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England Versus Ireland Squad, etc.

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Post by cb Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:44 pm

First topic message reminder :

A topic as suggested for the Ireland match.

What changes to the England squad would you make?

If Brookes is fit, I would replace Hill.  Also I think we need more than 2 backs on the bench - hence bring back Devoto.  Since Itoje can cover at lock I would leave out Lawes and start Launchbury and Kruis (and expect them to play 80 minutes).

I expect Jones to stay with current backrow but?

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Post by king_carlos Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:37 am

Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

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Post by Alex_Germany Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:10 am

How has Burrell been playing recently?

Before the squad was being formed, in the absence of Slade and Tuilagi, a few people were suggesting Twelvetrees should get a last chance. Is Burrell playing better than 12T?

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.
Unfortunately, he's probably third in line after Haskell and Robshaw. The question in the back row or second row is whether Itoje starts.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:41 am

Alex_Germany wrote:How has Burrell been playing recently?

Before the squad was being formed, in the absence of Slade and Tuilagi, a few people were suggesting Twelvetrees should get a last chance. Is Burrell playing better than 12T?

Burrell is playing better since he was moved from 12 to 13 by Saints.

That statement is not a ringing endorsement of course.

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Post by Exiledinborders Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:18 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Alex_Germany wrote:How has Burrell been playing recently?

Before the squad was being formed, in the absence of Slade and Tuilagi, a few people were suggesting Twelvetrees should get a last chance. Is Burrell playing better than 12T?

Burrell is playing better since he was moved from 12 to 13 by Saints.

That statement is not a ringing endorsement of course.
Can't see the sense in bring in Burrell. Mallinder after just a few games has proven himself a better twelve which is presumably where Burrell is being considered. If it is thirteen then Daly is a far better option.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:34 am

whilst unofficial (and therefore nor released) I am led to believe that there was a Saxons squad picked - from whom replacements can be drawn for training. Hill and Devoto had already replaced the injured Slade and Manu, with Burrell now replacing thin injured Devoto. All three were probably in that secret Saxons squad and are alongside JJ and Daly who were in the full EPS.

It now seems quite possible that Jones will again go with a 6/2 bench. I hope not. I hope he decides which 3 second rows he will keep and have Daly on the bench. But I doubt it.

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Post by Alex_Germany Tue 23 Feb 2016, 7:41 am

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/22/eddie-jones-patriotism-hated-england-ireland-six-nations

Jones revealed he had invited Wasps’ Elliot Daly to have a run at 12 in practice, with encouraging results. Given the uncapped Daly can also play at 13 and 15, it may just be the centre is edging closer to a replacement role against the Irish, despite Luther Burrell’s squad return, should Jones revert to three backs rather than two among his eight-strong bench.

I think Daly on the bench would make a lot of sense. If there was an injury that required a new inside centre, would it be better to bring Daly on there, or move JJ to inside centre and Daly to outside centre? (Or even bring Nowell inside)?

If Daly plays, then who checks the statistics regarding his penalty success rates from different positions, and calculates the expected points gain versus the expected points gain from a kick to touch, to determine the best decision? Robshaw could never do this, Borthwick would do it for fun, but who does the "on-pitch" calculation?

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Post by beshocked Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:32 am

king_carlos wrote:Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

Who is the back up 8 if Billy gets injured? Is it Clifford?

Alex Germany hopefully it won't come to England having to rely on Daly for kicking duties to beat Ireland. I know there are some on here who think Daly has proven himself already as an international kicker, personally I am not convinced till I see it.

Would be enough pressure on Daly as a debutant let alone asking him to try and hit penalties from 50+ straight away.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:45 am

beshocked wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

Who is the back up 8 if Billy gets injured? Is it Clifford?

Alex Germany hopefully it won't come to England having to rely on Daly for kicking duties to beat Ireland. I know there are some on here who think Daly has proven himself already as an international kicker, personally I am not convinced till I see it.

Would be enough pressure on Daly as a debutant let alone asking him to try and hit penalties from 50+ straight away.

Of course Daly has no record as an international kicker. I'd still feel happier with him taking a kick instead of, say, Itoje...

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Post by BamBam Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:48 am

lostinwales wrote:
beshocked wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

Who is the back up 8 if Billy gets injured? Is it Clifford?

Alex Germany hopefully it won't come to England having to rely on Daly for kicking duties to beat Ireland. I know there are some on here who think Daly has proven himself already as an international kicker, personally I am not convinced till I see it.

Would be enough pressure on Daly as a debutant let alone asking him to try and hit penalties from 50+ straight away.

Of course Daly has no record as an international kicker. I'd still feel happier with him taking a kick instead of, say, Itoje...

Don't be ludicrous.

Itoje has proven himself in numerous Premiership games and is an u20 world cup winner and Premiership final winner. Of course he would be better at nailing kicks from 60m

Edit - I joke. Very pleased with how Itoje showed up against Italy

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:07 am

I know there are some on here who think Daly has proven himself already as an international kicker

The number of people who have stated they think that is:

0
Nill
Nada
Zero

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Post by beshocked Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:11 am

Londontiger I guess the only way to back up myself is trawling previous posts to find the talk of Daly's prospects as an international kicker. Evidence is important I admit.

If I can find some appropriate quotes I will.

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Post by Alex_Germany Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:12 am

BamBam wrote:
Don't be ludicrous.

Itoje has proven himself in numerous Premiership games and is an u20 world cup winner and Premiership final winner. Of course he would be better at nailing kicks from 60m

Edit - I joke. Very pleased with how Itoje showed up against Italy

Itoje will be great to have in really wet conditions. I've heard he can walk on water.

(Joking but - I remember a long time ago when Walcott started playing football for Arsenal - some one said he could run through a puddle without making a splash, which is probably football's answer to someone who can side step you in a phone booth).

But I imagine take a 55m penalty is less stressful than taking a conversion from the touchline. It's a 50/50 shot - no one really expects you to nail it. It's more of "why not give it a go"?

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Post by BamBam Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:35 am

LondonTiger wrote:
I know there are some on here who think Daly has proven himself already as an international kicker

The number of people who have stated they think that is:

0
Nill
Nada
Zero

beshocked wrote:Londontiger I guess the only way to back up myself is trawling previous posts to find the talk of Daly's prospects as an international kicker. Evidence is important I admit.

If I can find some appropriate quotes I will.

Prospects and proven are not the same thing

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Feb 2016, 10:39 am

I'll put my hand up and say I said that having Daly in the side gives us the option of attempting kicks from the half way line, Slade too if involved have the distance. Just gives us an option, not saying either would nail 100% of kicks from that distance. Was mainly in response to comments that Ford doesn't have the distance (and accuracy but that's just not true anymore).

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Post by beshocked Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:05 am

no 7 & 1/2 is one of the posters I was talking about.

I don't think Daly can just come on and knock it over from 50+, I hope he can but have to be realistic. Same with Slade he's got to prove it.

I want Daly to focus on establishing himself as an England player before talking him up as an additional kicking option. It should be an additional bonus if he can do it.

I think it would be unfair on the young man to expect him to knock over 50+ kicks off the bench vs Ireland, wouldn't be good for his confidence if he doesn't. That's of course if he's selected.

Alex germany you say why not give it a go? The primary reason being wasting good field position. Need to keep the possession and territory stats high if we can.

I should add Itoje still has plenty to prove at internatonal level too - his cameo vs Italy seemed to be a nice start but like any player - got to back it up.

Gametime is what the likes of Daly,Itoje,George,Clifford,Hill etc need.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:09 am

Just saying both have the distance for it to be an option to the captain. Whoever that is on the pitch will know the plusses and minuses of that, quick tap, corner as normal. Just adds the option. Why wouldn't you consider that option if it's there?

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Post by HammerofThunor Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:16 am

Remember guys, you need to ignore all performance at club level with regards to potential international performance, especially for kickers. However, if you're a lock/backrow or a hooker, club performance is a good indicator of international capability.

It's a well known fact based on intelligent thinking.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:18 am

warning

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Post by beshocked Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:39 am

No 7 & 1/2 it's an option but you don't know the %s because there aren't any at the moment!

Hammerofthunor it's the same for everyone, there is no guarantee player X will play well but they need to be given the opportunity to prove it.

In Daly's case he must prove himself at international level just as any player must.

It's all about game time. No 7 & 1/2 believes Daly is a good international kicking option. I want to see him prove it. Of course I am not against someone being able to hit over 50m plus if he does it.

Daly is a good prospect, let's see if he can do what some people think he can do.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Feb 2016, 11:44 am

So what's your issue, we agree again? If Daly or Salde are on the pitch longer range options are available as we know they both have the distance from half way (at least in dalys case).

If either are on the pitch do you think any coach or captain would ignore the option out of hand because they're on debut or relatively new? I don't. I think they'll be weighing the options of conditions, distance, angle, whether the lineout is going well, if (and how much) they are ahead or nehind in points, if the just want to lay down a marker to the opposition team as we've got a guy here who has the distance ie think twice about negative killing of the ball at half way.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Feb 2016, 4:27 pm

beshocked wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

Who is the back up 8 if Billy gets injured? Is it Clifford?

Jones has stated outright that he views Clifford as an 8 long term so I'd presume so yes. It would require a sudden switch in game plan though given the amount of ball that Billy carries in traffic. It would either require other forwards stepping up when taking crash balls of 9 or playing a slightly wider game.

Personally I'm really not sure where Clifford will end up long term. He has the skills to be a ball playing 8 but it would require us having heavy ball carriers in the tight 5 or a brute at blindside. Similarly he could be a blindside if we are playing with a high ball in play time and have someone like Billy at 8. It seems that Jones isn't keen on constantly searching for turnovers at the risk of penalties so equally he could do a job as an openside if the side doesn't want a 'poacher'.

At current I honestly think that Jones wants to play a wider game but with Billy at 8. Similarly to him wanting Manu to develop his game so that he can offer route 1 as well as releasing his backs, I think he wants Billy to develop his all round game so he can act as a link man as well as a wrecking ball.

When Billy was first breaking through at Wasps as 19/20 year old and hadn't fully 'filled out his frame' so he was lighter/quicker he used to be a very good link man and excellent at using his bulk against lighter backs in wider channels. Albeit he wasn't as destructive in heavy traffic, making yards with a couple of defenders hanging off him. Perhaps Jones believes he can meld the two with some more experience and different conditioning.

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Post by BamBam Tue 23 Feb 2016, 4:31 pm

I wonder if Clifford at 8 would be paired with Ewers at 6? Given they are both in the original squad, could be interesting to see.

Ewers would offer the hard carrying, Clifford the link as the ball playing 8, and maybe a pure ground hog if we ever find one (Underhill?) as the 7

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Feb 2016, 4:43 pm

Could be BamBam yes.

Whilst I don't agree with him being eligible, once he is Nathan Hughes may well take that blind side place. He is a better carrier than Ewers but also strong over the ball and offers a line-out option.

I was a big advocate of Ewers last season but I was disappointed earlier this season prior to his injury. Last season I thought he was excellent in attack and steadily improving his defensive work and not going missing in games as much - his biggest pitfalls. I thought he was back to either being very destructive or no existent in games this season though.

Jones refusing to pick Kvesic until he improves his carrying again suggest he doesn't want a 'pure ground hog'. He seems to want a 7 that offers a strong breakdown presence but doesn't require the rest of the pack making up for him in attack. Perhaps Underhill could be that but it's too early to really tell - although he is looking like one hell of a player in the making.

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Post by BamBam Tue 23 Feb 2016, 4:46 pm

Always forget about Hughes, I reckon you're right that he will be pushing very hard for a place

Hopefully Ewers is back soon and can kick on again, I think you're right to say that he was better last season, but even then I thought he really started to impress more when the pitches were firmer in the summer months

Seems to get a bit bogged down in the wet!

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Tue 23 Feb 2016, 8:19 pm

Hurray Daly in match day 23. Lawes dropped. Looks like Eddy put Daly in at 12 in training and was impressed.

Forwards (13): D Cole (Leicester Tigers), J Clifford (Harlequins), J George (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton Saints, capt), J Haskell (Wasps), P Hill (Northampton Saints), M Itoje (Saracens), G Kruis (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), J Marler (Harlequins), C Robshaw (Harlequins), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens)
Backs (10): M Brown (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), E Daly (Wasps), O Farrell (Saracens), G Ford (Bath Rugby), A Goode (Saracens), J Joseph (Bath Rugby), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), A Watson (Bath Rugby), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers)



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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Feb 2016, 8:23 pm

You'd imagine that Itoje covers lock from the bench then.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 23 Feb 2016, 8:37 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You'd imagine that Itoje covers lock from the bench then.

Only because Mitch Lees is unavailable Run

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Feb 2016, 8:48 pm

Only because Mike Ford is jealous of Burgess.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:05 pm

Theres not a lot of power in that group of backs!

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Feb 2016, 9:45 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Theres not a lot of power in that group of backs!

Not really any less than when Devoto was on the bench against Scotland.

Although it's splitting hairs you could argue it's slightly more than against Italy given that Daly has been added for the bench. He isn't a big guy but given his acceleration and excellent footwork he can make yards in traffic.

It's a backline that will need quick ball to do much against the Irish defence. If they can get the service required to attack out wide then they should be very dangerous. If Ireland slow the ball down well then Ford and Farrell are going to need to kick much better from hand than they usually do.

Hopefully Nowell keeps getting off his wing and taking short balls from 9 or even picking and going to speed up the tempo when required. It's what he does really well for Exeter and Jones seems to have encouraged it because he started getting off his wing more in Rome.

Watson needs to get more involved as well given it's a small set of backs. He isn't a massive guy but is very powerful and can break a fair few tackles when he backs himself to run strong lines.

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Post by Alex_Germany Wed 24 Feb 2016, 7:28 am

beshocked wrote:no 7 & 1/2 is one of the posters I was talking about.

Alex germany you say why not give it a go? The primary reason being wasting good field position. Need to keep the possession and territory stats high if we can.

The Economist (yes really!) had an article on rugby stats saying it's better to kick for goal than go for a line out in the corner, based on expected points. (Obviously not if you're 4 points behind on 79 minutes).

That of course will vary depending on where the kick is from, the quality of the opposition's counter rucking and lineout, the quality of the kicker etc.

Taking into account the statistics and situation to make the best decision is something Robshaw failed to do at the RWC Wales game. But it's the sort of thing that Steve Borthwick dreams about. I'm not sure whether Dylan Hartley is capable of making those decisions - though he will run through the spreadsheets with Borthwick before the game.

As for good-field position - receiving from a 22 drop out is not a bad place to be.

They also say that opposition teams are wary (or should be) of giving away penalties within kicking distance. Probably because they fear the 3 points more than a line out 10m from their line.

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Post by gregortree Wed 24 Feb 2016, 7:55 am

Jones points out that Ireland kick 70% of their possession.
I hope England are on their mettle to receive cleanly and courageously....Mike Brown I'm thinking of you, and Nowell. Billy V too, is useful in catch and counter. Any other views on this ?

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 24 Feb 2016, 8:04 am

Three days ago it was 60% according to Jones, now it is 70%. Ireland must have done a lot of kicking in that time.

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Post by gregortree Wed 24 Feb 2016, 8:12 am

Borthwick must have rechecked his xls spreadsheet.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 24 Feb 2016, 9:15 am

king_carlos wrote:
beshocked wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Such a shame for Beaumont. It was looking increasingly likely he wouldn't feature this 6 Nations given how prominent Billy has been, Haskell showing up well, Clifford being so highly rated and Robshaw continuing as his solid self.

However I really hope this injury doesn't leave him short of time to find form and fitness for the Summer tour. Going to the hard pitches in Australia he could have been a fantastic alternative at 8 if Jones is looking to play with a high ball in play time and go through phases.

No replacement for Beaumont means that Kvesic must at least be getting viewed as an option given the back row is now one injury away from him being in the match day squad.

Burrell as a replacement for Devoto is really just a sign of how limited centre options currently are I can't but feel!

Who is the back up 8 if Billy gets injured? Is it Clifford?

Jones has stated outright that he views Clifford as an 8 long term so I'd presume so yes. It would require a sudden switch in game plan though given the amount of ball that Billy carries in traffic. It would either require other forwards stepping up when taking crash balls of 9 or playing a slightly wider game.

Personally I'm really not sure where Clifford will end up long term. He has the skills to be a ball playing 8 but it would require us having heavy ball carriers in the tight 5 or a brute at blindside. Similarly he could be a blindside if we are playing with a high ball in play time and have someone like Billy at 8. It seems that Jones isn't keen on constantly searching for turnovers at the risk of penalties so equally he could do a job as an openside if the side doesn't want a 'poacher'.

At current I honestly think that Jones wants to play a wider game but with Billy at 8. Similarly to him wanting Manu to develop his game so that he can offer route 1 as well as releasing his backs, I think he wants Billy to develop his all round game so he can act as a link man as well as a wrecking ball.

When Billy was first breaking through at Wasps as 19/20 year old and hadn't fully 'filled out his frame' so he was lighter/quicker he used to be a very good link man and excellent at using his bulk against lighter backs in wider channels. Albeit he wasn't as destructive in heavy traffic, making yards with a couple of defenders hanging off him. Perhaps Jones believes he can meld the two with some more experience and different conditioning.

While Clifford doesn't have Vunipola's bulk and power, he's not a pushover - he's over 17 stone and his carry against Italy tied up 3 Italian forwards and created the space for Farrell's try. The other things he adds - which Billy doesn't have - are serious pace, a step and an eye for a gap. He's been offered a place in the Olympic 7s squad on the basis of one season with England in his academy days. With Billy, you know what you're going to get and the problem is how to stop it. With Clifford the problem for defenders is that they can't commit too early because he can go round them as well.

While putting him at 8 would change the game plan a bit, Eddie's choice of subs suggests that he is picking his bench precisely to deliver that. If you look at the options in a lot of positions - Marler/Mako, Launchbury/Itoje, Billy/Clifford, Youngs/Care, Brown/Goode and eventually one hopes Slade/Tuilagi, the only real like-for-like replacements are at hooker and tighthead - the really technical positions.
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Post by yappysnap Wed 24 Feb 2016, 11:48 am

One problem with Clifford is that he's not too solid at the back of a retreating scrum, when he's had to cover there for Quins he's looked very shaky. I still don't think he had the power to truck up ball of a reverse scrum either, he'll be fine if he can hit a gap but him vs a few opposition players may not end well.

I'd potentially switch Hask to 8 for defensive scrums in our own 22 then let Clifford take over 8 on attacking scrums in the opposition half

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Post by king_carlos Wed 24 Feb 2016, 6:31 pm

Launchbury is out with a hamstring injury that he wont get over by Saturday, Lawes replaces him in the squad.

I presume that will mean a start for Itoje.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 24 Feb 2016, 6:41 pm

king_carlos wrote:Launchbury is out with a hamstring injury that he wont get over by Saturday, Lawes replaces him in the squad.

I presume that will mean a start for Itoje.

Not necessarily.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 24 Feb 2016, 6:53 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Launchbury is out with a hamstring injury that he wont get over by Saturday, Lawes replaces him in the squad.

I presume that will mean a start for Itoje.

Not necessarily.

Eddies preference of Itoje over Lawes would suggest he's front runner. Perhaps he'll go with experience starting but I reckon Jones will be keener to keep the influence that Launchbury has around the park. Being more physical in collision and dominant at the breakdown is where our locks should gain the ascendancy over Toner/Ryan. The only area that Lawes adds a lot more than Itoje to is the line-out and even with Courtney and Kruis I don't think Jones will try to beat Ireland by targeting that.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed 24 Feb 2016, 7:15 pm

I just wonder. If jones feels that Itoje was only ready to cover second row from the bench (rather than back row as per last game) he may prefer to start with a proven international performer - rather than through the noobie straight in.

Of course if Itoje has impressed enough in training he may have no issues, but I can envisage them starting with Lawes and giving Itoje 30 minutes.

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