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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 lostinwales Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:41 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:i think one of the biggest changes should be taking the Captaincy off Farrell.  

Who takes up the Captaincy...well thats another question. No real outstanding candidates.

Itoje? Not sure
Curry - Possibly
Underhill - Outside shout..but he puts his head where it hurts...so people will follow him
Launchbury - Is he a guaranteed started? I dont think so.

Who else?

Well unless you are bringing in someone from outside the squad the only two practical names are Itoje and Curry. The other current definitive starters are either not captaincy material, Farrell/Ford/Youngs, or front rows who will be substituted (and are not captaincy material either). Of those two I'd rather Itoje. Curry has too much to do already. Itoje has presence and is smart enough to adapt to that role but he will need a lot of work to get there.

Underhill is terrific but he has that injury history

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Post by Fluxy Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:47 am

I guess Jamie George is perhapins with a shout at Captain?

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Post by mountain man Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:52 am

Has to be a nailed on starter* so currently between Itoje and Curry.
Itoje be my choice, leave Curry alone to do what he does best.

*If Jones still in charge then could be Youngs, Farrell, Billy, Mako, Daly as all those seem to be nailed on for him regardless


Last edited by mountain man on Wed 24 Mar 2021, 10:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 24 Mar 2021, 10:31 am

Fluxy wrote:I guess Jamie George is perhapins with a shout at Captain?

Hey up Flux Wink

I think he'd be lucky to keep his spot tbh.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Mar 2021, 10:46 am

Fluxy wrote:I guess Jamie George is perhapins with a shout at Captain?

Possibly but right now I think LCD is playing considerably better

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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Mar 2021, 10:51 am

mountain man wrote:Has to be a nailed on starter* so currently between Itoje and Curry.
Itoje be my choice, leave Curry alone to do what he does best.

*If Jones still in charge then could be Youngs, Farrell, Billy, Mako, Daly as all those seem to be nailed on for him regardless

Billy is a vice captain but I am not convinced, nor do I think he should be a nailed on starter going forward. Mako not guaranteed starter. Daly is a supersub/universal backs sticky plaster. Youngs would be a short term option but I don't think he's a captain either. The Leicester guys will tell us if he's ever done the job there.

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Post by mountain man Wed 24 Mar 2021, 10:57 am

lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:Has to be a nailed on starter* so currently between Itoje and Curry.
Itoje be my choice, leave Curry alone to do what he does best.

*If Jones still in charge then could be Youngs, Farrell, Billy, Mako, Daly as all those seem to be nailed on for him regardless

Billy is a vice captain but I am not convinced, nor do I think he should be a nailed on starter going forward. Mako not guaranteed starter. Daly is a supersub/universal backs sticky plaster. Youngs would be a short term option but I don't think he's a captain either. The Leicester guys will tell us if he's ever done the job there.

I was being sarcastic, none of those are for me starters or should be in team after debacle of this 6N. I'd keep Daly as utility sub. Billy, Mako, Youngs gone. Farrell hmm dunno yet but definitely not captain.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 24 Mar 2021, 11:28 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/56501861

Baxter giving the sort of views on the England job that he has before. Top coach but I've never been convinced that he's that interested in the England job and everything that goes with it.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 24 Mar 2021, 11:40 am

Id be quite happy with Jones...i think he had every intention of freshening things up post lions, and this 6n Covid CUp. In fact Covid has probably delayed plans he had anyway.

i dont expect too many new faces to be honest...but my biggest grip is give Itoje the Captaincy now...and fix the lack of carriers in the back line...something i actually dont believe has been Eddies fault as he's lost Manu and Cockasaniga through injury..the Odogwu and Lawrence are very new.

Sort the penalties out and we're fine.


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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 24 Mar 2021, 11:49 am

Has Cowan-Dickie ever captained Exeter?

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 24 Mar 2021, 12:48 pm

According to reports, in the France game Farrell was told not to speak to the referee or limit it somehow. Regardless of the truth here, we can’t have a captain who can’t/shouldn’t talk to the referee.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 24 Mar 2021, 1:39 pm

doctor_grey wrote:According to reports, in the France game Farrell was told not to speak to the referee or limit it somehow.  Regardless of the truth here, we can’t have a captain who can’t/shouldn’t talk to the referee.

It worked...maybe tell him not to speak to the ref in any games Laugh

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Post by king_carlos Wed 24 Mar 2021, 1:53 pm

Does anyone else think the scope for a captain to influence the ref in any way has pretty much disappeared these days? When the ref was basically on his own during the match I got that but with touch judges and TMOs so involved now they are working as a team. When the ref has three other qualified and impartial inputs during the game I really doubt that the far less qualified and obviously biased opinion of a skipper has any bearing whatsoever.

Chat about skippers influencing refs feels like one of those things that pundits who have been out the game since just after rugby turned pro repeat like a broken record to fill the silence that would fall over rugby coverage if guys like SCW, Johnson or Guscott had to offer some relevant and up to date analysis or insight.

The captains influence comes down to leadership with the players and Farrell has been spoken of very highly of by teammates in that regard with England, Sarries and even the Lions. Personally I'd rather Farrell wasn't skipper but largely because I think his best rugby for England came without that extra millstone. He's already goal kicker, playmaker and a leader in the defensive line. I'd prefer him concentrating on that.

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Post by mountain man Wed 24 Mar 2021, 1:59 pm

I agree king_carlos, whoever the captain is won't make a difference to winning or losing unlike say cricket but I strongly suspect may affect player if they are under pressure, eg Farrell. Farrell now has target on back consciously or not with refs.
That's why I wouldn't give it to Curry as I want him to just concentrate on game but let Itoje have captaincy, I reckon he'd be fine.

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Post by BamBam Wed 24 Mar 2021, 2:08 pm

https://twitter.com/optajonny/status/1374723148889874436?s=12

What a player Curry is

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Post by lostinwales Wed 24 Mar 2021, 2:37 pm

BamBam wrote:https://twitter.com/optajonny/status/1374723148889874436?s=12

What a player Curry is

Yes but he's English so he must be rubbish.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 24 Mar 2021, 3:14 pm

BamBam wrote:https://twitter.com/optajonny/status/1374723148889874436?s=12

What a player Curry is

I didn't think he was on top form this championship either, shows how much is expected of him.

Cowan-Dickie landed all 22 of his lineout throws, the first time a hooker has landed all of his throws when throwing over 20 in a championship. Were Lawes or Launchbury available that would have been some weapon.

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Post by nlpnlp Wed 24 Mar 2021, 4:30 pm

mountain man wrote:I agree king_carlos, whoever the captain is won't make a difference to winning or losing unlike say cricket but I strongly suspect may affect player if they are under pressure, eg Farrell. Farrell now has target on back consciously or not with refs.
That's why I wouldn't give it to Curry as I want him to just concentrate on game but let Itoje have captaincy, I reckon he'd be fine.

I disagree. I think a good captain should be doing a lot more than getting in the ear of the referee - although Alun Wyn seems to have made a career out of it. A captain should be leading the team, assessing how the game is going and changing tactics where necessary. If the team is giving away too many penalties, he should spot this and tell the plays to tone things down I don't see Farrell doing any of those things.

The only option that I can currently see who is a definite selection would be Itoje. It would be good to have a strong lineout partner in the second row to take the pressure off him there like Kruis did, as currently Itoje seems to be the main jumper/counter jumper.

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Post by mountain man Wed 24 Mar 2021, 4:42 pm

A captain should absolutely notice when things are going wrong and get team together and sort it but I was referring to influence on ref.

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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:19 pm

TJ wrote:
the fact that England were competitive in every loss,

You really think that?  they were well beaten by scotland ireland and Wales

Nonsense. Scotland beat England by 5 points and Wales had two dubious tries gifted them by the referee. I know you want to big Scotland up but if a last minute charge down of a drop goal nearly resulted in Scotland losing the game, then England weren't well beaten. The only team that could claim that would be Ireland.

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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:21 pm

mountain man wrote:Maybe Eddie will tell them it's all in the plan, play badly in the 6N and lose so no players get picked for Lions and England don't let on their playbook. And anyway, England were really good and are so much better currently than France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

No, I don't believe it either.

That's why you're not in charge of the RFU. Rolling Eyes

"Eddie, we're letting you go because just look at what Gregor Townsend has done with Scotland. They're so much better than you and we are going to hire Gregor instead as we feel he is the best chance we have of winning a world cup."

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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:21 pm

mountain man wrote:England definitely can play better, in fact pick the same XV and they probably could...

As I've said before, distinct shake up needed.

Errr...?

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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:28 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i think one of the biggest changes should be taking the Captaincy off Farrell.  

Who takes up the Captaincy...well thats another question. No real outstanding candidates.

Itoje? Not sure
Curry - Possibly
Underhill - Outside shout..but he puts his head where it hurts...so people will follow him
Launchbury - Is he a guaranteed started? I dont think so.

Who else?

Agreed. He's the leader of the current team but he's always had the look of a lieutenant to me. Not a captain. The fact he's leading the current side is a problem yet Jones was probably happy with his performances in Japan leading the team and wants to show loyalty. I think the captaincy might be something of a blind spot for him.

Underhill is the natural captain to my mind. He plays in a far cleaner way than Itoje, speaks very well and has an old head on young shoulders, is one of the best players in the world already, and has a gravitas and clarity that would work well with on field leadership and dealing with referees. The big issue is his fitness. It's no good having your captain injured 50% of the time. If there was a Johnson/Dallaglio set up then it might work but England don't really have a Dallaglio figure.

By all accounts Curry is a fun figure who a bit like Kruis is on the receiving end of a lot of the banter. That social dynamic isn't great for a captain.

Given that the captain should come from the back 5 of the pack there aren't too many options other than Itoje. Ignoring the media campaign that has been prepared for him since before he turned fully pro, I'm not sure how strong a captain he would be. It's really not clear but he should be given a chance if he wants it. Captaining Saracens while Farrell focuses on England would be the best bet in the short term but if that happens next season, that gives England one more year before the RWC to decide on the captain.

I think this is why Jones has ended up where he is, sticking with Farrell. There's no clear alternative.


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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:30 pm

king_carlos wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/56501861

Baxter giving the sort of views on the England job that he has before. Top coach but I've never been convinced that he's that interested in the England job and everything that goes with it.

Rightly so. It's a hiding to nothing for a man in his position. He's achieved greatness already though so he might want a crack in 2024 if Exeter pick up another European cup before then.

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Post by whatahitson Wed 24 Mar 2021, 9:35 pm

king_carlos wrote:Does anyone else think the scope for a captain to influence the ref in any way has pretty much disappeared these days? When the ref was basically on his own during the match I got that but with touch judges and TMOs so involved now they are working as a team. When the ref has three other qualified and impartial inputs during the game I really doubt that the far less qualified and obviously biased opinion of a skipper has any bearing whatsoever.

Chat about skippers influencing refs feels like one of those things that pundits who have been out the game since just after rugby turned pro repeat like a broken record to fill the silence that would fall over rugby coverage if guys like SCW, Johnson or Guscott had to offer some relevant and up to date analysis or insight.

The captains influence comes down to leadership with the players and Farrell has been spoken of very highly of by teammates in that regard with England, Sarries and even the Lions. Personally I'd rather Farrell wasn't skipper but largely because I think his best rugby for England came without that extra millstone. He's already goal kicker, playmaker and a leader in the defensive line. I'd prefer him concentrating on that.

In an individual game I think the scope has lessened.

But I think players build up reputations that can help at key moments in big decisions.

This was 6 years in the making to reach a point where Warburton was able to gently nudge Poite to make it a 51/49 decision in favour of the Lions when Poite was well and truly at 50/50. Compare and contrast with Farrell's behaviour in the same clip.



That's the difference between a captain and a vice captain.

Underhill has all the qualities to deal with referees like this when you hear him speak he has it all, along with world class ability. Itoje seems quite withdrawn to be a top captain but you never know. Curry as mentioned is still a young man who's treated as such but perhaps as new players come through he will develop a different role within the squad.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 24 Mar 2021, 11:53 pm

mountain man wrote:A captain should absolutely notice when things are going wrong and get team together and sort it but I was referring to influence on ref.
I think we all agree, no worries on that point.
Especially settling a team which is too frantic or nervous, tactics are failing, execution is failing, and....oh wait, that pretty much covers the major points.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Mar 2021, 5:41 am

doctor_grey wrote:
mountain man wrote:A captain should absolutely notice when things are going wrong and get team together and sort it but I was referring to influence on ref.
I think we all agree, no worries on that point.  
Especially settling a team which is too frantic or nervous, tactics are failing, execution is failing, and....oh wait, that pretty much covers the major points.    

Otherwise you look like headless chickens get 2 men in the bin, your team gives away needless pens before you squander possession yourself with a final pen for going off your feet in a ruck and throw away a grand slam.

Hang on who are we talking about?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 25 Mar 2021, 7:08 am

king_carlos wrote:Does anyone else think the scope for a captain to influence the ref in any way has pretty much disappeared these days? When the ref was basically on his own during the match I got that but with touch judges and TMOs so involved now they are working as a team. When the ref has three other qualified and impartial inputs during the game I really doubt that the far less qualified and obviously biased opinion of a skipper has any bearing whatsoever.

Chat about skippers influencing refs feels like one of those things that pundits who have been out the game since just after rugby turned pro repeat like a broken record to fill the silence that would fall over rugby coverage if guys like SCW, Johnson or Guscott had to offer some relevant and up to date analysis or insight.

The captains influence comes down to leadership with the players and Farrell has been spoken of very highly of by teammates in that regard with England, Sarries and even the Lions. Personally I'd rather Farrell wasn't skipper but largely because I think his best rugby for England came without that extra millstone. He's already goal kicker, playmaker and a leader in the defensive line. I'd prefer him concentrating on that.

For individual decisions I think it's hard for a captain to sway a referee but general approach can get you onto the good side of the referee so that when they are making 50/50 calls you might just get the rub of the green. In high pressure environments I think that is increased. You might not get a big decision against obvious evidence but you might get a few little calls that just facilitate your side during the game.

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Post by mountain man Thu 25 Mar 2021, 7:48 am

whatahitson wrote:
mountain man wrote:England definitely can play better, in fact pick the same XV and they probably could...

As I've said before, distinct shake up needed.

Errr...?

You've done this before and you're doing it again, taking partial quotes out of context.

THIS is what I actually wrote :

"England definitely can play better, in fact pick the same XV and they probably could but issue is they don't do it enough. One good game out of 4 is just not acceptable(discounting Italy game). They look stale and bereft of ideas at the moment. If plan A of forward domination isn't working - which it plainly didn't - they have no answer of what to do."

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Post by mountain man Thu 25 Mar 2021, 7:50 am

whatahitson wrote:
mountain man wrote:Maybe Eddie will tell them it's all in the plan, play badly in the 6N and lose so no players get picked for Lions and England don't let on their playbook. And anyway, England were really good and are so much better currently than France, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

No, I don't believe it either.

That's why you're not in charge of the RFU. Rolling Eyes

"Eddie, we're letting you go because just look at what Gregor Townsend has done with Scotland. They're so much better than you and we are going to hire Gregor instead as we feel he is the best chance we have of winning a world cup."

What has Scotland and Gregor Townsend got to do with the situation that England are in? Nothing.

You have this uncanny knack for making up your own agenda it seems.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Mar 2021, 10:16 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:"Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. ".

He would not walk into the Ireland squad

Ryan, Henderson, Beirne are all Lions candidates

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Post by BamBam Thu 25 Mar 2021, 10:44 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:"Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. ".

He would not walk into the Ireland squad

Ryan, Henderson, Beirne are all Lions candidates

WPI didn't say that, he was questioning our resident novelist's logic stating that Ted Hill would walk into the other nations squads (not Jonny Hill)

whatahitson wrote: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.

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.

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Post by MichaelT Thu 25 Mar 2021, 10:45 am

Hill wouldn't even be in the England squad if Lawes and Launchbury were available. Nevermind Kruis. He is 5th or 6th England choice really.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 25 Mar 2021, 11:17 am

mountain man wrote:
whatahitson wrote:
mountain man wrote:England definitely can play better, in fact pick the same XV and they probably could...

As I've said before, distinct shake up needed.

Errr...?

You've done this before and you're doing it again, taking partial quotes out of context.

THIS is what I actually wrote :

"England definitely can play better, in fact pick the same XV and they probably could but issue is they don't do it enough. One good game out of 4 is just not acceptable(discounting Italy game). They look stale and bereft of ideas at the moment. If plan A of forward domination isn't working - which it plainly didn't - they have no answer of what to do."

It's not out of context. I don't know how you managed to contradict yourself in such a short space of time. The words I removed don't justify it so if you could clarify how you got from 'pick the same team and they can play better' to 'a shake up is needed', that might be for the best.

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Post by mountain man Thu 25 Mar 2021, 11:34 am

Hmm no because it appears whatever I or anyone else here posts you like to interpret their answers in your own way so bit pointless if you can't understand what someone clearly writes so I think I'll leave it there.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 25 Mar 2021, 11:35 am

You've developed some very strident opinions in a very short space of time. Headscratch

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Post by lostinwales Thu 25 Mar 2021, 11:59 am

mountain man wrote:Hmm no because it appears whatever I or anyone else here posts you like to interpret their answers in your own way so bit pointless if you can't understand what someone clearly writes so I think I'll leave it there.

There is a 'foe' function available if you click on another poster's details. It can make these threads a lot more readable.

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Post by BamBam Thu 25 Mar 2021, 12:13 pm

whatahitson wrote:You've developed some very strident opinions in a very short space of time. Headscratch

Says the chap who has posted all 400+ posts in the last 35 days

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Thu 25 Mar 2021, 2:46 pm

whatahitson wrote:You've developed some very strident opinions in a very short space of time. Headscratch

You’ve developed a knack of annoying a lot of people in an apparently short space of time. Although I’m sure suspicions that this time expands beyond this account seem very fair.

Sure I’m not the only one who considers the above very transparent, please sort yourself out.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 25 Mar 2021, 4:18 pm

BamBam wrote:
whatahitson wrote:You've developed some very strident opinions in a very short space of time. Headscratch

Says the chap who has posted all 400+ posts in the last 35 days

England - what next? - Page 20 Tenor

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 25 Mar 2021, 5:04 pm

How many different players did Eddie Jones use as a lock-back row hybrid besides Lawes?   Did he ever go the other way, a wing forward in the second row?  I can’t think of any likely due to height.   But this was a discussion on a zoom lunch conversation today.

Edit: A Saints mate just reminded me by text that Tom Wood did play in the second row occasionally but couldn’t remember if this was under Eddie Jones or before. And it may have been part of in-game substitutions.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 25 Mar 2021, 5:28 pm

Nathan Hughes definitely covered lock off the bench a fair bit in his last few tests during the 2019 Six Nations. I think Mark Wilson may have done the same at some point as well.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 25 Mar 2021, 5:56 pm

I completely forgot about Hughes. Maybe we have covered this, but no look in with England for the big guy?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 25 Mar 2021, 5:56 pm

Think shields has slotted in at lock.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 25 Mar 2021, 6:34 pm

You have been bigging up Ted Hill.  I will certainly get a chance to see him against Saints on Saturday.  I hope he does well, but not too well...


Last edited by doctor_grey on Thu 25 Mar 2021, 6:42 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by lostinwales Thu 25 Mar 2021, 6:36 pm

doctor_grey wrote:You have been bigging up Ted Hill.  I will certainly get a chance to see him against Saints on Saturday.  I hope he dies well, but not too well...

You talking rugby or rollerball?

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 25 Mar 2021, 6:43 pm

Phone auto-correct error. Gladiator movies, mate.

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Post by whatahitson Thu 25 Mar 2021, 10:04 pm

MichaelT wrote:Hill wouldn't even be in the England squad if Lawes and Launchbury were available. Nevermind Kruis. He is 5th or 6th England choice really.

For what it's worth I was talking about the other Hill.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 25 Mar 2021, 10:30 pm

BamBam wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:"Hill who would walk in to the other nations' squads. ".

He would not walk into the Ireland squad

Ryan, Henderson, Beirne are all Lions candidates

WPI didn't say that, he was questioning our resident novelist's logic stating that Ted Hill would walk into the other nations squads (not Jonny Hill)

whatahitson wrote: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.

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.

Why the heck would anyone report the above post?! Stop clogging up my inbox! (All admins get an e-mail when a post is reported).

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Mar 2021, 8:19 am

Post locked, due to reaching 20 page limit. I was going to start a new what next thread for you, but there is a summer tour thread open.

Peace and love x

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