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"Game of the Year" - England vs Ireland - ANC round 2

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Post by Pot Hale on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 11:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Eddie Jones thought he'd ramp up the pressure on his own team in advance of England playing Ireland next weekend in the ANC by declaring it the game of the year.  Nobody took him too seriously but he does like to give the media a soundbite or two to keep them happy.  No doubt, he'll be saying the same thing when his team travel across the country to play Wales.   And, in playing the winners of Pool B in the final game of this Autumn Nations Cup.

The latest rugby broadcaster, Amazon Prime, has already scheduled the England playoff final match on its own at Sunday lunchtime on 6 Dec in Twickenham.  They know which side their financial bread is buttered, even if they don't know where Northern Ireland is.

Before then, however, England have a little job to do.  They played against and with Georgia at the weekend, with the Georgians supposed ace in the scrum turning out to be less than anticipated.    Job done and 5 points in the bank.  

Andy Farrell is the one with more work to do with his team being royally spanked in the last few tests against England.   the English have the pack-power to put paid to Ireland before a pass even reaches their backline.   So can Farrell change that with selection policy or different game plan.  

Against Wales, Ireland were missing normal first-teamers Furlong, Henderson, Leavy, Stander, Aki, Ringrose, Stockdale and Larmour.   They weren't missed.   Ireland  can expect to have Stander and Aki available for Twickenham and assuming the medical illnesses that prevented Stockdale and Henderson from playing against Wales will have abated in time to allow them join the squad.

Whilst it might seem obvious that Henderson would start if available, Quinn Roux, probably for the first time since he arrived on a trial year at Leinster in 2012, managed to demonstrate to a lot of Irish fans that he might actually be useful and worth selecting.  Originally picked by Schmidt specifically as a tighthead lock on their SA tour in 2016, Roux had only gained a dozen caps before starting against Wales.   He provided the needed ballast for Porter at scrum time, and made himself a nuisance in the loose and useful in carrying including getting the first try.    Does he get to start again and displace the incumbent?

Conor Murray might be another to look to his laurels when he saw the pace that Jamison Gibson Park instilled into proceedings right from kick-off to the final whilst.   Andy Farrell might see him as a useful 9/10 to bring off the bench.

Elsewhere, Stockdale will likely be brought back in, although Farrell might prefer him on the wing with Keenan seeming more assured at full-back.

And in midfield, is Aki an automatic pick at 12 with either Henshaw (27) or Chris Farrell (27) as his partner?   Aki will be nearing 31 at end of next Six Nations - is he likely to be first pick when he's 33.5 years of age by the time of RWC 2023?  Or does Farrell need to make more room/time for others including Ringrose, McCloskey, and possibly 1 or 2 others?

Caelan Doris is making the No 8 position his own with each passing game, but it may be too early to omit Stander from the backrow equation.   Does POM get dropped to the bench again to make way?

Eddie Jones will already be plotting another Ireland downfall.   Will he go for pack power again combined with the accurate England kicking game, or does he have another few tricks up his sleeve?

Plenty to chat about, particularly once the team announcements come in.

Ireland Match Day 23
H Keenan; K Earls, C Farrell, B Aki, J Lowe; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; C Healy, R Kelleher, A Porter; Q Roux, J Ryan (capt); CJ Stander, P O'Mahony, C Doris.
Reps: R Herring, E Byrne, F Bealham, I Henderson, W Connors, C Murray, B Burns, J Stockdale

England Squad
Elliot Daly Owen Farrell George Ford Jonathan Joseph Ollie Lawrence Max Malins Jonny MayDan Robson Henry Slade Ollie Thorley Ben Youngs
Tom Curry Tom Dunn Ben Earl Ellis Genge Jamie George Jonny Hill Maro Itoje Joe Launchbury Lewis Ludlam Kyle Sinckler Will Stuart Sam Underhill Billy Vunipola Mako Vunipola


Last edited by Pot Hale on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 12:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:02 pm

Not surprised to see Willis dropped. Eddie Jones does what he wants.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:43 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Not surprised to see Willis dropped. Eddie Jones does what he wants.

He also left the field early and seemed to be favouring one leg. Might just be a knock and Eddie has a lot of quality backrow options.

I'm hoping for;

Genge, George, Stuart
Itoje, Hill
Curry, Vunipola, Underhill
Youngs, Ford
Farrell, Lawrence
Thorley, Daly, May

Dunn, Vunipola, Sinckler, Launchbury, Earl, Robson, Slade, Joseph

Well actually I'd prefer for Malins to get a go over Daly but there's little chance of that happening. I'd also be tempted to drop May and put Joseph on the wing but again that's unlikely.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:46 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Eddie Jones does what he wants.


What's he supposed to do, check with you first?

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Post by majesticimperialman on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:47 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Not surprised to see Willis dropped. Eddie Jones does what he wants.

Eddie Jones as all ways said he will pick the best 23 players to start.

Maybe he believes Willis is not the one of the best 23players for this game.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:49 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Eddie Jones does what he wants.


What's he supposed to do, check with you first?

I don't understand your post. Could you explain it using different words?

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 8:49 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Not surprised to see Willis dropped. Eddie Jones does what he wants.

Eddie Jones as all ways said he will pick the best 23 players to start.

Maybe he believes Willis is not the one of the best 23players for this game.

Exactly.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 9:06 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Not surprised to see Willis dropped. Eddie Jones does what he wants.

Eddie Jones as all ways said he will pick the best 23 players to start.

Maybe he believes Willis is not the one of the best 23players for this game.

Yes as the Telegraph reported on Monday Jack was a doubt for this match after picking up a knock in the game against Georgia.

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Post by Yoda on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 9:45 pm

It shows respect to Ireland I think as underhill, curry, vunipola has been pretty decent and Jack looked a little crocked. We are picking an experienced squad and so we should as Ireland will be tough.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 7:06 am

The Times: 18/11/2020 wrote:Willis, 23, has been carrying a dead leg that caused him to sit out training on Monday. Though that absence may have influenced the thinking for the Ireland game, England have confirmed that his omission from the squad was a selection decision and not a fitness issue.  

It also appears to be familiar Eddie Jones psychology. The idea that a player may think he has properly arrived is one that the England head coach is ever happy to detonate; he would rather them always banging on the door to get in.

For the Italy game 2½ weeks ago, both Jonny Hill, the Exeter Chiefs lock, and Ollie Thorley, the Gloucester wing, made their debuts. For the following match, against Georgia, they vanished from the team.

  That they are back in the group for the Ireland game shows that Jones is trying to bring a broad group along together and that, for now, he is as focused on keeping a competitive edge as he is on putting successive games into his debutant players and allowing them to settle at this level.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 7:25 am

Blackett said as much with his comments that Willis is available to wasps this weekend.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 7:33 am

I suspect we will see Willis back in the squad for one of the other games. More interesting for me is that we have not seen Umaga outside of the extended squads, with Malins seeming to be ahead of him.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 7:38 am

LondonTiger wrote:I suspect we will see Willis back in the squad for one of the other games. More interesting for me is that we have not seen Umaga outside of the extended squads, with Malins seeming to be ahead of him.

Might have been included as an unofficial apprentice. Jones wasn't going to sub off Farrell and had several centres he wanted to give game time to. Mallins offered him the chance to have emerged 10 cover and also play 15. Umaga's tendency to mix brilliance with errors never seemed to fit with the normal Eddie selection criteria though so I was a bit surprised he was picked in the first place, he's very reliant on a guiding hand from 12.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 8:07 am

I was expecting umaga to be capped against italy or georgia to be honest to tie him in. Much like Geordie I think Smith has more potential both short and long term. I think it's as much wanting to try slade at 12 and look more closely at Marchant and Lawrence meaning there isnt the chance at present. Will be interesting if ford and joseph arent fit enough. May mean daly to the wing and Malins at full back, or bring thorley in with Malins more at or cover for fly half.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 8:54 am

Anyone noticed Ewells is not in the squad either...replaced by Hill?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 9:07 am

Indeed. Less surprised by that. Hill is getting a lot of plaudits. I have a slight question over the last 2 games and his eagerness. Another day with another citing panel he could have been sat watching tv like the rest of us. Steady game to start but should be getting a run of games.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 9:35 am

It shouldn't be a great shock to see senior players returning from injury jump straight back in for an A game. Maybe feels a bit hard on the likes of Willis and Ewels to drop out of a squad altogether, but its not like this the full training group theyve been ditched.

I assume theres an element Jones wanting a certain type of player for this match and valuing Hills power. England are likely to have to scrap a lot harder for possession against Ireland than they did Georgia. I gues the flip flopping on Hill could be seen as a bit odd, but then people are moaning at the same Time Jones isnt trying enough players.

Willis perhaps a little more controversial than as hes very much a form player over the past few months and had a genuinely good display in his opportunity, injury fitness hasn't been mentioned in the press but I guess that could be a thing.

Could also be an element of Jones feeling they would benefit from playing with their clubs more than watching England play?

Overall theres still a good blend between 50 cap and sub 10 cap players in the squad. Its only really half backs that England have struggled under the Jones years to find natural cycling of new players and continual evolution. 8 first caps made in 2020 so far, not bad for 6 games or even if there no more given out in the remaining fixtures.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:02 am

I must admit i dont get dropping Willis. Unless its injury possibly why he went off Early v Georgia?

Im a big Earl fan...but i think Willis showed more in that game that Earl has in a few appearances.

WIllis is not just a turnover man. Hes a big strong guy, tackles hard, carries hard. Surely thats the type of player you want v Ireland.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:03 am

And wheres Ted HIll!!?

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:16 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:I must admit i dont get dropping Willis. Unless its injury possibly why he went off Early v Georgia?

Im a big Earl fan...but i think Willis showed more in that game that Earl has in a few appearances.

WIllis is not just a turnover man. Hes a big strong guy, tackles hard, carries hard. Surely thats the type of player you want v Ireland.

It was Georgia so does that performance really mean a great deal?

Curry and Underhill have tortured Ireland in recent times with their dominant tackling so it makes sense Jones is reverting to type. Earl and Ludlam are very much his go to bench guys; i'd expect Willis to start more than the pair but that's a different thing altogether.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:36 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:And wheres Ted HIll!!?

Not in the side, just like he's hasn't been aside from one game in 2018. Not sure how its odd/controversial he isnt given the backrow options England have and success of the current group.

Reading the above does look like Willis got a minor injury in the Georgia game, but I still dont think he wouldve been guaranteed a spot in the 23 with two more senior players getting fit.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:53 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I must admit i dont get dropping Willis. Unless its injury possibly why he went off Early v Georgia?

Im a big Earl fan...but i think Willis showed more in that game that Earl has in a few appearances.

WIllis is not just a turnover man. Hes a big strong guy, tackles hard, carries hard. Surely thats the type of player you want v Ireland.

It was Georgia so does that performance really mean a great deal?

Curry and Underhill have tortured Ireland in recent times with their dominant tackling so it makes sense Jones is reverting to type. Earl and Ludlam are very much his go to bench guys; i'd expect Willis to start more than the pair but that's a different thing altogether.

Well in the fact that his performance from what hes been doing for Wasps, simply continued on for a different team against a team with a previously respected pack. That would suggest he would warrant another game v a tougher nation to see if he can continue on again.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 10:55 am

Gooseberry wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:And wheres Ted HIll!!?

Not in the side, just like he's hasn't been aside from one game in 2018. Not sure how its odd/controversial he isnt given the backrow options England have and success of the current group.

Reading the above does look like Willis got a minor injury in the Georgia game, but I still dont think he wouldve been guaranteed a spot in the 23 with two more senior players getting fit.

Well the fact Jones seems to want a monster playing at 6...you would think he'd want to look at an ACTUAL back rower who has the same stats as the locks he's putting in there, and who carries and tackles like a tank!

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 11:00 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I must admit i dont get dropping Willis. Unless its injury possibly why he went off Early v Georgia?

Im a big Earl fan...but i think Willis showed more in that game that Earl has in a few appearances.

WIllis is not just a turnover man. Hes a big strong guy, tackles hard, carries hard. Surely thats the type of player you want v Ireland.

It was Georgia so does that performance really mean a great deal?

Curry and Underhill have tortured Ireland in recent times with their dominant tackling so it makes sense Jones is reverting to type. Earl and Ludlam are very much his go to bench guys; i'd expect Willis to start more than the pair but that's a different thing altogether.

Well in the fact that his performance from what hes been doing for Wasps, simply continued on for a different team against a team with a previously respected pack. That would suggest he would warrant another game v a tougher nation to see if he can continue on again.

The moment the form of Curry or Underhill drops then Willis may get a prolonged chance in the side but until then he's not getting in the side when everyone is fit. Earl and Ludlam are proven off the bench late in games too. I realise that Willis is the in guy at the moment but it's hardly surprising or controversial that he hasn't been selected. Would he have been in the wider squad at all if Wilson was fit?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 11:03 am

i think Wilson ticks all the boxes for Jones. So if fit he would have been in the squad.

I think Ludlum is the one in danger in the squad. Yes he fits Jones system well...but i dont think he'll hold it for long IF Willis keeps up this form.

Curry and Underhill are the first choice i get that..but things can change quickly in rugby.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 11:12 am

More mind games from Jones, like the Vauxhall Viva.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 11:25 am

One thing that Ludlam does that Willis doesn't, well not as well any way, is the kick chase. Both him and Earl are very quick and if you are going to play a kick chase game it makes sense to have people in the squad that are very good at it.

I think that Willis is a phenomenal player, but he like everyone else will have to adapt his game to Eddie's game plan if he wants to be picked.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 11:27 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I must admit i dont get dropping Willis. Unless its injury possibly why he went off Early v Georgia?

Im a big Earl fan...but i think Willis showed more in that game that Earl has in a few appearances.

WIllis is not just a turnover man. Hes a big strong guy, tackles hard, carries hard. Surely thats the type of player you want v Ireland.

It was Georgia so does that performance really mean a great deal?

Curry and Underhill have tortured Ireland in recent times with their dominant tackling so it makes sense Jones is reverting to type. Earl and Ludlam are very much his go to bench guys; i'd expect Willis to start more than the pair but that's a different thing altogether.

Well in the fact that his performance from what hes been doing for Wasps, simply continued on for a different team against a team with a previously respected pack. That would suggest he would warrant another game v a tougher nation to see if he can continue on again.

The moment the form of Curry or Underhill drops then Willis may get a prolonged chance in the side but until then he's not getting in the side when everyone is fit. Earl and Ludlam are proven off the bench late in games too. I realise that Willis is the in guy at the moment but it's hardly surprising or controversial that he hasn't been selected. Would he have been in the wider squad at all if Wilson was fit?

Probably. Wilson is 31 he isn't going to make the next world cup. England will have to move on from him sooner rather than later. Willis has a lot of similar attributes and is in his early 20s. It feels like a natural progression.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 12:09 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:One thing that Ludlam does that Willis doesn't, well not as well any way, is the kick chase. Both him and Earl are very quick and if you are going to play a kick chase game it makes sense to have people in the squad that are very good at it.

I think that Willis is a phenomenal player, but he like everyone else will have to adapt his game to Eddie's game plan if he wants to be picked.

That's the thing, there are five flankers who do exactly what they are asked of from Jones. The kick chase, being good over the ball and speed back to your feet are what Jones demands; Willis does one of those exceptionally well but on the other two counts is no slouch but not at the requisite level. We're talking miniscule details but that's the way it is. When Dombrandt and Hill aren't even considered, the back row isn't something to get too hung up about.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 12:30 pm

It's a popular line re kick chase and being on your feet. Nothing from his year at Wasps or the game against Georgia suggests a weakness there for Willis though. We have a very good back row but Willis offers an improvement and it's important not to stand still.

Will be interesting to see how influential POM is at the weekend too. Likelihood that our lineout will be weaker than Georgia, only 2 locks, Curry improving but not as good as Willis yet. POM has destroyed us before.


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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 12:33 pm

It's a popular line because it's true; those selected this weekend are quicker than Willis, that isn't to say it's a weakness of his but rather that others are better.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 12:35 pm

Not sure Underhill is quicker than Willis tbh. Willis is generally the first guy there for wasps, whether that be he just reads the game better is a question. Given that Youngs is one of the quickest back rowers around tells me something. Still more inclined to think Jones just wants to play down expectation.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 12:37 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Will be interesting to see how influential POM is at the weekend too. Likelihood that our lineout will be weaker than Georgia, only 2 locks, Curry improving but not as good as Willis yet. POM has destroyed us before.


He won't be.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 1:03 pm

Like I said hes been the defining factor against us before. Was good vs wales as well.

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 1:33 pm

Farrell has gone for Stander, POM and Doris in the back row, where size looks the defining factor, but there is no way those two at flanker are quicker at accelerating to the breakdown and support than Curry & Underhill.

Irelands fundamental issue is a lack of effective over the gainline ball carriers in the pack bar Stander, however they have plenty of sizeable carriers in midfield but their ruck ball is likely to be slow on too many occasions and neither of the named Irish centres is known for a passing game for the back three.

Weather forecast for Saturday looks dry - England's kicking game with Youngs, Ford, Farrell, Slade and Daly will be a big factor. Disappointed Cokanasiga not getting a run out.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 1:51 pm

Ireland: Keenan; Earls, Farrell, Aki, Lowe; R Byrne, Gibson-Park; Healy, Kelleher, Porter; Roux, Ryan (capt); Stander, O'Mahony, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, E Byrne, Bealham, Henderson, Connors, Murray, B Burns, Stockdale.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 2:13 pm

It's a good team, but you get the feeling they've left some pretty good players back in Ireland at Munster. I feel they're also weak at 13/14 as it is filled with players who are good at club level but not quite as good at this level right now.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 3:50 pm

I'm glad that Jones has backed Hill again. Seeing him against Ryan in the lineout will be a good measure of where he is at international level.

Not having Ewels on the bench suggests that Itoje would call the lineout if Hill has to go off which is good to see as well.

Earl is starting to look like the versatile bench forward that Jones will want to make the 6-2 split viable. A full tight 5 on the bench then Earl able to cover the whole back row.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 3:54 pm

king_carlos wrote:I'm glad that Jones has backed Hill again. Seeing him against Ryan in the lineout will be a good measure of where he is at international level.

Not having Ewels on the bench suggests that Itoje would call the lineout if Hill has to go off which is good to see as well.

Earl is starting to look like the versatile bench forward that Jones will want to make the 6-2 split viable. A full tight 5 on the bench then Earl able to cover the whole back row.

I wonder if there is a plan for him to be an emergency centre

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 4:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:I'm glad that Jones has backed Hill again. Seeing him against Ryan in the lineout will be a good measure of where he is at international level.

Not having Ewels on the bench suggests that Itoje would call the lineout if Hill has to go off which is good to see as well.

Earl is starting to look like the versatile bench forward that Jones will want to make the 6-2 split viable. A full tight 5 on the bench then Earl able to cover the whole back row.

Only 3 locks, so can't have a full tight 5. I suspect it will be Ludlum that drops out of the forwards and Thorley the backs.

Same front row combos as Georgia, Hill and Itoje 2nd row and Curry Underhill and BV back row.
Youngs, Ford (if fit), Farrell, May, Slade, JJ, Daly

Finishers

Dunn, MV, Sinckler, Launchbury, Earl, Robson, Malins, Lawrence

If Ford is not fit, Thorley in and all the backs slip sideways one place.

I can't see him playing with two flankers on the bench although they are both versatile and quick, none of the back row are big enough to play lock, except BV but I can't see that so I think it will have to be a 5:3 split.



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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 4:19 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote: Disappointed Cokanasiga not getting a run out.

Is he actually fit? Having not played this year would make it quite a thing to jump straight into a game like this

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 4:29 pm

lostinwales wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I'm glad that Jones has backed Hill again. Seeing him against Ryan in the lineout will be a good measure of where he is at international level.

Not having Ewels on the bench suggests that Itoje would call the lineout if Hill has to go off which is good to see as well.

Earl is starting to look like the versatile bench forward that Jones will want to make the 6-2 split viable. A full tight 5 on the bench then Earl able to cover the whole back row.

I wonder if there is a plan for him to be an emergency centre
I think more likely that they'd use a similar set-up to when Hendrik Tui played on the wing for Japan. I.e. the actual winger playing wing and fullback sit deeper on either side and the other 13 players set the defensive line. So Earl might be replacing a winger but really would be playing like a 9th forward rather than actually in the backs.

Ireland with Rob Kearney used a similar setup defensively. Two players dropped back with Kearney covering a lot of ground which allowed them to have 13 men in the line and attack very aggressively as per the Andy Farrell system. You need a 15 as tactically good in defence as Kearney was in his prime though.

I can see the logic in testing it if Jones and Proudfoot want the 6-2 split to be a less risky option. From attacking scrums you can simply use Earl as a crash ball runner to set up phase play. From defensive scrums Earl could lineup at 10 with Ford dropping back alongside the fullback. A flanker lining up at 10 from defensive scrums isn't unheard of without playing an extra forward - Will Evans for Quins very recently. From lineouts numbers are frequently changed and backs join mauls anyway so little change there. In open play all players are expected to defend well across the defensive line these days, so again little change.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 18 Nov 2020, 4:33 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I'm glad that Jones has backed Hill again. Seeing him against Ryan in the lineout will be a good measure of where he is at international level.

Not having Ewels on the bench suggests that Itoje would call the lineout if Hill has to go off which is good to see as well.

Earl is starting to look like the versatile bench forward that Jones will want to make the 6-2 split viable. A full tight 5 on the bench then Earl able to cover the whole back row.

Only 3 locks, so can't have a full tight 5. I suspect it will be Ludlum that drops out of the forwards and Thorley the backs.
I was talking about longer term with Earl there, WPI.

More thinking that Willis was picked ahead of Earl as a starter last week but Earl has been preferred (presumably) as the bench option. It could be where Jones is headed with Earl viewing him as a sub that can cover the whole back row and potentially wing in an emergency, hence making the 6-2 split less risky.

Launchbury was excellent, as usual, in maul attack and defence last weekend which is why I think he's been retained. He's got weaknesses to his game but he's consistently an excellent mauler which a forwards coach like Proudfoot will value a lot.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 10:27 am

Unsurprisingly quotes from Proudfoot via beeb:

"Honesty and clarity," Proudfoot told BBC Sport when asked how Jones dealt with disappointed players.
"His message is straight to the point."
Proudfoot, who joined up with England after helping South Africa to victory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, added: "There is clarity on where we want you to improve and why you aren't selected.
"Any disappointment fuels a player's growth, as long as he has clarity and knows what he needs to do to improve.
"I am yet to meet a coach as honest as Eddie and as clear in his message as Eddie. There is no double speak."
Underhill in and Willis out for Ireland game
Proudfoot said he had been happy with both try-scoring debutant Willis and Ewels in the win over Georgia.
"Absolutely pleased," he said when asked about Willis' display.
"He is delivering well, he is pushing hard. He has a good appetite to learn and he has a bright future."
Ireland won their opening Autumn Nations Cup match 32-9 against Wales on Friday and Proudfoot was impressed by how their forwards contributed to victory.
"They have a great scrum, very good maul, quick, intense line-out. It is going to be an a an unbelievable challenge for the England pack," he added.
"This will be our toughest game of the year."

Not long now until the team is announced. They keep switching between 11 12 or 1 recently. Given its a 3pm kickoff probably at 11?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:02 am

Vunipola George Sinckler
Itoje Launchbury
Curry Underhill
Vunipola
Youngs Farrell
May Slade Larence Joseph DAly

Dunn Genge Stuart Hill Earl Robson Ford Malins

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:05 am

Glad Lawrence is in. We continue with a second play maker in midfield in the absence (on the bench of Ford). Bit of pressure on Slade I think as if Lawrence goes really well he'll be looking over his shoulder.

People have said that Launchbury in means a weak lineut and with an absence of an out and out jumper in the back row (Curry making good improvements albeit) and POM lurking we're going to see if that second row combo (my preferred one) can stand up to a true test.

That front row off the bench suddenly looks a real threat to Ireland, along with the ballast of Hill.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:13 am

I like that team on the whole. Definitely feels like it has a degree of flexibility in the backs, and I'm also a fan of Launchbury so hope the lineout does go well.

Hope Malins can get some time at FB, would like to see more of him, but disappointed Thorley doesn't look like he's in favour. With Watson injured again I want to see us develop another true wing to take over from May / Watson rather than shoe horning JJ in

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:32 am

Hope Sinckler is on form because Stuart has looked very good

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:39 am

lostinwales wrote:Hope Sinckler is on form because Stuart has looked very good

And Genge looked very good and held up a couple of scrums as the Georgians looked to stop themselves being marched back. Bar Stephen Jones giving him 5 out of 10 pretty much all plaudits.

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Post by hugehandoff on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 11:48 am

Bit of pressure on Sincks as if Stuart makes an impact in the scrums when he comes on his place will definitely be under pressure. Sincks needs to get back to his marauding best.

If the lineout creaks then Hill to come on and Itoje back to 6?

Big test for Lawrence but great to see how he goes.

England have slightly bullied Ireland recently so I expect a very fired up Ireland to come out and it should be a proper test match.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Thu 19 Nov 2020, 12:03 pm

Not sure if about the pack set up, Ireland have a very strong line out and we have put out possibly our weakest line out. Launchbury is competent only at this level, Itoje excellent and then who, neither Curry or Underhill are even close to POM. The Irish will mark Itoje with possibly two jumpers knowing they can still pressure Launchbury and probably Curry.

I like the idea of putting out two very strong scrummaging props for the latter part of the game and I like what Ford could do coming on presumably for Lawrence or Slade, but I would preferred to see him start and be replaced later on if he is not yet fully fit. It would be a chance to see Malins at 10 and if that is not working,drop him back to 15 and bring Daly into the centres and Farrell at 10.

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