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England - what next?

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Post by hugehandoff Sat 06 Feb 2021, 6:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

Firstly I take nothing away from Scotland who were fantastic and I hope go on to win a grand slam.

For me this dire England performance may well be a blessing in disguise. Us winning the Autumn cup playing such awful rugby only covered up a number of cracks. We have nothing in attack and our discipline is consistently the worst in the world. We are saved by our defence.

Ok we were missing some props which taught us that Genge is not quite there. Plus Stuart very quiet in the loose. Mako making his usual 21 tackles would have helped. No need to panic, but Eddie has to accept that this is not just a blip but a reflection of recent dire performances. You cannot win matches giving away so many penalties and that is a recurring issue. And he chose to start all those rusty Sarries players who all looked off the pace. Why not start Cowan-Dickie?

But the midfield is dire and Farrell a real problem there. Just not good enough. I remember Eddie being ruthless and taking Luther Burrell off after 25 minutes against the Aussies. We needed that ruthless streak today and Ford should have replaced Farrell with 20 to go. Itoje a penalty machine but because he is normally a machine and plays the full 80 Eddie did not react.

Time for England to take a good hard look at this team and shake it up (not panic, but a decent shakeup).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 2:55 pm

doctor_grey wrote:The one good thing for all of us, and especially pro athletes today like Jack Willis, is the surgical technologies are far more advanced than even 10-15 years ago.  Arthroscopically, we can see minute levels of tissue and bone details which were previously impossible.  Our tools are commonly computer aided micro-tools which can cut, abrade, or clean fractional areas of bone or soft tissue.  The equipment actually looks like something out of a cyberman conversion factory.   For ligament/tendon work where we have to open the leg, the equipment is so precise that the impact on the surrounding tissue is minimised, which significantly aides healing.   Let's hope for the best for him.  

Significant injury to knee ligament and cartilage, with a lengthy spell on the sidelines. From Blackett.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:02 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:But in their actual styles and ability...are they hugely different?

Both considered high energy, explosive pacy backrowers who score tries.

i would suggest that Earl would score an equal amount of tries that Simmonds does in that Exeter lineup...

But then ive always said...i wish Sam was a 12...
Earl was top try scorer in the Premiership last season ahead of Simmonds.

You're right that tries scored particularly by forwards does need to be taken in context of their club side and tactics. Exeter's impressive forward play in the 22 means that Jonny Hill was also one of the leading try scorers in the Jeff last season. Waldrom frequently was right up there before Simmonds too.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:03 pm

Ah well fingers crossed he is young and strong enough to rehab fully once again, then gets a proper good injury free spell to challenge for an England spot again.

He has some genuine competition for those spots mind...and in a years time...Ted Hill, Bearbary etc might have been introduced aswell...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:11 pm

king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:But in their actual styles and ability...are they hugely different?

Both considered high energy, explosive pacy backrowers who score tries.

i would suggest that Earl would score an equal amount of tries that Simmonds does in that Exeter lineup...

But then ive always said...i wish Sam was a 12...
Earl was top try scorer in the Premiership last season ahead of Simmonds.

You're right that tries scored particularly by forwards does need to be taken in context of their club side and tactics. Exeter's impressive forward play in the 22 means that Jonny Hill was also one of the leading try scorers in the Jeff last season. Waldrom frequently was right up there before Simmonds too.

Exactly KC. Theres so many calls for Simmonds and i agree hes a top player...but Earl is the same style. Id rather bring in another like Ted Hill or possibly Bearbary (depending on whether he's going to end up at Hooker or Back Row of course) but then he is another similar to those two...explosive try scorers.

Johnny Hill is impressing me. He worked very well in the channels outside the fringes...and set up Watsons pass with a lovely long pass that Daly failed to hit several times in the same game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:12 pm

I mean the question 'what next' applies to Barbeary probably more than any other. Will he get time at hooker or 8. Those are the positions he's most likely to settle at for me. Obviously has his own recovery to complete first.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:14 pm

Yes he's a big ? isnt he...

Has he had many games at hooker for Wasps? If my memory is right, most have come in the back row..?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:18 pm

None at hooker, but he is a hooker from the youth team.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:None at hooker, but he is a hooker from the youth team.

Can't help thinking of Ashley Johnson, formerly of Wasps, who alternated between hooker and back row. Barbeary is bigger though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:31 pm

I thought Johnson would have been bigger than Barbeary? He was a big unit.

Well if they have any thoughts of playing him at hooker they'll have to get him there pretty soon after his rehab....otherwise it looks like a future in the back row...which has some serious competition...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:32 pm

Or we could move him to 12.....? Very Happy Very Happy

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Tue 16 Feb 2021, 3:33 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yes he's a big ? isnt he...

Has he had many games at hooker for Wasps? If my memory is right, most have come in the back row..?

Yes he’s the same stamp as Steve Thompson but Alfie is still only 20.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:17 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I thought Johnson would have been bigger than Barbeary? He was a big unit.

Well if they have any thoughts of playing him at hooker they'll have to get him there pretty soon after his rehab....otherwise it looks like a future in the back row...which has some serious competition...

According to Wikipedia Ashley Johnson is 1.83m /112kg - Barbeary 1.85/116kg.

Johnson definitely had bigger hair though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:25 pm

laughing laughing

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 16 Feb 2021, 10:10 pm

Maybe because Ashley has big hair, he has shown a player can go back and forth between 2 and 8 at a high level. Unfortunately it would take Barbeary a couple of years to get the hair long enough....

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Post by king_carlos Tue 16 Feb 2021, 10:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:None at hooker, but he is a hooker from the youth team.
Being pedantic but his Wasps debut in 2018 PRC was off the bench at hooker against Gloucester. He scored a try in fact.

Since then he's been used in the back row for the first XV but back row injuries for Wasps have meant that their hooker depth has left more chances in the back row.

I hope Barbeary settles back at a hooker largely as England have a lot of back row talent but less depth at hooker after George and LCD. Tom Dunn and Jack Singleton are solid reserves but haven't been looked at too much, Thacker wont get looked at with England's game plan. It would be good for a third hooker to emerge that's a long term challenger.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 17 Feb 2021, 2:44 am

king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:None at hooker, but he is a hooker from the youth team.
Being pedantic but his Wasps debut in 2018 PRC was off the bench at hooker against Gloucester. He scored a try in fact.

Since then he's been used in the back row for the first XV but back row injuries for Wasps have meant that their hooker depth has left more chances in the back row.

I hope Barbeary settles back at a hooker largely as England have a lot of back row talent but less depth at hooker after George and LCD. Tom Dunn and Jack Singleton are solid reserves but haven't been looked at too much, Thacker wont get looked at with England's game plan. It would be good for a third hooker to emerge that's a long term challenger.
Agree - England have a lot of young talent in the back row. But, as you say, where is the young talent pushing at Hooker?

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Post by king_carlos Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:19 am

Singleton is 24 so still young enough to fulfill his talent. He was very impressive for Worcester but moving back to Sarries then to Gloucester he lost form a bit. He's a good player though.

Jake Blamire is 23 and an impressive hooker for Falcons. Had summer tours been going ahead with George and LCD with the Lions he may well have had a shot at touring.

Tom Dunn and Tom Cruse are both very good club players but at 28 and 31 aren't going to be long term options beyond George and Cowan-Dickie.

Alfie Barbeary is the most promising hooker to come through the U20s for a good few years. Theodore Dan is another talent with Sarries, one to watch out for.

So there is talent but we just haven't seen it due to how good the incumbents are. It's not unusual if you have two strong options in a position to see a bit of a road block that younger players have to really excel to push past, which is exactly what we want.

Looking at loosehead with Mako and Marler for instance. Matt Mullan, Alec Hepburn and Ben Moon have offered injury cover at times under Jones but it's taken Genge tearing up trees in club rugby to break into that status quo. Genge had 5 caps in '16 and '17 with 3 of them on an Argentina tour during a Lions year, then he was out of international rugby for 18 months needing to improve for more chances and he did. Strong incumbents forces the competition to improve.

It's a shame that U20s aren't playing this year. Alan Dickens U20 Six Nations squad only had 6 players with previous U20s experience - Jack Clement, Jack van Poortvliet and Tom Roebuck the pick of them IMO. Some of the new faces are big prospects. George Martin is already doing well with Tigers. Ben Bamber (Bristol) is a giant lock. Phil Brantingham (Falcons) a well rated prop. Charlie Atkinson (Wasps) and Finn Smith (Worcester) at fly-half. Will Joseph (LI) is JJ brother and well considered.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 17 Feb 2021, 3:43 am

Thanks for this, really great listing of the - hopefully- next generation of players who may be pushing the incumbents for honours. I like Tom Dunn and Tom Cruse, but think they are not the future.

This weekend I watched Quins-Tigers. George Martin looked pretty good, but Jack van Poortvliet was excellent. Was good to see a young 9 with real potential. Will be interesting when Youngs gets back to Leicester, and more so next season.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:11 am

Phil Brantingham is a massive hope for us at LH prop...but ive hyped our props before (Scott Wilson) and its failed miserably so ill not do it this time.
Jamie Blamire is a quality hooker...hes behind McGuigan at the moment but starting loads of games and will over take him as starter very soon. What i like about Jamie is he's aggressive and a hard carrier. He's also got great hands, very creative.

That Ben Bamber looks huge (listed as 6'8 and 20stone)......the Bristol Lock. Lets see if he can play to match that size.

But as you say these guys have to be playing top class consistently to make the squad...which is exactly right.

I'd just like to see Eddie a little bit more flexible with some of the positions and with players who have been out of form for long term stints...


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 17 Feb 2021, 9:13 am

Can Barbeary continue his all action explosive style playing from hooker?

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Post by BamBam Wed 17 Feb 2021, 10:31 am

What about Will Capon, the Bristol youngster? He was getting rave reviews in the age groups but no idea if he’s shown much in the Prem.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 17 Feb 2021, 1:01 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can Barbeary continue his all action explosive style playing from hooker?
Why not?  Once out of a scrum or lineout, in open play he can rove around like a flanker. All depends on what Eddie Jones will allow. In a few cases in some recent matches, Jamie George was hanging near the touch lines, but that may be due to being winded....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 3:45 pm

George martin called up.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 3:56 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:George martin called up.
Really?  As I said, he looked pretty good for Leicester this past weekend, but not earth-shattering as Jack Willis had been for Wasps.  Hope he gets any game time.  I still think this is the year to test out some younger guys, but not sure I saw that in him at this moment. A waste if all he does is hold tackle bags.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 18 Feb 2021, 3:58 pm

i called it days ago.....i knew Eddie needed a tackle bag holder...

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 4:08 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i called it days ago.....i knew Eddie needed a tackle bag holder...
You
da
man
!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 4:48 pm

Hes been impressive for Leicester though.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 4:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Hes been impressive for Leicester though.
You think?  I thought he looked pretty good, a nice player with upside, for sure.  But you think he is ready for the England squad right now?  Or maybe in the same way as Odogwu, there for Eddie to have a look and maybe get some time in an emergency or in garbaage time?  I hope you are right, though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 18 Feb 2021, 4:55 pm

I'd play wilson ahead of lawes which shows how much I want anyone to come in as a blindside.

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Post by rosbif Thu 18 Feb 2021, 5:05 pm

A pointless call up he probably will not get any game time just to hold tackle bags , think Jones is definitely past his sell by date.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 18 Feb 2021, 5:22 pm

It is an opportunity to blood a potential talent in the England camp but there is no chance he'll play.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 18 Feb 2021, 5:46 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Hes been impressive for Leicester though.
You think?  I thought he looked pretty good, a nice player with upside, for sure.  But you think he is ready for the England squad right now?  Or maybe in the same way as Odogwu, there for Eddie to have a look and maybe get some time in an emergency or in garbaage time?  I hope you are right, though.

He's and all action player. If he starts a game he's normally the bloke who finishes with the most tackles. Good lineout jumper, mobile and he's not a small bloke. His carrying game is starting to come through he was a bullocking monster at academy level and he is certainly a willing carrier but still adapting that side of his game to senior level. I'd describe him as a future international particularly under Jones as Martin can play lock and 6. If it was a normal year and we had apprentice players I'd fully expect him to be one. Can't see him playing against France, Wales or Ireland though.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 6:18 pm

Andy Goode from twitter:
Andy Goode from Twitter wrote:So Eddie has called up George Martin to replace Jack Willis in the @EnglandRugby squad. A good young player with bags of potential but Eddie are you ok can’t be serious in not picking Sam Simmonds can he? It’s now becoming a joke or Eddie is making it personal for some reason
I have to admit, I would have thought Sam Simmonds would be the right person to bring in.  Hopefully everything works out. I am not much of a Twitter dude at all, but the commentary about George Martin is pretty negative, especially with Simmonds doing so well, not just scoring his tries, but all over the pitch.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 18 Feb 2021, 7:54 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Andy Goode from twitter:
Andy Goode from Twitter wrote:So Eddie has called up George Martin to replace Jack Willis in the @EnglandRugby squad. A good young player with bags of potential but Eddie are you ok can’t be serious in not picking Sam Simmonds can he? It’s now becoming a joke or Eddie is making it personal for some reason
I have to admit, I would have thought Sam Simmonds would be the right person to bring in.  Hopefully everything works out.  I am not much of a Twitter dude at all, but the commentary about George Martin is pretty negative, especially with Simmonds doing so well, not just scoring his tries, but all over the pitch.  

You'd be a bit gutted if you were Martin. In the shadow squad working hard at your club, get called up to train with the national side and all the journos complain about your call up. Borthwick and the senior Leicester lads will put him right before he joins up.

Having said that I'd love to see Simmonds come in with a Lawes, Curry, Simmonds backrow. As you know Eddie will persist with a lock at 6.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 18 Feb 2021, 10:23 pm

It's kind of an odd thing keeping a lock at 6 when there are some very good young flankers just looking to show their stuff.  When the cupboard was not well stocked, it made good sense.  Obviously, I like Lawes a lot and he has always done a lot of 6-type grunt work, but with able and good young flankers in the offing, I think he should be in the second row.  Perhaps move to 6 when needed as an emergency or due to an injury, suspension, or something like that.  Curry, Earls, Simmonds looks like a back row England can win with.

And I agree, Martin gets the call of a lifetime and people are crapping all over it. It's really not fair. And worse if he doesn't get any meaningful game time.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 9:57 am

Im getting a bit bored with all the calls for Simmonds....

Ben Earl is a similar player. As mentioned above...top try scorer in the prem last season.

Id rather have Ted Hill or Tom Willis / Dombrandt or someone brought in over Simmonds, or Steward if not a back rower.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:23 am

Eddie Jones is clearly a massive fan of Lawes and what he brings to the team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 10:49 am

Simmonds with lawes may well work alot better than the current combo with Vunipola. Alas not to be.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:42 pm

Or just play Earl...?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 19 Feb 2021, 12:52 pm

Simmonds is a country mile better than earl at 8 though. If the option is him at 7 then fair enough. Weakens the lineout to underhill level. I like earl more in the loose exchanges than underhill but we definitely lose in the tight.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 1:27 pm

Im not sure i see much difference between the two to be honest. Both explosive fast try scoring back rowers. Earls always looks a bit bigger though.

Edit..
Ben Earl - 6'1, 16st
Sam Simmonds - 6'0, 16st

im wrong...theres nothing in it physically.

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Post by BamBam Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:20 pm

Earl is better defensively, Simmonds better with ball in hand, that's how I see it

Earl comes on and makes 10 tackles in about 5 mins, which Eddie will love. I don't see Earl as being a realistic challenger to Billy as the starting 8, but Simmonds could be with the right combinations around him.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 19 Feb 2021, 2:56 pm

See thats strange as i see Earl as a fantastic carrier aswell...he can genuinely motor with the ball and has scored some fantastic tries...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:21 pm

Lawes has been ruled out for the remaining games, knock on Wednesday in training. Guess that opens up all the conversations on replacements again.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 26 Feb 2021, 12:40 pm

He'll probably call up Ribbans ...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 26 Feb 2021, 2:23 pm

Think it may be shaped by what goes on in the Wales match. Should Daly or Vunipola have another shocker may focus their attention.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 26 Feb 2021, 2:25 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:He'll probably call up Ribbans ...
I hope not, as I really like the run of form Ribbans is piecing

But my preference would be to see a consistent high quality season from Ribbans, then consider him for the autumn.  If England need a lock as cover, or an Eddie Jones hybrid 4,5,6, Ribbans will be great.  If it is really back row cover, I think Lewis Ludlam is also playing at that kind of level for Saints, though I think Sam Simmonds would be my pick.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 26 Feb 2021, 2:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Think it may be shaped by what goes on in the Wales match. Should Daly or Vunipola have another shocker may focus their attention.
Think about the blow-up if England lose and Billy Cheeseburger misses a few tackles, drops a few balls, or can't run. Or if Daly drops a few kicks. It will make the London Blitz look mild by comparison.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 26 Feb 2021, 5:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Lawes has been ruled out for the remaining games, knock on Wednesday in training. Guess that opens up all the conversations on replacements again.

With Ewels and Martin in the squad there's cover for the row as well as the hybrid lock/6. Depends on what Eddie sees as required I guess. I presume he's more likely to look to the shadow squad than he is just anybody.

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Post by nlpnlp Fri 26 Feb 2021, 10:51 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im getting a bit bored with all the calls for Simmonds....

Ben Earl is a similar player. As mentioned above...top try scorer in the prem last season.

Id rather have Ted Hill or Tom Willis / Dombrandt or someone brought in over Simmonds, or Steward if not a back rower.

I think dismissing Simmonds because Earl scored 11 tried to his 10 in a season is a bit simplistic.  Taking into account that Simmonds helped Exeter win the Gallagher and Heineken and is European player of the year, I think that gives him a bit more credit than Earl.  Personally I don't see why both could not be in the an England squad at the same time and even in the team at the same time.  I would certainly have both ahead of Billy over the last year.

You aren't Eddie Jones are you?

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