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England 23 vs Italy?

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Post by Tiger/Chief Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:17 am

Normally by now Lancaster has named his 23 but keeps us guessing as to who's starting the game! Anyone know who's been released back to there clubs or is it different because there are only lv games this weekend

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Post by B91212 Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:53 am

Could it to be do with the fact that England are playing a day later than usual this week? The Sunday game means he doesn't have to name his team until Friday unless I'm mistaken.

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Post by Hound_of_Harrow Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:31 am

Team announced tomorrow. Croft back in the mix is great news. I expect Youngs back in for Hartley, Haskell for Lawes, and Flood for Farrell.


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Post by sickofwendy Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:39 am

Danny care to start.

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Post by Geordie Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:50 am

I would seriously resist rushing Croft back!

In fact i wouldnt touch him until the start of next season...to see he makes the full recovery and can just find some decent club form with the tigers...thats a long and serious layoff he's had...no need to rush him back...

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Post by Hound_of_Harrow Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:52 am

I would like to see Care start tbh. But I think SL will want to keep as much continuity in the starting XV as possible.

Whoever starts, England will have a good set of replacements. A pool of 30 players, who will perform well in the shirt is starting to shape up.

OK

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Post by sickofwendy Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:01 am

The dead wood is also being sifted through,the squad is evolving nicely in my opinion.
Handled rightly that pool of 30 could possibly swell to 45.
We have been pretty lucky with injuries but that could easily change what with a lions tour.
Remember the Autumn internationals in'09,we were graced by Duncan 'dancing feet'bell,erinle and Tim payne.....ful to watch.


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Post by LondonTiger Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:06 am

Tiger/Chief wrote:Normally by now Lancaster has named his 23 but keeps us guessing as to who's starting the game! Anyone know who's been released back to there clubs or is it different because there are only lv games this weekend

No AP fixtures, so less urgency this week. also as others say it is a Sunday game.

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Post by sickofwendy Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:12 am

I would imagine there have been some great training matches this week,really pushing each other.also great to see the players relaxed and smiling while in camp,not always been the case in recent years.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:46 am

Hound_of_Harrow wrote:Team announced tomorrow. Croft back in the mix is great news. I expect Youngs back in for Hartley, Haskell for Lawes, and Flood for Farrell.


I thought that, but according to the RFU website the team is announced on Friday at 10:45 (they have a countdown timer believe it or not)


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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:16 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/9914196/England-v-Italy-Stuart-Lancaster-to-give-Mako-Vunipola-debut-at-Twickenham.html

Telegraph seem to be fairly accurate with their team sources.

Mako, Youngs, Haskell, Care, Flood to start. Only 50/50 seems to be Billy V or Croft on the bench.

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Post by thomh Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:25 pm

Given the amount of media the Vunipola brothers have been doing together this week, I'd say it's a safe bet that Billy will be in the squad as well.

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Post by thomh Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:27 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Tiger/Chief wrote:Normally by now Lancaster has named his 23 but keeps us guessing as to who's starting the game! Anyone know who's been released back to there clubs or is it different because there are only lv games this weekend

No AP fixtures, so less urgency this week. also as others say it is a Sunday game.

I think the first point is more important. Quins and Saracens will be using their reserves for the LV= semis, and Bath and Sale don't have players away with England anyway.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:39 pm

How dare you sir, we are affected by the loss of our 1st choice TH thank you very much!

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:39 pm

Is Mako Vunipola the oldest looking 22 year in history? Billy looks his age but Mako looks about 52.

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Post by maestegmafia Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:39 pm

Robert Kitson for The Guardian, Wednesday 6 March

Mako and Billy Vunipola are set to be included in England's match-day squad for the Six Nations game against Italy. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
There have been some illustrious modern English rugby families. The Underwoods, the Armitages and the Sandersons have supplied a brace of brothers to the national team, while the Youngs brothers followed their father Nick into the Test arena. None of them, even so, threaten to make the same impact as England's latest sibling duo. Meet the Vunipolas, about to hit a high-definition TV screen near you.

Mako and his younger brother Billy, both set to feature in the same England senior match-day squad this weekend for the first time, are no ordinary double act. One was born in Wellington, the other in Sydney. One won a sports scholarship to Millfield, the other to Harrow. One speaks with a deep Welsh accent, the other sounds slightly more English. One plays prop, the other is a No8. What they share in common is a sweeping family saga spanning two hemispheres, myriad relatives, twisted loyalties and an awful lot of food. Collectively they are the biggest bonus the national team have received since, well, Manu Tuilagi.

Just as Jonah Lomu, another son of Tongan parents, gave the All Blacks a different dimension, so Mako and Billy could transform English forward play. Things did not work out well for Lesley "The Volcano" Vainikolo – he was capped for England having played rugby league for New Zealand – but the Vunipolas have lived in Britain since they were small, first in Wales and then, for the past decade, in England. South Sea loyalties have long since been diluted. "We feel right at home now and happily call England home," insists Mako.

The boys' father, Fe'ao, who played in two World Cups for Tonga and is coach of the Tonga Under-20 team, moved his family over in 1998 – their mother, Iesinga, is a Methodist minister – after signing a contract to play for Pontypool and subsequently relocated to Thornbury. Qualified for England by residency – six of their uncles and a grandfather represented Tonga – the family's pride when the 22-year-old Mako made his debut off the bench in the autumn was unrestrained.

The 20-year-old Billy, a No8 disinclined to take a backward step, is set to follow his brother's lead, always assuming his slightly accident-prone tendencies do not resurface. He would have featured on the bench against France had he not hurt a foot in training and been affected by illness and toothache, and last year he was hospitalised for two and a half months after a truly bizarre series of mishaps. Suffering from pneumonia and a bad back, he made himself a hot-water bottle to ease the latter, omitted to put a cover on it and ended up with serious burns to his back after falling asleep. "It was boiling hot and usually my mum puts a cover over it but I did not know where it was," he explained on Wednesday to a slightly bemused audience. "I just threw it over my back and it gave me blisters when I woke up. I had a scar but it's a bit smaller now."

While he was in hospital, rather touchingly his brother made a caring mercy dash. "I rang to check he was all right and he asked me to bring him some food so I brought him KFC. I walked straight through and the nurse just said: 'I thought you were supposed to be rugby players!'" Therein lies another tale: between them the brothers have lost a staggering 36 kilos since being advised they needed to shape up to be professionals.

"We'd starve ourselves by not having breakfast or lunch then come home and eat so much junk food," recalls Billy. "We'd feast on the fastest food we could get our hands on: carbs, bread, potatoes, chocolate. And we'd eat a lot of it. Junk food is so cheap and those 'Buy one get one free' deals didn't help us at all."

These days Billy is 16kg lighter and Mako is 20kg below his old fighting weight which, he reckons, makes him "under 20st on a good day". He has been nursing a sore back this week but has been performing so well off the bench that a starting slot finally looks to be his reward. Recalls for Tom Youngs, James Haskell, Danny Care and Billy Twelvetrees, with Toby Flood starting at fly-half and Tom Croft back on the bench, are also anticipated but the people of Tonga will be less bothered about them.

The late King of Tonga, George Tupou V, would certainly have approved. King George, who died last year, was educated at Oxford and Sandhurst and is fondly remembered as "more British than the British". His royal robes were stitched by a Savile Row tailor and he had two leather-seated London taxis to ferry him around on official engagements. He would have enjoyed the Vunipolas' success more than most.

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Post by Geordie Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:59 pm

Mako was outstanding in the last match i saw him v Exeter a couple of weeks ago...if he can bring that to this level...Marler and Corbs face a battle.

Billy...well i think we all realised we missed a carrier..with Morgan out and Billy can certainly provide that.

I just hope we dont take Italy for granted as a win. They're not a bad side...but hopefully this coaching team wont do that.

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Post by aitchw Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:24 pm

There's no way SL's team will take anything or anyone for granted. This is about as well grounded a set up as there is and stems directly from Lancaster's own determination to maintain his no frills attitude.

I can't wait to see Billy run out for England and obviously hope he does well. Despite good performances from Morgan he still looks overweight to me but more importantly he needs real competition for the No8 jersey. Billy can provide that. I have come to trust SL's selection and player development decisions even when I don't agree with them but if he plays Billy I will be really happy.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:22 am

I am not so bothered about the starting 15. My concern is who will be on the bench as cover for Toby Flood at 10. I really hope they dont play the likes of Alex Goode or Billy Twelvetrees. I would like to see Burns return to the England bench, but with limited game time should SL opt for him( Burns) or some one else.

Who else is their at 10 in the EPS. any one know?

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Post by Chjw131 Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:43 am

I think we'll see 36 and Goode covering FH. To be fair to Lancs Freddie Burns has only just come back and he looked like a player who'd been out for a couple of months. His kicking was poor and he needs more time to settle.

Goode covered admirably at FH in SA and in an emergency he wouldn't be a risk I don't think.

I would restrain from putting Croft in the 23 just yet, possibly for the Wales game to augment the line-out. It's more important we add to our carrying options and even with Mako and Tom Youngs there add in Billy Vunipola and the options look like a South African pack.

I think it's too early for Billy V by a season or so but if he comes in and performs well i'll be very happy indeed. Morgan I still feel is a more rounded player but Billy V tackles with the same power he carries with, something which Morgan certainly lacks.

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Post by nobbled Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:53 am

Is Morgan back from injury?
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Post by lostinwales Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:01 am

nobbled wrote:Is Morgan back from injury?

Nope Crying or Very sad

They said he will be OK for Wales but we have heard that before

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Post by thomh Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:34 am

Bathman_in_London wrote:How dare you sir, we are affected by the loss of our 1st choice TH thank you very much!

Yes, but he will be in the matchday squad, so you wouldn't have got him back anyway.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:43 am

Arguably Sarries are hardest hit by the late release of players.

Botha, Strettle and Tomkins are unlikely to make the match day 23.
Henry Thomas of Sale is the only other player in this weeks training squad who will not be in the match squad and could be needed for the LV semis.

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Post by markb Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:44 am

Chjw131 wrote:I think we'll see 36 and Goode covering FH. To be fair to Lancs Freddie Burns has only just come back and he looked like a player who'd been out for a couple of months. His kicking was poor and he needs more time to settle.

Goode covered admirably at FH in SA and in an emergency he wouldn't be a risk I don't think.

His kicking was poor in his first game back last week (unsurprising given he had a knee injury and kicking needs constant practice), but his passing and running game was good. Given the amount of game time Flood has had the last month, he should have most if not all of the Italy game, but I'd be much happier with Burns on the bench as cover and Twelvetrees or Goode taking on the kicking duties if the week's practice hasn't seen Burns' kicking improve.

Goode did OK covering at FH with the small amount of possession SA didn't have in the few minutes Farrell was off for blood in the 3rd test, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable relying on him to structure a whole game if Flood ends up getting injured in the opening minutes. I'd probably opt for the more recently practiced at FH Twelvetrees over Goode if Burns isn't on the bench, but again I'd be far from comfortable with that.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:07 pm

I agree, I watched a fair part of the Bath-Gloucester game and thought Burns played well, though his kicking was dreadful. I'd be happier with him on the bench, though I fancy 36 and Goode could both do a decent job if needed. I quite like the fact that Lancaster appears to have freshened up the match day squad somewhat, it's important that guys like Flood, Care etc. get some decent game time so that if they are needed for the Wales game they're ready.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:55 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:I agree, I watched a fair part of the Bath-Gloucester game and thought Burns played well, though his kicking was dreadful.

I feel Burns should be on the bench. However his first appearance for 6 weeks will have given SL second thoughts. Rather than playing well I thought he was largely anonymous, with a return to last season's habit of running backwards towards the man he was passing to. This meant that a large part of his game, offering a running threat was absent, while another part of the game - clever kicks was nigh on impossible. I felt Glaws looked more threatening ball in hand after he was replaced. He was understandably rusty.

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Post by pjm1 Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:58 pm

Based on the papers and the presumed leaks out of HQ (Cleary had his note out at 10.45pm last night...) the starting XV is fixed, with one bench spot not quite as certain:

1. Vunipola
2. T Youngs
3. Cole
4. Parling
5. Launchbury
6. Haskell
7. Robshaw
8. Wood
9. Care
10. Flood
11. Brown
12. Barritt
13. Tuilagi
14. Ashton
15. Goode

Bench: Hartley, Marler, Wilson, Lawes, Croft, B Youngs, Twelvetrees, A.N.Other

I'm guessing A.N.Other is Burns.

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Post by aitchw Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:10 pm

If that's what he goes for I am sad that Billy V won't get a run out. However, as I've said in other posts, I trust SLs judgement even if not agreeing.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:48 pm

pjm1 wrote:Based on the papers and the presumed leaks out of HQ (Cleary had his note out at 10.45pm last night...) the starting XV is fixed, with one bench spot not quite as certain:

1. Vunipola
2. T Youngs
3. Cole
4. Parling
5. Launchbury
6. Haskell
7. Robshaw
8. Wood
9. Care
10. Flood
11. Brown
12. Barritt
13. Tuilagi
14. Ashton
15. Goode

Bench: Hartley, Marler, Wilson, Lawes, Croft, B Youngs, Twelvetrees, A.N.Other

I'm guessing A.N.Other is Burns.

Yup that is what has happened. Suggestions that billy V still has an ankle problem

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:49 pm

https://www.rfu.com/news/2013/march/news-articles/080313_eng_team_v_ita

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Post by hugehandoff Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:53 pm

main shame I agree is no Billy V and I also think he may be bringing Freddie B back too soon. I am sure Goode and 36 could have provided cover, but not sure who would have kicked the goals?

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Post by Scrumpy Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:54 pm

Shame 36 isn't starting
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Post by EnglishReign Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:54 pm

Mightve started 36 but otherwise good.

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Post by Scrumpy Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:54 pm

15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 9 caps)
14. Chris Ashton (Saracens, 32 caps)
13. Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps)
12. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 14 caps)
11. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 14 caps)
10. Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 39 caps)

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 7 caps)
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 38 caps)
4. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 7 caps)
5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps)
6. James Haskell (London Wasps, 48 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 15 caps)
8. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 16 caps)

Replacements
16. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 45 caps)
17. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)
18. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 8 caps)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 18 caps)
20. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps)
22. Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap)
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
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Post by Jimpy Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:07 pm

A few changes but its still a nicely balanced team which should win at a canter. Nice to see Crofty back.


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Post by Effervescing Elephant Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Look at that bench! Compare it to the benches from last year, what a difference. That bench can change matches. Lawes, Croft, Burns, Lendrid, 36. Excellent options. Very impressed.

In fact here is last years team from the Italy match:

England
15-B Foden (Northampton)
14-C Ashton (Northampton)
13-B Barritt (Saracens)
12-O Farrell (Saracens)
11-D Strettle (Saracens)
10-C Hodgson (Saracens)
9-B Youngs (Leicester)

1-A Corbisiero (London Irish)
2-D Hartley (Northampton)
3-D Cole (Leicester)
4-M Botha (Saracens)
5-T Palmer (Stade Français)
6-T Croft (Leicester)
7-C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
8-P Dowson (Northampton)

Replacements: R Webber (London Wasps), M Stevens (Saracens), G Parling (Leicester), B Morgan (Scarlets), L Dickson (Northampton), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), M Brown (Harlequins).



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Post by nathan Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:12 pm

one of our more experienced sides with a total of 501 caps (inc the bench)

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Post by Toadfish Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:16 pm

Only issue I have is with 36 on the bench. Lancaster seems to have this thing with putting the unluckiest player not to get picked on the bench rather than the best option. I know it shows great loyalty etc but can't help feel he needs to get a bit more rutheless. Very minor gripe in the big scheme though!

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Post by pjm1 Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:17 pm

nathan wrote:one of our more experienced sides with a total of 501 caps (inc the bench)

Given where we started (with the bulk of a brand new team), that's not really a surprise.

Because we are working with young players - and we have a pretty consistent selection policy - the team should have 12-15 more caps each match they play. Which means, over the course of the 6N (before first match vs before last) they'll have between 50 and 60 more caps as a team, excluding the bench.

We don't have any highly capped players, so even if we lost Cole (say) for a game or two, we'd only lose 30 or may 40 caps from Wilson stepping up. We have Flood in as well, who is one of our most capped players who's properly on the Lancaster radar.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:18 pm

A very strong side - I don't think Italy will be able to handle the pace that England will put on the game. Exciting bench as well.

Had no idea Haskell was so close to 50 caps. Fair play to the "brand".

Would like to see Burns come on. Really rate Freddie Burns - very talented.

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Post by DaveM Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:18 pm

Why would you not have 36 on the bench? He can play both centre positions, and has even played wing before. He's a brilliant bench option, it's just a shame he isn't starting.

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Post by killer938 Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:21 pm

As expected and a strong squad, absolutely thrilled for Croft

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Post by Toadfish Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:26 pm

DaveM wrote:Why would you not have 36 on the bench? He can play both centre positions, and has even played wing before. He's a brilliant bench option, it's just a shame he isn't starting.

Not for me but as I say it's a minor gripe. For me your reserve fly half/starting fly half cover IC so am looking for the other bench option to cover OC and the back three. Particularly at a time when we have two full backs starting I'd think the option to have a proper winger with an injection of pace off the bench would be preferable.

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Post by yappysnap Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:30 pm

My only gripe is Wood still there at 8. Lancaster obviously rates him there but to me so far he's looked out of his depth at the back of the scrum and doesn't have as much of an impact in the rucks as he does playing 6.

Otherwise happy with that and excited to see what Care/Flood can create.

Oh and congrats to Mako on his first start OK

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Post by nathan Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:32 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:A very strong side - I don't think Italy will be able to handle the pace that England will put on the game. Exciting bench as well.

Had no idea Haskell was so close to 50 caps. Fair play to the "brand".

Would like to see Burns come on. Really rate Freddie Burns - very talented.

Last couple of years "The Brand" has got his head down and worked very hard which is why i think people are warming to him a bit.

We have to remember that Burns has only just come back from injury so we can't expect loads from him. Although i expect he'll get 20 minutes at the end if we're winning well.

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Post by 100%beefy Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:33 pm

england's strength in depth is frankly alarming....they can draw on players from absolutely anywhere in the world!!

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Post by nathan Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:34 pm

100%beefy wrote:england's strength in depth is frankly alarming....they can draw on players from absolutely anywhere in the world!!

drumroll

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Post by Jimpy Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:36 pm

100%beefy wrote:england's strength in depth is frankly alarming....they can draw on players from absolutely anywhere in the world!!

Apart from Falateu...

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:37 pm

100%beefy wrote:england's strength in depth is frankly alarming....they can draw on players from absolutely anywhere in the world!!

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone....."

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