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Gallagher Premiership 2020/21

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 15 Nov 2020, 10:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

The new season starts next weekend. What are people's hopes and expectations?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 01 Mar 2021, 7:48 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Youngs certainly is rubbish, he just has an awful pass. Luckily, passing is that important for a scrum half Whistle

Yeah the awful passing game that's seen him be an international for what 11 years. We've seen multitude of different players come in and try to usurp him, fail and fall away. Wigglesworth, Care, Heinz, Robson, Spencer etc. All are supposedly better but none take the shirt off him. It's the normal case of the team aren't performing as we'd like point fingers at the unexciting options who could be replaced by someone younger and exciting. Until you try the younger exciting option and realise that maybe that stalwart isn't the problem.

Now if Ben played for England like he does for Tigers then we would have problems.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 8:45 am

Sorry, that was meant to say "isn't rubbish".

Youngs has always had different qualities (such as his ability to spot a break), his passing has always been sub-standard for a top scrum half. No other scrum half past Care has been given an opportunity really, which is why he doesn't have any competition now.

Heinz, on his few appearance, has looked better than Youngs, but just seems to be quite injury prone and rather old.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 01 Mar 2021, 9:10 am

England appearances with starts in brackets for the scrum-halves who have played since Youngs was first capped.

Ben Youngs - 107 (85) + 2 (1) for Lions
Danny Care - 84 (38)
Richard Wigglesworth - 33 (9)
Joe Simpson - 1 (1)
Lee Dickson - 18 (8)
Jack Maunder - 1 (1)
Ben Spencer - 4 (4)
Dan Robson - 10 (0)
Willi Heinz - 13 (4)

So safe to say none of them have really challenged Youngs. Worth noting that spans three England head coaches and another coach in Gatland for the Lions though so it's not like Jones is the only one who's ever rated Lenny.

Injury stopping Harry Ellis in his tracks just as he was getting going with England meant Youngs became first choice very early. Had Ellis not had knee issues then he would have been the natural successor to Gomarshall after 2007.

Scrum-half has been an odd position for England in the pro era. Dawson, Bracken and Gomarshall all got capped with 3 years of each other between '93 and '96. So just either side of the game going professional. England had those three nines then from '10 onward we got Youngs and Care dominating. Between that there's a lot of Paul Hodgson, Shaun Perry, Peter Richards, Lee Dickson, etc type players with a handful of caps who didn't do too much.

In Nick Duncombe we sadly lost a very talented scrum-half who may have changed that though. Such a tragic situation.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 9:20 am

To counter slightly KC, those are appearances, not minutes. A lot of the time these options are given very few minutes to try and impress.

To allow a player to bed in and see if he can cut it, he needs a number of starts (5-10 would be my number). This 6N would have been a great time to go with Robson as starting, instead he gets 20mins off the bench (twice when we're under the cosh).

I know you guys like to defend Youngs (I don't rate him at all, but a different matter), but the succession planning since Care was discarded has been terrible. We're now basically left with Youngs as pretty much un-droppable, despite him putting in one good game every 10. Eddie has created this monster.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 01 Mar 2021, 9:29 am

To me that's due to lack of options though. We used to say the same about the conservative selections in the back row of Robshaw, Haskell and occasionally Tom Wood. Once Curry and Underhill emerged as first choices they were abandoned though. Not just for younger players either but also for a guy approaching thirty in Mark Wilson who's performances by then were better than those guys.

If standout alternatives demand selection I think they'd get chances but I just don't think that's been the case. Hopefully guys such as Randall and Mitchell can change that over the next couple of years.

Robson would be a pick of hope over expectation which I just don't think improves the side.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 9:36 am

I don't know KC, I think sometimes you need to bring on these options too. Even Robson, has he even had a start in his 10 caps? He must be averaging 15/20mins a game over these caps.

I personally think Robson is better than Youngs but hasn't been given the opportunities to really show it. He's probably be cast aside after the 6N without ever really having a good go.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 01 Mar 2021, 1:10 pm

Those 20 minutes are where you bed into international rugby. At scrum half you see a lot of the ball so it's not a case of not having opportunity to get involved in the game. Robson has no excuse and neither does any attacking minded scrum half coming off the bench. The game is opening up it's your chance to shine. The starting scrum half who's had all the pressure, had to do the tactical kicking battle whilst the teams prod to see if they can identify weakness has the tough job.

If Youngs had thrown the intercept that ultimately cost England the game and not Robson then he'd have been slated for it for the next 12 months.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 1:35 pm

I disagree.

You don't see what a player can bring until he gets a number of starts. It's a different pressure, a different game.

Robson has 10 caps, no starts and he's averaging 17mins a game, that's not good enough. Eddie is hindering the development of players due to his loyalty to a number of individuals, particularly Youngs, Farrell and Daly.

We know what Youngs can (box kick) and can't do (pass). Give him the tournament off, develop options, allow him to recharge.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 01 Mar 2021, 2:01 pm

Six Nations isn't a tournament for experimental teams. The summer tour (if there is one) that's a different matter. Lions players are away stalwarts not selected for the Lions can have the summer off and a proper pre season.

To be fair Robson might not make the cut for that either on current form unless Randall doesn't recover in time. His errors would have seen Youngs crucified on here and at nearly 29 what's the point. Youngs is being cited as too old for the next world cup at 31. Randall, Mitchell and Maunder in that order.

I personally hope that the summer tour goes as far as to not select any player that started a game in both the 6N and ANC this season. Take virtually a new squad. Give Marcus Smith the 10 shirt, Obano and Heyes a go in the front row along with Dunn etc.

Should make the clubs happier if some of the usually flogged players get a summer off and a proper pre season.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 2:26 pm

Trying out a backup for a number of games instead of a 100 cap player is hardly experimental, it's forward thinking.

If Youngs were to get injured for a year, we'd have no real idea who has the capability to step in, it's incompetent from a coach to be in this situation. I'm not blaming Youngs for this (despite his obvious limitations as a player), it's on Eddy.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 01 Mar 2021, 2:31 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Trying out a backup for a number of games instead of a 100 cap player is hardly experimental, it's forward thinking.

If Youngs were to get injured for a year, we'd have no real idea who has the capability to step in, it's incompetent from a coach to be in this situation. I'm not blaming Youngs for this (despite his obvious limitations as a player), it's on Eddy.
Was the same not true when Tom Curry stepped in with Haskell injured?

Curry had one previous cap from 2017 Argentina tour when Haskell was unavailable for the South Africa tour the following summer. He stepped in against the Boks in Joburg and has pretty much been a first choice when fit since.

When players have been good enough they've broken through.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 4:08 pm

But this is rarely how it works, players usually take time to settle in. Yes the odd players look natural to Int rugby (Curry, Itoje spring to mind) but the majority have to work for it.

You don't really get to see what a player brings unless he's given time to show this. I don't think this is particularly groundbreaking, it's common sense surely?
,

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Post by king_carlos Mon 01 Mar 2021, 4:39 pm

I agree that players need chances I just disagree that bench time isn't enough to judge players on some occasions. Some players come off the bench, show little to nothing and don't earn that further chance. Others come off the bench and shine demanding those further opportunities.

On the basis of his bench appearances I see no reason why Robson would start. Heinz for instance performed well from the bench in the RWC hence why he got the starting shirt in the opening round of the last Six Nations against France.

I just don't see Robson as an international scrum-half, especially in England's game plan. His box kicking and defensive work are dire.

If players perform in the Premiership, as Robson has done very well, then I do think they need chances. I don't think it takes more than bench appearances to see that a player isn't up to it at times though.

Jamie George rode the bench for his first 17 England caps but did so much in those appearances that he made the Lions tour and started all three tests. His first international start was actually for the Lions.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 01 Mar 2021, 4:49 pm

I think we're kind of agreeing in a long winded way. I just think Robson is a better player than Youngs and you don't, that's fair enough, happy to move on.

If only we could combine the dire defence/box kicking of Robson with the incomprehensible bad passing/speed of delivery of Youngs......we'd have Micky Young.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 01 Mar 2021, 4:57 pm

Laugh

Yep I think we're in an agree to disagree place on Youngs and Robson. I do rate Robson in the Premiership where he's been impressive at Gloucester and Wasps. I was happy for him to make the squad and get chances. After seeing his bench appearances I just don't think he's cut out for international rugby despite shining in the Prem though. It does happen that players just don't step up with Teimana Harrison being one of the starkest examples in recent years. Graham despite shining so much with Falcons had a stinker off the bench against Wales for instance.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 01 Mar 2021, 5:18 pm

How many of the current 23 have had a run of starts at the start of their career where they played poorly but were retained?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 02 Mar 2021, 5:04 am

I think in this instance KC, we generally only really remember the bad games. Some players take time, May was a headless chicken who struggled in defence and ran down blind alleys constantly....now one of the best wingers in the game. Sinkler took a long time to settle into international rugby too.

Harrison is a good example actually, in the opposite sense. He looked good from the bench a couple of times and then had 3 or 4 starts (I think?) and got gradually worse, culminating in him getting subbed off early and never returning.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 12:06 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:

I personally hope that the summer tour goes as far as to not select any player that started a game in both the 6N and ANC this season. Take virtually a new squad. Give Marcus Smith the 10 shirt, Obano and Heyes a go in the front row along with Dunn etc.

Should make the clubs happier if some of the usually flogged players get a summer off and a proper pre season.

Where is the summer tour?

Yes i hope thats the case aswell...lets see whos coming through properly and give them a shot.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 02 Mar 2021, 12:25 pm

I think it's supposed to be USA and Canada but plans might change. Ideal opportunity to experiment. Be good for Prem rugby as well for the star names that aren't with the Lions to be in prime shape for the new season and a lot of young guns pushed on with international experience.

For a 34 man squad. You could have something like;

LH - Obano, West, Rodd
Hooker - Dunn, Capon, Singleton
TH - Heyes, Street, Painter
Lock - Ribbans, Martin, Beaumont, Robinson
Backrow - Barbeary, T Willis, Evans, Dombrandt, Simmonds, Ludlum
9 - Randell, Mitchell, Maunder
10 - Smith, Simmonds
Centre - Lawrence, Marchant, Devoto, S James
Wing - Murley, Thorley, Odogwu, Loader
Fullback - Steward, Hodge

All mid twenties or under (bar Dunn who I'd have captain), all could be options for at least the next world cup with a good proportion in line for the one after as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 1:08 pm

Pretty nice squad. Would like to see Kpokwu in there and Hill.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 1:13 pm

Pretty much with you there Sam...

A couple of possibles..?

Barbeary to hooker - lets see what his core skills are
Ted Hill in the back row.
The other Curry in the back row.
Radwan in the wings

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 02 Mar 2021, 2:52 pm

Kpoku isn't playing in the Prem so I'd opt out of that. Which Hill? Hill the tighthead over Painter yeah why not.

Ted Hill the backrow if he refinds some good form then sure. Ben Curry has done ok I'd be open to him going. I like the way Evans is playing at Quins so I'd gone with him as the pure 7 with Ludlum and Tom Willis able to slot in there as well. Mercer could have been in with a shout if he wasn't off to France.

Barbeary is in there as an either or. Get him into camp and see what you think. Naming him as a backrow would remove the expectation and maybe stop the media questioning his right skillset if he ends up playing in the backrow to gain experience.

Radwan yeah forgot about him, love a pace merchant.

It's relatively straightforward to put that squad together and there's players in there that could lead. Reward Premiership form and stop the relative hunting other nations. Plus for the England coaches you can guide those players towards the development path you want which is always beneficial, get then focusing on the goals you set not hoping that your and the clubs plans align. You couldn't manage the development of all those players out of camp either.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 3:23 pm

Yes id like that.
Persoanlly id like to get Barbeary at hooker now. Lets really test his skills there and how if at all the set piece work affects his barnstorming game.

Imagine him at hooker with good core skills surrounded by Genge (if he can actually transfer his game to the international stage) and Sinkler....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 3:56 pm

Kpokwu is going to be class. Get him involved now on a minor summer. Hill the back rower. Again just get these guys a few games and a tour under their belts.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 02 Mar 2021, 4:03 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yes id like that.
Persoanlly id like to get Barbeary at hooker now. Lets really test his skills there and how if at all the set piece work affects his barnstorming game.

Imagine him at hooker with good core skills surrounded by Genge (if he can actually transfer his game to the international stage) and Sinkler....

I'm beginning to think Genge isn't international class tbh.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 4:18 pm

My first thought is you're crazy. Why?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 02 Mar 2021, 4:36 pm

26 caps, has he transfered any of his AP form to the higher level?

Of late, he's just give away dumb penalties and struggle at the set piece. He's supposed to be a carrier, has he shown this?

I wouldn't be adverse to him going back to Tigers to rediscover some form.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 02 Mar 2021, 4:54 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:26 caps, has he transfered any of his AP form to the higher level?

Of late, he's just give away dumb penalties and struggle at the set piece. He's supposed to be a carrier, has he shown this?

I wouldn't be adverse to him going back to Tigers to rediscover some form.

I thought he was better against Wales. He was pinged in an unlucky situation with being the one driving the ball carrier forward only for the ball carrier to lose their footing in contact and him ending up on top. Other than he kept his nose clean other than burying a Wales forwards face in the floor when they tried to wind him up (which did make me chuckle).

He hasn't been destructive in the set piece and as you say he's not carried as well as normal. The super sub role should suit him as well. I think if it was allowed he'd have played for Tigers during the rest week to just get him some more minutes because he's not hitting his straps. Obano didn't make a big impact on his brief showing either but I'd like England to have another look at him this summer.

Ellis has only played twice between the end of the ANC and the start of the 6N as Carlos pointed out very well on the international board. Much the same for a lot of the England contingent which is why we as a squad are a little undercooked.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 02 Mar 2021, 4:57 pm

Genge is a funny one as he seemed made for Int rugby, especially as an impact option. Eddie seems to have drained the life out of him and he's just not producing the goods.

Still young in prop terms though...was surprised he had 26 caps.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 02 Mar 2021, 5:00 pm

Marler and him were excellent in the world cup. It all started going wrong when we introduced the worst scrummager again! I'd agree on the unlucky penalty. I dont think i have seen a support to the carrier get pinged like before.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 8:22 pm

de Jager is some lock forward. Another South African, typically.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 02 Mar 2021, 8:54 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:de Jager is some lock forward. Another South African, typically.

Do you mean Lood de Jager at Sale? The world cup winner. Yes he's some player. Looked to be a good combination with him and Beaumont though Sale have some good options with Weise and du Preez also at the club as well. 

There's a big Saffa presence there but they are still bringing through their youngsters, young Rodd will soon be in a tug of war as he qualifies for England, Scotland and I assume by the first name Bevan for Wales as well. Seems similar to the Sarries method of signing a strong Saffa squad then introducing your best youngsters into a winning team.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:02 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Kpokwu is going to be class. Get him involved now on a minor summer. Hill the back rower.  Again just get these guys a few games and a tour under their belts.

When did he last play a game?

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:08 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:de Jager is some lock forward. Another South African, typically.

Do you mean Lood de Jager at Sale? The world cup winner. Yes he's some player. Looked to be a good combination with him and Beaumont though Sale have some good options with Weise and du Preez also at the club as well. 

There's a big Saffa presence there but they are still bringing through their youngsters, young Rodd will soon be in a tug of war as he qualifies for England, Scotland and I assume by the first name Bevan for Wales as well. Seems similar to the Sarries method of signing a strong Saffa squad then introducing your best youngsters into a winning team.

Yep, he's the only de Jager lock forward in England I can think of. Do they still have JP du Preez on their books?

Want to talk about the top 3 fly-halves in England; Sheedy, Biggar, Priestland?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:16 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:de Jager is some lock forward. Another South African, typically.

Do you mean Lood de Jager at Sale? The world cup winner. Yes he's some player. Looked to be a good combination with him and Beaumont though Sale have some good options with Weise and du Preez also at the club as well. 

There's a big Saffa presence there but they are still bringing through their youngsters, young Rodd will soon be in a tug of war as he qualifies for England, Scotland and I assume by the first name Bevan for Wales as well. Seems similar to the Sarries method of signing a strong Saffa squad then introducing your best youngsters into a winning team.

Yep, he's the only de Jager lock forward in England I can think of. Do they still have JP du Preez on their books?

Want to talk about the top 3 fly-halves in England; Sheedy, Biggar, Priestland?

Is that Welsh for Marcus Smith...?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:19 am

I think Simmonds may have a small word to say here too!

Never rated Priestland, but he's been decent of late.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:22 am

Better make it a top 5 then; Sheedy, Biggar, Priestland, Ioan Lloyd.... and another Very Happy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:31 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Kpokwu is going to be class. Get him involved now on a minor summer. Hill the back rower.  Again just get these guys a few games and a tour under their belts.

When did he last play a game?

Not sure.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:45 am

Kpoku started for Sarries in their two fixtures against Ealing and the one against Donny. So he's fit and playing.

I can't wait to see Kpoku back in the Premiership with another years grow and S&C under his belt. He is an absolute unit.

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Post by Maine man Wed 03 Mar 2021, 10:01 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Better make it a top 5 then; Sheedy, Biggar, Priestland, Ioan Lloyd.... and another Very Happy.

Paddy Jackson. He's been doing ok of late. Unfortunately Ireland are blessed with quality fly halves at present, he can't get a look in! 😉

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 10:29 am

king_carlos wrote:Kpoku started for Sarries in their two fixtures against Ealing and the one against Donny. So he's fit and playing.

I can't wait to see Kpoku back in the Premiership with another years grow and S&C under his belt. He is an absolute unit.

See if he gets any games i nthe champ.

He might have been better going on loan...maybe to someone like us...aside from our starters (Pieterson and Fuser) we're short on good locks.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 03 Mar 2021, 10:55 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Kpoku started for Sarries in their two fixtures against Ealing and the one against Donny. So he's fit and playing.

I can't wait to see Kpoku back in the Premiership with another years grow and S&C under his belt. He is an absolute unit.

See if he gets any games i nthe champ.

He might have been better going on loan...maybe to someone like us...aside from our starters (Pieterson and Fuser) we're short on good locks.

There is always a chance his identical twin will kick on too but from what I understand is lagging behind his brother at the moment. They are still very young for locks though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:09 am

i was wondering about the locks for England...we've been lucky we had a good bunch, however who comes after the "main bunch"

Itoje, Launchbury, Lawes, (Kruis - Away but may well come back)

J.Hill - Work in progress
Ewells - Jury is out in my opinion..

Attwood - Playing great rugby, and big and aggressive...but 33 surely time has gone...

Martin - Just breaking through..lots of potential

Isiekwe - Surely the perfect build for a lock..only 22/23...whats happening?

Ribbans - Qualified but why are we looking at a S.African.

Who else is there...
Kpoku x 2
Bamber at Bristol?

Any others...?


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lostinwales Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:14 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:i was wondering about the locks for England...we've been lucky we had a good bunch, however who comes after the "main bunch"

Itoje, Launchbury, Lawes, (Kruis - Away but may well come back)

J.Hill - Work in progress
Ewells - Jury is out in my opinion..

Attwood - Playing great rugby, and big and aggressive...but 33 surely time has gone...

Martin - Just breaking through..lots of potential

Ribbans - Qualified but why are we looking at a S.African.

Who else is there...
Kpoku x 2
Bamber at Bristol?

Any others...?

Isiekwe? Or is he just seen as a 6 now?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:16 am

Completely forgot about him. I think he needs to be playing lock...but hes only 22 isnt he? Hes got the build to be a great lock.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:00 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:de Jager is some lock forward. Another South African, typically.

Do you mean Lood de Jager at Sale? The world cup winner. Yes he's some player. Looked to be a good combination with him and Beaumont though Sale have some good options with Weise and du Preez also at the club as well. 

There's a big Saffa presence there but they are still bringing through their youngsters, young Rodd will soon be in a tug of war as he qualifies for England, Scotland and I assume by the first name Bevan for Wales as well. Seems similar to the Sarries method of signing a strong Saffa squad then introducing your best youngsters into a winning team.

Yep, he's the only de Jager lock forward in England I can think of. Do they still have JP du Preez on their books?

Want to talk about the top 3 fly-halves in England; Sheedy, Biggar, Priestland?

Now now Mikey it's not fishing season.

Sheedy would be in the chat for top three with Simmonds, Smith and Ford. Paddy Jackson has looked pretty good for LI as well. Biggar meh, hasn't really helped Saints since the resumption and Priestland can't seem to keep control of a game which when you play as pragmatically as him is a problem.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:04 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i was wondering about the locks for England...we've been lucky we had a good bunch, however who comes after the "main bunch"

Itoje, Launchbury, Lawes, (Kruis - Away but may well come back)

J.Hill - Work in progress
Ewells - Jury is out in my opinion..

Attwood - Playing great rugby, and big and aggressive...but 33 surely time has gone...

Martin - Just breaking through..lots of potential

Isiekwe - Surely the perfect build for a lock..only 22/23...whats happening?

Ribbans - Qualified but why are we looking at a S.African.

Who else is there...
Kpoku x 2
Bamber at Bristol?

Any others...?

Will Witty at Chiefs? Robinson at Falcons? Beaumont at Sale?

I like Beaumont actually, good in the lineout and good carrier. Can also slot into 8. Just needs to stay fit. We've got good young lads but we need one of Hill or Ewels to come good or its Lawes, Kruis and Launchbury in their 30s then Itoje and then guys in their early twenties or 19 if you're George Martin. Tigers have got two other good young locks that are EQ and have under 20 representation but neither are going to be ready without another year or two development.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:31 pm

You know how much i rate Robinson Sam, but he's not likely to get a look in...he's also playing superb at 6 this season.

Witty...im not sure. When he broke through i honestly thought he had a big shout for international recognition...hes a proper big unit and has some serious pace. But his problem is he just doesnt know how to use that pace and power properly. However, LIke i said when he moved to Exeter...hes at the best place to learn that.

Beaumont...surely that ship has sailed...?

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Post by king_carlos Wed 03 Mar 2021, 12:44 pm

I rate Isiekwe extremely highly. Had the salary cap stuff not caused so many changes at Sarries his stock would probably be higher. He was first choice blindside and performing very well in the Sarries pack. The only non internationals in their pack were Earl and Isiekwe. It's no coincidence that Earl is now firmly in the England 23 as well. Isiekwe was frequently calling the lineout regardless of playing flanker when Kruis was away as well.

They deserved the punishments they got no doubt but it was still a side playing fabulous rugby. Their achievements against Premiership sides in an uneven battle are rightly tainted but they were still hammering very good sides in Europe.

Moving to a Saints side struggling for consistency and battling with a Saints and England stalwart in Lawes for the blindside shirt hasn't seemed to help in the short term but will hopefully improve him in the long term.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 1:27 pm

Wheres our new Simon Shaw...the 6'9 powerhouse...

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