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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 majesticimperialman Sat 20 Mar 2021, 9:08 pm

What i do not understand is why England go for kick at goal and kick to the corner and trust in the line out.

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Post by TJ Sat 20 Mar 2021, 10:52 pm

king_carlos wrote:Tigers lost, England lost the cricket, England lost the rugby. I hate sport. No idea why I keep doing this to myself. It's like Stockholm syndrome. When lockdown ends I'm going to go live in the Highlands with 6 cats and no internet connection.

In this household we have an England cricket fan and a Scotland rugby fan - now thats been painful over the years.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 20 Mar 2021, 10:58 pm

TJ wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Tigers lost, England lost the cricket, England lost the rugby. I hate sport. No idea why I keep doing this to myself. It's like Stockholm syndrome. When lockdown ends I'm going to go live in the Highlands with 6 cats and no internet connection.

In this household we have an England cricket fan and a Scotland rugby fan - now thats been painful over the years.  
Ouch. A double whammy right there.

I live with a Scotland rugby fan from Kent who supports Liverpool. Wrap yer 'ead around that.

Last year he tried to argue that if John Barclay wasn't retiring he'd be more likely to make the Lions tour than Jamie Ritchie. I nearly moved.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 20 Mar 2021, 11:16 pm

To be fair Tigers can take a small morale victory securing a TBP at Sandy Park despite being down to 14 from the 13th minute.

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Post by mountain man Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:35 am

England what next?

I'll tell you what. As I said on England Ireland thread the following players need to be told bye bye:
Youngs, Ford, Farrell, Wilson, Hill, Billy, Mako.
That almost certainly won't happen unless Jones goes which in itself is very unlikely as be very costly and who is available for the job who'd want it and be good enough?
George, Genge, Daly, May, Robson Lawrence all in last chance saloon. Not sure Lawrence is good enough at this level to be honest.

England desperately need to pick players who are in form and have a bit of X factor about them. This 6N has shown England to be way off pace, incapable of changing the aimless kick tactic and dreadfully ill disciplined. Yep, refs had it in for them unfairly so at times but they only officiate what they see and all they are seeing is mindless penalties.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:47 am

Yes throwing out the entire starting line up will definitely solve all our problems.

We've had two major problems this 6N.

1. Forward discipline
2. No backline balance

There's a summer tour coming in which we can experiment with some talented young England players to add something to the backline as only Watson, Ford and Youngs have been decent though Farrell did improve and actually played well Vs France and Ireland. I normally call for him to be dropped so I don't say that lightly.

I think we do need to consider the leadership group and captain because discipline isn't working and our onfield leadership is not guiding the side as it should.

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Post by mountain man Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:53 am

I didn't say throw out entire starting line up but 5 or 6 certainly. How anyone can make a case for likes of Youngs, Billy, Mako and Farrell at least to be retained is beyond me.  Ford not much better. They have been poor for last 12 months or so. We also have to take into account Saracens players be in Championship which is hardly going to help cause. Only Itoje of them played well. Rest were either very poor, Billy, Mako, Farrell or just way out of form Daly and George.

Get Marcus Smith in, get Jacob Umaga in. Dombrandt, S Simmonds. Give Odogwu a shot.

There's 2.5 years until RWC 2023 so we need new players in NOW to stand any chance. With all due respect to NH teams, if we can't compete with them and on this years showing we plainly struggle to then how are England going to cope with SA and NZ?

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Post by TJ Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:46 am

England IMO need a major rethink. Tactics, personnel and leadership. I don't know the english league players but too many of the players are not performing or picked for the wrong reasons. You need props who can scrummage first. Yes a prop that is a marauder around the field is great but not much good if you get mashed in the scrums. surely you have better scrummaging props? IM)O this was a big source of weakness in this team

Halfbacks surely there is someone better? People rate Ford so is it the tactics he is forced to play? Farrell at 12 is a waste of space. he either plays as a stodgy 10 or not at all.

Leadership - completely absent. No plan B when plan A is not working.

Tactics - playing the game of a decade ago. Jones must carry the can for this

Mental preparation - clearly not right. Again Jones to carry the can

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 10:47 am

You've never been a fan of English rugby though tj. Just a couple of points not sure you have a great point on replacing players while admitting you don't have the knowledge on others.

Props, while vunipola has only ever been average England haven't really had many problems at the set piece. Yesterday Ireland played the ref well and got away with it. I always get the feeling if England did that you'd criticise then just as much!

Smith is the form fly half in the prem and there are miles better options than youngs. Farrell remains one of the best players in the world so unlikely to be dropped.

Leadership, been done but no one ever really says what this actually means. Every team looks rudderless at times.

Tactics have generally been spot on. You don't get the win ratio Jones has without a good understanding of them. Execution has been a problem this tournament. Both tournaments last year were win by Guess who?

Mental prep? Possibly. Sounds like its been a hard set of conditions under covid. Other teams have seemingly had a much more relaxed view on that.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Mar 2021, 10:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You've never been a fan of English rugby though tj. Just a couple of points not sure you have a great point on replacing players while admitting you don't have the knowledge on others.

Props, while vunipola has only ever been average England haven't really had many problems at the set piece.  Yesterday Ireland played the ref well and got away with it. I always get the feeling if England did that you'd criticise then just as much!

Smith is the form fly half in the prem and there are miles better options than youngs. Farrell remains one of the best players in the world so unlikely to be dropped.

Agree the Vunipola in general but he also got found out in the world cup final. A lot of blame was laid at Cole's door but the scrum did stabilise once Marler came on for Vunipola. Vunipola needs to work on his scrum game because as he gets older his impact in the loose will slow down and if he can't offer a solid set piece then he's going to fall out the squad quickly.

Smith is the form Prem 10 but Ford has only played a game and a half for Tigers it's hard to compare where they are at. We'll find out by the end of April.

Name one better option we could have fielded other than Youngs? I've made my view on the need for proper succession planning very clear previously but Youngs is playing well and currently we don't have a better option.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:12 am

Uh oh....Sam's spidey senses have sensed somebody knocking Youngs.

To be fair, we've been saying it for a long time now....give somebody else some game time, Youngs is just not up to it. That he was outplayed by a scrum half playing at 10 yesterday says it all.

Anyway, I really don't think it's time it hit the panic stations. The pack in general played well bar the pens (yes a lot) and the odd set piece. I think we're seeing the short comings of Hill and Genge as international players and Wilson has not looked the force he has on previous outings.

On that, I would dispatch Genge, Wilson and Hill and bring in Obano, Underhill and Lawes/Launchbury.

In he backs, Daly can't catch at FB and Youngs can't pass at scrum half. We need to make serious moves to get these two out of the side in these positions (Daly may hang around). Carry on with Malins at FB (with a youngster as backup) and replace Youngs with Robson with a youngster as backup.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:37 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:You've never been a fan of English rugby though tj. Just a couple of points not sure you have a great point on replacing players while admitting you don't have the knowledge on others.

Props, while vunipola has only ever been average England haven't really had many problems at the set piece.  Yesterday Ireland played the ref well and got away with it. I always get the feeling if England did that you'd criticise then just as much!

Smith is the form fly half in the prem and there are miles better options than youngs. Farrell remains one of the best players in the world so unlikely to be dropped.

Agree the Vunipola in general but he also got found out in the world cup final. A lot of blame was laid at Cole's door but the scrum did stabilise once Marler came on for Vunipola. Vunipola needs to work on his scrum game because as he gets older his impact in the loose will slow down and if he can't offer a solid set piece then he's going to fall out the squad quickly.

Smith is the form Prem 10 but Ford has only played a game and a half for Tigers it's hard to compare where they are at. We'll find out by the end of April.

Name one better option we could have fielded other than Youngs? I've made my view on the need for proper succession planning very clear previously but Youngs is playing well and currently we don't have a better option.

And having lawes there didn't help in the final either. Youngs well....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:39 am

Seen a few Stuart Barnes twitter posts bigging up daly at full back. Have to say whatever wine he's on must be pretty strong stuff!

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:44 am

I think TJ hit many of the same points we have been saying.  Mako looks and played old.  Needs time off but if no real improvement, then he is done.  Same with his brother.  Definitely need Underhill back, but also need quality alternatives, of which I think there are plenty to pick and choose from.  

Youngs at 9, I thought is playing fine in the last couple of games, but still need to blood his backup(s) and the next gen 9s.  And that will also need to include quality game time.  10 has to be determined.  After all this time, we still don't know about Ford considering he is limited by Farrell at 12.  If Marcus Smith was at 10, he would have a bit more life in him, but would still have the same problem with Farrell at 12.  Wings are fine, though once again, who are the next gen?  Midfield can't be figured until the Farrell situation is dealt with.   And there do seem to be options at fullback, but need to pick one or two and give them time.  Shame Malins couldn't go.  

Ultimately, early on when England seemed frantic and possibly nervous, it was the captain's job to settle things down, and Farrell clearly didn't.  To me, that is a serious indictment.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Mar 2021, 11:48 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Uh oh....Sam's spidey senses have sensed somebody knocking Youngs.

To be fair, we've been saying it for a long time now....give somebody else some game time, Youngs is just not up to it. That he was outplayed by a scrum half playing at 10 yesterday says it all.

Anyway, I really don't think it's time it hit the panic stations. The pack in general played well bar the pens (yes a lot) and the odd set piece. I think we're seeing the short comings of Hill and Genge as international players and Wilson has not looked the force he has on previous outings.

On that, I would dispatch Genge, Wilson and Hill and bring in Obano, Underhill and Lawes/Launchbury.

In he backs, Daly can't catch at FB and Youngs can't pass at scrum half. We need to make serious moves to get these two out of the side in these positions (Daly may hang around). Carry on with Malins at FB (with a youngster as backup) and replace Youngs with Robson with a youngster as backup.

If you think Robson has shown anything to suggest he deserves persevering with you've been on something stronger than beer.

This summer we need to take the best of the youngsters on tour and run the rule over them. Pick two long term understudies to Youngs and build them up over the next 12 months with starts in the Autumn easier friendlies and Vs Italy. So they can try and overtake Benny. Benny has been miles ahead of Robson who has been a complete liability at 9, he looked ok at 10 but that's no use going forward especially since Ben was the one doing all the tactical play.

Any scrum half is going to struggle until the forwards sort themselves out as the number of penalties and turnovers is criminal. Apart from Itoje and Curry I think all pack positions both starting and bench are currently up for grabs because the level of play hasn't been good enough.

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Post by TJ Sun 21 Mar 2021, 12:04 pm

If Farrell is undroppable could he move to 15?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 21 Mar 2021, 12:23 pm

Cyril wrote:England will be in the reckoning for the World Cup. Scotland will not. This Covid Cup is pretty much pointless. Good luck to either France or Wales. There are bigger fish to fry.

England might not get out of the group stages...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 12:38 pm

TJ wrote:If Farrell is undroppable could he move to 15?

Hes world class but why would you want to move him to a position hes never played?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 12:38 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Cyril wrote:England will be in the reckoning for the World Cup. Scotland will not. This Covid Cup is pretty much pointless. Good luck to either France or Wales. There are bigger fish to fry.

England might not get out of the group stages...

Possibility for all teams. That's why we watch sport.

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Post by mountain man Sun 21 Mar 2021, 12:55 pm

Sorry have to disagree here. Farrell was world class in 2019, since then way off and arguably not in good enough form to play for England let alone be one of top players in world which is what world class should mean.
England played poorly 2020 but got through and won, just. This year other teams improved and England have gone backwards. This is due to players unfit, out of form and tactics which have to come from coaching.

Shake up needed.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 1:03 pm

Disagree away mountain.

Remember in terms of disruption to the coaching. Amor has come in as a new member and then wasn't able to join the squad with Robinson brought in. Coaches like players need time.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Mar 2021, 1:20 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Cyril wrote:England will be in the reckoning for the World Cup. Scotland will not. This Covid Cup is pretty much pointless. Good luck to either France or Wales. There are bigger fish to fry.

England might not get out of the group stages...

The rugby world cup isn't until 2023, a lot can change between now and then. England have a young squad considering the number of caps and some bright talents in the Premiership that can still come in and freshen things up.

This of course does not excuse such a limp 6N display in my opinion. Some pretty tough decisions to be made after detailed retrospection. Eddie's bosses will not be impressed by such a low finish. A number of the coaches might come under the microscope as well. There is at least a fairly easy summer tour ahead where we can develop the young talent and give those that aren't touring with the Lions (probably less touring after this 6N) a summer off and full pre season.

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Sun 21 Mar 2021, 1:29 pm

From 2020 heroes to 2021 zeros. Double champions to just pipping Italy. Beating France may be a consolation, as they don’t look like the world’s best in waiting that has been claimed. Anyone who sees the progress in that, or believes this is part of Eddie’s 4-year 2023 master plan is deluded, especially the latter as I can’t see what the plan is. Injuries haven’t helped but the FR is tired, the BR slow and the midfield just not at the required level. It seems too many of the squad are looking past their best, some just aren't good enough, and a few more haven’t matured yet. Harsh words and no solutions, but England should be looking to be world champions - if we get good enough in the next 2 years to make the RWC final I’ll eat my shorts. With a nice chilled chianti.
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Post by Mr Bounce Sun 21 Mar 2021, 2:09 pm

Eddie won't be fired this time round as it's too expensive for the RFU to get rid of him. The summer tour (if it goes ahead) needs to be done with a fresh sheet of paper and some new faces. By all means keep a few more experienced players in but the bulk of this team needs to be given a break. Lets have a look at who should NOT be on the tour at all otherwise we'll just be turning out the same old tripe players:

Farrell. Has too much on his plate. The Captaincy isn't working for him. He's a divisive character at best, especially with the referees, but the pressure of trying to keep his team together along with running the game and being the chief motivator is not helping. He's not been in top form either and it shows. Take the summer off and come back refreshed, then fight for a place in the new squad, not as captain.

Daly has been badly off form and save for some flashes of the old Daly against France, he hasn't been able to tackle, attack, catch or play well.

Youngs. When he's at his best, he's a match for anyone (France match for example). But his form has more patches than my Mum's old quilt as yesterday showed. Yes, 100+ caps blah blah, but we NEED new 9s.

Wilson. His time has come. Not quick enough and has lost his edge.

George. A shadow of his former self. Not stringing great performances together at all.

Mako needs time away. Looked exhausted BEFORE he came on and Tadgh Furlong had him for breakfast in the scrum. His "work in the loose" (hardly evident yesterday) is no use if we can't win the ball at the scrum.

Billy is a busted flush. Most teams know how to combat him, not that he seemed interested at all against Ireland. His bullocking runs of the past through half a team are just that: "of the past". He's about as dynamic as a lump of dough on a baker's workbench at the moment. Doesn't do anything - he's just there. And he looks pained half the time. I really don't feel he's enjoying himself at all. Plus that time where he was stripped of the ball he lazily hauled himself up and wandered back to the action. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR A PLAYER AT ANY LEVEL OF RUGBY.

Ford is an odd one. He's been by far the more accomplished of England's two playmakers, and he's clearly an Eddie "Yes man" but I believe he too should be given a break. It certainly won't do him any harm.

So let's have a look and see who might tour:

LHP. Obano, Genge. Not sure if Marler would tour but he's a good player with huge experience to have in the squad. Are there any other looseheads putting their hands up? We know what Moon and Hepburn can do - anyone else worth a look?
Hooker. Dunn and Barbeary. Barbeary is the future in my book. As a Wasps fan it's good to have him back (albeit as a back-rower). Let's blood him and enjoy what happens.
THP. Stuart needs game time. Is Painter doing any damage in the Premiership? Is it worth taking Williams? He's experienced and knows Eddie's gameplan although he isn't a favourite.
Locks: Ewels showed what he can do in the France game. He doesn't do anything particularly badly either - I think he's played a lot better than Jonny Hill and has taken his chances well. Let's add in Launchbury (almost never lets England down) - he could be a potential tour captain. Kpoku keeps getting raved about. You can also add in Isiekwe and also David Ribbans to the mix.
Back row. We have an embarrassment of riches here, and it's lovely to see. We'll start with the obvious: Earl - well we know what he can do. Dombrandt and Simmonds are the stand-out two at 8, Tom Willis is probably too far down the pecking order at the moment. Ludlam - played well when required at the RWC, and isn't exactly doing badly for Northampton. Ted Hill, George Martin - both up Eddie's street as destructive 6s. Mercer has seemingly played himself into form at exactly the wrong time. Shame that Jack Willis is broken. He'd be a shoo-in for the tour.

Scrum half: Randall (if recovered), Mitchell. Possibly Robson to make up squad numbers.

10: Joe Simmonds, Marcus Smith, Jacob Umaga. Let's see what these guys can do in a white shirt. PLEASE!

Wings: Cokanasiga could do with some more form. Hopefully he'll get some before the squad is
picked. McConnachie has been playing well for Bath. Ollie Thorley? Has he gone off the boil? Olly Woodburn? Ollie Hassell-Collins is doing well for Irish. Nowell could be on the way back from injury hell too.

Centres: Ollie Devoto, Joe Marchant, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonathan Joseph, Paolo Odogwu. We have SO much talent here. Let's use them. Manu is an injury magnet at the moment. We need to learn to play without him.

Full Back. The shirt is Malins' to lose. Steward HAS to be worth a look as well.

The games may be a bit more disjointed but I bet Eddie would learn a hell of a lot more than sticking with his mainly out-of-form and out-of-touch Saracens best friends.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 21 Mar 2021, 2:12 pm

Finally watching the France Wales game. As with Barnes its a shame we'll never have Pearce ref us. Excellent refs and a step up from those around them. Talking about the leadership of farrell (criticising) what was Jones doing for the last 20. Wales completely bottled it.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Mar 2021, 3:05 pm

TJ wrote:If Farrell is undroppable could he move to 15?
I think he needs to be moved to 24.

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Post by hugehandoff Sun 21 Mar 2021, 3:25 pm

So who did well by being absent? Manu as ever. Not sure whether he will be able to return to the top table, but apparently he is 6 weeks away from playing. If I were him I would cash on a lucrative deal before his body forces him into retirement. England have not found the age old answer to their midfield and we don't know about Lawrence. Are there any good youngsters coming through?

Lawes and Launchbury both clearly missed. Ewels pretty good in the line out, but not a top international for me. Maro will bounce back.

Underhill will slot back in for Wilson, who was pretty good, but not amazing.

As for the others....Mako has been exposed at scrum time a few times and Marler will be a welcome return if he wants to. Billy was very poor and surely this summer is time to experiment there. Otherwise it is more about the game plan and making better use of the ball.

We desperately need to resolve our midfield issue as the current balance is just not right and I think that encourages Eddie to adopt such risk free boring tactics.


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Post by king_carlos Sun 21 Mar 2021, 3:33 pm

Alfie Barbeary
George Martin
Ted Hill
Ben Earl
Harry Randall
Alex Mitchell
Marcus Smith
Ollie Lawrence
Paolo Odogwu
Joe Marchant
Adam Radwan - Injury permitting
Max Malins
Freddie Steward

Those are the players I'm most keen to see plenty of over the summer tours.

If Jack Nowell can get and stay fit I'd take him as well. I think England have really missed the variety he offers in the backline. May and Watson are quality but Nowell offers a different style of player that carries well in traffic and he's one of the best defensive wingers in rugby.

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Post by rosbif Sun 21 Mar 2021, 3:50 pm

O Flaherty from the Chiefs would be worth a punt for the tour, especially if he learnt to pass the ball.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 21 Mar 2021, 4:00 pm

Will the summer tour be on? isn't it like the lions depending on covid.

I hope it does go ahead.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Mar 2021, 4:20 pm

I would take a punt on Tom Freeman from Saints at the back, or maybe on the wing. All he does is make plays. Good catching kicks and has serious quicks. Very young and perhaps a year too early, but this summer allows for that, methinks.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 21 Mar 2021, 4:28 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Will the summer tour be on? isn't it like the lions depending on covid.

I hope it does go ahead.
I think America will be in pretty good shape Covid-wise by June.  Like every country, the US has its share of genuine dumbars*es, kind of like the bad progeny of brother-sister, and theirs are probably louder than anywhere else.  But a lot of people have been vaccinated already and there is a strong desire to finish this the right way. And it seems to me the general population really want to get this done and this government is really harnessing the American genius for supply chain for the vaccines, 3 approved and one or two more in the hopper.  Plus with all the sports currently playing safely at schools, uni, and pro level, ample precautions can easily be implemented locally.  In fact, I would put more money on an England tour to America before a Lions tour.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 21 Mar 2021, 5:10 pm

Yea yes...let's throw away the entire squad and bring in a load of kids....Jeez...knee Jeez reaction.  

The squad will be more or less the same with a few tweaks...

As I've said many times...I'm not sure Eddie is bothered about this 6n..he's looking further ahead...

I actually am quite positive despite performances this 6n

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 21 Mar 2021, 5:33 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yea yes...let's throw away the entire squad and bring in a load of kids....Jeez...knee Jeez reaction.  

The squad will be more or less the same with a few tweaks...

As I've said many times...I'm not sure Eddie is bothered about this 6n..he's looking further ahead...

I actually am quite positive despite performances this 6n

Well I'd throw out the squad but only for the development tour.  Wink

Despite the complaints Eddie is definitely trying to build a certain style of play. It requires 7s levels of fitness which I think may have been the issue this 6N as most of the squad barely played from early December up until February. That's a long time to only play a game or two and then be match fit for Eddie's high intensity plan. I think you're right he didn't mind sacrificing the 6N for the greater good but at the same time he doesn't like losing.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 21 Mar 2021, 6:18 pm

2015 RWC. England trained (over trained) to achieve fitness at the expense of, not sure, lots of things. Toughness, Strength. The end result was failure.

I know we are a long way out from the RWC but I am a little concerned we back on the same path.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 21 Mar 2021, 7:02 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Yea yes...let's throw away the entire squad and bring in a load of kids....Jeez...knee Jeez reaction.  

The squad will be more or less the same with a few tweaks...

As I've said many times...I'm not sure Eddie is bothered about this 6n..he's looking further ahead...

I actually am quite positive despite performances this 6n

GF I am not talking about changing the whole squad, i just think some of the players need a rest maybe, just maybe some players have become complacent, they know no matter how they play they will not get dropped. That as to change.

I also think we need a repalcement 10 on the bench instead of a 6-2 split maybe it should be a 5-3 split.

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Post by TightHEAD Sun 21 Mar 2021, 7:20 pm

Chance to calm down and reflect on England.

2 years till the RWC imho that is plenty of time to rebuild with a new coach.
Will England pay off Eddie? Imho no they won't.

So I think we are stuck with Eddie for now. He has to select new blood this summer if the tour's go ahead, although I think apart from a few players like Itoje, Curry, Underhill and Watson who will make the lions I think he'll have plenty of players to pick from.

Both Vunipolas, Youngs, Ewels and possibly May have played their last games for England
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 21 Mar 2021, 7:34 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Chance to calm down and reflect on England.

2 years till the RWC imho that is plenty of time to rebuild with a new coach.
Will England pay off Eddie? Imho no they won't.

So I think we are stuck with Eddie for now. He has to select new blood this summer if the tour's go ahead, although I think apart from a few players like Itoje, Curry, Underhill and Watson who will make the lions I think he'll have plenty of players to pick from.

Both Vunipolas, Youngs, Ewels and possibly May have played their last games for England
They need to target a 2 nations win next year for sure. Very Happy

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Post by whatahitson Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:32 pm

whatahitson wrote:
Joe Marler's absence is a far bigger problem for England than Sam Simmonds'.

I saw a performance like this coming from Vunipola. Add in Genge's lack of form and England have gone from having the best loosehead options in world rugby to being desperate for Marler.

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Post by nlpnlp Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:20 pm

whatahitson wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
Joe Marler's absence is a far bigger problem for England than Sam Simmonds'.

I saw a performance like this coming from Vunipola. Add in Genge's lack of form and England have gone from having the best loosehead options in world rugby to being desperate for Marler.

Marler isn't available so we couldn't pick him. If not Mako or Genge then who would you have picked for the Ireland game? I agree that Mako has never been the best scrummager, but with over 50 England and 6 Lions caps he has got away with it more often than not. I think you are right on Genge being out of form, but this seemed to be more of a problem for England than other countries.

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Post by whatahitson Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:33 pm

I understand Marler wasn't available but everything should hopefully be done to ensure they get the most out of him between now and the next world cup. There's no reason he cannot be playing in a world cup final in 2 and a half years time if he and those around him manage his physical and mental health correctly. He's only 30 years old.

Mako is fine, a world class player in his own way, but without being able to rely on Genge who has looked surprisingly 'green' this year and like he's still in need of a year or two more experience until he will become a top, top test player who can be relied upon, it leaves Mako open to a performance like yesterday. Particularly coming on the back of the Saracens situation.

The point I was trying to make anyway is that complaining about Simmonds in a position of incredible strength for England is pointless. Players who aren't playing suddenly become 10x better than the ones that do - see Ollie Lawrence.

In the long run there's no problem with loose head. Obano should be given a go to challenge Genge for a place in the squad. Genge can be a world class player I have no doubt about that he has all the raw skills and attributes to be another Mako but with even more power. But England will need balance and if Marler doesn't make it back in an England shirt even after the pandemic, he will be 10x the loss for England than any Exeter Chief (Simmonds x2, Armand) not being picked by Jones.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 22 Mar 2021, 4:14 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Uh oh....Sam's spidey senses have sensed somebody knocking Youngs.

To be fair, we've been saying it for a long time now....give somebody else some game time, Youngs is just not up to it. That he was outplayed by a scrum half playing at 10 yesterday says it all.

Anyway, I really don't think it's time it hit the panic stations. The pack in general played well bar the pens (yes a lot) and the odd set piece. I think we're seeing the short comings of Hill and Genge as international players and Wilson has not looked the force he has on previous outings.

On that, I would dispatch Genge, Wilson and Hill and bring in Obano, Underhill and Lawes/Launchbury.

In he backs, Daly can't catch at FB and Youngs can't pass at scrum half. We need to make serious moves to get these two out of the side in these positions (Daly may hang around). Carry on with Malins at FB (with a youngster as backup) and replace Youngs with Robson with a youngster as backup.

If you think Robson has shown anything to suggest he deserves persevering with you've been on something stronger than beer.

This summer we need to take the best of the youngsters on tour and run the rule over them. Pick two long term understudies to Youngs and build them up over the next 12 months with starts in the Autumn easier friendlies and Vs Italy. So they can try and overtake Benny. Benny has been miles ahead of Robson who has been a complete liability at 9, he looked ok at 10 but that's no use going forward especially since Ben was the one doing all the tactical play.

Any scrum half is going to struggle until the forwards sort themselves out as the number of penalties and turnovers is criminal. Apart from Itoje and Curry I think all pack positions both starting and bench are currently up for grabs because the level of play hasn't been good enough.

And I've stated 50 times before.....you don't know the metal of player until he gets a run of starts. You can blah blah about not showing enough etc etc but you cannot fully judge a player until he gets a number of starts behind him, it's a different game.

That EJ has stuck with your beloved Benny so much is just criminal, it's utter incompetency. Robson is head and shoulders above Youngs in the AP, give the lad a run of games.

Youngs is utter dross and is only going to get worse over the next 2 years, jeez we need to do something fast.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 22 Mar 2021, 7:11 am

It is striking how the result at the weekend puts a completely different perspective on the season.

If England had won, we could have had a clear narrative about starting far too slowly against a strong Scottish side, with improvements against Wales undermined by unfortunate refereeing. Then moving through the gears much better, to knock over the next three opponents.

Now, the France game looks like an outlier, which England could just as easily have lost, and we can have lot less confidence that more sympathetic refereeing would have translated into a win against Wales.

Four years ago, there was alot of team turnover, partly through injuries, and partly through Jones making selection changes. Right now, it's harder to identify old lags, as the squad is still relatively young. Wilson, Lawes and - if he wanted to come back - Kruis, are the oldest, with Mako, Marler, and George a year or two younger. (Have to say, I was a bit surprised to learn Launchbury is younger than Jamie George).

Although Jones might have dropped them anyway, ultimately, Haskell, Hartley and Shields lost their places through injury. Among current senior players, the Vunipola brothers, Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes are probably the most prone to getting long-term knocks.

It does feel sometimes, no matter how many caps we have on the pitch, that England lack rugby smarts. We seemed that way in 2015 under Lancaster, and yet the same players went on to tough it out under Jones with a world record run of wins, which we couldn't have managed without some rugby nous.

Of course, Jones made Hartley his captain, which was a break with the Lancaster era, and then turned to Farrell to change things up again. Perhaps, if Jones still believes he has the right core players in his squad, then he'll need to change the leadership chemistry again, with Itoje the obvious choice.







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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:12 am

Well the leadership currently you'd have to say are Farrell and Ford clearly as the 2 captains, Billy Vunipola was certainly spoken about in that role previously by Jones, you're then looking at Itoje and Curry I'd suspect. Those latter 2 would be my top 2 choices if Farrell weren't in the team (and there's certainly something to be said about having a forward as captain as the majority of complaints will be around the breakdown). If the leadership i supposedly not good enough though its a bit pointless picking either of them? Vunipola and Farrell stand a great chance to be in South Africa (with those 2) anyway and with Smith pulling up trees its likely Ford either doesn't do a summer tour or he spends a good chunk on the sidelines.

I'm still not entirely sure what people specifically talk about with leadership tbh. It just seems to raise its head when England lose. To repeat I've just watched Wales throw away a game while their captain and leadership team seemingly only made things worse. They get lauded regularly.

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Post by TJ Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:15 am

7 1/2 - do you think wales have better players overall than England? I do not. Its the leadership that has led to Wales top and England 5th - as well as tactics.

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Post by mountain man Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:24 am

The leadership thing is over rated. Yes you need someone on pitch to make right calls for pens and the odd word but otherwise it's ultimately all down to how team is playing. It's not like cricket where the captain is absolutely key and making decisions all the time. Best captain England had was Martin Johnson who by his own admission didn't say an awful lot, just got on with it. Primarily because that team was fantastic, they knew what they were doing and how to do it.
That said, when the game plan such as it is isn't working then a call needs to be made to change it. The captain should be able to identify what is needed and change it. This is something England have not done.

Farrell it seems doesn't have best relationship with refs, certainly not French ones but more importantly the question needs to be asked does he deserve place in team purely on form? If he wasn't capt would he be in team, I'd argue on last 12 months form he shouldn't be.
However, Jones is obviously incredibly stubborn and so is very unlikely to drop his choice of captain.

Captain needs to be someone who is nailed on starter, that currently means Itoje or Curry. Itoje runs lineout anyway so I'd give it to him, not burden Curry with it.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:25 am

No I don't TJ. But my question on leadership stands unanswered.

And as for the tactics as with previous replies, its more the execution than tactics. You can play rugby well in a variety of ways but don't do it well and its going to end up pear shaped.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:26 am

And in the summer Mountain? Given the previous tours Gatland will ignore Launchbury stupidly, so could well lead a younger set?

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Post by mountain man Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:33 am

See who is picked for Lions first and who is available afterwards. Extremely likely Curry and Itoje will be in SA so someone else, as you say Launchbury be obvious choice as he's captain for Wasps or was. However, who's captain on summer tour isn't particularly relevant. It's who get's it permanently for autumn, 6N and beyond. It can't be Farrell.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 22 Mar 2021, 8:38 am

mountain man wrote:The leadership thing is over rated. Yes you need someone on pitch to make right calls for pens and the odd word but otherwise it's ultimately all down to how team is playing. It's not like cricket where the captain is absolutely key and making decisions all the time. Best captain England had was Martin Johnson who by his own admission didn't say an awful lot, just got on with it. Primarily because that team was fantastic, they knew what they were doing and how to do it.
That said, when the game plan such as it is isn't working then a call needs to be made to change it. The captain should be able to identify what is needed and change it. This is something England have not done.

Farrell it seems doesn't have best relationship with refs, certainly not French ones but more importantly the question needs to be asked does he deserve place in team purely on form? If he wasn't capt would he be in team, I'd argue on last 12 months form he shouldn't be.
However, Jones is obviously incredibly stubborn and so is very unlikely to drop his choice of captain.

Captain needs to be someone who is nailed on starter, that currently means Itoje or Curry. Itoje runs lineout anyway so I'd give it to him, not burden Curry with it.


I think it is a bit more nuanced than that. Captains don't normally make a difference. Good captains and bad captains do, and a lot of the work they do will be before the match starts. I think this is where Farrell gets his reputation from.

What is probably more important is the leadership group. The captain isnt going to be everywhere, and if he's a back like Farrell he isn't going to be running scrums and lineouts. This begs the question about who is properly leading the forwards? Worth pointing out that we are looking to the current pack to potentially provide Farrell's replacement, and a lot of the current issues seem to start there.

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