad the versatility of players across the backline is an argument in favour of those who offer it.

Daly, for example. Not everyone's favourite first choice fullback, but covers wing and centre as well, and also has that howitzer of a left boot.

Watson is a back three player, regardless of where, and the same can be said of Brown, since he's been deployed on the wing a few times now (primarily to babysit Daly at FB, I think).

Nowell is an interesting one, as like Daly he offers greater versatility across the back line, at FB, wing and centre. I'd be inclined to say this bumps him up the likely order of consideration - not to mention he was electric at 15 in the prem final.

Agree Watson has been unfortunate. Had he remained fit he might be the nailed on first choice by now.

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Post by Yoda on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 9:09 am

That squad looks alright to me. frightening speed in the back three. Genuine opensides will mean the difference this world Cup I think. Let's hope we make it out of our group this year.

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Post by Brad71090 on Fri 19 Jul 2019, 9:18 am

Rinsure wrote:I think that for a RWC squad the versatility of players across the backline is an argument in favour of those who offer it.

Daly, for example. Not everyone's favourite first choice fullback, but covers wing and centre as well, and also has that howitzer of a left boot.

Watson is a back three player, regardless of where, and the same can be said of Brown, since he's been deployed on the wing a few times now (primarily to babysit Daly at FB, I think).

Nowell is an interesting one, as like Daly he offers greater versatility across the back line, at FB, wing and centre. I'd be inclined to say this bumps him up the likely order of consideration - not to mention he was electric at 15 in the prem final.

Agree Watson has been unfortunate. Had he remained fit he might be the nailed on first choice by now.

Daly worries me to be honest. In attack he can be great but defensively he can look very silly and bumps off easily.

I agree in regards to Watson, I am sure he would of been first choice now but then again the back 3 axis of WatsonDaly/Brown seemed to have a nice balance. Looks like now its just about pace but the attack has changed now we have a new coach and Faz is at 10

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