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 robbo277 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:10 am

I'm not sure if anyone "needs" the rest, it would be more to take them out of the firing line. But I would be starting with Underhill, Curry and Wilson for this one. Not sure if it's the best unit, but there are 3 good players in there and they all need the game time.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:57 am

Only watched the highlights, but think Eddie will have plenty of food for thought. Reading the article that RF posted above, he clearly wants to have a 2nd jumper in the back row against certain teams, so it was beneficial to try Lawes out there with Billy and a 7.

It just didn't look right to me, not sure if its because Ludlam is still very green and it would have worked better with Curry at 7 instead, but we just looked a bit lacking at the breakdown, and we just kept getting turned over.

The backs had minimal involvement so tough to criticise too much, but would hope to be able to put out our first choice line up to test them against Ireland this weekend. Looked like Watson played a bit of full back at times, but would want to see him in that shirt from the beginning

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:05 am

robbo277 wrote:I'm not sure if anyone "needs" the rest, it would be more to take them out of the firing line. But I would be starting with Underhill, Curry and Wilson for this one. Not sure if it's the best unit, but there are 3 good players in there and they all need the game time.

My issue with that back row is would he pick it against a good side in the RWC? For me I would like to see the starting XV he would anticipate for Argentina in this game (and nothing to do with my presence at Twickenham this coming weekend, honest) and the side he anticipates playing against Tonga/US (whichever he plans to rest guys) against Italy.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:13 am

LondonTiger wrote:As we see more of this team I do believe we can beat anyone, but do not believe we can win 5 matches in a row against Tier 1 opponents.

IMHO you could say the same of all the contenders for the World Cup, which is what makes it such an exciting prospect.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:00 am

I don't think anyone else will have to LP, I think that's what LT was referring to

England have Argentina and France in the final 2 group games, then would need to win 3 knockout games. Don't think any other country has two tier 1 games in a row to close out the groups

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:01 am

LondonTiger wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I'm not sure if anyone "needs" the rest, it would be more to take them out of the firing line. But I would be starting with Underhill, Curry and Wilson for this one. Not sure if it's the best unit, but there are 3 good players in there and they all need the game time.

My issue with that back row is would he pick it against a good side in the RWC? For me I would like to see the starting XV he would anticipate for Argentina in this game (and nothing to do with my presence at Twickenham this coming weekend, honest) and the side he anticipates playing against Tonga/US (whichever he plans to rest guys) against Italy.

But I think he should be near enough full strength for Tonga and much-changed against the USA. The Tonga game therefore becomes a dress rehearsal for the tougher tests. So he can still use these fixtures to get everyone up to shape and try a few things.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:05 am

Tier 1 is quite a wide spectrum though. Would I fancy again 5 times on the bounce vs NZ: no. When you're counting argentina in there the odds start to go up!

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:05 am

BamBam wrote:I don't think anyone else will have to LP, I think that's what LT was referring to

England have Argentina and France in the final 2 group games, then would need to win 3 knockout games. Don't think any other country has two tier 1 games in a row to close out the groups

Ah, I see. OK

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:11 am

robbo277 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I'm not sure if anyone "needs" the rest, it would be more to take them out of the firing line. But I would be starting with Underhill, Curry and Wilson for this one. Not sure if it's the best unit, but there are 3 good players in there and they all need the game time.

My issue with that back row is would he pick it against a good side in the RWC? For me I would like to see the starting XV he would anticipate for Argentina in this game (and nothing to do with my presence at Twickenham this coming weekend, honest) and the side he anticipates playing against Tonga/US (whichever he plans to rest guys) against Italy.

But I think he should be near enough full strength for Tonga and much-changed against the USA. The Tonga game therefore becomes a dress rehearsal for the tougher tests. So he can still use these fixtures to get everyone up to shape and try a few things.

Sorry Tonga/US meant one or the other not both.

As the US game is a short turn round I would like to see strong v Tonga, weaker v US (as you say) and replicate that in these two games. In general we have not started many of our strongest lineup so far so this will almost happen anyway.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:14 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
BamBam wrote:I don't think anyone else will have to LP, I think that's what LT was referring to

England have Argentina and France in the final 2 group games, then would need to win 3 knockout games. Don't think any other country has two tier 1 games in a row to close out the groups

Ah, I see. OK

Indeed that was what I meant. Theoretically we could lose one of the pool games, but so far no side has won the WC having previously lost a game. England twice (1991, 2007) and France who lost two pool games (2011) have come close but no cigar. Of course it will happen one day and the fact that there are any number of games that are too tight to call this tournament means it could be now.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:46 am

Urgghh.
I find myself nearly in complete agreement with stuart barnes on preferred lineup for the world cup.

Vunipola george sinckler
Itoje kruis
Curry underhill
Vunipola
Youngs farrell
May tuilagi Slade watson
Nowell.

I need to dig out Stephen jones to see him.calling for cooper wooley to calm myself.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:53 am

7.5, from memory:

Rapava Ruskin, Webber, Cooper-Wooley, Lees, Slater, Ewers, Armand, Kvesic, Wigglesworth, Cipriani, Wade, Devoto, Barritt, Woodburn, Hammersley


Is close to a XV namechecked by Jones earlier this year.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:56 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Urgghh.
I find myself nearly in complete agreement with stuart barnes on preferred lineup for the world cup.

Vunipola george sinckler
Itoje kruis
Curry underhill
Vunipola
Youngs farrell
May tuilagi Slade watson
Nowell.

I need to dig out Stephen jones to see him.calling for cooper wooley to calm myself.

Read down that team as you've posted it going .. "Yup, agreed, hope we can see it this week, obvious choices, looks good, Nowell at FB?!!!"


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Post by hugehandoff on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 11:59 am

I would also agree with Stuart Barnes with that selection, but maybe Daly instead of Watson on the wing. Nowell at 15 could be a good shout, but again little chance to embed this.

Concerns at this stage are that Curry and Underhill are never fit and that backrow has not played together - hardly ideal going in to a RWC. But it does represent our best chance of getting turnovers and quick ball to attack with.

We all know that plan A is pure power, but we also know that will not be enough so Curry and Underhill will be vital in providing some attacking ball. Will they be effective together or should they play with Wilson at 6 and keep one on the bench? I like having Ford on the bench as it does give us genuine options to change our tactics. Ford to 10 and Farrell to 12.

Running out of time to tinker so the selection for the Ireland match will be interesting.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:29 pm

Ha. I can believe that LT.
Presumably Nowell as he was excellent at full back for the final game against Saracens and everyone can see Daly is a liability in the air.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:35 pm

Daly is a liability with high balls. 
Watson struggled defensively with them in his last international outing as a FB. https://youtu.be/TLzGN_MvnPI one example
Nowell is injured and barely played FB
Brown is a defensive rock but not in the team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:42 pm

I'd rather have Monye at full back than daly.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd rather have Monye at full back than daly.

Going a bit far, especially with those tight jeans he now wears. Cueto would be more dependable though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:54 pm

Seriously though I hope watson plays there against ireland, dominates and offers plenty of counter attacking. If jones has highlighted speed of the full back as a priority nowell does not tick the box.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 2:26 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As we see more of this team I do believe we can beat anyone, but do not believe we can win 5 matches in a row against Tier 1 opponents.

IMHO you could say the same of all the contenders for the World Cup, which is what makes it such an exciting prospect.


Right the rankings have never been so close between a top 5 at any time in their history, and theres teams outside that 5 capable of springing upsets. Most years theres been a small number of runaway favourites, thats simply not the case this time. The last two years have seen increasing volatility in the results between the top 8. Its not just Wales who can beat anyone on their day this time. 

I do get the point in regard to Englands schedule though, it means 5 tough games in a row with no break. Like winning a grand slam but having to beat new Zealand instead of Italy. And they haven't even been able to do that with one of the 5 being Italy. Even if they were the best side in the competition its difficult to maintain that consistency of performance through 5 tough matches each one raising in importance ( and yeah yeah they can lose one of the pool stage ones but the general point remains, they certainly wont be cruising it). 

The England cricket team managed to leave themselves in a similar position and were completely fried by the end of their run of must win games against tough opponents, they just scrapped over the line thanks to a bit of luck and dodgy umpiring. I kinda feel as a more physically demanding sport it might be hard to replicate that in rugby even if England were the stand out best side in the world as they were going into that world cup, and at home. 

Its should be a great tournament this time.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 2:37 pm

We're all passionate fans and get wrapped up in the competitiveness of the game, so for me this was a thought provoking read

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/19/kearnan-myall-england-players-mental-health-training-camp

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 2:53 pm

Good but harrowing read. Something that can and should be applied to everyone around you at work etc as well but with the added horror of potentially being out in public.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 7:14 pm

BamBam wrote:We're all passionate fans and get wrapped up in the competitiveness of the game, so for me this was a thought provoking read

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/19/kearnan-myall-england-players-mental-health-training-camp

Thanks for highlighting this. The training camps did seem to be the thing that affected Marler also.

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Post by Poorfour on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:23 pm

lostinwales wrote:
BamBam wrote:We're all passionate fans and get wrapped up in the competitiveness of the game, so for me this was a thought provoking read

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/19/kearnan-myall-england-players-mental-health-training-camp

Thanks for highlighting this. The training camps did seem to be the thing that affected Marler also.

I think for Marler it was less the camp itself and more spending extended periods away from his wife and kids.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 8:54 am

Ireland up next, then.

To the best of my knowledge we didn't pick up any new injuries on Saturday against Wales, and I've seen that Mako might be fit to participate against the Irish in some capacity. Yet to see any news on Slade, Curry, Underhill or Wilson; anyone seen updates? Nowell aiming for a run-out against Italy, I believe.

Bearing that in mind, what kind of side are we expecting to see out against Ireland? I know trying to predict the machinations of Eddie's selections are fraught with challenges, but...

We've yet to see Farrell, May, McConnochie, aside from the injuries. Have I missed anyone?

My guess is that we'll see something along the lines of what most of us would consider a first choice XV, with Faz at 10 outside Youngs, and Manu & JJ (or Slade, fitness depending). McConnochie has to be nailed on to start, assuming he can make the starting whistle for once, and I'd expect to see May on the other wing. Daly at 15 again. Up front Mako (if fit, Marler otherwise), George, Sinckler, Kruis & Itoje... then perm a fit back row...

Back row will be a big test against Ireland, especially if we're struggling for fit bodies.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 9:19 am

Rinsure wrote:Ireland up next, then.

To the best of my knowledge we didn't pick up any new injuries on Saturday against Wales, and I've seen that Mako might be fit to participate against the Irish in some capacity. Yet to see any news on Slade, Curry, Underhill or Wilson; anyone seen updates? Nowell aiming for a run-out against Italy, I believe.

Bearing that in mind, what kind of side are we expecting to see out against Ireland? I know trying to predict the machinations of Eddie's selections are fraught with challenges, but...

We've yet to see Farrell, May, McConnochie, aside from the injuries. Have I missed anyone?

My guess is that we'll see something along the lines of what most of us would consider a first choice XV, with Faz at 10 outside Youngs, and Manu & JJ (or Slade, fitness depending). McConnochie has to be nailed on to start, assuming he can make the starting whistle for once, and I'd expect to see May on the other wing. Daly at 15 again. Up front Mako (if fit, Marler otherwise), George, Sinckler, Kruis & Itoje... then perm a fit back row...

Back row will be a big test against Ireland, especially if we're struggling for fit bodies.

I heard Nowell and Slade won't be fit for Ireland. Whether it means the others will be fit is less clear - maybe they'll be later decisions.

McConnochie has been named for both the Wales fixtures and pulled out before each one. May I believe had a knock on his hip. Farrell appeared off the bench against Wales.

Unsure if he's called anyone else up to cover as he did last week - that might give a hint. Also unsure if anyone called up will play, or if they're just training numbers.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 9:28 am

Just checked the RFU site and can't find anything regarding any additional players called up but do have this snippet from the match report.

On injuries, wing Ruaridh McConnochie was forced to pull out on the morning of the game with an injury that could keep him out for seven to 10 days, but Jones revealed Tom Curry and Sam Underhill should both be available to face Ireland at Twickenham next weekend.

McConnochie may therefore miss the Ireland game too, along with Slade and Nowell. Curry and Underhill may also be fit. Haven't heard anything on Mako, Wilson and May recently but I don't think any are major doubts.

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Post by Rinsure on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 9:33 am

Ah, I forgot Faz came off the bench on Saturday.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 10:41 am

Am I the only one that sees the ongoing niggle for mcconnachie and hopes Spencer has one last chance of making to the plane?

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 10:57 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Am I the only one that sees the ongoing niggle for mcconnachie and hopes Spencer has one last chance of making to the plane?

I do not want to see anyone miss out due to injury, but do wonder if one of McConnochie or Nowell does not make it whether they would be replaced like-for-like.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 10:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Am I the only one that sees the ongoing niggle for mcconnachie and hopes Spencer has one last chance of making to the plane?

I'd rather another back row to be honest. Possibly someone who covers 8.

McConnachie will probably be fine, it's Nowell who I'd have a bigger question mark over at this stage.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:07 am

I'm just slightly concerned over youngs form. Or the lack of a 3rd tight head tbf. Back row should be ok with wilson short term 8 cover.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:29 am

My concern with back row is it's possibly the most attritional position on the park, we've got 2 games in 4 days and only 5* players capable of playing there, so one person is pulling a double shift.

*Lawes can cover, but that would mean a second row has to go back-to-back. This might actually be preferable to be honest.

I think regardless of Youngs form Eddie will start him through the tournament, unless it really starts to drop off. So a third 9 may be wasted. Similarly with a tight-head, Sinckler is a clear first choice. A third tight head would be competing with Cole for a bench spot and a start against USA, as a third 9 would be competing with Heinz for the same prizes.

I just shudder to think of someone like Billy Vunipola, Underhill or Curry having to go back-to-back in four days and ending their tournament before it's even got going.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

Cokanasiga can cover 8.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cokanasiga can cover 8.

But if Nowell and/or McConnochie aren't fit he'll be needed on the wing, hence we draft in the back row cover we're missing out on. Wink

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 11:36 am

May can cover Flanker Very Happy

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:42 pm

Back row against USA:

6. Nowell
7. May
8. Cokanasiga

20. Singleton

Sorted then.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:43 pm

robbo277 wrote:Back row against USA:

6. Nowell
7. May
8. Cokanasiga

20. Singleton

Sorted then.

thumbsup

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cokanasiga can cover 8.

Is he the next Matt Banahan?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:50 pm

Well Matt Banahan will more pace and a better step. Seems to have taken his international chance a little better but ickle Shane was available to stop big joe in the line.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 1:51 pm

No worries on speed to the breakdown with May at 7.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 2:01 pm

Cokanasiga looks great ball in hand but I do worry about the rest of his game, especially fielding and returning kicks. He is only 21 and I think this World Cup may be a bit too early for him. Good bet for man of the match against the USA but he doesn't make our strongest back 3 IMO.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 3:17 pm

robbo277 wrote:Cokanasiga looks great ball in hand but I do worry about the rest of his game, especially fielding and returning kicks. He is only 21 and I think this World Cup may be a bit too early for him. Good bet for man of the match against the USA but he doesn't make our strongest back 3 IMO.

He's a bit raw round the edges but we need him around the squad. Currently the backline is heavily reliant on Manu to make the hard yards especially with Farrell and his preference to have a bish option at 12. Manu can't be doing that for every game. If he doesn't start I'd have him in the 23 shirt.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 3:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
robbo277 wrote:Cokanasiga looks great ball in hand but I do worry about the rest of his game, especially fielding and returning kicks. He is only 21 and I think this World Cup may be a bit too early for him. Good bet for man of the match against the USA but he doesn't make our strongest back 3 IMO.

He's a bit raw round the edges but we need him around the squad. Currently the backline is heavily reliant on Manu to make the hard yards especially with Farrell and his preference to have a bish option at 12. Manu can't be doing that for every game. If he doesn't start I'd have him in the 23 shirt.

This is probably a fair strategy. Offers a point of difference and if things are going well we don't need to bring him on. If we need him we can sub him on with 20 to go. Nowell is often used in this role and can offer some heavy carrying, but not to the same level as Cokanasiga.

If you have Manu starting against Tonga, Argentina and France, you can start Cokanasiga against the USA and as a bench option in the main tests.

In other news, Mako may return against Ireland, and Eddie has confirmed he hopes to have Curry and Underhill fit. Also read that he will have a change of selection strategy, so we're potentially looking at a full strength line-up.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49412265

Updated quotes from that article, confirming Wilson is a possibility but Nowell and Slade are out.

The meeting with Ireland comes too early for wing Jack Nowell, who is recovering from a ankle surgery, and centre Henry Slade, who has a knee complaint. Both aim to be available for England's final World Cup warm-up against Italy on 6 September.

Mark Wilson should be in contention to face Ireland as he continues his recovery from a rib injury.

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Post by Pie on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 5:02 pm

Consistency England

Thats what England needs. Everyone knows how talented the squad is but the constant changes mean that the inconsistency we see literally week to week is a result of inconsistent selection.

Pick a side, 23 players....then stick with them.

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Post by hugehandoff on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 5:13 pm

Apparently, according to BBC, Mako, Tom and Sam all fit for Ireland. That will be a big boost if true. We need to see Tom and Sam in tandem and Mako needs to prove his fitness.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 5:33 pm

It'll be interesting to see what happens with that potential back row. Both Curry and Frodo played at 110mph and Underhill has some serious pace too - I remember him making that amazing try saving tackle on Scott Williams after crossing from the other side of the pitch. Fabulous bit of rugby. Am also looking forward to seeing Mako back. Whilst the other LHs haven't exactly been poor, he does offer that extra something around the pitch.

If we play with the same ferocity that we did at Twickenham 2 weeks ago (something sorely lacking last weekend in Cardiff) then it could be an awesome game. I am expecting Ireland to bring a hefty squad.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 5:37 pm

robbo277 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
robbo277 wrote:Cokanasiga looks great ball in hand but I do worry about the rest of his game, especially fielding and returning kicks. He is only 21 and I think this World Cup may be a bit too early for him. Good bet for man of the match against the USA but he doesn't make our strongest back 3 IMO.

He's a bit raw round the edges but we need him around the squad. Currently the backline is heavily reliant on Manu to make the hard yards especially with Farrell and his preference to have a bish option at 12. Manu can't be doing that for every game. If he doesn't start I'd have him in the 23 shirt.

This is probably a fair strategy. Offers a point of difference and if things are going well we don't need to bring him on. If we need him we can sub him on with 20 to go. Nowell is often used in this role and can offer some heavy carrying, but not to the same level as Cokanasiga.

If you have Manu starting against Tonga, Argentina and France, you can start Cokanasiga against the USA and as a bench option in the main tests.
[/quote]

It also makes it easier to bring Manu off if we pull away in any of the group games he starts without losing our ability to keep piling on the pressure. We know Manu has some dodgy niggles we need him as fresh as possible for the knock out games. Move Daly into the centre alongside Slade and then Nowel or Watson to 15 with Joe into the wing. Would allow more strike running options that Eddie's usual bring on Ford and move Farrell to 12 leaving George with a midfield of other playmakers in Farrell/Slade.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 5:39 pm

Yeah dont underestimate what 2 seriously good ball playing props gives us as a team. So hard to stop.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 20 Aug 2019, 6:11 pm

McConnachie is a perfect extra player for Jones. He attracts lots of attention, and has enough experience (and I hope maturity) to be both a good tourist and tolerant of getting limited opportunities. It was interesting how Jones said that the next most important players to the first choice squad are the last 2 or 3 - who may not play at all.

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