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Englands EPS form

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 20:29

Props
Dan Cole - Has firmly established himself as Tigers first choice ahead of Castro. gone well this season and was strong against Toulouse, though not as prominent at the breakdown as he often is. Form good.
Joe Marler - Receiving less comments about his loose play. while in part this is because he has been less prominent here this season (sensible hair cut making him less obvious?) is is also a reflection on how strong his scrummaging has been. form very good.
Alex Corbisiero - still injured.
David Wilson - Decent form for Bath, deserved his promotion following Stevens retirement.

Hookers
Dylan Hartley - Has been in very good form. The eye injury gave him a valuable rest - was excellent against Glasgow.
Rob Webber - Injured

Second Row
Courtney Lawes - coming back from injury well, initially at 6 but in the second row at the weekend. His lineout went well and the big tackles are again in evidence. Still needs to improve his ball carrying - Good form.
Geoff Parling - constantly being outshone by Kitchener at Tigers. One outstanding match this season - otherwise form pretty poor.
Mouritz Botha - form has not been great, Borthwick has been better for Sarries.
Tom Palmer - form has not been great, Wentzel and Launchbury have been better for Wasps.

Back Row
Chris Robshaw - good form, but in danger of being overplayed. Will need some downtime between the AIs and New Year.
Tom Johnson - in very good form for Exeter.
Phil Dowson - not sure, certainly has not shone.
Tom Wood - coming back from injury his form is not great.
Tom Croft - Injured
Thomas Waldrom - Decent from, but arguably second choice No8 at club.
Ben Morgan - I don't know. Has not been prominent when I have seen Glaws.


Half Backs
Danny Care - In very good form, though (as with most SHs) struggled a little when quins were on the back foot against Sarries.
Lee Dickson - Very good form. Very different style of SH to Care.
Ben Youngs - Coming back from injury, was ok against Sale but looked short of match fitness against Toulouse. Needs games.
Toby Flood - Form has fluctuated a little but overall has been decent. Goal kicking has been v good.
Owen Farrell - A thigh injury has disrupted the start to the season. Sarries look better with Hodgson at 10.

Centres
Brad Barritt - Was excellent against Edinburgh. Has been decent/good so far this season in AP
Jordan Turner Hall - Has not really imposed himself on games this year.
Anthony Allen - form is poor, one good game apart.
Manu Tuilagi - started the season with a bang. Form has been OK since, but a couple of games missed with a shoulder injury.
Jonathan Joseph - started the season rather anonymously in a struggling LI side. Form has improved as LI have improved.

Back 3
Chris Ashton - Good form
Charlie Sharples - injured again?
Ben Foden - Injured
alex goode - Very good form
Mike Brown - very good form.


Nailed on Starters for AIs: (IMO)
Marler, Hartley, Cole
Lawes
Robshaw
Care
Ashton


Probable Starters
Johnson, Morgan
Flood, Barritt


Areas for Debate
Second row - 3 of the EPS members out of form. A real chance to look at a different option, but one Lancaster is unlikely to take.
Back Row - I have outlined the back row I expect Lancaster to select - plenty would be upset with Johnson starting - not me though.
Centre - I reckon Barritt is almost certain to play so between Joseph and tuilagi for OC spot. The unlucky one may be moved to the wing?
Wing - Just two wingers in the squad (plus foden). Just one fit winger in the squad. Unless he selects Joseph or Tuilagi, time to see what a Saxon can offer.
Full Back - Brown likely to get the nod - but a position of strength.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 20:45

Very good OP Tiger!

My thoughts:

Second row- that selection by Lancaster is terrible, truly pathetic. Out of the players there only Lawes deserves his place. Parling I assume will play though as apparently Rowntree rates him massively. So we can look forward to a Lawes/Parling combo.

Backrow- Unless they decide to shove Lawes in at 6 I can see Johnson starting alongside Robshaw and Morgan. Oh and Robshaw came off with 7 minutes to go against Biarritz so he's had his rest Wink

Centres- Barritt/Tuilagi lacks a lot of balance, Barritt/Joseph seems a bit flimsy, Tuilagi/Joseph seems a bit slapdash. Not sure who'll be picked really. I'd have 36 in alongside Manu but then Manu has actually been pretty poor so far...

Wings- Sharples played on Thursday, but it really wasn't a game for wingers. Tbh I can see Monye coming in as cover at 11. Can't see many other options.

Full back must be Brown.

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Post by beshocked Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 20:52

LondonTiger very nice article.

Can't really argue with most of that.

Goode vs Brown - who cares? Either would will do a good job IMO.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 20:54

I agree some of Lancs selectins were truly terrible.

That second row bunch just looks horrific.

BUt dont forget IF he chose to he could select out of the EPS so long as the relevant clubs agree with it.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 21:03

He can select anyone for a test, irrespective of whether they are in the EPS/Saxons/Or no squad without seeking "permission". However if they are outside his squads he needs clubs permission to have them for extended squad sessions - the ones outside the international window. (ie 6 days before the first match?)


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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 21:06

Aw right i see.

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Post by Bathite Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 21:29

Think that if he continues his current form, Fearns will be pushing for a bench spot at least. Like Haskell, has the benefit of being able to play 6,7&8, so good cover. Think Fearns and Robshaw would be a very nice complimenting set of flankers, with Waldrom / Morgan at 8 providing the ballast and go forward.

Second row concerns me a bit, but can't see past a Parling / Lawes combination to be honest.

Care all the way at SH and has to be Flood at FH and I'd want Burns on the bench, as he offers some impetus. Farrell on the bench isn't an impact option.

I'd be looking at:

Marler - Hartley - Cole
Lawes - Parling
Haskell - Robshaw - Morgan

Care - Flood
Barritt - Tuilagi
Monye - Ashton - Brown

Mullan - Youngs - Wilson - Launchbury - Fearns - Youngs - Burns - Goode

Looking to blood some of the younger blokes on form, with the experience of Monye, Flood (and Ashton, Tuilagi, Robshaw to an extent!) to keep some stability

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 22:32

I think when picking the forwards we need to make sure we have an efficient lineout still.

Be it one Second Rower and one back rower or just both seoncd rows...

Fearns Robshaw and Morgan might give serious power, breakdown and carrying...but does it offer any lineout? Well probably a few catches yes..but not a serious go to like a Croft or Wood.
But then selecting that back row would allow you to pick Lawes...and an out and out lineout guy...even someone as derided as Borthwick could fourish...as that back row takes the need away from him to do the breakdown stuff etc.

I too suspect it will be Parling and Lawes.

How about a pack of:

1 Marler
2 Hartley
3 Cole
4 Garvey / Attwood
5 Lawes
6 Wood
7 Robshaw
8 Fearns



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Post by Cumbrian Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 22:59

I thought Tom Wood started to become a bit more prominent for Northampton as the game went on yesterday. To me he looks like he is slowly making his way back to match fitness, which is a very good thing from an English perspective. I think people forget just how good he was in last year's Six Nations.

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Post by Bathite Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 23:27

My logic was that Parling would run the lineout and Robshaw would be an additional jumper to Lawes as well.

Fearns at 8 would be interesting, but not sure he offers more than Morgan as and out and out specialist 8 and you'd lose what he offers at 6

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Post by Bathite Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 23:28

I'd still start Croft if fit

Parling - Lawes
Croft - Robshaw - Morgan

Fearns / Haskell on bench

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Post by sickofwendy Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 23:43

The biggest problem is hooker.if hartley breaks down we're struggling.is there a standout performer?.who have we got who can throw,scrum and wind up the opposition ?

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Post by yappysnap Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 23:56

Stand out before injury was Gray. Not sure when he'll be back but hopefully it'll be in a week or two.

Or else there's Youngs, Buchanan and Lindsey.

How about Vunipola as an option at 8 anyone?

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Post by lostinwales Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 1:44

Easter is pretty good in the lineout for a fat boy.... Whistle

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Post by Norfolkinchance Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 2:48

Surely Burns should be in the EPS?!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 2:54

Yes he should.

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Post by Bathite Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 3:12

yappysnap wrote:Stand out before injury was Gray. Not sure when he'll be back but hopefully it'll be in a week or two.

Or else there's Youngs, Buchanan and Lindsey.

How about Vunipola as an option at 8 anyone?

Vunipola has got a long long way to go before considered for Saxons, let alone full squads. He still seems to lack fitness and awareness.

I'd have the following infront of him as 8 options for England

Morgan
Waldrom
Haskell
Fearns
Gibson
Kvesic

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 5:45

I thought Vunipola had been working on his fitness and seemed much more conditioned. He did in the match i saw him for Wasps anyway...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 6:36

I'd still start Croft if fit

It's already been revealed he will not be called up due to the limited game time he'll have pre AIs.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/news-comment/david-flatman-parling-on-course-to-become-englands-secret-weapon-8190974.html

Interesting article by Flatman on Parling. Got to agree with Kitchener showing more though.

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Post by Hood83 Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 8:26

GeordieFalcon wrote:I thought Vunipola had been working on his fitness and seemed much more conditioned. He did in the match i saw him for Wasps anyway...

I agree, you can also see his agility seems much better, perhaps they're linked. He has very good feet for a man his size. He does knock on a little too often but generally his carrying is excellent, and actually I think his awareness is pretty good as well. Decent hands and offloads well. In terms of form, I really don't see he's far off, plus his fitness is at least as good as Morgan's was last year.

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Post by Hood83 Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 8:26

GeordieFalcon wrote:I thought Vunipola had been working on his fitness and seemed much more conditioned. He did in the match i saw him for Wasps anyway...

I agree, you can also see his agility seems much better, perhaps they're linked. He has very good feet for a man his size. He does knock on a little too often but generally his carrying is excellent, and actually I think his awareness is pretty good as well. Decent hands and offloads well. In terms of form, I really don't see he's far off, plus his fitness is at least as good as Morgan's was last year.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 8:51

Sam thats a very interesting report on Parling. I confess (even despite him being an ex falcon) to be quite critical of him in that second row spot.

Maybe i have been harsh on him....but im not sure.

Like ive said on other threads...i think we need to judge many of the current squad after this AI set...which will show who can mix it with the best....and who cant.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 9:10

Lewis Moody said on Talksport yesterday that he believes Kyle Eastmond could be a bolter for the Lions next year. That would be some promotion, given that he's not even in the Saxons, and has no Heineken Cup action.

Kyran Bracken apparently also tipped Eastmond, although I'm not sure if he did so just for England or whether he had an eye on a Lions spot too.

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 18:57

formerly known as Sam wrote:
I'd still start Croft if fit

It's already been revealed he will not be called up due to the limited game time he'll have pre AIs.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/news-comment/david-flatman-parling-on-course-to-become-englands-secret-weapon-8190974.html

Interesting article by Flatman on Parling. Got to agree with Kitchener showing more though.

Parling is the new Richard Hill? picard

If he is half the player Richard Hill was he'll do well.


2nd row is a real England weakness.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 19:12

that was not really what Flats was saying - rather that Parling does a lot of stuff that fans simply do not notice.

Personally I do not think his current form is good -

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 19:24

That makes more sense.

2nd row is a position I really don't know who should be picked.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:02

Personally i think the second rows are going to be dictated by who plays 6

If we go for a bruising 6...say 6 Fearns 7 Robshaw 8 Morgan, then we need some lineout skill in the middle. So probably Lawes and Parling as the back row covers the ball carrying etc...

If however we go for 6 Wood 7 Robshaw 8 Morgan, then Lawes and Wood cover the lineout with Robshaw a back up...then we can afford to play someone like Attwood or Garvey in the engine room.

Just depends how you want to play it.

Knowing Lancs it will be two lightweight lineout second rows...AND Wood in the back row.....with Gaskell at 8 Rolling Eyes


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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:10

Geordiefalcon I quite rate your 2nd option.

4.Lawes
5.Garvey
6.Wood
7.Robshaw
8.Morgan

Lineout will not be an England strength unless you put someone in like Steve Borthwick. Not going to happen and probably shouldn't. Plus Hartley isn't the best thrower around.

Better to have more weight and ball carriers.

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Post by Triangulation Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:11

In this (excellent) thread and in others dealing with our selection issues for the AIs i think the issue really is this : for all of the variations in form and for all of the wish lists that we have, the likely starting side is well known.

There IS a pecking order.

It always feels as though the collective wisdom of 606 is ahead of the England selectors in identifying the guys who should be playing for England. It seems to me that we collectively plump for a player at least 6months before they debut for England. And were almost always right.

The same applies to dropping guys like Borthwick.

The real question is this : what does a player have to do to jump ahead in the pecking order to break into the squad and team? To what extent can bolters come in?

Do they have to be nailing it at Heineken Cup level? Can excellent players in otherwise weak teams stand a chance?

Perhaps as has long been the case with England, the best England rugby selector will be the cruel hand of injury.

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:20

Triangulation you have to show consistent good form.

Players like Robshaw,Brown,Goode,Cole,Marler,Johnson,Waldrom and Barritt have put in the good performances consistently for their clubs before being acknowledged by England. Unsurprisingly these players have kept up their strong form.

Bolters aren't actually that frequent are they? It normally takes at least one season to break into the England side.

Heineken Cup is a great shop window but still plenty of players go under the radar. I think Will Fraser is one to watch.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:22

I wouldnt have an issue with the likes of Borthwick in there (lineout is still a crucial part of the game) ...SO long as the selectors make up for the failings in his game by playing a robust pack around him...like he has at Sarries. Its simple.

The problem is they wont...which is why Borthwick gets crucified for lack of ability away from the lineout.

PS does anyone else thing its ironic that Sarries pack is rated so highly and rated 'tough' yet their engine room has two players not rated by many England fans for the positions in the England engine room.

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:28

Geordiefalcon there is still the question mark over Borthwick if he can put in the commanding performances he does at club level at international level.

Borthwick like some players is an entirely different beast at club level. He's a very good captain contrary to the perception at international level. His lineout work at club level is imperious and his workrate is immense (check out his tackle count). Even against HC opposition who have plenty of internationals.

It's the same with Charlie Hodgson.

By the way I am not saying bring them back necessarily. Just that they have skills that other England contenders lack.

Very true about the Saracens pack revolving around Borthwick. Not sure England would want the same reliance on a particular player.

It's just I have seen the importance of a strong lineout and how it can completely disrupt the opposition's flow in attack. Arguably more important than the scrum!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:35

The lineout is crucial...but so is the physical stuff in the tight.....thats why the whole pack needs to be balanced and well thought out.

I personally believe we have the players...i just think some of them havent been selected (many due to injury and form reasons i accept) but now many are ready to go...and it will be interesting to see if the selection team decide to give those guys a chance.

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Post by Triangulation Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:38


Lineouts

While you can build a side and a gameplan around an imperious lineout it is better not to because you become a bit of a one trick pony team. You only need to be good enough to win your own ball at lineout time. The lineout is only an issue if you cant win your own ball consistently. Ireland have beaten us this way more than once since 2004.

Beshocked

fair enough. Forget the word "bolter" then. There are legion examples of players who are discussed on these boards who have put in consistently good seasons but who are well down in the pecking order.

We talk them up here but the reality is that even if they're outperforming the incumbent week in week out, the incumbent has to feck up a few Test matches or get injured for the status quo to shift.

That really is the only (very costly) way we get change.

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:44

It's hard for players like Garvey and Attwood because they aren't taking on top quality opposition in European competitions.

The HC is the shop window.

Geordiefalcon Saracens don't have a particularly strong scrum but the lineout and breakdown work is what really makes the Saracens pack strong. Of course the workrate and defensive abilities too. Borthwick and Botha are both very hardworking but aren't the most robust ball carriers.

Physically Saracens don't have a big pack but they are tenacious and abrasive.

England fans prefer players who are very strong ball carriers and make plenty of metres. Much more eyecatching.

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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 20:48

Triangulation wrote:
Lineouts

While you can build a side and a gameplan around an imperious lineout it is better not to because you become a bit of a one trick pony team. You only need to be good enough to win your own ball at lineout time. The lineout is only an issue if you cant win your own ball consistently. Ireland have beaten us this way more than once since 2004.

Beshocked

fair enough. Forget the word "bolter" then. There are legion examples of players who are discussed on these boards who have put in consistently good seasons but who are well down in the pecking order.

We talk them up here but the reality is that even if they're outperforming the incumbent week in week out, the incumbent has to feck up a few Test matches or get injured for the status quo to shift.

That really is the only (very costly) way we get change.

England have to pick a route to go down. What will be their focus? Do they want to be more like Quins? If so the team selection has to reflect this.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:10

England fans prefer players who are very strong ball carriers and make plenty of metres. Much more eyecatching..

I think England fans have been brought up traditionally with big powerful packs...not mobile athletic ones...so in a sence i am missing that at the moment....and ideally want to see that back but utilising the new talent coming through in the backs.
Does that require a more mobile pack? Probably Rolling Eyes Very Happy

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Post by Triangulation Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:11

beshocked wrote:
Triangulation wrote:
Lineouts

While you can build a side and a gameplan around an imperious lineout it is better not to because you become a bit of a one trick pony team. You only need to be good enough to win your own ball at lineout time. The lineout is only an issue if you cant win your own ball consistently. Ireland have beaten us this way more than once since 2004.

Beshocked

fair enough. Forget the word "bolter" then. There are legion examples of players who are discussed on these boards who have put in consistently good seasons but who are well down in the pecking order.

We talk them up here but the reality is that even if they're outperforming the incumbent week in week out, the incumbent has to feck up a few Test matches or get injured for the status quo to shift.

That really is the only (very costly) way we get change.

England have to pick a route to go down. What will be their focus? Do they want to be more like Quins? If so the team selection has to reflect this.

More like Quins than what?

I think we have to be the best side we can with elements from the strongest players, units and sides that will work at Test match level.

I do understand that this cannot be easy and HC is the closest thing we have to Test match intensity. Gernerally it has been accurate to say that if a player cuts the mustard at HC level, they will cut it at Test level too.

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Post by Triangulation Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:15

GeordieFalcon wrote:
England fans prefer players who are very strong ball carriers and make plenty of metres. Much more eyecatching..

I think England fans have been brought up traditionally with big powerful packs...not mobile athletic ones...so in a sence i am missing that at the moment....and ideally want to see that back but utilising the new talent coming through in the backs.
Does that require a more mobile pack? Probably Rolling Eyes Very Happy

The premise is right. We have been brought up that way.

We do need forwards who are ball carriers.

We need them to smash us over the gainline. We are not skillful nor good enough 9-15 to beat sides without some level of gainline dominance. That holds even if we are truly in an era of relative English strength in backline play (which without an established ball playing 12 is debateable anyway).

It does not end there though.

To get the best out of our backs we need those big ball carrying forwards to offload out of the tackle and change the point of attack.

The AP is showing very encouraging signs of this offloading game and yes Quins are leading the way here.




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Post by beshocked Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:39

http://www.planet-rugby.co.za/story/0,25883,16024_8166580,00.html

Did you know Borthwick made 14 tackles on the weekend? That's insane for one of the most maligned locks around.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:40

Whenever England fail to win consistently, supporters always ask why some other player hasn't been selected. You have to strike a balance somehow between giving a player a run and making sure another gets a chance. There aren't enough Tests in the year to give everyone two or three games

The same thing happened with our centres when we tried to find a pairing from (over the years) Flutey, Barkley, Noon, Allen, Turner-Hall, Erinle, Hipkiss, Waldouck, Clarke, Tait, Hape, Banahan, Armitage, Tindall etc etc. We are still doing that now with a bunch of new players added to the mix.

It's much easier to understand selection when you have an idea of the kind of gameplan the team has in mind. That's what I want to see established in these coming internationals.

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Post by Triangulation Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 21:44

Rugby Fan wrote:Whenever England fail to win consistently, supporters always ask why some other player hasn't been selected. You have to strike a balance somehow between giving a player a run and making sure another gets a chance. There aren't enough Tests in the year to give everyone two or three games

The same thing happened with our centres when we tried to find a pairing from (over the years) Flutey, Barkley, Noon, Allen, Turner-Hall, Erinle, Hipkiss, Waldouck, Clarke, Tait, Hape, Banahan, Armitage, Tindall etc etc. We are still doing that now with a bunch of new players added to the mix.

It's much easier to understand selection when you have an idea of the kind of gameplan the team has in mind. That's what I want to see established in these coming internationals.

All true but it has to start with ball carrying forwards who get over the gainline and can offload.

Everything else MUST start from that premise. Why? Because the highly mobile pack/lightning backs model will not work - we are not going to run top sides off their feet that way.


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Post by niwatts Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 23:23

Does anyone know who was running Saints' lineout at the weekend, 17 won & 1 lost against the Scottish lineout leader's 11 won & 4 lost (2 stolen by Saints)?

As far as I'm aware Sorenson normally runs their lineout, but he didn't start, so it was one of Manoa, Lawes or maybe Wood in the backrow.

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Post by sickofwendy Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 23:47

Borthwick had over 50 caps and a win ratio of about 50pc.keep him as far away as possible.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Tue 16 Oct 2012 - 23:49

niwatts wrote:Does anyone know who was running Saints' lineout at the weekend, 17 won & 1 lost against the Scottish lineout leader's 11 won & 4 lost (2 stolen by Saints)?

As far as I'm aware Sorenson normally runs their lineout, but he didn't start, so it was one of Manoa, Lawes or maybe Wood in the backrow.

Tom Wood. Very good lineout technician and leader. If in form I would have him in the back row for England as it would allow us to play two heavier ball carrying players in the engine room as opposed to Botha and Parling who for me offer very little at international level.
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Post by yappysnap Wed 17 Oct 2012 - 0:07

He looked pretty good against Glasgow once in the swing of things, does he jump in the lineout or just call the shots?

Still can't see what made Lancaster think he'd be a good captain for Eng though, Hartley was immense against Glasgow.

I am pretty sure Wood will play during the AI's though, hopefully at 6 (not that shirt numbers matter too much with Wood/Robshaw combo).

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Post by niwatts Wed 17 Oct 2012 - 0:24

Thanks for the info Ozzy, didn't realise he could do a decent job as lineout leader as well as jumper. Completely agree that if back to the sort of form we've seen from him in the past, a lineout leader in the backrow (where we want a quality jumping option anyway) opens up some nice possibilities for different lock combinations.

Has Croft ever lead the Tigers' lineout? It would be great if that was an option with both.


Yappy, he's not far off Croft's quality as a jumper in my opinion. He was Saints top lineout option of the weekend, taking 6 and stealing 1.

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Post by bluestonevedder Wed 17 Oct 2012 - 0:42

I think the balance of a:

6. Wood
7. Robshaw
8. Morgan

backrow is really nice. I would love to see them over the AIs if Wood can find his form again. He did look good second half, but he used to be so consistent.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 17 Oct 2012 - 1:15

Wood
Robshaw
Morgan

Would allow you to play a second row like Lawes (a rapidly improving lineout option) and Garvey or Attwood. Which would probably please most England fans.

We could then bring Fearns on to smash things up in the last 30mins... Very Happy

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Post by Chjw131 Wed 17 Oct 2012 - 1:58

GeordieFalcon wrote:
England fans prefer players who are very strong ball carriers and make plenty of metres. Much more eyecatching..

I think England fans have been brought up traditionally with big powerful packs...not mobile athletic ones...so in a sence i am missing that at the moment....and ideally want to see that back but utilising the new talent coming through in the backs.
Does that require a more mobile pack? Probably Rolling Eyes Very Happy

Geordie and Beshocked, I don't really think it's a choice of mobile v immobile packs. Perhaps in yesteryear this was the case but everyone's ball playing ability is light years ahead of where it was 10 to 15 years ago. Take the Vunipola brothers as cases in point. Both huge units and both with some excellent handling and offloading work. Mako at present is edging it in this regard and he's a Loosehead prop!

As we've all said before it's about balance. Quins, who play some attractive rugby (although not as much as Glaws ahem!) have a balanced pack. The like of Johnston, Marler, Kohn, Fa'asavalu and Easter provide the bulk of the carrying options. That means you can accomodate the exceptional technical skills of Joe Gray and George Robson overall enhancing your pack to take it to a top level.

The holy grail is balance. Carriers and Techs. Perhaps some of us have a tendancy to the sadistic side and want to pick monster packs like those of SA, but the key to consistent winning is getting the blend right. Carriers with hands and vision, Techs with high work rate and input around the field. It can be done and we do have the players to do it.

As an aside I would have to concede that some of the carrying players haven't been banging on the door, Attwood a case in point. But sometimes it takes a leap of faith to create a team in one's own vision.

Here's mine I posted on another thread. I have not included injured players and Tom Wood is someone I would bring in for his line-out work either at 6 or 7.

A balanced pack on form so far this season would be:

1. J Marler
2. D Hartley
3. D Cole
4. M Garvey
5. G Parling
6. C Fearns
7. C Robshaw
8. B Morgan

16. T Youngs 17. M Vunipola 18. D Wilson 19. C Lawes 20. T Johnson

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