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Who next in, or thereabouts, for England

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Post by rozakthegoon Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:41 pm

First topic message reminder :

So itoje and Clifford, as expected, look quality, and we know George is as well as slade.

Whose next up? Anyone else other than Daly (and the other regular names such as ewers) that people want to see in the 23 in the near future?

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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:02 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I prefer Fraser. What's wrong with him I ask!?

Only my opinion, but I feel Fraser has a much easier job in the Sarries pack than Kvesic does in the Glaws one. Also it is hard to state categorically that fraser (ast 26) has nailed down the first choice spot at Sarries and is not just the latest EQP 7 they have produced that shines for a year or two then fades (see Seymour and Saull).

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:06 am

I really think it could be Kvesic's technique at the breakdown that could be holding him back. He's very keen to plant his hands on the deck which should get pinged but often doesn't at AP level. When he goes for the more conventional technique(ala Pocock) he tends to be cleared out quite easily.

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Post by rozakthegoon Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:18 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
dummy_half wrote:... I'm really not sure where the next new scrum half is coming from...
I wish Eastmond had been given the brief to learn the position. He may have never developed a great kicking game, but he would have enjoyed getting the ball a lot, and no-one would have worried about his size.

Yes! Totally agree. Seems such a shame he wasn't.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:35 am

There'll be some of that in it LT but he looks classy to me. If not for injuries I think he'd be a lot further on now. He may be the next Rees rather than Saull.

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Post by beshocked Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:43 am

Poorfour wrote:Forgot Mallinder. He's looking quite exciting and similar to Greenwood both physically and in skill set.

beshocked, if Eddie were concerned about Robshaw's carrying, he had other options he could have picked - Tom Wood for instance. He didn't. From what I know of both player (a lot) and coach (not so much, but I have been watching him very closely since his appointment), Eddie will have given Robshaw a very precise job to do, and Robshaw will have done it. His comment post the Scotland match was telling "Ten overs for not much" - i.e. a decent containing job on the opposition. His carrying is also less about big yards and more often about taking slow ball into traffic, tying up defenders and getting it back cleanly - which he consistently does.

I fully expect Clifford, Itoje, Ewers etc to have become the first choices by 2019 but the old guard aren't done just yet.


Tom Wood is not a particularly good ball carrier either, he's a poor example of a replacement for Robshaw. It's not very positive to be told to contain the opposition. Unless it's aggressive defence to force the opposition back or force the opposition into a mistake or targetting certain players to win the turnover and counter attack.

A player can have a high tackle count but the tackles themselves can differ. Are they huge hits? Hits whilst being forced backwards by the opposition. Poor technique? Etc.

When a team is on the backfoot generally they have to make more tackles, surely the aspiration is to be on the front foot?

Hoonercat Really? Pretty sure Billy outworked Robshaw in last year's 6 nations. He didn't make as many tackles as Robshaw but the difference wasn't as large as you would think when you take into account how much Billy carries. Plus I remember Billy showing the strength to hold the opposition man up, notably against France where he won the turnover in the tackle.

Why do good workrate and good carrying have to be exclusive?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:03 am

I can count on the fingers of 1 hand how many bad games Robshaw has had for England but he isn't an amazing ball carrier just a good one. Guess if Jones is looking for that player he's got Ewers, Hughes coming soon or even the option of having Vunipola there if he were to bring through Beamont (but then we wouldn't have the monster 8).

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Post by sad_gimp Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:31 am

Take a look at the match stats...it's *very* obvious that Jones likes to play one primary ball carrier, leaving the other back-rowers to other duties. I don't believe that's down to Haskell/Robshaw not being keen for work, they both have great engines.

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Post by Poorfour Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:34 am

beshocked wrote:
Tom Wood is not a particularly good ball carrier either, he's a poor example of a replacement for Robshaw. It's not very positive to be told to contain the opposition. Unless it's aggressive defence to force the opposition back or force the opposition into a mistake or targetting certain players to win the turnover and counter attack.

A player can have a high tackle count but the tackles themselves can differ. Are they huge hits? Hits whilst being forced backwards by the opposition. Poor technique? Etc.

When a team is on the backfoot generally they have to make more tackles, surely the aspiration is to be on the front foot?

Hoonercat Really? Pretty sure Billy outworked Robshaw in last year's 6 nations. He didn't make as many tackles as Robshaw but the difference wasn't as large as you would think when you take into account how much Billy carries. Plus I remember Billy showing the strength to hold the opposition man up, notably against France where he won the turnover in the tackle.

Why do good workrate and good carrying have to be exclusive?

Rewrite history much? Wood has been talked up over the last 4 years as the essential component of the back row, a player in direct competition with Robshaw and there was a lot of gushing about his carrying in the run up to the RWC. I used him as an example for exactly that reason.

There are all sorts of tackles. Dominant big hits are one type, and while they are eye-catching they are often a high risk strategy, because it usually involves coming out of the line early, creating gaps elsewhere. Cover tackles might lead to the tackler losing yards, but fewer than if there wasn't a cover tackler in place. Sometimes the aim in the tackle is to slow down opposition ball. I like tacklers who know which tackle to do when.

If your squad is learning a new defensive system then a containment role - making sure that any gaps in the system are covered - can be more valuable than someone going all out for the big hit. It's pretty clear that that's what Robshaw's been asked to do, and what he's done. If you have any complaints about that, direct them at Eddie and Gustard.

The aspiration is to be on the front foot, but the reality is that teams are never on the front foot for the whole game. I seem to remember that the All Blacks generally play (and win) with less than 50% possession. I'd like to see stats published in a "tackles per defensive minute" format, but no-one publishes those stats and it's too much hassle to work them out.

There was one Aussie site that did some analysis along those lines and went to the trouble of looking at the full range of things a player can do - handling, tackling, hitting rucks, being in set pieces. Not surprisingly they highlighted that impact subs like Mako or Haskell (as he was then) were doing about 30-50% more per minute than starters. The thing about Robshaw was that his interventions per minute - over a whole game - were within about 5% of what the subs were doing over 20-30 minutes. That's a LOT of extra work. The next closest was Launchbury, who was doing about 25% less. I don't have it bookmarked but will try to remember to dig it out.

(They also analysed Pocock, whose work rate was about 25% above what even the impact subs were doing.)

Good carrying is not equal to big carrying. Haskell, in his younger years, used to make endless big carries. And then get isolated and cough the ball up. Not good carrying. We measure yards, so everyone obsesses about that, but what we really want to measure is momentum. A short carry that takes slow ball, ties up a couple of defenders, and creates quick ball is a good carry. You can't rely solely on that but a carrier like Billy is much less effective carrying off slow ball than being able to hit the line at speed off fast ball.
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Post by beshocked Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 pm

Poorfour Wood and Robshaw generally played in the same backrow. They weren't really direct competitors. Gushing about his carrying? From whom?

I guess it depends what you want to have a balanced backrow. I don't think Wood-Robshaw and a no 8 was ever completely balanced though it had it's moments of excellence. Competent yes but not complete.

I wouldn't say Robshaw-Haskell-Vunipola is balanced and that's what it ultimately comes down to.

When I mean the front foot I am referring not really to possession but being on top in terms of control and pressure.

We couldn't really say with confidence England were in control in either of the 1st 40 of the Italy and Scotland games.

I do think that Robshaw does have a good engine, I am not denying that. My issue is does his workrate make up for his lack of good ball carrying. I don't think he's a good ball carrier in the sense you say, I don't think he ties in defenders.

England only really have been using Billy as a big ball carrier in the backrow consistently, someone needs to take up that slack.

As for Billy the quality of ball he's received has been mixed. It's not as if he's been running onto the ball at pace on every carry.

At least with England now hopefully a balance in the backrow can be found out.

Maybe they'll be someone else who'll emerge in the following months.

It's been said before I doubt anyone predicted Paul Hill to be in the 23 for England.


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Post by fa0019 Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:12 pm

The thing which makes Pocock so great is his brain not his workrate IMO. Look he has given himself the tools to be the best by giving himself conditioning to be the perfect openside... the biggest guns in the game yet mobile and quick over short distances. He isn't burdened with being the first wall in defence allowing him to hover over rucks like an eagle waiting for his moment. Look at the physical make up of Warburton, Tipuric, Pocock, Hooper, Louw. The only exception is probably Schalk but he's a real one off yet has never ever been a gym monkey.

Pocock puts in tackles but I'm almost certain AUS set up teams to ambush single runners. Often around phase 5+ we see a front five player take the ball in isolated, against AUS he often makes a bit of ground (1 or 2 metres more than expected) and becomes isolated from his teammates. Pocock and Hopper seem to lie in wait for these events allowing others to make the tackle and then boom, turnover penalty. It surely isn't just them being in the right place at the right time.
Robshaw on the other hand is your typical first phase tackler.. there is no way he can get up for the steal as all his efforts are being used to pull down the big blindsides, the big inside centres etc off the first phase. He's a lumberjack, a very good lumberjack but for me he takes on too much responsibility and would be a better flanker if he dropped his workrate a little.

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Post by beshocked Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:27 pm

fa0019 you're right.

Brainpower is important. It's why I am never really been a fan of Haskell. I admire his physical qualities but think he just doesn't make the right decisions at times. Hence why he gives away too many penalties.

Agree about the lumberjack comment - it's all well and good having someone chopping down the opposition but there needs to be someone swooping in to make the turnover.

It's why Robshaw has never been a traditional 7. Someone like Armitage has been so effective for Toulon because he does the 7 role for Toulon. I still remember in the HC final him and Toulon isolating Billy again and again.

I would never pick Armitage because he's made his bed so he's got to lie in it now but Robshaw-Armitage-Billy I think could have worked for England.

Balance is key.

Whose the best prospect in the U20s? Any stand out players?

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Post by fa0019 Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:46 pm

Haskell is just your usual gymrat. Some of the hits he put in on the weekend were bone shattering but I can imagine better sides simply working him out. Its about tackle completion not necessarily breaking a chap in two.
I have no idea on your other players but the balance is key.

I recall SCW in 2002 AI's played Lewis Moody in every game vs. the 3N sides. He dropped Hill, Back and Dillaglio in succession just to work on combinations. It was clear the normal trio was the one to go with but SCW wanted to find out who best suited working with Moody when he came off the bench.
Looking at the new boy though Itoje I think Robshaw's days are numbered. The kid looks very impressive but crucially he seems to be a very good lineout option.  Robshaw doesn't really carry so if he can show he can tackle close to Robshaw I think it would be an obvious answer to swap one for one. But the openside still seems up in the open, I don't think you can change guys like Haskell or Robshaw from playing their natural game, they are what they are.

Flankers can't be one trick pony these days.... unless they are literally outstanding at what they do.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:47 pm

You think Itoje will be a flanker rather than lock then fa?

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Post by Exiledinborders Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:16 pm

fa0019 wrote:Haskell is just your usual gymrat. Some of the hits he put in on the weekend were bone shattering but I can imagine better sides simply working him out. Its about tackle completion not necessarily breaking a chap in two.
I have no idea on your other players but the balance is key.

I recall SCW in 2002 AI's played Lewis Moody in every game vs. the 3N sides. He dropped Hill, Back and Dillaglio in succession just to work on combinations. It was clear the normal trio was the one to go with but SCW wanted to find out who best suited working with Moody when he came off the bench.
Looking at the new boy though Itoje I think Robshaw's days are numbered. The kid looks very impressive but crucially he seems to be a very good lineout option.  Robshaw doesn't really carry so if he can show he can tackle close to Robshaw I think it would be an obvious answer to swap one for one. But the openside still seems up in the open, I don't think you can change guys like Haskell or Robshaw from playing their natural game, they are what they are.

Flankers can't be one trick pony these days.... unless they are literally outstanding at what they do.
I agree that Itoje gives an extra lineout option. In the first two games we only had two jumpers. The opposition know our back row are no use in the lineout and can target the two locks. We need a third option (or as my English teacher would have pointed out, more correctly a second option).

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:48 pm

beshocked wrote:

Whose the best prospect in the U20s? Any stand out players?

Yep, Welshman Matt Protheroe.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:50 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Whose the best prospect in the U20s? Any stand out players?

Yep, Welshman Matt Protheroe.

Makes a change the English stealing Welsh players Wink

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:55 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Whose the best prospect in the U20s? Any stand out players?

Yep, Welshman Matt Protheroe.

Makes a change the English stealing Welsh players Wink

I know. I still can't quite believe it myself.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:17 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
englandglory4ever wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why? If we want to list all English qualified players fair enough, Lees isn't going to be pushing for a place unless there's a series of injuries.

He was much closer to selection than you think.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35301118


I don't think he was. Presumably by this you feel the Bath front were as well? You do realise that Jones visited every single club and had talks on all qualified players? Like I said Lees would be quite a way down the list.

You don't think he was ? He was not quite a way down the list as you put it. Only someone full of their own self importance would say things like that. He was clearly being considered. He is a try scoring lock. Not many of those about.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:26 pm

Why was he being considered? How do you know? Presumably every EQ player was being considered, not seriously though and Lees will be behind several better locks.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:47 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why was he being considered? How do you know? Presumably every EQ player was being considered, not seriously though and Lees will be behind several better locks.

I prefer to believe Baxter. I think you have probably never seen Lees play and if you have then you can't see a good player when he's staring you in the face.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35120326

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:54 pm

I believe that baxter recommended him as well. He's a decent player. Behind Lawes, Launchbury, Itoje, Kruis, Parling, Slater, Kitchener at least for me. Probably more.


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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:55 pm

About 70 players were recommended by their club coaches.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:00 pm

You forgot Robinson 71/2

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:45 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:You forgot Robinson 71/2

No-one forgets about him Sgt....certainly not Itoje. Must have nightmares Wink

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:47 pm

Ha,

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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:52 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:You forgot Robinson 71/2

No-one forgets about him Sgt....certainly not Itoje. Must have nightmares Wink

the Sarries side had travelled up the day before and had a team bonding exercise on Percy St. Seeing all the lasses in crop tops, micro skirts and purple leg blotch left them so traumatised that all nightmares have no room for Falcons

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:14 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:You forgot Robinson 71/2

No-one forgets about him Sgt....certainly not Itoje. Must have nightmares Wink

the Sarries side had travelled up the day before and had a team bonding exercise on Percy St. Seeing all the lasses in crop tops, micro skirts and purple leg blotch left them so traumatised that all nightmares have no room for Falcons

You appear to know the look too well LT...something you care to divulge? Wink

You have obviously been to the Bigg market.


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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:31 pm

I cannot think that Newcastle has changed much since I was growing up in County Durham, when me and my friends thought the tuxedo Princes was the height of style and sophistication. (Wrong side of the Tyne I know - but explains what we were like)

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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:55 pm

looking at who has played at 7 for the U20s in recent years:

2015 Will Owen (Leic) ever present in the 6Ns
2014 Joel Conlon (then Exe, no wSarries) started 3, Owen and Gus Jones (then Wasps now LW) one each.
2013 Conlon (3) and David Sisi (LI/Bath/LI) shared duties
2012 Chris Walker (Leeds) wore the 7 shirt with Matt Kvesic at 6


Other than Kvesic (who of course did not feature at 7) no-one has yet kicked on.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I believe that baxter recommended him as well. He's a decent player. Behind Lawes, Launchbury, Itoje, Kruis, Parling, Slater, Kitchener at least for me. Probably more.


You can't actually read can you. Parling can't get in the side and Itoje is unlikely to get a chance at lock. So clearly your opinion counts for zip. come back when you know a bit more about rugby lad.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:27 pm

Parling and Itoje are behind Lees in the pecking order for England along with the others I've named,is that what you're saying? Ok.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:52 pm

Yes as far as the lock position is concerned. The only way Itoje will play lock for this 6Ns is if we have a massive injury problems with the real locks. Ok. Having to educate you is really tiresome.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:58 pm

Educate me? Which lock was covering in case Lawes wasn't fit for Scotland? Don't get me wrong Baxter speaks a lot of sense sometimes but its just a public pat on his players back who's a fair way from the England team. Rating Lees over Itoje, dear me.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:24 pm

Look. In case you don't know. The England locks are launchbury, lawes and kruis in any order you like. Itoje is a kid getting time off the bench in the back row. I hope you're still keeping up. If Lees had not been so badly injured its not inconceivable that he would be close to a call up so they could look at him for one of the lock spots. So as far as this OP is concerned he was a perfectly reasonable name to mention because any knowledgeable rugby person would recognise how good he is. As a lock, pound for pound, Lees is far superior to Itoje in my opinion. My opinion is probably much better than yours.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:28 pm

Who was the lock covering Lawes?

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Post by rozakthegoon Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:20 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I cannot think that Newcastle has changed much since I was growing up in County Durham, when me and my friends thought the tuxedo Princes was the height of style and sophistication. (Wrong side of the Tyne I know - but explains what we were like)

Tuxedo princess on a Monday night: Very Happy Shocked Who next in, or thereabouts, for England  - Page 2 3933776953 Who next in, or thereabouts, for England  - Page 2 3559488474 heart kiss censored Sad boxing heart Hug Yahoo Run vomit

Happy days.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Who was the lock covering Lawes?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/02/england-maro-itoje-elliot-daly-scotland

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Post by Tiger/Chief Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:46 am

There is no doubt Lees would have been very close, he was first choice Lock in a team 2nd in the Prem and had a MOM display in a bonus point win against Clermont. For the record when fit he is the first choice lock at Exeter, ahead of Welch,Parling,Atkins and Hill. He's more of a lump than Lawes and Kruis so in my opinion would be perfect foil for one of them.

For the record we're very lucky to have Itoje who can cover lock and back row!

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:16 am

LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Who was the lock covering Lawes?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/02/england-maro-itoje-elliot-daly-scotland
That just tells you about Itoje's versatility within a squad, though, not how he ranks among the specialist contenders for lock. Alex Goode is third in line to cover fly half, but he's certainly not ahead of Cipriani in the overall scheme of things.

We can't know whether Lees would have featured if he was fit but Eddie Jones is an Australian, and he's confident of coaching southern hemisphere players. Jones likes players who do what he asks them to do.

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:18 am

Thanks for the info tiger chief. For the record the spat between me and 1/2 is not whether Lees is better than Itoje, although 1/2 would like it to be, it's about whether or not Lees was a good shout in terms of the OP. I think he is and 1/2 thinks he isn't. Despite a weight of evidence building he continues to deny Lees is any good. Sounds almost vindictive.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:27 am

So who was covering lock E4G? You may be able to see the link. And my original point was that there would have to be a long list of injuries to get in the squad which is the case. Please find a quote here from me saying Lees isn't any good. I've said he's a decent player but a way off from Englnad. I'd also contest that he's first choice ahead of Parling as Parling was out for a lot of that time.

Lees is not next in or there abouts in summary.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:31 am

Does Lees qualify for England through family? If not, when would he obtain his residency?

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Post by rozakthegoon Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:41 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Whose the best prospect in the U20s? Any stand out players?

Yep, Welshman Matt Protheroe.

Makes a change the English stealing Welsh players Wink

I know. I still can't quite believe it myself.

Saw a pic of this lad, looks about 7stone?!?! Supposed to be class though (well, the paper called him a wonderkid, and papers never use hyperbole...)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:42 am

Couple of grnad parents are English doc.

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:53 am

Rugby fan has answered your question. Read it again. Tiger chief has told you about his status at the chiefs. Baxter has made very strong comments in public about him. Lees is clearly a very good England prospect at lock. End of really. Are you saying Lees is no good and not an England prospect?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:59 am

And if either of them are saying that Lees is next in line I'd disagree with them. I'm not saying he's no good and he's an England prospect in the respect that he qualifies. As I've said it'll take a fair few injuries for him to get in the team. If he gets back in time for the summer tour he could tour with the entended squad which will inevitably go but I doubt that also. You don't agree with everything Baxter says neither do I, he'll put club spin on things when he wants to. As per Jones what coaches say in public doesn't always translate to what they think or would do.

He's no where near Itoje in terms of ability. He's a good club lock.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:14 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Couple of grnad parents are English doc.
Thanks - I really didn't know, except that he was an Aussie. .

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Post by BamBam Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:23 am

Is Mitch Lees the new Sam Burgess Shocked

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:26 am

What's with the love affair with Itoje. Are you a sarries fan. Lees is an extremely good lock and will be on Eddie and his coaches radar. If he comes back to fitness I expect them to have a look at him. Therefore my original comments stand when yours don't. I think I've made my point well enough that even you know you're wrong. I suspect you've never seen Lees play.

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Post by englandglory4ever Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:29 am

BamBam wrote:Is Mitch Lees the new Sam Burgess Shocked

Looks like it. 1/2 seems to take against good players.

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