***England v France - MATCH CANCELLED***

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:00 pm

MATCH CANCELLED  Result in the book is 0-0.

Massive disappointment all round.

Was looking forward to witnessing two teams try their hardest not to win the pool and have the easier route to the Final.
As it is England finish on top and now face a massive challenge to overcome to make the final.

Can't help but think dark forces are at work to scupper our chances of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup again. mad


Last edited by TightHEAD on Thu 10 Oct 2019, 8:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:17 pm

England have made two World Cup finals after a loss in the pool stages, and France made another. In 1987, France had a draw in the pool, so there's that outcome on the books too.

Losing at the weekend gives nominally the easier route only because it avoids the All Blacks. However, standing in the way of a semi final are Australia and Wales, who are both capable of handing defeats to England and France. Underplaying this fixture feels a bit like taking the quarter finals too much for granted.

Having said that, France can probably weather a loss better than England. England's confidence is based a lot around faith in Eddie Jones, and a loss would chip away at the sense that he has pallnned our campaign well. France, on the other hand, might be inspired to ensure they didn't go out of the tournament on a low note.


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Post by lostinwales on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:23 pm

Bets on France scoring a fantastic try that everyone will talk about. What they won't is the other 3 or 4 that England score in yet another mostly comfortable and slightly disappointing game.

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Post by hugehandoff on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:28 pm

As it is not disaster losing this match I fully expect Eddie to base selection solely on what is best to prime our Gun XV for the 1/4s. Whoever needs resting then rest them. We can still put out a strong team and win which we need to do as beating Aussie slightly more easy than Wales at the moment. But if we end up with Wales and then potentially SA in the semis then I won't be upset. Both Wales and Aussie are really 50/50 matches and SA are easier than the ABs.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 3:38 pm

Wales will be tougher to beat than Australia. The Aussies have been pretty poor across the last four years and this tournament is no exception. They have the odd good game in them, but really Wales could and should have beaten them far more comfortably.

I know all the predictive software out there says we are more likely to make the final if we come second in the group rather than first - but that ignores the dip in confidence that can happen from a defeat - especially an unexpected one.

I want England to win the tournament, but that was only ever a possibility rather than the likely outcome. So for now I would like us to progress to the Semi-Finals unbeaten and see what comes then. Certainly better than failing to get out of the group.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 4:19 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Wales will be tougher to beat than Australia. The Aussies have been pretty poor across the last four years and this tournament is no exception. They have the odd good game in them, but really Wales could and should have beaten them far more comfortably.

I know all the predictive software out there says we are more likely to make the final if we come second in the group rather than first - but that ignores the dip in confidence that can happen from a defeat - especially an unexpected one.

I want England to win the tournament, but that was only ever a possibility rather than the likely outcome. So for now I would like us to progress to the Semi-Finals unbeaten and see what comes then. Certainly better than failing to get out of the group.

Agree 100% with this.

During the football world cup I didn't mind when we lost to Belgium, as I didn't think we were good enough to mix it with Brazil, France and the teams on that side of the draw. And as it panned out we got to extra time in the semi-final, something that was probably beyond all but the wildest of imaginations at the start of the tournament.

This world cup is different. We should believe we can beat anyone. Go out there and give other teams something to worry about in the knockouts.

If France want to rotate players now they're through and end up on the "softer" side, that's their prerogative. But we should be focussed on getting our players right, our performance right and going into the knockouts full of confidence off the back of 4 wins.

If we think the best thing for certain individuals is rest and we go out there with George, Itoje, Curry, Billy V, Farrell and Tuilagi all out the squad because they could do with the break, then so be it. But we should still be going out there to win the game, and a 23 even without those players should be disappointed to lose to an indifferent France side.

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Post by miaow on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 4:54 pm

The thing with England, for me, pre tournament, was always the run of games they faced to the final. It was looking like 5 tough, tough games, all needed to be won, to in the world cup. And I think England can make it easier on themselves by putting France away early on here and just backing themselves.

Wales/Australia is 50:50 for England in my opinion. I think you're overestimating Wales and underestimating Australia based on England's results against them. In friendlies, England are 2-1 against Wales this cycle - 2016 in Twickenham, 2018 in Twickenham, both comfortable wins with a rotated team. If Wales aren't 'up' against England - like Australia in the autumn, basically - England can just use their power to get wins. I think there are huge parallels betweenAustralia in the autumn and Wales in warm ups/exhibition matches v England. Yes, England have a grand slam tour to Oz in 2016, but I think that's WC final hangover coming in to play as well, for both teams. Either way - Oz will be better than at any time England have faced them since 2015 WC. That's the point I'm trying to make. England have played Wales 4 times and struggled in each of the 3 wins they had against them in the 6Ns, winning by less than a score, and often defending up to the whistle. That maybe skews things in Englands' fans minds. Australia are just as capable as knockingEngland out as Wales are in my opinion.

Yep, Wales are probably savvier and 'know' England better. I'd say we have a muc better tactical coach and would target your weaknesses in a more specific way, as we do each time we play.

But Australia showed they can open up and play a 'brand' of rugby that England won't have faced...welll...for well over a year I believe. NZ in the autumn was a washout, the Oz game was weird, and SA was typicall attritional. The Wales and Ireland games were good, old fashioned, brutal 6Ns classics, and you can't read too much in to the warm ups. The SA tour didn't go swimmingly with a sparky SA'n 9 and I think Australia will offer even more with ball in hand against England, particularly second half. Australia play an instinctive game - and have the running options - that means England might be in for a bit of a shock. As a neutral, I think that - and the possible Eng-NZ SF - would be monumental games, and I want to just enjoy watching them, frankly.

For all England's attacking and scoring prowess, their scramble defence will likely be what decides who wins any QF v Oz. Australia will create chances themselves, it's how often they finish them off that is England's big test.

And yes, I'm working on the basis that England will beat France. Even if they do get the tougher SF.

It all comes back to that '5 game streak'.

England are fortunate in that they don't have a 5 game streak to live up to as we were all thinking. Firstly, they will now have to play 4 and a bit top class games. Argentina decided that with the red card before the first quarter. England had it wrapped up with minimal effort. So, 5 nail biting, bone crunching, top class test matches became 4 and a bit.

If England have a strong start v France and put them away in the first 40, which might even be conservative, 4 and a bit games becomes 3 and a bit games. England have coasted so far; they did so against Argentina, and a strong start means they can do the same v France.

3 'tough' games in a row, playing full, 80 minute, grinding, emotionally fraught test matches is much, much easier than 5. Yep, it'll be hard to go back to back from Oz to NZ, particuarly as the ABs are likely to carry on their armchair ride through the groups by beating either Scotland or Japan in the QFs (will be different if they face Ireland, I believe, but still expect Ireland to top the group). But if they do get past that, then it's the final.

It's still a huge ask for England as there's the possibility France won't buckle early, and they'll also keep playing and probably get 1 or 2 good tries from joue, joue. And Oz, ABs, SA(/Wales) would be a tough, tough route.

But that Argentinian card was a gift to England, a total gift. If they can kill the reasonable contest within 40 minutes against France, their chances of winning the trophy get much bigger in my mind. And I'm not just saying this so Wales play France in the QFs instead...

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Post by B91212 on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 4:57 pm

I don’t get how the draw for the knockout stages was worked out? Was it solely on rankings at the time of the draw or did previous performances at recent world cups count? Because if England were ranked second at that time then shouldn’t they be in the other half of the draw to whoever was ranked first after the pool stages? I’d have thought it would have been setup to be 1v4 & 2v3 for the semis if the top seeds won all their games. Or maybe I’m missing something.

I actually don’t mind if England end up facing the All Blacks in a semi if that is how it pans out and they get through their quarter final. All likelihood is that if anyone other than NZ is going to win it then they’ll probably have the beat the AB’s at some stage anyway and who knows, could be easier facing them before the final itself as they are pretty adept at winning finals.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 5:02 pm

B91212 wrote:I don’t get how the draw for the knockout stages was worked out? 

Which half teh pool winners go into was a random draw I believe, with the runners up getting the mirror fixtures.

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Post by miaow on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 5:05 pm

Better to play NZ in a quarter or semi final than a final, I believe.

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Post by Pie on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 5:56 pm

Wow...is it true, England to pick a 2nd string side to engineer a loss to France and avoid NZ until the final. Eddie said we'll pick our best 23, it just might not be your best 23!!

Shocking stuff and they should remember that no side has ever lost a pool game and won a RWC. To do it deliberately seems to me the antithesis of sport and, if true, is disgraceful.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 6:33 pm

I am really looking forward to this game, France have not played any what you could call decent rugby. They have done just enough to win, but nothing really to shout about.

Eddie Jones will not take France lightly, he will have studied them hard and will wan't to put down a marker/good score, early on. But i think France will have saved their best rugby till last, so i think if England do not get a big score before half time, then France may fight back and cause England problems( put England under pressure) and may force England to play a different type of game,and cause them to struggle to win the game.

I wan't England to win, cause i do, but i do not wan't England to, be come complacent abd thik it will be a easy game.

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 7:51 pm

B91212

As LT said, it was random. The schedule was set and then teams were drawn randomly into pools from seeded pots. I think the only exception was Japan being put into Pool A, as England were in 2015 and NZ were in 2011 to maximise income (hosts playing in their major stadium).

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 7:55 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:I am really looking forward to this game, France have not played any what you could call decent rugby. They have done just enough to win, but nothing really to shout about.

Eddie Jones will not take France lightly, he will have studied them hard and will wan't to put down a marker/good score, early on. But i think France will have saved their best rugby till last, so i think if England do not get a big score before half time, then France may fight back and cause England problems( put England under pressure) and may force England to play a different type of game,and cause them to struggle to win the game.

I wan't England to win, cause i do, but i do not wan't England to, be come complacent abd thik it will be a easy game.

Nah. France have some excellent individuals but they are less than the sum of their parts. We'll have to play really badly, or do what Pie wants and throw the game so we get to play Wales early

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Post by Old Man on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 8:03 pm

B91212 wrote:I don’t get how the draw for the knockout stages was worked out? Was it solely on rankings at the time of the draw or did previous performances at recent world cups count? Because if England were ranked second at that time then shouldn’t they be in the other half of the draw to whoever was ranked first after the pool stages? I’d have thought it would have been setup to be 1v4 & 2v3 for the semis if the top seeds won all their games. Or maybe I’m missing something.

I actually don’t mind if England end up facing the All Blacks in a semi if that is how it pans out and they get through their quarter final. All likelihood is that if anyone other than NZ is going to win it then they’ll probably have the beat the AB’s at some stage anyway and who knows, could be easier facing them before the final itself as they are pretty adept at winning finals.

From how I understand ranking 1-4 goes as tier one, then 5-8 goes in tier two. Rest by qualification.

the problem is rwc draw does not go according to seeds like you have in tennis.

they put 1-4 in a hat anddraw them randomly, then 5-8 goes in the hat.

this way you get 1 and 5 as an example rather than 1 and 8 as in tennis.

So in the real world you would expect 1 and 2 to only meet in the final as they are supposed to be oposite sides of the draw, but the random draw out of a hat means anything is possible

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Post by robbo277 on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 8:16 pm

Pretty much, but 9-12 are also pre-qualified from the previous World Cup. So England, Italy, Japan and Georgia all qualified automatically. Teams are sorted into pots by their World Ranking at the time of the draw. So England, while finishing 3rd in the pool, were a top seed by the time the draw came around.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:08 pm

Mentioned on the "delayed games" thread that this weekend's typhoon is veering closer to Yokohama now.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:17 pm

Big match this, the only one Jones has a chance to rest key players for in order to not have effectively 4 knockouts in a row.

I'd pick England as the one to beat at the moment so injuries, and red cards, five already this tournament is it? are the biggie for all sides, particularly England, who cant afford to lose key game breakers like Billy, Farrell etc...

There will be more reds with more collisions likely as the matches get tougher. That's just a matter of who, and when.


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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 11:09 pm

Taylorman wrote:Big match this, the only one Jones has a chance to rest key players for in order to not have effectively 4 knockouts in a row.

I'd pick England as the one to beat at the moment so injuries, and red cards, five already this tournament is it? are the biggie for all sides, particularly England, who cant afford to lose key game breakers like Billy, Farrell etc...

There will be more reds with more collisions likely as the matches get tougher. That's just a matter of who, and when.


Ironically Billy & Owen were probably our least effective players against Argentina.

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Post by Taylorman on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 11:41 pm

Rumours abound suggesting England might throw France to avoid NZ till the final.

Funnily enough Jones is probably the most likely of the top coaches to go ahead and do this if he thinks it advances the sides chances of final victory. He'd even do it openly.

Throw all the reserves on and tell them to have fun but DO NOT come back with a win.

This has the effect of a potentially easier route and resting the players, a better scenario than going for four wins full on.

I dont think it matters when you get the ABs, thats just about saying you got 'so far' if you lose to them. There are just as good reasons getting them at quarters time than Final.



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Post by miaow on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 11:58 pm

If they do rest players, bring it on. Would relish facing an England team that has done something so cynical out of, effectively, fear. Gatland already has a solid playbook for the English, and there's probably no other top tier 1 team we're better against, apart from maybe the Irish.

I can't see it, personally. Despite wanting to entertain the possibility. I can't see them going easy or throwing a game - aside from the legal ramifications, it's against the Anglo-Saxon nature. It's potentially detrimental to the squad as a whole - we don't care about your mindset, you're the 'reserves', you're not the first team, you can lose without trying, you're cannon fodder. Even if a few players, like Francis and the winger, aren't far from that, it's just not how EJ has worked. It makes a rod for your own back and the pressure from outside in the wake of it - particularly from the Welsh media and Gatland - would be monumental. That could easily bleed in to preparation - it's jut not in the English or British termperament, and it's not in the interests of the players. It's too much of a risk.

I can see them resting players for the sake of the QF but I can't see them throwing the game. Which is no doubt a fairly solid rumour by this point given it's being reported by most media orgs. It's infinitely more likely - from quality of the team through to the mindset and mentality - that France would be the team to go easy for the sake of an easier draw and/or the QF. They're also useless enough that it could lose without us really knowing if they were throwing it either way. They were beaten before May had even crossed the line back in the 6Ns. If this is a game of both sides shadow boxing, I'd expect France to, er, 'win' the losing game.

Also don't think England fear the All Blacks, probably unlike any other nation. Think they'll relish the chance of being able to knock them out before the final. Think they would have an almost equal struggle against the Boks, and the scorelines from the autumn show there's not too much difference between them.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 12:22 am

Can’t see England throw the match either. It will be a declaration of we are not good enough. The damage that will do psychologically can have far reaching impact down the line.

Jones won’t do that.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 12:29 am

Lets hope so. I dont think Jones will, just saying of all the coaches he's the most likely to do it without caring about the consequences the media will bring. NZ has had sides rest their top players in pool play before, knowing theyll finish second, Scotland from memory, but dont recall a side considered favourite do it.

They could do a hybrid- rest players and 'take whatever results' key is they get the rest. They will need it. And rest also reduces the time on the field possible for injuries that otherwise might have happened.

Don't think fear is part of it, just common sense.

No one would complain if England threw the match and won the tournament. Theyd have no grounds for that.

Just like BOD's dropping in Oz test 3. Decision was made, outcome was a success.

Well they could complain, but it would fall on deaf ears.

Of course drop it, and go out next round...you dont wanna be around for that...theyd be the laughing stock...and THATS why they wont do it.


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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 1:13 am

Taylorman wrote:...Funnily enough Jones is probably the most likely of the top coaches to go ahead and do this...

Jones had a chance to play selection games four years ago but famously didn't, so I can't see the basis for claiming he'd be most likely coach to do so.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 1:50 am

Apparently France are in disarray...

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/international/rugby-world-cup-2019-england-vs-france-guilhem-guirado-mourad-boudjellal-jacques-brunel-a9146166.html

Don't know how much of that is speculation but could mean we face a tougher French team like England became in '07.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 2:44 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Taylorman wrote:...Funnily enough Jones is probably the most likely of the top coaches to go ahead and do this...

Jones had a chance to play selection games four years ago but famously didn't, so I can't see the basis for claiming he'd be most likely coach to do so.

Jones wasnt coaching England 4 years ago and didnt have to throw a match to qualify second, Japan hardly in a position to decide whether its good to play the ABs or not. But he did come in and drop long serving players and has shown to not care what the media think, and, is a control freak.

I certainly think he's more likely than any of Hansen, Schmidt, Gats, or Rassie.

Not that I think he will- obviously at least. I think there are reasonable grounds for it. Ive always argued against those that 'swear' England have to win against five tier ones to win in a row.

They don't, and we are now looking at exactly why.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 4:02 am

Taylorman wrote:Jones wasnt coaching England 4 years ago and didnt have to throw a match to qualify second
He was coaching Japan, and had the opportunity to play a weakened side against South Africa, to save his players for the Scotland fixture four days later. Beating Scotland would have given Japan the head-to-head result, in the event they both tied on three wins, and the same bonus points. It was by far the better selection policy, to qualify for the quarter finals, so everyone assumed Jones would do it. He didn't.

As we all now know, his refusal to compromise paid off, with the famous win over South Africa probably celebrated in Japan more than a win over Scotland and quarter-final qualification would ever have been.

I think if you want to say a top coach is "more likely" than any other to try and game the qualification system, then you'd be better off naming someone other than a guy who specifically did the opposite.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:11 am

There are only two reasons for this rumor
1) It's England and there are a few around here that would love to blame us for gaming the system
2) Dodging the all blacks.

There is no basis in fact for this. I believe that England are here to win the RWC not just get as far as they can, and that means beating the all blacks as we can't assume someone else will do it for us.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:15 am

I don’t for a moment believe that Eddie or England would deliberately throw the game against France. The fuss that would surround any whiff of that would more than offset any benefits.

I do, however, expect that Eddie will rotate the squad. I don’t expect him to risk anyone who’s not 100%. It’s the last chance to give anyone carrying a knock the opportunity to get right before the knockout rounds, and trust the wider squad to do what’s needed against France.
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Post by Poorfour on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:17 am

Also, if it came down to losing valiantly to the All Blacks in a semi final and risking losing to Wales in the quarter final... I know which I would prefer.

Losing to the All Blacks is business as usual for any team. Lose to Wales and they will never bloody shut up about it.
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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:20 am

I am surprised that england fans are so worried about facing the All Blacks? Close game last time you played each other. They look the best team in the tournament but England as a squad look very good too. So far England’s performances have been undoubtably successful without really looking like england are at their ruthless best.


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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:21 am

Poorfour wrote:Also, if it came down to losing valiantly to the All Blacks in a semi final and risking losing to Wales in the quarter final... I know which I would prefer.

Losing to the All Blacks is business as usual for any team. Lose to Wales and they will never bloody shut up about it.

Pot calling the kettle black moment there mate..!

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:29 am

It really is a no brainer. England have already qualified for the knock outs.
We have a very strong squad with very little drop off by utilising fresh players from the wider squad.
It will give the first choice players a last rest before hopefully 3 top games.
I’m confident whatever starting 23 we put out against France it will be enough to win.
Conspiracy theories are just that stuff and nonsense.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:37 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:It really is a no brainer. England have already qualified for the knock outs.
We have a very strong squad with very little drop off by utilising fresh players from the wider squad.
It will give the first choice players a last rest before hopefully 3 top games.
I’m confident whatever starting 23 we put out against France it will be enough to win.
Conspiracy theories are just that stuff and nonsense.

I am a little surprised to hear of Eddie wanting to change a large number of players for this match. The games ahead, whoever you play are going to be tough matches and many of you have said, as well as many pundits and journos, that England are not playing their best rugby yet. England haven’t really had a tough test yet, I would have thought Eddie was hoping that this next match would be a decent hit out for the lads?

That said your B team isn’t too shabby either.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:50 am

maestegmafia wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:It really is a no brainer. England have already qualified for the knock outs.
We have a very strong squad with very little drop off by utilising fresh players from the wider squad.
It will give the first choice players a last rest before hopefully 3 top games.
I’m confident whatever starting 23 we put out against France it will be enough to win.
Conspiracy theories are just that stuff and nonsense.

I am a little surprised to hear of Eddie wanting to change a large number of players for this match. The games ahead, whoever you play are going to be tough matches and many of you have said, as well as many pundits and journos, that England are not playing their best rugby yet. England haven’t really had a tough test yet, I would have thought Eddie was hoping that this next match would be a decent hit out for the lads?

That said your B team isn’t too shabby either.

Mako & Jack need a run out they are first choice.
Billy & Joe M should be rested ( knocks or worse) so Genge & Wilson come in.
I would test Farrell for Slade.
Watson moves to FB & Daly has a rest.
All common sense moves & have full confidence of those players coming in.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 7:53 am

There are a number of tweaks which could be made to the team. Most obvious is to rest marler and vunipola and give daly and slade a run out. The amount of nudge nudge wink wink is just silly.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:There are a number of tweaks which could be made to the team. Most obvious is to rest marler and vunipola and give daly and slade a run out. The amount of nudge nudge wink wink is just silly.

Is slate now fully fit? His injury seems to have carried on far longer than the coaches must have thought it would.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:13 am

He got a different one. He is fit to play and came on vs argentina.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:36 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:He got a different one. He is fit to play and came on vs argentina.

Indeed.

The original injury picked up in Treviso kept him out of warm ups but was healed by the start of RWC with him on the bench in game 1 v Tonga. He picked up a new and minor injury in that appearance in a tackle which kept him out of the USA game.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:38 am

Taylorman wrote:Rumours abound suggesting England might throw France to avoid NZ till the final.

Funnily enough Jones is probably the most likely of the top coaches to go ahead and do this if he thinks it advances the sides chances of final victory. He'd even do it openly.

Throw all the reserves on and tell them to have fun but DO NOT come back with a win.

This has the effect of a potentially easier route and resting the players, a better scenario than going for four wins full on.

I dont think it matters when you get the ABs, thats just about saying you got 'so far' if you lose to them. There are just as good reasons getting them at quarters time than Final.



I understand that World Rugby have confirmed that any side deemed to have deliberately lost a match would be thrown out of the tournament.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:39 am

Good. Exactly what they should do LT. Mentioned it was first mentioned. There was a team thrown out of the Olympics for throwing a game and that was a rule they brought in afterwards as they didn't think a team would be so low as to do it.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:01 am

Who do people want to see in the XXIII for Saturday?

If we start with those who could use a rest either to fix a minor knock or just to protect for the knock out games:

Marler - slight limp as he left the field. Has featured in all 3 matches so far.
Billy - some say he is not at his best (true) and should be left out anyway (disagree. He is still delivering what England ask for as per picture below, just not at his at times sublime level. Still for me our second most important player)
Farrell/Ford - Ford has started all 3 matches so far while Farrell has had two big head shots.

***England v France - MATCH CANCELLED*** Billy10

Players who need some game time:

Mako 
Wilson
Farrell - injury to Slade saw the reinstatement of the Ford/Farrell axis. We probably need Farrell to start a game at 10, head knock not withstanding.
Slade
Nowell


Player unlikely to be considered (arguably some could be in the above category):

Launchbury - harsh on the lad, but at this stage cannot see him featuring unless tehre is an injury. He is experienced enough to slot straight back in
Singleton - While he probably needs game time just in case there is an injury to George or LCD, he seems to be in teh squad more to ensure there is bench cover should one of those two have a knock at any time.
Francis
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My team:

Mako, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Curry, Underhill, Wilson, Youngs, Farrell, May, Manu, Slade, Nowell, Daly

LCD, Genge, Cole, Kruis, Ludlum, Heinz, Ford, Joseph

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:03 am

I'd like Genge george cole
Itoje kruis
Wilson underhill
Curry
Youngs ford
May Farrell slade nowell
Daly

Vunipola LCD sinckler lawes ludlam heinz Joseph cokanasiga

Could easily be a whole host of permutations.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:14 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Jones wasnt coaching England 4 years ago and didnt have to throw a match to qualify second
He was coaching Japan, and had the opportunity to play a weakened side against South Africa, to save his players for the Scotland fixture four days later. Beating Scotland would have given Japan the head-to-head result, in the event they both tied on three wins, and the same bonus points. It was by far the better selection policy, to qualify for the quarter finals, so everyone assumed Jones would do it. He didn't.

As we all now know, his refusal to compromise paid off, with the famous win over South Africa probably celebrated in Japan more than a win over Scotland and quarter-final qualification would ever have been.

I think if you want to say a top coach is "more likely" than any other to try and game the qualification system, then you'd be better off naming someone other than a guy who specifically did the opposite.

Even more than that, if Japan had lost to South Africa and then beat Scotland, Japan would have still ended on 3 wins, so Scotland would have needed to beat South Africa to match those 3 wins and have a shot at qualification.

Choosing a B team against South Africa in that scenario isn't unheard of and is something Scotland themselves did in 2007 against the All Blacks (lost 40-0 I think) to keep their first choicers fresh for the game against Italy which would decide who qualified for the semi-final.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:23 am

maestegmafia wrote:I am surprised that england fans are so worried about facing the All Blacks? Close game last time you played each other. They look the best team in the tournament but England as a squad look very good too. So far England’s performances have been undoubtably successful without really looking like england are at their ruthless best.


Some are. I think they're the only team that would be outright favourites against us (so more than a 50/50ish shout).

But yes, our last time out against them we came close. 15-16, albeit it at home, and so close to a match winner at the end, when Underhill was called back for an offside decision against Lawes.

If you look at that team we had Moon at 1, Shields at 6, Wilson at 8, Te'o at 12, Hepburn and Ewels on the bench and Lawes on the bench covering back row. No Watson either. We're a stronger team right now, although I'm sure New Zealand have levelled up since then too.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:47 am

Billy Vunipola has been in and out of a surgical boot over the weekend and sat out training today. They're waiting until tomorrow evening before they make a formal decision, but I'd say it would be very unlikely he plays. They've said if there's any doubt they'll rest him.

Farrell and Cowan-Dickie also sat out training with stomach bugs but are expected to be okay.

Wisemantel also playing down talk of "right side of the draw".

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/49971397

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Post by BamBam on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 9:50 am

Ffs, where has this stupid rumour come from? Now if Eddie makes the entirely sensible decision to give anyone carrying knocks the game off, it'll look like we're trying to throw the game

Suppose it gives all the mouthbreathers opportunity to spout guff about how England are scared of the ABs, which was probably the main objective

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 10:23 am

The problem with Eddie picking a side to throw the game, is that they'll still beat France.

It would be funny if France also tried to throw the game. A bit like 2 boxers going down together at the 1st punch. The rugby equivalent would either be a try for each side immediately at every KO. Or maybe trying to get half your side YC-ed each 40. It would certainly liven the competition up.

I've got a bad feeling that we're just going to have to accept the win. Sad
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Post by BamBam on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 10:25 am

Maybe we'll see a repeat of that famous 6N game, only this time with even less defence


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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 10:33 am

Nobody has ever won the WC whilst losing a game. I bet England will have this in their minds and be totally professional about this, both teams will be going for the win.

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