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England: 8 Nations

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Post by No 7&1/2 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 LondonTiger Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:28 am

With an updated squad to be announced next Monday (which I guess will be missing only the GP finallists) many of these names will be out again.


Edit: Could be missing players from more as Exeter and Bristol will be unavailable due to Euro finals, then add to that whoever makes the GP final if different.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:40 am

I've just noticed that Ludlam has been left out as well. Lewis Ludlam and Lewis Ludlow are such similar names I completely missed it until I noticed Gloucester next to Ludlow's name. That's a surprise for me. Ludlam impressed in his England opportunities, meanwhile I've often thought that Ludlow is a very good Premiership player but lacking that bit extra to step-up. Having seen Jordy Reid play a bit for Ealing my first thought when Gloucester signed Reid was that he might leapfrog Ludlow for them in fact.

1.Vunipola
2.George
3.Kerrod
4.Itoje (vc)
5.Moon
6.Wilson
7.Ludlow
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Ford (vc)

11.May
12.Farrell (c)
13.Marchant
14.Thorley
15.Daly

16.Singleton
17.Genge
18.Heyes
19.Ribbans
20.Dombrandt
21.Heinz
22.Francis
23.Furbank

Presumably something like that for the Baabaas game. It's still a strong side all things considered.

Moon and Ribbans are good lineout operators but I'd really like to see Itoje calling the lineout in Kruis and Lawes absence. If Itoje can shine there as well then it opens the option of Itoje/Launchbury in the engine room which would offer a different balance of strengths.

Jack Clement is a good talent so he's a left field option that I quite like being given exposure to the training squad.

Interesting that Earle has been recalled so quickly as well. Am I right in saying that Jones selected him in his early training squads whilst Earle was still at Sarries?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:44 am

Thought Ludlum was injured

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Post by king_carlos Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:50 am

LondonTiger wrote:Thought Ludlum was injured
He's been fit and playing since the restart. Did he pick up a knock against Sale?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:55 am

Keep seeing omissions now. Is Marler injured?

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Post by Poorfour Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:58 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Keep seeing omissions now. Is Marler injured?

Yes. Ankle, apparently, but we don't know how bad it is. Marcus Smith is also injured - but Eddie hasn't packed any extra flyhalves anyway.
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 05 Oct 2020, 12:02 pm

king_carlos wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Thought Ludlum was injured
He's been fit and playing since the restart. Did he pick up a knock against Sale?

I thought he went off injured recently, but could be wrong.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 05 Oct 2020, 12:04 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Thought Ludlum was injured
He's been fit and playing since the restart. Did he pick up a knock against Sale?

I thought he went off injured recently, but could be wrong.
Shot a message to Saints fan who is usually well informed. He isn't aware of Ludlam having an injury but suggested he might be self isolating after the Sale game if he's one of the players with a positive test. Perhaps he will be added when the squad is extended after the semi-finals.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 05 Oct 2020, 12:45 pm

king_carlos wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Thought Ludlum was injured
He's been fit and playing since the restart. Did he pick up a knock against Sale?

I thought he went off injured recently, but could be wrong.
Shot a message to Saints fan who is usually well informed. He isn't aware of Ludlam having an injury but suggested he might be self isolating after the Sale game if he's one of the players with a positive test. Perhaps he will be added when the squad is extended after the semi-finals.

Beeb says he's self isolating

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:44 pm

I was curious about Ted HIll aswell...but i see Worcester have fixtures...

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:54 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I was curious about Ted HIll aswell...but i see Worcester have fixtures...

Possibly

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Post by king_carlos Mon 05 Oct 2020, 3:37 pm

Thinking about it Painter might be isolating as well as he played against Sale. Saints said they only had one tighthead that wasn't isolating, presumably that was Paul Hill as he didn't feature against Sale.

This is a potential can of worms (apologies in advance to LT and other mods...) but Dingwall and Heyes are both qualified for multiple home nations. Dingwall for Scotland and Heyes for Wales.

I wonder if this congested period of internationals might be used to cap some of the youngsters who qualify for multiple nations and have impressed at Premiership clubs. Sheedy at Bristol another potential one perhaps. Capping players to tie them to one nation isn't a practice I like but it wouldn't be a new one in international rugby either.

When Joe Marchant got one minute coming off the bench against Wales (who he also qualified for) on his debut it felt a touch like that. He did get 80 minutes later in the RWC warmups against Italy though to be fair.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:19 pm

I want us to go all out for the Italy 6Ns game, as the title is still up for grabs, but after that (and for Barbarians match) I would like to see plenty of rotation and new faces.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:32 pm

You should have no fear regarding that because England and Ireland for that matter, should both be looking at a win of over 40pts Wink.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:50 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I want us to go all out for the Italy 6Ns game, as the title is still up for grabs, but after that (and for Barbarians match) I would like to see plenty of rotation and new faces.
Agreed.

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Sinckler 4.Launchbury 5.Itoje 6.Curry 7.Underhill 8.Vunipola
9.Youngs 10.Ford 11.May 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Watson 15.Daly

16.Cowan-Dickie 17.Genge 18.Street 19.Moon 20.Wilson 21.Heinz 22.Slade 23.Nowell

I expect we will see something like that for the Italy game. All guns blazing. The only possible unforced change I could see from that might be Marchant coming in now he's back at Quins.

I can pretty much name another 23 on top of that from players I'd like to see though. Plenty of talent about.

1.Obano 2.Thacker 3.Painter 4.Kpoku 5.Isiekwe 6.Hill 7.Earl 8.Mercer
9.Spencer 10.Smith 11.Cokanasiga 12.Lawrence 13.Marchant 14.Thorley 15.Malins

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 05 Oct 2020, 6:04 pm

If youngs spencer mitchell and Heinz all had ten caps would anyone be picking Youngs in the match day squad? Ie is his form good enough?

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Mon 05 Oct 2020, 7:18 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If youngs spencer mitchell and Heinz all had ten caps would anyone be picking Youngs in the match day squad? Ie is his form good enough?

Not me. On form Spencer & Robson would be the matchday pairing but that won’t happen.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 06 Oct 2020, 11:15 am

Poorfour wrote:Which leaves Dingwall, Francis and Marchant competing for 2 slots as well, unless Marchant is also in the running for wing, or Daly reverts to wing or OC.
Daly at 13 with Marchant on the wing would be really interesting. If it's not working they can interchange easily enough, Marchant definitely showed enough on the wing with the Blues to be an option there. If an English specialist winger showed that form on the wing in Super Rugby he'd definitely be considered there.

It keeps Daly in the backline to perform the role he has of linking the attack in the outside channels very well. Whilst Daly has been exposed several times under the high ball the number of games England have won (and reaching a RWC final) with him at fullback show how much he adds to the attack in my opinion.

The seemingly pre-planned move that led to England's try in the semi-final showed his worth well. From the lineout England ran two crash balls (Tuilagi then Curry) before swiftly getting the ball to Daly with Watson and May running on either shoulder. It leads to the half break by Daly then offload to Watson which gives England the field position for Tuilagi to score from. Those situations are where Daly has added so much to England's attacking game. His decision making, passing, running and kicking in the outside channels is difficult to defend.

Having a player with that left boot kicking from hand and tee is very valuable as well of course.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 06 Oct 2020, 11:38 am

So if you go full guns for Italy...then experiement for the rest...

What sort of lineups for the rest are you looking at? Radical changes...or keep a core and experiement around them?
And does that include the 9-10-12 spots

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Post by king_carlos Tue 06 Oct 2020, 12:19 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:So if you go full guns for Italy...then experiement for the rest...

What sort of lineups for the rest are you looking at? Radical changes...or keep a core and experiement around them?
And does that include the 9-10-12 spots
I hope that Jones keeps a core of the first choice team that are fit whilst rotating the senior players.

It should definitely include the starting scrum-half. Spencer has really thrown his hand up and Mitchell is a good player.

10 and 12 are more difficult. At 10 I still think Ford and Farrell are our best two options and they offer different tactical options. At 12 there aren't many throwing their hand up. I'd be interested to see Slade there running the defensive line and kicking more - i.e. in Farrell's role. Ollie Lawrence could be interesting playing a similar role that Eastmond did outside Ford for Bath - i.e. fly-half takes the ball right to the line then feed Lawrence to use his footwork and power.

Other areas to look at for me would be another carrier in the back row (Hill and Earl), reserve tighthead (Painter) and locks (Moon and Hill). Less important would be third choice hooker behind the impressive George and LCD (Thacker or Dunn).

1.Genge 2.Cowan-Dickie 3.Sinckler 4.Launchbury 5.Itoje 6.Hill 7.T Curry 8.Vunipola
9.Spencer 10.Farrell 11.Thorley 12.Slade 13.Marchant 14.Nowell 15.Watson

Something like that. A lot of the trialing I'd like to see is with established players starting more or starting in different roles. LCD and Genge starting, Slade at 12, Watson at fullback, Itoje running the lineout, etc.

I'm not a big fan of Watson moving from the wing, I think we will lose more in attack than we would gain defensively. Given the wingers available it's worth testing though.

If new caps can replace established players with similar strengths to them it will hopefully help them settle. Thorley for May, Marchant for Joseph, Hill/Moon for Lawes/Kruis, etc.

With Lawes and Kruis both injured when Itoje gets rotated will be interesting.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 06 Oct 2020, 2:55 pm

Yeah i can agree with that KC

I definately would like to See slade at 12..in a more playmaking role. And then have a runner at 13...Ollie Lawrence has pace and power.
having said that id like to see Ollie Devoto in at 12 for a run aswell. Hes a big unit who has proven he can play a bit aswell.

I'd love to see him have a real good look at our Number 8 options away from Billy.

Even just to see a back row for one game of say:
6 Hill
7 Earl
8 Simmonds / Mercer

i always wanted Nowell at FB. I think he's made for that roving role.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 06 Oct 2020, 5:10 pm

Defensively Nowell has the attributes of a 15 but you'd lose what he usually adds in attack. Nowell's point of difference to our other wings are the yards he makes around the fringes. He basically carries like another forward running off 9. As a fullback he wouldn't be able to get involved in contact nearly as much unless another back was always dropping back to cover, at which point there's the question of whether he's actually playing fullback!

It's completely possible to have a back three in which two wingers that can play fullback interchange depending on the situation in the game. Josh Lewsey and Jason Robinson were very good at that back in the day. Ben Smith and Issy Dagg more recently for New Zealand. It usually takes experienced individual players and game time together as a unit for that to work though.

Whilst I wouldn't be opposed to either Nowell or Watson at fullback I do wonder if they have the kicking game that Jones will want at the back. This England side rely on their kicking game a lot and having Daly's enormous but also accurate boot at 15 has been a part of that.

I prefer Daly on the wing or outside centre due to his susceptibility under the high ball but he has added a lot to the England side from 15 despite his weaknesses. His kicking and attacking play have been integral to many wins. It's not long ago we used to lament England not creating or finishing enough tries - it's still an area that needs to keep improving. Daly replacing Brown coincided with it improving considerably though. Especially the link play between Ford/Farrell and the wingers. It's important to not lose that progress in the attack in my opinion.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 06 Oct 2020, 8:37 pm

Not surprised to see David Ribbans in the training squad. He's a good player and a good poach, a bit like Joe Heyes eh Sam...

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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 06 Oct 2020, 9:52 pm

According to the Beeb Piers Francis has Covid19 and is self-isolating. He played against Sale...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 10:54 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Not surprised to see David Ribbans in the training squad. He's a good player and a good poach, a bit like Joe Heyes eh Sam...

Is he going to challenge for a place full time in that England engine room?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 10:57 am

king_carlos wrote:Defensively Nowell has the attributes of a 15 but you'd lose what he usually adds in attack. Nowell's point of difference to our other wings are the yards he makes around the fringes. He basically carries like another forward running off 9. As a fullback he wouldn't be able to get involved in contact nearly as much unless another back was always dropping back to cover, at which point there's the question of whether he's actually playing fullback!

It's completely possible to have a back three in which two wingers that can play fullback interchange depending on the situation in the game. Josh Lewsey and Jason Robinson were very good at that back in the day. Ben Smith and Issy Dagg more recently for New Zealand. It usually takes experienced individual players and game time together as a unit for that to work though.

Whilst I wouldn't be opposed to either Nowell or Watson at fullback I do wonder if they have the kicking game that Jones will want at the back. This England side rely on their kicking game a lot and having Daly's enormous but also accurate boot at 15 has been a part of that.

I prefer Daly on the wing or outside centre due to his susceptibility under the high ball but he has added a lot to the England side from 15 despite his weaknesses. His kicking and attacking play have been integral to many wins. It's not long ago we used to lament England not creating or finishing enough tries - it's still an area that needs to keep improving. Daly replacing Brown coincided with it improving considerably though. Especially the link play between Ford/Farrell and the wingers. It's important to not lose that progress in the attack in my opinion.

Daly has had some great moments in an England shirt, and some forgettable ones.

I appreciate what you say about his style, but Im not sure Nowell is considered a 1st choice winger by Jones, which is why id move him to 15.
I think Watson, May are definitely there and Cockasaniga would have be a starting winger had he stayed fit etc.

Its all irrelevant anyway as Josh Hodge is coming along to take the spot long term in a year or 2...

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 12:13 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Not surprised to see David Ribbans in the training squad. He's a good player and a good poach, a bit like Joe Heyes eh Sam...

Is he going to challenge for a place full time in that England engine room?

On current form I'd say yes, not sure if he'll be a long-term option though. Maybe, as Kruis and Lawes are over 30.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 12:56 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Not surprised to see David Ribbans in the training squad. He's a good player and a good poach, a bit like Joe Heyes eh Sam...

Is he going to challenge for a place full time in that England engine room?

On current form I'd say yes, not sure if he'll be a long-term option though. Maybe, as Kruis and Lawes are over 30.

Ah well ive certainly heard good reports and when i ve seen him play he looks decent.

There is some others who im keeping an eye out for aswell. Certainly Kpoku is one. Really intereted in seeing how he develops.

I might go against the majority but i still think Isiekwe is real potential to work with. He's a huge athletic guy....and he's only 22! George Kruis didnt make his England debut until he was 24...

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Post by king_carlos Wed 07 Oct 2020, 2:08 pm

I think Isiekwe is quality. Work rate and athleticism to play flanker but rock solid in scrum and lineout as a lock. He's very good in maul defence as well like the other tight 5 forwards who have come through the Sarries setup. I rate Ribbans, Moon and Hill but I'd pick Isiekwe ahead of them. Not that I'd be upset to see Moon get a few starts.

When Isiekwe was out of contract with Sarries I was desperate for Tigers to go after him. He's exactly the sort of forward and leader the club need. Now he's re-signed with Sarries long term I wouldn't be surprised if he takes over the 'club captain' role from Barritt longer term. He always seemed a very vocal member of a team full of internationals and Lions.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 2:24 pm

Agree with you on Isiekwe, doesn't seem to be first choice at Saints though which doesn't help his case. Sarries aren't short of quality locks either, perhaps he should have went elsewhere - Wasps as a replacement for Rowlands Smile.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Oct 2020, 3:31 pm

Lawes is confirmed out for 12 weeks so definitely an opportunity. Ewells is next can though.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 07 Oct 2020, 4:04 pm

With Saints being so strong in the row but not so abundant at flanker I think it's hard to tell where Isiekwe will sit for them next season from this congested period. If you include Lawes and Isiekwe as flankers then Saints still only had 6 senior squad back rows available since restart - Harrison, Ludlam, Adendorff and Gibson re-signed short term being the others. It seemed that Boyd settled on Lawes and Isiekwe being his blindsides, from which Lawes was naturally the starter. Had Lawes not been injured it would have been interesting to see what happened in a 'regular' season with one game a week.

Perhaps a discussion for a different thread but I don't quite see it with Rowlands as an international. If he were in his early twenties then it's a different discussion but he's the same age as Jake Ball and a year older than Cory Hill. I just don't know how much Rowlands will improve with game time compared to someone like Adam Beard who's 5 years younger and in my opinion the better player. A 20 stone lineout leader is always an attractive prospect for a team but I just don't see Rowland's as better in the tight or loose than other incumbents/prospects. A good player no doubt but more in the Olly Kohn in my opinion.

All that said I really like that Pivac seems to be loading a lot of locks in his squad to test players before AWJ has to eventually hang up his boots. I think the international schedule coming up is going to be so congested that fans will naturally have a bit less interest than usual (saturation point as it were) so it's a good time to give players on the fringes some minutes. It's certainly what I hope England do with someone like Ribbans or Hill who I think are in a similar bracket to Rowlands where I'm not sure they will offer more than the incumbents. You never know unless you try and all that.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 07 Oct 2020, 6:53 pm

I'm not convinced on Isiekwe. I did one of my coaching certificates with a guy who had coached him at mini and youth and felt he was not the sharpest tool in the box. He's a great physical specimen but not in Itoje's league when it comes to reading of the game. Kpoku looks promising, and I am interested to see how Ribbans goes - he's been a real nuisance whenever Quins have played against him.
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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 07 Oct 2020, 7:24 pm

It’s a bit soon to be writing off Rowlands. He’s in great form right now and is hopefully our answer to what might be another lock crisis. AWJ should be phased out which leaves an opening but I imagine that will take place over the year, not sure who the next captain will be though. Me personally, I would start Rowlands and if you want to include an intelligent and hard-working player like Hill then he should be at 6. Adam Beard is playing like a semi-pro right now so it will be a while before we see him back.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 08 Oct 2020, 8:06 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If youngs spencer mitchell and Heinz all had ten caps would anyone be picking Youngs in the match day squad? Ie is his form good enough?

Not me. On form Spencer & Robson would be the matchday pairing but that won’t happen.

KB on point. Do it Eddy!

https://www.planetrugby.com/exclusive-kyran-bracken-backs-ben-spencer-for-england/

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 08 Oct 2020, 9:29 am

Good article. I disagree on 3 points which makes me think I need to go watch them some more. 1st one is that for better integration I'd like Mitchell as the back up now as robson and spencer are a similar age and I think it'll benefit us in the medium term.
2nd is the pun point kicking of Robson's. I think hes got better with his kicking from the base but it does leave something to be desired when compared with the top class end of international rugby.
3rd Mitchell is consistently the best passer for me. Speed and accuracy. I dont see many examples at all where hes below par and he gives Biggar so much time.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 08 Oct 2020, 11:30 am

Poorfour wrote:I'm not convinced on Isiekwe. I did one of my coaching certificates with a guy who had coached him at mini and youth and felt he was not the sharpest tool in the box. He's a great physical specimen but not in Itoje's league when it comes to reading of the game. Kpoku looks promising, and I am interested to see how Ribbans goes - he's been a real nuisance whenever Quins have played against him.

Yeah i remember you saying that before Poorfour. But IMO its not always about total intelligence.

If you have someone with those physical abilities, he doesnt have to be a master tactician...a good manager should be able give him a very simple role where he can be highly effective and your intelligent leaders like Itoje etc can keep him right.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 08 Oct 2020, 1:15 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Poorfour wrote:I'm not convinced on Isiekwe. I did one of my coaching certificates with a guy who had coached him at mini and youth and felt he was not the sharpest tool in the box. He's a great physical specimen but not in Itoje's league when it comes to reading of the game. Kpoku looks promising, and I am interested to see how Ribbans goes - he's been a real nuisance whenever Quins have played against him.

Yeah i remember you saying that before Poorfour. But IMO its not always about total intelligence.

If you have someone with those physical abilities, he doesnt have to be a master tactician...a good manager should be able give him a very simple role where he can be highly effective and your intelligent leaders like Itoje etc can keep him right.
Mark Regan needs a calculator to do his 2 times table and Billy Vunipola probably thinks a protractor is a someone who really likes farms. Being bright and being able to read a rugby game are two very different things IMO.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 08 Oct 2020, 4:11 pm

Was is Bismark du Plessis who said Mark Regan spoke to him more in one game that he had to his wife ever Laugh

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Post by king_carlos Thu 08 Oct 2020, 5:26 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Was is Bismark du Plessis who said Mark Regan spoke to him more in one game that he had to his wife ever Laugh
I think that was John Smit in the 2007 RWC final.  Laugh

Joe Worsley often tells a story about being at Buckingham Palace to meet the queen. A butler was serving tea and said to Ronnie, "Earl Grey?". Regan looked at him blankly, the butler politely repeated, "Earl Grey?". Regan thinking that the butler has mistaken him for a nobleman just says "no, Mark Regan".

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 08 Oct 2020, 5:37 pm

I wouldn't wish ill on any rugby player, but a little part of me wants both Youngs and Heinz unavailable so Eddie's hand's forced and he has to pick someone else.

Eddie's pretty much had just 2 9s from day one. I doubt he'll change anything now...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 09 Oct 2020, 9:35 am

king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Was is Bismark du Plessis who said Mark Regan spoke to him more in one game that he had to his wife ever Laugh
I think that was John Smit in the 2007 RWC final.  Laugh

Joe Worsley often tells a story about being at Buckingham Palace to meet the queen. A butler was serving tea and said to Ronnie, "Earl Grey?". Regan looked at him blankly, the butler politely repeated, "Earl Grey?". Regan thinking that the butler has mistaken him for a nobleman just says "no, Mark Regan".

Of course it was John Smit in the final. I remember now. Thought that was funny.

I can picture him Buckingham palace..oh dear.

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Post by Sharkey06 Fri 09 Oct 2020, 10:57 pm

The issue for me with Isiekwe isn't how 'bright' he is, but the fact he doesn't do the nasty things you want a second row to do.  Yes he is good standing out on the wing, etc, but for me I want a Martin Johnson type second row who puts his head in where it hurts and when necessary put his head in where it can hurt.  I want my second rows to do the basics and the grunt work and I don't feel Isiekwe does that and that is why he doesn't get picked for Sarries.  Of the new comers Dave Ribbans looks the best all around option for me - does what you want a second row to do and is mobile with it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 10 Oct 2020, 3:24 pm

Jones has just watched Earl do 1 great thing. After Willis was allowed a rest on the bench after dominating another match. I know Jones has done things to astound us and left me scratching my head but quite simply you cannot ignore this guy. He has to be involved.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 10 Oct 2020, 3:52 pm

Agreed, though he was superb today.

If he can reduce his penalty count he will really threaten the starting status quo in the back-row. It is a good position to be in, because injuries are part of the modern game and depth is vital.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 10 Oct 2020, 4:06 pm

He gave a way 3 i think today. Tend to agree with Dallaglio that a couple were needed. The more I think of it the more I think it'll be Vunipolas place under threat. The balance of the back row wasps have with the new rules (pretty much ignored today!!) May mean underhill willis and curry is a good shout.

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England: 8 Nations - Page 7 Empty Hill & Dombrandt

Post by cb Sat 10 Oct 2020, 4:16 pm

Added to these I still think particularly Hill is a very good player in the making, and Dombrandt looks interesting.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 10 Oct 2020, 4:53 pm

I dream of a position when England can put three back-rows units that would walk into most other nation's starting team. I think we have good options but not there... yet(?)
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Post by Mr Bounce Sat 10 Oct 2020, 5:12 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I dream of a position when England can put three back-rows units that would walk into most other nation's starting team.  I think we have good options but not there... yet(?)

Curry, Underhill, Vunipola is the current go-to when all are fit.

You could also have:

Hill, B Curry, Mercer

Willis, Ludlam, Dombrandt

Wilson, Earl, Simmonds

I don't think any of them would do badly. Cracking load of players.

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Post by Old Man Sat 10 Oct 2020, 5:15 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I dream of a position when England can put three back-rows units that would walk into most other nation's starting team.  I think we have good options but not there... yet(?)

That would be challenging, generally your top teams have very strong backrow players.

Looking at Nz and South Africa they alone, both have major depth in 6, 7 and 8.

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