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Next steps for england.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 09 Dec 2020, 7:33 am

First topic message reminder :

Theres a couple of articles on the BBC which to me indicate exactly where england need to step up in the 6 nations. One by Matt Dawson :

'To win a World Cup, you have to be able to adapt under the biggest pressure and on the biggest occasion.

That is what the All Blacks or South Africa would do. That is what England did in 2003.

It is not always going to go your way. Even if you are overwhelming favourites, you will play some games that you know you should win that you will end up losing.

That is why I am even more pleased with England's Autumn Nations Cup sudden-death win in extra time against an inexperienced France side.

England were matched physically up front and if you look at the previous occasions when that has happened they have usually lost the game. This time they dug themselves out of it.

Eddie Jones' side are naturally going to be favourites in most matches for the next two or three years but they are going to play against teams that are not as good on them on paper but can match them if they play out of their skins.

That is what France did. They were missing so many stars who were unable to play because of an agreement with the Top 14 league but there were plenty of good French players with the potential to light it up.

No matter the circumstances, you have got to know how to win games and this was a classic example from England.

England have a chance at the Grand Slam when the Six Nations starts in two months, but they will only win it if they take their opportunities.

They have a good cycle of fixtures, with just two away matches, against Ireland and Wales.

France's performance in Sunday's final showed that the Six Nations is going to come down to them and England.

Les Bleus are the only team in the northern hemisphere that can physically compete with England over 80 minutes.

France's second team were playing at Twickenham, but a full-strength side will travel to south-west London in March for the penultimate round of the Six Nations.

To win that match, England will have to be more accurate than they were on Sunday.

They are only going to get three opportunities against a side like France. They have to score at least two of those chances if they want to win the game.

England scored one try against France, when Luke Cowan-Dickie went over in a maul
In the final, France did not get many chances. You might even argue they had one chance, and they scored one try through Brice Dulin.

That is the standard required. England, on the other hand, should have scored at the end of the first half when they were camped on France's line.

There were two chances when Elliot Daly passed to Anthony Watson on the right wing. The first, Daly passed a bit too early, and the second went to Watson's feet. They should have scored at least one of those.

'England need to recognise prime time to attack'
I want to know what England are doing in training in terms of attack. Time after time there are opportunities that England are not going for.

I do not look at the England side and see a huge threat in the backline even though individually you look at the players and think how good they are. It is all so lateral.

Against France, they went through all their usual kick and chase protocols and there were overlaps they did not want to attack.

On a couple of occasions it could be argued that it paid off because they got three points from the ensuing penalty but other times those decisions could have got them in trouble.

You get into the habit of not being able to complete those processes. If you are in the groove and used to doing it you get ruthless and you finish people off. The attack just does not seem joined up to me.

Rather than keep kicking the ball away, they need to recognise when it is prime time to attack, and England have the skills to be able to do it.

'We've not seen what Farrell has to offer this autumn'
England captain Owen Farrell has so much to offer but we have not seen it this autumn and I do not know why.

He missed four kicks against France, including one that could have ended the game early in sudden death.

All kickers, even at the standard of Owen Farrell, have off days. Most kickers would have either passed the baton on to George Ford or would not have got the ones under pressure.

The fact that he still had the mental capability to kick the penalty that won the game under the most pressure shows the animal that he is.

My concerns around Owen are just that we talk about him being a points machine but he has so much more.

For England he has been a ferocious tackler, distributor, creative player but maybe his role has slightly changed now.' And money and care:

Monye: "If this team are to win the World Cup they have to evolve their game in attack. Do you have the game to chase the game?

"England aren't going to be on top in every game they play from now to 2023. If they are to be the number one team in the world, they need to show more in their attack.

"If their attack could match their defence, this team won't be beaten. At the moment they leave the doors open for teams to get at them. It's not about being the best in the northern hemisphere, it is about beating New Zealand, beating South Africa."

Care: "When you are winning games every week and building momentum, it's because of the nuts and bolts of their game - their set-piece, brutal defence and kicking game - you probably take things like finishing four on threes for granted a little bit.

"They probably train a similar way, exactly how they play - kick chasing, waiting for errors, and they probably haven't spent an awful lot of time developing their attacking game. They are suffering almost from their own success, beating teams without having to do an awful lot."

I mean its blatantly obvious given how good our defence and set piece is (even under pressure by Woki and France) that the attack stick out like a sore thumb. We kicked alot, but kicked poorly. Normally over long and not contesting for the ball a great deal of the time (in the air). 2 things from the articles were that chances were created that should have been finished (France) and how different would we see it had Daly not butchered them. Personally I think we were a little too conservative and slow which led to alot of inaccuracies. We just didnt seem to hit the switch as we've done so well under Jones previously. It was only in the last game where Robson seemed to up the tempo and we started to look a bit more lively.

To me there is a serious question for all the back line bar Jonny May on left wing (watson to me is a question of right wing or full back). That question is there as I'd like a better balance in midfield and a new 9 and 15 but also because I dont see the point in having 2 perceived ball players in midfield playing the current tactics. May as well find our new noon and tindall.

The balance to that is that we've won the lot this year so my complaints are merely about consolidating our place in the pecking order through improvement not standing still. I think the 6 nations is a great chance to pick up a grand slam with the way the fixtures fall this year.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu 21 Jan 2021, 12:31 pm

Cameron Redpath was recruited to Bath because of the need for an EQ inside centre.
Now that he has chosen to change allegiance, I would be surprised if he gets another contract because this goes against the Bath new policy of EQ players unless no other option and Bath have other EQ centres and also an academy centre with a famous rugby surname waiting to step up.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 21 Jan 2021, 10:12 pm

Doncaster saracens cancelled due to covid. I cant imagine many of that match day squad would have been troubling england selectors but Billy Vunipola may be a doubt.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 21 Jan 2021, 10:28 pm

Apparently Farrell has tested positive. Add him to Stuart, Underhill, JJ and Watson who will presumably miss the start of the training camp. Plus Jones and Proudfoot.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 7:45 am

Mail reporting England will pick Harry Randall in today’s squad.
I think he always indicated England over Wales but it looks as though his recent form has been rewarded.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:02 am

Robson dropped then. Well you cant say he hasn't had his fair chance.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:31 am

I knew Jonny May was fast, but Ruck is reporting he is super fast compared to his contemporaries, over 100m:

Hogg 11.60 seconds
Stockdale 11.35 seconds
Vakatawa 11.30 seconds
Watson 11.20 seconds
May an incredible 10.71

So England have the two fastest wingers amongst the established 6N players. I assume that these figures are not on a athletics track with proper sprint shoes and blocks. If so what could he do if set up that way.
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:23 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Robson dropped then. Well you cant say he hasn't had his fair chance.

Not according to the report. EJs is selecting all 3 Shocked

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:26 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I knew Jonny May was fast, but Ruck is reporting he is super fast compared to his contemporaries, over 100m:

Hogg 11.60 seconds
Stockdale 11.35 seconds
Vakatawa 11.30 seconds
Watson 11.20 seconds
May an incredible 10.71

So England have the two fastest wingers amongst the established 6N players. I assume that these figures are not on a athletics track with proper sprint shoes and blocks. If so what could he do if set up that way.

I think when JM was interviewed back at Glaws. He was asked who is the quickest & he said Thorley was quicker than him.
I believe Thorley ran 10.6m at 16 years but that was on a track.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:31 am

And young Adam Radwan made him look ponderous Very Happy Wink

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:44 am

Apparently nowadays because wingers generally have the ball and run inshort bursts its metres per second that is more relevant.
Now with GPS its easy to measure & May is the quickest. Not, however, as quick as Christian Wade was

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-fastest-rugby-players-on-the-planet-and-the-speeds-theyre-clocking/

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:47 am

Jason Robinson was always the best example for that Trev....(and yet nowhere on the lists...interesting)

From 0 - 40 m...he was simply unmatchable...especially those first few steps...utterly blistering.
But 40 - 100m he could be caught.

Some big blokes in those lists aswell...Stephen Ferris? Pierre Spies, Joe Cockasaniga....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:10 am

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Robson dropped then. Well you cant say he hasn't had his fair chance.

Not according to the report. EJs is selecting all 3 Shocked

It's the hope what kills you.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 22 Jan 2021, 10:17 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Jason Robinson was always the best example for that Trev....(and yet nowhere on the lists...interesting)

From 0 - 40 m...he was simply unmatchable...especially those first few steps...utterly blistering.
But 40 - 100m he could be caught.

Some big blokes in those lists aswell...Stephen Ferris? Pierre Spies, Joe Cockasaniga....

Acceleration is a big deal, so powerful smaller guys do have some big advantages (Odogwu?). Have the same kind of power to weight ratio with a big guy and you can end up with a Tuilagi. May is better at that than he looks - the try vs NZ just seemed to be him going so much faster than the defence realised - but with him it seems to be more about his top speed.

I think May would be a better 200m, even 400m runner than 100m.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 22 Jan 2021, 2:02 pm

That was a fascinating article. Having worked with NFL players, it is all about their 40 yard speed. All about explosiveness and agility front, back, left, right. Very few flat track 100m sprinters have been successful in the NFL. I would take Jason Robinson over any England fullback we have had since. if someone catches him 40 or 50 yards down field that is fine with me because we are 40-50 yards ahead.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jan 2021, 2:42 pm

With Robinson it wasn't even the 0-40m speed. He could go from jogging to top speed inside 10m it's why he mad some many line breaks. Acceleration was insane and then he had a side step to go with it. Stand them up and go round them before they can get going again. One on one you just can't defend that. 

Wade used to be similar, not as good but similar. Against a tiring defence you could score a hatful. Bit unlikely to get that on the current international scene when most top tier nations are ridiculously fit and then can replace half the starting team with good players. Still Kolbe manages it.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:43 pm

England squad

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Paolo Odogwu, Harry Randall, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

So Willis, Sinkler & Joseph notable omissions. Mako ruled out & working on rehab.
Randall, Odogwu & Obano uncapped players


Last edited by BigTrevsbigmac on Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lostinwales Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:44 pm

Dammit. 2nd

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:44 pm

Forwards (16): Beno Obano, Ellis Genge, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Harry Williams, Jamie George, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson, Billy Vunipola, Ben Earl.

Backs (12): Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Max Malins, Jonny May, Paolo Odogwu, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Dan Robson, Harry Randall

No Jack Willis is the obvious talking point, with Mark Wilson preferred, won't please many but the right call in my opinion.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:45 pm

According to the beeb there is a 'shadow squad' including Willis and Joseph, and no Mako due to injury.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:51 pm

Im guessing the shadow squad can play for their clubs but are first to be called up for injuries to the main squad.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:54 pm

1 step forward 2 back. Robshaw mark 2 included ahead of the best flanker in the league. We'll end up plodding along with him lawes and vunipola at some point.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:1 step forward 2 back. Robshaw mark 2 included ahead of the best flanker in the league. We'll end up plodding along with him lawes and vunipola at some point.

Tom Curry is included.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 4:59 pm

Yup he is. At least that's something.

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Post by BamBam Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:05 pm

I reckon Wilson is in as the second 8 rather than the 4th flanker

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:07 pm

Genuinely pleased for Odogwu, Obano and Randall. I hope that Jones gives them each some game time. Shame for Willis, but in rugby you're just a tackle away from losing a favourite player through injury so he could step up when needed.

I am looking to see what Odogwu can do in a white shirt. I think he could be a very interesting option.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:07 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:1 step forward 2 back. Robshaw mark 2 included ahead of the best flanker in the league. We'll end up plodding along with him lawes and vunipola at some point.

I agree but Jack took a knock to his hip against Exeter and to me he wasn’t at his best against Bath.
I see Charlie Atkinson has been named in the shadow squad.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:09 pm

I wonder if theres some wriggle room for Sinckler to come back into reckoning post ban or of that's it for him full stop this tournament? Nice to see Martin's form recognised though.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:21 pm

Delighted for Randall and Odogwu. Glad that Malins has been retained as well.

On a biased Tigers note I'm very happy for Martin being in the shadow squad. He looks a big talent. The work rate to play blindside but bulk and set-piece to be a fantastic lock.

Tough for JJ to miss out after good form in the ANC but Odogwu has improved his all round game at Wasps out of sight from where he was with Sale. Lawrence and Odogu provide two potential ball carriers in the backs.

Ali Crossdale has effectively been selected ahead of Thorley, Cokanasiga and McConnochie. I haven't seen that much from him in his limited Sarries appearances. Certainly surprised he's being looked at again ahead of Radwan.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I wonder if theres some wriggle room for Sinckler to come back into reckoning post ban or of that's it for him full stop this tournament? Nice to see Martin's form recognised though.
Might depend on how we go against Scotland. If Stuart goes well then maybe he will sit on the naughty step a bit longer. If we struggle against a much improved Scotland scrum then Jones probably wont risk it.

Personally I'd bet on Sinckler coming back into the training squad when available but possibly riding the bench behind Stuart until he puts a big performance in as a sub.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:31 pm

Delighted to see Martin in there. An international of the future and I would imagine Eddie very much likes the idea of having a lock who can play 6 on the bench and Martin's tackle rate only helps matters.

Harsh on Marchant and Joseph as I thought one of the two, probably the later would be involved. Unsure why Crossdale and Furbank is there. Crossdale really hasn't played for Sarries and Furbank's form has been pretty awful since he made his debut and has never looked like an international fullback. Furbank's position looks even more weird when Steward has been excellent this season and has all the attributes that Eddie normally loves. Feel for Radwan as well, he looks like a natural successor to Johnny May.

I imagine Sinckler will be straight back into the match day squad after suspension. He offers a lot more ball in hand than Williams. I hope Obano gets the nod over Marler on the bench. Really like the idea of Obano coming on for Genge and us maintaining the hard carrying intensity.

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Post by BamBam Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:36 pm

Is Odogwu in as a centre or back 3 option?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:42 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:1 step forward 2 back. Robshaw mark 2 included ahead of the best flanker in the league. We'll end up plodding along with him lawes and vunipola at some point.

Mark has been exceptional since his return this season...and clearly someone Jones trusts hugely. He has all the traits in a player that Jones desires.

I had no doubt he would be selected.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:44 pm

BamBam wrote:Is Odogwu in as a centre or back 3 option?

Back 3 first then emergency 13 probably i would have thought

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:47 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:1 step forward 2 back. Robshaw mark 2 included ahead of the best flanker in the league. We'll end up plodding along with him lawes and vunipola at some point.

Mark has been exceptional since his return this season...and clearly someone Jones trusts hugely. He has all the traits in a player that Jones desires.

I had no doubt he would be selected.

So was robshaw. Just thought we'd move past that now. Think Bam is maybe on the right lines as 8 cover. Which to me is just as bad when you have the likes of Simmonds and mercer available.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:52 pm

Can those players follow Jones gameplan to the letter? Wr kmow Wilson can

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:54 pm

Anyhow bar the disappointments it's a really good squad of players. Should be looking for a grand slam here and given we have france at home after the away defeat and close run thing at home I think they'll be targeting that as a statement game. Firat up scotland surely they'll be looking to grind then into the ground with the pack and perhaps hopefully even get the backs involved from time to time. Despite the insistence that playing without the ball is safer the the potential of that backline is great ball in hand.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:57 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can those players follow Jones gameplan to the letter? Wr kmow Wilson can

Yes of course they can. Wilson is fine at what he does. If he were born 15 years before he actually hed be a mainstay. As it is I'm disappointed hes there.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:59 pm

So will Jones opt for

6 Curry
7 Underhill
8 Vunipola

6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry


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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 5:59 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Can those players follow Jones gameplan to the letter? Wr kmow Wilson can

Yes of course they can. Wilson is fine at what he does. If he were born 15 years before he actually hed be a mainstay. As it is I'm disappointed hes there.

Im not Wink

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:02 pm

Ps Simmonds can but Mercer is so far out of the picture hes in france already

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:08 pm

7.5
I rate all the young kids and would happily have them in. Ive always said it. But dont underestimate Wilson. I also dont see Mark as a Robshaw MK2. Mark is more physical he has real steel in him that i dont believe Robshaw did. I think thats the difference why at the moment Jones wants him in the squad.

The kids will over take him very soon (as Curry and underhill clearly did) but they will have to convince Jones they have the physicality, engine and mental strength to take that spot.

At the moment clearly Jones doesnt see that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:12 pm

I deleted that response geordie. I get the arguments I made the point but wont dwell. Hopefully there are big performances in this tournament from some of my perceived weak links. Some are more overdue than others!

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:17 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:So will Jones opt for

6 Curry
7 Underhill
8 Vunipola

6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry


6 Youngs
7 Farrell
8 Daly

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Post by lostinwales Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:28 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:So will Jones opt for

6 Curry
7 Underhill
8 Vunipola

6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry


6 Youngs
7 Farrell
8 Daly

No May?

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Post by king_carlos Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:44 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
BamBam wrote:Is Odogwu in as a centre or back 3 option?

Back 3 first then emergency 13 probably i would have thought
Joseph and Marchant both being dropped suggests he's covering centre and wing as that's what those two players were doing in the recent squads. If the coaches don't genuinely think he can cover both like JJ or Marchant then it's a selection that leaves the squad light on cover.

I'd prefer Odogwu at 13 for England. He's stronger in the tackle than he is in positioning or under the high ball so could fit into the defence better at 13. He also has no kicking game which is difficult as an international back three.

From 13 he wouldn't defend as JJ or Slade do where they run the defensive line. He could do what Manu did for England defending in that channel by rushing up and using his pace to make a hit or force runners back inside towards Curry, Underhill, Itoje, etc.

England's systems for defending the wide channels has tended to change significantly depending on who is at 13. With Manu there it's more aggressive and physical, pretty much a continuation of the very aggressive blitz around the fringes. With JJ and Slade they are slightly more passive wider out employing something more similar to the Scotland drift defence.

The aggression of our fringe defence has been the constant of England under Jones. It's been outstanding and has only improved with Curry and Underhill. In the most recent losses against South Africa and France it was noticeable that they penetrated that fringe defence. South Africa battered us there with an enormous pack and France used Dupont to manipulate the fringe defence very smartly.

Against France the Rattez try started when Dupont threw a pass from the base that cut out the first two fringe defenders to get Aldritt over the gainline. The next phase Dupont and Thomas combine to make the clean break through the fringe defence. It was then finished by Dupont and Ntamack combining to stretch Sinckler out of position around the fringes so that Rattez could go through.

France were definitely the better side in that opening round but it's worth noting that's the only try they scored from phase play. Ollivon's first was a bit of a freak try from a good box kick and his second came from a bit of brilliance by Dupont after England disrupted their lineout.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 22 Jan 2021, 6:54 pm

Do you know if the 12 players on standby in the shadow squad have to isolate in the bubble with the main squad? Or can they continue to play with their clubs?

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 22 Jan 2021, 7:20 pm

The shadow squad is an oddly mixed bag. Crossdale's (continued?) inclusion is slightly odd. I can think of a few players off the top of my head that seem more deserving; Thorley, Radwan or McConnochie? If you want a young tyro, why not somebody like Ollie Hassell-Collins or Nick David- who are at least getting game time in the Premiership. Eddie's obviously seen something he likes in Crossdale.

Congratulations to George Martin, that is a meteoric rise! The same could be said Charlie Atkinson, but you could imagine Smith and Simmonds at home thinking WTF?

Pleased to see Heyes in there, England's tighhead stocks after Sinkler, Stuart and Williams are a bit suspect or young and callow.
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Post by lostinwales Fri 22 Jan 2021, 7:51 pm

With Thorley it feels like Jones had a look and decided he's not up to it. Hope I am wrong but since his brief cameo he's been completely off the radar

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 22 Jan 2021, 7:51 pm

Have I said recently I am getting tired of the Ford-Farrell axis?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Jan 2021, 9:48 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:7.5
I rate all the young kids and would happily have them in. Ive always said it. But dont underestimate Wilson. I also dont see Mark as a Robshaw MK2. Mark is more physical he has real steel in him that i dont believe Robshaw did. I think thats the difference why at the moment Jones wants him in the squad.  

The kids will over take him very soon (as Curry and underhill clearly did) but they will have to convince Jones they have the physicality, engine and mental strength to take that spot.

At the moment clearly Jones doesnt see that.

I do like Wilson he's a good player at 6, 7 or 8. Massive work rate and not short on physicality a good all rounder. However, will he start? Nope no chance the Curry, Underhill, Vunipola backrow is pretty much set. Will he be on the bench, possibly but probably not as Earl brought good impact off the bench previously. Question then is what does he bring to the squad? At 31 he won't make the next world cup and whilst he may be a leader behind the scenes there's plenty of other leaders. I just think having Willis in a position where you can guide his training and development goals is far more beneficial than having a good player that won't improve and is unlikely to play.

Cumbrian, I doubt Sam Simmonds will be annoyed at Martin's inclusion as he's as much a lock as a 6 and we know Eddie has a soft spot for these hybrid style players. Joe Simmonds is no doubt used to being ignored by this point and the irrational love in for Wasps playmakers who aren't good enough for international action is well established by the continued selection of Umaga. Umaga being a player as likely to cost you a try as score one from nothing.

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