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England Squad for the 6N 2016

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 26 Oct 2015, 11:03 am

First topic message reminder :

Well, the dust is settling on our early exit, time to concentrate on the next disappointment.

We obviously have no idea who the Head Coach or team will be at this current point, but we can take a stab at the potential squad going into the 6N.

2 games into the AP season, who's looking impressive? Who can come in under the radar and steal a spot? Are any of the disappointing WC squad going to grab the bull by the horns and actually impress! Who should be captain? What could or starting 23 be? Do we starting blooding for 2019 now?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 29 Oct 2015, 1:11 pm

Is there any indication of when this panel will be sorted and its findings done with and we can find out if Lancaster is staying or going?

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Post by little_badger Thu 29 Oct 2015, 1:32 pm

I would have Cipriani, he plays with flair, plays what he sees.

I'd have Slade primarily as a centre but one who could cover 10. Cips also covers 15 so no need for Alex Goode, who seems a nice bloke but who we don't need as Watson, Nowell and Cips all cover 15.

I have been increasingly unimpressed with Farrell's discipline and his tendency to be petulant. On Friday he had a penalty reversed because the ref got annoyed with his bleating. I've seen him be warned numerous times in England games for late hits etc. He needs to sort it out because he makes a target of himself.

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Post by Exiledinborders Thu 29 Oct 2015, 2:14 pm

Cumbrian wrote:Without considering injuries, my squad would look something like this:


01. Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola & Nick Auterac
02. Dylan Hartley, Jamie George and Tom Youngs
03. Dan Cole, Kieran Brookes & Henry Thomas
04. Joe Launchbury, Ed Slater & Maro Itoje
05. Graham Kitchener, Courtney Lawes
06. Chris Robshaw, Matt Garvey & Dave Ewers
07. Matt Kvesic, Will Fraser & Jack Clifford
08. Ben Morgan, Billy Vunipola

09. Ben Youngs, Danny Care & Dan Robson
10. George Ford & Owen Farrell

11. Jonny May, Marland Yarde
12. Henry Slade & Ollie Devoto
13. Jon Joseph & Manu Tuilagi & Luther Burrell
14. Anthony Watson & Jack Nowell
15. Mike Brown & Ben Foden
I like that squad. I would include Elliot Daly and lose either Devoto or Burrell. I would also consider Cipriani over Farrell.

Ben Morgan and Billy Vunipola need to impress as one of them is likely to be replaced by Nathan Hughes come the summer.

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Post by jamesandimac Thu 29 Oct 2015, 6:59 pm

Cumbrian wrote:Without considering injuries, my squad would look something like this:


01. Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola & Nick Auterac
02. Dylan Hartley, Jamie George and Tom Youngs
03. Dan Cole, Kieran Brookes & Henry Thomas
04. Joe Launchbury, Ed Slater & Maro Itoje
05. Graham Kitchener, Courtney Lawes
06. Chris Robshaw, Matt Garvey & Dave Ewers
07. Matt Kvesic, Will Fraser & Jack Clifford
08. Ben Morgan, Billy Vunipola

09. Ben Youngs, Danny Care & Dan Robson
10. George Ford & Owen Farrell

11. Jonny May, Marland Yarde
12. Henry Slade & Ollie Devoto
13. Jon Joseph & Manu Tuilagi & Luther Burrell
14. Anthony Watson & Jack Nowell
15. Mike Brown & Ben Foden

Both Mike Brown and Ben Foden will be 34 by the next world cup and I would have concerns investing time in both of them. By that age they may loose a bit of their pace, something which is crucial in the way both play. Also if we invest in both we are leaving ourselves in a position whereby after the next world cup we will have no one groomed to fill the void and we'll have to start all over again, much like 2003.

I appreciate the need to win now, but I think you need to keep one eye on the future as well. I would much rather go down the route of having a master and apprentice so we can keep the pipeline moving.

Brown has been one of Englands best for a while so I think we should stick with him their. We need to identify a replacement now though and get them into the squad and keep them there, giving game time here and there. No whether that is someone like Watson remains to be seen, first they need to be playing regularly at FB for their club. It could also be Goode as he still has time very much on his side. But we need to stick with 2 players and invest in them fully rather than chopping and changing every 2 minutes.

Sometimes having a large player pool is a hindrance because we never fully invest in anyone and they may never reach their potential. Take Robshaw as an example, we've just invested 4 years in him, both as a player and a captain and now some are wanting him dropped all together despite being a very consistent performer for England. Its a complete waste. If it was someone who was blatantly never going to be more than a 6 out of 10 then fair enough get rid and move on to someone else. I just think we are stupid to ourselves sometimes.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 29 Oct 2015, 9:36 pm

little_badger wrote:...I have been increasingly unimpressed with Farrell's discipline and his tendency to be petulant. On Friday he had a penalty reversed because the ref got annoyed with his bleating...
One of the first things I saw him do for Saracens was a head high tackle which drew a penalty. Given that he was yellow-carded against Australia for that - and lucky not to be carded for the same against Bath in last season's final - you'd hope he would have cut that out by now.

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Post by little_badger Thu 29 Oct 2015, 10:33 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
little_badger wrote:...I have been increasingly unimpressed with Farrell's discipline and his tendency to be petulant. On Friday he had a penalty reversed because the ref got annoyed with his bleating...
One of the first things I saw him do for Saracens was a head high tackle which drew a penalty. Given that he was yellow-carded against Australia for that - and lucky not to be carded for the same against Bath in last season's final - you'd hope he would have cut that out by now.

Yes agreed this is why I would have Cipriani over him at the moment. I don't want Farrell to become an easy target and give away cheap points because of it. England give away enough penalties for being stupid without adding cheap shots to it as well.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 8:06 am

jamesandimac wrote:.  Take Robshaw as an example, we've just invested 4 years in him, both as a player and a captain and now some are wanting him dropped all together despite being a very consistent performer for England.  Its a complete waste.  If it was someone who was blatantly never going to be more than a 6 out of 10 then fair enough get rid and move on to someone else.  I just think we are stupid to ourselves sometimes.

I think most people are saying he should still be in the squad or battle it out with Wood / Ewers ...whoever else for the 6 spot.

He's not a good enough Captain...and I think this WC has finally proved you need some more nous and speed at 7.

HOWEVER....

I also wonder if the tactics changed (and the pack balance did) and Robshaw was told to focus on the 7 role rather than hitting every ruck...being a non stop working machine then you may see a different performance from him. Who knows.

But something needs to change in the back row (and the pack) and Wood and Robshaw should not be paired on the flanks again.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 30 Oct 2015, 8:42 am

jamesandimac wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Without considering injuries, my squad would look something like this:


01. Joe Marler, Mako Vunipola & Nick Auterac
02. Dylan Hartley, Jamie George and Tom Youngs
03. Dan Cole, Kieran Brookes & Henry Thomas
04. Joe Launchbury, Ed Slater & Maro Itoje
05. Graham Kitchener, Courtney Lawes
06. Chris Robshaw, Matt Garvey & Dave Ewers
07. Matt Kvesic, Will Fraser & Jack Clifford
08. Ben Morgan, Billy Vunipola

09. Ben Youngs, Danny Care & Dan Robson
10. George Ford & Owen Farrell

11. Jonny May, Marland Yarde
12. Henry Slade & Ollie Devoto
13. Jon Joseph & Manu Tuilagi & Luther Burrell
14. Anthony Watson & Jack Nowell
15. Mike Brown & Ben Foden

Both Mike Brown and Ben Foden will be 34 by the next world cup and I would have concerns investing time in both of them.  By that age they may loose a bit of their pace, something which is crucial in the way both play.  Also if we invest in both we are leaving ourselves in a position whereby after the next world cup we will have no one groomed to fill the void and we'll have to start all over again, much like 2003.

I appreciate the need to win now, but I think you need to keep one eye on the future as well.  I would much rather go down the route of having a master and apprentice so we can keep the pipeline moving.

Brown has been one of Englands best for a while so I think we should stick with him their.  We need to identify a replacement now though and get them into the squad and keep them there, giving game time here and there.  No whether that is someone like Watson remains to be seen, first they need to be playing regularly at FB for their club.  It could also be Goode as he still has time very much on his side.  But we need to stick with 2 players and invest in them fully rather than chopping and changing every 2 minutes.

Sometimes having a large player pool is a hindrance because we never fully invest in anyone and they may never reach their potential.  Take Robshaw as an example, we've just invested 4 years in him, both as a player and a captain and now some are wanting him dropped all together despite being a very consistent performer for England.  Its a complete waste.  If it was someone who was blatantly never going to be more than a 6 out of 10 then fair enough get rid and move on to someone else.  I just think we are stupid to ourselves sometimes.

I appreciate your point, but who is this ‘apprentice’ to be?  Which English fullbacks start regularly?  There is Tom Homer, Luke Arscott, Rob Cook, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Matt Tait, Simon Hammersley and Chris Pennell as far as I can see (I may have missed a couple).  None of them would get ahead of Brown or Foden on merit at them moment and lets face it, half of them are getting on a bit anyway.

I am personally unconvinced by Goode. I believe he is solid but I just don’t get excited when he receives the ball.  He never seems to do anything out of the ordinary, never seems to surprise the defence or beat more than one man.

To me it has to be Watson or Nowell. Both are already in the squad and both have been fullbacks earlier in their careers (and in my opinion) will settle there long term.  They have a good couple of years to watch and learn from Brown and Foden before they come under pressure.

I also don't like chopping and changing for the sake of it.  However, I wouldn't shirk from dropping players who have consistently underperformed any-more either.  Players like Haskell or Barritt who either continually make the same mistakes or are incredibly limited.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 8:51 am

I really think Nowell could be the answer there marra.

He looks like a complete package for FB. Just lacking a little height maybe....but that didn't affect Halfpenny.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 30 Oct 2015, 9:00 am

Agreed, his carrying reminds me of Mike Brown a little bit. He seems to have a surprising amount of power for his size.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 9:06 am

He does...hes strong under the high ball and his offloads are excellent. Also his defence is very strong.

The only thing is his speed...very Brown esque. I would keep May and Watson on the wing...and have Nowell floating like Brown.

I just hope he can learn to join the line properly. One thing I don't think Brown is great at doing.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 30 Oct 2015, 9:49 am

Cumbrian wrote:Agreed, his carrying reminds me of Mike Brown a little bit.  He seems to have a surprising amount of power for his size.  

Attitude isn't so different either (maybe not quite the aggressive side, but definitely the make things happen side)

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Post by cb Fri 30 Oct 2015, 9:56 am

On the full back issue, Watson has played there more often than the others and appears to be able to utilize his speed from that position.  More good wingers around as well to replace him.

On the squad selection, it would seem an idea (regardless of the who the manager is) to start with the concept of no-one owing the shirt and everyone having to compete for it from scratch.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:12 am

After that World Cup...surely no one owns the shirt anyway Wink

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:22 am

To be honest, fullback doesn't worry me half as much as no.8. Both Morgan and Vunipola play an abrasive game that can lead to injuries. Both have had time off with injuries too. What happens if one of them or even both of them gets injured? (it could happen), what happens if their form collapses? Who are the alternatives? We surely can't continue to run back to Old Man Easter?
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Post by little_badger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:23 am

I echo comments that I think Nowell will end up at fullback longer term as Watson has more pace and Nowell is generally a very solid defender, however I would be happy with the other way round too.

Add in Mike Brown and that's my current starting lineup. As long as Brown plays well I am fine having him in there, eventually we can start Nowell/Watson in a game and see how they get on.

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Post by BamBam Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:24 am

If they can get through the 6N, Mr Hughes of the Coventry Wasps will be around.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:25 am

Not too bothered about 8 either. Hughes (from June), Waldrom, Beaumont, Ewers could do well there. The big Saints guy who's names escaping me.

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Post by jamesandimac Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:26 am

I like the idea of having either Nowell or Watson at FB, however they do need to play there often to warrant the selection there.

I know what you are saying about Goode in that he doesn't excite in the same way that a Folau or Hogg does, but then he is a completely different player. He could be used to good effect in the right backline, look at the France Test in the warm up games where he was asked to play make. If you are looking at a midfield with no second receiver in there, such as Tuilagi and Joseph, then Goode could come into his own at FB in support of either Ford or Farrell.

However if you selected a second ball player in the midfield, such as Slade, then I don't see the need for having him there and we would benefit from an attacking FB coming into the line.

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Post by bluestonevedder Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:28 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not too bothered about 8 either. Hughes (from June), Waldrom, Beaumont, Ewers could do well there. The big Saints guy who's names escaping me.

Sam Dickinson?

He was a real breath of fresh air his first season at Saints, but have his performances taken a bit of a nose-dive?

Certainly with Manoa leaving he'll get a lot more gametime, but it's be interesting to see if he can be as destructive.

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Post by BamBam Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:29 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not too bothered about 8 either. Hughes (from June), Waldrom, Beaumont, Ewers could do well there. The big Saints guy who's names escaping me.

Sam Dickinson? Wouldn't want to see anyone other than Hughes and maybe Ewers of that list in an England shirt, but I'm pretty sure we'll be fine with Bill and Ben for one 6N

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:31 am

Dickinson yes. I'm not advocating him in any way to be first choice but he's a very solid player who could provide cover and not really let us down. Realistically unless you have a horrible run you're only really going to need 2 or 3 players per position. Bill and Ben. Easter will still be there come 6Ns if needed. But there is decent cover.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:32 am

Don't get me wrong, the situation at no.8 doesn't leave me angst ridden.  I can just see a potential crack developing.  Is there a consensus about Hughes?  Are people happy for him to be selected?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:35 am

Don't agree with the rule but he has to be selected. Potentially brilliant player.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:37 am

Cumbrian wrote:Don't get me wrong, the situation at no.8 doesn't leave me angst ridden.  I can just see a potential crack developing.  Is there a consensus about Hughes?  Are people happy for him to be selected?

No I am not happy with him being selected.

He will be however, increasing the reasons why my affinity with club rugby is stronger than international.

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Post by BamBam Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:46 am

Not happy with it Cumbrian, but we can't play by different rules.

Although this is a bit worse for me than other players because I think he's rejected a call up from one of the PI's?




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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 30 Oct 2015, 10:58 am

No problem with Hughes coming in, he's a unique player that will help us at the breakdown no end (most turnovers in the AP last year).

Problem is, can we accommodate him at 6 or can Vuinipola switch to 6?

I think Hughes has the potential to be our Kaino, it would require a change of tactics and some work. He regularly plays deep for Wasps, taking the ball up from deep, this wouldn't work at 6.

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Post by little_badger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:02 am

I am not happy with Hughes, he should have played for Samoa or Fiji. I want world rugby to change the residency rules. 5 years, unless you have a grandparent in which case it drops to 3.

The cynic in me says do what NZ and Australia do which is cap someone once so they can't then play for any other nation. It's something which seems to happen to PI's a lot because they usually play outside their home nation.


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Post by BamBam Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:02 am

No problem on the playing side of things at all

Depends on the make up of the back row, but I see him only at 8, up to him to take the shirt

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:03 am

Could Vuinipola play 6?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:05 am

Imagine a hefty pack of:

1. Corbisiero
2. George
3. Wilson
4. Launchbury
5. Slater
6. Vuinipola
7. Armitage
8. Hughes

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:18 am

Do people not rate Ewers?

He was primarily an 8...who has moved to 6 and become a player I think would be great for England. Bar the lineout maybe, he offers everything. And he's a huge unit.

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If only it was the Corbs of a few years ago, absolutely. But now Crying or Very sad

EDitL Also Kitchener is heavier than Slater and a mobile athletic lock who is a lineout king. If Lancaster stays and insist on that type of lock...then him and Launchbury would be better than Launchbury and Lawes imo.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:22 am

I reckon Marler is probably as 'hefty' as Corbs these days Sgt. He seems to have slimmed down recently, whether that is due to coaches request or simply to reduce impact after his injuries I don't know.

As for the full back position - Pennell should be in the squad with Brown in the short term now he is back in the Prem. He is an excellent player who performs week in week out. He has the ability of Brown to regularly break the first tackle, is excellent in the air, strong in defence and has a good kicking game. Then in addition to what Brown offers he also has very good handling skills to put other players away - something Brown has been failed to do on a few occasions for England.

Those two in the squad with Nowell and Watson also able to cover - preferably one of them getting game time at 15 from the bench or switching there late on. At the moment that would probably be Watson out of the two of them given he is more likely to get game time there at Bath.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:25 am

You see I don't think Marler is...I always view Marler as below weight for a top prop. I may be wrong of course.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:27 am

Weight aside, Marler is a country mile better than Corbisiero now.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:29 am

Wiki has Corbs 7kg heavier Carlos which is about right I think.

Corbisiero is a big lad, rarely under 120kg. Marler has always being on the lighter side around 110-115kg I think.

Agree GF, he need to find some form, hopefully he will.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:31 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Do people not rate Ewers?

No I don't. Sorry.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:35 am

He was very good against Bath i thought. Started last season great and then trailed off. If he has a good run to Christmas he could put himself very much in the frame.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:36 am

Whenever I've seen him playing since his latest injury return he has looked much slighter to me. He is a naturally big bloke though as you say so maybe it's just my mind playing tricks.

Corbs always struck me as a confidence player. When his scrummaging was going well he then looked very dynamic in the loose. Without his scrummaging he seemed to go missing a bit - similar to many props really. Since the new scrum laws came in I'm yet to see the same level of scrummaging from him and as such I think the rest of his game has gone missing too.

Agreed Marler isn't that big for a prop. He was excellent for England consistently for 18 months leading into the RWC however and deserves to keep the LH jersey regardless of a poor tournament in a struggling side.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:37 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Weight aside, Marler is a country mile better than Corbisiero now.

Ah I totally agree, on form hes the best LH by quite a way.

Ill watch Auterac with interest though.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:38 am

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Do people not rate Ewers?  

No I don't. Sorry.

What is it you strictly don't like LT

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Post by yappysnap Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:48 am

cb wrote:To Cumbrian's list I might just add Roko as a wing option since he brings a bit more physicality than the other wingers.  But I don't think overall England lacks talent.

I think Yarde can be that physical winger if we need one, he's looked very good for Quins so far this season (all two games) he's stopped sitting on the wing and now comes inside a lot more looking for work and carrying into congestion. Cuts some good lines too.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:49 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Do people not rate Ewers?  

No I don't. Sorry.

What is it you strictly don't like LT

I have yet to see the kind of performance from him that makes me think he is anything other than a decent premiership player. Travelling up to Leicester every other week and to around half the away games limits how much I see of televised games, so not a huge sample of matches. I just do not see what he brings to the game that is anything other than OK.

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Post by little_badger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:51 am

I quite like Ewers, he's powerful, a good carrier a good tackler, seems to have a nice off loading game.

I want Billy and Ben to concentrate on 8, learning those skills which Easter has learnt, ball control at the scrum, offloading, picking good lines in attack. If something happens to them in the short term, I'd look at Clifford and Ewers.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:52 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Do people not rate Ewers?  

No I don't. Sorry.

What is it you strictly don't like LT

I'm with LT.

I think he's a bit cumbersome and seems unfit/slow for a backrower. Not seen him yet this season mind so the pre-season might have done him some favours. He's obviously a strong lad but can he produce for a full game at a higher level? I have my doubts.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 30 Oct 2015, 11:52 am

I watched the AP highlights and Nowell caught my eye, he was very good for his two tries but at the same time, he looked so slow on that intercept!

He was caught embarrassingly quickly by the covering player and yes it was a good hand off, but at the same time the tackle was mince. He's never going to get tackled that poorly at Int level (any one remember B Smiths tracking back and tackling of Manu(?)).

I think if we have Brown at 15 we may not be able to play Nowell as they're both a little slow for back three players.

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Post by jamesandimac Fri 30 Oct 2015, 12:10 pm

Geordie, how's Scott Wilson getting on with you guys?

I know he was highly talked up last year and got some game time with the Saxons but not heard much since. Worth another Saxons slot and potentially a slot in the Australia tour?

Same goes for Sinkler? Will he get much game time with Jones now at quins?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 12:20 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Do people not rate Ewers?  

No I don't. Sorry.

What is it you strictly don't like LT

I have yet to see the kind of performance from him that makes me think he is anything other than a decent premiership player. Travelling up to Leicester every other week and to around half the away games limits how much I see of televised games, so not a huge sample of matches. I just do not see what he brings to the game that is anything other than OK.

Interesting.

So would you prefer to stick with a proven performer who's back on form in Wood or Robshaw for that 6 spot?

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Post by LondonTiger Fri 30 Oct 2015, 12:23 pm

Anthony Watson playing FB for Bath this weekend. Always think he looks better there than on the wing.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Oct 2015, 12:23 pm

jamesandimac wrote:Geordie, how's Scott Wilson getting on with you guys?

I know he was highly talked up last year and got some game time with the Saxons but not heard much since. Worth another Saxons slot and potentially a slot in the Australia tour?

Same goes for Sinkler? Will he get much game time with Jones now at quins?

Scotty had a "second season" syndrome last year.

This season he was very impressive in all the preseason games then was promptly dropped for the first game of the season for Taione Vea who never it made an appearance in the preseasons.
He came on against Gloucester and was excellent.

He would be my starting TH now easily....but I just don't get Dean Richards at the moment. He just seems to chop and change things TOO much.

He's another old school player like Davy Wilson. His idol is Carl Hayman. Maybe worth a look in the Saxons if Dean actually bothers giving him a run of games.

Im starting to question Mr Richards now.


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