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What England backrow would you like to see at the 6N?

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Post by bluestonevedder Tue 25 Oct 2011, 9:45 pm

Following England's World Cup problems, Moody's retirement and the current importance of a born and bred open side flanker, what backrow combination would you most like to see come the 6N in 2012??

The value of a true 7 within a game day squad has become the modern game's necessity, with the emergence of players such as Pocock, Brussow and Warburton. England struggled because we didn't have a prototypical open side, but rather stuck to using 6s or 6.5s.

For me, I would like to see a combination of:

6. Chris Robshaw/Tom Croft
7. Tom Wood
8. Carl Fearns/James Haskell (depending on the exceptional circumstances regarding on overseas players)

I thought Haskell performed well at the WC and was one of the only bright sparks, but feel moving to Japan is a step back for him, and you have to question his motivations (monies).
I would love to see Wallace, Kvseic or Abbott promoted and nurtured by England, so that we have a prototypical 7 in the pipe line...

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Post by Guest Tue 25 Oct 2011, 9:53 pm

Laugh
But you know Jonno will have Easter at 8

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Post by bluestonevedder Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:00 pm

Really, really hope not! Despite having one or two good aspects to his game, his complete lack of pace is just depressing

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Post by Geordie Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:35 pm

I'd really like to see us play a huge powerhouse front five - a scurm and mauling animal....like the old days....that will then allow us to play a more mobile back row....and maybe utilize Crofts strengths.

Im a huge fan of Wood, and he would have been in my starting back row...during the WC over Moody. He's still not a 7, but i think he is very strong at the breakdown...and is tough....he stood out v ireland when we got taught a lesson..

I dont think Haskell will be available....and so for me it'll be Narraway v Easter for 8.
I would be monitoring Fearns performances and that of Wallace, etc

So i think i might try out....

6 Wood
7 S.Armitage (Break the rules to make him available)
8 Easter

Big powerful 8 who's lack of pace is negated by his flankers. Two breakdown players, lineout with wood, and linkplay also with Armitage.

If Fearns claims the 8 spot at Bath and is playing well then give him a try off the bench.

The problem is tomorrow....i could pick a completely different back row....its so up in the air at the moment


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Post by Guest Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:37 pm

I think Hakell is a very dynamic number 8 and suits a good fast flowing game which could be played if Youngs is at 9,
also Jonno should give Crane more International game time because he would come good in a season or two.

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Post by Geordie Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:42 pm

View..

Crane is out for the season, and Haskell will be in Japan...so theres two No.8's down...

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Post by Guest Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:52 pm

Didn't know about Crane being injured but he is young and i suppose will get his chance ,
Haskell could surely feature in the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals?
but being a young single tall man living in Japan he could easily lose interest in playing hard on the pitch with all that sweet sweet Asian ass available. Shocked


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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:40 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I'd really like to see us play a huge powerhouse front five - a scurm and mauling animal....like the old days....that will then allow us to play a more mobile back row....and maybe utilize Crofts strengths.

Im a huge fan of Wood, and he would have been in my starting back row...during the WC over Moody. He's still not a 7, but i think he is very strong at the breakdown...and is tough....he stood out v ireland when we got taught a lesson..

I dont think Haskell will be available....and so for me it'll be Narraway v Easter for 8.
I would be monitoring Fearns performances and that of Wallace, etc

So i think i might try out....

6 Wood
7 S.Armitage (Break the rules to make him available)
8 Easter

Big powerful 8 who's lack of pace is negated by his flankers. Two breakdown players, lineout with wood, and linkplay also with Armitage.

If Fearns claims the 8 spot at Bath and is playing well then give him a try off the bench.

The problem is tomorrow....i could pick a completely different back row....its so up in the air at the moment


I like the look of that backrow, though I think having Robshaw at 6 rather than Wood would be better. You lose out a bit in the lineout but gain a lot more in the tight areas of the game (plus leadership). Could you see Armitage being given the chance though?

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Post by radelven Wed 26 Oct 2011, 1:47 am

I'd like to see a few combinations tested out with players who will be around for the next 4 years.

If Armitage is performing well for Toulon come January, I'd make him an exceptional circumstance. Don't see England doing that though, so I think we will have to fudge the openside issue.

I'd give both Wood & Croft on each flank a go to settle some curiosity, though I suspect the balance won't be right, so I'd go for:

6. Wood/Croft
7. Robshaw
8. Fearns/Dowson


I'd also be keeping my eye on Guest's return form injury as a strong 8 candidate, and if Seymour & Wallace can keep up their form for possibilities at openside.

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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Oct 2011, 9:30 am

Yeah it'l be interesting to see who comes through this season....

If the likes of Wallace etc are still playing to a high standard, then i would have no hesitation and bring them in...

As much as i still believe we need to try and win the 6n, I think this season more than any we need to have a real good look around and see what players we have.....not just back row, but hooker, second row, etc.

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Post by ultra Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:21 am

I think Geordie's hit the nail on the head. Problem really starts in the tight 5 where, traditionally, England have always been strong. Sort that out and the rest will follow. But for what it's worth. I'd go for:
6 - Wood. (Croft on the bench).
7 - Wallace, he's young enough to grow into a real good open.
8 - Waldrom.....hate picking him but he does what Easter can and offers more besides. (Although ideally I'd like the coach to pin Morgan down before he makes a big mistake and picks to play second fiddle to Falateu).

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:45 am

Didn't know about Crane being injured but he is young and i suppose will get his chance

He's 24 I think, so still plenty of time. Could be a good option as captain as he captained the Saxons well in the Churchill Cup and previously, also captained some of the England age grade sides and Tigers. Need to see what shape he's in this time next year though.

My choice for the backrow;

6.Croft
7.Robshaw
8.Easter (with Narraway in the squad)

Bring Wood onto the bench as cover. Rest of the pack; Corbisiero, Hartley/Grey, Cole, Lawes, Robson.

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Post by Mr Bounce Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:49 am

There's far too much chopping and changing and bringing in of untried/untested players going on here. If I had the opportunity I would have Croft at 6, Wood at 7 with Narraway at 8 and Robshaw on the bench.

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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:53 am

I like some of the combinations being mentioned, but still not sure about 8. I like the look of Narraway at 8 during the Churchill cup, but concerning Crane, i've never really seen what more he offers around the park than other players. I know his control at the base is outstanding, but that's all I've really ever noticed about it!
Agree with GeordieFalcon and Ultra concerning Wallace- but it'll be interesting to see how he gets on now that internationals are back from duty.
What about the young lad Mercer at Bath? Or Abbott at Worcester? From what I've seen they are out and out 7s, but maybe struggling to get game time...?

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Post by screamingaddabs Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:53 am

Why is everyone so keen to get rid of Croft? He's not a typical flanker but he is a very good player with England and Lions caps. He'd be one of my first choices on the team list. We don't have a good natural "fetcher", so why not try and change the game plan to reflect what we do have? With Lawes as a 2nd row, Haskell at 8 (I know he might well not be available) and Wood on the other flank to croft we would have a very quick and dynamic back row. Instead of being a spoiling defence we work on being a dynamic defence that frustrates the opposition into mistakes/kicking the ball away (to our good back 3!). In attack we focus on quick ball and flinging it about a bit, with just our front 5 focussing on being nasty horrible orcs like they should be.
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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 26 Oct 2011, 11:54 am

Mr Bounce wrote:There's far too much chopping and changing and bringing in of untried/untested players going on here. If I had the opportunity I would have Croft at 6, Wood at 7 with Narraway at 8 and Robshaw on the bench.

Like that backrow a lot. Feel Wood definitely should have been given game time at 7 during the WC.

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Post by munkian Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:03 pm

Have you got any internationals before the 6ns to blood new players etc ?
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Post by Metal Tiger Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:06 pm

Personally I would like to see Croft at 6, Wood at 7 with Narraway at 8 and Robshaw & Wallace & Haskell (yes I know he is in Japan) on the bench.

I'd even go so far as choosing Croft as Captain as he is a superb player, generally a first pick on the team sheet and could lead the team well into 2015

As much as I admire Moody his captaincy was disastrous as he was injured just about every bloody game. Don't even get me started on Tindal!!!!!
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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:10 pm

munkian wrote:Have you got any internationals before the 6ns to blood new players etc ?

According to the bbc wesbite no, we haven't, which doesn't bode well for new talented players looking for their chance!

@ Metal Tiger; I was a big fan of Croft during the WC, regardless of what others say. I thought that he was one of the few that stepped up, and for the first time, I think we really saw a 'nasty' side to Croft- he was starting a few ruckus' and really getting stuck in. Just what you want to see from a 6. My only concern is that the other backrow players don't compliment his skills well enough, regardless of how good an athlete he is.

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Post by munkian Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:11 pm

bluestonevedder wrote:
munkian wrote:Have you got any internationals before the 6ns to blood new players etc ?

According to the bbc wesbite no, we haven't, which doesn't bode well for new talented players looking for their chance!

@ Metal Tiger; I was a big fan of Croft during the WC, regardless of what others say. I thought that he was one of the few that stepped up, and for the first time, I think we really saw a 'nasty' side to Croft- he was starting a few ruckus' and really getting stuck in. Just what you want to see from a 6. My only concern is that the other backrow players don't compliment his skills well enough, regardless of how good an athlete he is.

I liked Croft when I had to sit through England's matches Wink
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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:14 pm

munkian wrote: I liked Croft when I had to sit through England's matches Wink

OK

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:18 pm

Have you got any internationals before the 6ns to blood new players etc ? .

Nope the AIs aren't on this year as the RWC as on and clubs would not be happy at missing that many internationals for well over half a season (once the 6Ns was added in as well).

There can and probabley should be some mix and match in the forwards as the backs should stay pretty much the same (Youngs, Flood, Armitage, Barritt, Manu, Ashton, Foden - 1 new face) and so with the likes of of Croft, Easter, Lawes, Corbs, Cole retained there should be a platform there for two or three new players with additional experience on the bench.

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Post by munkian Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:29 pm

Hmmm... I'm glad Wales are playing Oz then, keeps us in practice
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Post by robshaw4england Wed 26 Oct 2011, 12:49 pm

Assuming that Easter will follow Moody in retiring from international rugby (we can all hope.) Whilst also assuming Haskell and Armitage won't get a look in due to playing oversea's, this would be my backrow. I also hope England don't go back to picking players such as Fourie or Waldrom, I'd hate that.

6. T.Croft
7. C.Robshaw
8. P.Dowson

19. T.Wood

With Narraway and Fearns also in the squad.

With Robshaw's work-rate, ball carrying ability and power in the tackle, it should allow Croft to play his free flowing game a bit more, Moody couldn't ball carry at all, whilst Dowson can also add a high work-rate, ball carrying and some much needed flair at no.8. Narraway deserves to be back in the squad, whilst Fearns before a minor injury has been a revelation for Bath.

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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Oct 2011, 1:09 pm

"Assuming that Easter will follow Moody in retiring from international rugby "

Dont quite agree...why would he? Moody is under pressure for his position...Easter is not...as the cupboard is bare...

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Post by ultra Wed 26 Oct 2011, 1:27 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:"Assuming that Easter will follow Moody in retiring from international rugby "

Dont quite agree...why would he? Moody is under pressure for his position...Easter is not...as the cupboard is bare...

Oooh, cupboard analogies, like these........I'd prefer to think that the cupboard is far from bare, just full of new and un-tried ingredients. Ok, there's the mince and dumplings of easter, very dependable and unlikely to offend, but there's also plenty of fancy spices and jars that might just make something lovely. Unfortunately as we can't get the kids to eat new stuff we'll just stick to the minced beef and suet!

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Post by Glas a du Wed 26 Oct 2011, 1:42 pm

Varndell, Hodgson and Goode?
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Post by Metal Tiger Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:02 pm

Glas a du wrote:Varndell, Hodgson and Goode?

Varndell - Good attacking winger, lousy in defence, can't tackle, can't kick.

Goode... Good club player, never brought it to the international side though.

Hodgson - What? Now I know your wumming. 'squinty' back in the team? He's almost as old as JW and even more inclinded to kick at every opportunity.
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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:02 pm

Ultra,

I think the Kids would love to try new stuff, its just the new spices and jars that are on the market are at presant leaving the kids with a bit of a sour taste and hunger pains.....

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Post by screamingaddabs Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:06 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ultra,

I think the Kids would love to try new stuff, its just the new spices and jars that are on the market are at presant leaving the kids with a bit of a sour taste and hunger pains.....

I think those ingredients are fine for pub food or even you're average bistro, but for an international michellin starred restaurant they're not high quality enough....
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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:15 pm

But is it the standard of ingredients available...or does it all boil down to the chefs.....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:18 pm

Goode... Good club player, never brought it to the international side though

Presume he means Alex not Andy. We do not need to see the return of the skullet to international rugby.

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Post by Comfort Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:20 pm

6. Croft/Wood
7. S Armitage
8. Waldrom

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Post by ultra Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:22 pm

Its like something called tamarind. had this on the kitchen shelf for ages. Looked funny, smelled funny and the chances of getting my better half to try it were 'minimal'. Took the bull by the horns, made a paste, messy first time round. kept with it and served up a bootiful curry!
If I hadn't given this odd looking grey block a go I'd just never have known!

Reckon a decent chef could turn any quality ingredient into michelin starred food! (mostly in the presentation after all)

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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:25 pm

Very Happy clap

Maybe we need to have a good look at our chefs then....

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Post by Comfort Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:30 pm

Phil Vickery?

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Post by ultra Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:32 pm

Comfort wrote:Phil Vickery?

Chef or odd looking grey block??

But yup Geordie, I reckon we need to look at who's doing the cooking......reckon we've got plenty of the right ingredients lurking in that cupboard of yours somewhere

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Post by Comfort Wed 26 Oct 2011, 2:39 pm

Phil Vickery = The Master Chef.

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Post by gelodge Wed 26 Oct 2011, 3:33 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:I would have Croft at 6, Wood at 7 with Narraway

You might as well just hand the ball over to the opposition after the tackle and not bother with the breakdown. Then again, they'll probably all be loitering out on the wings anyway, so as long as you pick a front five and midfield that are effective at the breakdown you might be alright.

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Post by Eustace H Plimsoll Wed 26 Oct 2011, 3:57 pm

You might as well just hand the ball over to the opposition after the
tackle and not bother with the breakdown. Then again, they'll probably
all be loitering out on the wings anyway, so as long as you pick a front
five and midfield that are effective at the breakdown you might be
alright.

Croft and Wood both get stuck in plenty at the breakdown...

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Post by Metal Tiger Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:01 pm

gelodge wrote:
You might as well just hand the ball over to the opposition after the tackle and not bother with the breakdown. Then again, they'll probably all be loitering out on the wings anyway, so as long as you pick a front five and midfield that are effective at the breakdown you might be alright.

The same was said of the Welsh backrow a few years ago but my, look how the youngsters have grown.

Actually if I could choose my perfect back row it would be:

6. The Hulk - Good old fashioned blindside smasher!
7. Wolverine - A fetcher / scrapper if ever there was one.
8. Juggernaut - An unstoppable ball carrier for the hard yards.

It's good to dream.
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Post by Poorfour Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:14 pm

Nah, Wolverine's clearly a hooker and Hulk would give away too many penalties at the breakdown.

Nick Fury at 6, The Punisher at 7 and Captain Britain at 8 (so that there's someone who actually understands the rules).
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Post by gelodge Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:18 pm

If you're playing Wood and Croft together (a partnership that hasn't been tested and large numbers of England supporters and pundits have said they don't think would balance well), Narraway is certainly not the right 8 to compliment them. It would be a pretty lightweight backrow that doesn't have the requisite foraging skills to compensate. The more physical and technical sides would dominate them at the breakdown even more than the last set were.

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What England backrow would you like to see at the 6N? Empty Re: What England backrow would you like to see at the 6N?

Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:30 pm

I think not picking Robshaw is madness.. to me he is the best flanker England have at their disposal. He may not be flashy, but he would add a lot to the pack if he was playing. When Jordan Crane returns I think he should be fighting for the 8 position. There seem to be a lot of young 7s coming through also. By the next world cup you could have something looking like this:

6) Robshaw (c)
7) Armitage/Wallace/Kvesic/another
8) Crane

This may not be the insanely fast dynamic backrow you want, but I think it will certainly be one of the most robust and efficient backrows there is. Otherwise, if you do want this new style of flashy backrowers you could have:

6) Croft/Wood
7) Same players as above
8) Haskell

I know which I prefer of the two.. I guess it is whatever gameplan England want to play. To me the first combination is what they need.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:31 pm

gelodge wrote:If you're playing Wood and Croft together (a partnership that hasn't been tested and large numbers of England supporters and pundits have said they don't think would balance well), Narraway is certainly not the right 8 to compliment them. It would be a pretty lightweight backrow that doesn't have the requisite foraging skills to compensate. The more physical and technical sides would dominate them at the breakdown even more than the last set were.

I agree, I definitely think the worst thing you could do is pair Croft and Wood. They are very similar players, so choosing one or the other at 6 is the best option.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 26 Oct 2011, 4:49 pm

Croft and Wood are not similar, they are similar in terms of heigh, weight and are both line out jumpers but Croft's dynamic loose play, scything covering tackles and bursts through the midfield are not the same as tackle happy Wood who operates around the fringes and likes to be in the middle of the action driving forward.

If you're playing Wood and Croft together (a partnership that hasn't been tested

They've played together, not started together but Wood has come on and partnered Croft.

Rory the first combo is what you think they need but Armitage has ruled himself out of selection by moving to France, Crane is out for the entire season, Wallace and Kvesic aren't first choice at their clubs and Robshaw tends to annoy refs and so isn't a good captain option.

I still hold with Croft, Robshaw, Easter as being what we need vs Scotland.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 26 Oct 2011, 5:02 pm

I suggested that side for the next world cup, not this six nations. For this six nations, I think your team is a good option. Though Robshaw should move to 6 eventually in my opinion. Armitage, if he plays well I think could be chosen regardless of overseas ruling and I mentioned those young flankers as potential candidates come 2015.

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Post by tomathy Wed 26 Oct 2011, 5:10 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:I suggested that side for the next world cup, not this six nations. For this six nations, I think your team is a good option. Though Robshaw should move to 6 eventually in my opinion. Armitage, if he plays well I think could be chosen regardless of overseas ruling and I mentioned those young flankers as potential candidates come 2015.

I know "exceptional circumstances" could mean anything, but I doubt they'd pick Armitage while he's playing there. However good you think he could be for England, he wasn't brilliant when he got his chances and I'd be stunned if they broke their own rule just for him.
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Post by yappysnap Wed 26 Oct 2011, 5:17 pm

After reading all of these possibilities i'm just glad that we have top quality coaches with many years of experience to fall back on when they make the selections...

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Post by radelven Wed 26 Oct 2011, 5:24 pm

Narraway is a decent enough player, but not top level. He's failed to impress and step up over the last few years. At the age of 28 now, he should be into the peak of his abilities if he was true international class, but that just isn't apparent.

The high opinion of him seems to principally stem from doing well as part of a unit in 20-30 point losses against the ABs three years ago. Meanwhile, he's been pretty average playing for the Saxons (particularly his last batch of games), and the only time he's really stood out in the premiership the last couple of seasons has been when the top players are away on international duty. If I remember rightly he was one of the most frequently turned over 8s in the premiership last season.

Then there's the fact that he seems to be an all too frequent fixture on the physio's bench, and that he didn't show much sense, dignity or respect in his twitter outburst (whatever the rights or wrongs of his sentiments).

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