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Winging it for England.....TOM the tackle VARNDELL SELECTION FOR SUMMER TOUR

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Post by kingelderfield Fri 06 Apr 2012, 11:20 am

Given Lancasters credence to pick form players who have a future to challenge for 2015, which english wings do you think should be in the starting XV and who else should be on the plane to RSA? However, and to give it a twist, should we also be considering older, experienced, form players who will add to the sum and improve our chances of a series success/win? Form wise, and youll apprciate my dilemma, I would pick JSD and Charlie Sharples. Neither Ashton or Strettle are on the top of their games and I actually dont think Strettle is good enough - I think he was a short term pick based on the time available to Lancaster to familiarise the back line. So my 5 to fly south are Ashton, Ojo, Sharples, Simpson-Daniel & Wade - if Wade and Ojo dont recover from injury then Id take a punt with Stegmann and convert Jonny May from fullback to play, with Foden at 15.

So here are the options, who would you pick? Ashton Banahan Benjamin Biggs Cato Cueto Garvey Moyne no one from Leicester.... Ojo Sacky Sharples Short Simpson-Daniel Smith (Sam) Stegmann Strettle Varndell Wade Yarde

EDIT 6th May.,

Tom the tackle Varndell looked in good form on saturday and obviously made the tackle of the season against Bath. So given the the injuries to Moyne, Sharples, possibly Ojo, JSD and Ashton and lack of form of Strettle and Banahan, I would now select the following wings;
Ashton, injury permitting
May, can cover FB
Wade, experience will be everything
Vardell, maturity
Benjamin, just to annoy Cockerill! though it is time he began to forfill his potential

Blend of youth and experience.


Last edited by kingelderfield on Mon 07 May 2012, 1:46 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Paragraphs vanished!)

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Post by ChequeredJersey Fri 06 Apr 2012, 1:31 pm

I am one of the few that thinks that Strettle is good enough!

But-

Wade, Sharples, Strettle, Benjamin, May (covering everything)

Though if Ashton can get his head together he will be good again, and I would be OK with any of the above except Monye who needs to continue to build his form up, Cueto and Sackey who are past it for me (JSD ditto but he is a bit special). Haven't seen how Varndell's D is these days, anyone help?
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Post by EnglishReign Fri 06 Apr 2012, 4:33 pm

Can't see JSD getting picked, they'll deem it too risky with his international injury tally. Agree with CJ, however Ashton has at least done good things in an England shirt, so don't completely rule him out.

In fact, he's only been poor in one tournament for England (this 6 nations).

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Post by Geordie Fri 06 Apr 2012, 7:24 pm

Cheqeured,

No i am with you aswell i think Strettle is definately good enough.

We just adopted a policy of rebuilding the team...and that started with getting the foundations right..ie scrum, lineout, the rucks...the breakdown...etc.

The wingers didnt get barely any opportunities to use the ball....which meant Ashtons lack of coming looking for the ball like he has done and Strettles two mistakes running the ball back in to tacklers...were highlighted even more.

I might be inclined to get Flood back at 10 if we are looking for a bit more attack in SA...and obviously need a good attack coach in there...

Im still happy with Ashton and Strettle...they just need to get the ball...

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Post by niwatts Fri 06 Apr 2012, 9:44 pm

I wouldn't hesitate to start May on the wing. There's no conversion needed to play him there, he's played as much there as FB in the past (and in my opinion he's a better wing), it's just that Gloucester haven't had any other option at FB since Morgan has been injured.

On the other wing I'd have either Sharples or Ashton depending on form over the next couple of months.

Then Joseph on the bench covering wing & centre.

Strettle hasn't done a huge amount wrong (though I do find him a bit headless in attack a little too often), but he's never done enough to put himself ahead of the competition and nudging 29 years old I don't see that extra development on the horizon. The others are just as good or better and have more potential.

My other squad member would be Benjamin, with Wade missing out due to his ongoing injury.

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Post by robshaw4england Sat 07 Apr 2012, 12:39 am

Ashton Benjamin Wade May Banahan

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 07 Apr 2012, 9:29 am

Strettle & Ashton - seem the default wingers
May - Boy is special and needs blooding into the full set up
Sharples - Not convinced he can cut it but he has serious gas and an attacking brain, defence is suspect and needs work
Benjamin - A real physical threat and a different kind of option to the others, worth a punt

So Strettle, Ashton, Benjamin, May, Sharples

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Post by Geordie Sat 07 Apr 2012, 12:14 pm

Agree about Johnny May....

WOW!!!

But not much good standing getting a suntan if we are gonna play the "efficient" approach of the 6n....

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Post by niwatts Sat 07 Apr 2012, 1:45 pm

niwatts wrote:I wouldn't hesitate to start May on the wing. There's no conversion needed to play him there, he's played as much there as FB in the past (and in my opinion he's a better wing), it's just that Gloucester haven't had any other option at FB since Morgan has been injured.

On the other wing I'd have either Sharples or Ashton depending on form over the next couple of months.

Then Joseph on the bench covering wing & centre.

Strettle hasn't done a huge amount wrong (though I do find him a bit headless in attack a little too often), but he's never done enough to put himself ahead of the competition and nudging 29 years old I don't see that extra development on the horizon. The others are just as good or better and have more potential.

My other squad member would be Benjamin, with Wade missing out due to his ongoing injury.


Didn't realise Wade was fit again. First game back today and showing a bit of what we know him for. Only 3 games left in the season for him to show his form, but I'd definitely keep my eye on him and look to take him along. A place in the side to face the Barabarians would certainly be an option.

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Post by EnglishReign Sat 07 Apr 2012, 2:03 pm

Wade is a massive talent, can't wait to see him in the England set-up. Wade and May on the wing would just be a mouth-watering prospect. Sod playing safe, let's just put these young lads out and have some fun.

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Post by sugarNspikes Sat 07 Apr 2012, 2:53 pm

As well as his electric pace Wade seems difficult to tackle and often wriggles out of contact. Some players just seem adept at this and it's a really good quality to have.

I'd like to see him given a chance sooner or later, injuries permitting. I agree that the Baa Baa's game would be a good one.

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Post by Geordie Sat 07 Apr 2012, 3:40 pm

I think its essential now that we have a really top class attack coach to really bring out the best in the talent coming through...the wingerts...the 13's lowe, trinder, tuilagi, and the young 10's

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Post by ChequeredJersey Sat 07 Apr 2012, 3:46 pm

Can we add Daly to the 13s, he's bloody good too
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Post by englandglory4ever Sun 08 Apr 2012, 2:03 pm

Don't buy this stuff that Ashton is not on form. He has been making his runs for England but no one has been deft enough to offload to him at the right time. People don't like Banahan but he can make those offloads in the tackle to put people like Ashton in to space. Ashton gets the glory but Banahan gets the pain.

Who else can stand up in the tackle and get the ball away? Can't think of anyone! Only Will Greenwood comes to mind, sadly.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 08 Apr 2012, 4:23 pm

Well Hape could in theory do that too, but like Banahan didn't for England, so let's pick him as he's a better centre.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 08 Apr 2012, 6:54 pm

It's more Ashton has been figured out than off form. An decent winger who burst on the scene and looked like a world beater.

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Post by EngInAuck Sun 08 Apr 2012, 9:40 pm

I Personally think Ugo should go on tour to SA, If he can find the form he displayed there in 09 with the lions he will be incredible.

Not only has he got pace , but he is also a huge physical specimen. And you cant under estimate size when you come up against the Boks.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 07 May 2012, 1:53 pm

Ashton, Benjamin, May, Varndell & Wade

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Post by thebluesmancometh Mon 07 May 2012, 2:01 pm

May, Strettle, Varndell, Sharples, Ugo.

Thats who I'd take anyway.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 07 May 2012, 2:25 pm

I think Sharples is having a shoulder op and Monye is real injury doubt.....

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Post by EnglishReign Mon 07 May 2012, 2:47 pm

May, Strettle, Ashton, Wade, Benjamin.

Shame about Sharples, hope he gets a chance to impress this Autumn.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Mon 07 May 2012, 3:45 pm

Doesn't matter who we have on the wing, if we don't play a FH who can bring them into the game they'll only be needed in defense (it doesn't help that Manu's a bit reluctant to pass). Let's hope Flood makes a quick recovery.
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Post by kingelderfield Mon 07 May 2012, 5:02 pm

Agreed Barney, selection is crucial. Ideally Id like Young Flood Twelvetrees Manu JSD (i know hell never play for england again) Wade Foden, however Farrell does have specific strenghts that should not be dismissed and I would be intrigued how he performed within that backline, though I accept he really does have weaknesses that have to be improved . I always remember that Ford was selected infront of him for the U20s.

It will be really interesting to see Catts influence in selection (if any) and actual Attack play which is the fundemental proposition. Attack is not just a Backs function but is crucial for the entire 22 to buy into and execute in all facets of the game.

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Post by jeffwinger Mon 07 May 2012, 11:12 pm

Unfortunately Sharples is definitely having surgery on a long standing shoulder issue so will not tour. He would start on the right wing if I was picking a side with everyone available. On the left I maintain that with proper service Ashton is still one of the best wingers in world rugby, and top try scorer at RWC backs this up. It's become fashionable to slag him off cus he's well aware of his own abilities and that doesn't sit too well with English fans. However he actually is as good as he thinks he is so, as far as I'm concerned, give him the ball and let him continue his brilliant try scoring record.

I'd love Sinbad to get the recognition and opportunity he deserves, and while he is a similar age to others with more chance of selection (Monye) it appears he will never get picked. I maintain that had he been luckier with injuries and got a decent go when he was younger he could have been one of England's best ever.

Strettle looked like he was guna be the next JSD when he burst onto the scene at 'quins but since joining Sarrries he seems to have had the creativity drilled out of him. In my opinion he was (hopefully) no more than a stop-gap in the 6N. Still, he is solid and has done nothing to merit being dropped from the squad entirely.

May has more natural talent than any player in this new generation, but he is seriously dopey and needs to improve some basics. Potential to be a starting winger for years to come but he is not a full back, especially at international level.

Of the other youngsters, Wade looks exciting and worth a shot, but size may count against him. Smith and Steggman are still very early in their careers and not really international prospects yet. They need to stand out for their clubs first.

Varndell and Ojo have repeatedly proved their worthlessness. Banahan is a perfectly serviceable club level winger but he does not have the pace or guile of an international. He could do a job for the midweek team though.

So on this tour I'd take Ashton, Strettle, May and Wade. Given Charlie's absence I'd start May alongside Ashton in the tests.

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Post by damage_13 Tue 08 May 2012, 10:49 am

jeffwinger, good points, but there is another factor to think about.

How will Catt get the backs firing?

Rowntree turned our forwards from 'they will struggle to cope and are underpowered' to 'blimey these guys are playing like a solid pack'.

can Catt get the team to realise it has the options in the backs to open up most defences.

Class is permanent, form is temporary.

oh, and I agree about Bannahan, but I think he is massively underrated and would love to see him punching holes and offloading for the backs. He just needs to work out how to accelerate faster in a shorter build up and get some white line fever while looking for the off-load (no NOT that Bath white line, but the Try line).

oh and Varndell never fitted in to the elite squad, I wonder why? a combination of luck and injuries?

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Post by BamBam Tue 08 May 2012, 10:54 am

My choices would be Ashton, Wade, May, Strettle and Sharples if fit, if not then Benjamin. In that order preferably, would love to see Wade get a start against the Boks

Does anyone know when the squad is announced?

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Post by munkian Tue 08 May 2012, 11:12 am

Did someone honestly suggest Bananaman should be given another English cap ?
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Post by bluestonevedder Tue 08 May 2012, 11:20 am

I agree with you to an extent jeffwinger regarding Ashton. I think he's given a seriously unjustifiably hard time by fans and spectators. I've always thought he comes across well and quite down-to-earth in interviews. There was one recently where he mentioned that he didn't know why he received so much negative criticism and attention, and to be honest, I empathised with him.

Great to see him scoring on his final game in Saints' colours.

On a side note, thought Foden looked absolutely electric in the first half.

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Post by damage_13 Tue 08 May 2012, 11:46 am

@Munkian yes Very Happy

but on the basis that Catt can coach the attack as well as Rowntree did the forwards. He has the physical ability and has shown before he can offload well in the tackle. He doesn't need pace to through gaps, however he could run AT them to draw defenders in.

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Post by bathmad Tue 08 May 2012, 12:03 pm

The first tackle Varndell has ever made.....!!

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Post by munkian Tue 08 May 2012, 12:51 pm

Learning how to defend would be a plus too
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Post by jeffwinger Tue 08 May 2012, 2:14 pm

Hopefully Catt will be allowed to focus on the attacking aspect of the game and leave the defence to someone else. LI haven't been great as a whole but they do use their outside backs effectively. I think one his main focus for this tour should be to get Manu to pass when appropriate. I don't know if it's a skill issue, a decision making issue or just plain greed, but he needs to be taught how and when to utilise those outside him. This would in turn make him much more effective, as defenders would not be able to just set themselves for his inevitable charge.

Like I said, he needs to be allowed to focus on attack. I feel as though a three man coaching team is perhaps a man or two light. I also don't really like the branding of purely 'backs coach' and 'forwards coach'.

Rowntree, named forwards coach, should be responsible for the set piece and other aspects of the tight game. Then we should have an attack coach, should be given free reign over the attacking patterns and basic skills, involving both backs forwards, as well as a defence coach who does the same job on the D. I assume they have some lower profile guys taking care of other aspects like strength and conditioning, video analysis etc. Then the top man, Lancaster, taking a general overview and offering assistance and insight where necessary.

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