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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 king_carlos on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just cant see where earl fits in a full strength back row. Number 8 seems the most likely? Or the perfect bench option. He was due to be playing 8 tonight after hughes pulled out but luatua is now out as well. Big performance in a final will do him some good.
I still can't see anyone getting past Curry, Underhill and Billy in their best form so an ideally suited bench option would be my bet at full strength. Pretty much a like for like replacement for Wilson. As said I really rate Wilson but think Earl's pace might just allow him to overtake him if gets a shot.

Whether Billy will recover his best form after so many arm breaks is a different question and one that only time will realistically tell I think.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:51 pm

I think Billy's days are numbered. He seems made of glass (at least his arms are) and he doesn't have the same impact he used to, although that may be be because he's not had the run of international games he needs to get back to his best form.

Reminds me a little of Dean Richards, immense and an immensely strong player who made up for his complete lack of pace with superb anticipation. There came a day when instead of being at the right place every time, with the ball apparently on a string, he was suddenly off the pace and irrelevant.

I don't think he's quite the automatic first choice he used to be.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:51 pm

I do like a back row bench option that they themselves can just slot in in any of the 3 options. Better than having to swap others.

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Post by lostinwales on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I do like a back row bench option that they themselves can just slot in in any of the 3 options. Better than having to swap others.

Mark Wilson. Universal sticky plaster. You have to love the enthusiasm he brings when he gets on the pitch too.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:56 pm

I cant see wilson hanging around though. Theres better all pieces players. And better specialists.

Was surprised hes in this training squad ahead of curry though the need to cover lock may have something to do with it.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:16 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:Why pick Heinz in the squad if you are not going to select him to at least warm the bench - if he was there to make up the numbers you would assume EJ would go for someone younger.  Mitchell on the other hand looks like the usual EJ patsy to silence those who would like to see England try out a more mobile/younger/faster passing option.  Expect to see Youngs and Heinz doing lots of box kicking as part of an England kick chase game plan.

I don't see the problem with that.

It's not as if EJ coaches 'bad' rugby. He's clearly a genius who has matured a lot during his time with England, it's really teased out some of his weaker points, particularly during the losing streak, and he produced probably the best English rugby team playing the best rugby any England team ever has in 2019. That rugby relied fairly heavily upon an intelligent kicking game. England are highly unlikely to win a RWC by getting in a tit for tat game with the French, Kiwis, resurgent Wallabies, or even the Saffas (and maybe the Welsh). They'll win it by finding their own niche between ruthless brutailty in set piece and defence, accuracy with kicking both for position, attack, and points, and then the option of intelligent and athletic outside backs who can finish tries.

You should look at how EJ used Haskell and Robshaw for a sign of where this team is heading over the next 2-3 years.

I honestly think England will win 4 from 4 Six Nations in this world cup cycle. And they'll manage that by kicking the ball a lot!

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:17 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Would you include Johnny Hill in the squad?


I'd pick Hill and Moon as my next locks in line after Itoje and Launchbury.

Ewels will likely be in the squad but his 6 Nations appearances were more underwhelming than his early appearances. In those early caps he wasn't much more than solid either.

yes i would have Hill in the squad definitely. Ewells has not impressed me in the slightest

Yeah that's why Ribbans is set to earn his first England cap. Too bad you lost out on Rowlands though, form lock forward in the prem.

Rowlands would get nowhere near an England squad.

This is true, but then the point still stands - each nation has unique depth. Wales's 5th openside would have walked in to the England team 2-3 years ago. Likewise, some of their 9s would be bankers to play for England/Youngs and Heinz wouldn't get near the Welsh squad. But Wales are low on big forwards and although he's not an option for England, he would probably be a 50 cap Welsh international if he had been picked up at 21 by Gatland.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:20 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:Great input as always Miaow, I'll remember in future that a player being unavailable for three matches doesn't constitute being injured. Interesting take.

Either he's injured or he isn't injured. I'm not sure what's so hard about this, it's the exact same thing as the 'he's 28 not 29' chat.

He was fit to play and picked at openside while Curry played at 8.

Simmonds wasn't injured, another claim you made.

So, following on from that, let's have an interesting discussion about why WJ is picking a flanker at 8.

Or...you could keep defending alternative facts. Your call.

Alternative facts? You mean understanding the circumstances surrounding certain players instead of relying on a google search and coming up with garbage, with regards to injuries there are areas of grey, a player fit enough to play for Exeter for instance may not be deemed fit enough to play for England, simple really.

Wilson was injured going into the six nations and missed three games because of it whilst Simmonds had barely played any rugby for 18 months because of two separate serious injuries.

Now you can try twisting that to suit your argument all you want and you can act like a petulant child whilst you are at it but perhaps next time do a bit more research before posting.

Ok, forget alternative facts, let's just call it incorrect information that you're hamster wheeling to justify.

This discussion has been about the lack of (top class) depth in the 8 shirt for England (as EJ sees it). I made the claim relat

I know Geordie is a big fan of Mark Wilson but he's most definitely not a top class test 8. Decent player, workmanlike, he's a versatile back rower,


Im biased but he's a lot more than that.

Decent is probably damning him with faint praise but I do think that's a mostly fair assessment. He's like a more athletic Robshaw to my mind.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:26 pm

Snore.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 6:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Snore.

There is a Welsh board you know Mikey or have they got fed up of you as well?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 6:09 pm

I'm with mikey.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 6:53 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Snore.

There is a Welsh board you know Mikey or have they got fed up of you as well?

Yes I’m here talking about Welsh players like Tompkins and Rowlands.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 6:56 pm

I'm no longer with mikey.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 8:08 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm no longer with mikey.

I liked your post, but you won't catch me liking all my own posts unlike one Rolling Eyes.

On the No.8 debate... Wilson, Curry, Dombrandt, Simmons all look as though they can fill the role very well. The former 2 have done so already.

Hughes can step in if you're after a sort of like-for-like with Vunipola, but Hughes isn't that good. Hell of a Bear though and works well with their big blindside and fetcher.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 8:40 pm

I seem to remember (though it may be my fading memory) Hughes was unfortunate to be paired with lawes at 6 for a good number of his caps. As ever it's amazing what a balanced side does for form of individuals: something mentioned to me frequently recently in my one sided campaign for Willis. Brsitol are missing him tonight.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 9:22 pm

You think Malins is in with a realistic shot ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 9:24 pm

Miaow loves him as full back....I think his best work comes up in the line but not that impressed by his high ball, defensive positioning or kicking. Basically Daly. He may flourish if someone in wales gets sheedy!
Given jones doesn't see dalys negatives as outweigh ing his positives he may well be up Jones' street though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 9:38 pm

I haven’t seen much of him at 10, he’s been good from 15 though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 9:41 pm

Not been as impressed as I thought I'd be of him there. I may just be thoroughly fed up of daly though and looking for competence in defence over all.

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Post by Cumbrian on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 9:56 pm

As I see it Malins is very good as an attacking full back, but maybe not as good at the full back basics as a natural like Mike Brown or Liam Williams. Thing is I think basics can be learned, Malins has a spark and assurance that not many English backs have. He reminds me of Alex  Goode, but a version that has had his edges sharpened. When Malins has the ball in hand he scares defences, and I'm sure we can agree that is a good thing?
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 10:00 pm

Can agree with that absolutely. Out and out pace as well which of course goode doesnt have. Put the 2 together and you have the perfect full back. Will he have the time to develop? Will the actual develop of great alternatives at right wing push watson back to full back where he is playing well for bath? For me the second.

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Post by Cumbrian on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 10:08 pm

I bought tickets for trains like 'Watson will be our full back extraordinaire' before. At this point I'll throw as many options at the wall and see what sticks. For what it is worth, I think Watson is perhaps a better winger than most (all?) of the alternatives, and so would play him there.

There is always a bump in the road tough isn't there? We aren't the All Blacks where they have 2 or three fantastic naturals in every position, there always seem at least one compromise.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 17 Oct 2020, 8:24 am

I think Daly will continue for the moment...then Hodge will take his place as the long term England fb.


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Post by Poorfour on Sat 17 Oct 2020, 11:07 am

Cumbrian wrote:As I see it Malins is very good as an attacking full back, but maybe not as good at the full back basics as a natural like Mike Brown or Liam Williams. Thing is I think basics can be learned, Malins has a spark and assurance that not many English backs have. He reminds me of Alex  Goode, but a version that has had his edges sharpened. When Malins has the ball in hand he scares defences, and I'm sure we can agree that is a good thing?

I really like Malins and considering he’s only recently moved to full back I am a lot more confident in his basics than I am in, say, Daly. He’s still got a lot to learn and it’s unlikely he will have the instinctive control of the game that the best natural fullbacks have, but I think he can close the gap enough to be worth a shot internationally before too long.

He lacks a little of Brown’s security, Goode’s creativity and Daly’s kicking game, but only a little and he looks to have the potential to offer a balance of all three.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 17 Oct 2020, 6:41 pm

Johnny Hill put in another good performance.

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Post by king_carlos on Sat 17 Oct 2020, 7:18 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Johnny Hill put in another good performance.  
One of the best performances I've seen from Hill. Skinner coming on for Gray rather than Hill shows how highly he is rated by Chiefs.

I expect we will see Hill start a few games alongside Itoje and Launchbury over the next couple of months.

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Post by cb on Sun 18 Oct 2020, 5:15 pm

Hill came through his test well yesterday, as Racing 92 are a good team with a good pack.  He has played well for Exeter this year but Exeter are a very good team and he could have just been carried along.  

He now looks like he might make the grade but only time will tell but does seem to offer more than Ewels. My main concern is the beard and hairstyle.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 18 Oct 2020, 9:06 pm

cb wrote:Hill came through his test well yesterday, as Racing 92 are a good team with a good pack.  He has played well for Exeter this year but Exeter are a very good team and he could have just been carried along.  

He now looks like he might make the grade but only time will tell but does seem to offer more than Ewels. My main concern is the beard and hairstyle.

Yes its terrible. He looks very powerful though

I'd add that its not always easy for 2nd rows to have a visible impact on a game, and he did, overshadowing Gray the younger in the process

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 5:36 am

lostinwales wrote:I wonder how our resident bore will react to Sam Simmonds getting European player of the year and being top try scorer in this year's European cup. Just another average club player...

I'm not Simmonds biggest fan either if I'm honest. It's ironic (or is it?) that Goode and now Simmonds have won European player of the year, yet neither get a sniff at International level.

Personally, I think Simmonds is fine player, but not quite International level (or certainly not in the system we play). The Exeter pack is reet beefy and this seems to allow for Simmonds to be the less physical/pacey backrower that shines.....a common view of his detractors I would imagine.

I've just realised I'm the resident bore......furious

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 8:21 am

I could definitely pass for the forum bore Sad

Goode had his chances but was frankly well behind Brown. That 1 great game against Ireland in the wet sticks out but so does his dodgy performance against Fiji under pressure for his place.

The problem now for any of the guys in the back row is that you need a similar big performance when you get the chance. A 7 out of 10 means someone else is knocking on the door. Theres also so many styles to choose from that your face may not fit. I hope it means no more locks at 6.

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Post by lostinwales on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 9:03 am

Not arguing with the last two points at all. If you expect Billy and end up getting Sam you are going to be disappointed. If you buy into Curry or Earl as an 8 then maybe he has more of a chance.

And we all take our turn as bores -but some take it to a different level.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 9:17 am

Well theres no more Billys coming through at the moment. Dombrandt is a big carrier, but a different player to Billy.

So the back row set up will probably change a bit. Maybe Hill will provide the heavy duty contact at 6.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:07 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Well theres no more Billys coming through at the moment. Dombrandt is a big carrier, but a different player to Billy.

So the back row set up will probably change a bit. Maybe Hill will provide the heavy duty contact at 6.


I'm sure I seen a young massive unit come on for.....(I want to say Wasps?) at 8 whilst watching a game in the pub a few weeks back. Was very much on the Billy mould. I may have been very drunk though and my eye sight isn't what it used to be.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:13 am

I havent seen him Sgt. Possibly there is...

At the moment the only genuine 8's im really aware of putting themselves in the frame are: (Not 7's or 6's that can play there)

Billy
Dombrandt
Mercer
Sam Simmonds

Others coming through still developing
Miles Reid - Bath fans have been talking about him
Tom Willis - Playing well for Wasps

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:20 am

Is it Tuima at Exeter you're thinking of?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:25 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Is it Tuima at Exeter you're thinking of?

Ah....quite possibly! Maybe it was an U20 game I was watching.

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 11:34 am

England U20 and Exeter prospect Rusiate Tuima is probably the closest thing coming through to Billy's freakish power. Whether players that big at an early age transfer it over to senior rugby is always a question but Tuima is enormous and working under very good forward coches

Players change their game a lot adjusting to senior then international rugby though so it's always hard to predict. Billy at Wasps was much quicker and carried more in the wider channels before bulking up to play the style he does now. Hughes used to be a bit quicker out wide in his early Wasps days but he did less in the tight than now. Haskell was once a bullocking ball carrier who latterly became a player Jones just told to make tackles and hit rucks - which he did effectively to be fair. Even someone like Marler started out as a prominent carrier that was suspect in the tight, now his strengths are scrummaging and excellent work rate in fringe defence.

Players who have shone in the pack at U20 level recently for their size/power would probably be Alfie Barbeary, Rus Tuima, Joel Kpoku and George Martin. Ted Hill as well of course but he's one that's already showing that power regularly in senior rugby.

Jack Clement is also impressive in contact at U20 but more in the Aaron Hinckley mould at that age where he isn't quite as enormous - I still wouldn't say that to his face to be fair - but is quick and very aggressive in contact. He's an interesting one for Jones to look at but he has brought a lot of young flankers into training squads to be fair.

Hinckley could still be one to look out for if he can fulfill his potential in the Chiefs pack.

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Post by Cumbrian on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 11:44 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I havent seen him Sgt. Possibly there is...

At the moment the only genuine 8's im really aware of putting themselves in the frame are: (Not 7's or 6's that can play there)

Billy
Dombrandt
Mercer
Sam Simmonds

Others coming through still developing
Miles Reid - Bath fans have been talking about him
Tom Willis - Playing well for Wasps



Young lad from Gloucester that has been called up too, Jack Clements, seems hefty for a young bloke. I'll reserve judgment until I see more than YouTube compilations of him bullying school boy defences though.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:00 pm

Sorry yes theres Clement aswell, on a one to watch level...

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Post by cb on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 7:08 pm

I think Simmons problem is that if he wants to play on the flanks then Curry, Underhill, Hill & Willis are most definitely in the way.  Not to mention Lawes and Isiekwe as coverts from lock where Jones requires a bit more height or ballast.  Plus several others who are not too shoddy.

On the Number 8 route, then Vunipola, Dombrandt, and Curry and perhaps Hill are also in the way.  Use of the latter two at number 8 would give Jones the chance to play more of the in form flankers (e.g. Curry, Hill, Willis - though hard not to have Underhill there somewhere).

Even after that Earl and Mercer are still floating around.

Good position to be in.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 7:34 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I wonder how our resident bore will react to Sam Simmonds getting European player of the year and being top try scorer in this year's European cup. Just another average club player...

I'm not Simmonds biggest fan either if I'm honest. It's ironic (or is it?) that Goode and now Simmonds have won European player of the year, yet neither get a sniff at International level.  

Simple - club rugby isn't test rugby. Nowhere to hide in an international shirt. Weaknesses are amplified, strengths are diminished.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 8:57 am

He wasnt hiding on the weekend against a pretty much international multi million pound side??

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 9:52 am

Any individual player can only shine in a team setup that suits their skills. The Chiefs team play in a way that frees Sam Simmonds up from some things and allows him to really shine at what he is good at. Arguably we see the same with Wasps and Jack Willis and before that Saracens and Schalk Brits. This is not to say they are/were not outstanding players, but drop these guys into a different environment and they may not perform as well.

I do struggle to see Simmonds struggling in a back row that doesn't include a big unit. So pairing him with Curry and Underhill could see us overpowered, but pair him with Curry and a Dombrandt, Hill or even Willis and he could do well.

For me our back row has to include Tom Curry + two others. Balance will be important.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:08 am

Depending on refs it'll be much less important. You have Exeter and wasps who have gone in completely different directions in their back row but both impressive. Exeter rely on a bludgeon approach with wasps going for mobility and turnovers. Theres no one way which works. Balance is important of course, but that can come from the whole pack and the style of play wanted.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:24 am

That's why Curry is so important. Any 2 + Curry = balanced

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:32 am

https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/jones-names-england-mens-squad-for-barbarians-game-sunday-october-25-live-on-sky-sports

FORWARDS
Tom Curry, Sale Sharks
Alex Dombrandt, Harlequins*
Tom Dunn, Bath Rugby*
Charlie Ewels, Bath Rugby
Ellis Genge, Leicester Tigers
Jamie George, Saracens
Joe Heyes, Leicester Tigers*
Ted Hill, Worcester Warriors
Maro Itoje, Saracens
Alex Moon, Northampton Saints*
Beno Obano, Bath Rugby*
David Ribbans, Northampton Saints*
Will Stuart, Bath Rugby
Sam Underhill, Bath Rugby
Billy Vunipola, Saracens
Mako Vunipola, Saracens
Mark Wilson, Newcastle Falcons

BACKS
Ali Crossdale, Saracens*
Fraser Dingwall, Northampton Saints*
Owen Farrell, Saracens
Piers Francis, Northampton Saints
George Ford, Leicester Tigers
George Furbank, Northampton Saints
Willi Heinz, Gloucester Rugby
Jonathan Joseph, Bath Rugby
Ollie Lawrence, Worcester Warriors*
Joe Marchant, Harlequins
Jonny May, Gloucester Rugby
Alex Mitchell, Northampton Saints*
Ollie Thorley, Gloucester Rugby*
Anthony Watson, Bath Rugby
Ben Youngs, Leicester Tigers

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:37 am

No daly.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:41 am

So it'll be:

1 Mako
2 George
3 Stuart
4 Itoje
5 Ewells
6 Wilson
7 Underhill
8 Curry

9 Youngs
10 Ford
11 May
12 Farrell
13 Lawrence / Marchant
14 Watson
15 Furbank

With newbies in the subs

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:53 am

Just been announced as a 32 man squad:

FORWARDS
Tom Curry, Sale Sharks
Alex Dombrandt, Harlequins*
Tom Dunn, Bath Rugby*
Charlie Ewels, Bath Rugby
Ellis Genge, Leicester Tigers
Jamie George, Saracens
Joe Heyes, Leicester Tigers*
Ted Hill, Worcester Warriors
Maro Itoje, Saracens
Alex Moon, Northampton Saints*
Beno Obano, Bath Rugby*
David Ribbans, Northampton Saints*
Will Stuart, Bath Rugby
Sam Underhill, Bath Rugby
Billy Vunipola, Saracens
Mako Vunipola, Saracens
Mark Wilson, Newcastle Falcons

BACKS
Ali Crossdale, Saracens*
Fraser Dingwall, Northampton Saints*
Owen Farrell, Saracens
Piers Francis, Northampton Saints
George Ford, Leicester Tigers
George Furbank, Northampton Saints
Willi Heinz, Gloucester Rugby
Jonathan Joseph, Bath Rugby
Ollie Lawrence, Worcester Warriors*
Joe Marchant, Harlequins
Jonny May, Gloucester Rugby
Alex Mitchell, Northampton Saints*
Ollie Thorley, Gloucester Rugby*
Anthony Watson, Bath Rugby
Ben Youngs, Leicester Tigers

*denotes uncapped players

Plus Joe Marler for conditioning.

Very surprised to see 6 Saints players in there bearing in mind their poor form and that is without Lawes.

A lot of room for experimentation with all the newbies in the squad.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:58 am

Does anyone know if Daly is injured?

I'd guess that Billy will start, GF. Possibly JJ as well given that I think this will be a dress rehearsal for the Italy game as much as possible. 

1.Mako
2.George
3.Sinckler
4.Itoje
5.Ewels
6.Curry
7.Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Ford

11.May
12.Farrell
13.Joseph
14.Watson
15.Furbank

16.Dunn
17.Genge
18.Stuart
19.Moon
20.Hill
21.Wilson
22.Heinz
23.Marchant

That's presuming that Jones continues with the 6-2 bench split that we saw in the 6 Nations.

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