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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 Maddogflanker on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 8:34 pm

Japan apparently pulling out. Georgia's time to shine?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 28 Aug 2020, 8:09 am

Makes things more uneven across the 2 sides of the comp. Likelihood was that Japan were finishing 3rd anyway though. Georgia could well have a huge opportunity to lay down a marker and pressure italy.

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Post by Cumbrian on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 7:43 pm

The Daily Mail ( vomit ) are reporting that Eddie is looking at Tommy Reffell and George Martin.  I mean no disrespect, but what the hell?  No Dombrandt or Willis, but a Welsh kid and a player that has barely played a first team game? Why?!
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Post by Maddogflanker on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 8:57 pm

Cumbrian wrote:The Daily Mail ( vomit ) are reporting that Eddie is looking at Tommy Reffell and George Martin.  I mean no disrespect, but what the hell?  No Dombrandt or Willis, but a Welsh kid and a player that has barely played a first team game? Why?!

Just typical Eddie. Give the press head lines, get them around the camp. If Eddie wants a closer look to give them work ons, I trust that he can spot a quality player

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Post by Old Man on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 9:14 am

Laporte said the talks with SARU is in an advanced state that the Boks will join the 8 nation tournament.

Confusion abound with SARU, nothing is what is seems

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 12:23 pm

Foy a journalist (not sure that's the right word) from the Daily Heil suggesting that this isnt true and questions Laportes motives on saying it.

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Post by Old Man on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 12:43 pm

Lots of contradictory statements, getting the idea journalists are reaching for any rumour to make news.

SA rugby is only going to contact training this week, then needs four weeks of traning, will only start the Currie Cup end of September, RC is supposed to start 7 november, We need two weeks of quaranteen which leaves three to four weeks for Bok players to play matches.

Jacques Nienaber has said less than six weeks matches the Boks won’t tour anywhere.

Time for SARU to come clean, just focus on the Currie Cup for this year.

They need to consider the Pro16 next year, Cheetahs said SARU must let the top four teams in the Currie Cup qualify for pro16

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 3:50 pm

Painter, mitchell, smith, Dombrandt and a young lad called Mike Brown will be pretty pleased with their showings in front of Eddie today. Mitchell's delivery is a mile ahead of young and care.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 5:03 pm

Thorley is pushing his case. 4 tries so far.

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Post by BamBam on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 5:37 pm

Cumbrian wrote:The Daily Mail ( vomit ) are reporting that Eddie is looking at Tommy Reffell and George Martin.  I mean no disrespect, but what the hell?  No Dombrandt or Willis, but a Welsh kid and a player that has barely played a first team game? Why?!

Would make a nice change for it to go our way for once

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 31 Aug 2020, 1:45 pm

Sheer numbers dictate it wont especially as the rfu seem oblivious to actually trying players to england who are dual qualified.

Tasty match ups in the back row for bath and wasps. If anything can persuade jones towards willis it would be a good showing against Mercer underhill and faletau.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 31 Aug 2020, 5:00 pm

Pretty much 1 sided in the end in the back row. Some nice flashes from underhill but willis outclassed him. Kay suggesting the only thing keeping willis out of england is if he can effectively play in the same side as curry or whether the 2 outstanding flankers in the prem take away from each other and add less than the sum of their parts. Given how ben plays for sale it has to be 6 willis and 7 curry for me if the ais were starting tomorrow.
I'd say spencer shaded Robson through his control of the game and kicking.
Honorable mention to umaga whose attacking game looks fabulous as does his kicking. Perhaps a little too loose still but he cant be far behind smith in pressuring ford and farrell.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 11:09 am

Interesting...

it seems Curry is set in stone with fans on here....and then there is debate over Willis v Underhill for the other flank spot.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 2:57 pm

BamBam wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:The Daily Mail ( vomit ) are reporting that Eddie is looking at Tommy Reffell and George Martin.  I mean no disrespect, but what the hell?  No Dombrandt or Willis, but a Welsh kid and a player that has barely played a first team game? Why?!

Would make a nice change for it to go our way for once

Would entirely be in keeping with Eddie's previous selections to bring in Martin as an apprentice. Eddie has talked about flexibility in positions and Martin is a lock that has been playing 6. He's big, mobile, hard working, likes to carry and good at the lineout. Bags of potential and played well, he's only recently turned 19. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

The Reffell one sounds like Eddie stirring the pot.

A lot of talk over Willis, probably as a squad replacement for Wilson. Johnny Hill though has a storming comeback after the restart. A hattrick in the first half at the weekend. Surely time for him to make a comeback in the squad.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 3:24 pm

Yeah Johnny Hill over Ewells would be the choice to make...

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 3:37 pm

Has young Openside Aaron Hinkley ever been in the seniors as an apprentice?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 3:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Has young Openside Aaron Hinkley ever been in the seniors as an apprentice?

Don't know. Normally two or three go per squad. He's not really dropped into the Chiefs squad and shone, might be a slow burn with him. I saw Will Evans was playing well for Quins again the other day, it he can stay fit he's been an apprentice previously and could be a left field selection.

Hill over Ewels possibly. Maybe Hill over Launchbury who seems to be behind Lawes and Itoje and about to hit 30. Kruis spot is also up for grabs with him off to Japan. I'd have though Eddie would have wanted to look at younger options where possible and Ewels at 25 and Hill at 26 would still be in their prime at the next RWC.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 4:11 pm

But what does Ewells offer?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 5:18 pm

Good setpiece and proven he can play at international level to good effect. And cover 8 (in jones eyes).

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 01 Sep 2020, 6:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Good setpiece and proven he can play at international level to good effect. And cover 8 (in jones eyes).

Agree on the set piece not sure I agree on the good effect at international level. His performances were passable, he needs to improve his abilities in the loose if he wants to seriously challenge the current incumbents. He's currently some distance from the quality of Itoje or Lawes. Kruis is the current set piece lock of choice, though he is heading to Japan, and he offers a lot more around the park. Ewels should be looking to emulate Kruis's performances.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 11:12 am

The problem is Kruis has put many incredibly good performances...even when he was just starting out..i remember him playing blindside v Munster and was collosal.

Ive never seen a performance like that from Ewells...

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 11:19 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Good setpiece and proven he can play at international level to good effect. And cover 8 (in jones eyes).

Agree on the set piece not sure I agree on the good effect at international level. His performances were passable, he needs to improve his abilities in the loose if he wants to seriously challenge the current incumbents. He's currently some distance from the quality of Itoje or Lawes. Kruis is the current set piece lock of choice, though he is heading to Japan, and he offers a lot more around the park. Ewels should be looking to emulate Kruis's performances.

I'd agree on Ewels' performances being passable and nothing more, he's a steady influence at the set piece but offers very little in the loose to the extent the majority of the time I forget he's even playing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 04 Sep 2020, 5:30 pm

Sometimes the quiet efficiency is a good thing!

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Post by Mr Bounce on Fri 04 Sep 2020, 5:54 pm

There's at least 3 back rows that I think Eddie should be looking at getting into the EPS: Willis, Ben Curry and Dombrandt. All 3 are playing out of their skins right now. Trouble is, who do you drop? Are any key players carrying injuries?

The only likely candidate I can see being jettisoned is Mark Wilson - a bit unfair on the guy, but it's unlikely that he'll make the next RWC. Eddie did say that once the World Cup was done, that all places would be up for grabs. I presume that there's about 5-6 players who'd be unofficially excluded from that caveat (Farrell, Ford, Itoje, Watson, Daly and Billy spring to mind as they seem to be immune).

The current back rowers are Wilson, Tom Curry, Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Ben Earl. Ted Hill is also listed there, but as a lock and Courtney Lawes has of course been playing 6. Billy isn't listed as he'd been injured. I think it'll be very interesting to see how Eddie shoehorns his favoured back-rowers in there once the next EPS is announced.

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Post by nlpnlp on Fri 04 Sep 2020, 10:59 pm

England head coach Eddie Jones has claimed his squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup could comprise of 60 per cent new members - which leaves 10 to 12 players as surviving from last year. I think you can expect changes throughout the squad. Agree it is unfair but Wilson is someone I would expect Eddie to move on from. Ludlam was a late bolter and I am not sure offers that much. I know you say that Billy is immune, but I think that there is a big question mark over his future - he hasn't looked the same since he started with the broken arms and most teams seem to have worked him out. Curry and Underhill are good and improving and Earl and Hill look to have real potential. Lawes, despite my reservations about him playing 6, seems to be receiving positive feedback. Hopefully Mitchell as a former no8 can explain some of the finer points of backrow balance to Eddie.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Sep 2020, 3:36 pm

MichaelT wrote:Any word on who is broadcasting this tournament? I can't seem to find anything.

According to walesonline Amazon prime are in the running. Presumably for the games which arent tied to the 6 nations leftovers. Not a great fan of them as every time I've watched live sport on there it's been poor quality.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 12:40 pm

Wlson will not be in the next squad. I thanks quite clear.
I dont think Ludlum will be either. i think the challengers are way better.

Agree on Billy aswell...he needs to stay fit and on form. Theres some 8's now that can actually challenge him and allow a different style of 8.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 4:32 pm

I was under the impression Eddie liked to pick good trainers as back ups. The Ludlams, Mconachies (sp?), Ewels', Francis'. Good characters who won't rock the boat but will also provide a good training partner to the starting players. The starting players don't really seem to be phased out. Whether it's Care, Brown, Haskell, or Robshaw, they're there and then they're not. I would expect the same with the current players like Billy Vunipola and May.

Not getting picked could be character building for Dombrandt et al who are knocking on the door. I've been impressed by Eddie Jones' coaching over the last 2 years and think English fans should trust him. He's easily the best coach in charge of one of the 6Ns now and England could wipe the floor with trophies during this 4 year cycle.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 7:13 pm

Jackal breakdown turnovers won this season in the Prem:
1. Wasps 71 (Inc. JW)
2. Leicester 52
3. Gloucester 47
4. Sale 46
5. Harlequins 46
6. Worcester 44
7. Saracens 43
8. Irish 42
9. Saints 39
10. Bath 38
11. Bristol 36
12. Jack Willis 31
13. Exeter 29

Stole this from twitter. @rosscohamilton.



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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 11:47 am

Ruaridh McConnochie was asked who the quickest back at Bath is. He said, for top speed, it's Joe Cokanasiga. Faster than himself, Rokodguni, Watson, and Joseph. Then he said a new entry from the Academy, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, is "next-level fast".

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 12:05 pm

Whats the crack with big JOe? Is he actually injury free and training yet?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 2:34 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Whats the crack with big JOe? Is he actually injury free and training yet?
Long-term knee injury but Hooper said he was on course to be back soon (he said that a couple of weeks ago)

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 3:03 pm

Stuart Hooper (August 20th) wrote:Joe’s not far away, so he’s back up and running and running well. We’re looking to see Joe back on the field in the not too distant future, which is great.
He’s working hard and we’re looking forward to that day when we can sit down at a selection meeting and put his name on the board, which won’t be long.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 4:04 pm

Well thats good to hear. He was showing signs of being a quality option on the wing.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 4:17 pm

Given Jones sometimes spoke about Nowell as a flanker, I can't help thinking the new rulings at the breakdown might suit him. What counts against Nowell is injury, and he often says, despite his 36 caps, that he doesn't feel he has ever shown his best for England.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 10:05 am

Off topic, but Ma'a Nonu was on Haskell and Tindall's podcast thsi week. He says the fastest player he ever played with was Chris Ashton.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 10:18 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Off topic, but Ma'a Nonu was on Haskell and Tindall's podcast thsi week. He says the fastest player he ever played with was Chris Ashton.

that woudl actually surprise me. Speed of thought and intelligent running lines would help, but he always looked to be short of the very top end speed of the fliers. (Did Nonu play with Habana at Toulon?)

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Post by BamBam on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 10:32 am

I'd be surprised if Ashton was outright faster than even Beauden Barrett, Nonu certainly played with him. Did he also overlap with the likes of Rokocoko or was that too early

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 11:27 am

It wasn't a casual endorsement either. Nonu said something like "I'll go on the record: he's probably the fastest player I've ever played with. He is lightning. He is quick". He then said how the squad did a set of sprints and Ashton "was just carving. He was like a greyhound". Habana was in the Toulon squad at the same time.

Tindall added that Ashton has great repeatability, meaning that he isn't spent after a sprint, so can do it again, and again.

Lancaster was given a lot of unfair blame after the 2015 failure, and his Leinster achievements show he is no mug. However, I always though he misused Ashton's talents when he was coach, so he never got a chance to deliver on the promise he showed under Johnson.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 11:31 am

Lancaster is gaining a huge amount of experience now.

i wouldnt be surprised at all if he was back in charge again at some point in the future.
Although would he want to take it after the flack he got ? Not so sure.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 6:41 pm

Lancaster misused a lot of players. Ashton was clearly England's best winger from 2011-2015. Cipriani was a talent that had to be involved more than he was. The most glaring example was not using Hartley who was twice the player of Tom Youngs.

England have the perfect balance of cultures with Eddie Jones. Stuart Lancaster would probably do well moving to somewhere like Australia or New Zealand where his authoratative and 'culture' approach would be appreciated as long as someone else can help with the skills. When you see the run of the mill players he picked over the above 3, and others, it's hard to argue anyone else was to blame but Lancaster for his failings.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 11:00 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Ruaridh McConnochie was asked who the quickest back at Bath is. He said, for top speed, it's Joe Cokanasiga. Faster than himself, Rokodguni, Watson, and Joseph. Then he said a new entry from the Academy,  Gabriel Hamer-Webb, is "next-level fast".

I guess the problem with guys as big as Joe C is not so much the top speed as the time taken to get there. You can certainly largely negate North for instance by just not giving him the space to get up to speed.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 9:52 am

Id like to see where young Adam Radwan comes in that league...he's electric.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:15 am

Whats your thoughts on the FH spot...will any of the young challengers get the once over by EJ?

Joe Simmonds
Marcus Smith
James Grayson
Max Mallins
Manu Vunipola
jacob Umaga

What about Scrum half...probably our most desperate position...

Alex Mitchell
Harry Randall
Jack Maunder

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:33 am

I would love to see a new approach at scrum half. For me I'd be going with Spencer to start and Mitchell on the bench. Move on from young.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:44 am

In fact I can't avoid saying so far who i hope lines up vs whoever it is first up. Just checked on bbc for fixtures and it's not updated.

This is my pie in the sky wish list not what I think Jones will do.

Genge LCD Sinckler
Itoje Launchbury
Willis Curry
Vunipola
Spencer Ford
May Farrell (checking dates think hes available?) Tuilagi Thorley
Watson

Marler George Cole Lawes Underhill Mitchell Slade Daly.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:52 am

Some interesting choices there 7.5

Why Launchbury?
Why LCD?
Why Farrell over Slade in the midfield?
Why no Nowell?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:01 am

Launchbury because I'm a massive fanboy of his! Thinking behind it is I want to ensure that the balance of a strong setpiece is there along with all court play. I know Lawes is a favourite but the scrum lacks when hes there. Launchbury offers more in the tight game and any perceived weakening of offensive lineout is mitigated by Willis and Curry being genuine jumpers now. Launchbury offers a defensive maul option and retake of kicks bettered by no one else in my opinion in england.

LCD as I think hes the form hooker and has been since before the WC. Any issues with throwing seem to have gone, I think hes better in the scrum than even George who is also class. Just think hes shading it at present.

Farrell at 12 as I think Tuilagi at 13. I wouldn't massively against foing Farrell Tuilagi Slade at a push Joesph or Marchant at 13 (though that would change my thinking at 15 probably). Close calls but my preference.

No Nowell as I think Thorley has been class and deserves a chance. Outright pace. I think Daly is a better bench cover and potentially better impact player.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:06 am

I don't think Launchbury improves the scrum enough like Kruis would to negate all the work Lawes does in the loose and in the line out. I don't think having Willis and Curry in the side mitigates for the absence of Lawes at all myself, neither of them is a POM or Reid so you end up turning a strength into a potential weakness.

I'd go along with LCD starting at hooker for a couple of games to see how he goes but can't help but think that like George that he looks better coming on later in the game than from the start, hoping to be proved wrong as his carrying is a big plus.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:12 am

Well i cant really argue with any of that.

With Kruis out of the picture, I wonder if Ej will have another look at Isiekwe who seems to be performing very well and Johnny Hill. I also wait for Kpoku to be brought in...maybe as an apprentice initially.

I think we can all come up with differing options all over the pitch. The midfield...the back three, the back 5 of the pack.

EJ is in a position of being like a child in a sweetie shop with so many options (look at the back row alone). That makes his job even harder to get it right and stick with them...not to keep chopping and changing.

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