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England 6 Nations Thread

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 10:04 am

First topic message reminder :

Sunday 2nd February 15:00 - France (a)
BBC Sport

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant 1: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant 2: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)


Saturday 8th February 16:45 - Scotland (a)
BBC Sport

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 2: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)


Sunday 23rd February 15:00 - Ireland (h)
ITV Sport

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant 1: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)


Saturday 7th March 16:45 - Wales (h)
ITV Sport, S4C

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant 1: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)


Saturday 14th March 16:45 - Italy (a)
ITV Sport

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant 2: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)




Squad

Forwards
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 21 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Saracens, uncapped)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 45 caps)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 34 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 41 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 62 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 81 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 68 caps)
Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 31 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens, 39 caps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 79 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 65 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 9 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 95 caps)

Apprentice players
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 12:49 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:I personally don’t believe Eddie is vindicated. No-one has ever said that Lawes & JJ aren’t excellent rugby players. And no surprise, they both played well – JJ played like an excellent… centre, Lawes did play well on the flank, but his selection forced a better flanker to play a slightly less impressive no 8 role. Fortunately Ireland didn’t test our wingers in defence too much, and JJ wasn’t required to finish off a very tight score in the corner to win the game. But this isn’t RL, players learn their more specific roles over years of experience - this approach is too Lancastrian for comfort particularly in a really tight game away from home.

Also if EJ won’t be with us for the next RWC I’d like to see RFU movement to find a new coach sooner rather than later. Not because EJ isn’t a good coach, but any new guy will need time to bed in.

Agree on Lawes. He had a terrific game, but we would have done just as well with an athletic 8 playing at 8.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 3:52 pm

Is Mercer a good lineout option?

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Post by Cumbrian on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 3:58 pm

I don't know for sure but you would be surprised if he wasn't, 6ft 3in and athletic? He's got good hands too.
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Post by lostinwales on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 4:05 pm

Saw him take a lot of lineout ball at U20 level. No idea about what he does now at Bath.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 4:22 pm

Thats one of the factors that Jones picks Lawes i would have thought.

Billy simply isnt an option and clearly Jones likes 3 jumpers. Plus Lawes is an excellent player...thats a fact.

But if you have a more athletic 8 like Mercer who is a lineout option...then things change.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 7:40 pm

Barney McGrew did it wrote:I personally don’t believe Eddie is vindicated. No-one has ever said that Lawes & JJ aren’t excellent rugby players. And no surprise, they both played well – JJ played like an excellent… centre, Lawes did play well on the flank, but his selection forced a better flanker to play a slightly less impressive no 8 role. Fortunately Ireland didn’t test our wingers in defence too much, and JJ wasn’t required to finish off a very tight score in the corner to win the game. But this isn’t RL, players learn their more specific roles over years of experience - this approach is too Lancastrian for comfort particularly in a really tight game away from home.

Also if EJ won’t be with us for the next RWC I’d like to see RFU movement to find a new coach sooner rather than later. Not because EJ isn’t a good coach, but any new guy will need time to bed in.

Lawes selection did not force Curry to play 8, against Scotland Curry played 8 with Ludlam at 6. Lawes played 6 to allow a better tight carrier to play in the back row, without BV, Curry, right or wrong is the preferred choice at 8. With the squad as it is, probably the right decision for this game.

I am a little surprised that he hasn't tried training Lawes at 8, he is a much better player than Ewels and might be able to make up for not having BV available, as he showed on Sunday, he can carry in the heavy traffic and has all of the lineout and defensive benefits as well.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 8:08 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
Barney McGrew did it wrote:I personally don’t believe Eddie is vindicated. No-one has ever said that Lawes & JJ aren’t excellent rugby players. And no surprise, they both played well – JJ played like an excellent… centre, Lawes did play well on the flank, but his selection forced a better flanker to play a slightly less impressive no 8 role. Fortunately Ireland didn’t test our wingers in defence too much, and JJ wasn’t required to finish off a very tight score in the corner to win the game. But this isn’t RL, players learn their more specific roles over years of experience - this approach is too Lancastrian for comfort particularly in a really tight game away from home.

Also if EJ won’t be with us for the next RWC I’d like to see RFU movement to find a new coach sooner rather than later. Not because EJ isn’t a good coach, but any new guy will need time to bed in.

Lawes selection did not force Curry to play 8, against Scotland Curry played 8 with Ludlam at 6. Lawes played 6 to allow a better tight carrier to play in the back row, without BV, Curry, right or wrong is the  preferred choice at 8. With the squad as it is, probably the right decision for this game.

I am a little surprised that he hasn't tried training Lawes at 8, he is a much better player than Ewels and might be able to make up for not having BV available, as he showed on Sunday, he can carry in the heavy traffic and has all of the lineout and defensive benefits as well.

I used to joke about Itoje at 8 but I guess hes probably our best scrummaging lock just like he's the best everything else.

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Post by Maddogflanker on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 2:58 pm

I expect Lawes to be staying at six for the rest of the tournement, though I'd like to see Hill, Underhill, Curry against Italy with Earl on the bench.
Need another big performance against Wales

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 3:12 pm

Maddogflanker wrote:I expect Lawes to be staying at six for the rest of the tournement, though I'd like to see Hill, Underhill, Curry against Italy with Earl on the bench.
Need another big performance against Wales

I think either Hill will make the matchday squad or Zach Mercer be called into the 23 against Italy. I also think Earl will get his first start in anticipation of Underhill and Curry being rested for the summer.

1.Genge 2.Cowan-Dickie 3.Sinckler 4.Launchbury 5.Kruis 6.Curry 7.Underhill 8.Earl

16.George 17.Marler 18.Stuart 19.Itoje 20.Lawes 21.Mercer/Hill

England are in the fortunate position in the tight 5 of being able to rotate without risking completely fresh players. All 4 frontline locks are fantastic players, whilst Genge and Cowan-Dickie must be pushing for starting shirts already.

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Post by MichaelT on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 3:30 pm

If the games go ahead, I don't see any of a first choice being rested if the title is still as stake. Ireland will probably get 5 points v Italy, then if they beat France it could end up on points difference for it.

Wales are the only team I can't remember the last time we scored 4 tries against in the Six Nations, so wouldn't bet on 5 pointer there - even if we win. Just remembered 2006 as I am typing but thats not relevant really.

If there is going to be a lot of them rested in the summer, they will be playing v Italy.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 25 Feb 2020, 4:22 pm

Players left out of england match duty would be back with their clubs anyway.

Any rotation against italy shouldn't be for the sake of it, especially with most core players getting a full summer off season. If it does happen it should be to put players on the pitch or in different combinations where Jones genuinely believes there could be long term improvements.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:29 am

No point resting players v Italy IF they are expected to have a full summer off....

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:48 am

The match will more than likely not be taking place so won't matter.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:16 am

Who gets the points then SOul...?

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:50 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Who gets the points then SOul...?

Whoever wins, when it is rearranged.

I am though assuming they will follow the precedent of 2001 and re-arrange the matches to a point later in the year.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:04 pm

Different topic....

Where does Young Marcus Smith stand at the moment?

Is he in the thoughts or completely out of the thoughts? Does he have a chance of the summer tour?

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:08 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Different topic....

Where does Young Marcus Smith stand at the moment?

Is he in the thoughts or completely out of the thoughts? Does he have a chance of the summer tour?  

He has to be 1st choice for the summer. Who else is there given Ford and Farrell will be having a break. Cipriani must be out of the reckoning (ignoring the Heinz example) and it seems like its too early for Umaga

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 10:57 pm

What about Grayson and Vunipola (the fly half)

Would he look at those? Or Smith the frontrunner. I think he needs to be looked at.

I still think Ford is class though. I dont get his doubters.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 11:32 pm

I'd go with Smith, playing for an at times rubbish Quins team has shown how well he can do on the back foot. I think in a strong England team he'll look even better. He's a bit like Barrett imo, quick and dangerous with a good all round game in attack.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 2:03 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:What about Grayson and Vunipola (the fly half)

Would he look at those? Or Smith the frontrunner. I think he needs to be looked at.

I still think Ford is class though. I dont get his doubters.

Vunipola is at U20 level - he's got a way to go yet. Not sure about Grayson but he's a little under the radar

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 9:10 am

England AI fixtures assuming this flu bug has gone away!

England v New Zealand, Saturday, 7 November, 17:30 GMT

England v Argentina, Saturday, 14 November, 20:00 GMT

England v Tonga, Saturday, 21 November, 15:15 GMT Why why why?????? better to have played Japan. plus why is it at Twickers?

England v Australia, Saturday, 28 November, 15:15 GMT
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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 10:29 am

TightHEAD wrote:England AI fixtures assuming this flu bug has gone away!

England v New Zealand, Saturday, 7 November, 17:30 GMT

England v Argentina, Saturday, 14 November, 20:00 GMT

England v Tonga, Saturday, 21 November, 15:15 GMT Why why why?????? better to have played Japan. plus why is it at Twickers?

England v Australia, Saturday, 28 November, 15:15 GMT


Actually wouldve suited England better from a rankings perspective to have Japan. Theres a fair chance they will lose the series over  there taking an out and out development side likely featuring a number of players currently in the under 20s which could artificially inflate Japans rating and knock Englands. Tonking the points back off them in a home fixture would help adjust things back. 
Having New Zealand first up is rough too, remember back when they announced that and it was supposed to be a rerun of the world cup decider  Doh 
As it is they have two must wins, one should win and a game thats hard to call at this point. Ideally they'd have Argentina first to help bed in whats likely to be a significantly changed side introducing players from the summer tour to the current core squad. 

Some pressure to maintain a top 4 spot and pot 1 ranking which they will struggle to do if they stuff up the summer tour and lose to NZ. 

Ducking South Africa is a thing now...who wouldve though that a year ago.

Also a chance they will need to shoehorn in a Six Nations fixture with Italy to this period, but I guess they can use the summer squad for that.

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Post by propdavid_london on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Different topic....

Where does Young Marcus Smith stand at the moment?

Is he in the thoughts or completely out of the thoughts? Does he have a chance of the summer tour?  

He has to be 1st choice for the summer. Who else is there given Ford and Farrell will be having a break. Cipriani must be out of the reckoning (ignoring the Heinz example) and it seems like its too early for Umaga
Joe Simmonds at chiefs could be in contention.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 7:41 am

Interesting interview on Greenwood’s podcast of Gustard re Dombrandt.


What does club coach Gustard think the young back-row needs to do to progress onto the Test stage?

"[Dombrandt is a] phenomenal talent," Gustard added.

"I think it's not necessarily what we need to hear from Eddie. Five rugby coaches, the player himself and his peer group around him are probably all aware where Dom's main strengths are and where he'd like to improve the most.

"The one thing with Alex is, he's very honest. We had a good meeting this morning again about the state of his game, and where we feel he can improve and pick up some yardage. With the ball, there are very, very few people that can do what he can do. His feel for the game is special.

Alex Dombrandt has been in phenomenal form for Harlequins this season, but an England call-up continues to allude him
"I'm not as fixed on him having to have a certain amount of involvements in the game, because what he can do is special. And we need him to feel that freedom in attack to create opportunities for us.

"He's scored one in three for tries in the Premiership and he's a No 8. He's got a freakish try-scoring record.

"The other side of the ball regarding his defence is the area that is less consistent than his attack.”

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Post by Cumbrian on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 9:15 am

propdavid_london wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Different topic....

Where does Young Marcus Smith stand at the moment?

Is he in the thoughts or completely out of the thoughts? Does he have a chance of the summer tour?  

He has to be 1st choice for the summer. Who else is there given Ford and Farrell will be having a break. Cipriani must be out of the reckoning (ignoring the Heinz example) and it seems like its too early for Umaga
Joe Simmonds at chiefs could be in contention.

He seems a little more rounded than some of the other young options to me, plus he is metronomic from the tee, he never seems to miss! That would be a useful thing to have at international level.
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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 10:24 am

He plays for the chiefs Chief so has no chance.
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 10:33 am

Cumbrian wrote:
propdavid_london wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Different topic....

Where does Young Marcus Smith stand at the moment?

Is he in the thoughts or completely out of the thoughts? Does he have a chance of the summer tour?  

He has to be 1st choice for the summer. Who else is there given Ford and Farrell will be having a break. Cipriani must be out of the reckoning (ignoring the Heinz example) and it seems like its too early for Umaga
Joe Simmonds at chiefs could be in contention.

He seems a little more rounded than some of the other young options to me, plus he is metronomic from the tee, he never seems to miss!  That would be a useful thing to have at international level.

Of all the 10s behind F&F, Joe Simmonds is teh one I would most like to see touring in the Summer. I am still to be convinced by Marcus Smith - who is suffering an extended sophomore slump, while Umaga, Manu Vunipola, Grayson Jr are far from ready.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 12:52 pm

As dubious as any rating system is the rugbypass RPI has Simmonds as 4th best FH in the Jeff currently, with only Farrell Biggar and Steenson ahead of him. Vunipola 11th.
His quite a way down the HC rankings, but not many EQ players ahead of him there. 
Says something though that Englands 3rd best qualified FH this year is the understudy to a 35 year old Ireland reject who's out performing him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 12:56 pm

Smith just has that bit of magic for me. Not generally playing behind a pack on the front foot (really dont rate the quins locks) but generally finds a bit of space and his kicking is good. The most potential I think and could kick on in the england atmosphere.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 1:33 pm

Surely they'll take 2 FH's anyway

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 28 Feb 2020, 1:37 pm

lostinwales wrote:Surely they'll take 2 FH's anyway

This is Jones. It could be both the Curry's 

Alex Lozowoski a possibility?

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Post by Sharkey06 on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 10:49 pm

On today's performance Simmonds look a class or two above Smith, despite Harlequins somehow managing to win. But as has been said, with Jones who knows?

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Post by BamBam on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 12:56 am

Pretty strong rumours that the 6N is set to go to Sky Sports. What an absolute idiotic move - no live England games on UK Freeview TV is an awful outcome

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 9:51 am

Presumably that'll be all games not just england?

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 10:51 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Presumably that'll be all games not just england?
Individual governments would have a substantial say.  If they deem certain sports important enough to be viewable by their entire population (and it is one of the staple yearly events in Ireland for example, where people who would never watch a Pro14 game can hold long conversations about the intricacies of the International brand) then they'll keep them so.
Would Welsh people allow it to go exclusively to Sky, given how animated they can be on the notion of Pro14 moving away from free-to-air?

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Post by BamBam on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 10:54 am

Not sure on the details, it's on the front page of the Rugby Paper and I've seen a few tweets

I'd imagine it's only the UK rights that are affected. The Welsh will have to suck it up like the rest of us if it's true. Not the thread for this question, but do viewers in NI get the Irish broadcast or BBC/ITV etc

I mentioned no England games because our AIs are all on Sky too, Wales/Scotland games are on BBC during the AIs

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:03 am

BamBam wrote:Not sure on the details, it's on the front page of the Rugby Paper and I've seen a few tweets

I'd imagine it's only the UK rights that are affected. The Welsh will have to suck it up like the rest of us if it's true. Not the thread for this question, but do viewers in NI get the Irish broadcast or BBC/ITV etc

Like dual citizenship etc, NI gets Everything! Wink

They get RTÉ.

But I think it's a sad mucking up of things in the pursuit of more and more money.  The viewing of the Championship in its entirety becomes a disjointed thing - people only able to get some games.  The whole idea of such contests is that we all look at them together, all games - that community feel.

But tally ho.... so be it.  Onward this great new century into the valley of the unknown.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:05 am

It would probably still be available on S4C, like some Pro14 games are. Is the RWC staying with ITV?

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:07 am

mikey_dragon wrote:It would probably still be available on S4C, like some Pro14 games are. Is the RWC staying with ITV?

No it's going exclusively to ABC Australia All rights - and they intend only televising the games involving Samoa and Russia.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:28 am

I thought individual unions negotiated their own rights, hence we have England home games on ITV, Wales and Scotland on BBC, France BBC and Italy I think ITV.

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Post by BamBam on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:51 am

https://twitter.com/therugbypaper/status/1233892898799837185?s=21

There's the link

If they're being told they can't team up again there must be some substance to it. Wouldn't even know where to buy the paper round here or I'd do it!

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 1:16 pm

Imagine paying to watch scotland vs Italy

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 1:25 pm

Farrell vs Biggar is battle of the Testosterone Kids.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 2:09 pm

BamBam wrote:https://twitter.com/therugbypaper/status/1233892898799837185?s=21

There's the link

If they're being told they can't team up again there must be some substance to it. Wouldn't even know where to buy the paper round here or I'd do it!

First they cut funding to the 2nd tier now this. Seems all very short term go for the bucks kind of behaviour, which is a great way to weaken the sport long term

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 10:07 pm

What a load of Poopie.

Just when I'd got BBC Iplayer figured out they go changing.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sun 01 Mar 2020, 11:12 pm

I thought that the 6 Nations came under the "Ring-Fenced" sporting events that MUST be available on free-to-air tv? Similar to the Olympics, British Grand Prix, Grand National and FA Cup Final?

I will be somewhat dismayed if this happens. I'd have to spend all the 6N in the pub - and I don't even drink!! steam

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 9:04 am

Mr Bounce wrote:I thought that the 6 Nations came under the "Ring-Fenced" sporting events that MUST be available on free-to-air tv? Similar to the Olympics, British Grand Prix, Grand National and FA Cup Final?

Category 2 - so highlights must be made available.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 9:46 am

Disappointing that ITV doesn't seem to be putting up more of a fight. But the beeb has long since given up on having a serious sports input (apart from darts & snooker of course). I wonder how much longer it'll have Wimbledon.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 9:49 am

This move will have little effect on those who are passionate about rugby nor will it impact on those players who have come from the traditional private school route but I can't imagine it will help produce the next Kyle Sinckler or Ellis Genge.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 9:55 am

Soul Requiem wrote:This move will have little effect on those who are passionate about rugby nor will it impact on those players who have come from the traditional private school route but I can't imagine it will help produce the next Kyle Sinckler or Ellis Genge.

I was thinking the same thing. Both of these guys seem sorted now but life could easily ended up very differently for both of them, with an accompanying cost for society.

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