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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 Soul Requiem on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 9:18 pm

If Watson is fit he's plays.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 9:23 pm

lostinwales wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I hear there was a game of rugby on Saturday. Apparently England won.

Do you have a favourite tea lost?

Don't drink tea, which is the kind of thing that would have my dad spinning in his grave if he was that kind of person.

Coffee however... An espresso of a nice medium roast made by a barrista who knows their stuff and gives a sh1t is one of the greatest drinks known to man. Finding that combo isn't easy, not least because the kinds of beans that make good caps and lattes tend to be too harsh without milk to smooth the edges

This is so true, well made coffee is one of the best drinks in the world.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 7:48 am


The 6 2 split was a 6 nations specific thing. The nature of the games proved his reasoning, they were absolute wars. No game against SA makes it most likely there will be a 4 3 split for the summer and autumn.


Think very little has changed as a result of this 6 nations, aside from Jones resigning being a greater possibility. The summer in japan should cheer him up a bit hopefully, itll be a low key tour and hes very well respected there. If it goes ahead of course, we may all be in lockdown by then thanks to marler spreading STDs across Wales.

There will be 9s and 10s given a go, and as a minimum England will have to move on from Heinz in the next year due to his age. But given the inexperience and quality of those next in line it's hard to see those players jumping into the first 15 for the autumn unless theres injuries.
Same goes for fullback. Furbank starting the 6 nations shows it's an area Jones was concerned about but the way we ended it shows it's not that bad and that Watson May Daly are all "must start" players currently.

Pack theres always a chance for a change at hooker which hasn't felt like a position of strength for some time, and another lock to get in the mix from a wide range of names.
8 seems to be the position where the fans and Jones disagree the most, aside from that of Vunipola were fit he'd start. No sign that Jones is repenting on his project to make Curry number 2, which is a good option if he started flanker and acted as cover. I guess Curry is another player that Jones sees as always being in the first 15 so if hes got more than one position I can start / bring on other players I want on the pitch rather than looking purely at specialists and trying to bring them up to test standard. It's possible someone will pop out the woodwork but honestly I think we have seen Jones' plan for 8 and its Vunipola Curry.

Leadership and captaincy for me is the big elephant. It was a real buzz topic when england had their dip a couple of years ago and I still feel they have a habit of folding when the opposition gets up them and stops them dictating the game.
Never been a massive fan of Farrell as a captain personally, but theres zero sign that Jones has any plans that dont revolve around him being on the pitch for 80 minutes.

If there are going to be big changes in the way England line up then it will be driven by the coaches looking at changing the way they play as it was two years ago.
Heinz in particular is a player who's selection was driven by a very specific skillset to enable Englands stats driven kicking game.
If Englands new(ish attack coach decides to stamp his nake on the team by changing that there could be the need for a very different midfield.

I guess the same applies across the piece. Jones has been vocal about picking forwards who get to up and back in play quickly so they tend to have numbers. But both SA and France (and to some extent Wales) have shown England can still be bullied when the opposition arrive with more "intent".

TLDR ... I dont think Jones first team has changed noticeably as a result of this six nations, if anything its solidified the existing core squad.
The positions of weakness dont have obvious candidates sticking their hands up to jump in and improve england overnight. The summer will give them a chance but it's hard to see a Umaga and proving they should start the autumn off the back of a b tour.
Most changes that do come are going to be to be to enable fundamental shifts in the way England play driven by coaches and analysts.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:38 am

Do people think Jones will be gone when his contract is up?

Would it not be better to go through to the world cup.

Who would come in?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:54 am

If EJ is not going to be there in 2023, we need to get rid now and allow the new person time to develop his style and get it embedded into the squad. What we don't want is for a change to take place in two years time and only have 18 months to adapt to the new Head Coach and the way he wants to play.

We have so much depth and diversity of talent that it is unlikely that the new HC will want to play EJs way unless it is Mitchell. We need to get a style or styles to suit various situations sorted now and play it with variations until the next RWC.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:57 am

McCall.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:00 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If EJ is not going to be there in 2023, we need to get rid now and allow the new person time to develop his style and get it embedded into the squad. What we don't want is for a change to take place in two years time and only have 18 months to adapt to the new Head Coach and the way he wants to play.

Though Erasmus showed what can be done in a short period of time of the playing resources are available.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:12 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:If EJ is not going to be there in 2023, we need to get rid now and allow the new person time to develop his style and get it embedded into the squad. What we don't want is for a change to take place in two years time and only have 18 months to adapt to the new Head Coach and the way he wants to play.

We have so much depth and diversity of talent that it is unlikely that the new HC will want to play EJs way unless it is Mitchell. We need to get a style or styles to suit various situations sorted now and play it with variations until the next RWC.



I assume this is why hes having a meeting with the RFU to flesh out the contract situation. 

Getting rid of straight away is all well and good but has a cost associated with it. They'd also need to right candidate ready to jump straight in unless they are planning to ask Rob Andrew to take the team on a tour of death over the summer before giving the job to someone with absolutely no coaching experience at all again. 

The best case is to get absolute clarity and a managed handover like Wales did.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 12:26 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Taking lineouts yes. Defensive lineouts launchbury. But yes sometimes it would be easier to support another team with far fewer quality players.

I got the impression that Launchbury was dropped because he wasn't good enough at the set pieces to warrant selection. Itoje is a great all rounder, Kruis is excellent at lineout and scrum but not a patch on Launchbury in the loose, Lawes is the lineout leader for Saints and Ewels whilst rubbish is supposed to be good at scrum and lineout. All seem to have jumped Launchbury in the pecking order. It probably doesn't help Launchbury that he plays for a club with an average lineout and a poor scrum.

I’m pretty sure I watched a club premiership game recently showing Wasps as no.1 in the scrum stats for the league. The scrum has improved immensely over the last season even if our overall start to the season was a bit dodgy. I agree over the past number of seasons our scrum has been poor but not now.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 12:48 pm

Wasps scrum was pretty awful at Welford Road last month.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 1:06 pm

What is the combined forward pack that would give us the best scrum vs lineout vs overall?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 2:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:What is the combined forward pack that would give us the best scrum vs lineout vs overall?

My personal opinion is

Marler (His shirt until suspension or Mako prove otherwise)
LCD ( George not on best form at the moment)
Sinkler (simply the best TH we have at the moment)
Itoje (see Sinkler)
Lawes (adds another dimension to lock play, like having 9 men in the pack outside of scrum time, two 6s)
Curry (T) (One of the best in the world at the moment, please notice the word "one")
Underhill (If you want to knock them back in the tackle, none better)
Wilson (Captain material in my opinion, probably the hardest worker on the field and with a complete skill set)

Replacements

Genge (The apprentice, no one close enough to say "your fired")
George ( Looks like he needs a rest)
Stuart (Who else is there, more mobile than Williams)
Isiekwe ( Lawes heir apparent)
Ludlam/Curry (B) (or both if a 6/2 is used) (See below)

Curry/Underhill are one of the best set ups around, don't really care if Curry or Wilson Play 8, but having both adds versatility.

isiekwe is the type of lock I favour, big and powerful enough to hold his own in the scrum, very good line out, and athletic enough around the park, IMO Lawes natural successor from those that are currently playing regular prem rugby

Ludlum has proved he can operate at this level, Curry (B) was originally thought to be the better option until injury hit, I think he should be given the chance to see if that was a correct assessment.

I don't buy into the Hill / Dombrant thing, both look lethargic around the field, slow to get up after a tackle, just the opposite of what Jones looks for. Willis i haven't seen enough of to comment. All however look very good ball in hand, unfortunately that is only half the game.


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Post by Yoda on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 9:08 pm

I think our pack is better with lcd at hooker and genge on the pitch imo. Very hard to play against when the power comes on. I like Wilson in the back row and thought he played well for us when at 8. If you look at his stats he's not far of the typical 8 anyway. He's faster than he looks too. We are very lucky as well to have some serious talent coming through at the same time and could put out three very good packs. Our problem positions now are 9, 15 and to a certain degree 12 as really we are playing two 10s. I still think slade would make an excellent 12 in the mould of will greenwood. 13 is a position of strength with Joe marchant looking better with every season and hopefully pushing the seniors to the limit. Daly at 15 blows hot and cold so someone like mallinder who could be one to watch.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:18 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
I don't buy into the Hill / Dombrant thing, both look lethargic around the field, slow to get up after a tackle, just the opposite of what Jones looks for. Willis i haven't seen enough of to comment. All however look very good ball in hand, unfortunately that is only half the game.

Agree to an extent on Dombrandt getting up from the tackle. No reason he can't improve as his fitness naturally does though.

Hill is strong in that area though. He will just need to improve in the tight I think. At international level every forward has to offer a lot in maul defence for instance. An area that back rowers can get away with things a bit more in the Prem. He will be a very good blindside though.

Yoda wrote:I think our pack is better with lcd at hooker and genge on the pitch imo. Very hard to play against when the power comes on. I like Wilson in the back row and thought he played well for us when at 8. If you look at his stats he's not far of the typical 8 anyway. He's faster than he looks too. We are very lucky as well to have some serious talent coming through at the same time and could put out three very good packs. Our problem positions now are 9, 15 and to a certain degree 12 as really we are playing two 10s. I still think slade would make an excellent 12 in the mould of will greenwood. 13 is a position of strength with Joe marchant looking better with every season and hopefully pushing the seniors to the limit. Daly at 15 blows hot and cold so someone like mallinder who could be one to watch.

LCD is certainly pushing George for the starting shirt. I expect both will tour with the Lions if fit. Very good players that put England in a strong position.

I thought Marler had an excellent tournament with one obvious exception. Genge has been very good off the bench but isn't yet as consistent as Marler in the scrum or defence. With Mako working his way back to fitness it is a strong position to be in.

9 needs new blood but Youngs outplayed his opposite number against Ireland and Wales. He was much improved off the bench against Scotland as well. Similarly he was good in the world cup until South Africa battered us. Not a coincidence that his two poorest performances of late came against Faf and Dupont, the two best 9s in the world.

I really like Harry Randall but Jack Maunder probably fits the Jones game plan better. With Youngs and Heinz almost certain to be rested for the Japan tour there will have to be fresh talent at 9. That is hoping the tour goes ahead of course!

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 10:46 pm

I only really see that being an issue with Dombrandt if Vunipola is playing at 8. Billy gets back to his feet quicker than he did but not to the level of the others, you can hide one guy but not two, we do however need someone to try replicating the PSDT role.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 11 Mar 2020, 11:06 pm

Dombrandt really isn't a problem, yes he may not get through 30 tackles a match but he still puts a huge amount of work in. With the locks and flankers we have I don't see an issue.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 12:00 am

yappysnap wrote:Dombrandt really isn't a problem, yes he may not get through 30 tackles a match but he still puts a huge amount of work in. With the locks and flankers we have I don't see an issue.

I suspect exposing him to internationals will help to bring him on.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 2:10 am

Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him in. I have total faith he could do an excellent job for 60 mins at least.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 8:27 am

How is Marchant doing down in NZ, Yappy?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 8:55 am

yappysnap wrote:Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him


Best way to improve any player, the ones out of the team are always better than the ones in it. 

Jokes aside I would say if the objection to Dombrant is his fitness then getting him into a training camp and showing him the expectation would be the best way to drive improvement. Doesnt need to be the test team itself. 

Hes got a good chance of making the Japan tour you'd think with Vuinpola, Curry and Wilson all guaranteed the summer off. Jones has been talking up the importance of fitness to deal with the heat and pace of the game out there ...so I guess we will see.

If not him then who?

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:02 am

Dombrandt was included in the training squad last summer - so he has had a small taste. You have to assume that he was given "things to work on". I doubt Dean Richards would have ever made his way into an Eddie team.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:04 am

LondonTiger wrote:Dombrandt was included in the training squad last summer - so he has had a small taste. You have to assume that he was given "things to work on". I doubt Dean Richards would have ever made his way into an Eddie team.


Good point. 

I doubt Dean Richards would pick himself for a modern team either tbf.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:05 am

Gooseberry wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him


Best way to improve any player, the ones out of the team are always better than the ones in it. 

Jokes aside I would say if the objection to Dombrant is his fitness then getting him into a training camp and showing him the expectation would be the best way to drive improvement. Doesnt need to be the test team itself. 

Hes got a good chance of making the Japan tour you'd think with Vuinpola, Curry and Wilson all guaranteed the summer off. Jones has been talking up the importance of fitness to deal with the heat and pace of the game out there ...so I guess we will see.

If not him then who?

Is Wilson guaranteed the summer off? I can't imagine he's near the 20 match mark.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:10 am

Gooseberry wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Dombrandt was included in the training squad last summer - so he has had a small taste. You have to assume that he was given "things to work on". I doubt Dean Richards would have ever made his way into an Eddie team.


Good point. 

I doubt Dean Richards would pick himself for a modern team either tbf.

If he was about 32 years old and on the decline, he would more than likely get a 3 years Falcons deal though Rolling Eyes

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 9:13 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him


Best way to improve any player, the ones out of the team are always better than the ones in it. 

Jokes aside I would say if the objection to Dombrant is his fitness then getting him into a training camp and showing him the expectation would be the best way to drive improvement. Doesnt need to be the test team itself. 

Hes got a good chance of making the Japan tour you'd think with Vuinpola, Curry and Wilson all guaranteed the summer off. Jones has been talking up the importance of fitness to deal with the heat and pace of the game out there ...so I guess we will see.

If not him then who?

Is Wilson guaranteed the summer off? I can't imagine he's near the 20 match mark.

Actually you're right, hes only played 3 for Sale this season so wont be getting up to the 20. 

Whole summer tour is in doubt dependant on the status of Corona mind so may prove to be irrelevant

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 10:27 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him


Best way to improve any player, the ones out of the team are always better than the ones in it. 

Jokes aside I would say if the objection to Dombrant is his fitness then getting him into a training camp and showing him the expectation would be the best way to drive improvement. Doesnt need to be the test team itself. 

Hes got a good chance of making the Japan tour you'd think with Vuinpola, Curry and Wilson all guaranteed the summer off. Jones has been talking up the importance of fitness to deal with the heat and pace of the game out there ...so I guess we will see.

If not him then who?

Is Wilson guaranteed the summer off? I can't imagine he's near the 20 match mark.

I thought the RFU had said that any player involved in both the world cup and the 6N would get the summer off. Or did I dream that?

Give the ones with the longest season a summer off and a proper pre season. Sounds a bit too logical for the RFU and as said Corona Virus could scupper it all anyway.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 10:32 am

Sam,

It seems the formal position agreed with RPA is any member of the RWC squad who subsequently reaches 20 match interactions (being at least 20 minutes played) will be rested - with the proviso that exceptional circumstances may allow this to be over-ridden in individual cases. Assuming the tour goes ahead guys staying at Sarries for next season may be deemed an exception?

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 10:32 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Yea exactly, he's developed enough now that probably the best way to improve him further is to drop him


Best way to improve any player, the ones out of the team are always better than the ones in it. 

Jokes aside I would say if the objection to Dombrant is his fitness then getting him into a training camp and showing him the expectation would be the best way to drive improvement. Doesnt need to be the test team itself. 

Hes got a good chance of making the Japan tour you'd think with Vuinpola, Curry and Wilson all guaranteed the summer off. Jones has been talking up the importance of fitness to deal with the heat and pace of the game out there ...so I guess we will see.

If not him then who?

Is Wilson guaranteed the summer off? I can't imagine he's near the 20 match mark.

I thought the RFU had said that any player involved in both the world cup and the 6N would get the summer off. Or did I dream that?

Give the ones with the longest season a summer off and a proper pre season. Sounds a bit too logical for the RFU and as said Corona Virus could scupper it all anyway.


It was anyone in the world cup squad who made 20 appearances of 20 minutes plus from August till the end of the domestic season wouldnt be selected. That rules out pretty much anyone who hasnt been injured for a big chunk of the season, although Marler and Tuilagi may ironically have just made themselves eligible.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 11:18 am

May got a fractured cheekbone and will be out for a while. Ouch

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