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England Squad for the 6N 2016 #2

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 07 Jan 2016, 2:24 pm

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 No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 8:53 am

I would be really disappointed if that were to happen. I agree with Guscotts article, he's picked a really exciting squad, one or two quibbles (no Cipriani or Simpson) but forward looking and attacking. Need to follow that throguh with the squad for Scotland and the team picked. Robshaw, Haskell and Vunipola is a bit meh especially with haskell at 7. If we're saying Robshaw isn't a 7, Haskell definitely isn't. I know he gets away with it in the prem but come on.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:22 am

Yeah, where has this Haskell as a stop gap 7 come from?

Apparently Jones has had lots of discussions with George Smith about English Q'd 7's and Haskell will start there v Scotland.

6 Robshaw
7 Haskell
8 Vunipola

Just don't get that at all....

But then many of the leaked squad announcement was well off the mark, so we should just wait and see when the team is named.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/12098554/Six-Nations-2016-James-Haskell-poised-to-replace-Chris-Robshaw-at-openside-flanker-for-England-opener.html

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:27 am

Team mate recommends player shocker? Wish he'd listened to Brad Thorn and picked Kitchener then.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:35 am

Yeah I think Kitchener should have been in the squad.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:38 am

What was actually said about 7 was a bit more nuanced than that. He consulted Smith on who the best AP 7s were and they are in the squad.

In the long term, it's reported by the Times that he wants to bring Sam Underhill back from Ospreys and develop him, but in the short term he namechecked both Haskell and Clifford as being able to do the job he wants, which is: be first to the breakdown, secure the ball on our own possession, slow it down on opposition possession. Turnovers are, apparently, a bonus: he said something along the lines of "the really world class 7s like Pocock and McCaw can then go after other opportunities, but that's what they do first."

Haskell has actually played his best international rugby at 7, especially when given a simple brief like that. Smith's first encounter with Clifford would have been in the Barbarians game last year, where Clifford made 2 turnovers.

That makes it a bit unclear where Kvesic fits in - but he will get a chance to impress in training and we will have to see what happens. There are much worse people to rely on for judgement in this area than George Smith - Eddie also appears to be talking, not clear how seriously, to Wasps about releasing Smith to help with breakdown coaching, and Smith is working specifically on that with Haskell at Wasps already.

He also said that he sees Clifford as an 8 long term (comparing him to Rodney So'aiolo), and it was clear that Clifford (probably along with Itoje, Slade, Manu and Paul Hill) is one of the players he sees as potential world class players for England. All of which raises interesting questions about where Billy, Ben, Hughes and Beaumont fit in long term. I wonder if we will eventually see Billy shifting to 6 and Beaumont (who is apparently 6'7", but doesn't look it) to lock. No idea what it means for Hughes, though.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:49 am

Well, Poorfour, it makes a change looking forward to watching England again Wink

Hopefully it'll be happier times..but then many of us thought that after Lancasters initial PR when he joined.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:50 am

Remind me the games Haskell played 7. That's just purely cos I can't remember them not being snide.

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Post by cb Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:51 am

Jones will obviously want to win the first game, so maybe some of the new squad members will not be considered initially.  Perhaps a backrow of Robshaw/Haskell/Vunipola is a possibility. Then introduce the newer members at home.

There is something in this approach but I would prefer Jones to be at least positive if not overly ambitious.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 10:56 am

That back row has experience, power and engine.

If they are given strict roles which I believe is one of Eddies things...then it could be very effective and then give other guys a chance through the tournament.

Just seems a little odd with regards to Kvesic.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 14 Jan 2016, 12:12 pm

I've read articles in the last day or so that confidently state all of Clifford, Haskell and Kvesic will start at 7. On the positive side that probably just means that every thought the coaching staff have isn't going to be reported in next days paper anymore.

As bench options Haskell and Clifford are probably a touch ahead as they have spent time across the back row. Kvesic has only played 7 in recent times, though he'd be my pick there with Clifford coming on as guys tire. Kvesic played 8 often at Worcester but I don't think he has since and his carrying tends to be less prominent as a result.

6.Robshaw
7.Kvesic
8.Billy

Bench: Clifford

With the Scotland back row likely to be Cowan, Hardie and Denton I think that would be our most pragmatic choice of back row to counter them. Robshaw and Kvesic have big tackle counts to hack down Denton and they hit as many rucks as Cowan and Hardie to negate their breakdown work.

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Post by jamesandimac Thu 14 Jan 2016, 12:25 pm

From his interview he doesn't seem to see any of the flankers to have the full skill set required to compete with the Southern Hemisphere 7's. He says he wasnt to develop one over time but for now will concentrate on phase 1 ball and as such deems Haskell as the best suited for this.

Now I haven't seen enough of Kvesic to fully comment but from what I have seen, limited to around 3 games this season, he seems to fit the mould required so I'm confused myself. Now whether or not Jones is using this as a tactic to give him and other potential 7's, such as Fraser, a kick up the arse I don't know. I have no doubt thought that if the tight 5 can provide the platform as he wants then a 7 such as Kvesic would thrive.

The intersting thing will be who he picks in the tight 5 in order to acheive that platform. On form Mako is the best loose head available but there is still this perception he can't scrummage. Despite Hartley being the chosen one at hooker George is in the best form of the three right now. Launchbury is the standout lock of the group leaving his partner and the tighthead up for grabs for me.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu 14 Jan 2016, 12:58 pm

If Kruis is fit, I'd start him. His lineout work has been exceptional
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Post by king_carlos Thu 14 Jan 2016, 1:10 pm

I wouldn't read a huge amount into what he says about individual players this early. Once he gets them in camp and he knows the press will already be writing articles with what partnerships he is favouring in training, then yeah he will be more candid.

Stating exactly what he wants from players is probably a move to see how quickly they can respond with how they play in the final pool stages of European action.

In the tight 5 I reckon Mako will start. His scrummaging and loose play have been better than Marler thus far this season. At TH Cole will start will Hill on the bench. Thomas is an injury replacement so presumably behind in the coaches thoughts. I can't see Hill starting away from home. He will get significant game time though without a doubt.

Kruis will partner Launchbury if fit. If not then Itoje will be in with a good shout but Lawes might edge it for the line-out.

Borthwick will run a line-out built on simpler principles than previously. Instead of an obsession with lots of jumpers and over-complicated movement we will see most of our ball thrown to the middle with 1 jumper taking most the throws in that area. Going to the front or back are useful to mix things up and take pressure off the jumpers in the middle. They will be used to mix things up though not a default as recently has been the case.

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Post by cb Thu 14 Jan 2016, 1:33 pm

If Robshaw is now seen only as a blindside flanker and Kvesic is very much a 7, then Haskell and Clifford represent the generalists (old and young).  It would be odd then to have Kvesic on the bench as he covers only the one position.

So either Haskell or Clifford on the bench, all of whom might be vying for start at 7 as well, along with Kvesic.

Personally I would like to see Kvesic start.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:05 pm

As Kvesic is only in the squad as injury cover for Ewers, it is probably fair to assume that right now he is behind Clifford and Haskell in the Openside pecking order. While that can change in training - Jones will not see much of the players in camp before he releases 10 (?) players for AP round 10. He then gets the released players back in camp for a few days before he has to name the matchday squad and release 10 players again.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:I wouldn't read a huge amount into what he says about individual players this early...

The Japanese team at the World Cup reflected a very different philosophy from the team Jones first selected when he took charge.

He recalled players he had dropped; re-emphasized the set piece after letting it slide; and brought in more overseas-born players after saying he'd try more local Japanese talent.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:17 pm

I still don't know how he's going to go. Everyone seems to be thinking something slightly different. I was certain it was Fraser at 7 on Tuesday.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I still don't know how he's going to go. Everyone seems to be thinking something slightly different. I was certain it was Fraser at 7 on Tuesday.
That's what I've noticed. At the moment, everyone can read what they want to read into his comments and selections. Not many people in England really remember the selection issues he faced with the Wallabies, and even fewer know what he did in Japan, so he's still a bit of a blank slate despite his long career. There's an awful lot of "Eddie like his players to [do what I like them to do]" about some of the commentary.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:38 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I wouldn't read a huge amount into what he says about individual players this early...

The Japanese team at the World Cup reflected a very different philosophy from the team Jones first selected when he took charge.

He recalled players he had dropped; re-emphasized the set piece after letting it slide; and brought in more overseas-born players after saying he'd try more local Japanese talent.

Jones is renowned for working with what he's got. He takes a group of players and makes the more than the sum of their parts.

I'm no expert on his Japan tenure but the jist I get is that he started out trying to re-assert the improvements in Top League rugby by picking local Japanese talent. He also added more set-piece nous to them straight away. They improved rapidly, got good results against fellow minnows but still took a kicking from higher ranked sides. After a few kickings he seemed to realise he needed a bit of ballast to to with talents like Gorumara and Horie. At that point he brought in some overseas guys for this means and results starting coming against better sides.

With England he has more choice of players at his disposal and more information on all of them to make informed judgement on who he wants. As such I think it's fair to say he will look to apply what he views as his 'end plan' much sooner than he did in Japan.

His appointment of Peel as scrum coach shows a guy looking to immediately identify young front rows with the basic attributes needed to give him a platform. Picking Hill and LCD is the move of a guy who isn't hanging around and looking for stop gaps. He wants the guys he views as most vital to his long term plan in place immediately.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:38 pm

Yup, just read some articles by the usual suspects on Sky who say it's definitely Kvesic. Now it seems to be Haskell but he doesn't like players who are a bit of a 6 and 1/2 so it's definitely Clifford, who can play 6 7 8. All we know it's definitely not Robshaw; unless he impresses in training. I have no idea anymore!

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Post by TightHEAD Thu 14 Jan 2016, 2:41 pm

Robshaw has to play 6. Best we have on current form.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 4:31 pm

Actually...it's me at 7.

Haskell has a slight injury and im the replacement...but Im a 12 who covers flanker...
Very Happy

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:02 pm

OK....re Haskell how many of his England caps have come at 7 and how did England fare in those games? Need to review the evidence, but not sure how to find it?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:07 pm

12s are interchangable with flankers according to some so we'll be fine Geordie.

I couldn't remember any under Lancaster hho.

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Post by Chjw131 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:09 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Actually...it's me at 7.

Haskell has a slight injury and im the replacement...but Im a 12 who covers flanker...
Very Happy

So you're Brad Barritt then?

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Post by Chjw131 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:10 pm

hugehandoff wrote:OK....re Haskell how many of his England caps have come at 7 and how did England fare in those games? Need to review the evidence, but not sure how to find it?

I remember he played there in one of the SA tests in 2012 I think. He also spent the whole of the 2011 6N there with Wood at 6.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:32 pm

Chjw131 wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:OK....re Haskell how many of his England caps have come at 7 and how did England fare in those games? Need to review the evidence, but not sure how to find it?

I remember he played there in one of the SA tests in 2012 I think. He also spent the whole of the 2011 6N there with Wood at 6.
I didn't know Haskell could count to 7.

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Post by Chjw131 Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:33 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Chjw131 wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:OK....re Haskell how many of his England caps have come at 7 and how did England fare in those games? Need to review the evidence, but not sure how to find it?

I remember he played there in one of the SA tests in 2012 I think. He also spent the whole of the 2011 6N there with Wood at 6.
I didn't know Haskell could count to 7.  

That's what Wellington College does for you...

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Jan 2016, 5:39 pm

Chjw131 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Chjw131 wrote:
hugehandoff wrote:OK....re Haskell how many of his England caps have come at 7 and how did England fare in those games? Need to review the evidence, but not sure how to find it?

I remember he played there in one of the SA tests in 2012 I think. He also spent the whole of the 2011 6N there with Wood at 6.
I didn't know Haskell could count to 7.  

That's what Wellington College does for you...
Wow. A true return on mum and dad's investment.

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Post by nlpnlp Thu 14 Jan 2016, 7:04 pm

Didn't Haskell play open side for the Highlanders whilst he was over there?  Agreed though he is not the long term answer at 7 for England, particularly as he will be 34 come the next world cup.  I see Clifford to a degree in the same mould as Haskell and Robshaw - as a filler in at 7 and hope he does get to play at 8 for Harlequins (if Easter ever retires).

And yes Haskell is a definite ****end.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 14 Jan 2016, 7:35 pm

Easter will never retire. That should be obvious by now.

Clifford has had a reasonable amount of time in all three positions so far this season. Don't know if Quins will focus him on 8 from now on, as we have Hughes-alike Mat Luamanu coming back from injury in addition to Cliff and The Immortal.
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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Jan 2016, 8:44 pm

I don't remember if Haskell played 7 for Highlanders.  And, if so, I don't remember if they played classic blind and open side or simply left-right.  

All I remember is the first few matches he came off the bench, then he was suspended for a few matches for a girly punch at a scrum.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Jan 2016, 9:20 pm

Chjw131 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Actually...it's me at 7.

Haskell has a slight injury and im the replacement...but Im a 12 who covers flanker...
Very Happy

So you're Brad Barritt then?

No he's a flanker who plays 12

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Post by ChequeredJersey Fri 15 Jan 2016, 1:03 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Chjw131 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Actually...it's me at 7.

Haskell has a slight injury and im the replacement...but Im a 12 who covers flanker...
Very Happy

So you're Brad Barritt then?

No he's a flanker who plays 12

I was going to make that joke
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Post by bathmad Fri 15 Jan 2016, 9:42 am

LondonTiger wrote:As Kvesic is only in the squad as injury cover for Ewers, it is probably fair to assume that right now he is behind Clifford and Haskell in the Openside pecking order. While that can change in training - Jones will not see much of the players in camp before he releases 10 (?) players for AP round 10. He then gets the released players back in camp for a few days before he has to name the matchday squad and release 10 players again.

You shouldn't assume that. EJ may just be smart in getting the players he wants in the squad while operating within the guidelines of changing 10 (or was it 11??) personnel plus injury cover.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 15 Jan 2016, 9:47 am

What's the point in only being able to make 11 changes to the EPS? Seems like an unnecessary complication for the coach.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Jan 2016, 9:47 am

11 because of Burgess. Tried to find the official rules on injury replacements etc, how long they can last, if they end when the other player becomes fit but can't see anything on line.

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Post by BamBam Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:16 am

yappysnap wrote:What's the point in only being able to make 11 changes to the EPS? Seems like an unnecessary complication for the coach.

Agreement with PRL, effectively the RWC squad was seen as an EPS, and the changes are limited through a season. I guess next year he could make 30 changes if he pleased

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Post by king_carlos Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:41 am

bathmad wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:As Kvesic is only in the squad as injury cover for Ewers, it is probably fair to assume that right now he is behind Clifford and Haskell in the Openside pecking order. While that can change in training - Jones will not see much of the players in camp before he releases 10 (?) players for AP round 10. He then gets the released players back in camp for a few days before he has to name the matchday squad and release 10 players again.

You shouldn't assume that. EJ may just be smart in getting the players he wants in the squad while operating within the guidelines of changing 10 (or was it 11??) personnel plus injury cover.

Ewers was a change in itself and Kvesic then replaced him. Had EJ wanted to make more changes than 11 then he could have named May for instance who is out for the season then replaced him with Yarde or Ashton. As Jonny was in the RWC squad it would have been an injury replacement not a change to the squad.

Given Jones made the change to put Ewers despite him not being available for the early stages then he must be keen on the guy - or perhaps just keen on the option of a big, bruising 6. Given that it is fair to assume that Kvesic may be a bit down the order and unless he gets a chance to impress in the first round or two maybe returned to Gloucs when Ewers is fit.


Last edited by king_carlos on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:41 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:11 because of Burgess. Tried to find the official rules on injury replacements etc, how long they can last, if they end when the other player becomes fit but can't see anything on line.

Im pretty sure it doesn't end when the player is fit...effectively they can have the EPS player and his replacement for the tournament.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:45 am

king_carlos wrote:...I'm no expert on his Japan tenure but the jist I get is that he started out trying to re-assert the improvements in Top League rugby by picking local Japanese talent. He also added more set-piece nous to them straight away...
That's not what happened, but I can understand why such a perception is so prevalent, given how Japan went at the World Cup. Under Kirwan, Japan had a decent scrum, and managed to give France the hurry-up at the 2011 tournament before going on to lose. That went largely unnoticed as Japan failed to get a single win while France reached the final.

Jones' first action with Japan was to try and raise the team tempo, and use more local talent. Consequently, some of the more solid set piece players were sidelined, and the scrum suffered. Since most people assumed Japan was always underpowered in that area, it went unremarked by everyone outside the country.

The development was no surprise to Australians in Japan, who saw the same happen to the Wallaby set piece during his tenure. Full credit to Jones, he realized he was building on sand, and the team didn't have sufficient standing with referees to get any benefit of the doubt. so he reversed course. Scrum doctor Marc Del Maso was only appointed full-time in 2013 (after a consulting stint), and things began to turn around. Jones left the Japanese scrum in far better condition than he found it.

The lineout got steadily better under Jones. However, much of what you saw at the cup is common at the club level in Japan, so the players were already in synch with what Jones and Borthwick devised. There's no doubt it was a far slicker operation under their direction.

The question for me is whether Jones has changed his spots after his experience in Japan. That is, I wonder how committed he is to making the England set piece a dominant, rather than sufficient part of our game. It could be that he has concluded his old thinking on the set piece became outdated. I'd be delighted if he sticks by his initial comments to make us strong up front.

Alternatively, he might think he has sufficient resources in England to conjure up a pack with more threats in the loose than in the tight - much as Lancaster wanted - but with skills to go along with the workrate. One sign he might be going that way is if he ever selects Tom Youngs. Youngs is the kind of player Jones has favoured in the past, so it's a statement of intent that the Leicester man is currently out in the cold.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:46 am

Youngs is just awful at the set piece and over rated in the loose, I can't see him playing again under Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:47 am

Shhh now Pooly, it's over. He can't hurt you anymore.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:56 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Shhh now Pooly, it's over. He can't hurt you anymore.
laughing

Amongst all the garbage there has been some very funny stuff on here recently. Think this is my favourite so far

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:57 am

I've finally being proven right with Youngs....he's poop Yahoo

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Shhh now Pooly, it's over. He can't hurt you anymore.

Haha....I can sleep easy now mate. It's a travesty he has as many caps as he does.

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Post by yappysnap Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:06 pm

I can not wait for Youngs to get called up as a late injury replacement, Pooly will be ecstatic.

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Post by killer938 Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:15 pm

Manu starting at 12 this weekend for Tigers

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:31 pm

yappysnap wrote:I can not wait for Youngs to get called up as a late injury replacement, Pooly will be ecstatic.

Haha....bugger off Yappy Wink

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Post by Poorfour Fri 15 Jan 2016, 12:48 pm

killer938 wrote:Manu starting at 12 this weekend for Tigers

That will be worth watching. When's kickoff?
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