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England build up to Wales.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 8:12 am

England have been pretty comfortable so far clearly led by a set of forwards performing brilliantly. Breakdown, lineout, scrum, everything has been smooth and frankly dominant.

The backs continue to stutter looking for a bit of cohesion, perhaps unsurprisingly to an extent given there have been shuffles to selections. We've perhaps learnt that Furbank isnt good enough for international rugby and that having a winger play on the wing is sometimes a good thing. Obviously this means Jones will ignore that.

One guy completely set in stone is May who moved to joint second highest try scorer for England though. Always lightening but added so much to his game. Hes been relatively quiet this year but excellent yesterday. Quotes from Jones via the bbc "The great thing is he is 30 and still improving,"
"There is no limit to where he can go. I don't think I have ever seen a player who is more professional in his preparation than Jonny. He is fast and elusive, at one stage it looked like he had spiders all over him."

He was always playing well when he got his england chance but obviously the best players continue to improve. You would normally say first name on the team sheet but theres about 5 of them at the moment.

Jones also said: 'We put ourselves in a good position to maybe go on and dominate. We didn't, but there is a lot more in us, which is pleasing," added Jones, who was named England head coach five years ago on Friday.

"Defence was pretty good but we are disappointed with the try at the end. We'd have liked to have a clean sheet, as they say in football, but we are improving. I particularly liked the ferocity of our ruck defence today."

"Wales is a massive game," added Jones. "If they have one game a year to save their season, it is against England. There is intense rivalry, the Scarlets' ground is an open one, so the elements will affect the game. It will be tough and we will pick our best 23 again."

Seems to me hes also a touch annoyed we didnt add more to the scoreboard and nil Ireland. Great defence clearly in the 2nd half but we struggled for field possession. The last sentence for me could be a bit misleading as it suggests the same team and bench for Wales, cant help but feel there'll be 2 or 3 changes though.


Again from the beeb it looks like Wales have a few injuries and doubts for the game: Tipuric was forced off the field in the second half, while Wales full-back Liam Williams also left the field with 15 stitches in his mouth after a stray boot but should be fit to face England. Wing Johnny McNicholl also departed with a rib cartilage issue.

Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau will be fit after recovering from injury, while Cardiff Blues back-rower Josh Navidi is battling to be in contention after missing the autumn programme so far with his own concussion issues.

Ross Moriarty is sidelined with an ankle problem.

Dragons back-rower Aaron Wainwright was handed the man-of-the-match accolade against Georgia after an impressive performance at number eight with Pivac believing this should be his long-term position.

"I personally like him at eight," added Pivac.

"I prefer him at eight to six. He gets his hands on the ball, he has very good acceleration out of the boot.

"You saw some of those skills tonight and I like him in that position."

Wales have an outside centre void to fill missing against England with Jonathan Davies set to miss the game with a knee problem. Johnny Williams impressed at inside centre on his debut.'

All set for a comfortable Wales win then.

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Post by Yoda on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:18 am

It does have that air of 1999 again doesn't it! Sport is great at throwing up surprises. Up until that Scott gibbs try I hadn't seen rodber brushed off any tackle. It certainly won't be a romp in the park for England. I'm just glad the crowd isn't there as they are the 16th player.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 12:11 pm

Wales do tend to lift themselves vs England, but they have been toothless in attack and England defense is off the scale.

England attack has been stuttering compared to where it has been in the past.

So a low scoring game is very likely

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:07 pm

England by a big score, I reckon.  Wales do often get up more for England.  But that’s often off the back of the crowd, which is why it happens much more at home than away vs England.  Sadly there will be no crowd so I struggle to see us ‘getting up’ enough to allow the current difference in form/skill/ability to be sufficiently negated to make it a close game.

It might be a ‘behind the sofa’ kinda game for us Welsh fans Very Happy  Crying or Very sad  Shocked
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:35 pm

Thanks for creating this, you're a much better thread authenticator.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:44 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Thanks for creating this, you're a much better thread authenticator.

I'm sure it'll go downhill in about 48 hours or so.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:45 pm

The Oracle wrote:England by a big score, I reckon.  Wales do often get up more for England.  But that’s often off the back of the crowd, which is why it happens much more at home than away vs England.  Sadly there will be no crowd so I struggle to see us ‘getting up’ enough to allow the current difference in form/skill/ability to be sufficiently negated to make it a close game.

It might be a ‘behind the sofa’ kinda game for us Welsh fans Very Happy  Crying or Very sad  Shocked

No crowds has to equal it out for the away team. It's just one of those where the form book only says one thing....which means the opposite a lot of the time!

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 1:46 pm

Aaron Wainwright, the new POm Run

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:26 pm

The thing with the Welsh and English is that those born and bred in Wales do have this anti English passion when it comes to game time, they draw on reserves they never knew they had. There was an article in RUCK that I saw this morning, 14 of this squad were born outside of Wales and most of those have links that would not have come about until they were adults, England surprisingly have 16 players born outside England, however the likes of the Vunipolas came to the UK early and chose England over Wales, there are others born in the USA and Germany but very few of the England squad have used the granny connection for qualification.

The point is, how many of the current Wales squad will have that inborn "hate" of the English that squads of the past have had that allowed them to play at 120%. an awful lot of them were born and bred in England even if some have Welsh Parents. The opposite of Botham who was born in Cardiff but has lived the rest of his life baring 2 years in England and is of English stock.


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Post by king_carlos on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:34 pm

I reckon Ford will start with Lawrence retained for his ball carrying. Slade on the bench and I've got a hunch that Marchant might get a run from the bench.

Cowan-Dickie will presumably return now fit.

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

9.Youngs
10.Ford

11.May
12.Farrell
13.Lawrence
14.Joseph
15.Daly

16.Cowan-Dickie
17.Genge
18.Stuart
19.Hill
20.Earl
21.Robson
22.Slade
23.Marchant

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Post by The Oracle on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:41 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:The thing with the Welsh and English is that those born and bred in Wales do have this anti English passion when it comes to game time, they draw on reserves they never knew they had. There was an article in RUCK that I saw this morning, 14 of this squad were born outside of Wales and most of those have links that would not have come about until they were adults, England surprisingly have 16 players born outside England, however the likes of the Vunipolas came to the UK early and chose England over Wales, there are others born in the USA and Germany  but very few of the England squad have used the granny connection for qualification.

The point is, how many of the current Wales squad will have that inborn "hate" of the English that squads of the past have had that allowed them to play at 120%. an awful lot of them were born and bred in England even if some have Welsh Parents. The opposite of Botham who was born in Cardiff but has lived the rest of his life baring 2 years in England and is of English stock.



14? That does sound high. From the team that played Georgia (and only based on my memory of their backgrounds!) Jake Ball, Johnny McNicol, Jonny Williams and Nick Tompkins stick out as those not having links until adulthood. Add in Jonah Holmes from the bench too. Who are the other 9?! I still think in any likely match day team there would be a sufficient majority of those either born here or raised here from a young age.

Also, as much as it adds to things ‘hatred’ is a bit far fetched! There’s little genuine hatred. More of a big brother that is usually bigger and stronger and much tougher to beat, so any victory is much sweeter Smile
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 3:51 pm

Unless he’s referring to the whole squad, Jon Davies was actually born outside of Wales, not sure where or why. I think it’s rather petty to bring that up.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 5:12 pm

Lawrence improved his involvement...i wouldnt drop him. Hes the power we're looking for.

I can see the same side being picked once again. But they will be putitng more effort on the attacking aspects.

Youngs Farrell is an issue for me. Your two most creative positions have people who are out of form...or not that creative.

That puts real pressure on Slade at 12 to perform. He played better on saturday ill give him that, but im still not sure he's bringing the dominant performances he has shown for Exeter just yet.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 5:19 pm

Lots of people saying it looks a likely england France final but ireland still very much in this. Assuming ireland win with a bonus point I think it leaves england needing to win or draw to be certain or being defeated with less than a 39 point swing (cant find the rules of the tournament to say its points rather than head to heads).

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 5:44 pm

Mickey, they were referring to the squads and not the teams, I wasn't referring to their rights to play for Wales or if it was right or wrong, I was asking the question about will they have the commitment against England that the Welsh born and bred players will. As I said England have more none English born, but very few that have grown up elsewhere, the only one I can think of is Ribbans.

It is logical that if people immigrate to the UK, the majority will end up in England as it is the largest country, therefore the greater amount of non English born.

As we all know, for a Welshman playing against England gives them an extra 20%, but will the current crop of players born in England or elsewhere have the same commitment?

I cannot find the report now, but it did include a number of fringe players like Holmes and Rowlands and the same for England. Surprised to find the Underhill is a Yank.

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Post by sensisball on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 9:23 pm

Problem for Wales is their pack may struggle to get reliable go forward and so quick ball will be at a premium. I just cant see the Welsh back line having enough power to get through England's defense whilst working off slow ball. The scrum could also be a major concern, conceding penalties and giving England an easy platform to attack the Welsh line through the rolling maul.

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Post by Mr Bounce on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 9:51 pm

If England steadily improve on what they've been doing over the past couple of matches it could indeed be a long evening for Wales. As stated above though, Wales ALWAYS raise their game against England, regardless of form. The lack of crowd and the lack of the Principality Stadium though I think WILL have an effect. And we haven't even got to the self-belief and general form in the Welsh camp.

This is going to go one of two ways: Wales can't deal with the speed and ferocity of England's defence and power game, pick up a couple yellows and submit to several kicks and a try or three. Otherwise a massively fired-up Wales come in with nothing to lose and make it a much closer contest.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:10 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:If England steadily improve on what they've been doing over the past couple of matches it could indeed be a long evening for Wales. As stated above though, Wales ALWAYS raise their game against England, regardless of form. The lack of crowd and the lack of the Principality Stadium though I think WILL have an effect. And we haven't even got to the self-belief and general form in the Welsh camp.

This is going to go one of two ways: Wales can't deal with the speed and ferocity of England's defence and power game, pick up a couple yellows and submit to several kicks and a try or three. Otherwise a massively fired-up Wales come in with nothing to lose and make it a much closer contest.

EDDIE JONES, Says this will be Wales game of the year. Because no matter how bad Wales have been playing they all ways raise their game against England. ( AS long as we beat the English.)

I guess it will depend on what team Wales put out against England. will Pivac stick with the same team that played this week end?

Or will bring back the players that he rested this week?



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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 22 Nov 2020, 10:18 pm

I can’t see Wales scoring many tries, if any. England should score a few and completely control the game for 80 minutes. Eddie the gob never knows when to shut up, does he. Even when he gets his team to 5th it’s still motoring away.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 11:39 am

mikey_dragon wrote:I can’t see Wales scoring many tries, if any. England should score a few and completely control the game for 80 minutes. Eddie the gob never knows when to shut up, does he. Even when he gets his team to 5th it’s still motoring away.

I want to see Biggar (assuming it's him starting) drop a goal if we're in the 22 and not really getting anywhere. There's no shame in it, and it's a relatively easy three points (conditions and Maro Itoje notwithstanding). Do it as often as you need to.

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Post by No9 Yesterday at 11:45 am

Wales to get a try BP win with a points difference of 52 points, to top the group...


.... did I say that out loud ... Shocked

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Post by mikey_dragon Yesterday at 11:55 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I can’t see Wales scoring many tries, if any. England should score a few and completely control the game for 80 minutes. Eddie the gob never knows when to shut up, does he. Even when he gets his team to 5th it’s still motoring away.

I want to see Biggar (assuming it's him starting) drop a goal if we're in the 22 and not really getting anywhere. There's no shame in it, and it's a relatively easy three points (conditions and Maro Itoje notwithstanding). Do it as often as you need to.

I would have him on the bench, like I would have since the France game where he took a knock anyway but stayed on. Patchell seems to be injured, and Evans isn't even in the squad... so Sheedy is in the driving seat for me.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Yesterday at 12:06 pm

I wouldn't mind Sheedy starting, we're on a hiding to nothing anyway.

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Post by majesticimperialman Yesterday at 1:18 pm

If Halfpenny comes back in, does Liam Williams go to the wing or centre?

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 1:27 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:If half penny comes back in, does Liam williams go to the wing or centre.
Has Sanjay played centre in his senior career?

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Post by majesticimperialman Yesterday at 1:30 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:If half penny comes back in, does Liam williams go to the wing or centre.

I also meant to put does liam drop out of the team all together?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Yesterday at 1:39 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:If half penny comes back in, does Liam williams go to the wing or centre.

I also meant to put does liam drop out of the team all together?

Think he moves to lock.

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 2:19 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:If half penny comes back in, does Liam williams go to the wing or centre.

I also meant to put does liam drop out of the team all together?
Nope. Williams is probably the best fullback in the 6 Nations.

Stockdale/Daly frequently can't catch a cold. Hogg has been up and down for Scotland this year. Minozzi and Ramos can be brilliant ball in hand but Williams has the better basics.

Sanjay moves to wing when they both play as Halfpenny doesn't have the same pace he had when younger. In a few months it will be 12 years since he went on his first Lions tour after all. The way Halfpenny has evolved his game over time and following injuries to allow this longevity is remarkable.

I'd be very surprised if Williams isn't the first name in the Welsh backline when fit. Brilliant player whose highball work in attack and defence is on par the with the best in the world. I think a 11.Adams 14.LZR 15.Williams back three could be lethal.

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Post by BamBam Yesterday at 4:33 pm

Can't decide what I want us to do in this one. This set of games has been given a trophy, but for all intents and purposes its just the AIs, so do we treat it like a serious trophy and put out the same first choice XV as the Ireland game, or consider it an opportunity to try out a few more

Think EJ will go with more or less the same side, but would be nice to see some more minutes for some of the guys knocking on the door

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Post by mikey_dragon Yesterday at 4:49 pm

king_carlos wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:
majesticimperialman wrote:If half penny comes back in, does Liam williams go to the wing or centre.

I also meant to put does liam drop out of the team all together?
Nope. Williams is probably the best fullback in the 6 Nations.

Stockdale/Daly frequently can't catch a cold. Hogg has been up and down for Scotland this year. Minozzi and Ramos can be brilliant ball in hand but Williams has the better basics.

Sanjay moves to wing when they both play as Halfpenny doesn't have the same pace he had when younger. In a few months it will be 12 years since he went on his first Lions tour after all. The way Halfpenny has evolved his game over time and following injuries to allow this longevity is remarkable.

I'd be very surprised if Williams isn't the first name in the Welsh backline when fit. Brilliant player whose highball work in attack and defence is on par the with the best in the world. I think a 11.Adams 14.LZR 15.Williams back three could be lethal.

Williams is the first name, followed by Adams. I think we need to move on from Halfpenny, but he'll probably be in the lineup. Going forward our back 3 options should be Adams, Williams, LRZ, McNicholl, Lane. If Hewitt continues to play well and miss out then he's pretty unlucky. Stef Evans always looks good for Scarlets but still question marks over him being a top flight winger, some believe he lacks a bit of pace.

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Post by lostinwales Yesterday at 5:02 pm

From the beeb. Umaga, Furbank out (1st with injury) LCD and Watson back in. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see Furbank again.

England squad:

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Alex Mitchell, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, David Ribbans, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Jack Willis.

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 5:29 pm

Great to see LCD and Watson back.

If Watson is fully fit he will start. I'd like to see LCD get a start at some point but having only a sub appearance under his belt since knee surgery he will probably come off the bench.

Hasn't Marler been listed as with the squad for 'reconditioning' up until now rather than in the actual training squad? If he's fit it will be interesting to see whether he comes back onto the bench.

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Post by lostinwales Yesterday at 6:13 pm

king_carlos wrote:Great to see LCD and Watson back.

If Watson is fully fit he will start. I'd like to see LCD get a start at some point but having only a sub appearance under his belt since knee surgery he will probably come off the bench.

Hasn't Marler been listed as with the squad for 'reconditioning' up until now rather than in the actual training squad? If he's fit it will be interesting to see whether he comes back onto the bench.

How do you choose 2 from Mako, Genge and Marler?

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Post by Gooseberry Yesterday at 6:43 pm

lostinwales wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Great to see LCD and Watson back.

If Watson is fully fit he will start. I'd like to see LCD get a start at some point but having only a sub appearance under his belt since knee surgery he will probably come off the bench.

Hasn't Marler been listed as with the squad for 'reconditioning' up until now rather than in the actual training squad? If he's fit it will be interesting to see whether he comes back onto the bench.

How do you choose 2 from Mako, Genge and Marler?

Drop them all for someone who did well in the previous round of premiership matches, same logic we apply to the back row? Whistle

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 7:26 pm

lostinwales wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Great to see LCD and Watson back.

If Watson is fully fit he will start. I'd like to see LCD get a start at some point but having only a sub appearance under his belt since knee surgery he will probably come off the bench.

Hasn't Marler been listed as with the squad for 'reconditioning' up until now rather than in the actual training squad? If he's fit it will be interesting to see whether he comes back onto the bench.

How do you choose 2 from Mako, Genge and Marler?
I'd stick with Mako starting and Genge on the bench against Wales. Moving forward when all 3 are fully fit we can hopefully look at horses for courses selection where we can start one of the stronger scrummagers against more set-piece orientated sides.

I don't really view Mako as an impact player though. He's a fine bench option of course as you'd expect of a 6 cap B&I Lion. His biggest strength in this England side is his relentless fringe defence though, which as we know England rely on so heavily. That's something which adds up over the course of 60 minutes more than a 20 minute cameo though.

His carrying and handling of course is strong but Sinckler and Curry both becoming stronger at playing as a first receiver to shift the point of attack (something Mako was relied on for more early in Jones tenure) has made that ability of Mako's less integral.

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 7:30 pm

From the stats LT posted in the Ireland thread I think it's worth pointing out that Billy made 25 tackles and an important turnover at the weekend. Not bad for a bloke who looks like he's still playing himself into full fitness and form.

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Post by lostinwales Yesterday at 9:10 pm

king_carlos wrote:From the stats LT posted in the Ireland thread I think it's worth pointing out that Billy made 25 tackles and an important turnover at the weekend. Not bad for a bloke who looks like he's still playing himself into full fitness and form.

Earl going to kick through then realising he was about to get hit by Billy and just spilling the ball forward comes to mind

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Post by Mr Bounce Yesterday at 9:54 pm

Mako's scrummaging has certainly improved, so I agree - he'll likely be starting.

Great to see both Watson and LCD back in the squad. Would either start? I am not sure, but what a couple of players to bring on as impact subs (sorry Eddie, finishers).

It looks like Malins has taken Furbank's spot in the squad, and I am not surprised. Ever since I saw him for the U20s I have been following his progress. He's a brilliant player, and I hope he makes that 15 shirt his own in good time. It would be nice to see some additional squad rotation, maybe capping both Mitchell and Obano off the bench, but I can see Eddie going 100% at Wales. I am expecting a similar 23 to last week, possibly with Joseph dropping off the wing for either Watson or Big Joe.

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Post by king_carlos Yesterday at 10:14 pm

I think Mako's scrummaging has been at the same level for years. Good enough to hold his own against most tightheads and often good enough to be part of a dominant unit for England and Sarries. Just gets dominated occasionally by tightheads such as Malherbe who dominate the majority of looseheads they face.

Given the frustrations of losing a RWC final it's easy to forget how good Malherbe is in the tight and how rare it is to be coming up against a starting tight five who are good enough to keep Kitshoff, Marx, Koch, Snyman and Mostert on the bench.

I wish Marler and Kruis had started the final, hope that Genge can develop as a more dominant scrummaging option on the loosehead. To his credit though Mako has proven that his positives massively outweigh the negatives against the vast majority of opponents over and over again for Sarries, England and the Lions.

If Watson is fully fit I think he will definitely. Seems as nailed on as May when at his best.

Agree that it's good to see Malins leapfrogging Furbank though. He's got a lot of talent. I bet Earl and Malins are pretty happy with the decision to go on loan at the minute given they will presumably stay in the running for the 6 Nations.

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