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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 GeordieFalcon on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 3:26 pm

Furbank and Slade will be the FH cover im guessing.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 3:32 pm

On the second row selection, namely Ewels vs Launchbury, I think it's a pretty clear indication that Itoje and Launchbury aren't viewed as lineout callers. Neither do it for their clubs anymore and I don't believe have ever done so for England. The last time I remember Itoje calling the lineout for Sarries was his first senior season when he skippered them to the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Itoje is a very good lineout jumper and extremely bright so definitely has the capacity to be a lineout leader but it might simply be a case that Jones and Proudfoot don't want to overload his responsibilities when he's already a leader in the side and integral to the forward play.

If they view neither Itoje or Launchbury as lineout leaders then having both in the 23 is difficult. Either you need a 6-2 bench split with 2 locks on the bench so that one can call the lineout if the starting lineout caller gets injured, or you'd need a lineout caller in the back row which with Lawes injured England just don't have.

If Launchbury were on the bench instead of Ewels and Hill gets injured early then that pack has one strong jumper in Itoje, a couple of limited but solid jumpers in Launchbury and Curry, then a lineout leader with no experience in the role to call throws to a paucity of options.

Kruis and Lawes are big losses. On the 2017 Lions tour two out of Itoje, Lawes and Kruis were picked in the matchday 23 for every test.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 3:50 pm

On Earl over Willis, he is the incumbent having been picked already during the 6 Nations. Earl also offers something that the England pack currently doesn't have which is pace.

Willis is very talented but his main strength is the breakdown and England already have two flankers in Curry and Underhill who are excellent there. Wilson is also very good over the ball.

What England haven't had since Tom Croft now is a back row with serious pace and Earl offers that on top of being an excellent tackler, good at the breakdown and a kamikaze ball carrier.

To dislodge Underhill or Curry I think challenging back rows will need to offer something different. None are going to challenge those two for their consistency and dominance in the tackle. Both are also difficult to challenge for their breakdown work where they are very good at deciding when he should/shouldn't attack a ruck. Defensively they are excellent.

As such the young flankers I think who will challenge are the ones who offer different skills in attack. Earl is rapid and an excellent support runner, Ted Hill is a brute in contact, Dombrandt has very good hands and runs good lines off his scrum-half.

Willis has similar strengths to the incumbents in Curry and Underhill. Whilst I think Willis is a very good player who should keep improving he isn't yet a player I'd consider picking over those first choices.

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Post by Yoda on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 6:38 pm

king_carlos wrote:On Earl over Willis, he is the incumbent having been picked already during the 6 Nations. Earl also offers something that the England pack currently doesn't have which is pace.

Willis is very talented but his main strength is the breakdown and England already have two flankers in Curry and Underhill who are excellent there. Wilson is also very good over the ball.

What England haven't had since Tom Croft now is a back row with serious pace and Earl offers that on top of being an excellent tackler, good at the breakdown and a kamikaze ball carrier.

To dislodge Underhill or Curry I think challenging back rows will need to offer something different. None are going to challenge those two for their consistency and dominance in the tackle. Both are also difficult to challenge for their breakdown work where they are very good at deciding when he should/shouldn't attack a ruck. Defensively they are excellent.

As such the young flankers I think who will challenge are the ones who offer different skills in attack. Earl is rapid and an excellent support runner, Ted Hill is a brute in contact, Dombrandt has very good hands and runs good lines off his scrum-half.

Willis has similar strengths to the incumbents in Curry and Underhill. Whilst I think Willis is a very good player who should keep improving he isn't yet a player I'd consider picking over those first choices.

I agree, underhill and curry will be difficult to displace just like hill and back in the good old days. Willis can't and probably doesn't expect to parachuted in especially when the incumbents are pretty handy. Would like to see a Ted Hill Willis combo in the autumn though would see if we had that next cab of the rank scenario incase of injury.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 7:49 pm

Yoda wrote:
king_carlos wrote:On Earl over Willis, he is the incumbent having been picked already during the 6 Nations. Earl also offers something that the England pack currently doesn't have which is pace.

Willis is very talented but his main strength is the breakdown and England already have two flankers in Curry and Underhill who are excellent there. Wilson is also very good over the ball.

What England haven't had since Tom Croft now is a back row with serious pace and Earl offers that on top of being an excellent tackler, good at the breakdown and a kamikaze ball carrier.

To dislodge Underhill or Curry I think challenging back rows will need to offer something different. None are going to challenge those two for their consistency and dominance in the tackle. Both are also difficult to challenge for their breakdown work where they are very good at deciding when he should/shouldn't attack a ruck. Defensively they are excellent.

As such the young flankers I think who will challenge are the ones who offer different skills in attack. Earl is rapid and an excellent support runner, Ted Hill is a brute in contact, Dombrandt has very good hands and runs good lines off his scrum-half.

Willis has similar strengths to the incumbents in Curry and Underhill. Whilst I think Willis is a very good player who should keep improving he isn't yet a player I'd consider picking over those first choices.

I agree, underhill and curry will be difficult to displace just like hill and back in the good old days. Willis can't and probably doesn't expect to parachuted in especially when the incumbents are pretty handy. Would like to see a Ted Hill Willis combo in the autumn though would see if we had that next cab of the rank scenario incase of injury.

I agree. Am expecting Willis (and possibly Dombrandt) to get their chance against Georgia.

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Post by Yoda on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 8:14 pm

Willis, Ted Hill and dombrant, has a nice balance to it! Also a midfield of umaga, marchant and Lawrence could be exciting too.

On a separate issue if form was key factor to this squad why have crossdale in and not Rory mc in a wing birth? Thought Rory looked quality last few rounds of the prem.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 9:18 pm

Yoda wrote:Willis, Ted Hill and dombrant, has a nice balance to it! Also a midfield of umaga, marchant and Lawrence could be exciting too.

On a separate issue if form was key factor to this squad why have crossdale in and not Rory mc in a wing birth? Thought Rory looked quality last few rounds of the prem.
Crossdale has been released now along with Heyes, Moon, Dingwall and Francis. He was in the squad for the Baabaas game but probably wouldn't have featured. Simply a case of Jones looking closer at a player he must have liked something about.

Similar to Will Evans a few years back. Jones has often taken a punt if he wants a closer look at a player.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 9:38 pm

king_carlos wrote:On Earl over Willis, he is the incumbent having been picked already during the 6 Nations. Earl also offers something that the England pack currently doesn't have which is pace.

Willis is very talented but his main strength is the breakdown and England already have two flankers in Curry and Underhill who are excellent there. Wilson is also very good over the ball.

What England haven't had since Tom Croft now is a back row with serious pace and Earl offers that on top of being an excellent tackler, good at the breakdown and a kamikaze ball carrier.

To dislodge Underhill or Curry I think challenging back rows will need to offer something different. None are going to challenge those two for their consistency and dominance in the tackle. Both are also difficult to challenge for their breakdown work where they are very good at deciding when he should/shouldn't attack a ruck. Defensively they are excellent.

As such the young flankers I think who will challenge are the ones who offer different skills in attack. Earl is rapid and an excellent support runner, Ted Hill is a brute in contact, Dombrandt has very good hands and runs good lines off his scrum-half.

Willis has similar strengths to the incumbents in Curry and Underhill. Whilst I think Willis is a very good player who should keep improving he isn't yet a player I'd consider picking over those first choices.

Surely the point of difference would be the unarguable turnover statistics that Willis has over and above all his peers along with tries scored.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 9:42 pm

Yoda wrote:Willis, Ted Hill and dombrant, has a nice balance to it! Also a midfield of umaga, marchant and Lawrence could be exciting too..

Nope on both selections. Prefer Willis at 6 he tries too hard to win turnovers when paired with with Young at Wasps sometimes giving stupid penalties away as he goes all or nothing. He doesn't need to be in a backrow where he is the only member of the backrow likely to win a turnover he'll end up sin binned. He's a big enough and physical enough bloke to play 6 internationally he could probably play 8 internationally as well. If Hill is in I'd expect Curry at 8. If Dombrandt is in then opensides at flankers. We play much better with dual opensides.

Umaga at 10 without an experienced playmaker to hold his hand from 12 could be a disaster. He's prone to making errors as much as he is moments of magic. His best form coincided with Gopperth returning from injury for Wasps. Will only amplify his issues if he's then given a rookie midfield to work with as well. Might have been ok in the Baabaas game.

Umaga - Farrell - Lawrence
Umaga - Lawrence - Slade
Farrell - Lawrence - Marchant would work although be stifled in terms of attacking flair by Farrell

Simmonds looks more the complete package, hopefully he gets a go. Want to see if he has more attacking flair to bring to the table when not in the Chiefs structure which is pretty well versed.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:02 pm

Theres a weird backlash against Willis at the breakdown. Hes by far the best in the prem. Not even close.

Better carrier in the tight than all 3 in the squad. Better at the lineout.
Hes a point of difference player.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:08 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Theres a weird backlash against Willis at the breakdown. Hes by far the best in the prem. Not even close.

Better carrier in the tight than all 3 in the squad. Better at the lineout.
Hes a point of difference player.

He has a Welsh granny too. You know what happens next.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:22 pm

Wales caps him when england decide they dont want him?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:29 pm

Yes. Snooze you lose...

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:42 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Theres a weird backlash against Willis at the breakdown. Hes by far the best in the prem. Not even close.

Better carrier in the tight than all 3 in the squad. Better at the lineout.
Hes a point of difference player.

Oh I think he's a brilliant player but he does sail close to the edge when it comes to going after turnovers. Partner him up with Curry and Underhill and that's my choice of backrow.

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Post by king_carlos on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:50 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Surely the point of difference would be the unarguable turnover statistics that Willis has over and above all his peers along with tries scored.
Turnover stats need to be considered alongside penalties conceded as has been discussed a lot already. Similar to the old Steffon Armitage discussion.

Tries scored is undoubtedly impressive (9 tries scored last season) but still a try behind Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill (10 tries apiece) with Ben Earl the joint top try scorer for the season alongside Thorley with 11 tries apiece. So his try scoring is impressive but not standalone from the forwards in England contention.

Earl, Hill and Willis are all better carriers than the incumbents Curry and Underhill on the flanks which I like. As I often say I really like different tactical options like that in international squads.

I want to see Willis in an England shirt. I hope both Hill and Willis get starts in the 6 shirt over the next few weeks. I just don't think he's so exceptional to be way ahead of other options in a talented pack of back rows.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 29 Oct 2020, 10:54 pm

How many penalties per game has he given away king. It's a stat I've looked for and cant find.

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Post by hawalsh on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 1:07 am

There's a lot I like about Furbank, but his reliability under the high ball isn't one of them - particularly when it's one he's not able to advance onto. We seem to have swapped one questionable static fielder for another, though that's not likely to be significantly tested against Italy.

Like many, I would have preferred Watson at the back, and either Thorley or Cokanasiga on the wing to add a more powerful option into the backline, but Jones definitely seems set on a playmaker type FB. Which would tie up with comments he apparently made this week, that the need for a distributor at inside centre was becoming redundant given the impact of increasing defensive line speed.

Slade's selection at 12 would seem contrary to that sentiment, but he's got more strings to his bow than just the playmaker one, and I'm delighted to see him there, it's the position I've long felt he was born to play.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 4:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:How many penalties per game has he given away king. It's a stat I've looked for and cant find.

This last season Willis has surely proved he is indeed head and shoulders above his back row peers. He has taken all the end of season awards.
How many MOM awards?
I don’t believe his penalty count is worse than any of his peers.
As Healey said, ‘He has it all’.
Pace, strength, carrying ability,tackling, dominant collisions, line out target, turnover king.
His all round ability outshone all his competitors last season in a way I have never seen in the professional era.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 8:52 am

Well im sure we'll have a few answers after this set of AUtumn internationals...

Either that or more questions...

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Post by Soul Requiem on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 8:54 am

Willis head and shoulders above Tom Curry? I'd have it the other way round myself and Underhills dominance in the tackle is key to the gameplan so unlikely to see much change any time soon.

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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 9:29 am

So according to Eddie, Youngs can win 150 caps. F F S!!!!!
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 9:31 am

Jack Willis was unlucky that injury meant he was unable to tour SA in 2018 when initially selected for the tour. CurryT got his chance to shine on that tour and has not looked back. Willis may get a game during the 8Ns series and we can then judge. At least he is in the squad so has a chance to show Eddie and Mitchell what he can do in the England training environment. I know past subscribers thought training form was irrelevant, but it is the only chance the coaches get to directly compare players within the same systems and alongside the same players.

Should all stay fit, Willis is not really competing with Curry anyway - he is more likely competing with Underhill. The Bath man brings a differing skillset, but is injury prone.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 9:54 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:How many penalties per game has he given away king. It's a stat I've looked for and cant find.

This last season Willis has surely proved he is indeed head and shoulders above his back row peers. He has taken all the end of season awards.
How many MOM awards?
I don’t believe his penalty count is worse than any of his peers.
As Healey said, ‘He has it all’.
Pace, strength, carrying ability,tackling, dominant collisions, line out target, turnover king.
His all round ability outshone all his competitors last season in a way I have never seen in the professional era.

I think the one that stuck out for me was against Bristol in a game where Willis was generally an absolute monster. Early on and Bristol have a lineout on halfway, off the top ball carrier looks to crash it up tight and Willis levels him (might have been Hughes) as part of a double tackle. Absolute textbook. Then he never releases and digs for the ball giving a cheap penalty away that turns into a lineout in the Wasps 22. Completely stupid, just far too competitive for his own good, take the gain line win and reset Bristol are probably going to have to kick it to your back three. 

That level of experience of fine margins and knowing when to push the boundaries and when not to is what is missing from his game. I think international rugby will help with that and you go from the Willis as he is now to a polished player who can really dominate for years to come.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 10:05 am

LondonTiger wrote:Jack Willis was unlucky that injury meant he was unable to tour SA in 2018 when initially selected for the tour. CurryT got his chance to shine on that tour and has not looked back. Willis may get a game during the 8Ns series and we can then judge. At least he is in the squad so has a chance to show Eddie and Mitchell what he can do in the England training environment. I know past subscribers thought training form was irrelevant, but it is the only chance the coaches get to directly compare players within the same systems and alongside the same players.

Should all stay fit, Willis is not really competing with Curry anyway - he is more likely competing with Underhill. The Bath man brings a differing skillset, but is injury prone.

Ha! Theres the good point of this there are games coming up which should allow that training form to be followed up.

LT what are your thoughts on scrum half. 150 caps there for the taking as Jones says: or at his very best Youngs cant reach the heights of the top players as Jones also says?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 10:17 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Jack Willis was unlucky that injury meant he was unable to tour SA in 2018 when initially selected for the tour. CurryT got his chance to shine on that tour and has not looked back. Willis may get a game during the 8Ns series and we can then judge. At least he is in the squad so has a chance to show Eddie and Mitchell what he can do in the England training environment. I know past subscribers thought training form was irrelevant, but it is the only chance the coaches get to directly compare players within the same systems and alongside the same players.

Should all stay fit, Willis is not really competing with Curry anyway - he is more likely competing with Underhill. The Bath man brings a differing skillset, but is injury prone.

Ha! Theres the good point of this there are games coming up which should allow that training form to be followed up.

LT what are your thoughts on scrum half. 150 caps there for the taking as Jones says: or at his very best Youngs cant reach the heights of the top players as Jones also says?

Jones doing his usual motivational mind games for both Benny and the other scrum halfs.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 10:21 am

I cannot see Lenny making 150 caps, though it is quite possible that he will continue to RWC23.

At his very best he was most definitely able to reach the heights of top players, he consistently outplayed Will Genia and has a lot of MotM performances against Australia and Sa amongst others (including the game that caused me to spend too long thinking PSdT was rubbish). However his best days are behind him and have been perhaps parked to deliver the type of performances that Eddie demands. Even then his game against Wales in the spring was still outstanding.

I suspect that firstly because of his precocious early form, and secondly longevity he will never get the credit he is due from many. Perhaps he was never as good as we could have hoped but not as bad as is portrayed.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 10:50 am

Both probably right. His organisation of the pack and communication are top notch. I just find his passing and speed infuriating sometimes. With out backline and strong runners it just cries out for tempo.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 10:55 am

TightHEAD wrote:So according to Eddie, Youngs can win 150 caps. F F S!!!!!

Dont be silly thats Just Eddie playing his jiggery poo. Bit motivation for young to find his form.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 11:01 am

I would love to see Mitchell given a go with a backline like that, he has the fastest and most accurate pass of the three. He would give them that extra split second that really good players can make use of.

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 11:07 am

The rate the RFU are trying to cram in extra fixtures to plug the financial black hole he might get to 150 this year.

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Post by Yoda on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 2:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Yoda wrote:Willis, Ted Hill and dombrant, has a nice balance to it! Also a midfield of umaga, marchant and Lawrence could be exciting too..

Nope on both selections. Prefer Willis at 6 he tries too hard to win turnovers when paired with with Young at Wasps sometimes giving stupid penalties away as he goes all or nothing. He doesn't need to be in a backrow where he is the only member of the backrow likely to win a turnover he'll end up sin binned. He's a big enough and physical enough bloke to play 6 internationally he could probably play 8 internationally as well. If Hill is in I'd expect Curry at 8. If Dombrandt is in then opensides at flankers. We play much better with dual opensides.

Umaga at 10 without an experienced playmaker to hold his hand from 12 could be a disaster. He's prone to making errors as much as he is moments of magic. His best form coincided with Gopperth returning from injury for Wasps. Will only amplify his issues if he's then given a rookie midfield to work with as well. Might have been ok in the Baabaas game.

Umaga - Farrell - Lawrence
Umaga - Lawrence - Slade
Farrell - Lawrence - Marchant would work although be stifled in terms of attacking flair by Farrell

Simmonds looks more the complete package, hopefully he gets a go. Want to see if he has more attacking flair to bring to the table when not in the Chiefs structure which is pretty well versed.

I didn't mean in the big matches Sam just against some teams coming up in the autumn nations Cup. Cap these players before Wales steal them! I've gone on record stating underhill and curry are our no one combo and that earls is the better all rounder from the bench. Willis will get capped and play an important role over the next world Cup cycle hopefully. Its good to have so many options. As for the penalty count don't think he gives away too much and at close to 50 turnovers has repaid the team ten fold in valuable turnover ball that wasps have scored some great tries. Umaga is I grant you a work in progress but has bags of potential.

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Post by cb on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 5:04 pm

On the backrow, Willis looks a very good player but Willis, Hill and Dombrandt are all excluded from the 23 and there is a case for all of them though all need would need to prove themselves at international level, Willis included.  

So I do see Jones's problem though there are a few strange inclusions and exclusions.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 5:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:How many penalties per game has he given away king. It's a stat I've looked for and cant find.
Hi 7.5, sorry for slow response it's been a hectic day of actually having to work. I'm outraged.

I honestly don't know if any sites carry stats for individual penalty counts. The prem rugby website release stats but are sometimes a bit iffy. Their stats have Wasps top of both penalties conceded and won (London Irish are 3rd in both pens conceded and won) which does show the correlation between taking the risk of winnings turnovers to conceding penalties.

The same as others who take the view that Jones might have picked Earl and Ludlam ahead of Willis due to his penalty count is from watching him play a lot. Take the second half of the final for instance. Exeter had an attack around the Wasps 22 that wasn't really going anywhere, Wasps holding them well. Willis goes in for a 50/50 chance and gets pinged.

Similar later on when Willis was pinged between the Chiefs 10m line and halfway. Exeter aren't going anywhere and if Wasps hold them for a few more phases Chiefs would likely have kicked to a set Wasps back three. Willis went for a turnover and gave a penalty which allowed Chiefs to get field position back in Wasps half.

As said before I rate Willis and hope he gets a couple of starts at 6 over the next few months. I just really rate Hill and Earl as back row options who deserve starts as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 6:20 pm

Work sucks king! It's a shame that no where seems to do what a rugby fan would see as a basic stat isn't it. Take your point vs exeter but then the flip side is when did you see Exeter get turned over on the 5 m line once let alone twice in a game. I've watched Wasps when they've been on the box, not seen a huge weakness in giving away pens overall but we'll see. That point has been given against Itoje and Curry recently and they for me are our best players. Anyway over the grump and looking forward to another great day of rugby. Can remember the one where we just fell short when launchbury threw the intercept (2015?) And tbf cant remember a game I enjoyed more.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 6:49 pm

Is it the case that who is in the squad for this final game of the 6ns, will be in the squad for the 8ns?

Or will there be a new squad of players coming in to the squad?

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 6:57 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Is it the case that who is in the squad for this final game of the 6ns, will be in the squad for the 8ns?

Or will there be a new squad of players coming in to the squad?

Don't think new squad but I would be surprised if he didn't tinker a little and call up one or two more. There will also be injury cover and I'm sure the Prem clubs will be pressuring the RFU to rotate the squad a bit to stop player burn out.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 30 Oct 2020, 7:36 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Theres a lot I dont like about that team. Should be more than enough for Italy obviously but seems too cautious. No launchbury or willis is just stupid.

Wants less caution and Launchbury? Hmm, not sure you've thought that one through...he's the epitome of stodge. Useful stodge, but still stodge.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 1:47 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Theres a lot I dont like about that team. Should be more than enough for Italy obviously but seems too cautious. No launchbury or willis is just stupid.

Wants less caution and Launchbury? Hmm, not sure you've thought that one through...he's the epitome of stodge. Useful stodge, but still stodge.

Deceptively fast for those that don’t know him that well.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/punditarena.com/rugby/thepateam/fast-xv-picking-quickest-team-world-rugby/%3famp

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 7:18 am

Na, he's pure stodge. A solid 7/10 player who gets blown away when the game demands more than just solidity. When the tempo is high, when it becomes explosive rugby, Launchbury looks bang average, hence being dropped because EJ wanted explosive rugby and clearly it paid off in 2019.

Johnny Hill is scoring tries for fun in Exeter. Looks like he can do everything Launchbury did but he's younger, fitter, and is an unknown quantity at test level. He's worth a look.

Not sure what recalling Launchbury would do. It's a tricky one where he's too good to 'just' be a club player, but not good enough for an England team that wants to be the best in the world. The Robshaw dilemma.

Anyway, I have no idea why he's being named with regard to caution. Odd, it makes no sense. Hill is clearly the bigger 'risk' with a far higher ceiling for potential reward.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 7:38 am

Launchbury would be competing with Itoje not Hill in any case and Itoje will always play.
Launchbury & Lawes were a great pairing & I’m sure Hill deserves his place today.
My disagreement was your ridiculous description of Launchbury, his general demeanour belies his prowess and speed which those of us that watch him week in week out are aware of.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 8:30 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Launchbury would be competing with Itoje not Hill in any case and Itoje will always play.
Launchbury & Lawes were a great pairing & I’m sure Hill deserves his place today.
My disagreement was your ridiculous description of Launchbury, his general demeanour belies his prowess and speed which those of us that watch him week in week out are aware of.

I'm not really a Launchbury fan but I agree with Trev here I wouldn't say he's stodge. When he was younger he did tear around the pitch more than he does now but he's still pretty mobile for a lock. Doesn't seem to cause as much chaos at the breakdown as he used to but I guess he doesn't get there quite as quickly as he used to

Launchbury and Parling was a combination that worked as Parling did the tight work really well freeing up Launchbury to go and do his thing, best example being that game in 2012. Rowlands is doing something similar at Wasps now being a bit of a unit is helping their scrum as well. Though the pairing could do with some more lineout support from the backrow.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 8:37 am

Almost forgot we had Aus NZ today as well. Better get my arse out of bed soon.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 8:43 am

Stodge is a bit harsh, but I don't know what other word to use. I mean it in a good way but it also says what we can and can't do as well. As mentioned, Itoje is the first name in the England pack, and as such everyone filters in round that. I can't see any room for Launchbury.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 8:47 am

Hate agreeing with Woodward but his thoughts from the Daily Heil 'Now all coaches must be allowed their hunches and must have licence to back their men. We all loved proving the experts in the media wrong but the proof of the pudding is always in the eating and Eddie is going out on a limb here once again.

Against Italy, Furbank should go very well. There should be plenty of attacking opportunities and very few defensive chores but these days Italy are not a true test of a player’s Test ability. I would undoubtedly have gone with Watson at 15 and Jonny May and Joe Cokanasiga on the wings.'

Watson appears to me the perfect solution offering a great defence of the high ball with a blistering counter attack. Will be interesting to see how Furbank plays though today with all the talk of a second playmaker from full bank perhaps he'll get his hands on the ball more. Lots of options for that that I don't think we've had since the occasional Goode cameo (when it was lashing it down).

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Post by BamBam on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 9:33 am

Agreed that Italy isn't really the best test, so I'd hope to see Furbank now keep his place through most of these games as a real test for him.

I like the idea of having a second playmaker in the backs when Farrell is at 10, but if we're also looking at Slade offering that from 12 could it be a case of one too many looking to do the same thing?

I know we had success with Ford, Farrell and Daly all being playmaker options, but does Furbank have the skillset and physical ability to do it out wide, or is he more natural at stepping in when Farrell is at 10.

I would have gone with Watson at 15 and Slade at 12, or with Furbank at 15 and Lawrence somewhere in midfield, just to have the extra strike runner in there. Eddie knows far more than me so let's hope he's got this one right

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 9:44 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Launchbury would be competing with Itoje not Hill in any case and Itoje will always play.
Launchbury & Lawes were a great pairing & I’m sure Hill deserves his place today.
My disagreement was your ridiculous description of Launchbury, his general demeanour belies his prowess and speed which those of us that watch him week in week out are aware of.

I'm not really a Launchbury fan but I agree with Trev here I wouldn't say he's stodge. When he was younger he did tear around the pitch more than he does now but he's still pretty mobile for a lock. Doesn't seem to cause as much chaos at the breakdown as he used to but I guess he doesn't get there quite as quickly as he used to

Launchbury and Parling was a combination that worked as Parling did the tight work really well freeing up Launchbury to go and do his thing, best example being that game in 2012. Rowlands is doing something similar at Wasps now being a bit of a unit is helping their scrum as well. Though the pairing could do with some more lineout support from the backrow.

Yes Sam agreed. Although our lineout functions pretty well as Willis and in particular Shields are used as jumpers to.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 10:44 am

As long as Furbank gives a better performance then Haylett-Petty we should be ok.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 11:16 am

majesticimperialman wrote:Is it the case that who is in the squad for this final game of the 6ns, will be in the squad for the 8ns?

Or will there be a new squad of players coming in to the squad?

Squad

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 12:39 pm

Furbank is also covering 10 as Slade has not played there for years. He looked poor straight after the break, but in the latter games was more confident under the high ball. His biggest problem was being left to run the ball back without support, the opposition new what was coming and acted accordingly.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 2:24 pm

If we go into lockdown for a month on Wednesday...are all the games cancelled?

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