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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 BigTrevsbigmac Tue 22 Dec 2020, 1:50 pm

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:The other one that always impresses me is Odogwu at Wasps. Yet he never gets mentioned anywhere.

He's a powerful pacy guy.

Is that because he's more known as being a winger? Plenty of good wings at the moment

‘Last season Paolo got some starts on the wing. But this season he has had 3 starts at OC & done really well. Fakitoa is currently injured & he has taken his chance.
I agree Geordie he has real talent.
Good time to be a Wasps fan with the youngsters showing up really well at the moment.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Dec 2020, 1:55 pm

Yeah possibly, but ive seen him play 13 quite alot and he always looks a right handful. Busy, powerful, has enough pace at 13 to cause real problems.

Im not saying hes the answer by any means...just curious why he hasnt been looked at. Or maybe he has and just deemed not good enough.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Tue 22 Dec 2020, 3:03 pm

I think that must have been for his previous club Sale.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 22 Dec 2020, 3:43 pm

Odogwu is a talent with in the past a shocking attitude. Was sacked by Leicester after phoning in sick yet then going to meet friends at a 7s competition that day and posting the drunken photos on Instagram (this seems to have been retconned to left due to no opportunities)

I thought this season was the first time he had played centre - certainly he was on teh wing for Wasps last season when sent off.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 22 Dec 2020, 4:21 pm

i didnt know that was the case LT. Maybe he's learned from it and got his head down.

If he has...then he's certainly one id be keeping an eye on if i was Jones.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 22 Dec 2020, 4:33 pm

Played last season on the wing for Wasps, but only a handfull of games. Hes only just establishing himself as a first team starter player for them in a new position, didnt make their matchday squads for the premiership playoffs. The hypes all come from him scoring a bunch of tries in the last few weeks (plus his sevens ability) against average opposition. Which isnt to say he's got potential, if he can improve the issues LT alludes to. But its going to take a lot more to get him called up for him to be described as overlooked.

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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 22 Dec 2020, 9:36 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Is Ollie Lawrence the man to replace Manu?

I think that this is completely unfair on Lawrence. He is not Manu - he is a big centre with his own game. He certainly doesn't remind me of Manu much when he plays - and I think it's been unfortunate that he hasn't been given much of a chance to show us what he can do as he was barely given the ball in the 8N. I think people are comparing him like for like as he's a big lad who plays in the centre.

Hopefully we can see a bit more of him in the 6N. Give him time, and he may become the go-forward centre Jones so wants.

I didnt say he was Manu...i said is he the man to replace him. i didnt say he was an identical player...we all know he's not.

Apologies that wasn't meant to be so "in your face" - just read it back and it sounds almost confrontational - not my intention at all! heart

What I was trying to say was that I hope the press don't try and build the poor guy up too much - he's young and needs time to develop.

Odogwu does have pace to burn and he's a proper little ball of muscle. He's fairly short for a rugby player at 5ft 9. He did look relatively impressive at 13. I think he's one to watch, certainly. England may come calling, but only to have a look first of all. He does look useful though. I didn't know about his former indiscretions - it seems he's done some growing up.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 23 Dec 2020, 12:42 am

I think one of our problems is we are still looking for a replacement for Manu. And, it seems to me, the midfield has been confused ever since. Slade is a very good player but seems miscast at 13 without a power runner beside him. Then again, so is JJ.

I guess I am frustrated with the Ford-Farrell axis and one has to move to the bench so we can have a proper 10-12-13 pairing. And this would include attacking and defending skills. No one would ever mistake Farrell as an attacking 12. At 10 he is fine. So, at 12 he inhibits our attack. Once that is determined then we can select proper 12-13 which would plus up our attack. And I think we should plan for a future without Tuilagi.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2020, 9:07 am

I think your right Doc, the balance in the midfield has been all wrong (In my opinion) and it surrounds Farrell.

Is he such an influential player in that squad that he must be in the midfield somewhere.?Clearly several high ranking coaches believe he does. That then means you need a more strike runner on the outside at 13, rather than Slade (again only my opinion). Hence why Jones wanted Manu in there.

Personally one of Lawrence, Marchant, Joseph would be a good fit. Lawrence had a reasonable few games...and showed up big defensively without an opportunity to show what he can do in attack.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 23 Dec 2020, 9:15 am

Pick anyone you like 10 to 15. We'll have the same issues until Youngs is replaced or finds form.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 23 Dec 2020, 9:25 am

Well yes i suppose your right.

My jury is out on what Farrell brings to the whole affair aswell mind - away from the "leadership and off pitch" stuff.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 23 Dec 2020, 3:27 pm

It doesn't have to be Farrell who sits. I think Ford is a nice attacking 10 when the team is on the front foot, but not sure about him when the team needs something extra. That could be because Farrell is beside him, or maybe it is just him. Ultimately, I think Ford-Farrell as a combo is played out.

Here is a bizarre idea (and no, I have not started drinking yet): We haven't settled on our best fullback yet either. Let's try putting one of them there, probably Farrell. He can kick and can tackle. What can go wrong? Besides, we haven't seen consistently good fullback play since the Mike Brown-Ben Foden days. Or even Goode days.....

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Post by lostinwales Wed 23 Dec 2020, 5:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:It doesn't have to be Farrell who sits.  I think Ford is a nice attacking 10 when the team is on the front foot, but not sure about him when the team needs something extra.  That could be because Farrell is beside him, or maybe it is just him.  Ultimately, I think Ford-Farrell as a combo is played out.  

Here is a bizarre idea (and no, I have not started drinking yet):  We haven't settled on our best fullback yet either.  Let's try putting one of them there, probably Farrell.  He can kick and can tackle.  What can go wrong?  Besides, we haven't seen consistently good fullback play since the Mike Brown-Ben Foden days.  Or even Goode days.....

1) We know Eddie can be ruthless when he feels he has to, which suggests that Youngs is doing something right in his eyes.
2) Fullback. We have played an attacking fullback for almost as long as I can remember. (When I was a kid I think it was Les Cusworth dusty hare). Farrell isn't that guy. I would also be concerned about him as a last line of defence, because he's not quick. He's also not going to be able to cover wing positions like we are used to our FB's doing.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 23 Dec 2020, 10:30 pm

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:It doesn't have to be Farrell who sits.  I think Ford is a nice attacking 10 when the team is on the front foot, but not sure about him when the team needs something extra.  That could be because Farrell is beside him, or maybe it is just him.  Ultimately, I think Ford-Farrell as a combo is played out.  

Here is a bizarre idea (and no, I have not started drinking yet):  We haven't settled on our best fullback yet either.  Let's try putting one of them there, probably Farrell.  He can kick and can tackle.  What can go wrong?  Besides, we haven't seen consistently good fullback play since the Mike Brown-Ben Foden days.  Or even Goode days.....

1) We know Eddie can be ruthless when he feels he has to, which suggests that Youngs is doing something right in his eyes.
2) Fullback. We have played an attacking fullback for almost as long as I can remember. (When I was a kid I think it was Les Cusworth dusty hare). Farrell isn't that guy. I would also be concerned about him as a last line of defence, because he's not quick. He's also not going to be able to cover wing positions like we are used to our FB's doing.
Good points. Farrell would have to cover ground and frankly I don't know how fast he is - or more likely isn't.
I have officially started drinking now, by the way......

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2020, 1:37 am

Ford-Farrell-Joseph has worked well in the past in attack. It was the midfield that started pretty much every game in the 17 wins in a row England had at the start of Jones tenure.

I'd still really like to see Daly at 13. He could perform the same role he does in attack from fullback linking with the wingers out wide.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2020, 9:09 am

Is Daly good enough defensively at 13? I always remember him a bit at sea postionally and not quite there at decision making? It's also been a fair while since hes played there. Given he will have the same issues will deliver to him would that not be swapping out some very good defensive midfielders to a positive that's not going to be seen until Mitchell or Robson or whoever is able to supplant Youngs? That's ignoring the fact he butchered the overlaps vs France.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 24 Dec 2020, 9:33 am

doctor_grey wrote:It doesn't have to be Farrell who sits.  I think Ford is a nice attacking 10 when the team is on the front foot, but not sure about him when the team needs something extra.  That could be because Farrell is beside him, or maybe it is just him.  Ultimately, I think Ford-Farrell as a combo is played out.  


I actually like Ford and dont always get his criticism.

The problem is that Jones hasnt really looked at anyone else bar Umaga briefly. I still say Smith is the one. He can control a game, tackles and has the x factor to change a game. He is also a very good runner with the ball...so straight away that has defences thinking.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 24 Dec 2020, 10:52 am

For me, mate, it's just that I don't see him as a game changer or as a strong leader. He is a terrific runner with an eye for the gap, but not sure if Eddie wants him to do that much. In open play he is dangerous. But Ford needs to be taking charge if there is an overlap or an opportunity out away from the breakdown which happens in every game. It was just more glaring in the general team wide malaise against France.

If there is a right time to test out the younger guys, I think now would be the time. I don't know if Smith is the answer, but I would certainly like to see him get his shot. Not sure what else he needs to prove to Eddie. And, of course, Eddie would need to let him play his game and have a real 12 next to him.

This would also give the opportunity to give a midfield pairing of Slade and Lawrence. In a way, those two make me think about the possibility of a Greenwood and Tindall type of pairing. Not saying either are that good, but in the same vein.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 24 Dec 2020, 11:09 am

Rumours are Smiths being chased by T14 sides so if he is going to get a go for England it needs to be pretty sharpish to put him off taking the money. Jones was making noises about him as far back as 2017, but never got close to a matchday squad. Umaga (the most exciting straight up attacking talent at 10) was ahead of him in the training squad this autumn, but couldnt even get in a matchday squad when Ford was injured. Really suggests unless Jones is planning a massive ripping up of the team (highly unlikely) that Smith isn't going to get a cap this winter, and that makes it more likley he will be tempted by France.

Unshocking news is that Jones has been in talks with the Saracens players about keeping their fitness levels up without games. In theory it should be possible for them to benefit from the break in combined with a long conditioning period where they can workout consistently and intensely in a way thats just not possible during a playing season, they could come back fitter and stronger than ever if the attitude and facilities are there (does Farrell have access to a set of posts to practise his kicking?). Its not unusual for players to come back after injury lay offs straight into England squads and at least the break between games isn't too extreme, less than was the case between the March lockdown and start of this season.

Could see the difference between the real committed professionals and those who put their feet up a bit more come the six nations, and that get reflected in a few surprise selections. Its hard to imagine Itoje not turning up in great shape, but some of the others?

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 24 Dec 2020, 2:18 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Rumours are Smiths being chased by T14 sides so if he is going to get a go for England it needs to be pretty sharpish to put him off taking the money. Jones was making noises about him as far back as 2017, but never got close to a matchday squad. Umaga (the most exciting straight up attacking talent at 10) was ahead of him in the training squad this autumn, but couldnt even get in a matchday squad when Ford was injured. Really suggests unless Jones is planning a massive ripping up of the team (highly unlikely) that Smith isn't going to get a cap this winter, and that makes it more likley he will be tempted by France.

Unshocking news is that Jones has been in talks with the Saracens players about keeping their fitness levels up without games. In theory it should be possible for them to benefit from the break in combined with a long conditioning period where they can workout consistently and intensely in a way thats just not possible during a playing season, they could come back fitter and stronger than ever if the attitude and facilities are there (does Farrell have access to a set of posts to practise his kicking?). Its not unusual for players to come back after injury lay offs straight into England squads and at least the break between games isn't too extreme, less than was the case between the March lockdown and start of this season.  

Could see the difference between the real committed professionals and those who put their feet up a bit more come the six nations, and that get reflected in a few surprise selections. Its hard to imagine Itoje not turning up in great shape, but some of the others?  
Well, Smith will have to make the best decision for himself.  I guess it's understandable that French clubs might be interested in a young and improving talent.  It would be a real shame though if he didn't get a chance with England.

I think the Argentina national team shows how they can keep in shape when not playing regularly.  If the Saracens players show the same attitude, then should be no problem.  If they don't then I think it would show up in the pre-6 Nations training.   I still think this is the time to test out some of the younger talent coming through.  So, Itoje aside, I would be OK to let them this tournament off.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2020, 5:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Is Daly good enough defensively at 13? I always remember him a bit at sea postionally and not quite there at decision making? It's also been a fair while since hes played there.

I always thought Daly was better defensively at 13. His tackling is solid enough and he can use his pace well there to shut down space similar to what Joseph is excellent at whilst playing 13 for England.

England are blessed with strong defensive outside centres though with JJ and Slade proven qualities, plus Marchant being strong all round.

Daly did butcher overlaps against France but wasn't the only player to have a poor game, it doesn't make him a bad player.

A friend who really dislikes Daly at 15 sent me a highlight video of Jonny May's best tries the other day with the comment attached, "Daly is giving the final pass in a lot of these". He was right! His attacking play has largely been excellent for England and as with every player it's a case of balancing negatives and positives. At the moment I still think Daly is in our strongest XV due to his all round game, though I'd debate where he should be. The Six Nations and ANC seems to have shown us he is still the better fullback option that Furbank, who's Premiership form prior to debuting was fantastic.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 24 Dec 2020, 6:12 pm

Daly is another player I rate highly, but, as you say, what's his best position? Didn't he play mostly at 13 for Wasps? I thought he was good there. Good runner, distributor, kicker (of course), and I don't remember any defensive problems. Or maybe that's just my addled memory at work.

Furbank is an interesting prospect. I think he is probably a year away. His club performances have been good, and I think that's quite difficult for a club playing more and more like the Titanic. He also needs to lose the pornstar mustache.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 24 Dec 2020, 6:22 pm

king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Is Daly good enough defensively at 13? I always remember him a bit at sea postionally and not quite there at decision making? It's also been a fair while since hes played there.

I always thought Daly was better defensively at 13. His tackling is solid enough and he can use his pace well there to shut down space similar to what Joseph is excellent at whilst playing 13 for England.

England are blessed with strong defensive outside centres though with JJ and Slade proven qualities, plus Marchant being strong all round.

Daly did butcher overlaps against France but wasn't the only player to have a poor game, it doesn't make him a bad player.

A friend who really dislikes Daly at 15 sent me a highlight video of Jonny May's best tries the other day with the comment attached, "Daly is giving the final pass in a lot of these". He was right! His attacking play has largely been excellent for England and as with every player it's a case of balancing negatives and positives. At the moment I still think Daly is in our strongest XV due to his all round game, though I'd debate where he should be. The Six Nations and ANC seems to have shown us he is still the better fullback option that Furbank, who's Premiership form prior to debuting was fantastic.

He would be a really good bench option.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 24 Dec 2020, 7:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Is Daly good enough defensively at 13? I always remember him a bit at sea postionally and not quite there at decision making? It's also been a fair while since hes played there.

I always thought Daly was better defensively at 13. His tackling is solid enough and he can use his pace well there to shut down space similar to what Joseph is excellent at whilst playing 13 for England.

England are blessed with strong defensive outside centres though with JJ and Slade proven qualities, plus Marchant being strong all round.

Daly did butcher overlaps against France but wasn't the only player to have a poor game, it doesn't make him a bad player.

A friend who really dislikes Daly at 15 sent me a highlight video of Jonny May's best tries the other day with the comment attached, "Daly is giving the final pass in a lot of these". He was right! His attacking play has largely been excellent for England and as with every player it's a case of balancing negatives and positives. At the moment I still think Daly is in our strongest XV due to his all round game, though I'd debate where he should be. The Six Nations and ANC seems to have shown us he is still the better fullback option that Furbank, who's Premiership form prior to debuting was fantastic.

He would be a really good bench option.
He would. His versatility can cover many positions whilst starting as well though. We've seen this through Jones using the versatility of many backs to work a 6-2 split without always having a versatile back in the 23 shirt. Watson was the only outside backs sub against Wales but every position was covered by the starting backs being able to shift position.

Erasmus on the other hand arguably recalled Francois Steyn due to his versatility as a bench option covering a lot of positions that a less versatile starting backline didn't. More than one way to skin a cat and all that!

I don't deny Daly has weaknesses to his game but I still think his strengths outweigh them hence I like him starting.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 24 Dec 2020, 9:44 pm

Furbank needs to find a point of difference. I don't know if he's that kind of player but maybe he has to follow Brown's path to Margot Well's door. He's just looked underwhelming at international level so far.

Daly makes mistakes, but you can see the class there too.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Dec 2020, 11:24 am

I think Furbank is about a year away. He continues to improve at Saints and I think he has a very high ceiling. Frankly, I was surprised he was selected by Eddie Jones right now.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sat 26 Dec 2020, 12:01 pm

Wasn’t it about this time last year Saints & Furbank were flying high with a great attacking game?
I suspect EJs saw then something worth looking at for the 6Ns.
Im not sure what’s happened to Saints since but it couldn’t have helped Furbank.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 26 Dec 2020, 8:29 pm

Furbank played great today. And Saints did play some nice attacking Rugby at times. I would still give him the rest of the season to see how things go. Indeed, Saints relative stinkiness inhibited Furbank's game.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Dec 2020, 5:53 pm

ruck.co.uk have published the team England fans have voted to start the 6Ns. (Complete clickbait as usual):

Watson
May
Slade
Lawrence
Thorley
Smith
Randall

Mako
Barbeary
Sinckler
Itoje
Launchbury
Willis
Curry
Simmonds


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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Dec 2020, 9:33 am

LondonTiger wrote:ruck.co.uk have published the team England fans have voted to start the 6Ns. (Complete clickbait as usual):

Watson
May
Slade
Lawrence
Thorley
Smith
Randall

Mako
Barbeary
Sinckler
Itoje
Launchbury
Willis
Curry
Simmonds


Jees. It looks like they just took my team.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 29 Dec 2020, 12:21 pm

Is that Alfie Barbeary at hooker despite not actually playing there for his club in a prem game? Ill stick with Mr George for the minute thanks...

And the back 5 might struggle a bit in the lineout against a good side, and the back 3 lacks some bulk aswell.

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Post by Cumbrian Tue 29 Dec 2020, 1:50 pm

I haven't been able to find out how bad Barbeary's injury is.  When I watched it in real time I had an instant flash back to Cipriani's injury back in 2008.  Luckily it became quickly obvious it wasn't as bad as that.  Either way, I think it is a long shot that he will be playing the 6 nations this year.

I don't know about Marcus Smith, could he control the game well enough at international level? Sorry to bring him up again, but he reminds me of the aforementioned mercurial number 10.  Also, he is talking about taking the money in France (or so I've heard).  If he doesn't have the passion to stay and fight for an England place at 21, well maybe he isn't what we are looking for.


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Post by king_carlos Tue 29 Dec 2020, 2:20 pm

I'd be interested to see something like below:

1.Mako
2.Cowan-Dickie
3.Sinckler
4.Itoje
5.Lawes
6.Curry
7.Underhill
8.Vunipola

9.Youngs
10.Farrell

11.May
12.Lawrence
13.Daly
14.Nowell
15.Watson

16.George
17.Marler
18.Stuart
19.Launchbury
20.Earl
21.Mitchell
22.Ford
23.Malins

George is obviously an excellent hooker but LCD's bench performances in the last year have been so dynamic that it's worth seeing if he can do the same for 50/60 minutes from the start instead of 20/30 minutes at the end.

I don't realistically think Daly will get game time at centre but I could see it working as he would still perform a key role in attack and as a kicking option from outside centre.

If Nowell can stay fit he could add a lot to a backline struggling for balance. His carrying around the fringes offers something that our other wingers don't. Plus he's one of the best defensive back three players in all of rugby.

Malins showed enough spark towards the end of the dire France game to deserve some more chances I think.

Harsh on Genge to leave him out but he was frustratingly quiet against France, whilst Marler was good in the Six Nations (muppetry with AWJ aside) and when he replaced Genge in the final ANC game. Genge is an excellent loosehead but Mako and Marler are still a notch above for consistency in my opinion.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 29 Dec 2020, 3:22 pm

Struggling to keep up with which scrum half is soup of the day. Lets be honest here how many people hand their tongues up Randalls bum a month ago? The last time he had this much hype was when he said he was English and didnt want to the 6th choice for Wales. I guess he's at least starting regularly for a decent club side now.

Lets face it if he does get a start for England it'll be in the role of Randalf shouting " you shall not pass! Hes got to leapfrog Youngs, Robson, Heinz and Mitchell to get that start so its quite a stretch regardless of form.

Smith is a bit different but seems equally as far off actually getting a place. He has been in wider squads for England a couple of times in the past, but apparently hasnt made that much of an impact being left out for this autumn behind Umaga. Simmonds is also a strong option, and Devoto who has actually been capped still exists. Thats even assuming Jones has any interest in looking beyond the established pair, which wold be a big leap from what he's done for the past 5 years.

Can understand why "the fans" want to see two exciting young players who have flashy highlight reels given the stuttering frustration of Englands attack over the past couple of years, but it really seems to be down to the way they are playing as much as whoever gets selected. And theres little to indicate Jones is about to change either.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Dec 2020, 8:43 pm

Doesn't matter if Jones doesn't change the tactics. Youngs has been in dreadful form for a good while now and isnt justifying his place.

Barbeary is out for 6 to 8 weeks.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Dec 2020, 8:47 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I haven't been able to find out how bad Barbeary's injury is.  When I watched it in real time I had an instant flash back to Cipriani's injury back in 2008.  Luckily it became quickly obvious it wasn't as bad as that.  Either way, I think it is a long shot that he will be playing the 6 nations this year.

I don't know about Marcus Smith, could he control the game well enough at international level? Sorry to bring him up again, but he reminds me of the aforementioned mercurial number 10.  Also, he is talking about taking the money in France (or so I've heard).  If he doesn't have the passion to stay and fight for an England place at 21, well maybe he isn't what we are looking for.

Jones called up umaga quoting his running ability. I'm in geordies camp on this, Smith has a good running game but for me he has the overall game including kicking and control which is a step above the Wasp. Personally I think Smith should be in camp and if he can look good behind the quins pack hed be great for England.

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Post by LondonTiger Tue 29 Dec 2020, 10:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Youngs has been in dreadful form for a good while now

I have stopped trying to argue with you on this, as life is both too short, and right now too hard to bother with trivial things.

However not arguing does not mean I accept or agree with your point.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 30 Dec 2020, 7:26 am

It's fine LT. I appreciate some will like him. I've flipped on him a couple of times. When he was out injured I felt we missed his communication with the forwards. You like him. Gooseberry believes hes above any criticism. I think hes slow of thought and not even box kicking well anymore. His passing remains below par for an international scrum half. I doubt you'll change your mind as you've watched him develop close up since he was bairn and probably see subtleties I dont.

Doesnt mean I wont still call for him to be dropped for literally anybody at the moment.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Wed 30 Dec 2020, 9:17 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Doesn't matter if Jones doesn't change the tactics. Youngs has been in dreadful form for a good while now and isnt justifying his place.

Barbeary is out for 6 to 8 weeks.

I hope your right 7 1/2, however, if Alfie does need surgery I think it will be close to 3 months. We find out today so fingers crossed.

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Post by TJ Wed 30 Dec 2020, 12:55 pm

Good points. Farrell would have to cover ground and frankly I don't know how fast he is - or more likely isn't

Not very. the scots hooker McInally outpaced him to the line. Very funny it was watching a hooker run faster than a back

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 30 Dec 2020, 1:49 pm

If you think only of old school forwards yes.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Wed 30 Dec 2020, 4:20 pm

Next steps for england. - Page 2 598a3810

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Post by king_carlos Wed 30 Dec 2020, 4:43 pm

I really hope McInally can rediscover some form with the Lions coming up. If Ken Owens regains fitness then I think the hookers will be George, LCD and Owens. Were Owens to miss out due to the shoulder injury or another hooker pick up an injury then McInally at his best form should be a shoe in. He's been off his best lately though. He's one of those players who I think it'd be a shame if he never got Lions recognition.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 30 Dec 2020, 4:50 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Next steps for england. - Page 2 598a3810
Robson's always been good going forward from his Gloucester days and now with Wasps. I think the concerns for most are to do with box kicking and mainly defense.

Stockdale's try in the ANC is a good example of the worries. It's a routine (but well weighted by Billy Burns to be fair) chip over the defense that Robson should be covering as sweeper but he was nowhere near challenging for the ball and I don't think he laid a finger on him going for the tackle. All at sea from a pretty regulation bit of play.

When he broke through at Gloucester I thought Robson looked destined for a long international career but there are weaknesses to his game that never seem to have improved massively. Reminds me a lot of Danny Care but without quite the same spark ball in hand Care had at his peak.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 31 Dec 2020, 1:24 am

king_carlos wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Next steps for england. - Page 2 598a3810
Robson's always been good going forward from his Gloucester days and now with Wasps. I think the concerns for most are to do with box kicking and mainly defense.

Stockdale's try in the ANC is a good example of the worries. It's a routine (but well weighted by Billy Burns to be fair) chip over the defense that Robson should be covering as sweeper but he was nowhere near challenging for the ball and I don't think he laid a finger on him going for the tackle. All at sea from a pretty regulation bit of play.

When he broke through at Gloucester I thought Robson looked destined for a long international career but there are weaknesses to his game that never seem to have improved massively. Reminds me a lot of Danny Care but without quite the same spark ball in hand Care had at his peak.
Do you think Robson is better than Care right now?  It really doesn't seem as if England have any depth or many options at scrumhalf as opposed to, say, back row.   Weird.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu 31 Dec 2020, 6:48 am

Robson certainly has the spark that Care had. Look at the number of tries he consistently scores & the table above.
He was at fault in the AI for that try.
However, his all round game IMO is second to none compared to his English peers.
Most players have ‘work ins’ we can pick examples of but his positives are so good they far outweigh them.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 31 Dec 2020, 8:35 am

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Next steps for england. - Page 2 598a3810
Robson's always been good going forward from his Gloucester days and now with Wasps. I think the concerns for most are to do with box kicking and mainly defense.

Stockdale's try in the ANC is a good example of the worries. It's a routine (but well weighted by Billy Burns to be fair) chip over the defense that Robson should be covering as sweeper but he was nowhere near challenging for the ball and I don't think he laid a finger on him going for the tackle. All at sea from a pretty regulation bit of play.

When he broke through at Gloucester I thought Robson looked destined for a long international career but there are weaknesses to his game that never seem to have improved massively. Reminds me a lot of Danny Care but without quite the same spark ball in hand Care had at his peak.
Do you think Robson is better than Care right now?  It really doesn't seem as if England have any depth or many options at scrumhalf as opposed to, say, back row.   Weird.

It all goes in cycles doesnt it. Just think of the back row options 6 years ago. Even now for scrum half we have youngs, care, Spencer, robson, mitchell, randall and Maunder who could realistically be picked for england. It's the same as the calls for Dombramdt have subsided...hes still playing some great rugby but we kind of all know hes not in Jones' plans so hes dismissed. Still good enough though.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 31 Dec 2020, 1:08 pm

Yeah, I think you are right, mate. It's a little odd for me because I would have thought with the growth in the game at the club level we would have more talent coming though. And maybe we do, and the way Eddie Jones is making selections it might seem less than it is. Or maybe it's just me.....

Watching Care, I still think he could be a great replacement off the bench for 20 minutes or so. But selecting him doesn't help the future. I would really like to see younger guys have a chance to show what they can do. And this is certainly the year to do it.

And, as you say, the calls for Dombrandt have subsided, though I still would like to see him get a shot. He is a big load with a big motor, and seems to be a pain to play against. And Billy V. is showing signs of slowing (though still quite good).

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Post by lostinwales Thu 31 Dec 2020, 1:40 pm

The big worries with Billy V is that he gets injured and that he doesn't have the kind of impact that he used to. On the other hand his work rate for such a big man is quite something, and his performance in defence is very strong. We do need a genuine alternative, even if Billy stays 1st choice for the forseable future. Curry is an alternative, and an automatic pick these days, but I don't think he offers a point of difference at 8.

I do think we need Dombrandt, or Simmonds, or one of the other young guns, to be part of the system now to deal with the times when Billy won't be available.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 31 Dec 2020, 1:58 pm

From my experience, I think once guys like Billy V. start with the injuries, they are never far away, even when healthy.  Plus repeated rehab slowly eats away at a player's effectiveness due to lack of game time.  In the near term he will probably benefit from the year in the Championship with limited game time, but with a real off-season to fully get back.  If I were Eddie Jones (I would have a funny accent) I would not select Billy at all this 6 Nations and give the younger guys, like Dombrandt or Simmonds a shot.  I think very highly of both players and want to poach one to Saints.........

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