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606 Selects Englands EPS for 2016 6Ns - Take 2

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 02 Dec 2015, 4:42 pm

First topic message reminder :

Name your 33 man EPS squad.
It must include 22 of the following players.
Keep any injured players in as they can be replaced later - but state who you would have on standby.

I will add up and produce the consensus next week.

Current Squad


Props
Kieran Brookes
Dan Cole
Joe Marler
Mako Vunipola
David Wilson

Hookers
Jamie George
Rob Webber
Tom Youngs

Second rows
George Kruis
Joe Launchbury
Courtney Lawes
Geoff Parling

Back rows
James Haskell
Ben Morgan
Chris Robshaw
Billy Vunipola
Tom Wood
Calum Clark

Scrum halves
Danny Care
Richard Wigglesworth
Ben Youngs

Fly halves
Owen Farrell
George Ford

Centres
Brad Barritt
Sam Burgess
Jonathan Joseph
Henry Slade
Luther Burrell

Back three
Mike Brown
Alex Goode
Jonny May
Jack Nowell
Anthony Watson

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 22 Dec 2015, 6:36 pm

One thing we know for certain:  Eddie is spending a lot of time watching Premiership matches.  He seems to be at almost every match I see on tv.  Better than simply watching video.  From what I hear he in engaging well with many of the Premiership coaches.  So he is doing his research (as he should).  At least his first team will be well thought out.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:44 am

beshocked wrote:Clifford has the issue that Robshaw is now seems to be gunning for the 6 shirt, you have Dave Ward and Wallace as 7s fighting for the Quins shirt, old warhorse Easter at 8 - that's just Quins. Let alone talking about the dogfight for England.

When you look at the backrow battle it's hard to see where Clifford will fit in.

That depends a lot on how narrowly you view back row skill sets. COS doesn't believe in back rowers who only play one position. I don't know how Eddie feels about it. But I've seen Clifford play to a very high standard in all three back row positions. It's not unprecedented: Dallaglio and Hill both played all three positions for England before settling into their 2003 roles (Hill at 6 when his Saracens position was 7). More recently, I believe Worsley and Haskell have both played all 3 (though not to the levels of Hill and Dallaglio).

His U20 position was 8, but I think that's his least likely option as a senior international. Morgan and Billy V are both young, and there are players like Josh Beaumont and James Chisholm waiting in the wings.

I think his best position is probably 7. At 6'4" he's taller than is conventional but that doesn't appear to hinder him at the breakdown. He's fast enough to have been an England 7s player and his handling, running and passing are as good as many backs. The competition at 7 is also thinner: assuming Jones doesn't see Robshaw as a 7, the main competitors for the shirt are Fraser - who first has show he can stay fit - and Kvesic, whose form has been less consistent. Possibly Wood and Haskell as well, at least in the short term.

But as beshocked's post shows, Clifford's problem is one of perception. He's not behind anyone at Quins- 9 appearances (and 5 tries) so far this season, versus 7 for Wallace and 5 for Robshaw (who have all worn 6 and 7 at various points). By the way, Ward isn't a back rower - he's a hooker who played 7 at age grade and has been put back there while Quins have had an injury crisis.
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Post by beshocked Wed 23 Dec 2015, 11:15 am

Poorfour 9 appearances sounds brilliant on paper.When you break it down though...

255 minutes in 5 AP games. 3 starts.

No start in the AP since 31st October though.

The other 4 appearances being in the Amlin - 2 being against Calvisano.

I don't have the minutes for those games but it's the Amlin.

Amlin is a lower level than the AP in my opinion.

Robshaw was at the world cup, of course he wouldn't have started in the earlier matches.

Ward has been deployed by Quins in the backrow. Probably because his throwing is worse than Webber and LCD which is saying something! Even flanker turned hooker - Ashley Johnson is better than Ward at throwing.

As for backrow skillsets, I believe that some players are more suited to some positions than others. You mention Hill, Hill was not your average player. Just because he could play 6 and 7 to a high standard doesn't mean every man and their dog can. Dallaglio wasn't an average player either but he was IMO certainly more suited to 8 than any other position.

Of course it's possible for a player to be proficient in more than one position but they don't start that way.

Perhaps Clifford will develop into a backrower who is a master of all positions but as of now he needs to be a certified starter in one position for Quins.

As a 7 yes maybe Clifford could be an option, needs more gametime at 7 in high level matches in my opinion though before the 6 nations.

Not going to discount Clifford if he can do that. Needs to force O Shea to confirm him as the number one openside at Quins.

Even with Robshaw there's always been the feeling that he's more suited to 6 even though he's been good at 7.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:23 pm

Clifford will very likely be battling it out at 6 but is a very good bench option as cover. Is another youngster who offers leadership as well.Clever player.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:33 pm

And we desperately need more ball carriers of all kinds in the pack!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:33 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Its all gone quiet on the scrum coach. Has he been briefed to go all English?
good point.  
Maybe the RFU have learned to handle these things with a bit more care?

Doubt it!

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Its all gone quiet on the scrum coach. Has he been briefed to go all English?
good point.  
Maybe the RFU have learned to handle these things with a bit more care?

Doubt it!

Well as Borthwick has been appointed forwards coach rather than to the position of lineout coach that he had at Japan, and Gustard has done some of that at Sarries, I guess there may not be a specialist scrum coach.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:36 pm

also ever since Hatley was talked up the Bath scrum has been pants.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:44 pm

Big leap isn't it?

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Post by Poorfour Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:47 pm

Ward has been used as a flanker because at one point we had injuries to 5 of our squad back row, three of them long term. His throwing is poor, but that's no different from the rest of our hookers right now.

Clifford was rotated to the bench for one game, back when we had spare back rows, then concussed early against Cardiff and reintroduced from the bench against London Irish. 7 of 9 games started. As for the quality of the Challenge cup vs AP, Calvisano have been a walkover as always, but Cardiff and Montpellier offered stiffer opposition than Oyonnax and several of the AP teams Sarries have faced. Some good French teams are in the Challenge cup this year, and some dire ones in the Champions cup.

I agree that not all players can play multiple positions to a high standard, but COS doesn't like back row players who can't and has ditched some fairly good back rowers who weren't versatile enough. But he's comfortable playing Clifford in any back row position and last season.
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Post by beshocked Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:48 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:And we desperately need more ball carriers of all kinds in the pack!

Who do you think fits that?

Haskell is technically a ball carrier and he played a prominent role against Wales in the 6 nations doing just that but his carrying seemed to go missing against the other sides IMO. It was his poor discipline against France and Ireland which took more prominence in my opinion.

Wood and Robshaw aren't ball carriers.

Mako at LH maybe? Then again Londontiger is right that he's less prominent at international level than club level. Still think he needs an opportunity as a starter.

Even T.Youngs whose low centre of gravity helps him make yardage?

Of all the locks who do you think are the best ball carriers?

Of course Billy and Morgan fit the bill but a pack cannot have just the no 8 as a primary ball carrier.

The likes of Wasps,Exeter and Saracens have more than one big ball carrier.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Big leap isn't it?

Yes, but unless he goes outside of English coaches, the two best available at coaching the scrum are Dorian West and Graham Rowntree. One was sacked and the other would not want to be just a scrum coach (well neither would really).

They may well bring in someone as a consultant n a short term basis - suggestions they may do the same with the breakdown - but will only have Jones in charge, Bothwick as lead coach and covering the forwards with Gustard and probably King covering defence and attack. Even then I feel that is potentially too many voices - though Jones seems to be clear that selection and tactics are his preserve, so while the others can have their say, they will have to work with the players and overall template that the Aussie provides.

Having some tension created by opposing views from the coaches can be useful - so long as the man in charge will then stamp his authority. Jones should manage that, but that was Lancaster's biggest failing which meant that Farrell's view dominated and Rowntree and Catt had to dance to his tune.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:55 pm

Clifford is a strong carrier as well as good in open space, Slater. The coming Hughes.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 23 Dec 2015, 12:56 pm

We certainly do need some more carriers and physicality too.

I'd say people like Attwood & Slater add more physicality/carrying to the pack. Throw in players like Ewers and Kvesic who are pretty handy too. Best of the lot is Nathan Hughes who could be a fantastic 6 given a bit of work, that boy is unreal.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 1:03 pm

When it comes to ball carriers - it always depends what people mean. We have forwards who are good broken field carriers, others who can make hard yards. Then we have some who make good ground in heavy traffic but get ahead of their support, isolated and turned over.

If I review ther Leicester forwards (not saying these guys should be playing, but this way I will not offend to omany):

Ayerza - tend to stand outside the 10 to provide a carrying option into defenders. Often a dummy carrier, or at times used to move the ball on and change the focal point of the attack. Robshaw does these well.

Youngs - controls the ball at the back of the mauls, used as a bullocking runner hitting the line at speed one player out usually.

Cole - used to try and drive the ball on 1 or two yards around the fringe to tie in players.

Slater - good carrier in heavy traffic, but also able to carry in looser play
Kitch - reverse decent in traffic good slightly wider.
Fitzgerald - in between the other two locks

Croft - broken field carrier
Williams - good carrier round the fringes
O'Connor - Good in loose play, strong and good at shifting the ball in tight, tying up players and offloading.
McCaffrey - good tight carrier, but hands let him down at times.


What we have is a balance - England will do the same.

What we have to avoid though is the likes of BillyV running too far into defenders with the ball and making the turnover easy.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 1:05 pm

beshocked wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:And we desperately need more ball carriers of all kinds in the pack!

Who do you think fits that?

Haskell is technically a ball carrier and he played a prominent role against Wales in the 6 nations doing just that but his carrying seemed to go missing against the other sides IMO. It was his poor discipline against France and Ireland which took more prominence in my opinion.

Wood and Robshaw aren't ball carriers.

Mako at LH maybe? Then again Londontiger is right that he's less prominent at international level than club level. Still think he needs an opportunity as a starter.

Even T.Youngs whose low centre of gravity helps him make yardage?

Of all the locks who do you think are the best ball carriers?

Of course Billy and Morgan fit the bill but a pack cannot have just the no 8 as a primary ball carrier.

The likes of Wasps,Exeter and Saracens have more than one big ball carrier.

Ah I don't know mate.

Its all about balance...proper scrummagers v carriers v tacklers v breakdown gurus.
Lancaster just got it wrong by pretty much having the No.8 as the only carrier.

If Mako showed his real carrying at int level then fine. Has he been given a real chance im not sure. Is his scrimmaging good enough for this level...well who knows really until hes given a run.

Marler simply hasn't brought his carrying game to the field.

So my thoughts are pick two hard scrimmaging, props who are maybe good at the breakdown.

The Jamie George is a big carrier. Though that goes if Hartley is captain.

Slater offers heavy duty carrying if he comes in. Itoje does... but Lawes and Lauchbury and Kruis don't offer much there. Attwood didn't bring it consistently but could be given another chance.

Back row...well where do we start.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 1:17 pm

Wouldn't say Itoje is as good as Launchbury or Kruis.

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Post by cb Wed 23 Dec 2015, 1:33 pm

I wonder if Launchbury and Kitchener in the 2nd row and Slater at 6 would give us a reasonable line-out with also some carrying ability.  Add in Vunipola or Morgan at number 8 and a real open-side.

In front row Vunipola would offer a good carrying game but what about Brookes and Thomas at TH.  Both can carry and do not seem to scrummage too badly.  Both are improved or improving, though the Bath scrum is a bit of conundrum.

All the hookers Hartley, George, Youngs, etc. can also carry.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 1:55 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wouldn't say Itoje is as good as Launchbury or Kruis.

Launchbury for all his good points isn't a good carrier and Kruis is not a carrier at all as far as im concerned. So I would say Itoje is a better carrier.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 2:33 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Wouldn't say Itoje is as good as Launchbury or Kruis.

Launchbury for all his good points isn't a good carrier and Kruis is not a carrier at all as far as im concerned. So I would say Itoje is a better carrier.

so when you say "carrier" you mean a "hard yards carrier"?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 2:59 pm

I guess I do yes Lt. Maybe Im not clear enough.

Players who can really make yards in difficult spots consistently with a few blokes hanging off them. They are essential as much as those capable of running in open play.

And aside from Billy and Tom Youngs at times I don't think we've really fielded players comfortable in that.

Slater is one who comes to mind.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:05 pm

Yeah I don't Itoje is above either.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:10 pm

Done of that's down to tactics I'm sure though.

Rowntree didn't seem to want a pack that could drive up the middle, preferring forwards who could stand in the backline and offload.

That was taken to extremes in the last few months.

A starting pack of Marler, Youngs, Cole, Lawes, Launchbury, Robshaw, Kvesic, Vunipola playing the right tactics could carry as well as any others.

Remember the tour to SA, when a lot of those players stood up well physically.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:21 pm

Itoje probably isn't that either your right 7.5 but slightly better than the other 2.

However Yappy im more than happy for my forwards to be like Croft flying out like wingers and handling like backs. Its kind of essential these days and players like Clifford are coming through who can do that

...but

I just feel every team needs a few players who are very good at trucking it up the middle...but not just that...they have to be able to make ground doing it.

And I think the last world cup showed a real glaring weakenss there.

I do think we have the players...again its that word...BALANCE and I think we all feel Lancaster and Rowntree just didn't get it right.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:38 pm

The problem is choice.

Take LH.

Mullan, Vunipola, Marler, Auterac
All have different strengths. None really excel at everything. So who do we pick.

Marler in general (excluding the WC) has been good. But not been the carrier we hoped.
Vunipola has ?? over his scrimmaging but is a beast of a carrier.
Mullan has been very good for Wasps is mobile and after reading a recent report is an excellent Captain / Leader in the wasps set up. England lack real leaders.
Auterac looks an absolute powerhouse but is very young.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:45 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Wouldn't say Itoje is as good as Launchbury or Kruis.

Launchbury for all his good points isn't a good carrier and Kruis is not a carrier at all as far as im concerned. So I would say Itoje is a better carrier.

Launchbury is a very good support runner in around the fringes. He reads the play so well that if guys half break a tackle and get an arm free he is often there for the offload. He is also good in open spaces where he uses his size and good pace (for his bulk) against smaller defenders. He also has good hands both situations.

Itoje is a more physical carrier. He runs strong, good lines for one out balls and off the 10, he runs them very hard. Given how many times we've complained about guys not flying onto the ball quick enough Itoje would be a welcome improvement here. His out and out pace isn't as good as someone like Haskell but his acceleration is impressive for his size and he uses it very well by making sure he hits the defence at full boobie.

If we want carriers in the second row then Kruis isn't the answer. He is strong in mauls, call the line-out well, has an excellent work rate in attack and is good round the fringes in attack and defence. He isn't a dynamic carrier however.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:51 pm

Given how many times we've complained about guys not flying onto the ball quick enough

I think that's a point aswell that has always annoyed me.

When you see the Kiwis etc...they generally run for space 1st but if they must hit contact they do it with aggression, full speed and power.

We look like we out for a country jog when going into space or contact. And they always seem to be looking for the offload even when they're totally free or when they need to just get their head down and truck the thing.

Its very infuriating. Big Ted (Andy Sheridan ) was the worst. He was on his way down to the ground before he had even hit contact half the time!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:52 pm

You've got to nail your set piece first, especially in the NH, everything else is a bonus.

You pick your best scrummaging props and locks to back that up. Your hooker has to be able to throw and scrummage and hook. At least one of your locks must be a strong line out option (prefer 2) and at least 1 must be a strong scrummager. I can't look past:

1. Marler, Mullen
2. Hartley, George
3. Cole, Brookes
4. Launchbury, Slater
5. Attwood, Kitchener

Even though these are primarily good at the basics, they also offer good carrying. You've got to be good at your primary role in Int rugby imo.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 23 Dec 2015, 3:57 pm

I'd put Tom Youngs in there as first choice, his form this season has been brilliant. Unlike the imaginary form of Hartley, or glimpses of form from George.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 4:08 pm

You are indeed correct Sgt.

But if Slater is in the form we seem to be hearing he is in...then I might swap him and Attwood. Start Slater...and hes a captain.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 23 Dec 2015, 4:38 pm

1.Marler 2.George 3.Cole 4.Launchbury 5.Slater 6.Robshaw 7.Kvesic 8.Vunipola
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Hill 13.Joseph 14.Watson 15.Brown

16.Hartley 17.Vunipola 18.Brookes 19.Kitchener 20.Haskell 21.Care 22.Farrell 23.Nowell

That would be my shout at current.

I definitely agree with GF that on current form Slater needs to be looked at. Even if injuries take their toll and he can't have the prolonged test career I'd hope he is what we need in the short term. He is excellent at set piece, a strong carrier and a leader. That's a skill set that our toothless pack from the RWC needs added to the boiler room.

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Post by nathan Wed 23 Dec 2015, 6:32 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Given how many times we've complained about guys not flying onto the ball quick enough

I think that's a point aswell that has always annoyed me.

When you see the Kiwis etc...they generally run for space 1st but if they must hit contact they do it with aggression, full speed and power.

We look like we out for a country jog when going into space or contact. And they always seem to be looking for the offload even when they're totally free or when they need to just get their head down and truck the thing.

Its very infuriating. Big Ted (Andy Sheridan ) was the worst. He was on his way down to the ground before he had even hit contact half the time!

it's something Manu was always good at, accelerating and using his bulk to gain an extra few yards. i use past tense as i havent a clue what he's like now.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 23 Dec 2015, 7:27 pm

yappysnap wrote:I'd put Tom Youngs in there as first choice, his form this season has been brilliant. Unlike the imaginary form of Hartley, or glimpses of form from George.

I am happy with OTY as 3rd choice, but appreciate the support from TW1.

George is playing well enough to deserve a chance, but yes Hartley really needs to be concussion free and playing before we can consider him. I also think Tommy Taylor shoudl be looked at - named in the Saxons but called up to provide cover and train with main squad during 6Ns - so they can actually compare him to the others.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2015, 7:42 pm

nathan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
Given how many times we've complained about guys not flying onto the ball quick enough

I think that's a point aswell that has always annoyed me.

When you see the Kiwis etc...they generally run for space 1st but if they must hit contact they do it with aggression, full speed and power.

We look like we out for a country jog when going into space or contact. And they always seem to be looking for the offload even when they're totally free or when they need to just get their head down and truck the thing.

Its very infuriating. Big Ted (Andy Sheridan ) was the worst. He was on his way down to the ground before he had even hit contact half the time!

it's something Manu was always good at, accelerating and using his bulk to gain an extra few yards. i use past tense as i havent a clue what he's like now.

Exactly Nathan. Manu in top form is great at that. Hit the gap or contact at full pace.

Mike Brown slightly different but he always tries to break the gap and get past the men.

We need more of our big guys in the pack doing that. Breaking the tackles or at least taking the tacklers back to gain a few yards.

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Post by little_badger Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:33 am

Is Fraser injured? He's looked better than Kvesic for me, but only when fit.

I'd like to see Ewers at 6, with a fetcher of a 7 and Billy at 8 but I don't think we can have two debutants in the back row away to Scotland.

It might be inexperienced but I'd love the power and carrying of: Mako, George, Brookes, Launch, Slater, Ewers, Fraser, Billy.

However also happy with Robshaw at 6, a fit Hartley and another lock.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:46 am

Im expecting to see Robshaw at 6 for the Scotland game.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:47 am

little_badger wrote:Is Fraser injured? He's looked better than Kvesic for me, but only when fit.

I'd like to see Ewers at 6, with a fetcher of a 7 and Billy at 8 but I don't think we can have two debutants in the back row away to Scotland.

It might be inexperienced but I'd love the power and carrying of: Mako, George, Brookes,  Launch, Slater, Ewers, Fraser, Billy.

However also happy with Robshaw at 6, a fit Hartley and another lock.

Its all swings and roundabouts. It might take dropping Robshaw to highlight the amount of work he gets through.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:03 am

The Austin Healy XV for the Scotland game in the Telegraph today

Mako
George
Brookes
Itoje
Launchbury
Lawes at 6
Clifford at 7
Billy V
Youngs
Farrell
Nowell
Manu at 12
Daly
Ashton
Goode

Not sure about Mako. Don't mind the rest of the front row. I might have been tempted to try Itoje at 6 but not in the 2nd row just yet. Lawes needs to show better form to warrant a place. Ewers could be a good option once he returns from injury. Kvesic probably deserves a start and an opportunity to play behind a decent pack. Manu....surely he needs to play 6/7 games to prove fitness and form before he comes back into the side? And not sure he is a 12. Nowell is playing well but not sure he is a winger. Both Watson and May did nothing wrong in the RWC but I must admit that Ashton is playing well - certainly lots of options on the wing. And Brown is clearly stronger than Goode and should be retained.

Overall a really dodgy selection by Austin and a poor page filler. He really must do better in 2016.

Otherwise Happy Christmas everyone.

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Post by little_badger Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:04 am

I'd like to see him at 6, he has a lot of experience he makes a lot of tackles, he's OK in the lineout, runs good lines.

Robshaw at 6 over Wood any day. I always thought one of Lancaster's biggest failings was not trying someone else at 7 with Robshaw at 6.

Clifford on the bench covering all 3 places.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:06 am

Whos his competitors for the 6 shirt.

Ewers - Injured
Itoje - Playing mostly lock for Sarries
Wood - A possibility if hes fit
Clifford - Young Inexperienced but a cracking prospect
Haskell - An option definitely

Outsiders:
Matt Garvey?
Calum Clark?
Slater, Lawes, launchbury etc moves to 6...but id really rather stay away from that.
Mark Wilson - Saxons level only.

Any others?

So it goes back to:

Robshaw v Wood V Clifford v Clark v Haskell

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:08 am

Is Austin healy on drugs?

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Post by little_badger Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:11 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Is Austin healy on drugs?

He suggested moving Nowell to 7....

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:18 am

What about Nowell to 12 ...he'd have all the skill set!

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:37 am

Slightly strange side from Healy, he seems to change his mind weekly.

Lawes at 6 is not something I'd like to see repeated anytime soon. He just lacks the positional sense and pace needed.

Nowell in midfield would be interesting, Hosea Gear seems to have transitioned well to 12 recently for Clermont.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:40 am

Only thing is it wont happen with Slade and Hill fighting for the midfield spot at his club.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 24 Dec 2015, 10:51 am

little_badger wrote:Is Fraser injured? He's looked better than Kvesic for me, but only when fit.

What we have to ask is whether being in a dominat side makes Fraser look better than he is?

As to fitness, Fraser is ostensibly fit following surgery in the summer, but rotating through the team. He has made four starts this season in Sarries 10 matches. He has once made back to back matches (Falcons on 6th and Oyonnnax on 13th December).

It is interesting how little rugby Fraser ha splayed in his career. Despite being 3 years older than Kvesic he has played half the number of games.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:06 am

I would still like to see Kvesic get a chance. I think he is a good player and currently not in the strongest side.

Hes a bit of a talisman for them down in Glarster. He is a carrier and a leader aswell.


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Post by lostinwales Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:25 am

Nowell did play a fair bit in the centers for Exeter last year if I remember correctly. But that would be an interesting selection call.

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Post by beshocked Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:28 am

hugehandoff wrote:The Austin Healy XV for the Scotland game in the Telegraph today

Mako
George
Brookes
Itoje
Launchbury
Lawes at 6
Clifford at 7
Billy V
Youngs
Farrell
Nowell
Manu at 12
Daly
Ashton
Goode

Not sure about Mako. Don't mind the rest of the front row. I might have been tempted to try Itoje at 6 but not in the 2nd row just yet. Lawes needs to show better form to warrant a place. Ewers could be a good option once he returns from injury. Kvesic probably deserves a start and an opportunity to play behind a decent pack. Manu....surely he needs to play 6/7 games to prove fitness and form before he comes back into the side? And not sure he is a 12. Nowell is playing well but not sure he is a winger. Both Watson and May did nothing wrong in the RWC but I must admit that Ashton is playing well - certainly lots of options on the wing. And Brown is clearly stronger than Goode and should be retained.

Overall a really dodgy selection by Austin and a poor page filler. He really must do better in 2016.

Otherwise Happy Christmas everyone.

You say that May and Watson did nothing wrong, what did they do right? I thought May was again defensively dodgy and Watson couldn't outpace a number 8. Why should their places not been under scrutiny? May overall has not been very good for England. Watson started strong but has become shaky as of late.

As for Brown, I thought he was poor against Australia, the case in his favour is that he has been overall good for England consistenty, Goode in comparison has not. On the other hand - new coaching set up. Could Eddie Jones and co make Goode into a more effective full back than Lancaster did?


It's obvious that a team needs to utilise Player X's strengths. Can you truly say Lancaster did that with every player?

I wouldn't dismiss all of Healeys' suggestions. I do think that some fresh players do need to come into the team and perhaps the likes of Clifford,Itoje and Daly are those.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:38 am

Jones is not a magician, he won't make Goode quicker.

May & Watson have both done well, I don't get your issue with them.

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