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Englands Midfield

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Post by Geordie Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:58 pm

I think we're coming to a point soon that we are going to have a lot of genuine and proven options in the midfield area, and it will also be the area that could be the difference between winning a series or matches in NZ (or winning a WC) and not.

But these all offer different styles....

What do you see as the best balanced and most effective midfield?

10:
Farrell
Cipriani
Ford
Burns

12:
Twelvetrees
Eastmond
Burrell
Barritt

13
Tuilagi
Eastmond?
Burrell

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:08 pm

Proven so far has to be Farrell, Twelvetrees and Burrell.

I'm really wanting to see Care, Farrell, Eastmond and Tuilagi though. Or Eastmond Burrell.

Really starting to miss the ease of just writing Hape and Tindall.

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Post by Geordie Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:59 pm

Ha ha its nice to see the options after that lot.

Do you think Eastmond could nail a position in the midfield.

If he is to id like to see him work on his out of hand kicking.

Twelvetrees probably holds the edge there at the moment due to that...but i think if hes given a chance, Eastmond could offer much more in there.

But Twevleterees has done it through a tournament...Eastmond has only played 1 good game (even though it was against the AB's. )

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Post by Scrumpy Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:02 pm

Eastmond can't nail a spot in the Bath midfield!

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Post by Geordie Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm

Well thats true.

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Post by Poorfour Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm

Eastmond needs a team that can make the most of him. We'll take him...
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Post by Scrumpy Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:17 pm

He goes missing all too often imo.  Wink 
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Post by dummy_half Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:21 pm

I think we've probably seen the end of Barritt as a serious contender for the 12 jersey if everyone is fit and available. Great defender and organiser, but offers too little in an attacking sense to take us forward into the RWC.

12trees has started to fulfil some of the hype, although he has taken a while to settle in to test rugby. Is the most natural '2nd 5/8th' type, in being a good distributor and kicker from hand, and has shown his value as the 'shooter' from the defensive line.

Eastmond is probably the one who offers the 'X-factor' most - good ball handler and with a step and serious pace, so could for me be the one who offers the key to unlocking the best defences (especially allied with Manu at 13 - both game breakers but with such different styles). Wasn't shown up in defence on Saturday, but as GF mentioned needs to develop much more of a kicking game, especially in defensive positions (as with many RL halfbacks, he has an interesting range of attacking kicks).

Burrell at 12? Not sure he's even the best at Northampton, as I have been seriously impressed with young Stephenson in the little I've seen of him. Burrell is a solid, no nonsense player for sure and won't let anyone down whether picked at 12 or 13, but I think has to be partnered with someone more creative (especially if Farrell is at 10).

I did notice Manu was wearing the 12 jersey for Leicester in a few games towards the end of the season. Obviously he has great assets in terms of taking a ball through contact, but no real kicking game and his attitude to passing (i.e. taking the ball to ground unless the pass is very safe) may inhibit a more ambitious and expansive game plan. I think, regardless of how well Burrell did in the 6Ns, if both are fit Manu simply offers more and so should be first choice at 13.

It's a good situation to be in though, that rather than the apparent weakness (other than Manu) that the midfield looked likely to be, we suddenly have lots of options both in personnel and style.

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Post by Geordie Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:23 pm

He goes missing all too often imo.
Ah hes just small ...you cant see him  Very Happy 

I do think though that Lancasters thoughts will revolve around the trio or Burrell, Tuilagi and Twevletrees who essentially can all play 12 or 13.

They are all big guys...and Twelvetrees can kick aswell.

12 Twelvetrees
13 Tuilagi / Burrell


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by geoff998rugby Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:23 pm

As mentioned elsewhere is Eastmond even the best 12 at Bath.
Joseph and even the youngster Devoto have impressed me more this year.

As for 13 cant believe England would put Burrell above Tuilagi.
Seen two games this year where they have played against each other and both times Tuilagi was comfortably the better player.

Twelvetrees/Tuilagi for me

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:31 pm

Can't say Billy has impressed me at international level. At club level he tends to be average for the bulk of his game time and then just throw in the occasional incredible performance. When he is on he is awesome. Only seen the average for England. I wasn't impressed with him during the 6N and given that Brown at 15 and both scrum half's have decent boots his howitzer of a right boot as an alternative to the fly half is less relevant these days especially with kick happy Farrell the likely choice.

Eastmond provided the best display from an English 12 since Greenwood last Saturday. He was exceptional. Despite his mediocrity at Bath and his tantrums over their style of play he is a better fit at this level than Twelvetrees. Eastmond just seems to have more time on the ball and a greater ability to mix up the play from 12. Though having Burns at 10 might have helped that.

Burrell vs Manu is no contest. Manu is comfortably the better of the two.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:45 pm

I'd agree with fkS on this. Twelvetrees has been solid at 12 for England but rarely anything more. If you're looking purely at international performance then Eastmond certainly deserves another game. I thought the Eastmond/Tuilagi partnership looked rich with promise, Twelvetrees and Burrell as back-up respectively.

It must be sorely tempting for Lancaster to just pick the same side and let them have another crack at it.

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Post by Chjw131 Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:01 pm

I think Twevetrees is being a bit hard done by really. It's not much of a coincidence that we've drastically improved our attacking threat with him at 12.

Yes Farrell has improved his game but 36 is the all round player. What he offers over Eastmond is the ability to be a big carrier as well as distributor/kicker.

Having said that I think we need to look at who's nailed on. At 13 Tuilagi is probably the first name in the back line. That means at ball player at 12, which is essentially what Lancs has been looking for from the off and I think he's dead right.

Barritt, for all his admirable qualities is a stifler and quasi-flanker. 36 is the right choice in the short term but if Lancs has the stomach for trying to grow a player then Eastmond would be the best long-term choice.

He has an awesome step, vision and a wicked pass when he concentrates. He has the ability to be Fofana-esque in the way he runs and can distribute like a proper FH. His defensive kicking is not existant but there's no reason he can't do that. Jason Robinson couldn't hit a barn door with a musket whe he first started.

As far as FH goes, I like Farrell and he's improved a lot but i'd like to see George Ford or Freddie Burns step up and take the shirt from him long term.

At the moment all fit and well i'd play:

10. O Farrell
12. K Eastmond
13. M Tuilagi

That could be a super mid-field partnership if allowed to develop. Give Eastmond the responsibility and I think you'll see him develop. Sideline him and he'll drop off the radar.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:03 pm

I think it's Eastmond's step that's so crucial here. Nonu was left for dead early on and the was desperate to try and stifle Eastmond leaving Manu one on one with Smith. Add to that the long passing from Eastmond and Burns that brought our wingers into play and your giving our talented attackers one on one battles. Compare that to the gang tackles we've seen our talented backs succumb to in recent years.

We've had the players and now we're starting to get them the space.

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Post by timhen Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:51 pm

What I liked about Eastmond was the pace of his game, whether running or passing there was a fizz and directness about him and that gave the backs outside him more go forward and time on the ball.  He's more of a running playmaker than a standard 2nd FH.  Critically I also felt of the centre combinations we've seen so far he's had the most natural instant connection with Tuilagi, who's likely the guaranteed starter.

Twelvetrees at his best has a far superior and lovely passing game, plus a very handy boot, but sometimes he brings a bit too much 10 to the 12 shirt, taking a bit too much time on the ball assessing or looking for the big long pass when the more direct and snappy option would be of greater benefit.  His best game for me is still his debut against Scotland, he attacked the line more, looked busier and more natural.  Quite often since he just seems to be overthinking things.

I'd be very happy with either, but having gone well in the first test and with Twelvetrees coming back from a recent injury I'd like to see how Eastmond can develop over a couple of tests.

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Post by nth Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:19 pm

Farrell/Burns - whomever is kicking better from hand during practice this week, it was a big problem at the weekend
Eastmond
Tuilagi

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Post by sirtidychris Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:32 pm

Unpopular but....

10)Farrell
11)Yarde
12)Barrit
13)Tuilagi
14)Ashton
15)Brown

that 10,11,12,13 axis is the only one to have beaten the all blacks in how many years ! Farrell, Barrit and Ashton know eachother inside out, barrit is a defensive beast and showed against the all blacks in 2012 that he can create and score as well as defend. I believe he has developed his game just as sarries have, he would stop the burrell/12 trees turnstile defense letting nonu run riot and acts like BOD did as another flanker at the break down. It wont happen as he is far down the pecking order and seen by most as limited but i think he is the best we have and would have ashton and manu scoring.

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Post by dragonbreath Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:28 pm

[quote="formerly known as Sam"]Can't say Billy has impressed me at international level. At club level he tends to be average for the bulk of his game time and then just throw in the occasional incredible performance. When he is on he is awesome. Only seen the average for England. I wasn't impressed with him during the 6N and given that Brown at 15 and both scrum half's have decent boots his howitzer of a right boot as an alternative to the fly half is less relevant these days especially with kick happy Farrell the likely choice.

Eastmond provided the best display from an English 12 since Greenwood last Saturday. He was exceptional. Despite his mediocrity at Bath and his tantrums over their style of play he is a better fit at this level than Twelvetrees. Eastmond just seems to have more time on the ball and a greater ability to mix up the play from 12. Though having Burns at 10 might have helped that.

Couldn't agree more. England have been waiting so long for an acceptable replacement for Greenwood that the desire for 36 to be the answer is blinding people from the truth. 36 on the available evidence is a pretty ordinary international class player. He goes missing in games and has been seen to throw in the more than occasional stinker.

Wanting it bad don't make it so. Sticking Manu on the wing to accommodate two inferior players is just stupid. Eastmond settled in at international level seamlessly. He created space for Manu and the timing of his passing to put Manu into that space was top draw; when the opportunity to break presented itself he was gone like Poopie off a shovel stepping of both feet. Offers more potentially IMO and should be given a run but will not be. Such are the riches at England's disposal at the moment the best chance we have of getting out of our WC group is that Lancaster Frak up selection

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Post by Geordie Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:37 am

I think some of Twelvetrees decision making on Saturday was mind bogling and rash.

Im happy England are looking to offload as much as possible but you need some intelligence aswell and frequently Twelvetrees has shown a serious lack of judgment.

Manu MUST be at 13 now.

I also wonder about Farrell now. I think the 2 tests have highlighted the difference in styles of Burns and Farrell.

Maybe for the minute
10 Farrell
12 Eastmond
13 Manu

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Post by Exiledinborders Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:58 am

sirtidychris wrote:Unpopular but....

10)Farrell
11)Yarde
12)Barrit
13)Tuilagi
14)Ashton
15)Brown

that 10,11,12,13 axis is the only one to have beaten the all blacks in how many years ! Farrell, Barrit and Ashton know eachother inside out, barrit is a defensive beast and showed against the all blacks in 2012 that he can create and score as well as defend. I believe he has developed his game just as sarries have, he would stop the burrell/12 trees turnstile defense letting nonu run riot and acts like BOD did as another flanker at the break down. It wont happen as he is far down the pecking order and seen by most as limited but i think he is the best we have and would have ashton and manu scoring.

I have a lot of sympathy for your view. I also doubt we will see it but may see the same line-up except Burrell replacing Barritt. We could also see Burns in through injury. Personally I would be happy for him to get some more experience.

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Post by HammerofThunor Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:59 am

As I understand it Care, Farrell, Twelvetrees and Burrell are all injury concerns so the problem may have a forced solution anyway.

Personally I'd go for Farrell, Eastmond and Manu anyway. But potentially rest Farrell for Burns even if fit.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:00 am

I would go for the alternative of 10. Burns 12. Burrell 13. Tuilagi for this test.  Eastmond in the 23 jersey.
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:18 am

Ozzy3213 wrote:I would go for the alternative of 10. Burns 12. Burrell 13. Tuilagi for this test.  Eastmond in the 23 jersey.
Excellent choice for 10, 12, 13.

Wingers : Ashton and without doubt, Yarde.

9 : Care

Backs bench Farrell, Youngs, Eastman (and hope for no injuries in the back three).

Ditch Twelvetrees. He's got no head for big games - he gets flustered when he needs to dig deep mentally.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:18 am

Care - awful on Sat, but maybe still carrying a niggle, we know he can do much better when fit
Farrell - okish on Sat, needs a bit of R&R, obviously Stewie's favourite 10, need to give one of Ford, Cips, Burns real game time off the bench (when all available)

12T - has been slowly improving towards half-decent (his level), took several steps backwards (in so many ways) on Sat, just keeping the place warm til we someday find a top IC
Burrell - by far the biggest disappointment on Sat, looked good in the 6N, vs ABs looked completely over-awed, doesn't bode well for the RWC
Manu - our best OC, 'nuff said
Eastmond - promising start, could be the IC we've been looking for, since 12T is just average then he's worth persevering with
Barritt - when 12T's is struggling (30-50% of the time) Barritt's a better option

Wingers - Yarde (improving), Ashton (good to see the return of the Swan), then May, Nowell, Wade?, Watson?...
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Post by lostinwales Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:25 am

I havent given up on 36. He was an integral part of a backline that did some good things in the 6N. But if he is rusty coming back from injury and off form this isnt the place for him.

I think that there is a big difference here between the players on best form and the best options if everyone was fit and firing, and that we have to go with form rather than reputation, every time. Form can mean what guys are showing on the training pitch (e.g. Burns). I dont think we get anything out of flogging Farrell for one more game.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:33 am

People seem to be ragging Burrell, which I think is harsh.  He is a 12 who has been pushed out to 13 to accommodate Twelvetrees.  I know it's a novel idea in these days of trying to be uber clever and force round pegs into square holes, but how about playing the form 12 in the AP at 12, you never know, he might just have a chance of doing well there.
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Post by Geordie Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:44 am

LIW,

Totally correct about Farrell does him or us no good. Give him a rest now. Give Burns a run out again...win all round.

Ozzy,

Agree, and even curiouser when Twevletrees is not fit and looks so far off the pace.

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Post by aitchw Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:46 pm

With so much improvement in the squad and in performance it's easy to lose sight of the relative inexperience of many of our backline options and of the need to give them that experience. There is enormous potential there and lots of natural talent to be developed.

We have very quickly come to expect top drawer performances every outing with one poor showing seen as some sort dire omen of future failure or one outstanding debut as being the birth of a new superstar. Neither is true of course.

Burrell has done enough to show he has a future at 12 and enough ability at 13 to stand in for Manu if needed. Eastmond has shown he can bring something special at 12 where 36 hasn't done enough for me to nail it. So for me I would start Eastmond at 12 with Manu at 13 and have Burrell on the bench to cover both. Harsh on 36 but we have to try these combinations when there's a chance of sparking something special in attack.

The half backs also have to be sorted out. Despite an error strewn performance Care is still our best 9 by a mile but at 10 it's a tough one. Farrell has worked hard on his game to good effect and just about deserves to start but Burns went well with Eastmond and gets the bench position for me. It'll be frustrating for Ford but his time may well come being so young and he's getting better all the time at club level.

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Post by bluestonevedder Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:48 pm

The midfield is a real conundrum for me.

Eastmond impressed last week with a lovely break, some crisp passes, and good defence when a lot of of people assumed he would be a liability.

36 was a real mixed bag on Saturday morning. He did some brilliant things, some good things, some bad things, and some really stinking things. His lovely first half break has been overlooked by most people because of his mistakes. He zipped some great passes throughout the backfield and really showed some good accuracy, but then completely undid all that by throwing a few REALLY questionable offloads when they simply weren't on. The one attempt to Wood when NZ collected and scored the Savea try was a shocker, but throughout the rest of the game he completed some nice ones. His tackling wasn't brilliant, but to be honest, it was probably better than a lot of other players in the backline. I thought Burrell was woeful, and a lot of the criticism aimed at 36 should be going his way. Burrell's game revolves around being a lump in the midfield and throwing his weight around, but to be honest he never got going and his tackling was non-existent. By far his worst game in an England shirt, and the flack for the poor centre work should be shared, not put on 36's shoulders.

For Saturday, I'd go 36 and Tuilagi with Eastmond on the bench.

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Post by Geordie Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:45 pm

What does everyone feel about the FH spot then?


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Post by hugehandoff Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:28 pm

Just interested in what people think now about the recruitment of Burgess and if he actually does prove himself to be a handful at Union how will he fit into England's midfield? People talk about a blend of players and skills and currently many think that Burrell and Manu is too similar and that we need a Eastmond or 36 at 12 instead so exactly where would Burgess fit in? Could he play 12? A tad premature I know but he needs to fit in somewhere otherwise all this expense will be wasted?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:30 pm

Thought the expense was Bath's? They're murmouring he will be at 6.

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Post by sickofwendy Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:38 pm

Best chance for burgess might be wing
Will he have enough time to learn to play 12?

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Post by Poorfour Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:03 pm

I can't see Burgess making an impact at 12 in time for 2015. 2019 possibly, and I think Bath are nuts to try to play him at 6, unless they want him to be a Worsley/Lydiate "all I do is tackle" style player.
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Post by hugehandoff Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:20 pm

I thought the plan was to use him at 12 as playing in the forwards will be too difficult and they want to capitalise on his power and offloading skills

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Post by sirtidychris Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:53 pm

Will never get game time at 12 for Bath as behind Devoto and Eastmond who are both huge (figuratively speaking) talents and on/ in the england radar.

Why is everyone so surprised by 6 ? the lad is 6ft 5 and 18 stone and loves contact/agression...perfect forward material. He has good hands, leadership coming out of his behind, pace (but not top end back pace) and line breaking ability, he would be like a cross between Croft, Hask and Wood merged into one. Surely a 6 just has to tackle everything, hit rucks all day, provide crash ball occassionally and provide an option at lineout. Whats so bloomin hard about that !!, infact its the easiest postion on the whole pitch, if no one sees you all game you must be good as involved in the dark arts BS. You dont have to control the game/ backline like at 9,10,12,13 you dont have to throw in (2), kick(10,12,15) win scrums(1,2,3), score tries(11-15), create tries(9-13), win more turnovers than anyone else(7), control the lineout (4,5) or the ball at the base(8)....you just run around the pitch getting involved in all the fun stuff with no pressure to do much but be invisible. The only real attributes for being a six is being big, can jump, can tackle, have a massive engine.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:16 pm

It's a really interesting conundrum that luckily we don't need to figure out.

10. Farrell 12. Burrell 13. Tuilagi

I don't know if I'd be worried the creativity in this backline, I doubt the wingers would see much ball but it's certainly very physical.

10. Farrell 12. Eastmond 13. Tuilagi

Could work well. Eastmond has a good pass on him and his suspect defence would be helped by the bigger 10/13. I know Eastmond did ok in the first test but he got bumped more than few times and will be targeted more.

10. Burns 12. Burrell 13. Tuilagi

Could be excellent. Burns has the flat pass to bring in the big runners and both centres run some lovely lines. This would be my choice for the next test and possibly moving forward.

I bet Ford is cursing his luck with him seemingly dropping to 4th choice in 2 weeks.

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Post by sirtidychris Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:57 pm

Think Ford is now 5th choice behind Farrell, Burns, Cipriani and Myler, and given how awesome Henry Slade was in the babas he's got some real competition on his hands.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:10 pm

I was very impressed with what I saw from Slade.  Great for us to have this competition, as it should spur them all on to keep improving.
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Post by sad_gimp Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:41 pm

On recent form, any combination of :

Farrell
Burns
Cipriani

Eastmond
Twelvetrees
Burrell
Tuilagi

Can work for us. Consistency is a problem, I would give Eastmond/Tuilagi a go 3rd test

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Post by Cumbrian Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:50 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:I was very impressed with what I saw from Slade.  Great for us to have this competition, as it should spur them all on to keep improving.

Good call. Slade is one that I think is quietly going to come up from under the radar.  In 18 months we'll see an article in the rugby paper and/ or hear Barnes pontificating about him and we'll be able to share a nod and a wink and know we called that Poopie aaageeess ago.  He seems very efficient in everyting he's done and whilst Ford is (rightly-ish) anointed our new messiah I think Slade is closer to what we traditionally like as a good English fly half.  To be honest I think he'd be fairly high on the old hype-machine if young George wasn't around.
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Post by Scratch Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:37 pm

Ozzy3213 wrote:I was very impressed with what I saw from Slade.  Great for us to have this competition, as it should spur them all on to keep improving.

But perhaps a double edged sword, makes selection very difficult and leads to the propsensity to select players out of position because you want the in the team….when england started to really improve it was partly because of consistency of selection and with so much competition this becomes harder. Throw in a few injuries and you have a problem. Manu is a case in point, for me if he is in the side it should be at OS and he shouldn't get shifted about to accommodate others, its the big mistake wales made with hook and look at what that did for his career.

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Post by Cumbrian Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:53 pm

Scratch wrote:
Ozzy3213 wrote:I was very impressed with what I saw from Slade.  Great for us to have this competition, as it should spur them all on to keep improving.

But perhaps a double edged sword, makes selection very difficult and leads to the propsensity to select players out of position because you want the in the team….when england started to really improve it was partly because of consistency of selection and with so much competition this becomes harder. Throw in a few injuries and you have a problem. Manu is a case in point, for me if he is in the side it should be at OS and he shouldn't get shifted about to accommodate others, its the big mistake wales made with hook and look at what that did for his career.

I see what you are saying but, Christ, we've gone from one or two 'okay' options at FH to having 3-4 genuinely decent players competing for the position. I'll take that problem over having a knacked Wilkinson, a 'hot and cold' Flood and a flaky Hodgson.
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Post by nathan Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:18 pm

sirtidychris wrote:Think Ford is now 5th choice behind Farrell, Burns, Cipriani and Myler, and given how awesome Henry Slade was in the babas he's got some real competition on his hands.

To be fair i think the pecking order can and will change pretty quickly. Before test number 1, Burns wasn't anywhere near number 2.

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Post by Scratch Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:58 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
Scratch wrote:
Ozzy3213 wrote:I was very impressed with what I saw from Slade.  Great for us to have this competition, as it should spur them all on to keep improving.

But perhaps a double edged sword, makes selection very difficult and leads to the propsensity to select players out of position because you want the in the team….when england started to really improve it was partly because of consistency of selection and with so much competition this becomes harder. Throw in a few injuries and you have a problem. Manu is a case in point, for me if he is in the side it should be at OS and he shouldn't get shifted about to accommodate others, its the big mistake wales made with hook and look at what that did for his career.

I see what you are saying but, Christ, we've gone from one or two 'okay' options at FH to having 3-4 genuinely decent players competing for the position. I'll take that problem over having a knacked Wilkinson, a 'hot and cold' Flood and a flaky Hodgson.

agreed and that's great to have fareell/burns/cips/myler and ford….but it almost raises more questions than it answers because england are forever tweaking things to accommodate their talent pool, not saying other sides don't but i notice a real upswing in form when they stick with a midfield and allow them to have bumps in form but remain consistent in selection. On reflection selection of Manu on the wing was a poor one but best to find that out now than later. If fit, stick with Care for example. Of course when you throw in ridiculous scheduling an injury there is a real need to have that strength in depth and it is working in the 2nd row and at 8, at 10 and at 15 but the centers remain a real conundrum. 12 games out from RWC maybe it is time to say, right i am sticking with 3 and that's it.

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Post by Geordie Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:31 am

nathan wrote:
sirtidychris wrote:Think Ford is now 5th choice behind Farrell, Burns, Cipriani and Myler, and given how awesome Henry Slade was in the babas he's got some real competition on his hands.

To be fair i think the pecking order can and will change pretty quickly. Before test number 1, Burns wasn't anywhere near number 2.
 
Nathan, most people agree he was number 2 for most of the season.... Wink Very Happy

PS...on the Burgess thing. Its all baths money so they can do as they will with him.
Personally id like to see him as a 6....ball carrying, destructive tackling...could be awesome for England...(IF he adapts to the game)

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:54 am

Sorry GF but Burns was not close to international rugby by the 6N. Lancaster showed faith and kept him around the squad but his form had dropped him well down the pecking order. Had any of Farrell , Ford or Myler been available for the first test then Burns wouldn't have started. He's done well to play himself back into contention.

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Post by Geordie Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:04 am

Sam...i was joking ...toilet humour...number 2?

Ok poor joke ill get my coat.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:29 am

Taxi for GF  Wink
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:50 pm

sirtidychris wrote:Will never get game time at 12 for Bath as behind Devoto and Eastmond who are both huge (figuratively speaking) talents and on/ in the england radar.

Why is everyone so surprised by 6 ? the lad is 6ft 5 and 18 stone and loves contact/agression...perfect forward material. He has good hands, leadership coming out of his behind, pace (but not top end back pace) and line breaking ability, he would be like a cross between Croft, Hask and Wood merged into one. Surely a 6 just has to tackle everything, hit rucks all day, provide crash ball occassionally and provide an option at lineout. Whats so bloomin hard about that !!, infact its the easiest postion on the whole pitch, if no one sees you all game you must be good as involved in the dark arts BS. You dont have to control the game/ backline like at 9,10,12,13 you dont have to throw in (2), kick(10,12,15) win scrums(1,2,3), score tries(11-15), create tries(9-13), win more turnovers than anyone else(7), control the lineout (4,5) or the ball at the base(8)....you just run around the pitch getting involved in all the fun stuff with no pressure to do much but be invisible. The only real attributes for being a six is being big, can jump, can tackle, have a massive engine.  

As an ex 6/8 I can guarrentee Burgess will struggle, he will never have scrummed, mauled, rucked, jumped//lifted in a lineout, had to protect the ball and make sure that it is available to come back when tackled. Different universe to RL forwards.

If he can grasp all of that in one season, I will take my hat off to him, it's a very big ask.
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