England RWC Thread

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

First topic message reminder :

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 propdavid_london on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 12:06 pm

As you say Bam, playing TH is a very different type of stress when compared to LH. In this case you surely couldn't expect Marler to play the whole 80mins there - 'cover' is the key word. But if an injury happens early then there isn't much you can do about that.

I still remember an England-Ireland match, and I think it was Tom Court that was asked to play on the TH.
The end result was the Sunday paper headlines about Ireland pack being Man-Shamed! Tom Court was by no means a bad prop (at LH).

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Post by hugehandoff on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 1:35 pm

For Italy.

Marler (Genge started both Wales matches and Mako still unfit. To finish at tighthead for last 20)
Singleton (has not started as hooker yet)
Sinckler (Dan started both Wales matches)
Kruis
Lawes (need to protect Maro and Launch started 2)
Underhill
Wilson
Curry (protect Billy, give Wilson a start and another chance for Underhill/Curry to play together)
Youngs (needs time to improve. Ford for last 20)
Farrell
Francis
Slade
Ruaridh McConnochie
May
Watson at 15 (worth a try)

Subs
Genge
George
Cole
Launchbury
Ludlam
Heinz
Ford
Manu

A bits and pieces side giving some match time to those who have not played and are now able to do so. He may want Ford to be 9 cover in which case Daly can come in.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 1:47 pm

Saracens reporting Alex Goode has a foot injury, which he picked up at the end of the season. He was never in the thoughts of Eddie Jones but it sounds possible he would not have been fit anyway.


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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 1:50 pm

hugehandoff wrote:For Italy.

Marler (Genge started both Wales matches and Mako still unfit. To finish at tighthead for last 20)

Apologies for repeating myself, but the problem I have with that is we are asking Marler to switch to a position he has never played professionally once fatigued. I am not saying that he cannot last 80 minutes, just that any plan for him to cover TH in the World Cup will be only if Sinckler or Cole have a minor niggle, in which case Joe would be on the bench with them trying to keep the starting TH on as long as possible. Switching to TH after 60 minutes risks a potentially serious injury as he tries to cope with a completely different binding position and different stresses. If he is to start he will have spent most of this week practicing at LH which again is not ideal for switching.

I would rather see Genge play 40, then Marler start TH after half time and switch back to LH if it is proving a struggle.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 1:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:For Italy.

Marler (Genge started both Wales matches and Mako still unfit. To finish at tighthead for last 20)

Apologies for repeating myself, but the problem I have with that is we are asking Marler to switch to a position he has never played professionally once fatigued. I am not saying that he cannot last 80 minutes, just that any plan for him to cover TH in the World Cup will be only if Sinckler or Cole have a minor niggle, in which case Joe would be on the bench with them trying to keep the starting TH on as long as possible. Switching to TH after 60 minutes risks a potentially serious injury as he tries to cope with a completely different binding position and different stresses. If he is to start he will have spent most of this week practicing at LH which again is not ideal for switching.

I would rather see Genge play 40, then Marler start TH after half time and switch back to LH if it is proving a struggle.

Although in the scenario you describe, Genge would play longer and the starting tighthead would play 40.

To be honest, I can see Eddie leaving this one (and Ford at 9) untested. He'll use it if he has to, but won't fret too much about trying it out in a game.

Not what I'd do, but what I think Eddie may do.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 4:12 pm

Jack Nowell has joined the rest of the boys in Treviso after : "Nowell spent four days in an Italian hospital after having his appendix removed last week."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49556293

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 4:16 pm

Sounds more promising regarding  his ankle if he will be running on it next week. Good news.

Slade still a doubt for Italy though

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Post by bluestonevedder on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 4:21 pm

Has Singleton played backrow for Worcester at all? Or is this an emergency cover position concocted by EJ?

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 4:27 pm

Nowell out the Italy game as expected then. They seem optimistic of him playing in the World Cup though, so nothing much has changed there.

What is news to me is that McConnochie "has a shot of being fit" and Slade "remains a doubt" for the Italy game. There were positive noises about both of them a couple of weeks ago, so whether that was bluster or these are setbacks is unclear. It's far from ideal to go to Japan with 3 backs who haven't yet played and would put more strain on the backs we have at current. I believe Marchant is the only back who is out there not in the squad? If Slade is out then Marchant must be in consideration for a third (?) cap.

I guess at this point it's worth noting that Moon, Ewels and Kvesic are also with the squad if Eddie wants to preserve any of his forwards? Could allow us to rest any or all of Sinckler, Itoje, Curry, Underhill and Vunipola, who are pretty crucial to our chances.

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 4:37 pm

Once these money spinners are over with, hopefully we will see more of EJ's thoughts in terms of his squad selection and the next game should give strong indication of whether he has two sides in mind, for the pools and then hopefully the knockouts.

The much used kicking game in the 6N has not been seen and must be under wraps for the knockouts when the power game might not be as effective against the SH sides.

Only taking two THs and five back rowers seems an enormous risk to me although the Devon boys, Moon and Williams plus also Shields and Kvesic being sat in a Singapore hotel with bags packed waiting for the Tokyo shuttle, must be an option.

Pace is the current nature of the game and I would much rather see a back rower who can fill in at lock rather than the other way round. Wales have it right with Shingler and Ireland have it wrong in Beirne. The England options, with the exception of BV can all play two positions and Wilson can credibly play all three, a much unheralded achievement.

So I don't see the need to take four centres when you also have Daly and then Watson/Nowell at FB and whilst I like all three cultured players in Slade, JJ and Francis, it does seem too many in relation to other facets of the game.

If England can get through the first two games unscathed then the Argentine game will be the big indicator of how far this squad might go in the tournament. However writing France off in RWCs is a dangerous assumption. When they have all their players fit and in camp like everyone else and you then give them a possibility of hope in a game, then watch out.

As ever the ref selection for games will also be key, it might be wishful thinking but I wonder if the cohort of French refs are coming around to the English game style on those 50/50 calls. Jaco Peyper owes England a big game too....
The talking is nearly over !

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 5:59 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Once these money spinners are over with, hopefully we will see more of EJ's thoughts in terms of his squad selection and the next game should give strong indication of whether he has two sides in mind, for the pools and then hopefully the knockouts.

The much used kicking game in the 6N has not been seen and must be under wraps for the knockouts when the power game might not be as effective against the SH sides.

Only taking two THs and five back rowers seems an enormous risk to me although the Devon boys, Moon and Williams plus also Shields and Kvesic being sat in a Singapore hotel with bags packed waiting for the Tokyo shuttle, must be an option.

Pace is the current  nature of the game and I would much rather see a back rower who can fill in at lock rather than the other way round. Wales have it right with Shingler and Ireland have it wrong in Beirne. The England options, with the exception of BV can all play two positions and Wilson can credibly play all three, a much unheralded achievement.

So I don't see the need to take four centres when you also have Daly and then Watson/Nowell at FB and whilst I like all three cultured players in Slade, JJ and Francis, it does seem too many in relation to other facets of the game.

If England can get through the first two games unscathed then the Argentine game will be the big indicator of how far this squad might go in the tournament. However writing France off in RWCs is a dangerous assumption. When they have all their players fit and in camp like everyone else and you then give them a possibility of hope in a game, then watch out.

As ever the ref selection for games will also be key, it might be wishful thinking but I wonder if the cohort of French refs are coming around to the English game style on those 50/50 calls. Jaco Peyper owes England a big game too....
The talking is nearly over !

To have 9 back 5 forwards covering 7 matchday positions (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 19, 20) and 10 outside 5 backs covering 6 matchday positions (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 23) does seem the wrong way round, especially given the attritional nature of playing in the forwards - even if you consider that Slade and/or Francis is also the halfback cover.

I think we could have got away with 8 there at an absolute push (if we want an extra prop and back row), but 9 probably more comfortably (and just add an extra back row).

I think it's easier for Jones to pick 4 locks and 5 back row because he has 4 locks he's loathed to leave out and he's less set with his back row options. He's also used Lawes as a back row player a lot. However if we dropped one outside back and had 10 back 5 forwards then we could go 4+6 and cross cover in the squad is less important (although Lawes offering matchday cover off the bench does give you more options).

If pace is the name of the game, we could have also had a better look at someone like Mercer or Simmonds who covers 8. Or if we want to keep the power game then Hughes is the obvious contender - and he also helpfully covers in as well.

Ultimately while I have no real problem with the players picked (other than possibly Francis and I'll admit to being quite ignorant on McConnochie) I am not sure I fully agree with the balance of the squad. However I don't really think dropping Francis or McConnochie and bringing Nathan Hughes into the World Cup squad would be the difference between an early exit and World Cup glory. By the time we get into the knockouts I don't think any of those 3 make the strongest 23, and if there are injuries that would bring an extra back row into the mix then Eddie can still call them up.

I would be surprised if Eddie had many backs who regularly play in a number higher than 10 on his standby list, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had more forwards on call - as can be seen by the mix of the 4 additional players he's called up to Treviso (3 forwards and 1 back, despite there being more injuries in the backs).

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 03 Sep 2019, 11:15 pm

New BBC article saying Slade won't make it but England are happy to take him to the World Cup regardless. More positive noises about McConnochie though.

I assume we'll have team news tomorrow, with it being a Friday fixture.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:33 am

Weird to be going into the RWC with Slade, Nowell, McConnochie all having not featured. Just seems like asking for trouble when there are already enough factors to take in.

Question marks over Mako and Wilson too. So that's 5 players out of our 31 man squad all recently injured or still injured going straight into an incredibly grueling tournament. High risk from Eddie and the support staff will need to manage rehab so carefully.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 7:09 am

It's a big risk. I suppose the counter argument in this case is that the replacements are a step down on the whole bar brown who is out of the reckoning bar someone being completely ruled out and shields who is carrying an injury himself.

Cant help but feel some of the selections are down to personalities as well. Supposedly the best atmosphere for a while around the camp. Could be important in Japan.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 7:44 am

England team v Italy

15 Anthony Watson, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Mark Wilson, 8 Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 8:05 am

Curry 6, Wilson 7 interesting, as is Billy playing again. Good to see the reserve 3 getti g some time. Perhaps Kvesic comes on early and Wilson moves to 8?

Glad Manu rested, surprised that Singleton not included. Think he came on both times in the back row.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 8:12 am

I think Billy will come off at some point Wilson drops round to 8 & Kvesic at 7.
That has got to be one of our fastest back 3 combos ever.

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Post by hugehandoff on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 8:25 am

most of the mix and match selection is sensible except for risking Billy, which I cannot understand. A totally unnecessary risk. And why not get Singleton involved.....what if he actually has to hook in the RWC? Hopefully if Kvesic goes well he will be in the frame for a call up as we need proper openside cover. Very pleased to see Watson at 15. Fingers crossed on the injury front!Fingers Crossed Fingers Crossed

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Post by cb on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 8:48 am

I have always been very frustrated by the 31 limit which seems stupid in this day and age for lots of reasons.  I always assumed after a few hard games in the world cup proper, we might struggle to field players, but to not have sufficient players in the warm-up games is crazy.

This imposed limit of 31 has bad consequences.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 9:54 am

Interesting team. Happy with Watson at full back and will be good to see something of McConnochie, centres are ok and Youngs looks like he needs the game time.

Agree with those who would have liked to see Singleton play, and looks like Marler is unlikely to cover tighthead in this game.

Keeping Curry at 6 could be a sign that he is now 1st choice there? Getting him familiar with the defensive responsibilities off the scrum etc rather than his usual position, and Wilson may well end up playing 7 at some point so worth giving him a chance there.

Agree with everyone that risking Billy again seems a bit crazy, but he is the kind of player who gets better with game time so that's the gamble I guess

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 10:05 am

Great to see England playing in the North. I’m sure the atmosphere will be electric. I’ve got plenty of rugby mad mates up in Northumbria and they have been looking forward to this since the venue was announced.

Looks like a decent side, still a bit of trialling players in different positions. Unfortunate news on the outside centres still having niggles. Wise decision to rest Tuilagi. Maybe like a lot of you I’m surprised not to see Big Billy rested too though I read that coaches think it best to keep him playing.

I am guessing that everyone expects a big win despite this not being a first choice team. Italy haven’t hit their marks in their warm ups. France easily beat them last week.

They do have Mattia Bellini, Matteo Minozzi both look very handy in the back three. Then Italy also have English born Jake Polledri who scored a gem against France last week and new recruit Callum Braley from Gloucester who has Italian Grandparents.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 10:21 am

Do Italy have a decent kicking game? Ideally would want to see Watson put under some pressure at the back to see how he copes, but not sure if this version of Italy has that to their game

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Post by Brad71090 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 10:34 am

So happy for Marchant. He will be very interesting to watch as he is some player!

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 10:41 am

Billy again? Minutes under the belt versus propensity for injury... not sure I would have picked him for the fourth game in a row. Wilson and Kvesic both cover 8 for this game.

Intuitively Curry and Wilson seem the wrong way around, too.

Back three could be electric, hoping to see something from McConnachie to show what he's all about (not having seen a lot of Bath in the latter half of the season).

Expected Singleton to get time, he hasn't hooked in a scrum yet, I think?

Faz at 10 with Ford on the bench - expect to see them together around the hour mark.

Not bad. Glad we've wrapped up Manu in cotton-wool!


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Post by bluestonevedder on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 10:43 am

Great to see Kvesic get a shot from the bench. He's tough and covers 7 and 8 very well. Hoping he'll get a good cameo and Billy will be taken off early.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 11:05 am

BamBam wrote:Do Italy have a decent kicking game? Ideally would want to see Watson put under some pressure at the back to see how he copes, but not sure if this version of Italy has that to their game
Depends who the half-backs are. Tebaldi has a consistent kicking game and Minozzi is a terrific full-back. As has been the case since Dominguez they are lacking at fly-half, though Tommy Allan has improved a lot over his 50 caps.

Interesting that Callum Braley could feature for Italy!

Intriguingly they also have Leo Ghiraldini in their 31-man squad despite him recently rupturing his ACL and not yet being signed to a club for next season.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 11:09 am

Rinsure wrote:Billy again? Minutes under the belt versus propensity for injury... not sure I would have picked him for the fourth game in a row. Wilson and Kvesic both cover 8 for this game.

Intuitively Curry and Wilson seem the wrong way around, too.

Back three could be electric, hoping to see something from McConnachie to show what he's all about (not having seen a lot of Bath in the latter half of the season).

Expected Singleton to get time, he hasn't hooked in a scrum yet, I think?

Faz at 10 with Ford on the bench - expect to see them together around the hour mark.

Not bad. Glad we've wrapped up Manu in cotton-wool!

It's an interesting question about Billy. But essentially, unless he's got a niggle (he hasn't) then the only risk is him injuring himself via an impact or a collision. He's had 2 weeks off since his last game and he's got another 2 weeks until his next one. The England coaches are very keen to "keep him going" as they think that's the way to get the most out of him.

You do wonder if Marchant could play his way onto the plane here if he tore up here. "It's only Italy", fine, but with Slade a question mark if Marchant can get a couple of tries and do everything else right, then Jones might consider whether he wants to make a swap now and retain the option of Slade a bit later.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 11:12 am

robbo277 wrote:
You do wonder if Marchant could play his way onto the plane here if he tore up here. "It's only Italy", fine, but with Slade a question mark if Marchant can get a couple of tries and do everything else right, then Jones might consider whether he wants to make a swap now and retain the option of Slade a bit later.

My only quibble with taking Marchant ahead of Slade is that Slade is one of those earmarked to cover 10 should one of Ford / Faz get injured. I appreciate Francis also offers this, but Slade's got more, and higher profile, experience.

Agree he could be right in the thinking if he plays a blinder, though.


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Post by robbo277 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 11:20 am

Rinsure wrote:
robbo277 wrote:
You do wonder if Marchant could play his way onto the plane here if he tore up here. "It's only Italy", fine, but with Slade a question mark if Marchant can get a couple of tries and do everything else right, then Jones might consider whether he wants to make a swap now and retain the option of Slade a bit later.

My only quibble with taking Marchant ahead of Slade is that Slade is one of those earmarked to cover 10 should one of Ford / Faz get injured. I appreciate Francis also offers this, but Slade's got more, and higher profile, experience.

Agree he could be right in the thinking if he plays a blinder, though.


It's more whether Slade will be fit to take a part. I thought he was on target for the Ireland game and then the Italy one. I don't know if Eddie is deliberately putting out false messages or these are just setbacks. If we can be sure about Slade then I'd take him, but he'd have to get up to speed quickly.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 11:31 am

Most would have pegged Slade and Tuilagi to be the first choice, so that would mean a rethink

Ford, Farrell, Manu or Farrell, Manu, JJ?

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:01 pm

From The Guardian:

“For us the game is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy, said Jones. “We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation. We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night. Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.”

BamBam wrote:Most would have pegged Slade and Tuilagi to be the first choice, so that would mean a rethink

Ford, Farrell, Manu or Farrell, Manu, JJ?

To retain a decent kicking option in the centre I would only really pick the former suggestion there. Unless JJ has a kicking game I'm not aware of?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:09 pm

Ludlum seems to be forgotten man after excelling against Wales. He can't even get a bench spot at the moment.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:13 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Ludlum seems to be  forgotten man after excelling against Wales. He can't even get a bench spot at the moment.

Eddie seems to view Ludlum more as a 6 than a 7 (perhaps reinforced by game in Cardiff). If Kvesic is, as appears, the stay at home reserve it does make sense for him to have some time in match conditions.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:17 pm

Rinsure wrote:From The Guardian:

“For us the game is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy, said Jones. “We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation. We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night. Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.”

BamBam wrote:Most would have pegged Slade and Tuilagi to be the first choice, so that would mean a rethink

Ford, Farrell, Manu or Farrell, Manu, JJ?

To retain a decent kicking option in the centre I would only really pick the former suggestion there. Unless JJ has a kicking game I'm not aware of?

Don't disagree, but would mean we lose the ability to move to the first option when/if chasing the game, it seems to be the go to when we want to attack with width.

I wonder if having Daly at FB would convince Eddie that he has enough clearing kicking options, and JJ isn't bad at the odd grubber kick himself

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:18 pm

Ludlam missing out is a strange one. Do we think there could be some players (Ludlam included) who Jones wanted to work harder in this camp to get them ready for the test? And therefore left him out to manage that workload. Coupled with the fact that Kvesic might now be the 6th back row option (albeit from outside the 31).

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:27 pm

Ludlam was excluded last week due to not having had his mandatory rest over the Summer, having been called up to the squad before the Prem Final. Perhaps he's not got back up to speed quickly enough? Although I would be surprised, from what I know of him so far.

Underhill also doesn't feature, despite only appearing against Ireland. If they're keeping Billy ticking over with game time, they don't want to do the same for Sam?

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:29 pm

Underhill is pretty fragile.

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Post by Sharkey06 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:31 pm

I wouldn't have thought Ludlam was a player you would need to work hard in training - if anything calm him down a bit.  His nature is a bit 'bull in a china shop'.  Maybe he is just rewarding Kvesic after messing him around for a number of years.

I think Marchant is more of a direct replacement for Joseph who has undiagnosed muscle soreness, than Slade.  I would say Francis is a more natural replacement for Slade.  it is a bit worrying though that both Joseph and Slade are missing, even with a couple of weeks to go until the world cup.

If the rugby authorities are concerned with player welfare, why is there a limit on the size of world cup squads - all this will do is force teams to play players who are not 100% fit, or play them (Marler) out of their natural position which must increase the risk of injury?

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:32 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Underhill is pretty fragile.

"Fragile" isn't what you want from your (arguably) first choice 7 going into a RWC, though...


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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:47 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:
If the rugby authorities are concerned with player welfare, why is there a limit on the size of world cup squads - all this will do is force teams to play players who are not 100% fit, or play them (Marler) out of their natural position which must increase the risk of injury?

To level the playing field?

With the resources available to the RFU it would be conceivable for England to fly out an almost limitless squad, depending on the wishes of the coaching staff. Contrast that with the likes of Fiji or Samoa who can barely raise the finance to commit to taking a 31 man squad. By limiting the squad it ensures that all nations are forced to cope similarly in the pressure environment.

That said, injury replacements are allowed if required, so...

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Post by Sharkey06 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 12:54 pm

I understand and agree with what you say, but it appears that if there is an injury to one of our specialist tightheads that England will potentially use Marler as a replacement tighthead. I can't see them rushing to replace one of the specialist tightheads if they have a 1 or 2 game knock.

It is the same at scrumhalf - if Youngs has a slight calf strain it looks like they will use Ford as reserve scrumhalf.

Is using injuries the correct way to try and level up the playing field? I can't see that washing in a court of law. I think rugby is looking down the barrel of future lawsuits on injury protocols, which is now seriously hitting American football.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 1:15 pm

All sports have squad limits for international competitions.

31 is pretty generous but it does mean that coaches have to make decisions. 

In all honesty the only H&S issue would occur in the front row where it is stated in the laws (and tournament regulations) that teams must have 6 players in the 23 man squad  who can play front row such that they can replace any of the 3 positions at the first time of asking. The replacement does not have to be on the bench (ie when Quins were playing Ward in the back row he can be the replacement hooker).

Marler will only cover TH from the bench if there is a short term injury to Sinckler or Cole during the pool stages. Any injury longer than a game would probably see Williams flown out.

It should also be remembered that no-one forced Eddie to select 10 outside backs. He chose to do that and it does feel like overkill.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 1:17 pm

On another topic, that's a pretty fearsome front row to come off the bench...

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Post by Poorfour on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 1:24 pm

I'm looking forward to finally seeing McConnochie in action, and to seeing a back three that includes someone who is almost recognised as a fullback.

I'm genuinely excited to see what Marchant can do given some decent gametime. He's been exceptional for Quins and his understanding of the game makes him hugely dangerous.

But mostly, I want the warm-ups to be over and the tournament to start.
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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 1:38 pm

I think World Rugby should have stipulated something like a squad of 32 but 9 of those must be true front row forwards. Covers off the unique safety aspect of those positions but still keeps the rest of the squad limited

From the squads I've seen, I think only France have taken 9 front rows, so it does seem like most of the coaches are taking the chance in that area rather than anywhere else, given the demands it does seem like something WR should look at

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 3:53 pm

Can't help but notice on the BBC HYS about the England selection for the weekend that there is a poster called 'beshocked' who seems to have a thing about the non selection of Itoje last RWC.

You just don't want to see less users here but occasionally there are people who we would not miss.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 3:58 pm

lostinwales wrote:Can't help but notice on the BBC HYS about the England selection for the weekend that there is a poster called 'beshocked' who seems to have a thing about the non selection of Itoje last RWC.

You just don't want to see less users here but occasionally there are people who we would not miss.

Ooh time to go be a WUM.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 4:01 pm

You've just made my afternoon

Run

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Post by BamBam on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 4:05 pm

"Wing is one of the less important positions"

Funny he didn't have that view when Ashton was left out of the team Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Sep 2019, 4:30 pm

Remember to say farrell is the most important player we have due to his leadership and close connection with the fans.

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