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England: 8 Nations

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 20 Aug 2020, 8:28 am

First topic message reminder :

Not sure if theres already a thread kicking about but seeing as the prem is back I thought it may be nice to argue over the numerous players impressing.

As ever it seems to be scrum half, flankers, centre and full back are where there are chances for people to force their way in. Can't say I've ever been able to call what Eddie Jones thinks but Willis and hill must be tempting him to widen the player pool. A number of scrum halfs have started well also but has the time come for Spencer or Robson? Thought Maunder was very good too and Mitchell showed great flashes.

I'm at a bit of a loss for full back based on the games last week. Furbank looked anonymous and let's face it Daly is a Jones favourite.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 11:57 am

Would be quite the match up against Roberts and North.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 4:38 pm

Joe Marler speaks about his depression:

Daily Mail wrote:England's Joe Marler opens up about his battles with depression


  •    England prop Joe Marler has opened up to Sportsmail about his mental health
       The 30-year-old no longer has his mohawks and now has conventional hair
       Marler reveals all about life in lockdown, the 2016 'Gypsygate' and depression

There is a brief flash of chaos in the Marler household. Two of his children, Jasper and Maggie, have just been dropped off at school and his wife Daisy is rounding up their youngest, Felix, for a trip to the supermarket.

It is the morning rush hour. Joe Marler is trying to get to grips with the coffee machine and their eight-week old puppy, Ziggy, is tearing across the kitchen with a chewed-up bandage.

'Why couldn't we just do this over f**king Zoom?' quips Marler, attempting to regain control of the hot drinks. 'Isn't everything done over Zoom these days?'

We are here to talk about mental health. I argue that the sensitivities of the subject are better discussed in person.

'That's part of the problem, isn't it?' he replies. 'Everyone thinks mental health is a "sensitive subject", so they're too scared to talk about it. It's like it's some kind of taboo.

'People suddenly start walking on eggshells the moment mental health gets mentioned. There are a lot of people sat at home depressed because they think we shouldn't be talking about it.'

Marler, 30, finishes pouring the coffees before taking a seat. He has been working on his 'latte art' skills. 'The real reason we're not on Zoom is because you wanted a free f**king coffee, didn't you?' he says, handing over a flat white with a splattered milk finish on the top layer of foam. 'This one's the, erm, star constellation pattern.'

It is Marler's first interview since pre-lockdown. He has a new look. He shaved off his thinning trademark Mohawk during the Six Nations and he now has a full head of conventional hair. Has he decided to leave his rebellious streak behind? It is an impressive transformation and attention is drawn towards his bandana.

'Spit it out, mate,' he says, before pausing. 'You think I've had my lid done, don't you? You think I've had a bloody hair transplant! There's no way I'd shell out 10-grand for a hair transplant with all the COVID pay cuts.
Joe Marler has a new look, he has shaved off the mohawk and has a full head of hair

'The only way I'd get a hair transplant is if it were free as some part of advertising deal… have you seen me advertising hair transplants? No. Lockdown happened and my hair started growing back… magically.

'Don't worry, there's another Mohawk on the horizon. I'm just letting it grow out first. I've never had a punk hair-gel Mohawk. That could be a bit of weapon in the scrums, couldn't it?'

The radical haircuts are more than just a fashion statement. They are part of Marler's DNA. They have been a key feature of the hard man image, alongside the tattoos and huge physique that has defined his career.

'If you're going to put yourself out there with a red Mohawk and white boots, you've got to make sure you perform,' he says. 'Otherwise you're just that knob with the s**t hair. The Mohawk was a way of finding my feet in a sport where most of the guys were from private schools.

'I had a chip on my shoulder. I thought, "I'm going to prove a point here and I'm going to do it looking like a tw*t". I never wanted to just go along with the norm and do as I was told.'

His talent, appearance and unpredictable personality have always stood out. But there is more to him than meets the eye. Marler's machismo image, as he is about to reveal, has been a cover-up job.

'There was this moment when I was younger,' he begins. 'I was 19, new on the scene and we had a game against Northampton. I went down for a scrum against Brian Mujati and I heard Phil Dowson on the flank going, "Oh, here he is, the bipolar kid, he'll struggle today".

'My head was gone as soon as I heard that. Bang. I was thinking, "What? How the f**k does he know what I'm like?". I lost the plot and I couldn't focus for the rest of the game.  
Marler believes his hairstyles in the past have meant he has to perform or he'll 'look like a tw*t'

'We were shaking hands at the end of the game and I said to him, "Here, where's that chat come from? What's the craic there?" Dows knew Ian Peel, who had coached me at age-group level. He just said, "Oh, Peeley mentioned how you're a bit up and down, mate, so I saw it as an opportunity".

'He wasn't wrong. I did blow hot and cold. Those particular comments didn't really affect me — I always got on with Dows — but they stuck with me. Rugby is such a macho, alpha-male dominated sport and you don't want to expose yourself. You don't want people thinking, "This bloke's weak as p*ss, he talks about his feelings, he'll crumble, let's get into him".

'I didn't want my struggles with mental health to provide the opposition with an advantage. After that game, there was this worry that I could be exposed, so I tried to become this fake tough guy.

'I made a thing out of telling people to p*ss off. The scary haircuts and everything else were just part of this persona of, "F**k you lot, I'm all right, I don't cry, I don't kiss or cuddle".'

It is an image that his friends and family were less familiar with. It was not the Marler they knew and loved. 'I would always think in two different worlds: the real world and the fake rugby world,' he says. 'The rugby world was a fake character. It wasn't real life.'

He kept the two worlds separate. So far apart that he was prepared to drive 140 miles to and from Harlequins training every day. But eventually the two worlds collided.  

'For a few years, I was able to park things,' he says. 'Take the 2015 World Cup... we bombed out miserably, which was obviously dark, but I could come home to the real world to be a dad and a husband. No one died. Park it.'

Then came 'Gypsygate' when he targeted Wales prop Samson Lee with the insult in a Six Nations match in 2016.

'Then things were different,' says Marler, who has written a revealing new book called Loose Head. 'Usually, you punch someone, you get a ban and you go back to real life. This was different. I came away from that rugby world but everywhere I went, it was always, "You're a racist", "You're a piece of sh*t". My family would hear it. Suddenly those two worlds merged and I couldn't get away from it.

'I had a meltdown. It was just engulfing me. I'm not a racist. I'll tell you again: I'm 100 per cent not a racist. But the more people say, "You're a racist", "You're a piece of sh*t", the more you start to question yourself. Suddenly I'm thinking, "Am I actually a bad person?"

'It came to a head when England were going to tour Australia in 2016. We had a camp in Brighton. I just thought, "I don't want to be here any more. I can't be doing with this sh*t. What's the point?"

'I was getting real world sh*t, as opposed to fake rugby stuff. I could see it affecting my wife and my family and I thought, "Screw this, I can't do this any more". I couldn't be arsed with it and I went down after the first tackle in training, saying my calf was tight.

'The physio was like, "It seems all right, mate?" I was just looking for a way out. I sat down with the same physio and told him, "I hate it. I just want to get away to the middle of nowhere, jack it in and escape".
Marler claims the 'scary haircuts' were just part of a persona of telling people to 'p*** off'

'I wanted to be there but I didn't have the tools to be there. I was like a walking contradiction. I chatted to Eddie Jones in the bar and he said, 'Good on ya, all the best'. I thought that would be the last time I spoke to him.

'I got in the car to drive home from Brighton and just felt this massive rush. I rang Dais and said, "I'm on my way home, I've told them I'm not doing it any more". Tears were rolling down my face and I balled my eyes out with relief.

'I watched that tour as a fan and there were parts of me that still wished I was there. But there were bigger parts of me that thought, "No, I'm good now". The thing is... it was just a quick fix.'

Marler pauses for a sip of his coffee. He has been joined on the sofa by his dogs. His leg is propped up in a recovery pump, easing an accumulation of blood that has discoloured around his knee. Evidently, rugby's toll has been physical as well as mental.

'It's called a Morel-Lavallee injury,' he digresses, briefly. 'Sounds like a type of ice cream, doesn't it? Would you like a flake with that? They drained it with a few syringes and I've basically been left with club foot.

'Maybe best to wash your hands if the dog brings you that bandage, by the way, because it's been wrapped around my gammy leg. COVID 'n' all that.'

Back to mental health. Marler, in the past, has been an expert at wriggling out of uncomfortable questions with a quick joke or a daft story. Here he is fully engaged. Nothing is off the table as he explains how his world became consumed by negative thoughts.

'That stuff didn't really rear its head again until March 2019,' he says. 'I'd gone back into the England set-up, then retired again. The fake world was starting to cross back into the real world. I'd become despondent at home. Not talking.

'I was driving to work every morning, putting the radio on and crying. I was having these thoughts: "You're pathetic. What are you doing here? What's the point of it all?". Not just the point of rugby… the point of life. It was a case of, "F**k it all". There were times when I thought, "What would it be like if I wasn't here?"

He added: 'More and more, I was finding myself without a purpose. I had a wife, my kids and I'd say to myself, "They don't need me, their mum's incredible, they'd be all right on their own". Those thoughts filled me with shame and guilt. They were thoughts that would leave the people closest to me in the lurch.

'I was consuming myself with it. Next, I'd ask, "Why am I feeling like this? I've got so many good things going for me. A wonderful wife, wonderful kids, a roof over my head, a career".

'I'd be saying, "How ungrateful are you, you piece of sh*t." It was a constant battle in my head for quite some time. One day, I was out in the car with Dais and I ran over a squirrel.

'That's when everything just exploded. A row broke out and I had a full meltdown back at home.'

Red mist descended. Daisy took refuge upstairs as Marler smashed up the kitchen.  

'You see the knuckle here,' he says, drawing attention to the fifth metacarpal on his right hand. 'They call it boxer's knuckle. It's a common injury when you're a sh*t puncher and you glance, rather than connect. That door just around the corner… I put my fist right through it. I thought, "F**k this, I'm gone" and stormed out.

'Daisy was seven months pregnant. I lost control and I was happy to just walk out… that was me gone. Those things weren't supposed to happen in the real world. That was my most shameful moment.'

There was little time to reflect and reconcile. The following morning, Marler was due in for a Harlequins match against Saracens at the Olympic Stadium. His fist remained painful.

'It was broken,' he says. 'I told the doctor that I'd dropped a weight on it. He knew I was lying. I could tell he was concerned and I broke down in front of him.

'He realised he needed to intervene and he put me in touch with an independent clinical psychiatrist. My behaviour had been affecting the team and everyone else, but I had a complete lack of self-awareness. One minute I was buzzing, full of energy and the next minute I was f**king poisonous.

'I'd tried a couple of sports psychologists before, but that wasn't what I needed. It was just patching over the cracks. Seeing the clinical psychiatrist was a big moment for me.

'Delving deeper into underlying issues, exploring the mind and realising how you can get help with that.

'Counselling, life coaches, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy. That was the start of me getting a better understanding. I realised they're not separate worlds. The more help I got, the more I got to grips with it, the better I felt.'

It was a new world, outside of Marler's comfort zone, that he had never explored.

'Originally there was a suggestion I was bipolar,' he says. 'There was something in the psychiatrist's report but he said, "No, I don't think he presents as a manic depressive or bipolar, I think he's dealing with depression". I said, "What do you mean, depression?" Someone will be reading this thinking, "Bloody hell, mate, what have you got to be depressed about? There's some poor sod on the dole because of COVID, a single mum, lost her grandparents who's getting on with it and not sitting there with depression. Stuff your sob story".

'I fully get that. I was consumed with the similar guilt of, "Why the f**k am I feeling like this?" The reality is that it can affect anyone. I explored the chemical side of the brain and they said that I should take anti-depressants.'

Initially, Marler battled with himself about the stigma of medication. 'I didn't want anti-depressants,' he says. 'I thought, "I don't need f**king pills... I don't want to rely on pills... that's weak... I want to be able to sort it out for myself”.

The doctor spoke to me and said, "If you’ve got a virus, do you take antibiotics?" I said, “Er, yeah”. So he explained how antibiotics build up white blood cells, or whatever, to help cure you.

'He said that’s exactly how you should look at anti-depressants. I was taking them like an antibiotic, while doing CBT to help put the processes in place. It suddenly made perfect sense. It didn’t feel like a weakness any more.'

Marler began feeling better and, for the second time, was offered the chance to return to the England squad for the World Cup in Japan.

'The anti-depressants were pre-World Cup and during the World Cup,’ he says. 'There were a lot of questions when I went back into camp. Some of the older boys were asking, "Why?" and I said we’d talk about it another time.

'It was back to that contradiction because I’d realised the importance of talking but I wasn’t happy to talk about it with my team-mates. I didn’t want them worrying during a World Cup thinking, "Lads, is Marler all right?" There is no weakness in talking but at the time — rightly or wrongly — I just didn’t go there.

'Instead, I just spoke to the team doctor because he had to know about the medication side of things. Have you ever tried to get anti-depressants into Japan?

'Jesus! They are strict as f**k! I had someone there who was aware of things and there for me to speak to.

'That World Cup was one of the best experiences of my life. Yes, the goal was to win it but I still had an unbelievable time.

'We lost the final but some of the best experiences in life are not pleasurable, pleasant, positive or successful. My wife and my favourite kid had flown out, too, and they loved it. We all loved it.’

He backtracks for a moment.

'That’s a joke, by the way. The two other kids were too young. I don’t have a favourite. They only read the Guardian and the FT, anyway, so they won’t see this.'

'Anyway, in my head, I was asking myself whether I would still be having this unbelievable time without these tablets. I got home and I told myself, "Right, I’m fixed, so I'll can these anti-depressants and no more talking to my shrink, because I’m f**king back on the horse!".

'But those two weeks after the World Cup sent me spiralling back out of control. Once again, I started questioning myself: was it because I’d come off the drugs, or was it just the post-World Cup comedown?

'All the boys have the post-World Cup blues. It’s normal. You get used to this regimented lifestyle, then it suddenly stops and you’re there thinking, "What time am I getting up tomorrow?"

'It turned out you shouldn’t ever stop taking anti-depressants straight away. You should taper off. I spoke to the doc, got back on them and I started feeling good again.'

And does he still take them to this day?

'Yeah, I do. What about yourself? Ever struggled with depression? What about you, Hoops [the photographer]? Do you want to talk about it? The shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it, you swines.

‘Everyone has some form of sadness, don’t they? Just to varying degrees. You shouldn’t be worried to say so if you’re feeling a bit sh*t. That’s the stigma we need to get rid of.

'Depression is different because you feel like you can’t get out of it and you’re constantly in the fog, but speaking about it doesn’t make you weak. It’s a positive step.

'You can still have a laugh. I don’t want people whispering, "Oh, don’t take the p*ss out of Joe, don’t make him sad, because he’s on anti-depressants". F**k that. We’re here now, talking about it and having a laugh, aren’t we Hoops? Hoops? Wake up, Hoops!'

Turning attention to more recent times, life threw Marler another unexpected challenge during the Six Nations. He was caught on camera fondling the testicles of Wales captain Alun Wyn-Jones. The incident exploded and threatened to knock things back off course.

'There was a similar sort of circus around it,' he says. 'I could feel the same sort of emotions as Gypsygate. I thought, "Hang on a minute, I haven’t sexually assaulted someone". There were moments when I thought, "F**k them, f**k the rugby authorities, f**k the people on Twitter, f**k the media… they’ve all got this wrong".

‘At times, I was in denial and refused to accept that I’d done anything wrong. There was a little flicker where I thought, "Maybe I’ll just pack it all in, I can’t be doing with the drama". But it’s that same contradiction, as I love the drama.

'Eventually, I accepted that it was wrong and I was in a far better place to cope with it. I listened less to the outside noise. It didn’t take over my life like Gypsygate. It was so polarising that Alun-Wyn was getting as much heat as I was.

'I sent him a message on WhatsApp and said, "I’m sorry about what happened, mate. I owe you a pint". He replied saying, "You’re buying mate! You’ve clearly had fair bit of sh*t yourself".

'Of course, I regret it. It was one of those brain-fart moments, but it wasn’t a red-mist moment. I was having a laugh with someone who I know well, I thought. It just happened that it was on national TV in front of millions of viewers.

'But yeah, it was my fault. As soon as I owned that, I was in a position to carry on. There will still be brain-fart moments, but I’m hoping I’ve got a little bit more self-control and structures in place in my own mind to deal with it.

'Now I feel like I can enjoy things and love the sport, because it’s given me far more than it’s taken away.'


Loose Head: Confessions of an (un)professional rugby player by Joe Marler, published by Ebury Press on October 1. © Joe Marler, 2020.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 4:43 pm

So why is the move to newcastle an interesting one miaow?

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Post by quinsforever on Mon 21 Sep 2020, 10:26 pm

Barritt to play 12 and captain the team. With Manu on bench.


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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:17 pm

Does Farrells ban rule him out of the tests?

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Post by Old Man on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:20 pm

It should yes, obviously depending whether there are any tests during the five week ban

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:27 pm

It would be a good opportunity to experiment in the 12 shirt. I wonder...could Luther Burrell be back in with a shot in the centre? Stranger things have happened!

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:31 pm

Manu or Slade at 12...id put money on it..

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 12:32 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:It would be a good opportunity to experiment in the 12 shirt. I wonder...could Luther Burrell be back in with a shot in the centre? Stranger things have happened!

Are you drunk??

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 1:10 pm

He must be. He's said it 3 times now but doesn't want to be challenged on the point. Same poster with the same aim.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 1:11 pm

Farrell is free to play from the 5th October so is available for these games.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 1:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:He must be. He's said it 3 times now but doesn't want to be challenged on the point. Same poster with the same aim.

Yep. It's quite sad really.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 6:19 pm

I was unaware of Corbs illness... I just seen it. Physically and mentally he says he’s good though, and he seems positive. Good on him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 7:17 pm

Only caught the 2nd half but all Baths players looking good.Watson constantly dangerous from full back. And Cokanasiga back to running over people and offloading.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:22 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I was unaware of Corbs illness... I just seen it. Physically and mentally he says he’s good though, and he seems positive. Good on him.

I knew nothing of it until now. Cancer is a bar steward and no-one is safe. Wishing Corbs well. Make sure you check yourself everyone, and if you find something (no matter how trivial it may seem) GET CHECKED.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 23 Sep 2020, 10:50 am

On the point of Marler's depression, you wonder about how high profile sport affects people, I have only seen the trailers, but who would have guessed that Andrew (Freddie) Flintoff suffered from Bulimia?

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 24 Sep 2020, 12:23 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Manu or Slade at 12...id put money on it..

Yes. Already trialled and with a lot of scope of switching around depending on circumstances. I think I remember Slade saying how much he enjoyed playing alongside Manu too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 10:39 am

Must be glorious for the amount of space create. Another reason why having cokanasiga back available is great.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 11:53 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Manu or Slade at 12...id put money on it..
The centres are well stocked even without Faz. Manu, Slade and JJ are established quality. Marchant will surely come into the squad. Ollie Lawrence has a good shot I think. Dingwall is very highly rated. Devoto is bit of a forgotten man but a good option at 12 and 13.

The part of Faz missing games that interests me more is the reserve 10. Umaga was in the last training squad but personally I'm not convinced. He plays very well with Gopperth outside him but struggles sometimes without that second playmaker. Perhaps it's my inner Tigers fan being pedantic about an academy graduate that's flourished elsewhere, I'm yet to be convinced though.

For my money I'd go with Marcus Smith on the bench with Joe Simmonds also in the training squad.

9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Manu 13.Slade 14.Nowell 15.Watson
21.Spencer 22.Smith 23.Daly

That would be a really well balanced backline. Personally I prefer Watson on the wing where I think he's one of the best in the world alongside the likes Kolbe, Radrada, Bridge, etc - special mention to retired Kenki Fukuoka and Damian Penaud who is still unbelievable on the wing despite being a centre - but he is also a very good fullback and as a stop gap until the younger talents develop I like the idea of having Nowell and Watson in the same backline chopping and changing between wing and fullback. Similar to how Robinson and Lewsey would sometimes interchange at will.

Spencer has been in really good form with Bath so I hope he gets brought back in from the cold. Impressing outside of the Saracens machine will presumably help his chances.

Josh Hodge was an apprentice player in the last squad and I wouldn't be surprised if a fullback were training with them again. Perhaps Hodge, possibly Freddie Steward. Given it's still a problem position for the squad I think we will see a young talent given exposure to the training camps though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 11:58 am

Farrell is available for the England games.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 12:25 pm

Wales could be lining up with Johnny Williams and Nick Reynolds in the centres - two English players who didn't really seem to be on Eddie Jones's radar.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 12:35 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Wales could be lining up with Johnny Williams and Nick Reynolds in the centres - two English players who didn't really seem to be on Eddie Jones's radar.

Presumably you mean Williams and Nick Tompkins, for the welsh thread.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 12:38 pm

Yes Tompkins that's right. No I posted them in the right thread. It's interesting to see England let English players slip through to a rival.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 12:42 pm

Tompkins was covered in previous threads. Too many good players to choose from though and not enough games to cap people.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 1:15 pm

Oh he's been 'covered' haha my mistake then Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes haha you silly sausage.

...anyway it's interesting that both Welsh centres are Englishmen and how that will go when the two teams meet up which could be later this year or the beginning of next year. Will England regret letting them slip through the net? We'll have to wait and see.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:04 pm

What's your problem? Why insults.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:14 pm

Maunder and Simmonds could do themselves a huge favour with Jones if they get the better of their opposite numbers this weekend.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:What's your problem? Why insults.

What a terrible insult, perhaps stop trying to decide what can and can't be debated and where.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:28 pm

Rules are rules Soul.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:48 pm

I don't know how you cope, imagine someone asking a question about a player who was eligible to play for England on a thread about England.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:51 pm

Answer his question then soul. How will Wales line up this autumn?

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:55 pm

There wasn't a question merely a statement about two players who may or may not turn out to be a miss to England. You are individually a major reason why people now avoid this site.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 2:59 pm

Yeah miaow and guestalt have stopped posting recently. I feel bad about them. Wonder what happened.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 3:21 pm

There are people on here who are straight but prickly. Mikey and 7.5 are good examples (except when Mikey goes off on one of course...) and they are good for this forum. If you don't like 'em foe them. Simple. You are allowed to disagree with them and generally they'll debate you. Everybody agreeing all the time is not good for a forum.

Miaow when he was here was not a good influence. In very small doses he was OK. He presented well reasoned arguments (often wrong from a subjective point of view, but, well...). But we didn't get small doses. We just got an avalanche of dogmatic BS and lots of put downs to anyone going a different direction. The put downs started gently then got worse over time. He just sucked the energy out the forum and the shear number of posts could overwhelm individual threads.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 3:22 pm

I think more restaurants should serve custard with their desserts.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 4:34 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:What's your problem? Why insults.

What a terrible insult, perhaps stop trying to decide what can and can't be debated and where.

Yes well said. I never thought 'silly sausage' would be considered an insult either. It seems more like a funny thing that is said to people when they're being, well, silly. Like telling people what has been discussed etc.

First: Nick Tompkins, next: God. And remember, once it's been covered, there's nothing more to say on the matter.

Anyway I get the feeling that neither Tompkins nor Johnny Williams would be an England regular had they not crossed the border. It's a bit like Jake Ball, a player who wouldn't be an England regular but because of his value to Wales he has had test experience and grown as a player. When you compare him to a player like Kitchener for Leicester they seem similar players, similar standard, but Jake Ball is a genuine prospect for the Lions if Kruis is out and one or two locks get injured. Kitchener? Because he doesn't get exposed to the Kiwis, Boks etc. at test level doesn't get that chance to grow as a player. So I think there's something similar happening with these two centres. We've already seen Tompkins get exposed badly in defence for Wales but even if the Lions comes too soon this year, and even if neither player will be a Lion, they're likely to have length international careers all going well and that wouldn't have been the case had they stayed in England. Which makes you wonder - are England making the most of their talent? I suppose the most obvious example to this has been the wingers who England had used and dropped since 2003. So many players, so many options, but not enough exposure and consistency of selection until maybe Ashton broke through and then again when Johnny May started becoming an asset in the last few seasons. But back to the centres, England don't seem to have a vast array of options in the midfield nor do they seem overly stocked with the likes of Tuilagi or Slade so we could see two 'English' centres getting consistent caps over the next 5 years but playing for Wales. It's worth keeping an eye on anyway.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:07 pm

Limited options in midfield? I assume that you have in mind thresholds rather than simply who is good enough to get a chance in midfield either imminently or in the next year. Then again you offered Burrell as a genuine option and there must be 10 players ahead of him.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:34 pm

Can you please rephrase that? It doesn't scan well at all/it doesn't make sense.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:41 pm

Are there limited options? I'm assuming you have thresholds you're actually applying to the english qualified players whovhbis why you seem to be discounting so many?

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:48 pm

You need to explain what you mean by threshold because it doesn't seem to make much sense that you're asking about it given what's already been stated.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:49 pm

You say there arent options for midfield. Theres loads. Hence I thought you were discounting some for an unknown reason to me: not the case? Is it just down to a lack of knowledge of the prem?

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 5:59 pm

"England don't seem to have a vast array of options in the midfield nor do they seem overly stocked with the likes of Tuilagi or Slade..."

Do you really need that explaining?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:03 pm

Obviously I do. As I've several times now.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Obviously I do. As I've several times now.

You've...what?

Honestly you are mostly incomprehensible however I'll help you out: England don't have centre options of the quality of Tuilagi and Slade waiting in the wings. Who knows who is good enough to make the step up, will they flatter to deceive like many players who look good in the Prem do etc.

To really labour the point, that question necessarily leads back to the point I raised earlier that you seemed to madden you about the English centres playing for Wales. From there, people might want to discuss the topic with these points in mind.

It's very simple stuff. But I suspect you knew that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 6:12 pm

Ah right so the thresholds are midfielders proven to be as good as them 2. Cool.probaly true we'd only have Joseph and Farrell in the same proven class. Of course that discounts Williams and Tompkins for the same reason.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 8:04 pm

Yeah great input. Probably best to let other people post if you nothing to say, bro.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 8:10 pm

I've just pointed out another 2 proven midfielders for England. And pointed out the 2 guys you've picked for wales are unproven...that's not saying nothing its simply deconstructing your point. If you want to say look at Williams and Tompkins are they great fair enough. You cant really then just ignore the long list of options that england have that made them think Wales was the better option. Sorry.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 8:17 pm

Farrell and Joseph are late 20s and clearly not what we're talking about here, which is players coming through i.e. those of similar ages to Tompkins and Williams. I.e. players who are going to be winning their first caps with a view to 2023.

I understand that talking to you means 'good faith' goes flying out the window but ultimately if you need me to explain every single self evident part of a discussion then that's not going to happen and you'll bore everyone to death, until it's just you policing what has and hasn't been discussed. It's a really simple point that could lead to discussion. You don't want to discuss anything so, surely, don't say anything?

I think it's better to just say nothing at all if you have nothing to say.

If you want to neurotically deconstruct things that don't matter and no one cares about deconstructing, go and join your local socialist workers party meet up.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 8:25 pm

Ok. That's fine if we're not talking proven options after all but the next line of guys like Williams and Tompkins you've got guys like Lawrence, marchant, dingwall, mallinder, james, Lang, Hill, Devoto. Remember the reason Tompkins and Williams are in Wales is because they didnt fancy their chances.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 25 Sep 2020, 8:28 pm

Could throw Redpath in there shortly as well.

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