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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 yappysnap Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:39 am

beshocked wrote:
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.

So what you're saying is that Brown had one poor game in your opinion, in his career. While Goode hasn't had a single good game.

But you'd still swap Goode out for Brown picard

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Post by yappysnap Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:41 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote: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.

That reminds me of someone else with an irrational hatred of an England player...

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Post by lostinwales Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:41 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote: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.

May made mistakes in his first season (and a few beyond) therefore hes no good. Players abilities go up and down. May did fine at the RWC with the ball he got.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 11:56 am

If we're discounting wingers slower than Watson that leaves May, Wade, Sharples. Thinking about it I remember May being outpaced by a 9 so should discount him too.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:00 pm

yappysnap wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote: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.

That reminds me of someone else with an irrational hatred of an England player...

Youngs has repeatedly failed at his primary duties in an England jersey, I'd hardly call that an irrational hatred. I don't hate him, I just don't think he should be playing for England.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:27 pm

Not really repeatedly failed.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:30 pm

How else would you put it?

He has around 30 caps yet struggles to hook a ball, mis-throws time and time again and is a weak scrummager.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:35 pm

If you want proper hooking I'd probably say he strikes for the ball slightly better than his main 2 competitors for the shirt. I'd also say there only been a handful of times hes been poor for England. He's also the best hooker by far outside the setpiece.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:38 pm

lostinwales wrote: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.

He's been playing 13 while Slades been out as well. Great player.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:41 pm

Totally disagree.

I recall a game in the WC when the ball went straight through the scrum twice due to Youngs failing to hook. Youngs has actually stated that he struggles to hook the ball so I'm lost as to where you've got the idea he's strong there.

I'd say there's been a handful of times he's been impressive for England. His throwing for 99% of the time has been sub-standard.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:41 pm

Eng V Scot is 6th Feb and on current form and with fingers crossed that 1 or 2 are recovered from injury in time here is my XV.

Waller
Hartley
Brookes (Saints front row going well so selected en bloc)
Slater (close call with Attwood for the big unit role)
Launchbury
Ewers at 6 (hard man and a good ball carrier)
Billy at 8
Kvesic at 7 (let's see how he goes in a decent pack)
Simpson (need to see if he can handle the pressure and if his game stacks up)
Farrell (in form whereas Ford is not at his best)
May
Barritt (not a great choice but he is on better form than in the RWC and Burrell, 36, Eastmond are not pulling up trees. My preferred choice is Slade)
JJ (close with Daly but I think Daly might benefit from being eased in off the bench)
Ashton (has earnt a recall)
Brown

Bench
Mako
George
Cole
Itoje
Robshaw
Care
Cipriani
Daly

I think the bench backs offer some attacking flair and Daly's big boot might be useful in the closing stages.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 12:57 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Totally disagree.

I recall a game in the WC when the ball went straight through the scrum twice due to Youngs failing to hook. Youngs has actually stated that he struggles to hook the ball so I'm lost as to where you've got the idea he's strong there.

I'd say there's been a handful of times he's been impressive for England. His throwing for 99% of the time has been sub-standard.

I said hes better at striking than Hartley and George. You're exaggerating his lineout a little.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 1:05 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Totally disagree.

I recall a game in the WC when the ball went straight through the scrum twice due to Youngs failing to hook. Youngs has actually stated that he struggles to hook the ball so I'm lost as to where you've got the idea he's strong there.

I'd say there's been a handful of times he's been impressive for England. His throwing for 99% of the time has been sub-standard.

I said hes better at striking than Hartley and George. You're exaggerating his lineout a little.

Totally disagree, I've seen him struggle enough to know he's no good at the basics.

Anyway....Youngs doesn't deserve this much discussion, let's talk about actual candidates to start in the 6N.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 1:10 pm

Tom Youngs then.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 1:38 pm

Jones doesn't rate him, he won't be starting.

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Post by BamBam Thu 24 Dec 2015, 2:21 pm

Watson and May share the same flaws

1. Not being called Chris Ashton
2. Not playing for Saracens

Other than that they're both great

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Post by little_badger Thu 24 Dec 2015, 2:41 pm

Watson is electric and one of our potential world class players IMHO

Watson, Nowell, Brown - does it for me

I'd be happy with May in there instead of a winger too.

Long term either Watson or Nowell to fullback. Goode has his skills but I wouldn't have him at the expense of any of the above 4.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 24 Dec 2015, 2:42 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If we're discounting wingers slower than Watson that leaves May, Wade, Sharples. Thinking about it I remember May being outpaced by a 9 so should discount him too.

That would be when Matawalu stepped May but May still recovered to catch up with him on the line and help cause the fumble. He wasn't outpaced

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Post by Exiledinborders Thu 24 Dec 2015, 3:10 pm

hugehandoff wrote:Eng V Scot is 6th Feb and on current form and with fingers crossed that 1 or 2 are recovered from injury in time here is my XV.

Waller
Hartley
Brookes (Saints front row going well so selected en bloc)
The Saints front row has been going well but it has not included Hartley.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 4:41 pm

lostinwales wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If we're discounting wingers slower than Watson that leaves May, Wade, Sharples. Thinking about it I remember May being outpaced by a 9 so should discount him too.

That would be when Matawalu stepped May but May still recovered to catch up with him on the line and help cause the fumble. He wasn't outpaced

All part of the same gentle rib!

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2015, 5:40 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:He has around 30 caps yet struggles to hook a ball, mis-throws time and time again and is a weak scrummager.

This should probably be in the 'Tom Youngs' thread but if we want hookers who hook regularly we need to look past all of Hartley, George and Youngs. All three of them play for clubs whose scrum relies on driving over the ball rather than hooking it.

At club level Sarries, Sarries and Tigers can often dominate the shove so it isn't often an issue. At International level we wont dominate front rows with such regularity so from time to time it has been an issue with both Hartley and Youngs, and I'd predict will be with George.

If we want a hooker who can hook cleanly at every scrum to get 'route one ball' then we need to look beyond those three. Tommy Taylor may be the front runner for that skill but even he isn't fantastic there.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 24 Dec 2015, 5:55 pm

To be fair Ashton has been playing well, and we know he can be good for England. We do need to use him cleverly if he is picked though. Inside balls and lots of work off his wing, and not using wings as FBs or defensive wingers.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 24 Dec 2015, 5:56 pm

George can hook a ball Carlos and Hartley can do it better than Youngs.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 24 Dec 2015, 6:05 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:He has around 30 caps yet struggles to hook a ball, mis-throws time and time again and is a weak scrummager.

This should probably be in the 'Tom Youngs' thread but if we want hookers who hook regularly we need to look past all of Hartley, George and Youngs. All three of them play for clubs whose scrum relies on driving over the ball rather than hooking it.

At club level Sarries, Sarries and Tigers can often dominate the shove so it isn't often an issue. At International level we wont dominate front rows with such regularity so from time to time it has been an issue with both Hartley and Youngs, and I'd predict will be with George.

If we want a hooker who can hook cleanly at every scrum to get 'route one ball' then we need to look beyond those three. Tommy Taylor may be the front runner for that skill but even he isn't fantastic there.

Ward, no matter what anyone may say, is actually superb at this, but this is countered by his awfulness at throwing
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2015, 6:06 pm

I knowGeorge is a great hooker but he doesn't actually hook as much as Youngs now. All moot anyway if Jones has discounted him.

You're probably right about Taylor Carlos.

Anyway have a good Christmas guys.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2015, 6:45 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:George can hook a ball Carlos and Hartley can do it better than Youngs.

I disagree on both counts there Sarge. When all three have been part of successful scrums it has been when their props are on the front foot and they win the shove to drive over the ball.

When this isn't the case it becomes more of a mixed bag for all three.

George and Youngs rely on staying down and trying to keep a shove on. The ball stays in the tunnel and the hope is that if the opposition hooker raises his leg to strike the ball that they can then shove them back once his foot is off the ground. As Jim Telfer told the Lions scrum in '97, "once his foots of the ground it's 8 against 7 and we shove them back".

This of course only works if they do shove the opposition back. If they stay down, leaving the ball in the tunnell, trying to keep the shove on without hooking then go backwards their scrum loses the ball.

If the balls stays in the centre of the tunnel with Hartley however he often relies on driving up to force both front rows to stand up. This creates a lottery as the ref may penalise either side or make them scrum again. Once teams got wise to this and started mentioning it to the press he did stop standing up as much as refs were pinging him for it. It still happens often though.

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Post by DaveM Sat 26 Dec 2015, 1:44 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.

Pretty similar to the side I posted a few days back, notably having Itoje and Launchbury at lock, and having Goode make up for the lack of play-making ability at 12. Longer term England need to get a play-maker at 12 (Slade) and a speed merchant at 15 (Watson). I'd be happy to see Clifford given a chance to make 7 his own.

I think 6 is possibly the most interesting position - it could be any of Robshaw, Ewers, Lawes or Itoje.

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Post by Gwlad Sat 26 Dec 2015, 7:02 am

Will Burgess make the 6 Nations squad?

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Post by Poorfour Sat 26 Dec 2015, 10:08 am

Gwlad wrote:Will Burgess make the 6 Nations squad?

Do you actively choose to be such a prize plonker all the time, or were you cursed by a witch or something?
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat 26 Dec 2015, 5:23 pm

Poorfour, he can't help was comes naturally, he was born a prize plonker, won prizes for it at the local fair.
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Post by Gwlad Sat 26 Dec 2015, 6:24 pm

I'll take that as a no, not going to rise to the pathetic barbs.

weird that the guy who played a few games of rugby gets selected for a RWC squad as some sort of deity with superpowers and then is so average and treated so poorly he decides to cut and run. What a prize plonker.

Some could say he cost England a place in the quarters because the coaching group were so blinded by his apparent charms on which he didnt deliver to any degree, others might say there were a million other reasons why they failed at RWC (or they were cursed by a witch)

I stlll find it extraordinary that after Wales lost 3 of their starter back line and had everyone out of position except Roberts and Biggar, Stewie decided to take his super powered wrecking ball off. Good move Stewie.

So, England to win the 6 Nations?

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Post by king_carlos Sat 26 Dec 2015, 6:26 pm

Brookes is going to miss the start of the 6 Nations due to knee surgery.

That opens things up to Henry Thomas, or possibly Davey Wilson if he can find form/fitness.

In a roundabout way it could open things up for Matt Mullan, Waller or Auterac as well. If Brookes had been fit I reckon Jones would have put all 3 of Cole, Brookes and Thomas in the EPS then only had Marler and Mako as LHs. With Brookes out he may go for 3 LHs however.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 26 Dec 2015, 6:44 pm

Thomas has really struggled the last few weeks Carlos, I'm not so sure about him.

I was thinking Brookes was doing well, he was injured every other match for us.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 26 Dec 2015, 7:32 pm

With Davey Wilson still easing back to his best I reckon Thomas will still be there Sgt. He has always been hit and miss at scrum time but has steadily become more consistent in recent seasons. I'd back him to cope better than the other options at Test level with a solid LH and hooker next to him.

If Cooper-Woolley was starting more games at Wasps I'd suggest him as a genuine option. He is being rotated with Cittadini and Swainston though so I think he may have to settle for the Saxons.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 26 Dec 2015, 11:07 pm

"Easing back in" is a very gentle way of describing Wilson's form at the minute. He's looked bloody awful!

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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Dec 2015, 12:28 am

I really don't think he's back to fitness yet Sgt. As such it's harsh to judge his form too much IMO.

I don't say he's not fit in the same way I would've during the RWC where he clearly hadn't recovered from his injury enough to be in the squad - I wanted him to be picked when Cole was struggling as I presumed he'd be fit if in the 31. Given the coaches didn't even contemplate the possibility of playing and the shape he was in when returning to Bath it's pretty clear he shouldn't have been there.

I say it in the regard that I think he's shaken the injury but is now very slowly working back to match fitness. For a prop it's always a tough time as they can't really get close to match fitness without playing, inevitably that means picking someone when they are far from their best to let them work back.

Unless he picks up remarkably in a month then he's not going to be in the selectors thoughts though I'd hope.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 27 Dec 2015, 11:21 am

I may be exhibiting my usual Saints bias here, but Harrison has been the outstanding 7 in the AP for the last month or so having been given the chance with Wood injured. He played 8 yesterday and still looked to be the only decent player in the Saints side from the reports. I only saw the last 20 when he had reverted to 7 but he is quickly becoming undroppable by Saints, Wood will either be a bench option or go back to 6 at the moment. With only Kvesic and Fraser as out and out 7s around, he has got to be in the mix if that is the way Eddie goes.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 27 Dec 2015, 11:34 am

I've got to agree Well-past-it, Harrison has looked a class above. He reminds me a lot of Sam Cane the way he carries and attacks the breakdown. He was your best player by a distance yesterday.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Dec 2015, 2:20 pm

Harrison is looking very strong. Brendan O'Connor has already become key to Tigers play in attack and defence as well. I wouldn't be surprised if both are involved in the Saxons.

Jones is canny enough to know that his first squad selection will go a long way to getting fans onside immediately. Given that pretty much everyone (including Jones during the RWC) wants a 'specialist openside' in the England squad I expect we will see 2 opensides in the EPS and Saxons.

At the moment based on potential and form I'd expect those to be Kvesic, Fraser, Harrison and O'Connor. If Clifford is viewed as a 7 he could have something to say about that too.

Whether I think O'Connor should be playing for England is another mater entirely of course...

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 27 Dec 2015, 5:51 pm

Bath sign Dan Bowden with pretty much immediate effect - makes Devoto's chances of impressing harder perhaps,

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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Dec 2015, 6:32 pm

Kvesic, Robshaw and Clifford all impressed in the big game.

The way Kvesic picks and chooses which breakdowns to attack is much smarter this season - the impact of Laurie Fisher perhaps. I've also been more impressed with how he bounces back out of rucks, into the defensive line if he goes in but doesn't get the ball. He is there lurking on almost every phase these days and reads where the next attack will go really well.

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Post by sad_gimp Sun 27 Dec 2015, 7:10 pm

Kvesic was very good today, if he keeps that level up he'll be pressing very hard for the England 7 shirt. Clifford looked good as well although not playing the full 80 doesn't help his case. Robshaw very good at 6.

Care leading pack at 9 for me.

Shame May And Trinder look seriously crocked....although Nowell and Watson would be my first choice wings.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 27 Dec 2015, 8:18 pm

That Ross chisum looked good when he came on.

Kivesic and Clifford both looked good today. Englad's future looking good. With Kevsic and Clifford looking good at 7 Robshaw may be struggling come 6ns time.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 27 Dec 2015, 9:26 pm

Robshaw won't be playing 7
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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 27 Dec 2015, 9:29 pm

Nowell should be in the side somewhere. Maybe even in the midfield where his short jinking style would be very handy.

Kvesic should definitely get a run out in the 6n. Clifford should be fine aswell.

We've heard about his lack of size...but Hooper and Pocock are hardly a massive 7 & 8 for Australia yet were awesome.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 27 Dec 2015, 9:46 pm

With May hobbling of today looking in bad shape and I think Nowell will definitely feature on the left wing. It could also open the door to Daly as a utility back on the bench if Joseph is fit to start.

It's pleasing to see Youngs and Care both firing at the same time too. Now we just need Ford to fire as well.

9.Youngs
10.Farrell
11.Nowell
12.Hill
13.Joseph
14.Watson
15.Brown

21.Care 22.Ford 23.Daly

I'd be very happy with that heading into our first 6 Nations game.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 27 Dec 2015, 10:00 pm

I'm actually a fan of May (he seems to divide opinions) but I just think Nowell gives a different contrast to the pace of Watson on the other wing.

And Watson is ahead of May as the sheer pace man.

I wonder if an eventual move to FB for Nowell would be good...or do we want him more involved in the game at centre where hes currently playing.

Carlos I like that backline.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 27 Dec 2015, 10:54 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I'm actually a fan of May (he seems to divide opinions) but I just think Nowell gives a different contrast to the pace of Watson on the other wing.

And Watson is ahead of May as the sheer pace man.

I wonder if an eventual move to FB for Nowell would be good...or do we want him more involved in the game at centre where hes currently playing.

Carlos I like that backline.

I'd have it the other way round personally (May faster Watson better footwork-May better all rounder) but its pretty much a coin toss. I wouldn't mind seeing all three in the back line some day and also think that Nowell could make a very interesting attacking fullback option. I think he may be best when he has a lot of freedom to roam. In the 6N he got involved much more than you'd ever expect from a winger.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:56 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I'm actually a fan of May (he seems to divide opinions) but I just think Nowell gives a different contrast to the pace of Watson on the other wing.

And Watson is ahead of May as the sheer pace man.

I wonder if an eventual move to FB for Nowell would be good...or do we want him more involved in the game at centre where hes currently playing.

Carlos I like that backline.

I'd have it the other way round personally (May faster Watson better footwork-May better all rounder) but its pretty much a coin toss. I wouldn't mind seeing all three in the back line some day and also think that Nowell could make a very interesting attacking fullback option. I think he may be best when he has a lot of freedom to roam. In the 6N he got involved much more than you'd ever expect from a winger.

Until this season I thought that Nowells best position for England may end up being 15 as he doesn't quite have the pace of our other young wingers. I also felt that it would allow him to join the line and use his physicality and ability to break tackles more.

Watching how he's playing this year for Exeter I feel he is best on the wing though. If Jones gives him the freedom to roam all over the field then he is just so useful. Since his pace improved slightly he has got even stronger in contact. He also runs excellent lines and has good hands.

For the Chiefs you regularly see him coming off his wing to take short balls from the scrum half and crash over the gainline close to the ruck. He also often comes off his wing running support lines for forward runners in these same channels looking for the offload. If someone like Waldrom gets over the gainline but doesn't get an offload away then Nowell will even pick and go immediately from the ruck to shift the point of attack rapidly and keep momentum going.

It's the sort of thing that Savea regularly does for NZ to such great effect when they want to increase the tempo of their attack in the narrower channels to make space out wide.

Watson on the other hand I think will end up at FB. He looks more dangerous when he has that touch more space to asses his options.

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Post by cb Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:05 pm

Not withstanding Brown, I feel Watson would make the best full back of the contenders.  I just don't feel Nowell is a fullback except in emergency.  Like him very much as a winger or even as an outside centre and very much like his involvement and buzz.

Wonder if he could ever play inside centre?

With May's injury I would expect to see Brown/Watson/Nowell as the back three.

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