England RWC Thread

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 1:56 pm

Next match pre RWC is England vs Italy 6th September.

22/09/2019 England v Tonga 11:15 GMT
26/09/2019 England v USA 11:45 GMT
05/10/2019 England v Argentina 09:00 GMT
12/10/2019 England v France 09:15 GMT

England Squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole (Leicester, 86 caps), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter, 12), Tom Curry (Sale, 11), Ellis Genge (Leicester, 10), Jamie George (Saracens, 37), Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27), George Kruis (Saracens, 32), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 59), Courtney Lawes (Northampton, 72), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton, 1), Joe Marler (Harlequins, 58), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22), Jack Singleton (Saracens, 1), Sam Underhill (Bath, 9), Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 42), Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53), Mark Wilson (Newcastle/Sale, 13).

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga (Bath, 5), Elliot Daly (Saracens, 31), Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70), George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 56), Piers Francis (Northampton, 5), Willi Heinz (Gloucester, 1), Jonathan Joseph (Bath, 41), Jonny May (Leicester, 45), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath, uncapped), Jack Nowell (Exeter, 33), Henry Slade (Exeter, 22), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester, 33), Anthony Watson (Bath, 34), Ben Youngs (Leicester, 86).

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 4:45 pm

Strange how everyone thought Ludlam had a great start to his England career but now everyone wants to see Lawes at 6 and Wilson at 8 for Italy to protect Curry and BV.

A back row of Ludlam, Wilson and Underhill would go someway to keeping the style of last Saturday.

Lawes Wilson Ludlam would protect Underhill as well.


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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 4:49 pm

I think Eddie is considering Lawes to play in the back row for some matches, where he wants more lineout options. I know Curry played with lifting blocks last week but cannot recall if he was actually used.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:05 pm

Curry used 3 times.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Curry used 3 times.

Shows just how little you notice when live at the game.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:33 pm

Curry only played about 25-30 minutes in the first game, didn't play second and about 50-60 in last weeks so really only played a game and a bit. If selected for next Friday the odds are that Wilson or Lawes would take over after 50 or so.

Is 2 games a lot, Billy has already played three, Lawes has played in all three as has Ford and probably a few others

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:49 pm

It took 2 watching s and listening to the commentator pointing it out tbf LT.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:21 pm

1.Marler 2.George 3.Cole 4.Launchbury 5.Kruis 6.Lawes 7.Ludlam 8.Wilson
9.Youngs 10.Farrell 11.Cokanasiga 12.Tuilagi 13.Joseph 14.McConnochie 15.Watson

16.Singleton 17.Genge 18.Sinckler 19.Itoje 20.Curry 21.Heinz 22.Fracis 23.May

I hope to see them rotate the options. Try Wilson in at 8, Farrell to 10, Manu and JJ together, the Bath back three to see how they play as a unit.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:26 pm

If Marler and Ford are meant to cover TH and SH during the tournament I would quite like them to spend some time there in this last warm up game.

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Post by yappysnap on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 2:52 am

Has Ford ever played 9 or is this based solely on his size...

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 6:37 am

yappysnap wrote:Has Ford ever played 9 or is this based solely on his size...

I’ve never seen him play there, but reports from camp have said Eddie has had him training at SH, just as Marler has been training to cover TH
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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 6:57 am

I do not agree with playing players out of position. Ford at Scrum Half. for example.

It was/has been done before Ugo Monye at full back for instance. what a joke that was.

If he is concerned about losing an SH too injury take a other just in case.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 7:03 am

Has to be done to some extent in a world cup though. Simply isnt the numbers available.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 7:16 am

yappysnap wrote:Has Ford ever played 9 or is this based solely on his size...

He has covered there for Leicester at times when starting 9 was in the sin bin.

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:20 am

Just listening to House of Rugby. Tindall talking about Manu Tuilagi was interesting.

Basically he said that Manu has to play 13. If he runs in lines from 12 he’s running at a 7 who makes that tackle. If he runs them from 13 as he did against Ireland then he’s running at the 10. The 12 gets nervous and bites in on Manu to protect the 10. Therefore the dummy lines from there always give an overlap.

Could be with Ford/Farrell or Farrell/Slade or even Francis in there then. But is Manu inked in for the 13 shirt now?

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:45 am

majesticimperialman wrote:I do not agree with playing players out of position. Ford at Scrum Half. for example.

It was/has been done before Ugo Monye at full back for instance. what a joke that was.

If he is concerned about losing an SH too injury take a other just in case.

And who would you drop from the 31 in order to do that?

If you took 3 players for each of the specialist positions (front row, SH, FH), that's 15 of the squad settled. You then need 3 locks, 4 back row players, 2 centres and 4 back three players to make up the rest of an XXIII, which only leaves you with three slots unfilled. At least one of those needs to be a lock. The other two are probably back three and a centre or utility back, but you're light on forwards in return for carrying a number of players who may not be needed.

Props and hookers will typically play a maximum of 50 minutes per game, so it's comparatively easy for them to rotate and still stay fresh. Scrum halves generally have fewer collisions per game than any other positions. And if they get injured, you can replace them.

So a lot of coaches now cut down on having a third player in one or more of those positions, in favour of having more options in a more attritional position like the back row or centres. The balancing factor is that you need some level of cover if one of the players in those positions is injured too late in preparation for a replacement to be added. Which is why you get Marler practicing TH or Ford SH.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:10 am

I do think we've got the opportunity to add another 9 if McConnochie / Nowell aren't going to make it based on their current injury status, but Eddie might think he could use the extra back row instead


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Post by Poorfour on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:20 am

BamBam wrote: I do think we've got the opportunity to add another 9 if McConnochie / Nowell aren't going to make it based on their current injury status, but Eddie might think he could use the extra back row instead


Well, you know my thoughts on that, and I don't think the position he needs to bolster is either scrum half or back row.
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 10:26 am

As discussed on the previous thread I do feel if just one of McConnochie/Nowell drops out the replacement would probably be a forward. Most of us have the feeling that the back row may be a little light, while with Mako carrying an injury it could be deemed sensible to add an extra TH so that Joe is not covering there.

Of course Eddie being Eddie he could just as easily call up Charlie Ewels.

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Post by robbo277 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:02 am

LondonTiger wrote:As discussed on the previous thread I do feel if just one of McConnochie/Nowell drops out the replacement would probably be a forward. Most of us have the feeling that the back row may be a little light, while with Mako carrying an injury it could be deemed sensible to add an extra TH so that Joe is not covering there.

Of course Eddie being Eddie he could just as easily call up Charlie Ewels.

And then use Singleton as backrow cover.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:14 am

Singleton does seem to be that emergency back row option. Cant see him being used in a knock out game though.

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Post by Rinsure on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 12:05 pm

robbo277 wrote:Just listening to House of Rugby. Tindall talking about Manu Tuilagi was interesting.

Basically he said that Manu has to play 13. If he runs in lines from 12 he’s running at a 7 who makes that tackle. If he runs them from 13 as he did against Ireland then he’s running at the 10. The 12 gets nervous and bites in on Manu to protect the 10. Therefore the dummy lines from there always give an overlap.

Could be with Ford/Farrell or Farrell/Slade or even Francis in there then. But is Manu inked in for the 13 shirt now?

Listened to that in the car yesterday, and the same thing struck me.

It's good to hear the insight of a top quality centre talking about his specialist position, and the things that reveals. My own perception of Manu being more dangerous in the 13 channel was based on what I'd seen, but to have the nuances of the reasons why he ends up on the outside shoulder of the opposing centre, and freeing up the outside channel was interesting.

I'm much happier with Manu at 13. Also interesting to hear Hask saying that he thought Manu was in terrifyingly good shape!


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Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 1:17 pm

Rinsure wrote:I'm much happier with Manu at 13. Also interesting to hear Hask saying that he thought Manu was in terrifyingly good shape
The concern with Manu at 13, is that it is supposed to be more of defensive challenge, and that's not his forte. Perhaps you can compensate for that by being a more potent attacking threat, or having Farrell inside him to tell him where to be.

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Post by BamBam on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 1:20 pm

Playing 13 and wearing 13 aren't the same thing though - there's no reason why him and Slade can't switch around on certain plays, and its only really in first phase where you'd regularly find the 7 to be covering the 10 in defence with the 12 directly outside

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 1:48 pm

Let's face it tuilagi did damage coming from both a 12 and 14 position last weekend. Best attacks are not predictable.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 2:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Let's face it tuilagi did damage coming from both a 12 and 14 position last weekend. Best attacks are not predictable.

I think Eddie is working towards an attacking model where once you're beyond the first phase England can launch attacks from a variety of points. Ford, Farrell, Slade, Daly, Sinckler and Mako are all options at first receiver, and all offer enough of a threat to hold defenders but can spin the pass wide. Having Manu running off the shoulder of any of them ought to cause problems for any defence.

If we always do the same thing (a trap I think the team fell into in Cardiff), then it's easier to defend.
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Post by yappysnap on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 8:39 am

Havent we got caught out doing the same thing against Wales and Scotland in the 6Ns too? It seems an on going problem for the team tbh.

We have one way which is great. But if it doesnt work then we struggle. To be fair nearly all other teams are the same.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 9:32 am

I think england have a strong kicking style as we've seen in the 6 nations and a carrying one. To carrying effectively though you've got to protect the ball better than we did vs wales. I'm sure jones and coaches and drumming in tactics to use if we're unable to that come the quarters.

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Post by robbo277 on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 9:49 am

Against Wales are carrying game didn't work as above, the clear out work wasn't good enough.

But we were also missing all our Six Nations kicking weapons. Youngs and Farrell of February/March were replaced by Heinz and Ford. Slade wasnt in the midfield with his kicking game and May with his ability to chase bad kicks good was a miss on the wing. So we couldn't revert to that either.

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Post by Poorfour on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:37 am

robbo277 wrote:Against Wales are carrying game didn't work as above, the clear out work wasn't good enough.

But we were also missing all our Six Nations kicking weapons. Youngs and Farrell of February/March were replaced by Heinz and Ford. Slade wasnt in the midfield with his kicking game and May with his ability to chase bad kicks good was a miss on the wing. So we couldn't revert to that either.

We were also, for much of the game, playing a lock and a hooker as flankers. England were noticeably better at protecting the ball with Curry and Underhill on the pitch. If Eddie can keep them both fit for the crunch games, England will be a real threat.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:32 pm

There'll be no late call for Danny Care.

He did his ankle in training at Quins, and needs surgery, which will keep him out for eight weeks.

https://www.planetrugby.com/ankle-surgery-sidelines-danny-care-for-eight-weeks/

(I don't think he was on Jones' waiting list anyway)

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 11:12 pm

Poorfour wrote:
robbo277 wrote:Against Wales are carrying game didn't work as above, the clear out work wasn't good enough.

But we were also missing all our Six Nations kicking weapons. Youngs and Farrell of February/March were replaced by Heinz and Ford. Slade wasnt in the midfield with his kicking game and May with his ability to chase bad kicks good was a miss on the wing. So we couldn't revert to that either.

We were also, for much of the game, playing a lock and a hooker as flankers. England were noticeably better at protecting the ball with Curry and Underhill on the pitch. If Eddie can keep them both fit for the crunch games, England will be a real threat.

I'll say. If one things certain, the ABs will be doing overtime on the England loosies at some point if they havent by now. By the time they meet they'll know more about the three than anyone, themselves included. Right there is the winning of this tournament.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:14 am

I'd argue that the last 4 RWCs have been won by the side with the best back row in the tournament.

6.Hill 7.Back 8.Dallagio
6.Burger 7.Smith 8.Rossouw
6.Kaino 7.McCaw 8.Read
6.Kaino 7.McCaw 8.Read

Could certainly argue that 6.Dusautoir 7.Bonnaire 8.Harinordoquy and 6.Fardy 7.Hooper 8.Pocock were the second best back rows in 2011 and 2015 respectively. They were also the runners up.

There are a lot of very good back rows in this tournament. Several also have clear fragile areas. England will be decimated by Vunipola getting injured. Australia the same with Pocock. Ireland have already lost O'Brien. Wales have lost Faletua. New Zealand have 3 outstanding opensides but one will be out of position at blindside.

The South Africa back row of 6.Pieter-Steph du Toit 7.Kolisi 8.Vermuelen backed up by Louw and Kwagga Smith is seriously talented though. That combined with outstanding lock options and a terrific starting front row is a fearsome pack.

It's going to be a very interesting RWC.

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 10:10 am

For SA for a long time its been coaching not players. Not sure if thats changed tbh.

Youre right though, in the modern game backrows win matches. After those its feont rows and 10's who share the importance in my opinion. All those same teams had outstanding front rows and then Wilkinson, Montgomery and Carter (Donald) make up some of the best 10's in the Pro era.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 10:39 am

I find it interesting that us, NZ and Australia seem to be heading towards playing 2 7s (perhaps Wales too) while SA are going very much their traditional route of a muscular back row.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 11:02 am

LondonTiger wrote:I find it interesting that us, NZ and Australia seem to be heading towards playing 2 7s (perhaps Wales too) while SA are going very much their traditional route of a muscular back row.

PSdT and Vermuelen definitely fit the traditional SA back row but Kolisi is quite some player and very mobile to boot, it will be a real battle of the 7's this tournament.

Curry may only be a handful of games into his England career but he already looks to be the best flanker we've produced since Hill and Back.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 11:18 am

LondonTiger wrote:I find it interesting that us, NZ and Australia seem to be heading towards playing 2 7s (perhaps Wales too) while SA are going very much their traditional route of a muscular back row.

Horses for courses I think. From any teams perspective you may want a certain type of player to play a certain tactic. Wales have the option of a Navidi and Tips backrow and have been trying this since Warburton was in the frame. England have some great options to play different styles in the backrow to counteract their opposition. They could load the backrow with jumpers, pick light and fast or big and bulky carriers.

The only issue, as mentioned before above, is that the players have not played a lot with each other and in knock out pressure games this might or might not be an issue.

Hill, Back and Dayglo had probably fifty games together before the 2003 RWC. Underhill, Curry and Vunipola have one or two matches together.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 11:29 am

Hill, I can definitely see in Curry, a man for all positions as Curry is proving, I would not be surprised to see him occasionally at 8 when he gets a bit older and heavier, just like Hill.


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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 12:19 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Hill, I can definitely see in Curry, a man for all positions as Curry is proving, I would not be surprised to see him occasionally at 8 when he gets a bit older and heavier, just like Hill.


Agreed, however, you can SEE the work Curry does. I think that is because the breakdown itself has changed because of law changes since and you won’t see so much clearing out nowadays for fear of giving away penalties.
So the strong jackaler will be crucial in Japan where possession and quick ball will be even more key.

NZ have actually selected 3 specialist 7s in their squad but Savea can play along the back 3 positions.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 4:21 pm

We have great choices across the back row. Scary to think how much talent is coming through in the next couple of years and well.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:18 am

Its crazy to think that Ben was the higher rated Curry twin coming out of the u18s! Imagine if he lives up to the same level of potential, that injury he picked up before the Barbarians game gave Tom his chance and he's never looked back


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Post by robbo277 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:20 am

So Monday morning and the start of a new test week. What are we thinking for the Italy game?

Mako and Nowell won't make it, but we're hopeful of a first look at Slade (this series) and McConnochie (ever) before the flight departs.

Who else needs the game time? What "selection principle" should Eddie be following? Full strength? Change line-up? Whoever needs the minutes?

I think somewhere close to the third. Who needs minutes - in terms of individuals and partnerships.

Potential 23:
Marler, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Launchbury, Lawes, Ludlam, Underhill, Wilson, Youngs, Farrell, May, Slade, Tuilagi, McConnochie, Watson
Singleton, Genge, Cole, Itoje, Kruis, Heinz, Ford, Joseph

After 50 minutes I'd bring on Genge for Sinckler and Ford for Youngs and play with Marler at tighthead and Ford at 9. If it was a disaster we could "correct" the line-up with Cole or Heinz coming on for Marler or Farrell (depending on where the issue was), or if they looked quite settled give them an extended bit of time there.

I'd also want to bring Tuilagi off after 50 minutes. See how he goes with Farrell and Slade at 10/12 and then get him out of the firing line.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:23 am

A slight sense of Deja vu over that post robbo Wink

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:27 am

PS I agree with your thought processes, if not all the selections.

I feel we should see Marler featuring at 3 for a bit, to give him practice at TH. However expecting him to do that after 50 minutes of LH action could be unfair. 

I would be tempted to wrap Manu in cotton wool, and feature Marchant. I know he is not in the squad but he is on our reserves list so would be good to give him some time, just in case.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:28 am

Agree with Ford at 9 for some of the game, but is it fair to put Marler at tighthead after he's already played 50 mins of loosehead!

If we want to give him some time there, I'd probably just give Genge the start, bring Marler on at tighthead at half time then once Genge runs out of gas eventually bring on the tighthead bench replacement with Marler shifting over

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Post by BamBam on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:28 am

Great minds LT angel

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:32 am

Fools seldom differ?

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:50 am

I would say it's less of an issue than it otherwise might be. We often see props go deep into games now - Genge played the full 80 in the first game against Wales for instance. But I take your point.

I'm trying to see the situation in which he'd come in as tighthead cover. And I can't really see a situation where he'd need to start and cover tighthead, unless we had two prop injuries, which would be rotten luck but not something I guess we should be planning for, unless we are still worried about Mako?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:51 am

Yeah, I can only see him covering TH from the bench, hence why doing that on Friday I feel makes sense.

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Post by BamBam on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:53 am

Agree with you that props can often play more or less the full game now, but given that Marler hasn't ever done that playing tighthead, I wonder if the additional stress that the tighthead faces in the scrum would wear him down more than playing longer at loosehead

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