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ENGLAND v WALES - Match Thread / Build up - 7/3/2020

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Post by TightHEAD on Mon 24 Feb 2020, 4:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

England  rose  v Wales  Wales  - 07/03/2020 - 16:45pm - the HOME of Rugby.

England XV

Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, Lawes, Wilson, Curry

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Stuart, Launchbury, Ewels, Earl, Heinz, Slade


Wales XV

Halfpenny; North, Tompkins, Parkes, Williams; Biggar, T Williams; R Evans, Owens, D Lewis, Ball, AW Jones (capt), Moriarty, Navidi, Tipuric.

Replacements: Elias, Carre, L Brown, Shingler, Faletau, Webb, J Evans, McNicholl.



Overall - Played 134 - Eng 63 - Wales 59 - Drawn 12


Last edited by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 1:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 11:12 am

guestalt_physicality wrote:If Tomkins plays you know he will be getting an earfull all game from the Saracens players.

Not really, certainly not abuse any way - joshing at most.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 3:36 pm

Mako Vunipola out of the game. He has self isolated as he travelled back through HK on his way back home from Tonga. Not shown any symptoms so its all precautionary

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 4:28 pm

Has he lost interest?

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 4:32 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Has he lost interest?


Make your own mind up. The story is on the Beeb

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 4:33 pm

Its been a difficult season so far, many highs and lows take there toll.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 4:39 pm

Sam Davies is training with Wales now, so Biggar must be touch and go.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 4:40 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Its been a difficult season so far, many highs and lows take there toll.

It has certainly damaged your written English. Maybe he's just taking the virus seriously.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 6:15 pm

Personally I've seen marler and Genge as the preferred set up since the start of the world cup. Vunipola is clearly class but prefer the form of those 2 at present and the greater ability in the set piece

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 6:24 pm

Maunder has been released then. More and more it feels like Japan is the arena for the new guys to try and catch the coaches attention.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 6:51 pm

lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Its been a difficult season so far, many highs and lows take there toll.

It has certainly damaged your written English. Maybe he's just taking the virus seriously.

The greatest teacher, failure is.
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Post by Poorfour on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 7:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Personally I've seen marler and Genge as the preferred set up since the start of the world cup. Vunipola is clearly class but prefer the form of those 2 at present and the greater ability in the set piece

I'm happy to have the choice of the three. Though I think my flowchart is somewhat different than Eddie's. At the moment I would default to starting Marler against either a tough opposing scrum, or against a weak opposing scrum that England could potentially muller. For a typical International pack, I'm happy to start with Mako and have Genge on the bench for those without decent replacements and Marler for those with. Simples.

But how good is it it to have that depth of scrummaging power? Just need to find a consistent set of backups to Sinckler now.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 10:18 pm


ENGLAND SQUAD UPDATE AHEAD OF WALES CLASH

England men's head coach Eddie Jones has retained 27 players ahead of Saturday's Guinness Six Nations clash against Wales.

The group includes Mark Wilson, who has yet to feature in this year's competition, as well as Anthony Watson who has also not played for England since the Rugby World Cup.

Forwards

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 10:49 pm

TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Its been a difficult season so far, many highs and lows take there toll.

It has certainly damaged your written English. Maybe he's just taking the virus seriously.

The greatest teacher, failure is.

My old woodwork teacher used to say that the man who never made a mistake never made anything.

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Post by yappysnap on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 11:23 pm

LondonTiger wrote:

ENGLAND SQUAD UPDATE AHEAD OF WALES CLASH

England men's head coach Eddie Jones has retained 27 players ahead of Saturday's Guinness Six Nations clash against Wales.

The group includes Mark Wilson, who has yet to feature in this year's competition, as well as Anthony Watson who has also not played for England since the Rugby World Cup.

Forwards

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Welp there goes Maunder. I hope he made the most of his 5 minutes in the spotlight.

It'll be interesting to see if Ewels is in again or not, so far he's been off and on.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 11:33 pm

Good to see Watson back. I wonder if Wilson starts. Probably bench. Very strong squad. Should be looking to win by 15+ at home. Could be a lot more.

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Post by Fat Fairy on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 5:36 am

lostinwales wrote:Mako Vunipola out of the game. He has self isolated as he travelled back through HK on his way back home from Tonga. Not shown any symptoms so its all precautionary

He might be too risky for England, but is OK to play for Saracens. Shocked

Obviously Leicester and Saracens are immune to Corona Virus....

Classy, Saracens. Classy....

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Post by Khouli Khan on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 7:20 am

Fat Fairy wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Mako Vunipola out of the game. He has self isolated as he travelled back through HK on his way back home from Tonga. Not shown any symptoms so its all precautionary

He might be too risky for England, but is OK to play for Saracens. Shocked

Obviously Leicester and Saracens are immune to Corona Virus....

Classy, Saracens. Classy....

Rubbish.

Saracens followed clear Home Office guidelines on travel, its the RFU that have chosen to exclude him.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 7:21 am

Amazing that these injuried players have pulled themselves together for the England game. Like we always say everyone raises their game against us.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 7:52 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/analysis-the-twenty-minutes-of-baiting-from-alun-wyn-jones-that-lead-kyle-sinckler-to-lose-the-perception-battle

Remember this well.
Once bitten twice shy Sinks!

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 9:22 am

Make no mistake this game is Wales RWC final.

This is a one off game for them, that is when they are at their most dangerous especially against the 'English'
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:14 am

Just seems a way to drop vunipola without dropping him then.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:16 am

This game is their Everest, the hurt of exiting the semi final will be present this weekend.

England need to be on it.

In Eddie We Trust........ Ok!
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Post by lostinwales on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:17 am

As said before, although Mako is a better individual player I too prefer the Marler/Genge combo.

I laughed at the description of Genge as the replacement prop from hell but it is accurate.

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:27 am

Martin Johnson is warning England's class of 2020 if they lose to Wayne Pivac's side on Saturday and miss on a Triple Crown, they can expect never to hear the end of it from jubilant Welsh fans.

He added: "They want to come here to Twickenham and win - they see all the English in their Barbour jackets in the car park and you can see why they want to do it.

"That’s their perception of it.

"But I also remember they came here in ‘94 and they were going for a Slam.

"We were on the bus to Twickenham and a Welsh fan had a T-shirt already celebrating their win before the game.

"Our guys were like: 'No way we are losing'. And we beat them - you just don't want to lose to them as the one you do is the only one they ever talk about.

"It is the games you lose that people remember."

(source Wales online)
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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:57 am

TightHEAD wrote:Make no mistake this game is Wales RWC final.

This is a one off game for them, that is when they are at their most dangerous especially against the 'English'

Given England's record o barely turning up in WC finals that sounds great! Hug

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:02 am

I agree, just hope the TMO turns up and spots forward passes and the Ref takes control and penalise players mouthing off at him.

England have been hard done by so far with things being missed, ref allowing assaults on the field go unpunished and the TMO staying silent and not doing their job properly.
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Post by Comfort on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:03 am

TightHEAD wrote:Martin Johnson is warning England's class of 2020 if they lose to Wayne Pivac's side on Saturday and miss on a Triple Crown, they can expect never to hear the end of it from jubilant Welsh fans.

He added: "They want to come here to Twickenham and win - they see all the English in their Barbour jackets in the car park and you can see why they want to do it.

"That’s their perception of it.

"But I also remember they came here in ‘94 and they were going for a Slam.

"We were on the bus to Twickenham and a Welsh fan had a T-shirt already celebrating their win before the game.

"Our guys were like: 'No way we are losing'. And we beat them - you just don't want to lose to them as the one you do is the only one they ever talk about.

"It is the games you lose that people remember."

(source Wales online)

It is true; we do see you all as Barbour jacket wearing, prawn sandwich eating, land rover driving, flat cap on your head fakers who only sing when you're winning kiss

What wales would do to be able to select from a group of props like that right now though, Marler, Genge & Mako between them have pretty much everything covered and you can go horses for courses with no real drop in quality. I'm really hoping we don't have Dillon Lewis in our matchday 23 but we're extremely limited right now...

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:21 am

Interesting to hear on the rugby podcast that Monye thinks Lawes will be after Biggar if selected to get him off the pitch asap. As he'll know how serious that injury was.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:22 am

TightHEAD wrote:I agree, just hope the TMO turns up and spots forward passes and the Ref takes control and penalise players mouthing off at him.

England have been hard done by so far with things being missed, ref allowing assaults on the field go unpunished and the TMO staying silent and not doing their job properly.

Not sure about that. Wales seem harshly done with the non penalty try and poor scrum decisions in the 2 games they've lost as well as no yellow cards for sustained pressure. I think Farrell was doing his Dan Biggar verbal impression against France as well so should be a good game between two teams of whingers who feel hard done by!

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Post by TightHEAD on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:24 am

The TMOs have been shocking all tournament.

Red Card 1
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Post by lostinwales on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 1:34 pm

Slade and Manu talking each other up again. A potentially superb center pairing that won't appear because we want to shoehorn both Ford and Farrell onto the pitch at the same time.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 1:54 pm

lostinwales wrote:Slade and Manu talking each other up again. A potentially superb center pairing that won't appear because we want to shoehorn both Ford and Farrell onto the pitch at the same time.

There's plenty of potentially superb centre pairings (rarely featuring Farrell); I've long wanted to see Tuilagi at 12 with JJ at 13, defensively I think that would suit us as well as having two varied runners. You can duel playmaker it with Ford at 10 and Daly at 15 potentially.

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Post by yappysnap on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 9:14 pm

Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

Agree that Slade/Manu could be brilliant. Injuries always seem to get int he way though. For all his perceived faults Farrel adds a lot of continuity by never getting injured.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:16 pm

Farrell also adds a lot by being one of best 10s in the world. Also one of the best goal kickers.

With him as captain changing between 10/12 we made the world cup final beating NZ on the way. As a 12 we've won 2 from 3 in this 6 Nations and many more previously.

There actually aren't a huge number of meaningful international games between world cups. Once you discount the summer tours that are well below full strength, i.e. at least this year and next year. As well as autumn internationals early in the world cup cycles when travelling opposition tend to rest more players. You have 20 6 nations fixtures then the odd tour game against tier 1 opposition when both field full strength.

I'm not too upset by a loss to a good France performance whilst testing Furbank and Ewels. Any World Cup final loss is gutting but we lost to a very good Boks side. Their pack (starters and bench) in that game is one of the best ever fielded, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe are outstanding players compared to any generation, whilst de Allende and Am were very good all tournament. Pollard, Willie le Roux and Mapimpi (14 tries in 14 tests) aren't bad either.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:35 am

yappysnap wrote:Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

Agree that Slade/Manu could be brilliant. Injuries always seem to get int he way though. For all his perceived faults Farrel adds a lot of continuity by never getting injured.

Didnt think so, Tuillagi as a 12 is a relatively recent thing and he hardly played between 2014 and 19 which is the perriod Joseph got most of his caps. Theres very few games theyve both been available for..... but turns out Joesphs second and third caps were paired with Tuilagi in South Africa in 2012


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Post by yappysnap on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 3:02 am

I broadly agree there Carlos. Farrell has shown he is a class rugby player, the best 12 option we have? Probably tbh. Should we try someone else in case of injuries or they give a lovely surprise performance? Maybe.

That final loss was made worse in my opinion because up until that game SA had looked pretty average, they lost badly to NZ and nearly lost to Wales, they'd had an average RC too. We had played better all year imo, and had just played one of the best games of rugby by any team all year. I don't think many were expect SA to come out and suddenly better our performance, but they did sadly.

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Post by yappysnap on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 3:12 am

Gooseberry wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

Agree that Slade/Manu could be brilliant. Injuries always seem to get int he way though. For all his perceived faults Farrel adds a lot of continuity by never getting injured.

Didnt think so, Tuillagi as a 12 is a relatively recent thing and he hardly played between 2014 and 19 which is the perriod Joseph got most of his caps. Theres very few games theyve both been available for..... but turns out Joesphs second and third caps were paired with Tuilagi in South Africa in 2012


Yea there was a historic push for Tuilagi to play 12 years back when he partnered BOD i'm sure... again I could be wrong though as it's so long ago!

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 5:37 am

yappysnap wrote:I broadly agree there Carlos. Farrell has shown he is a class rugby player, the best 12 option we have? Probably tbh. Should we try someone else in case of injuries or they give a lovely surprise performance? Maybe.

I think Farrell can impose himself on games more consistently from 10. The England attack which relies a lot on tactical kicking works well with Ford and Faz in the same team though.

I'd like to see the England attack develop to offer threats against top defences off phase play. Many of this teams tries against tier 1 opposition come from kicks and pressure. I have no issue with this as a tactic but we've seen the side come unstuck at times by not having plan B when that tactic is shut down by good back threes.

I think Manu looks better attacking outside channels but I don't have an issue with him playing 12. Manu looks poor when used solely as a battering ram, a blunt instrument. That comes down to tactics not what positions he is picked in though.

Against Ireland we saw his physicality used well as his crash ball was done carrying in pods with 1 or 2 forwards who could also have been picked out as runners. Using Manu, or other physical backs like Cokanasiga or Nowell, in that way comes down to attacking structure rather than wearing 12 or 13.

If Mallinder unseats Furbank from the Saints 15 shirt during this seasons run in then he will be in a good position to go on tour to Japan.

As for centre I think that Ollie Lawrence and Joe Marchant (doing well with the Blues) will come into the picture at 13 over the next couple of years.

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Post by Pie on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 6:30 am

lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Its been a difficult season so far, many highs and lows take there toll.

It has certainly damaged your written English. Maybe he's just taking the virus seriously.

The greatest teacher, failure is.

My old woodwork teacher used to say that the man who never made a mistake never made anything.

Those who can't do teach so he obviously didnt make anything either

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 7:26 am

yappysnap wrote:Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

d.

JJ's first caps came during the 2012 tour of SA. He came off the bench in T1, but with Barritt injured started T2 & 3 at 13 with Manu at 12.

A poor last season at LI saw him drop out of the picture and (caps in Argentina aside) did not feature again until 2015, by which time Manu was injured (and banned).

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Post by Comfort on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 8:40 am

Guessing the sides are being announced today?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 9:07 am

Comfort wrote:Guessing the sides are being announced today?

Yes England 10.45 Wales 12.00

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 9:32 am

LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

d.

JJ's first caps came during the 2012 tour of SA. He came off the bench in T1, but with Barritt injured started T2 & 3 at 13 with Manu at 12.

A poor last season at LI saw him drop out of the picture and (caps in Argentina aside) did not feature again until 2015, by which time Manu was injured (and banned).

First one he came on to full back. Worth noting England lost 2 and drew one of those games. So y'know it didn't exactly fundamentally change rugby.  That said it was before Tuilagi was really being played at 12 at club level, and before Tigers took the time to make him learn how to pass properly. The more recent appearances at 12 for England (notably vs Australia) England have looked pretty lethal. 

There does have to be an acceptance that we arent going to see Ford at 10 and Tuillagi at 12 (unless Farrell suddenly shifts back to 13 which is way out there even by Jones standards). So a Joseph Tuillagi starting combination only happens if they lose Ford. Now Fords playing like himself again that seems pretty unlikely, despite the success England have had when they've tinkered with it Jones has gone back time and again to the Ford Farrell axis. Indeed 10/12 is pretty much the only combination that has been current for the past 4 years and gone back to time and again ( I guess you could extend that to 9/10/12). 

For the time being it seems pretty certain that Ford/Farrell/Tuillagi is a given for the starts, and almost certainly with Youngs. Farrell  Tuillagi JJ is the bench option, a handy card to have to play and a system England have familiarity with. 

The summer tour puts all bets off, although its hard to see a 10 from that tour suddenly stepping up to be ready to take Farrell or Fords jersey in autumn its quite possible we could see a fundamental change made after that. It could be Tuillagi and Joseph at 12 13, or it could be entirely new players come in. If they utterly stuff up this game then Jones may  look to rip the team up and give up on Farrell even...who knows. 

The long and short of it is that although Jones talked up this being a " new team" and picked a number of real wildcards for the 6 nations squad its really very much been continuity from the world cup combinations and systems. I guess losing the first game and the (sausages) media reaction to that pushed more conservative selections for the remaining games, and it was only really the first half demolition of Ireland thats pushed him back into feeling comfortable. 

The new team was always going to come in the autumn. But if they keep winning with Ford Farrell that part may not change. 


As for this game I suspect England could have Martin Jonson pick the centres and still be closer to a first choice than Wales are. Theres really no excuse for England to not run through Wales if they can get good ball, Wales' only hope is to win it in the forwards, Farrell get carded for a shoulder barge, and Tuillagi strain his groin whilst putting his trunks on. 
Some uncertainty on who plays fullback for England I guess, but youd assume Watson in the starting 15 and JJ on the bench with Furface dropping out. 6/2 bench spilt is also still a possibility of course. Its very hard to see how Slade gets a look in in any circumstance. 
Handling of the Vunipola situation is a bit odd all round especially given the RFUs attitude toward playing in Italy, but its maybe got Jones out of a selection dilemma and frankly he was unlikely to be fully match sharp and shouldn't be greatly missed. England will have the stronger front row bench even without him and even if Wales can match them early.

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Post by Gooseberry on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 9:33 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Comfort wrote:Guessing the sides are being announced today?

Yes England 10.45 Wales 12.00
  

Cant wait till its on Sky and they make them do them in a joint press conference and have everyone square off boxing weighin style.

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Post by Noble-Surfer on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:32 am

Gooseberry wrote:    
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
Comfort wrote:
Guessing the sides are being announced today?
Yes England 10.45 Wales 12.00
Cant wait till its on Sky and they make them do them in a joint press conference and have everyone square off boxing weighin style.

Could they add a lottery element in, where who squares off against whom is determined by random number selection...? I'm thinking Gareth Davies vs Joe Marler, Ben Youngs vs Alun Wyn Jones...

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:36 am

Gooseberry wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Did Lancaster ever try the Manu/JJ combo? I feel like it has been tried but I may be imagining it...

d.

JJ's first caps came during the 2012 tour of SA. He came off the bench in T1, but with Barritt injured started T2 & 3 at 13 with Manu at 12.

A poor last season at LI saw him drop out of the picture and (caps in Argentina aside) did not feature again until 2015, by which time Manu was injured (and banned).

First one he came on to full back. Worth noting England lost 2 and drew one of those games. So y'know it didn't exactly fundamentally change rugby.  That said it was before Tuilagi was really being played at 12 at club level, and before Tigers took the time to make him learn how to pass properly. The more recent appearances at 12 for England (notably vs Australia) England have looked pretty lethal. 

There does have to be an acceptance that we arent going to see Ford at 10 and Tuillagi at 12 (unless Farrell suddenly shifts back to 13 which is way out there even by Jones standards). So a Joseph Tuillagi starting combination only happens if they lose Ford. Now Fords playing like himself again that seems pretty unlikely, despite the success England have had when they've tinkered with it Jones has gone back time and again to the Ford Farrell axis. Indeed 10/12 is pretty much the only combination that has been current for the past 4 years and gone back to time and again ( I guess you could extend that to 9/10/12). 

For the time being it seems pretty certain that Ford/Farrell/Tuillagi is a given for the starts, and almost certainly with Youngs. Farrell  Tuillagi JJ is the bench option, a handy card to have to play and a system England have familiarity with. 

The summer tour puts all bets off, although its hard to see a 10 from that tour suddenly stepping up to be ready to take Farrell or Fords jersey in autumn its quite possible we could see a fundamental change made after that. It could be Tuillagi and Joseph at 12 13, or it could be entirely new players come in. If they utterly stuff up this game then Jones may  look to rip the team up and give up on Farrell even...who knows. 

The long and short of it is that although Jones talked up this being a " new team" and picked a number of real wildcards for the 6 nations squad its really very much been continuity from the world cup combinations and systems. I guess losing the first game and the (sausages) media reaction to that pushed more conservative selections for the remaining games, and it was only really the first half demolition of Ireland thats pushed him back into feeling comfortable. 

The new team was always going to come in the autumn. But if they keep winning with Ford Farrell that part may not change. 


As for this game I suspect England could have Martin Jonson pick the centres and still be closer to a first choice than Wales are. Theres really no excuse for England to not run through Wales if they can get good ball, Wales' only hope is to win it in the forwards, Farrell get carded for a shoulder barge, and Tuillagi strain his groin whilst putting his trunks on. 
Some uncertainty on who plays fullback for England I guess, but youd assume Watson in the starting 15 and JJ on the bench with Furface dropping out. 6/2 bench spilt is also still a possibility of course. Its very hard to see how Slade gets a look in in any circumstance. 
Handling of the Vunipola situation is a bit odd all round especially given the RFUs attitude toward playing in Italy, but its maybe got Jones out of a selection dilemma and frankly he was unlikely to be fully match sharp and shouldn't be greatly missed. England will have the stronger front row bench even without him and even if Wales can match them early.

Great comment. I would however argue that despite JJ's dancing feet last time out (which was great to see), Slade is ahead of him when not injured

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:51 am

England starting XV
15 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 42 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 42 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 82 caps) C
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 68 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 98 caps)
1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 70 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 48 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 34 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 37 caps)
5 George Kruis (Saracens, 44 caps)
6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 84 caps)
7 Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks, 18 caps)
8 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 22 caps)

Finishers
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 23 caps)
17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
18 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 2 caps)
19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 64 caps)
20 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)
21 Ben Earl (Saracens, 2 caps)
22 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 12 caps)
23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 28 caps)

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:51 am

Positives are that we're not playing curry at 8 and Wilson's best performance has been there previously. Watson is back as well which is great. Lawes unfortunately is there. I really hope that underhill is injured as it's a travesty if not.
Still not liking the bench split but the south african influence appears too strong.


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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:52 am

I assume Underhill is injured, but can see no mention of that. 6-2 bench again.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 10:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Positives are that we're not playing curry at 8 and Wilson's best performance has been there previously. Watson is back as well which is great. Lawes unfortunately is there. I really hope that underhill is injured as it's a travesty if not.
Still not liking the bench split but the south african influence appears too strong.

Curry seems to have been named at 8.

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