England World Cup Warm Ups

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:28 am

First topic message reminder :

Don't expect the snazzy pics produced on better match threads!

England Wales 11th August
Wales England 17th August
England Ireland 24th August
England Italy 6th September.

Squad for the world cup is due 2nd September so theres a chance the 1st 3 could be used for selection purposes and likely to see some combos not considered 1st choice.

BBC saving me typing:

England: Daly; McConnochie, Slade, Francis, Watson; Ford, Heinz; Genge, Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Launchbury, Ewels, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Singleton, Marler, Williams, Kruis, Ludlam, Youngs, Marchant, Cokanasiga.

Wales: L Williams; North, J Davies, Parkes, Adams; Anscombe, G Davies; Smith, Owens, Francis, Beard, Jones, Wainwright, Tipuric, Moriarty.

Replacements: Dee, Jones, Lewis, Ball, Shingler, T Williams, Biggar, Watkin.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 12:17 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:22 pm

Curiouser and curiouser.

No real cover at 8, only two 9s and two 10s, four recognised outside centres, no out and out inside centre (albeit three who have played there internationally at some point), no recognised fullback (albeit with one in Watson who is probably very capable of the role).

This may be the game where Eddie tries out a few wildcards, and we may see some changes between Sunday and Monday.

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Post by Brad71090 on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:29 pm

Rinsure wrote:
Brad71090 wrote:RIP Mike Brown. One of the best fullbacks for England.

Reports of his demise may yet prove to be premature. Until the final squad comes out, there is still a chance...

I really hope that your are correct. I fear that Brown is done, such a shame as he's not the gas man that some countries have but honestly don't agree with Daly at 15. Think he has been shown up multiple times and doesn't offer a great deal more... its like when Wales & the Lions had HP at 15, people thought he should be selected on his goal kicking capabilities.

Hope I am proved wrong with Daly and he carves up but from what I've seen so far it has me worried as England are prone to brain farts.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:36 pm

Does just seem weird, don't we usually play the stronger team at home then rotate for the away fixture in these RWC warm up games?

Would have thought this is closer to what Eddie sees as his first choice squad more or less on that basis. Spencer is the main one I'd want kept in

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:41 pm

robbo277 wrote:*England name a 33 man squad ahead of the Wales game.
*No new names added and Brown, Dombrandt, Spencer and Te'o have been cut. Not terminal for their World Cup hopes, but probably not ideal. Brown, Spencer and Te'o at least you could say are more known than their back-ups (Watson at 15, Heinz and Francis), so could see those flipped. Dombrandt came in as an injury replacement for Shields - who also continues his rehabilitation with his club.
*Nowell will stay with the squad but won't be considered for the Wales game.

Squad in full:
Forwards (19)
Mako Vunipola, Marler, Genge
George, Cowan-Dickie, Singleton
Sinckler, Cole, Williams
Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Launchbury, Ewels
Wilson, Curry, Underhill, Ludlum
Billy Vunipola

Backs (14):
Youngs, Heinz
Farrell, Ford
Tuilagi, Slade, Joseph, Marchant, Francis
May, Daly, Watson, Cokanasiga, McConnochie

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/england-squad-announced-ahead-of-wales-test

I know it's not the final squad, but it looks very unbalanced. Not much cover at 6, 8 or 10/12 and a bit of a gamble at 15. I assume Eddie won't just be cutting 2 of these guys to make his final squad, but who makes it is still a bit up in the air.

No Phil Vickery?

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:42 pm

BamBam wrote:Does just seem weird, don't we usually play the stronger team at home then rotate for the away fixture in these RWC warm up games?

Would have thought this is closer to what Eddie sees as his first choice squad more or less on that basis. Spencer is the main one I'd want kept in

He has to experiment a little this game, as I believe he is naming his 31 after this weekend.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:44 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
BamBam wrote:Does just seem weird, don't we usually play the stronger team at home then rotate for the away fixture in these RWC warm up games?

Would have thought this is closer to what Eddie sees as his first choice squad more or less on that basis. Spencer is the main one I'd want kept in

He has to experiment a little this game, as I believe he is naming his 31 after this weekend.

He doesn't have to experiment, as he doesn't have to name his 31 after the weekend. That was a self-imposed condition.

Odd month or so for England squads all in all.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 2:57 pm

Well yeah, I knew it was self imposed. Just saying that's why I believed he was.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 3:13 pm

3 open sides as well, Curry, Underhill and Ludlam (very surprised he is still there to be honest, must be tearing up stumps in training). With Wilson covering 8, one of these boys is going to see some time at 6 unless he wants to utilise Lawes or Itoje there.

Francis has played most of his rugby at 12 so Manu has some cover. I cannot believe he will take Heinz and leave Spencer behind, if that was the plan, why was Heinz not included in earlier squads, he was fit and firing for Gloucester.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 3:27 pm

Saving Brown & Teo for the opening RWC game.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 3:37 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:3 open sides as well, Curry, Underhill and Ludlam (very surprised he is still there to be honest, must be tearing up stumps in training). With Wilson covering 8, one of these boys is going to see some time at 6 unless he wants to utilise Lawes or Itoje there.

Francis has played most of his rugby at 12 so Manu has some cover. I cannot believe he will take Heinz and leave Spencer behind, if that was the plan, why was Heinz not included in earlier squads, he was fit and firing for Gloucester.

I tend to think Underhill is more suited to blindside anyway, would like to see him and Curry as the starting flankers.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 4:07 pm

6 is well stocked - Wilson, Underhill, Itoje, Lawes.
Id have kept Dombrandt in though.

All in all...i know i keep saying it, but this just doesnt have the feel of a world cup winning squad..not even close. I really hope im proved wrong.


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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 4:55 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:6 is well stocked - Wilson, Underhill, Itoje, Lawes.
Id have kept Dombrandt in though.

All in all...i know i keep saying it, but this just doesnt have the feel of a world cup winning squad..not even close. I really hope im proved wrong.


Don't think you will be proved wrong, even the kit is a let down. What has Eddie been doing over the last few years?
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 5:22 pm

TightHEAD wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:6 is well stocked - Wilson, Underhill, Itoje, Lawes.
Id have kept Dombrandt in though.

All in all...i know i keep saying it, but this just doesnt have the feel of a world cup winning squad..not even close. I really hope im proved wrong.


Don't think you will be proved wrong, even the kit is a let down. What has Eddie been doing over the last few years?

Short answer: https://twitter.com/SkySportsRugby/status/1158770239758356483

Long answer: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/rugby-union/11778768/quilter-internationals-in-camp-with-eddie-jones

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 7:34 pm

I don’t think Mako is well enough to be considered for the first game against Wales. No Tuilagi either, that’s two of England’s biggest threats we won’t be playing this weekend. It’s an away game so I’d like for Gatland to put out a strong team and really target it.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 8:24 pm

Mako will be back for the big one against the NHs second favourites for the World Cup.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 11:07 pm

robbo277 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:6 is well stocked - Wilson, Underhill, Itoje, Lawes.
Id have kept Dombrandt in though.

All in all...i know i keep saying it, but this just doesnt have the feel of a world cup winning squad..not even close. I really hope im proved wrong.


Don't think you will be proved wrong, even the kit is a let down. What has Eddie been doing over the last few years?

Short answer: https://twitter.com/SkySportsRugby/status/1158770239758356483

Long answer: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/rugby-union/11778768/quilter-internationals-in-camp-with-eddie-jones

EJ - "I planned to have more experience"

Also EJ - Cuts Robshaw, Brown and Care and Te'o. Refuses to give any prior caps to Spencer or indeed any other 9's.

Erm

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 11:09 pm

Also, Ewels?! Got to be the luckiest player in the squad. He could go on to get 50 caps and still no one will know who he is.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 1:55 am

Ewels will be 39 if he gets 50 caps off his current average.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 7:07 am

Disappointed for dombrandt and spencer. Does suggest jones may going for underhill and curry together at some point in the match I think. Spencer one is more puzzling for me. Spencer does tend to be a little more a running 9 and perhaps heinz has shown consistently better and faster distribution in training.

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Post by Brad71090 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 8:15 am

I just want Marchant to get a run out now. By far one of Quins most influential players. IMO should be ahead of JJ but understand it's a world cup so can't take too many risks..... but then again it's Eddie Jones so F it!

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Post by Mr Bounce on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:03 am

I don't understand Jones' thinking on scrum halves and 6/8. I know Dombrandt is raw but he's a very good player and is not fazed by big name opposition. I would sooner have him over Shields and I am a Wasps fan.

I don't get the scrum half thing. Care is obviously out of favour and Robson was unlucky to have his DVT so probably isn't quite fully fit. Heinz over Spencer? I am yet to be convinced.

Still, in Eddie we trust (apparently)...

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:03 am

yappysnap wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:6 is well stocked - Wilson, Underhill, Itoje, Lawes.
Id have kept Dombrandt in though.

All in all...i know i keep saying it, but this just doesnt have the feel of a world cup winning squad..not even close. I really hope im proved wrong.


Don't think you will be proved wrong, even the kit is a let down. What has Eddie been doing over the last few years?

Short answer: https://twitter.com/SkySportsRugby/status/1158770239758356483

Long answer: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/rugby-union/11778768/quilter-internationals-in-camp-with-eddie-jones

EJ - "I planned to have more experience"

Also EJ - Cuts Robshaw, Brown and Care and Te'o. Refuses to give any prior caps to Spencer or indeed any other 9's.

Erm

I think the point he was saying about someone like Robshaw or Care is that the players he wants now weren't available 4, 3 or even 2 years ago. In 2016 they were the options he had to go with and it's only been very recently they've slid away.

There have been 40 games since the last World Cup and it's not a failure on his part that he hasn't given Tom Curry or Ben Spencer 30 caps, because they weren't ready 3 years ago. But just because they don't have the caps he'd want, doesn't mean they aren't the best players for the job.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:08 am

Honestly the dropping Care thing seems massively ott. As a sub he was out standing and still is for club. Robshaw I get. I dont get Browns dismissal though.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:13 am

Guys like Heins, Francis, Ludlum are all untested and raw. England haven't lost their last few games because of a lack of talent, it's been tactics and game management. More newbies won't help that. Even guys like Daly and Watson still have big ? Over their ability in big games.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:13 am

Is there still some issue with Paul Gustard? I do find it odd that all three play for Quins; Brown and Care should definitely be in the squad, it would be petty of Jones but not beyond him I would think.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:21 am

No. marler is straight back in once available of course. Sinckler. Marchant. Jones and the coaches just going with what he thinks will win the wc.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 9:27 am

My 23 for the Wales game (from the 33 selected):

Front row
Start: Genge, George, Sinckler,
Bench: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole

I'd want to hold Mako back another week with his injury concerns and go with Genge from the start to see how he goes. Otherwise it's my World Cup final front row and substitutes to see how these guys go.

Second row
Start: Itoje, Kruis
Bench: Ewels

Start with our strongest two, with Lawes and Launchbury getting a go next week. From Ewels I'd want to see something worth persisting with.

Back row
Start: Wilson, Underhill, Billy Vunipola
Bench: Ludlum

Familiar pattern here with a strong, if not the strongest available back row. Ludlum, like Ewels, I'd want to see something worth persisting with from him. Maybe shift Underhill to 6 when he comes on, and possibly even Wilson to 8, to see whether these options are genuinely workable.

Half backs
Start: Youngs, Farrell
Bench: Heinz, Ford

The least contentious selection. How I'd use my bench is the only debate. I'd want to see Heinz quite early on in the second half to see what he was all about. I'd potentially bring Ford on quite early and bring Tuilagi off for a break, as with Te'o not in the squad I'd potentially want Manu playing next week as well.

Centres
Start: Tuilagi, Slade

No centre option on the bench with Farrell and (spoiler warning) Daly in the starting line-up. I'd start Manu with Slade this week and Manu and Joseph in a subsequent week. Marchant and Francis over Te'o are odd selections, but if either make the squad then I'd give them a run next week.

Back three
Start: May, Daly, Watson
Bench: McConnochie

I'd start with Watson at 15. McConnochie on the bench in the same way that Ewels and Ludlum are to see what he can bring and make a pitch for selection, although there's every chance this would be as a reserve.

It could be that Ewels, Ludlum, Heinz, Francis, Marchant and McConnochie aren't seriously being considered for initial selection and are fighting with Robshaw, Hughes, Care, Te'o and Brown etc for reserve spots. But Jones wants to look at the 6 of them more closely and potentially in a game situation before he decides on his reserves.

From this 33, you could cut those 6 and add Shields, Spencer and Nowell to get 30 of his spots. Then you just need another 10/12, so potentially Francis or Te'o coming back in? Or Marchant with Slade covering 10 and 12?

I would also say though that we are front row heavy, and dropping a prop (Williams?) for a 6 or an 8 or a 6/8 would potentially leave us better balanced.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 10:01 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Disappointed for dombrandt and spencer. Does suggest jones may going for underhill and curry together at some point in the match I think. Spencer one is more puzzling for me. Spencer does tend to be a little more a running 9 and perhaps heinz has shown consistently better and faster distribution in training.

Thats a hell of a flank option if we have an option at 8 who is a lineout guru, instead of Billy. Or is Curry a viable international lineout option?

Underhill has that sheer physical power and presence that i really want included in our pack...and Curry is just outstanding. His brother is equally as good aswell! Could we ever see both of them on the flank for England. I can see it happening.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 11:06 am

I can see it happening too. Would love to see that curry and underhill have been pushed to add a real good option in the lineout. Not exactly small guys.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 11:23 am

Not sure we should read too much into the exclusion of Brown or Te'o. Eddie knows exactly what they can do and this should give him a chance to see what some of the outsiders can offer in a game situation. At least one of them will probably be in the 31 being named after the game, perhaps both. I suspect Brown will be on the standby list though.

The exclusion of Spencer and Dombrandt does not bode well for their chances of travelling as both are short on international experience and have seen guys with similar (or less) experience included. To me neither exclusion makes sense - Spencer because he has delivered all season for Sarries in a pivotal position in important games. He was included at the end of the 6Ns. Eddie must have seen something in training but ......

As to Dombrandt, teh back rows currently included look unbalanced. 3 opensides, 1 number 8 and 1 blindside who will cover No8. Rather than playing Underhill and Curry together, this convinces me that Eddie sees Itoje and Lawes as his best back up 6s.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 11:28 am

The question though 7.5 is who is a potential 8 who is the lineout option.

Is Dombrandt?
Is Mercer going to make the grade?
Do we dare replace Billy?


Long term the option coming through the clubs in the back row are genuinely fascinating if they all hit their potential. Who ever takes over from Eddie Jones will have some serious tools to build a world class back row.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 11:31 am

LondonTiger wrote:Not sure we should read too much into the exclusion of Brown or Te'o. Eddie knows exactly what they can do and this should give him a chance to see what some of the outsiders can offer in a game situation. At least one of them will probably be in the 31 being named after the game, perhaps both. I suspect Brown will be on the standby list though.

The exclusion of Spencer and Dombrandt does not bode well for their chances of travelling as both are short on international experience and have seen guys with similar (or less) experience included. To me neither exclusion makes sense - Spencer because he has delivered all season for Sarries in a pivotal position in important games. He was included at the end of the 6Ns. Eddie must have seen something in training but ......

As to Dombrandt, teh back rows currently included look unbalanced. 3 opensides, 1 number 8 and 1 blindside who will cover No8. Rather than playing Underhill and Curry together, this convinces me that Eddie sees Itoje and Lawes as his best back up 6s.

Why would he not play those together. I think they have a different game style that would compliment each other.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 11:37 am

Not saying he should not, GF, just saying I do not believe he will this year. We shall see in due course.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:17 pm

Ludlam's continued inclusion perplexes me no end. His, and Ewel's. I'd argue that Dombrandt offers so much more than Ludlam and brings a set of skills that are offered by no one else except Billy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:22 pm

The look of the choices LT suggest that Wilson is the main cover for 8. 3 open sides looks too much unless you're planning of shutting off wales defensive game plan of last time around.
As of now geordie I'm not sure who the third choice would be: seen curry used before...think it was this one!
In the future. You'll have willis curry underhill vunipola dombrandt Mercer to pick from along with the few others we have now. It's a pick and choose who do you like for a particular game thing. Certainly mercer dombrant curry would add options of lineout and I think a pretty decent balance all round. I'd be hard pressed to leave willis out the way that guy plays though. Headaches.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:31 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:Ludlam's continued inclusion perplexes me no end. His, and Ewel's. I'd argue that Dombrandt offers so much more than Ludlam and brings a set of skills that are offered by no one else except Billy.

Ludlam is a 7, not a 6 so does not compete with Dombrandt, makes me think that EJ is looking at Underhill as a 6/7 not an out and out 7. We shall see.

Even as a Saints supporter I am surprised to see Ludlam still there, as I have said in previous posts he must have been very impressive in training, he does have one thing the others don't and that is serious pace.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:36 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The look of the choices LT suggest that Wilson is the main cover for 8. 3 open sides looks too much unless you're planning of shutting off wales defensive game plan of last time around.
As of now geordie I'm not sure who the third choice would be: seen curry used before...think it was this one!
In the future. You'll have willis curry underhill vunipola dombrandt Mercer to pick from along with the few others we have now. It's a pick and choose who do you like for a particular game thing. Certainly mercer dombrant curry would add options of lineout and I think a pretty decent balance all round. I'd be hard pressed to leave willis out the way that guy plays though. Headaches.

I think the list is growing considerably.

Willis x 2
Mercer
Dombrandt
Hill
Billy V (Only 26)
Underhill
Curry x 2
Earl
Simmonds
Ludlum

And probably a few more that come flying out of the academys.

Plus the "old men" like SHields, Wilson etc.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:57 pm

I forgot about Hill. I can see england wanting him as a lock just to fit everyone in.

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Post by Sharkey06 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 12:58 pm

With the early announcement of the World Cup squad (nearly a month before the deadline), Eddie Jones is presumably saying I know what my best squad is and however you perform in training or in a couple of warm up games – either good or bad - isn’t going to change my view.  Is this the right message to send out to players?

Also chances are unfortunately that there will be some injuries between now and then, so changes will need to be made to the squad.  Not every player in the squad will have a straight like-for-like substitute.  So a Mark Wilson for instance may be 1st or 2nd choice 6, but has the ability to cover 4, 5, 7 and 8.  Alex Dombrandt who might be next in line could cover 4, 5, 6 and 8 but couldn’t cover 7.  Perhaps not the greatest example, but hopefully my point is clear.  If this did happen would it be reasonable for EJ to deselect a player from the squad along with an injured player and select 2 new players to give the squad the right balance?  What would that do for squad morale?  Is he painting himself into a corner with naming the squad so soon?

I do think EJ is guilty of being too clever and left field for his own good.  You can see that in some of the players he selects.  He selects raw/young players who realistically have no chance of getting into the squad, presumably to keep us guessing and unable to predict what he is going to do.

I hope I am wrong and EJ is a master puppeteer, but I am having my doubts.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 1:28 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:Ludlam's continued inclusion perplexes me no end. His, and Ewel's. I'd argue that Dombrandt offers so much more than Ludlam and brings a set of skills that are offered by no one else except Billy.

Ludlam is a 7, not a 6 so does not compete with Dombrandt, makes me think that EJ is looking at Underhill as a 6/7 not an out and out 7. We shall see.

Even as a Saints supporter I am surprised to see Ludlam still there, as I have said in previous posts he must have been very impressive in training, he does have one thing the others don't and that is serious pace.

Indeed, but I wasn't thinking about it as a openside vs. blindside situation. I was thinking about it more as an occupied squad place vs. the skills that they bring. Ludlam's skill set is broadly covered by the other back row options in the squad, but Dombrandt's skills are much more unique.

As you say though, we shall see.

When I have seen Ludlam play, I really like his aggression and competitiveness. Perhaps that's what he's bringing to training that EJ likes. Though the other back row boys are hardly timid!

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 1:30 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:With the early announcement of the World Cup squad (nearly a month before the deadline), Eddie Jones is presumably saying I know what my best squad is and however you perform in training or in a couple of warm up games – either good or bad - isn’t going to change my view.  Is this the right message to send out to players?

Also chances are unfortunately that there will be some injuries between now and then, so changes will need to be made to the squad.  Not every player in the squad will have a straight like-for-like substitute.  So a Mark Wilson for instance may be 1st or 2nd choice 6, but has the ability to cover 4, 5, 7 and 8.  Alex Dombrandt who might be next in line could cover 4, 5, 6 and 8 but couldn’t cover 7.  Perhaps not the greatest example, but hopefully my point is clear.  If this did happen would it be reasonable for EJ to deselect a player from the squad along with an injured player and select 2 new players to give the squad the right balance?  What would that do for squad morale?  Is he painting himself into a corner with naming the squad so soon?

I do think EJ is guilty of being too clever and left field for his own good.  You can see that in some of the players he selects.  He selects raw/young players who realistically have no chance of getting into the squad, presumably to keep us guessing and unable to predict what he is going to do.

I hope I am wrong and EJ is a master puppeteer, but I am having my doubts.

I can't see Eddie dropping a player for balance reasons as you suggest. I'm not sure I could see a situation where it would be needed either? If he selects Wilson, Shields, Underhill and Curry as his flankers and Wilson drops out, he needs a bit more cover at 6 and 8. He could pick a 6/8 (Dombrandt), an 8 who can't play 6 (Hughes?) and cover Lawes across, a 6 who can't play 8 (Ted Hill?) and use Shields as 8 cover or even a 7 (Ludlam) and make Underhill a 6.

I think Eddie probably already knows his 31. He said 28 a while back, but I think he's there or thereabouts now. I think he's just looking at some of his options for reserve lists. For instance I think he'll pick Shields and Nowell (with asterisks) and he's wondering if Ludlam and McConnochie are good enough back-ups or whether he'll need to be putting in calls to Robshaw and Brown should his first choices be ruled out. And if your considering it, then this is the right way to go about it.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 2:01 pm

What other message is he supposed to send out? Im going to pick 50 players for this game and hope noone notices?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 2:04 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
bluestonevedder wrote:Ludlam's continued inclusion perplexes me no end. His, and Ewel's. I'd argue that Dombrandt offers so much more than Ludlam and brings a set of skills that are offered by no one else except Billy.

Ludlam is a 7, not a 6 so does not compete with Dombrandt, makes me think that EJ is looking at Underhill as a 6/7 not an out and out 7. We shall see.

Even as a Saints supporter I am surprised to see Ludlam still there, as I have said in previous posts he must have been very impressive in training, he does have one thing the others don't and that is serious pace.

Does Jones see him as a Tipuric / Hooper style flanker..which we possibly dont have in the rest.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 4:07 pm

GF, he is good over the ball, but not in Hooper's class, but how many are, I can see the Tipuric analogy, but he will have to go a bit to match him. I rate him (Tipuric) very highly.

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Post by bluestonevedder on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 4:39 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:GF, he is good over the ball, but not in Hooper's class, but how many are, I can see the Tipuric analogy, but he will have to go a bit to match him. I rate him (Tipuric) very highly.

Me too. Tipuric is a quality player. Punches well above his weight in terms of physicality. Saw him in person when he was starting to make it into the national squad and there's really not much to him. Reminds me of Croft in that he has his ridiculous turn of pace, but also does the grunt work extremely well.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 8:28 am

So what are peoples expectations for the game?

Personally I dont see this as a must win, but if we lose the media will go nuts.

If we do lose it'll be interesting to see if any last minute changes occur. Imagine a big loss, could lead to some others getting called back?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 8:48 am

It depends which side puts out their near first choice players. the standard for these fixtures is one team puts a strong side out and the other the fringe players. If a strong England gets humped then there should be eyebrows raised. Ideally you'd win everything, but they lost a warm up in 2003 and nobody died. 
The media will make a big hoo haa whatever happens. They have to have something to talk about.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 8:49 am

Game result isnt really an issue for me...although is nice to win every game.

I just want to see where we are in terms of the key game components

Ie The breakdown..the scrums, lineout etc
What our intensity is like.

And our Defence! Thats the most crucial thing ill be looking at.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 10:00 am

It's not a must win by any means. But we should pick up a comfortable win no matter what. There'll be stuff held back by both coaches but at home even with a few second choices we'll have too much for wales.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 10:02 am

Is the team announcement today? Usually on Thursdays isn't it

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