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6N Rugby - Italy v England

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:50 am

First topic message reminder :

England team to face Italy - Sunday

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 28 caps)
2 Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 67 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 57 caps)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 43 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 11 caps)
6 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 44 caps)
7 James Haskell (Wasps, 63 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 22 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)
10 George Ford (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
11 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 36 caps)
13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)
15 Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 44 caps)

Replacements
16 Jamie George (Saracens, 4 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 38 caps)
18 Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 29 caps)
20 Maro Itoje (Saracens, uncapped)
21 Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 1 cap)
22 Danny Care (Harlequins, 54 caps)
23 Alex Goode (Saracens, 19 caps)


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lostinwales Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:29 pm

yappysnap wrote:In 2014 we won 11-52 shouldn't we expect a better coaching team to be able to at least match that last result??

47-17 last year, but they did score 3 tries.

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Post by nlpnlp Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:39 pm

The 2014 game was one we needed to win by maximum points to have a chance of winning the championship and Italy had little to play for. It is like saying England scored 55 points against France in 2015 so we need to at least score that many every game. Not realistic.

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Post by nlpnlp Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:43 pm

I can't see Jones making many changes for this game.  He might start Clifford at 7 and 'rest' either Haskell or Robshaw.  He might start Devoto at 12.  Other than that I can't see any changes unless Launchbury is not 100% fit.

I can't see him handing out caps to young players such as Itoje or Daly for the sake of it - he will play them when they are the best players.  With injuries I think there is a good chance that their chance will come around anyway.  For now it is pragmatism and simply win the next game, and not the picking young players for the future/2019 world cup approach.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:48 pm

They're good enoguh now to get some game time I would have thought.

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Post by emontagu Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:07 pm

yappysnap wrote:In 2014 we won 11-52 shouldn't we expect a better coaching team to be able to at least match that last result??

Not necessarily especially when you consider this team will have only had 3 weeks under Jones prior to the match.

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Post by SimonofSurrey Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:57 pm

A final word on Launchbuiry - maybe his selection last Saturday, despite his gastric ailment, was Eddie Jones's attempt to get England playing flowing rugby.

Would you have wanted to tackle that? Eurgh.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:58 pm

Yes but the bulk of the players are the same, so unless they've gone backwards or he's coached them to play worse they should be able to do that again shouldn't they?

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Post by lostinwales Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:04 pm

SimonofSurrey wrote:A final word on Launchbuiry - maybe his selection last Saturday, despite his gastric ailment, was Eddie Jones's attempt to get England playing flowing rugby.

Would you have wanted to tackle that? Eurgh.

Considering what might well have been flowing I dare say things might for once actually matched the average Welsh Wum assessment of our play

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Post by Poorfour Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:24 pm

yappysnap wrote:Yes but the bulk of the players are the same, so unless they've gone backwards or he's coached them to play worse they should be able to do that again shouldn't they?

I think you're confusing "worse" with "different". Eddie is well known for the precision of his gameplans and he will have instructed the team to do very specific things, that will be different from those that Lancaster coached. See Geech's column in the Telegraph for an analysis of what was going on vs Scotland.

It takes any coach time to build up the different systems, because human beings can only absorb and internalise ideas and turn them into behaviours at a finite rate. Eddie has - like just about any coach - concentrated on the nuts and bolts of the game - setpiece, breakdown, defence, territory. Only when the team can reliably do what he wants in those areas will he be able to focus more on the attacking patterns. And only after that do you get the chance to instil plan B (which took Woodward about 6 years to get round to - and he was going pretty quickly).

So, in short, no, they shouldn't. They may be the same players, but they're playing a different gameplan which they won't have had time to learn in full. It's reasonable to expect control of the game and a decent points differential but if you expect record points scoring you are likely to be disappointed.
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Post by emontagu Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:36 pm

Poorfour wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yes but the bulk of the players are the same, so unless they've gone backwards or he's coached them to play worse they should be able to do that again shouldn't they?

I think you're confusing "worse" with "different". Eddie is well known for the precision of his gameplans and he will have instructed the team to do very specific things, that will be different from those that Lancaster coached. See Geech's column in the Telegraph for an analysis of what was going on vs Scotland.

It takes any coach time to build up the different systems, because human beings can only absorb and internalise ideas and turn them into behaviours at a finite rate. Eddie has - like just about any coach - concentrated on the nuts and bolts of the game - setpiece, breakdown, defence, territory. Only when the team can reliably do what he wants in those areas will he be able to focus more on the attacking patterns. And only after that do you get the chance to instil plan B (which took Woodward about 6 years to get round to - and he was going pretty quickly).

So, in short, no, they shouldn't. They may be the same players, but they're playing a different gameplan which they won't have had time to learn in full. It's reasonable to expect control of the game and a decent points differential but if you expect record points scoring you are likely to be disappointed.

Its also a complete change of culture which will take time to bed in as players adjust. It's not a simple case of same players same performance.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:44 pm

Yappy has a point though. Is the "new-improved" Italian team actually any better than the rather meh one seen in the last few 6Ns and the World Cup?

I still feel that we should not assume Italy have improved just because they held France so close, but I would not be happy with the kind of win achieved under Borthwick's captaincy. Not demanding a 40pt margin for sure, but feel we should be looking to overpower them by a decent margin.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Tue 09 Feb 2016, 5:15 pm

France have been fairly poor for some years now (with the occasional good performance). They've also been beaten by Italy a few times. The Fra:Ita game was 2 average-at-best sides playing each other. Nothing to overly concern England from either side  Shocked .
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Post by Poorfour Tue 09 Feb 2016, 5:23 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:France have been fairly poor for some years now (with the occasional good performance). They've also been beaten by Italy a few times. The Fra:Ita game was 2 average-at-best sides playing each other. Nothing to overly concern England from either side  Shocked .

That's the slippery slope to a scrambled all-too-close win like the one we had in 2012.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:18 pm

Its the hope that gets you.

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:05 pm

Italian sides have been propping up the Pro12 for years. It is inconceivable that they could win on Sunday. Any more than an England side consisting of players from just Newcastle and London Irish could beat any top tier side. It ain't going to happen.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:32 pm

Daly and Kvesic released back to clubs.

http://www.englandrugby.com/news/rbs-nations-england-retain-for-italy-clash/

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Post by king_carlos Tue 09 Feb 2016, 8:02 pm

If Daly hasn't done enough this season to get a chance then I'm not sure what he can do!

Especially as a bench option with his versatility and ability to tear defences apart late in a game.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 09 Feb 2016, 8:06 pm

Feel for Kvesic. I think he won't get a look in during the 6Ns unless there's injuries now. Hopefully the summer tour will give him a chance.

As to my points above I was just curious about people's perception? Lancaster apparently wasn't as good a coach as Eddie, but managed two absolute hammerings of Italy with these players. Eddie is by all accounts a better coach with better support staff. But we're worried about losing to Italy with this team? That just doesn't make sense to me.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:05 pm

yappysnap wrote:...As to my points above I was just curious about people's perception? Lancaster apparently wasn't as good a coach as Eddie, but managed two absolute hammerings of Italy with these players. Eddie is by all accounts a better coach with better support staff. But we're worried about losing to Italy with this team? That just doesn't make sense to me.
I see what you are saying, but Lancaster's first encounter with Italy saw us only 15-19 winners. The best reason to hope for a good victory is because Jones says he wants one. I'd like to see us trying and failing (failing to win big, not losing), rather than playing the containment game for a second week running.

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:16 pm

England need another solid well controlled performance and a decent win so they can see continued development. Talk of points and Lancasters record is completely irrelevant here. It's a new regime and they need time. If they are good enough the rest will follow thumbsup

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:15 pm

I just want to see England execute the fundamentals well.  And this time use the top 10%, too.
If both of these things happen, England should do just fine.

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Post by DirtyRucker7 Wed 10 Feb 2016, 12:49 am

I have resisted from this debate until now simply because there is nothing to discuss, we will put close to 60 points winning margin on Italy, they know it we know it and by god steady Eddie knows it.
Case closed discussion terminated.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 10 Feb 2016, 7:57 am

Why do you bother?

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 10 Feb 2016, 8:01 am

Telegraph says Mako, Clifford and Lawes to start. Marler, Robshaw and Kruis to the bench, with Haskell switching to six.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/12149081/Six-Nations-2016-Josh-Beaumont-and-Maro-Itoje-named-in-25-man-England-squad-for-Italy-clash.html

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 10 Feb 2016, 8:44 am

Sensible changes from Jones if correct. I'd like to see Itoje over Robshaw on the bench though, I'm not sure what he brings in impact.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 10 Feb 2016, 8:47 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Sensible changes from Jones if correct. I'd like to see Itoje over Robshaw on the bench though, I'm not sure what he brings in impact.
Kind of pragmatic, methinks. Not too many changes, not too few. I would want to see some changes in the backs, but, i suppose evolution over revolution, eh mate?

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Post by Hoonercat Wed 10 Feb 2016, 8:50 am

yappysnap wrote:In 2014 we won 11-52 shouldn't we expect a better coaching team to be able to at least match that last result??

I'm not sure you can compare 2014 Italy to the team we saw last weekend, plus England needed a huge score in 2014 to win the 6 Nations.

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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:09 am

Sgt Pooly how is dropping Kruis sensible? If he had a poor game then there might be some justification but he was good. Surely if someone is to be dropped in the 2nd row it should be Launchbury who didn't perform well.

I do feel a bit sorry for Daly. I like Goode as a club man but so far for England he's not had the same impact. Still think he deserves to be 2nd choice 15 though and if Brown is injured should start.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:17 am

beshocked wrote:Sgt Pooly how is dropping Kruis sensible? If he had a poor game then there might be some justification but he was good. Surely if someone is to be dropped in the 2nd row it should be  Launchbury who didn't perform well.

I do feel a bit sorry for Daly. I like Goode as a club man but so far for England he's not had the same impact. Still think he deserves to be 2nd choice 15 though and if Brown is injured should start.
As a general question, who do we think are the next 15s in the queue after Brown and Goode?  I suppose Watson, but putting him aside for sake of discussion?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:21 am

beshocked wrote:Sgt Pooly how is dropping Kruis sensible? If he had a poor game then there might be some justification but he was good. Surely if someone is to be dropped in the 2nd row it should be  Launchbury who didn't perform well.

I do feel a bit sorry for Daly. I like Goode as a club man but so far for England he's not had the same impact. Still think he deserves to be 2nd choice 15 though and if Brown is injured should start.

I could have guessed you'd have complained.

Jones has said he wants to try a few 2nd choices out, thus Lawes starts. Do you feel the need to whinge about everything?

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Post by BamBam Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:21 am

beshocked wrote:Sgt Pooly how is dropping Kruis sensible? If he had a poor game then there might be some justification but he was good. Surely if someone is to be dropped in the 2nd row it should be  Launchbury who didn't perform well.

If you read the article, then Jones is quoted as saying

“The one task at the weekend is to win the game – which is always the main task – but the second task is to develop options in each position. We need to go to the World Cup with three very good options in each position. We need to know clearly who is the first, second and third choice in each position.

“George Kruis, for instance, was outstanding at the weekend in the middle of the line-out. He called well, jumped well, and scrummed well. Who’s our second guy?

“We need to find out who is our second guy and who is our third guy and that’s the same for every position so that when we get to a World Cup, if someone is suspended or injured we know exactly who can jump in there.
It won’t be dissimilar to the 23 we had against Scotland but the batting order might change.

Isn't that exactly what you've been calling for in other positions?


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Post by thomh Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:22 am

"There's a rumour going round that James Haskell has bad hands. That's not true. He has terrible hands." - Eddie Jones

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:26 am

It's not a Sarries player being brought in though Bam.....

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:31 am

Well the good news is that Joe must have firmed up.
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Post by doctor_grey Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:34 am

BamBam wrote:
beshocked wrote:Sgt Pooly how is dropping Kruis sensible? If he had a poor game then there might be some justification but he was good. Surely if someone is to be dropped in the 2nd row it should be  Launchbury who didn't perform well.

If you read the article, then Jones is quoted as saying

“The one task at the weekend is to win the game – which is always the main task – but the second task is to develop options in each position. We need to go to the World Cup with three very good options in each position. We need to know clearly who is the first, second and third choice in each position.

“George Kruis, for instance, was outstanding at the weekend in the middle of the line-out. He called well, jumped well, and scrummed well. Who’s our second guy?

“We need to find out who is our second guy and who is our third guy and that’s the same for every position so that when we get to a World Cup, if someone is suspended or injured we know exactly who can jump in there.
It won’t be dissimilar to the 23 we had against Scotland but the batting order might change.

Isn't that exactly what you've been calling for in other positions?
Reading the article in The Telegraph, it seems as if Eddie looks at Kruis as being his primary Lock which is interesting. I think a few players are very close, and Eddie wants to see his depth in action. It is not as if Eddie was trying out uncapped young players.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:36 am

Kruis is in exceptional form, and is a Borthwick protege. The stars are aligned in his favour.

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Post by maestegmafia Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:41 am

Barney McGrew did it wrote:Well the good news is that Joe must have firmed up.

It would be unfair to not let him have a start this week over Lawes. He looked good considering how I'll he was. You can't perform well with a stomach bug.

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Post by thomh Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:47 am

maestegmafia wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:Well the good news is that Joe must have firmed up.

It would be unfair to not let him have a start this week over Lawes. He looked good considering how I'll he was. You can't perform well with a stomach bug.

That does assume that you see "fairness" as a meaningful selection criterion though.

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Post by BamBam Wed 10 Feb 2016, 9:48 am

If Kruis continues to play like he did on Saturday, no problem at all with him being the starting lock with Launchbury

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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:08 am

Sgt Pooly is it a crime to want to get the right balance between picking the best players and introducing new players? Kruis played well against Scotland, has been playing well this season. You want to drop him yet don't want to introduce talented youngsters. Where's the logic?

Picking more in form players is the key, not dropping one of your top performers!

I should add I wouldn't drop Nowell either - who I thought was probably our best performing back.

doctor grey there's not exactly a huge queue is there.

Maybe Rob Miller?

Bambam

I actually agree with that thought process but the likes of 12, 7 and more game time for 3s and 2s are more pressing than dropping the in form Kruis.

maestegmafia he shouldn't have been playing. Surely that's what the injury cover and reserves are for? Why should Launchbury be given a free pass? You can say it's not his fault he's got a bug but tough drop him then and give someone else a go. That's what should have happened vs Scotland and against Italy, either Lawes or Launchbury would be out of the 23 with Itoje coming in. Perhaps harsh on Lawes because he didn't play badly vs Scotland but Itoje must get gametime.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:30 am

Beshocked, yet again you make zero sense.

Jones is building a squad, he's clearly happy with Kruis and he'll come back in against the better side. This is something you've been advocating for over a year yet when it happen you're not happy.

I'm for talented youngsters coming in if they're better than what we have, I'm not seeing that with anyone really bar possibly Clifford who gets his chance.

Just stop complaining all the time, Jones is not out to annoy you.

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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:49 am

Sgt Pooly I think you'll find it's you who makes zero sense. England still need to be in a position to win the game, England need to tweak but Kruis shouldn't be the one to move.

Should Eddie Jones drop Billy Vunipola too? How about Nowell? Might as well drop some of our best performers vs Scotland...

I want England to build a squad but it has to be done in the right way. That means giving gametime to the right players. Getting the right balance between form,cohesion and trying out new players.

I agree Eddie Jones isn't out to annoy me but he will if he doesn't make the changes I want to see. Changes I think will be best for England.

Unfortunately you'll continue be critical of players who haven't been opportunities to prove themselves at international level which I think is foolish.

Ultimately a player cannot prove if they are good enough or not till they are given sufficient gametime.

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Post by BamBam Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:54 am

You're being ridiculous again.

Talented youngster in - Clifford
Rewarding good impact from bench - Mako, Lawes

3 changes is plenty .. keeps the side generally the same but gives opportunities to SOME other faces. Sounds like getting the right balance between form, cohesion and trying out new players to me

Personally I would have started Devoto and benched Ford, but can see why he wants to give it a chance rather than sacking it off after 1 game

Thankfully, I don't think Eddie Jones is likely to give a toss that beshocked from v2 is annoyed by his selections

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Post by lostinwales Wed 10 Feb 2016, 10:55 am

thomh wrote:"There's a rumour going round that James Haskell has bad hands. That's not true. He has terrible hands." - Eddie Jones

Quotes like that will make him a lot of friends Smile

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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:11 am

Bambam ridiculous? How so? Wanting to make intelligent selections is ridiculous?

Putting in one talented youngster is good but not enough.

It's not enough if it's the same stodgefest in midfield plus no Daly on the bench instead of Goode. Even you want to see Devoto start and Ford benched. You agree with me yet call me ridiculous.

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Post by BamBam Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:19 am

beshocked wrote:Bambam ridiculous? How so? Wanting to make intelligent selections is ridiculous?

Putting in one talented youngster is good but not enough.

It's not enough if it's the same stodgefest in midfield plus no Daly on the bench instead of Goode. Even you want to see Devoto start and Ford benched. You agree with me yet call me ridiculous.

Ridiculous exaggerations about dropping all and sundry, just because one Saracen has apparently been benched

Yes I do want to see Devoto start, but I can also understand the coach's logic on why he's keeping faith with Ford/Farrell, those aren't mutually exclusive events

I will agree with you that leaving Daly out for Goode is a massive mistake, but can't disagree on the rest of his changes

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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:39 am

Bambam if I disagree with something I say so. It's not disastrous if Kruis is benched, just in my opinion I don't think he should.

I can understand that Eddie Jones will hope that the Ford-Farrell will thrive. I am still unconvinced it will and I personally think Italy away is a perfect opportunity to try Devoto at 12, Farrell at 10.

Again Ford-Farrell might be good enough vs Italy but in the long term? I personally don't think so.

I think leaving out Daly is no worse a mistake than others but yes I would make that change.

Jamie George get at least 20 minutes from the bench.
Itoje at least 20 minutes from the bench.
Hill given a run out off the bench.
Clifford starting
Farrell at 10, Devoto at 12.
Daly on the bench instead of Goode would have been my choice.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:44 am

Do the All Blacks agonise about when to introduce youngsters? It seems to me that they don't, at least not to anything like the level that the English do.

Why is that? I suspect it's because they have a system that works, and that at any given point in time they have a depth of two or three players in any given position who can play to the required standard (and a few who exceed that standard considerably).

That gives them the room to drop a promising newbie or two in without worrying too much about when or where. It also gives them resilience. When did we last hear about an All Black injury crisis? In 2011 they were reduced to playing a fly half who was probably the fifth best NZQ player in his position (counting Nick Evans), and still won the bloody RWC.

That's what Eddie says he wants to achieve. He wants to get 3 good players in each position, who are used to playing together and can be slotted in without worrying. I would guess that at the moment he's got a fair view of #1 and #2 in most positions, though not always the order, and he knows the candidates for #2.

Matters are more complex at lock (lots of good candidates), back row (lots of good candidates at 6 & 8, no one he rates at 7) and 12 (#1-#3 a constantly shifting quicksand of form and injury).

He's also balancing that against wanting to win and matching his selection to the opposition.

So I'd expect him to settle pretty quickly on a core squad in most positions, but try out a range of players in the less certain positions over his first dozen or so games. What is also likely to happen is a gradual shift towards players who are faster over the ground and fit enough to keep up a strong mental and physical performance for 80 minutes.

Itoje will be given a shot, but I would expect him to sort out his preferred pecking order between Launchbury, Lawes and Kruis first (though the latter looks increasingly to me like he should be first pick on merit).
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Post by beshocked Wed 10 Feb 2016, 12:05 pm

Poorfour you say Itoje will be given a shot? You cannot say that with any confidence because firstly he hasn't yet. If he can't given an opportunity when you have two 2nd rows rivals injured - Attwood and Slater, two 2nd rows who weren't fully fit vs Scotland - Lawes and Launchbury when will he? I think it's either now vs Italy or the chances get even slimmer than they are now. Itoje's form is bound to dip at some point, if he's not going to get picked when he's been playing well.....

Daly is in a similar dilemma, he's being playing well, Manu is injured, Joseph hasn't exactly shone. His chance of playing vs Italy has gone. Not even seen as a bench option.

England aren't picking two of their best potential prospects if rumours are correct.

Yes I know they are picking Clifford - bravo 1/3.

Perhaps I am come across as too negative. Eddie Jones did what he had to do vs Scotland.

I still don't agree with all the selections but he got the win that England and he desperately needed.

Now I just hope that with another week with the England squad, he'll make changes that some England fans (not just me) want to see.

I agree with Eddie Jones wanting to develop more options in positions but he must practice what he preaches.

I think England should beat Italy regardless of whether they put in a 23 I agree with.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 10 Feb 2016, 12:18 pm

I can't be bothered trying with you anymore Beshocked, you're in your own little world.

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