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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 mountain man Mon 22 Mar 2021, 5:07 pm

A fit Manu is in the team no question, whether in form or not! However, he's definitely injury prone if that's such a thing or is it just unlucky.
I almost get impression Jones is just biding time until he can get him back in and then hope he's the panacea for all of Englands ills.

Cannot rely on any one player though, even a one off like Manu and I totally agree that England need to live without him.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 22 Mar 2021, 5:15 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:There'll be a decent team going on summer tour if it goes ahead

Something like:

1 West / Obano / Genge - he's been very poor this 6n
2 Barbaery
3 Hayes
4 Joe Launchbury (C) - Experienced Captain whos missed alot of games
5 George Martin
6 Ted Hill
7 Ben Curry
8 Dombrandt

9 Randall
10 Smith / Simmonds
11 Radwan
12 Devoto
13 Lawrence
14 Odogwu / Cockasaniga - depending on his fitness and form.
15 Steward

See I wouldn't send someone like Launchbury on the summer tour because it'll mean he misses some of pre season. He's also 30 and is in the a position where we are looking at losing most of our quality players with the apparent successors (Ewels and Hill) not currently doing the business. Give him the summer off so he's rested and gets a full pre season.

Similar with Genge who's talked about the mental strain of the England Covid bubble. He's not long become a father let him stay home get some family time and get a full pre season. We aren't short of looseheads with Obano, West and Rodd all playing well for their clubs. Might be worth getting Rodd a cap as he qualifies for all of England, Scotland and Wales (I think).

I'd give Dunn the captaincy for the tour personally. Then in the tight five I'd be looking at something like;

Obano, Dunn, Heyes
Ribbans, Martin

Start with that making use of of the experience of Dunn to assist the younger second row in the lineout and the Bath combination in the front row. Off the bench then bring on West, Barbeary, Williams and Beaumont. That way you have the Wasps combination and an experienced tighthead to help settle the set piece. Beaumont is a really good lineout jumper to help Barbeary with his darts. Should be a nice balance. Otherwise you get Barbeary trying to throw to a meh jumper in Launchbury or Martin that's quite a bit of pressure.

Ted Hill should help the lineout from 6 I'd go Evans who has really flourished at Quins this season at 7 and Simmonds at 8 though. Dombrandt can come off the bench, that should suit him.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 22 Mar 2021, 5:20 pm

lostinwales wrote:Manu is a funny one. He's worth persevering with if we can get another RWC out of him but if we can't we have to learn to live without him.
The odds of Manu re-signing with Sale or joining another Premiership side are slim I reckon. He took a massive pay cut to join Sale and with the cap reduced since then he won't get a better offer there. As marquee players can't be signed from another Premiership club his salary has to come under the cap regardless of where in the Premiership he plays.

France or Japan beckon would be my prediction. Which would be a shame as it would almost certainly mean we've seen Manu in an England shirt for the last time.

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Post by whatahitson Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:24 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:I don't think ive ever seen England look so disinterested in the six nations. Aside from proving a point against France they couldn't have cared less.

Exactly...they weren't interested.  Its part of the world Cup cycle...
The summer tour will blood more kids, then the autumns and the next 6n will be a different story

Agree. There was very little to play for in this tournament for England. They're 2 from 3 trophies post WC and have managed the Saracens issue as well as they could have hoped to without tearing the whole squad apart.


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Post by LordDowlais Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:31 pm

I dunno how much truth is in any of the rumours but talk is that after the Lions tour has finished Gatland could be Englands next coach.

nothing can be announced until the Lions is done though.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/119938296/english-world-cup-winner-backs-warren-gatland-to-lead-england-if-eddie-jones-quits

Gatland has ruled himself out, but there is no smoke without fire.

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Post by whatahitson Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
lostinwales wrote:There was me thinking Simmonds had replaced Thomas Waldrom. A big lumbering no.8 (who scored a lot of tries)

That would be a big lumbering mistake, wouldn't it.

From the wikipedia page on Thomas the tank (about his time at Exeter)

2017-18
Due to the emergence of Sam Simmonds, Waldron's playing time has been limited in the 2017-18 season.

That page actually references this article in Rugby World

https://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/sam-simmonds-87416

I know you have issues with people disagreeing with you but it doesn't make you right.

How is this at all relevant to the fact that Simmonds isn't an 8 due to the way Exeter balance their back row?

I provided an explanation for how and why the Chiefs play with Simmonds (a flanker) at 8 by showing how they used Kvesic that way before Simmonds broke through. This was at a time when Waldrom was being very much phased out of the starting side and he rarely started for the Chiefs once Exeter found the balance of Kvesic/Simmonds at 8. Waldrom left soon after as Exeter had replaced him with better players, namely on the flanks i.e. Armand and Ewers.

The fact that Waldrom also played 8 as Kvesic/Simmonds were introduced in to the role from the flank is meaningless. It has nothing to do with the point that Simmonds is not a traditional number 8 in any way. It would be like saying Tom Curry replaced Maro Itoje as a blindside therefore Curry can also play second row like Itoje. It's just unthinking.

Unless of course you truly, honestly believe that Simmonds replaced Waldrom and not Kvesic in the 8 role. And that Simmonds is a like for like replacement for Waldrom. If you truly think that then it would be a relevant point to raise.

But, if you do think that then, well... Whistle

I don't have issues with people disagreeing with me but you're being needlessly antithetical for the sake of it. You're then projecting your own contrarian 'issue' back outwards to pretend that it's not you with the 'issue'/problem but me.

After all of this, we can now all see that Simmonds plays the same role that Kvesic did for the Chiefs, as a flanker alongside two big brutes who do the job of a number 8, blindside, and often second row all in one. Has Kvesic become a number 8 since he played there for Exeter? No. He is back in the 7 shirt at Worcester. If Simmonds left Exeter, i.e. if he joined up with England, it would be a similar situation. Therefore Simmonds is irrelevant in the discussion for England at 8.


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Post by whatahitson Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I dunno how much truth is in any of the rumours but talk is that after the Lions tour has finished Gatland could be Englands next coach.

nothing can be announced until the Lions is done though.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/119938296/english-world-cup-winner-backs-warren-gatland-to-lead-england-if-eddie-jones-quits

Gatland has ruled himself out, but there is no smoke without fire.

Tabloid talk for clicks and ad revenue. Gatland is probably the highest paid/most highly regarded coach in the world. After the Lions job there's only one more role he want: the ABs.

His time back with the Chiefs didn't go well and the NZ public are ready to turn on him. He had some grace with his record up north but if he doesn't prove himself in Super Rugby he won't get the job.

Clive Woodward is more likely to be England forwards coach than Gatland.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:52 pm

whatahitson wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
lostinwales wrote:There was me thinking Simmonds had replaced Thomas Waldrom. A big lumbering no.8 (who scored a lot of tries)

That would be a big lumbering mistake, wouldn't it.

From the wikipedia page on Thomas the tank (about his time at Exeter)

2017-18
Due to the emergence of Sam Simmonds, Waldron's playing time has been limited in the 2017-18 season.

That page actually references this article in Rugby World

https://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/sam-simmonds-87416

I know you have issues with people disagreeing with you but it doesn't make you right.

How is this at all relevant to the fact that Simmonds isn't an 8 due to the way Exeter balance their back row?

I provided an explanation for how and why the Chiefs play with Simmonds (a flanker) at 8 by showing how they used Kvesic that way before Simmonds broke through. This was at a time when Waldrom was being very much phased out of the starting side and he rarely started for the Chiefs once Exeter found the balance of Kvesic/Simmonds at 8. Waldrom left soon after as Exeter had replaced him with better players, namely on the flanks i.e. Armand and Ewers.

The fact that Waldrom also played 8 as Kvesic/Simmonds were introduced in to the role from the flank is meaningless. It has nothing to do with the point that Simmonds is not a traditional number 8 in any way. It would be like saying Tom Curry replaced Maro Itoje as a blindside therefore Curry can also play second row like Itoje. It's just unthinking.

Unless of course you truly, honestly believe that Simmonds replaced Waldrom and not Kvesic in the 8 role. And that Simmonds is a like for like replacement for Waldrom. If you truly think that then it would be a relevant point to raise.

But, if you do think that then, well...  Whistle

I don't have issues with people disagreeing with me but you're being needlessly antithetical for the sake of it. You're then projecting your own contrarian 'issue' back outwards to pretend that it's not you with the 'issue'/problem but me.

After all of this, we can now all see that Simmonds plays the same role that Kvesic did for the Chiefs, as a flanker alongside two big brutes who do the job of a number 8, blindside, and often second row all in one. Has Kvesic become a number 8 since he played there for Exeter? No. He is back in the 7 shirt at Worcester. If Simmonds left Exeter, i.e. if he joined up with England, it would be a similar situation. Therefore Simmonds is irrelevant in the discussion for England at 8.

Or the short answer is that despite his build Thomas the Tank was not a lumbering number 8 he was a centre trapped in a prop's body. He didn't do much in terms of defence but had Ewers and the out and out openside Salvi didn't need to. Armand replaced Salvi at 7 and Exeter started to look at the more dynamic Simmonds or Kvesic at 8 in order to link with their backs instead of the openside. Ewers and Armand are both big and could slot into lock if required.

Eddie has said previously that if Simmonds were to play for England then they need a unit at 6 or Simmonds would have to make his case over and above the flankers that they could select.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 22 Mar 2021, 7:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I dunno how much truth is in any of the rumours but talk is that after the Lions tour has finished Gatland could be Englands next coach.

nothing can be announced until the Lions is done though.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/119938296/english-world-cup-winner-backs-warren-gatland-to-lead-england-if-eddie-jones-quits

Gatland has ruled himself out, but there is no smoke without fire.

Let's hope there is in this case.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I dunno how much truth is in any of the rumours but talk is that after the Lions tour has finished Gatland could be Englands next coach.

nothing can be announced until the Lions is done though.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/119938296/english-world-cup-winner-backs-warren-gatland-to-lead-england-if-eddie-jones-quits

Gatland has ruled himself out, but there is no smoke without fire.

Let's hope there is in this case.

Gatland? Yeah no thanks. Minus Edwards as his defence coach he's looked out of his depth coaching the Chiefs in NZ.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 22 Mar 2021, 10:10 pm

Gatland would be the best coach England have ever had.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 22 Mar 2021, 11:45 pm

I think the only reason Eddie Jones leaves is if he decides it is time. I really doubt the RFU will fire or release him. And, as I said previously, he has earned the opportunity to reverse the fortunes. That said, the variable we will never really know for certain is what is said in his post-tournament interviews with his bosses.

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Post by Cyril Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:05 am

Eddie and England have had a poor tournament (and still beaten the best other 6Ns side) on the back of a World Cup final, a 6 Nations and Autumn Cup triumph.There’s lots to work on, but let’s not get carried away.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:18 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think the only reason Eddie Jones leaves is if he decides it is time.  I really doubt the RFU will fire or release him.  And, as I said previously, he has earned the opportunity to reverse the fortunes.  That said, the variable we will never really know for certain is what is said in his post-tournament interviews with his bosses.  

True, I can’t think of an England coach with a better winning per cent-age. Sir Clive maybe? England finished 5th in 2018 and Eddie turned that around over the following seasons (2nd place, World Cup final, 1st place, ANC). I think he’s the man to do it, but I also think he should become less reliant on certain players. Some freshening up is required.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 23 Mar 2021, 12:42 am

Jones win percentage is still 77% despite the poorer form since the RWC and the dire Six Nations. For comparison SCWs was 71%. Gatland with Wales was 55%. Hansen and Henry with their AB dynasty were 87% and 85% respectively. Eddie's record is still exceptional to be fair to him.

As always with discussions about coaching dismissals the bigger questions are about potential replacements than the incumbent. Gatland and Lam are in contract until 2023 at the Chiefs and Bristol respectively. I don't think Baxter wants the job to be honest. Mark McCall wont be flavour of the month after Sarries salary cap fiasco. I'd absolutely love to see Scott Robertson take over after the RWC but I struggle to see him leaving NZ just yet when Fossie looks shaky at the top.

The squad desperately needs some players to break through as George, Curry, Underhill and Daly did replacing Hartley, Robshaw, Haskell and Brown around this time in the last RWC cycle.

A Premiership return for Kruis would do the pack the world of good going into next season as well.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 23 Mar 2021, 6:49 am

The RFU podcast features Dylan Hartley talking with Eddie Jones after the Ireland loss. Hartley is willing to cut Jones slack, because he remembers captaining the 2018 team to 5th place, which sparked the subsequent revival. It's worth a listen.

Jones does say that, should current squad players not be selected for the Lions, he would be inclined to rest them, so he can get a look at others in the summer tour (if it takes place).

Jones still sounds raw after the loss. While he doesn't get down into too many specifics, he believes other teams caught up with England defensively, so sounds like he wants to to overhaul the way the team plays.

This aligns with something Dallaglio and Warburton said on the Times Ruck podcast. Previously, teams made few dents carrying into the England defence, and couldn't develop any phases, or attacking rhythm. Warburton thinks England really missed Underhill, who he believes is one of the world's best tacklers, and probably Lawes too.

Jones spoke again about how he wants to see potential test players show a certain kind of attitude. He mentioned he'll be thinking about half-backs over the next few weeks, although it's anyone's guess if that really is his main intention.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:12 am

Eddie is going nowhere, I think we all know that. Barring poor result, I'm not sure the RFU could afford to get rid of him and then buy out a replacement.

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Post by TJ Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:20 am

There apparently is a performance break clause in his contract that if invoked would mean they can get rid of him cheaply

it all comes down to whether you believe Jones can halt the slide and turn things around. My view is he cannot. there is enough time to get a new coach in and settled before the next WC but they would need to act soon. delay another year and its too late

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:26 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Gatland would be the best coach England have ever had.

Most overrated coach in world rugby.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:29 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
lostinwales wrote:There was me thinking Simmonds had replaced Thomas Waldrom. A big lumbering no.8 (who scored a lot of tries)

That would be a big lumbering mistake, wouldn't it.

From the wikipedia page on Thomas the tank (about his time at Exeter)

2017-18
Due to the emergence of Sam Simmonds, Waldron's playing time has been limited in the 2017-18 season.

That page actually references this article in Rugby World

https://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/england-countries/sam-simmonds-87416

I know you have issues with people disagreeing with you but it doesn't make you right.

How is this at all relevant to the fact that Simmonds isn't an 8 due to the way Exeter balance their back row?

I provided an explanation for how and why the Chiefs play with Simmonds (a flanker) at 8 by showing how they used Kvesic that way before Simmonds broke through. This was at a time when Waldrom was being very much phased out of the starting side and he rarely started for the Chiefs once Exeter found the balance of Kvesic/Simmonds at 8. Waldrom left soon after as Exeter had replaced him with better players, namely on the flanks i.e. Armand and Ewers.

The fact that Waldrom also played 8 as Kvesic/Simmonds were introduced in to the role from the flank is meaningless. It has nothing to do with the point that Simmonds is not a traditional number 8 in any way. It would be like saying Tom Curry replaced Maro Itoje as a blindside therefore Curry can also play second row like Itoje. It's just unthinking.

Unless of course you truly, honestly believe that Simmonds replaced Waldrom and not Kvesic in the 8 role. And that Simmonds is a like for like replacement for Waldrom. If you truly think that then it would be a relevant point to raise.

But, if you do think that then, well...  Whistle

I don't have issues with people disagreeing with me but you're being needlessly antithetical for the sake of it. You're then projecting your own contrarian 'issue' back outwards to pretend that it's not you with the 'issue'/problem but me.

After all of this, we can now all see that Simmonds plays the same role that Kvesic did for the Chiefs, as a flanker alongside two big brutes who do the job of a number 8, blindside, and often second row all in one. Has Kvesic become a number 8 since he played there for Exeter? No. He is back in the 7 shirt at Worcester. If Simmonds left Exeter, i.e. if he joined up with England, it would be a similar situation. Therefore Simmonds is irrelevant in the discussion for England at 8.

Or the short answer is that despite his build Thomas the Tank was not a lumbering number 8 he was a centre trapped in a prop's body. He didn't do much in terms of defence but had Ewers and the out and out openside Salvi didn't need to. Armand replaced Salvi at 7 and Exeter started to look at the more dynamic Simmonds or Kvesic at 8 in order to link with their backs instead of the openside. Ewers and Armand are both big and could slot into lock if required.

Eddie has said previously that if Simmonds were to play for England then they need a unit at 6 or Simmonds would have to make his case over and above the flankers that they could select.

Yes that's true as well. But Waldrom was still a useful blunt object when he needed to be and his 'old school' body size and bulk made him a good carrier to get over the gainline and score tries from close range. Which is something Exeter have perfected in recent years.

I wasn't aware that Jones had said that but yes it makes sense. Obviously. Some people just want to argue for the sake of it though.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:36 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think the only reason Eddie Jones leaves is if he decides it is time.  I really doubt the RFU will fire or release him.  And, as I said previously, he has earned the opportunity to reverse the fortunes.  That said, the variable we will never really know for certain is what is said in his post-tournament interviews with his bosses.  

There's too little going on in the world. Applying short termism to Eddie Jones on the back of one 'bad' six nations is just crazy.

He literally said they would develop the team after the Lions tour. He won both trophies in 2020. The attack coach is in Australia and he brought in Robinson this six nations which shows how seriously he took it as a tournament he wanted to win.

England beat their biggest and toughest opponent, France, to make it 2/3 post-2019 and to right the wrong of 2020 6Ns. All 3 games have been tough, fairly even encounters and this will be a fixture that looks like it could produce another few classics before 2023, when England could very well be facing France on home soil in the knockout stages of a RWC.

Again, it's all about the RWC. If England have the upper hand on France, if they develop tactics and confidence in their own experience against the French between now and 2023, then that would be ideal as France might be one of the 5 teams who have a realistic chance of winning the cup/denying England due to their combination of depth of talent available to them, the quality and number of world class players, and their coaching/tactical set up.

Losing to the three Celtic sides is a blessing in disguise re: the Lions. They beat all 3 of those teams twice in 2020, there's no problem with losing to them in 2021.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:42 am

king_carlos wrote:Jones win percentage is still 77% despite the poorer form since the RWC and the dire Six Nations. For comparison SCWs was 71%. Gatland with Wales was 55%. Hansen and Henry with their AB dynasty were 87% and 85% respectively. Eddie's record is still exceptional to be fair to him.

As always with discussions about coaching dismissals the bigger questions are about potential replacements than the incumbent. Gatland and Lam are in contract until 2023 at the Chiefs and Bristol respectively. I don't think Baxter wants the job to be honest. Mark McCall wont be flavour of the month after Sarries salary cap fiasco. I'd absolutely love to see Scott Robertson take over after the RWC but I struggle to see him leaving NZ just yet when Fossie looks shaky at the top.

The squad desperately needs some players to break through as George, Curry, Underhill and Daly did replacing Hartley, Robshaw, Haskell and Brown around this time in the last RWC cycle.

A Premiership return for Kruis would do the pack the world of good going into next season as well.

Kruis would be handy and it's telling that Jones made second row one of the positions he had a good look at in this tournament. It's been a mixed bag from Ewels and Hill so far. Neither look like they will be anything more than an odd 'excellent' performance, something like 1 in 10 games, and then steady or under par for the rest. They need world beaters and neither looks like they are in Kruis' league. He will only be 33 by the world cup and that's no age for a lock who will have had an extended break from the physical European rugby.

Randall will come in and challenge at 9 soon enough. There are plenty of other players who have the skills to step up. England probably only need 3-4 in the starting team anyway. I can see Farrell struggling to keep his place in the team if Tuilagi returns to any sort of fitness, or a centre partnership can be found that gets the most out of Daly, Slade, and a big carrying 12. Itoje will probably take over the captaincy or become 'co captain'.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:48 am

Rugby Fan wrote:The RFU podcast features Dylan Hartley talking with Eddie Jones after the Ireland loss. Hartley is willing to cut Jones slack, because he remembers captaining the 2018 team to 5th place, which sparked the subsequent revival. It's worth a listen.

Jones does say that, should current squad players not be selected for the Lions, he would be inclined to rest them, so he can get a look at others in the summer tour (if it takes place).

Jones still sounds raw after the loss. While he doesn't get down into too many specifics, he believes other teams caught up with England defensively, so sounds like he wants to to overhaul the way the team plays.

This aligns with something Dallaglio and Warburton said on the Times Ruck podcast. Previously, teams made few dents carrying into the England defence, and couldn't develop any phases, or attacking rhythm. Warburton thinks England really missed Underhill, who he believes is one of the world's best tacklers, and probably Lawes too.

Jones spoke again about how he wants to see potential test players show a certain kind of attitude. He mentioned he'll be thinking about half-backs over the next few weeks, although it's anyone's guess if that really is his main intention.


Interesting stuff.

The problems look like they're in attack not defence to me. England were almost guaranteed points if/when they started going through the phases in the opposition half 2-3 years ago. Either they'd force a penalty of smash over the gainline and create space up the middle or for the wingers out wide.

The biggest thing I noticed is England's refusal to keep the scoreboard ticking over this tournament. They weren't playing rugby 'to win'. They were playing very prescriptive rugby and Jones took all the flak when it didn't work. If England had just kept chipping away with 3 pointers against France and Ireland the scorelines would have been totally different. There's a lack of firepower and connectivity in the England attack at the moment and that's the obvious fix. When England run the ball as they did for periods against France and Wales they look impossible to stop. That will return closer to the world cup for obvious reasons. Having the tournament in Europe means England will be able to deal with the humidity and weather conditions more easily than they did in Japan. That should help their running game.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 7:52 am

whatahitson wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think the only reason Eddie Jones leaves is if he decides it is time.  I really doubt the RFU will fire or release him.  And, as I said previously, he has earned the opportunity to reverse the fortunes.  That said, the variable we will never really know for certain is what is said in his post-tournament interviews with his bosses.  

There's too little going on in the world. Applying short termism to Eddie Jones on the back of one 'bad' six nations is just crazy.

He literally said they would develop the team after the Lions tour. He won both trophies in 2020. The attack coach is in Australia and he brought in Robinson this six nations which shows how seriously he took it as a tournament he wanted to win.

England beat their biggest and toughest opponent, France, to make it 2/3 post-2019 and to right the wrong of 2020 6Ns. All 3 games have been tough, fairly even encounters and this will be a fixture that looks like it could produce another few classics before 2023, when England could very well be facing France on home soil in the knockout stages of a RWC.

Again, it's all about the RWC. If England have the upper hand on France, if they develop tactics and confidence in their own experience against the French between now and 2023, then that would be ideal as France might be one of the 5 teams who have a realistic chance of winning the cup/denying England due to their combination of depth of talent available to them, the quality and number of world class players, and their coaching/tactical set up.

Losing to the three Celtic sides is a blessing in disguise re: the Lions. They beat all 3 of those teams twice in 2020, there's no problem with losing to them in 2021.

Quite a positive spin I mean England just got the de facto wooden spoon as Italy don’t really count and yet Italy actually gave them a really good game this year. The scoreboard really flattered England in that game.

It isn’t one bad six nations its Eddies 2nd 5th place six nations with a side with significantly greater resources than everyone else. For the last one he was able to blame Lions fatigue but whatever the reason finishing 5th is as bad as it gets. Not sure scraping another unconvincing win v France mitigates any of that really.

Nor can you say Jones was restructuring for the world cup as he hasnt really brought in anyone and England played the exact same boring brand of kick to the corners rugby that they have been playing for the last few years.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:22 am

I think it's been more like 'keeping the fire burning' rather than stoking it with anything new since 2019. That was good enough to grind their way through 2020 but eventually Ireland and Wales turned the corner under new coaches in 2021 and that meant they were good enough to beat England.

England have capped 10 new players since the last world cup. They have focused on their problem positions of lock and full back in particular. So that's not fair to say they haven't brought anyone in.

Yes it's positive but that's because quite clearly England are not playing anywhere near their potential. They have the players to dominate European rugby. They've shown that and they have new players like Willis, Randall, Barbeary and many more like Dombrant, Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. So it's not a case of a lack of talent which was a problem for Lancaster. Jones has shown a capacity for maximising English talent, not weakening it like Lancaster did in 2015 by underpowering the pack to the point Fiji were able to push them off their own scrum ball. No one should be worried about Jones' understanding of the game and what it takes to turn the England team in to a competitive unit again. And no one should be overly concerned with the talent in England, either. That's both the current players and the hopeful youngsters.

Jones took England from 5th place after a Lions tour to a world cup final 18 months later. The current players have probably played their last game for England as part of this exact team. They will now be rested or dropped for the new blood given the upcoming Lions tour. Most of the best players will make it back. Some of the fringe players will not, particularly in positions where the newcomers impress.

This was always likely to happen - in fact it was clearly planned and expressed to the public - so the fact England have limped over the line and come in 5th, despite beating France, isn't a major concern.

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Post by mountain man Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:33 am

How anyone thinks this 6N which was awful was a  good thing is a bit of a mystery!
The likes of Itoje, Curry, LCD, Sinkler, Watson are still very likely to go on Lions tour, possibly other players as well. So, they'll potentially be flogged to death. Those that don't that may have, let's say Farrell, Youngs, Billy and Mako should be dropped anyway.

Building for 2023 by losing just isn't a sound tactic and I'm pretty sure no coach or player would do it.

Maybe some on here have inside knowledge that says otherwise so I'd love to see it.


Last edited by mountain man on Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Tue 23 Mar 2021, 8:35 am

"new players like Willis, Randall, Barbeary and many more like Dombrant, Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. So it's not a case of a lack of talent which was a problem for Lancaster. Jones has shown a capacity for maximising English talent, not weakening it"

Something of a contradiction there do you not think, Jones has not picked those players, Willis excepted and then with seeming reluctance. They probably deserve a place in the squad so I cannot see how sticking to the old stalwarts that are out of form and are not playing often can "maximise English talent" when there are as you say they would walk into the squads of a lot of teams that have finished above us.
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Post by Fluxy Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:07 am

I'm not stating that I am happy with the current results, or perhaps some of Eddie's shenanigans. But most seem to have a very short memory, and this tweet pretty much sums up the feeling right now from England fans, and what seems to be the same feeling three years ago: BBC Sport Tweet

And then look what happened after that tournament. I'm not saying it will happen again, but there at least appears to be a cycle.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:09 am

whatahitson wrote:I think it's been more like 'keeping the fire burning' rather than stoking it with anything new since 2019. That was good enough to grind their way through 2020 but eventually Ireland and Wales turned the corner under new coaches in 2021 and that meant they were good enough to beat England.

England have capped 10 new players since the last world cup. They have focused on their problem positions of lock and full back in particular. So that's not fair to say they haven't brought anyone in.

Yes it's positive but that's because quite clearly England are not playing anywhere near their potential. They have the players to dominate European rugby. They've shown that and they have new players like Willis, Randall, Barbeary and many more like Dombrant, Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. So it's not a case of a lack of talent which was a problem for Lancaster. Jones has shown a capacity for maximising English talent, not weakening it like Lancaster did in 2015 by underpowering the pack to the point Fiji were able to push them off their own scrum ball. No one should be worried about Jones' understanding of the game and what it takes to turn the England team in to a competitive unit again. And no one should be overly concerned with the talent in England, either. That's both the current players and the hopeful youngsters.

Jones took England from 5th place after a Lions tour to a world cup final 18 months later. The current players have probably played their last game for England as part of this exact team. They will now be rested or dropped for the new blood given the upcoming Lions tour. Most of the best players will make it back. Some of the fringe players will not, particularly in positions where the newcomers impress.

This was always likely to happen - in fact it was clearly planned and expressed to the public - so the fact England have limped over the line and come in 5th, despite beating France, isn't a major concern.

Fair enough but they do rely heavily on the same players and the spine of the team hasnt changed much. Personally Id be less worried about the players if I was an England fan than they style of play. It is also fair to say that there are things to be positive about but I wouldnt be happy about how England played in 2020 at all. Its only the 4th time ever in the six nations that England have finished outside the top 3 and only the 2nd time they have been 5th. Twice under Jones.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:15 am

So where we are is that to an extent the other 6N sides have worked us out, plus some very poor discipline and poor form on our side. It happens, and lack of game time, coronovirus restrictions and the Sarries debacle all feed into this.

It happened to Ireland not long ago (thanks to us).

On top of that we have a brilliant coach who really likes doing things his way, and a lot of talented (but mostly unproven) young players which means it is very easy for the critics (and us) to talk up alternatives. The only way of keeping the critics quiet is to keep winning.

So it is important not to give up on Eddie just yet, but we do need a refresh, and we do need better results going forward.


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Post by mountain man Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:18 am

So, answer me this then.

If the coaching team isn't changed and the bulk of the players aren't then what exactly will change to improve Englands form and results?
Hope that more time together that things will click? They had enough time this 6N.
Hope the other teams have an off day? Nope, other teams in 6N, certainly France, Wales and Ireland are improving. And we all know that SA, NZ and probably Arg and Aus will be very strong come 2023.

Unless some fairly significant changes are made I just don't see England winning next 6N and definitely not RWC 2023.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:36 am

Don't think you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Realistically you could bring in a new scrum half and a full back and there would be improvement. Throw Smith in there who looks classy. The rest is merely fitness and a bit of form.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:40 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Don't think you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Realistically you could bring in a new scrum half and a full back and there would be improvement. Throw Smith in there who looks classy. The rest is merely fitness and a bit of form.

Think you need a new out half and captain more than anything.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 9:47 am

Sorry not familiar with the term collapse, talking fly half?

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/mar/22/england-players-to-be-asked-if-eddie-jones-should-stay-on-head-coach-rugby-union-six-nations

Review will take about 10 days according to this article, by the end of next week we'll know one way or another re Jones.

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Post by mountain man Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:06 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Don't think you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Realistically you could bring in a new scrum half and a full back and there would be improvement. Throw Smith in there who looks classy. The rest is merely fitness and a bit of form.

You happy with Bill and Mako V? Both looked clearly unfit and uninterested. Fitness absolutely no excuse, all that time in camp, best facilities, nutrition etc available anywhere.
Sorry, have been fans of them in past, that time gone.
Full back - worth sticking with Malins.
Farrell? Hard to say what to do with him. He had a pretty dreadful 6N, was OK against France but not great. He can be an excellent player but something is not right. If he is kept then definitely need another Captain. Whether it's pressure or whatever but he needs to just play and no more.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:11 am

Happy with in this comp, overall no. Thought Billy was better by the end though. A few people said the Saracens players would be off the pace, personally thought it may have been the opposite and they'd have looked fresher. Hey ho. Should either be moved on? Without Marler I'd have Mako in the squad. Again Billy would be in my squad moving forward but I like the look of Dombrandt too.

Full back, Malins for me isn't a long term answer, hes a fly half playing there for me. He was the best solution in that squad given lack of other wingers to cover Watson going back to 15.

Farrell, class player and I'd have him there every time. A combo or Randall, Smith Farrell could be excellent.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:11 am

There's training fit and match fit....the Sarries boys just didn't get close to match fit. In hindsight, they shouldn't have been selected, but hey ho....we move on.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:13 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:There's training fit and match fit....the Sarries boys just didn't get close to match fit. In hindsight, they shouldn't have been selected, but hey ho....we move on.

Possibly but were they not selected they wouldn't have played any meaningful rugby at all.

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Post by mountain man Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:13 am

Age is against them but did you see Quins on weekend? Care and Brown fantastic as of course was the no8....

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 23 Mar 2021, 10:42 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:There's training fit and match fit....the Sarries boys just didn't get close to match fit. In hindsight, they shouldn't have been selected, but hey ho....we move on.

Possibly but were they not selected they wouldn't have played any meaningful rugby at all.

Is it England's responsibility to get these guys match fit?

Realistically, they won't be required till November anyway when they will have 6 or so games under their belt with Sarries in the Prem.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:02 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:There's training fit and match fit....the Sarries boys just didn't get close to match fit. In hindsight, they shouldn't have been selected, but hey ho....we move on.

Possibly but were they not selected they wouldn't have played any meaningful rugby at all.

Is it England's responsibility to get these guys match fit?

Realistically, they won't be required till November anyway when they will have 6 or so games under their belt with Sarries in the Prem.

I'd say that it is partially the responsibility of England when they are considered vital to the long term goals of the team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:09 am

You reckon Jones would have done differently in hindsight? I do.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:22 am

mountain man wrote:So, answer me this then.

If the coaching team isn't changed and the bulk of the players aren't then what exactly will change to improve Englands form and results?
Hope that more time together that things will click? They had enough time this 6N.
Hope the other teams have an off day? Nope,  other teams in 6N, certainly France, Wales and Ireland are improving. And we all know that SA, NZ and probably Arg and Aus will be very strong come 2023.

Unless some fairly significant changes are made I just don't see England winning next 6N and definitely not RWC 2023.

Look at Ireland. They have new players and a new coach but the core of the team is the same as it has been for years. Quick changes can happen (for both good and bad) and I think there are good external reasons contributing to our current performances that won't be there going forward.

EJ is good at freshening up the coaching team, although in this case the covid restrictions has affected its current make up.

I agree we need to see some new faces but I also suspect that too great an upheaval won't help either.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:22 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:"new players like Willis, Randall, Barbeary and many more like Dombrant, Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. So it's not a case of a lack of talent which was a problem for Lancaster. Jones has shown a capacity for maximising English talent, not weakening it"

Something of a contradiction  there do you not think, Jones has not picked those players, Willis excepted and then with seeming reluctance. They probably deserve a place in the squad so I cannot see how sticking to the old stalwarts that are out of form and are not playing often can "maximise English talent" when there are as you say they would walk into the squads of a lot of teams that have finished above us.

They're not ready. Jones sets high standards as has been widely discussed in the media by former players and how much better/tougher it was under Jones v Lancaster. Lancaster had lots of pointless rules that made the experience dull whereas Jones had standards relating to rugby. That's the difference in a top coach v a good one. Some players like Dombrandt might not make it, he might not do the hard work that Ben Youngs did to get fit for instance and follow the game plan. Or they might not take their chances when they are given them.

I don't know about 'deserve'. How can anyone say that? There's been a lot of nonsense written about Ollie Lawrence 'deserving' game time over the last few weeks. It's an odd way to talk about sport in all honesty and comes across a bit snowflake-y. If being a proven international rugby player suddenly counts for nothing in the minds of certain fans after one defeat, or a few mediocre performances, and that means someone else 'deserves' to play instead because they're perceived to be the next cab off the rank, I wonder if those same fans would like that kind of performance metric applied to them?

Jones took Lancaster's squad/English rugby and turned them from a team that consistently finished 2nd in the six nations to one that won back to back 6ns titles. He then reached a world cup final by completely outplaying the most talented team in world rugby. That is maximising English talent in a way no other coach has done. Some might say Woodward is Jones' equal or maybe even his superior but for me Jones is a better coach as the England team was playing in a different world compared to the one Jones came in to. The six nations was basically England v France in the 90s and early 00s, NZ and South Africa were surprisingly weak, and England also happened to have a unique situation of world class talents like Wilkinson and Johnson (better than Farrell and, at least in terms of effectiveness if not talent, Itoje) that could do much of the leadership work themselves. Woodward was fortunate that the rest of the rugby world was so semi pro and England were wealthy enough to implement his management-based improvements like sport science so effectively. But basically, Eddie Jones has done a better job. So that's why he's maximising English talent as he has England punching above their weight by competing with and beating NZ and South Africa.

The performances of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are irrelevant. When the chips are down England are a much better team. That's what I have been trying to say but no one wants to listen. The other three teams needed to compete and show something in this tournament because they either haven't done it ever/for a while or have struggled under new coaching teams. England had won 3/5 titles before this year, and have still won as many six nations titles as they haven't under Eddie Jones.

A team cannot operate at its maximum all the time. It needs to have a rebuilding phase. Ireland and Wales went through theirs last year and went on big losing runs. England are on the brink of their rebuild. Results will suffer in the short term, it's to be expected. It doesn't mean that, when it really comes the time to show what you're about, England will somehow be the 5th best team in Europe. They'll almost certainly be the best, and should have a starting point as being no worse than third best team in the world.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:24 am

Im not sure he would 7.5

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:25 am

Fluxy wrote:I'm not stating that I am happy with the current results, or perhaps some of Eddie's shenanigans. But most seem to have a very short memory, and this tweet pretty much sums up the feeling right now from England fans, and what seems to be the same feeling three years ago: BBC Sport Tweet

And then look what happened after that tournament. I'm not saying it will happen again, but there at least appears to be a cycle.

2016-2020 was a great experiment where the media learned that it could totally divorce itself from reality or responsibility and say the most ludicrous and extreme things and it would benefit them monetarily.

Guscott is a very cynical pundit and has been for a long time. He is looking out for number one and giving a cheap, reactionary opinion that will resonate with some people while generating clicks for others as he has refused to sit on the fence or give a nuanced view.

Punditry like this is basically a useless remnant of the legacy media.

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Post by whatahitson Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:27 am

mountain man wrote:So, answer me this then.

If the coaching team isn't changed and the bulk of the players aren't then what exactly will change to improve Englands form and results?
Hope that more time together that things will click? They had enough time this 6N.
Hope the other teams have an off day? Nope,  other teams in 6N, certainly France, Wales and Ireland are improving. And we all know that SA, NZ and probably Arg and Aus will be very strong come 2023.

Unless some fairly significant changes are made I just don't see England winning next 6N and definitely not RWC 2023.

I think you've answered your own question.

The England team of 2019 was incomparable to the team of 2018.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:28 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im not sure he would 7.5

I think he thought the sarnies guys would have been fitter, or able to get up to speed more. The reduction in squad size has hindered his review of a few player though hes used the odogwu space as more of that apprentice place previously. Hindsight it 20 20 though you now know more about the players than you did before so even if ita been a massively disappointing set of results he now knows what else he needs.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:30 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You reckon Jones would have done differently in hindsight? I do.

Without doubt but the recent gameplan has been built on dominating the collisions. Of all teams England should be least affected by injuries but Lawes, Underhill and Tuilagi had alongside Itoje and Curry been pivotal to that. In an ideal world Marler would have been starting instead of Mako but understandably didn't happen. That is a lot of physicality to replace.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 23 Mar 2021, 11:32 am

Its the double whammys as well soul. Lose lawes ok. Lose lawes and launchbury along with Kruis. Owch. Lose underhill ok. Lose underhill and then Willis.


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