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Eddie's England squad for summer

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Post by rozakthegoon Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hello you lovely lot.

I've very much enjoyed your posts over this six nations. Great stuff.

I don't post much as I'm a bit of a novice (well a lot of really) but I'm always intrigued by your far more experienced wisdom. So:

The summer will bring a chance for Eddie to put more of his stamp on the team; who do you think stays the same and who changes? And who, if any, so you think might be bolters? (I know it's an oxymoron asking about bolters this early, but I'm going to do it anyway)

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 11:05 am

Carlos...

If we moved Watson to FB...I would consider Nowell and Roko on the wings. That would be an interesting back 3.

Yarde looked like a real prospect but just hasn't become what I hoped.

Ashton well hes ashton.

Id have possibly had a look at Lewington aswell.
And if he continues as he has...Marcus Watson is a revelation and rock solid in defence.

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Post by fa0019 Mon May 23, 2016 11:06 am

very good time to play AUS to be fair. Their club form is shocking. All NZ teams bar the Blues (who are 1 point behind the best AUS team) are ahead of AUS sides in the SR ladder.

AUS teams have played SA & NZ teams 30 times this season.. they've only won 9 of those matches.

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 11:13 am

king carlos I agree bar Nowell most of our wingers are poor tacklers.

As that's the case then the difference is the attacking side, both Ashton and Wade have been much more dangerous in attack this season than Yarde.

no 7 & 1/2 I think it's a little too soon to call Slade our most gifted back when he's still basically unproven at international level.

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Post by munkian Mon May 23, 2016 11:15 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Jones has said he's told Ashton what he needs to improve. You would assume it's still defence and not reacting like a kid trying to get involved in fights all the time.

Yet Brown is nailed on ? Shocked
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Post by king_carlos Mon May 23, 2016 11:24 am

GF - I think Watson will end up at FB long term. He is more solid there defensively and looks more dangerous with a bit more space to run. Either way I hope he'll be an international for a long time to come. He's a likable player who keeps improving and is great on the ball.

I'd happily see a Nowell, Roko and Watson back 3 as well. I think it would be really interesting to see and with Ford/Joseph also in the back line would be a good way to introduce Watson at FB at international level given he'd be familiar with players around him.

beshocked - The 'very coachable' remark from EJ about Yarde probably sums up the difference between them. Yarde has natural pace, acceleration and power that is a step up on what Ash can offer. Plus he is young and will keep improving. Given both have similar weaknesses to their game I think it's understandable for EJ to take the guy he thinks has more potential. On form Ashton can feel aggrieved though.

The 5 year age gap will undoubtedly have played a part as well.

Yarde certainly has the raw ability to be a terrific international in attack alone. For starters there are very few wingers who can say they have run flat over the top of Richie McCaw from 5 metres out to score a try!

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Post by fa0019 Mon May 23, 2016 11:25 am

beshocked wrote:king carlos I agree bar Nowell most of our wingers are poor tacklers.

As that's the case then the difference is the attacking side, both Ashton and Wade have been much more dangerous in attack this season than Yarde.

no 7 & 1/2 I think it's a little too soon to call Slade our most gifted back when he's still basically unproven at international level.

very true beshocked on players yet to confirm test match ability. Skill is only an indicator.

I would still say, hand on heart that skill for skill, Charlie Hodgson was superior to Wilkinson. Better pass, better pace, as good ball in hand and place kicking. A little bit of a defensive liability but not a coward. However where JW rose to the occasion, Hodgson would shrivel.

Mentality is so important and test match rugby separates the good from the great. No way to tell until you try them out.. Hodgson, for all his failings was given 40 caps by coaches simply hoping he would stand up, I can remember 1 single game where that happened.. SA at Twickeneam in 2004 where the pack simply beat the living daylights out of the newly crowned 3N champs.

Sometimes it never happens. JSD, Ollie Smith (I still think he was more mismanaged than JSD myself and was a far better prospect).

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 11:41 am

king carlos think people in general focus too much on pace.

You say Yarde has natural,pace and acceleration - would be nice to see it at club level let alone international level.

Doesn't matter if Yarde is faster, has more power and acceleration than Ashton if Ashton scores more tries and is a better finisher.

Does it really matter if winger X scores from 5 metres out or 50 metres out? Still 5 points. I guess one looks better on the highlights reel but both are worth 5.

You talk about Yarde improving but when will it happen?

Then of course there's Wade whose young too and I would say he should be ahead of Yarde if England are going to go ahead with potential.

How many international wingers can say they've won a game vs the ABs and scored a try in that match? Not many....

I don't think Yarde is good enough, I would have him behind Roko,Ashton and Wade.

fa0019 I agree. Hodgson was a very skilled 10, more so than Farrell Jr too but doesn't have that doggedness that Farrell Jr has and JW had. Ford has a similar problem, he's a naturally better ball player than Farrell Jr but lacks that sheer bloodymindedness and belief IMO.

Of course you need more than just sheer will but sometimes it can be enough to make the difference between winning and losing.

Brown is good because he has that sheer bloodymindedness. It's why he's popular IMO. Don't think Brown will ever be world class but he's proven he's a good international full back albeit probably lacking that rugby nous to be better.


Physical attributes are seen as more important than having a good rugby brain IMO.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon May 23, 2016 11:48 am

Pace is an absolute necessity in the back 3 at the top level.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 12:04 pm

beshocked wrote:

You talk about Yarde improving but when will it happen?

Then of course there's Wade whose young too and I would say he should be ahead of Yarde if England are going to go ahead with potential.

Agree Beshocked Wade should be ahead of Yarde on potential.

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 12:05 pm

Important yes but you need than just pace. It's why I rate neither Yarde or May. I don't care how fast they are if they are poor defensively, don't have good rugby brains and struggle to score tries.

Neither Nowell or Brown are fast either but both are strong and good under the high ball.

Nowell has made progress in two years, Yarde hasn't. I would happily pick Nowell ahead of Ashton currently because Nowell has become a more complete rugby player.

Still think Wade and Ashton offer a lot more Yarde - both very different players admittedly.

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Post by king_carlos Mon May 23, 2016 12:27 pm

beshocked wrote:king carlos think people in general focus too much on pace.

You say Yarde has natural,pace and acceleration - would be nice to see it at club level let alone international level.

Doesn't matter if Yarde is faster, has more power and acceleration than Ashton if Ashton scores more tries and is a better finisher.

Does it really matter if winger X scores from 5 metres out or 50 metres out? Still 5 points. I guess one looks better on the highlights reel but both are worth 5.

The issue with Ashton is whether he can still score tries at international level where defences are much stronger and opportunities less frequent. Ashton's strike rate for the latter half of his career was poor. He also scored 9 of his 19 tries against a terrible 2011 Italy side (4 tries), Romania (3) and Georgia (2) - all of which came in routs. Whether he was ever capable of scoring regularly against the best international defences is very much up for debate.

I think at international level pace is extremely important in the back 3 if you want to trouble the very best.

Ashton also has age counting against him. There is a reason that NZ bring wingers through early and usually move them on before they are 30, as soon as their form drops. As players inevitably get worn down throughout their career by build up of injuries (whether big or small ones) the first thing to go is usually pace. Once that initial sharpness goes much of a wingers threat against the best disappears as well.

Had we seen the improvements of the last few seasons when Ash was in his early 20s then he might have made an international comeback. When he's approaching 30 I think EJ is making the right call to look at younger and sharper players when it's a borderline decision over a squad member.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 12:41 pm

I'd still go with Slade being the most gifted back available even if he isn't nailed on 1st choice yet and proven against all comers! The guy has everything.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 1:15 pm

beshocked wrote:Important yes but you need than just pace. It's why I rate neither Yarde or May. I don't care how fast they are if they are poor defensively, don't have good rugby brains and struggle to score tries.

Neither Nowell or Brown are fast either but both are strong and good under the high ball.

Nowell has made progress in two years, Yarde hasn't. I would happily pick Nowell ahead of Ashton currently because Nowell has become a more complete rugby player.

Still think Wade and Ashton offer a lot more Yarde - both very different players admittedly.

May is pretty good defensively, has the speed to get back eg Matawalu chase. He's probably the best out of all our wingers under the high ball and for the kick chase.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 1:19 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd still go with Slade being the most gifted back available even if he isn't nailed on 1st choice yet and proven against all comers! The guy has everything.

Agree.

10 Farrell
12 Slade
13 Manu

Has a nice balance.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon May 23, 2016 1:25 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd still go with Slade being the most gifted back available even if he isn't nailed on 1st choice yet and proven against all comers! The guy has everything.

Agree.

10 Farrell
12 Slade
13 Manu

Has a nice balance.

add in

9 Robson
11 May
14 Nowell
15 Watson

And you have a back line that would scare teams at RWC19 - With Ford, Mallinder. Joseph, Daly all offering something a little different should circumstances dictate.

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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 1:26 pm

I demand to know where Barritt, Goode and Ashton fit into your plans LT

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 1:28 pm

Not only choices available (ie the raw numbers people love to quote) but guys there who should (yes should not proven yet) be able to go on and challenge for those mythical top 3 in their positions Woodward loves to hark on about.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 1:29 pm

Yeah I agree LT I think that would be a very good backline

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Post by LondonTiger Mon May 23, 2016 1:32 pm

BamBam wrote:I demand to know where Barritt, Goode and Ashton fit into your plans LT

I shall pretend that was a serious question Very Happy

I think Goode has something to offer and would play him ahead of Brown, but long term want to see Watson move back. As said earlier I would have taken Ashton over Yarde - but can understand why Jones has done what he has. I was not a fan of Jones appointment - but surely he has done enough so far to warrant us showing some trust.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon May 23, 2016 1:33 pm

If we can build a nasty/grizzly pack, and then have backs that can scare teams - well surely the way for us, England, to go?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 1:45 pm

Yesh that's exactly the way to go....

It will be interesting to see over the next 2 years which actual personal make up that "grizzly" pack.

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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 1:48 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
BamBam wrote:I demand to know where Barritt, Goode and Ashton fit into your plans LT

I shall pretend that was a serious question Very Happy  

I think Goode has something to offer and would play him ahead of  Brown, but long term want to see Watson move back. As said earlier I would have taken Ashton over Yarde - but can understand why Jones has done what he has. I was not a fan of Jones appointment - but surely he has done enough so far to warrant us showing some trust.

Entirely serious Wink

I disagree with you on both Goode and Ashton, but very much like the look of the backline above

Whether the mythical beast that is Manu in an England shirt will ever be seen again is another question, he seems to have caught JSD-itis from Wade

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Post by lostinwales Mon May 23, 2016 1:51 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
BamBam wrote:I demand to know where Barritt, Goode and Ashton fit into your plans LT

I shall pretend that was a serious question Very Happy  

I think Goode has something to offer and would play him ahead of  Brown, but long term want to see Watson move back. As said earlier I would have taken Ashton over Yarde - but can understand why Jones has done what he has. I was not a fan of Jones appointment - but surely he has done enough so far to warrant us showing some trust.

Absolutely. We need to wait for him to mess up before sacking him...

To be honest he's done well so far and might have been lucky enough to arrive at the same time as some serious young talent. There are question marks over some selections but then there always are, and with luck the questionable selections will be resolved one way or another soon enough.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon May 23, 2016 1:52 pm

I think they should send Manu on a 4 week holiday to somewhere like Lanzarote - with a fitness coach. He shoudl not be heading back for a few weeks to Samoa and piling on the pounds.

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Post by propdavid_london Mon May 23, 2016 1:56 pm

So, anyone know when the Saxon squad will be named?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon May 23, 2016 2:01 pm

Probably not till after next weekends games, when they know who is actually fit to travel.

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon May 23, 2016 2:12 pm

"May is pretty good defensively, has the speed to get back eg Matawalu chase. He's probably the best out of all our wingers under the high ball and for the kick chase."

Absolutely untrue. The high ball is May's Achilles heel. He rarely has a clue where it is when its in the air and consequently is no where near it when it comes down. He's pretty embarrassing under the high ball for England. His general defence is weak too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 2:14 pm

You're a comedy genius!

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 2:17 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
beshocked wrote:Important yes but you need than just pace. It's why I rate neither Yarde or May. I don't care how fast they are if they are poor defensively, don't have good rugby brains and struggle to score tries.

Neither Nowell or Brown are fast either but both are strong and good under the high ball.

Nowell has made progress in two years, Yarde hasn't. I would happily pick Nowell ahead of Ashton currently because Nowell has become a more complete rugby player.

Still think Wade and Ashton offer a lot more Yarde - both very different players admittedly.

May is pretty good defensively, has the speed to get back eg Matawalu chase. He's probably the best out of all our wingers under the high ball and for the kick chase.

king carlos in regards to Ashton we don't know unless we pick him.

no 7 & 1/2 May's defence is poor. May let Matawalu past him in the first place... Fiji scored a try soon after...

May showed his good pace, that's all he's got going for him. Still the most overrated winger in Europe though Yarde is close to taking his crown.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon May 23, 2016 2:18 pm

May is solid defensivley and very good under the high ball. If he has a weakness it's his lack of a rugby brain. He seems to switch off now and again and it's usually costly. I'd like a backline of:

9. Robson
10. Farrell

11. May
12. Slade/Manu
13. Manu/JJ
14. Nowell
15. Watson

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Post by Poorfour Mon May 23, 2016 2:19 pm

As Eddie said in his press conference, "if you listen too much to the fans, you end up joining them in the stands." He knows what he is looking for and is better qualified to judge than us.

On Ashton, it was clear it was his off the ball work that was the problem (presumably a reference to defence rather than his tracking, for which he rightly gets praised), and Eddie also made reference to a picture of an earlier England squad - which presumably would have included Ashton - where he'd circled the players who were no longer involved, making the point that they hadn't worked hard enough on their games.

That's an important (though should-have-been-obvious) message for players and to a lesser extent fans. You're going to get in his squad if he thinks you will respond to him telling you what you have to change. He's not going to build a squad around players who won't change.

That's bad news for players like Cipriani and Ashton, who haven't shown a willingness or ability to adapt. It's a bit early to put Wade in the same bucket, but I suspect he needs to show more progress in defence, and soon, or be forever on the fringes.
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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 2:22 pm

beshocked wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
beshocked wrote:Important yes but you need than just pace. It's why I rate neither Yarde or May. I don't care how fast they are if they are poor defensively, don't have good rugby brains and struggle to score tries.

Neither Nowell or Brown are fast either but both are strong and good under the high ball.

Nowell has made progress in two years, Yarde hasn't. I would happily pick Nowell ahead of Ashton currently because Nowell has become a more complete rugby player.

Still think Wade and Ashton offer a lot more Yarde - both very different players admittedly.

May is pretty good defensively, has the speed to get back eg Matawalu chase. He's probably the best out of all our wingers under the high ball and for the kick chase.

king carlos in regards to Ashton we don't know unless we pick him.

no 7 & 1/2 May's defence is poor. May let Matawalu past him in the first place... Fiji scored a try soon after...

May showed his good pace, that's all he's got going for him. Still the most overrated winger in Europe though Yarde is close to taking his crown.

Wasn't Nowell previously the wearer of that crown?

Funny how the holder tends to be in direct competition with a certain Saracens winger

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Post by lostinwales Mon May 23, 2016 2:26 pm

B is trying. He hasn't quite gone into 'unproven unless you play for Saracens' mode yet.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 2:27 pm

beshocked wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
beshocked wrote:Important yes but you need than just pace. It's why I rate neither Yarde or May. I don't care how fast they are if they are poor defensively, don't have good rugby brains and struggle to score tries.

Neither Nowell or Brown are fast either but both are strong and good under the high ball.

Nowell has made progress in two years, Yarde hasn't. I would happily pick Nowell ahead of Ashton currently because Nowell has become a more complete rugby player.

Still think Wade and Ashton offer a lot more Yarde - both very different players admittedly.

May is pretty good defensively, has the speed to get back eg Matawalu chase. He's probably the best out of all our wingers under the high ball and for the kick chase.

king carlos in regards to Ashton we don't know unless we pick him.

no 7 & 1/2 May's defence is poor. May let Matawalu past him in the first place... Fiji scored a try soon after...

May showed his good pace, that's all he's got going for him. Still the most overrated winger in Europe though Yarde is close to taking his crown.

I can't accept May's defence is poor, probably 2nd best after Nowell. Not entirely sure that May 'let him past'! More a case of Matawalu is actually a very good player one on one and was still caught. What happened after that is immaterial to May in that example.

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 2:29 pm

Sgt Pooly Lancaster dropped May for the 2015 6 nations. When do you actually think May has played well?

His main claim to fame is a 5 pointer against NZ. You'd think he's the only winger to score vs the ABs....

Solid? Being poor defensively is not solid...

Poorfour has Yarde worked hard on his game?

T'eo,Sinckler and Genge quite clearly have done that.... Laugh

T'eo is thinking of the future of course....

To be honest I'd take Wade in the squad ahead of Ashton but Yarde? Come on.... He's been in poor form. Has barely shown anything for Quins.

Bambam Nowell has moved from overrated to genuinely a good player. He's improved - same cannot be said of the likes of May and Yarde. Would change my viewpoint if they perform.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon May 23, 2016 2:31 pm

Yarde is powerful and quick over the first few yards but, like Nowell and Brown, I query whether he's got the flat out pace to really reach the highest level. A couple of seasons ago now (I think), but I do recall Ashton scorching past him to score a try when it seemed like Yarde had basically switched off.

At the moment I'd probably opt to have Watson at 15, where I think he'll really thrive, and then put Nowell on one wing and one of Wade (potential) or Ashton (form) on the other. That's very harsh on Brown, but England should be looking to become the best in the world by the time of the next World Cup, and I don't see Brown as part of that equation.

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Post by lostinwales Mon May 23, 2016 2:35 pm

We have all repeated ourselves many times over on May and nobody's opinions have changed. We can only wait and see what he's like when he's back in the Autumn, assuming he is back then.

I can't think of anything specific but do seem to remember EJ saying good things about May. I'd assume he'll be back in the mix if he does show some form.

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 2:36 pm

lostinwales every player has to prove themselves.

No 7 & 1/2 what we know is that Matawalu went past May. He got caught because May is fast but it still resulted in a fiji try soon after.

FES didn't see Yarde's power when Montpellier treated him like a ragdoll in the Challenge Cup final. I want him to perform but he hasn't.

If someone is playing well I'll tip my hat off to them but they aren't......

I wouldn't pick Barritt - doesn't offer enough in attack, Wigglesworth too slow. Fraser probably isn't physical enough though I like him.

I want the best for England.

Nothing against Harrison because from accounts he seems to have had a good season for Saints.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 2:39 pm

So yes, we can see that May made a defensive contribution no one else could have. We agree.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon May 23, 2016 2:40 pm

I love how players become overrated if BS doesn't rate them Rolling Eyes

I'm not a massive May fan but he's not poor defensivley, he's a solid option.

Jones is a huge May fan, he'll be back in when fit.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon May 23, 2016 2:47 pm

Don't forget May is the best kick chaser we have. In fact I think he's the only winger that actually aggressively chases the ball.

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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 2:48 pm

Yarde is definitely quicker than Ashton! It's not a big enough gap to be turning and catching him from behind, but I know who I'd back in a foot race

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 2:49 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So yes, we can see that May made a defensive contribution no one else could have. We agree.

He also made a defensive mistake that no one else did.....

Sgt Poorly allowing the opposition to score tries is not solid...

We'll have to agree to disagree on May, personally I think he's overrated. It's because fans like pace.

Jones is a huge T'eo fan, doesn't mean he's right does it?

Maybe T'eo and some of the more questionable selections will prove me wrong.

Hartley,Haskell and Farrell did in the 6 nations. Farrell Jr wasn't good but he wasn't a liability. Wouldn't say any of them were outstanding but solid.

Bambam irrelevant if Yarde is faster than Ashton. Pace does not guarantee tries.

Fan obsession with pace.... clear to see.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 2:51 pm

What defensive mistake did May make?


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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 2:52 pm

Can we all now discount Ashton as he's the worst in defence (probably including Wade) and also doesn't guarantee tries for England?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon May 23, 2016 2:54 pm

Nice how you're dismissing Te'o before he's got a cap....guess he doesn't play for Sarries. I've not seen anything saying Jones is a huge fan of Te'o.

I imagine Jones is trying his best to prove you wrong, he can probably think of nothing else.

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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 3:00 pm

I was responding to FeS who said he thought Ashton was quicker!!

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Post by beshocked Mon May 23, 2016 3:01 pm

This is rugby not sprinting.....

No 7 & 1/2 letting Matawalu go past him.

worst in defence? Laugh Yarde,May and Wade are just as bad. I would argue Ashton's better than Yarde now too.

Wade is probably the most exciting in attack though, Ashton the best finisher.

May or Yarde don't guarantee tries for England either. May's strike rate for England is poor. Yarde hasn't played enough but his club form has been poor.

Sgt Pooly I am dismissing someone who hasn't proven themselves yes. If T'eo played for Saracens he would have broken into the best side in Europe. Not an easy feat. If he was signed up for Saracens next season I would dismiss him. Like anyone he's got proving to do.


"Ben Te'o's definitely a possibility. You speak to people in Australia and they talk of him as a demi-god, so those sorts of players if they have the right attitude can come across to rugby and have an immediate impact.


You don't think this makes E.Jones a huge fan?

Wouldn't hear me advocating a Sarries player if they had a poor season. It's why I've criticised Farrell in the past when he's not been in form.

I criticised Ashton for his ban, called him an idiot but he's played well since his ban.


Last edited by beshocked on Mon May 23, 2016 3:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BamBam Mon May 23, 2016 3:03 pm

Here's a question ..

Would you rather have 2 wingers who get involved plenty, offer a good attacking threat in terms of line breaks, and score the odd try

OR

2 pure finishers who'd finish every clear chance they get, but offer little else

ie would you rather have 2 Jack Nowells or 2 Tom Varndells

I'm not including Ashton as a comparison because I'm sure I'll spend the next hour reading about his virtues

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon May 23, 2016 3:07 pm

Again, I know you said at the time that no number 9 should be going past a winger but I assumed it was because you didn't know how fast Matawalu was! It's not a mistake having someone go past you like that. I'm really not sure anyone can seriously say Ashton is better than A N Other winger with a straight face! And lets face it Ashton hasn't been finishing much for England in a while. Not entirely sure why you dislike May so much as since him, Nowell and Watson have come in for England each has been much better than Ashton was in those last 12-18 months.

Think you should perhaps hold fire on dismissing people so quickly, though personally, I'd rather T'eo at least made an appearance for Wuss before being capped for England.

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