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ENGLAND vs FRANCE - Match Thread - 13/3/21 16:45pm

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ENGLAND vs FRANCE - Match Thread - 13/3/21 16:45pm Empty ENGLAND vs FRANCE - Match Thread - 13/3/21 16:45pm

Post by TightHEAD Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:18 am

Starting XV

15. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 6 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 49 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 37 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 91 caps) (C)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 64 caps)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 75 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 107 caps)

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 65 caps)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 42 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 46 caps)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
6. Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 21 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 31 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)

FINISHERS
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 57 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
19. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 11 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 10 caps)
22. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, 4 caps)
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 50 caps

FRANCE XV

Dulin; Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Penaud; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Haouas; Taofifenua, Willemse; Cretin, Ollivon (capt), Alldritt.

Replacements: Chat, Gros, Aldegheri, Cazeaux, Woki, Jelonch, Serin, Ntamack.


Last edited by TightHEAD on Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by TightHEAD Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:21 am

Apparently we are still going to play on the edge!!!

Just stop giving silly penalties!

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:21 am

Win lose or draw this is not squad to take England through to RWC 2023. So whilst I'm happy to see changes, specifically Malins at 15 and Daley on bench I fear our 9/10/12 combo not good enough. Likewise Billy at 8 is one trick slow pony I'm afraid.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:24 am

mountain man wrote:Win lose or draw this is not squad to take  England through to RWC 2023. So whilst I'm happy to see changes, specifically Malins at 15 and Daley on bench  I fear our 9/10/12 combo not good enough. Likewise Billy at 8 is one trick slow pony I'm afraid.

Hell of a trick when it is working though.

Bit underwhelmed seeing Wilson start again. Much though I like him he has done nothing so far this championship.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:25 am

The big one.... the Grand Slam decider! Wink

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:26 am

No grand slam this year I'm afraid mikey.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:26 am

lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:Win lose or draw this is not squad to take  England through to RWC 2023. So whilst I'm happy to see changes, specifically Malins at 15 and Daley on bench  I fear our 9/10/12 combo not good enough. Likewise Billy at 8 is one trick slow pony I'm afraid.

Hell of a trick when it is working though.

Bit underwhelmed seeing Wilson start again. Much though I like him he has done nothing so far this championship.

That's the thing though, when it works. He actually played OK against Wales, not great but pretty OK. However, is he currently really best option? I'm a fan of Billy, don't get me wrong but no-one is undroppable and that includes Billy, Farrell and Youngs.

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Post by chris_501 Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:28 am

Is the general thought that Earl is too lightweight to start in that back row? I'm pleased that Lawrence is back in the 23, I thought he was incredibly hard done by to drop out completely.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:29 am

The French probably don't need reminding that Billy is in fact not a one trick pony, his defensive work back in December was superb.

Wilson starts by default really, not many other options in the 28.

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Post by TightHEAD Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:31 am

mikey_dragon wrote:The big one.... the Grand Slam decider! Wink

Correct, big game for France.
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:36 am

TightHEAD wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:The big one.... the Grand Slam decider! Wink

Correct, big game for France.

Unless you bottle it again.

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Post by TightHEAD Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:42 am

I think all England fans saw that result coming.

England have been poor and papering over cracks since the Semi final at the RWC. The same result would have happened had we been playing Ireland or France, the next two game could very well be defeats for England.

But you never know Eddie may start selecting form players, understandable his hands may be tied due to bubbles at the moment and French Refs may learn the rules of the game!

Can only see France winning a Grand Slam this year.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:46 am

Well you never know, Italy often have one decent game in them, too much over confidence and it may get tight.

France will be looking for either a GS or the 6N championship, either way they will be up for next weeks game and Les Gallois
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Post by chris_501 Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:47 am

TightHEAD wrote:I think all England fans saw that result coming.

England have been poor and papering over cracks since the Semi final at the RWC. The same result would have happened had we been playing Ireland or France, the next two game could very well be defeats for England.

But you never know Eddie may start selecting form players, understandable his hands may be tied due to bubbles at the moment and French Refs may learn the rules of the game!

Can only see France winning a Grand Slam this year.

Laws..... Wink

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Post by hugehandoff Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:55 am

lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:Win lose or draw this is not squad to take  England through to RWC 2023. So whilst I'm happy to see changes, specifically Malins at 15 and Daley on bench  I fear our 9/10/12 combo not good enough. Likewise Billy at 8 is one trick slow pony I'm afraid.

Hell of a trick when it is working though.

Bit underwhelmed seeing Wilson start again. Much though I like him he has done nothing so far this championship.

Other teams have re-introduced injured players for this weekend including France, but apparently we could not? Underhill apparently played very well last weekend for Bath so should we have brought him back for this game?

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:05 pm

TightHEAD wrote:

Can only see France winning a Grand Slam this year.

I don't see how you can discount Wales.
Two games left and one of those is against Italy.

Yes they have had incredible luck to get the three wins and they most definitely are not the best side but they are,
effectively, one game away from a Grand Slam.

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Post by Oakdene Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:11 pm

France team to face England:

15. Brice Dulin (Stade Rochelais)
14. Teddy Thomas (Racing 92)
13. Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92)
12. Gaël Fickou (Stade Français)
11. Damian Penaud (ASM Clermont)
10. Matthieu Jalibert (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
9. Antoine Dupont (Stade Toulousain)

1. Cyril Baille (Stade Toulousain)
2. Julien Marchand (Stade Toulousain)
3. Mohamed Haouas (Montpellier)
4. Romain Taofifenua (RC Toulon)
5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
6. Dylan Cretin (Lyon OU)
7. Charles Ollivon (RC Toulon)
8. Grégory Alldritt (Stade Rochelais)

Replacements

16. Camille Chat (Racing 92)
17. Jean-Baptiste Gros (RC Toulon)
18. Dorian Aldegheri (Stade Toulousain)
19. Cyril Cazeaux (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
20. Cameron Woki (Union Bordeaux-Bègles)
21. Anthony Jelonch (Castres Olympique)
22. Baptiste Serin (RC Toulon)
23. Romain Ntamack (Stade Toulousain)

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Post by Duty281 Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:18 pm

Fantastic French team, fantastic bench. England look as uninspiring as ever with Farrell at 12.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:20 pm

Its about stopping Dupont. Ewels and Wilson to strengthen the set piece. Wilson really needs to up his workload and effectiveness to allow Curry a bit more freedom though.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:21 pm

Woki on the bench

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:22 pm

Woki is class. Him and dupont in 3 years time is a scary scary proposition.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:32 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:

Can only see France winning a Grand Slam this year.

I don't see how you can discount Wales.
Two games left and one of those is against Italy.

Yes they have had incredible luck to get the three wins and they most definitely are not the best side but they are,
effectively, one game away from a Grand Slam.

Meh if France win, they were the favorites anyway...

If Wales win, due to covid, it was a pointless , irrelevant tournament that most teams werent at full strength or even remotely interested in... Wink Whistle

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:32 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Woki is class. Him and dupont in 3 years time is a scary scary proposition.

Yeah Woki looks like he could make that 6 spot his own for quite some time. Has the lot...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:36 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Its about stopping Dupont. Ewels and Wilson to strengthen the  set piece. Wilson really needs to up his workload and effectiveness to allow Curry a bit more freedom though.

Im not sure Wilson will be in the squad after this 6n. To be honest im not sure why Earl isnt starting over him in this game.
And thats coming from me...a huge fan of Mark

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:16 pm

Must be the 1st time the front row can outpace the back row.
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Post by doctor_grey Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:49 pm

Not sure if it’s just me, but the French squad looks really good whilst I look at the England squad and feel a whole lot of ‘meh’.

I know England will put up a good show, and I am happy to see Malins get a start, but still.
As I write this, the thought came about how do I take my words back if England go on a rampage.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:55 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Not sure if it’s just me, but the French squad looks really good whilst I look at the England squad and feel a whole lot of ‘meh’.

I know England will put up a good show, and I am happy to see Malins get a start, but still.  
As I write this, the thought came about how do I take my words back if England go on a rampage.

I agree, England team looks better than last 3 games but still same 28 man squad. France match day 23 looks awesome. Still ya never know.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:05 pm

Just noticed France have gone with a 6 2 bench as we move away from it. I really don't think we used it correctly ie earlier enough subs but I always find it too risky having only 2 backs. All it takes is for May to break his nose and you can be in trouble.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:29 pm

I just cannot see England winning this unless France have quite an off day which we take advantage of. Whilst good to see Mailns start he should of course started against Italy and played Wales as well. Tough ask for his first start.

I will cling to the hope that England frequently play much better when their backs are against the wall.

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Post by Armchairexpert Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:32 pm

It is the best French 23 I have ever seen (last time the team was that strong it wasn’t a 23). A long afternoon I feel. Feel sorry for Malins and Lawrence (if he gets on), who are on a hiding to nothing here. Hill should be grateful. France by 20+

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:44 pm

20 point plus win, not sure on that. Or is the ref giving out points for France actually turning up this week.

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Post by Armchairexpert Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:20 point plus win, not sure on that. Or is the ref giving out points for France actually turning up this week.


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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:51 pm

This is still the England team that ran NZ ragged at the RWC. It is the same team that eventually crushed a very spirited French wannabe's team in the Autumn. France can be sublime, and I think the problem is that we remember the sublime moments more than the other stuff. I think we do the opposite with England (particularly where penalty counts and mistakes are so frequent).

This is not a walk in the park for France. It could easily be a very tight game.

I don't know if an England win will be healthy long term given the current failings but also believe we have suffered as much as anyone with covid based disruption. As a result I do think it is hard to properly rate our current level. The fact that we depend on Saracens for the core of the team at a time when the club is going through such difficulties really does not help either.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Ireland’s Andrew Brace has been assigned to Twickenham for England v France, while Joy Neville, who made history by becoming the first female TMO in the Guinness Six Nations when England played Scotland in Round 1, will be back at Twickenham as TMO again.

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Post by mountain man Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:58 pm

If France do win, won't be by 20+ unless there's a red card or two for England. England may well win - I don't think they've suddenly turned into a rubbish team but and it's a big BUT England are nowhere near their best and definitely not selecting best available players.
So an England win though I really want it may not necessarily be for the best long term. Sounds counter productive but if this current squad win like they did last year, that is not convincingly but grind out results, does anyone really think that is enough? I used to think winning at International level was be all and end all but unless changes are made then I can only see stuttering performances with the odd win here and there and losses mounting unfortunately.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:02 pm

We lost against France last year. Curry playing 8, mis-controlling that scrum on 5 metres. Oh the bad memories.

Goes back to the balance on always winning the next game vs development. Jones himself has spoken about having a squad for the next world cup comprising of 70% of the current squad so there will be changes.

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Post by rosbif Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:31 pm

I have a bad feeling that France could thrash England and its all due to Eddie Jones , his time is up , stubbornly refuses to pick in form and creative players. There should be a lot of positions up for grabs when the team is under new management.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:40 pm

We will win this game. Ewells man of the match

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Post by lostinwales Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:55 pm

What about other predictions?

Bets Malins has a generally competent game with a couple of lovely touches but will only be remembered for being steamrollered by Vaketawa for a French try.

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Post by Duty281 Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:59 pm

I think the only way the French thrash England is if they get a couple of early tries and are 14-0 up or so after the opening quarter. Then, English heads could drop and it'll be a pummelling. More likely, however, is that England concede too many penalties, France keep England at a score's length for much of it, and then the game disappears in the final quarter with that strong French bench putting them out to a 15 point win.

It's hard to make a case for England with the number of out-of-form players they're carrying and the (lack of) form they've showed in recent weeks, unless the French implode (always a possibility) and/or there's a red card or two.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:What about other predictions?

Bets Malins has a generally competent game with a couple of lovely touches but will only be remembered for being steamrollered by Vaketawa for a French try.
Poor Malins, we barely knew ye before being turned into fertiliser.

It’s funny but I could absolutely see that happening.

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Post by whatahitson Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:35 pm

The team makes sense. Hill dropped to give Ewels maybe a 'win or bust' chance in an England shirt. Daly taken out of the firing line to reflect lack of form. Same goes for George and LCD. The other Saracens boys have played their way in to (some) form and fitness.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:19 am

Jones has talked around the dropping of Daly, I do think its that rather than Malins playing his way in: 'He's got a good kick return game, a good feeling for the game, brings pace onto the ball and particularly playing a team like France who have the highest and longest kicking game the full backs pretty busy, so he's going to have a big role for us.'

For me his biggest strength is popping up in the line and playing close to the defence, clearly in broken play his running and speed will be a huge plus. Not too sure his defensive positioning and kicking are that great though. Fills me with more confidence though than Daly as he's not lacking confidence. As above he's not there for his defence, like Daly, but going forward he is very very good. Having May and Watson around him will benefit him.

Like these quotes from Farrell on him: '“Max is a dangerous full-back. He makes things happen, he beats people. He’s quick and strong and he’s also got a great instinct about the game which is a brilliant quality to have.”'

Thats the reason to have him. Obviously Jones went looking down the Furbank route initially who looked completely out of his depth. Hopefully he has a strong first 15 mins.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:34 am

No 7&1/2 wrote: Fills me with more confidence though than Daly as he's not lacking confidence.
.

Until its battered out of him...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:45 am

urgh, too many confidences. I don't think he would let it bother him if he is walked over or put on his arse. Still feels like a make shift though.

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Post by mountain man Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:53 am

Well until he's given a chance we won't know but it's definitely right choice to start him at 15 instead of Daley. As for getting battered, well that applies to any and all players. The combination of him, May and Watson is a good back 3. Guess we'll find out tomorrow, I just think it's a pity this wasn't done earlier.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:59 am

That French second row is a very big meaty combination. I get how folk are uninspired by Charlie Ewels, who is not the biggest and has played a fair few times at no.6 for Bath.
Itoje and Ewels are certainly not going to through their opposite numbers and only hope the intention is to run around them, otherwise it could be a long afternoon in the close quarter rucks.
The England bench is pretty strong and they will undoubtedly need to make an impact in this game in the latter stages.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Jones has talked around the dropping of Daly, I do think its that rather than Malins playing his way in: 'He's got a good kick return game, a good feeling for the game, brings pace onto the ball and particularly playing a team like France who have the highest and longest kicking game the full backs pretty busy, so he's going to have a big role for us.'

For me his biggest strength is popping up in the line and playing close to the defence, clearly in broken play his running and speed will be a huge plus. Not too sure his defensive positioning and kicking are that great though. Fills me with more confidence though than Daly as he's not lacking confidence. As above he's not there for his defence, like Daly, but going forward he is very very good. Having May and Watson around him will benefit him.

Like these quotes from Farrell on him: '“Max is a dangerous full-back. He makes things happen, he beats people. He’s quick and strong and he’s also got a great instinct about the game which is a brilliant quality to have.”'

Thats the reason to have him. Obviously Jones went looking down the Furbank route initially who looked completely out of his depth. Hopefully he has a strong first 15 mins.

Malins needs to have a good game. Not because Daly is a massive threat to the 15 shirt but because there's a queue of young English fullbacks coming through and playing well this season. Steward and Parton are outstanding young prospects playing consistently well in the league already first choice for their clubs. Freeman and Hodge are coming up behind them and developing nicely as well. If Malins comes in and doesn't impress then England could move on by as early as the summer and not look back. Furbank's international career looks almost over already.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:07 pm

I agree Sam. I like players to get a run of games as I feel thats the best chance to get the best of them. Sometimes with guys like Furbank it's obvious they lack that little bit extra to make it internationally though.

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Post by mountain man Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:08 pm

Furbank had his chances and blew it, never looked anything like an International 15.

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