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England - Summer Tour

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 25 Mar 2021, 3:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

After an "interesting" 6n...and with the Lions tour possibly going ahead, England have a chance to send a young Saxons side full of talent on the Summer tour to USA and Canada (if Covid permits)

They have 4 games pencilled in...

12th June; England v Barbarians (Suggestions it wont go ahead)

10th July; Scotland v England
17th July; USA v England
24th July; Canada v England

So looking to the future and the AI's who would you take on the tour? Assuming its 32/33 squad size.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 29 Apr 2021, 1:07 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:He was no Matt Burke :whistle:

Not many are mate...

I am, apparently. I was accosted by a group of very polite but slightly sozzled blokes in a bar once who were absolutely convinced I was Matt Burke.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 29 Apr 2021, 1:12 pm

Did you put on your best Australian and go along with it?

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Post by Poorfour Thu 29 Apr 2021, 1:53 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Did you put on your best Australian and go along with it?

Sadly, my treasured copy of Afferbeck Lauder's seminal work on the topic. Let Stalk Strine, was not to hand.
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Post by cb Thu 29 Apr 2021, 2:34 pm

Serious question - why cannot Sam Simmonds play at 12?

He's fast and seem to tackle well, and has been know to pass the ball!!!

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Post by king_carlos Thu 29 Apr 2021, 2:47 pm

cb wrote:Serious question - why cannot Sam Simmonds play at 12?

He's fast and seem to tackle well, and has been know to pass the ball!!!
Because he's absolute quality in the back row! Contrary to a lot of pundits I don't think Simmonds being left out is a witch hunt but more a case of lots of strength in the back row now. In the same mould of all action, rapid flanker or number 8 I actually think Ben Earl is even better. Which is saying something as I really rate Simmonds. Then there's Curry and Underhill of course. Willis is an enormous talent. Ludlam has regained the form that got him into the RWC squad.

Billy is a different debate of course, particularly when struggling for match fitness as he has. I thought his defence was really strong in the ANC but his carrying lacking. Over the Six Nations I thought he was steadily regaining some strong form, especially against France he was excellent.

It seems that Jones wants a brute force carrier in his side as a focal point to draw defenders in and start attacks. For his weaknesses Billy has still showed up well in 'metres through contact' stats even out of form. Given the reliance on that carrier it really surprises me that Ted Hill hasn't had another look in given I'd say he's the next best at making yards through a brick wall like Billy can.

I've long been a big fan of Wilson but personally hope they move on now. He improved at times over the Six Nations but in general didn't have the same impact as he did leading into the RWC. His performance against Scotland actually frustrated me more than Billy's it pains me to say. For a flanker that usually excels through work rate to be that anonymous throughout was startling.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 29 Apr 2021, 3:38 pm

Mark Wilson should be long gone from England. i cant believe im saying this but theres players pushing for his place in the falcons now...

He just looks jaded....shattered. Maybe he just needs a proper good rest. But i dont think he should be back for England.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 29 Apr 2021, 4:08 pm

And Ted HIll has to get a run out this summer. Although it'll probably be George martin at 6.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 29 Apr 2021, 5:22 pm

yOu think any of that has to do with Hill playing for Worcester and Martin playing for Leicester?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 30 Apr 2021, 7:14 am

doctor_grey wrote:yOu think any of that has to do with Hill playing for Worcester and Martin playing for Leicester?

Hill's form hasn't been as good this season and Martin offers the ridiculous workrate in defence that Eddie likes. With a bit of luck they'll develop and play together in the same pack. I think Hill offers a bit more ball in hand, Martin carries relentlessly in the tight but it's a 1m gain normally, he's said he's not happy with his own carrying.

I don't think Eddie is particularly enamored by any club bar Sarries in England.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 30 Apr 2021, 8:33 am

Either way they are two big young guys who we have to develop and use!

I do see Martin moving to lock, but a pack with both of them would not be lacking in size or physicality...thats for sure!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 30 Apr 2021, 9:11 am

Not sure Jones has a thing for Saracens just that they had and have a lot of good players. They troubled selection more than other clubs as normally you wouldn't be able to keep that many players happy at 1 club.

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Post by Sharkey06 Sat 01 May 2021, 12:16 am

With Launchbury injured and not getting any younger do we have any 19st+ second rows out there to pick? England used to be the epitome of a big pack who could out muscle anyother pack, but that no longer seems to be the case I am struggling to think of any reallly big, physicall second rows that we have. the likes of Ewells just do not have the physicallity.

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Post by cb Sat 01 May 2021, 12:23 pm

Perhaps Moon, Kpoku comes to mind but generally clubs go for more athletic locks, and published weights are very misleading.  Didn't Bristol have a young lock in the U-20 teams.

On Hill (Ted), his form has not been good but it must be difficult playing for Worcester - would be good to see him given another chance with England

For a team (though I keep changing my mind) - depends how much experience to bring in.  Genge's form for Leicester is good but for England awful, so see if he can bring that back to England,  Also Paul Hill's form has been good for Saints - again see if he can play for England.  Fewer options at hooker (hence Dunn).

Ewels and Hill at lock to give them more experience.  Ewels is a bit of a slow burn, so he may make it.  Several injuries in the back-row but Dombrant, Ludlam and Hill would be interesting.  Just realised I have not fitted Barbeary in there somewhere.

1 Genge
2 Dunn (limited choice)
3 Hill
4 Ewels
5 Hill
6 Hill
7 Ludlam
8 DomBrandt
9 Spencer
10 Smith
11 Nowell
12 O'Connor
13 Odogwu
14 O'Flaherty
15 Steward

Obano
Capon
Heyes
Martin
Simmonds
Mitchell
Simmonds
Lawrence

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 01 May 2021, 3:05 pm

Bristol have a lad called Ben Bamber coming through...20 year old and about 6'9 and 20 St. See how he develops.
Kpoku has been spoken of alot. .not the tallest but he's heavy duty.

I guess it's not always about weight though...

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 01 May 2021, 3:33 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:With Launchbury injured and not getting any younger do we have any 19st+ second rows out there to pick?  England used to be the epitome of a big pack who could out muscle anyother pack, but that no longer seems to be the case  I am struggling to think of any reallly big, physicall second rows that we have.  the likes of Ewells just do not have the physicallity.

With the exception the recent six nations that is exactly what England had been doing, physically dominating the opposition.

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Post by Poorfour Sat 01 May 2021, 5:03 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Bristol have a lad called Ben Bamber coming through...20 year old and about 6'9 and 20 St. See how he develops.
Kpoku has been spoken of alot. .not the tallest but he's heavy duty.

I guess it's not always about weight though...

In terms of real youngsters, Tizard at Quins has not looked out of place when he’s played, though I think he would benefit from a couple of years to add some bulk and nous.

However, I’ve not seen anyone in the current crop who leaves the same impression that Lawes, Kruis and Itoje did in the run up to their first caps.
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Post by king_carlos Sat 01 May 2021, 7:00 pm

With Kruis I'd be the first to admit that I didn't see that much there in his Sarries form before being capped. I thought he was strong in a very good Sarries pack but didn't see anything to make me think that guy is a future Lion.

His bench appearances for England under Lancaster didn't show much either. It was after Parling's concussions I believe when Lawes and Attwood were starting. If memory serves Kruis mainly made an impression by being good at jumping to receive restarts which was something England made a habit of messing up for a time when Parling was unavailable. He started 4 games in the 2015 Six Nations during a bit of an injury crisis at lock but again didn't standout and returned to bench duty during the dire 2015 RWC.

Then when Jones took over he immediately started a load of games on the bounce and really flourished into a fantastic second row. I really hope he hasn't played his last game for England.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat 01 May 2021, 8:57 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Either way they are two big young guys who we have to develop and use!

I do see Martin moving to lock, but a pack with both of them would not be lacking in size or physicality...thats for sure!

Yeah I think Martin will move into the row, he's only 19 so he'll fill out over the next couple of years and at 6 foot 6 and 18 and a half stone already you can see him being north of 19 stone by the time he's 21 without losing mobility. 14 tackles in 40 minutes Vs Ulster, that work rate in defence would free up your flankers to be a menace. We've got Ollie Chessum at Tigers as well who's a little bit taller than Martin and an England under 20s lock as well, I suspect he'll also end up north of 19 stone given his frame as well, unfortunately I think he's injured at the minute we could certainly do with him for rotation. There will be some big blokes available in the row in a couple of years.

Agree on Kruis he wasn't eye catching. For me he's one of the guys that just does the things that makes everyone else look better. His set piece work is also key. If he made himself available again then I think he'd be back in quickly.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 01 May 2021, 8:59 pm

Not for the summer as he'll be with the lions but Watson has been superb in the first half for Bath at full back. Probably more pressure from wingers than full backs so really wouldn't be surprised to see him pushed to 15.

Dunn has been abysmal.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 02 May 2021, 9:55 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not for the summer as he'll be with the lions but Watson has been superb in the first half for Bath at full back. Probably more pressure from wingers than full backs so really wouldn't be surprised to see him pushed to 15.

Dunn has been abysmal.

Actually I wondered whether a more natural fullback would have varied the game more than running the ball back every time. Montpellier often kicked with no real pressure on Watson and then backed their defence to stop him running it back that far. Which sort of worked. Would a more traditional fullback and linked with his wingers more or mixed a range of kicking into his replies from deep to keep the Montpellier defence guessing?

I can't see him being moved to 15 with the production line of talent in that position and when he was carving up the opposition on the right wing in the 6N. I actually had doubts over his form before the 6N but he was comfortably the best back three option for England. If England are going to keep stretching the opposition defence with quick ball then it makes sense to me to have Watson waiting in the wide channel to exploit space or step defenders who are racing across to try and cover space.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 02 May 2021, 2:01 pm

Kruis played a game v Munster when he was first coming through...he played at 6...he was absolutely outstanding so he was definitely putting in the performances.

As for Watson..I would keep him at wing now. He's world class there. Then look to bring in one of the up coming full backs.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 02 May 2021, 6:56 pm

I echo what LondonTiger used to say when it comes to Watson in that I think we'd lose more by moving him from the wing than we'd gain from having him at fullback. He's world class on the wing whereas at fullback he can be dangerous but very inconsistent.

I'm really hoping Nowell can stay fit and find his best form. He offers different skills to our other wingers and is one of the best defensive backs in the game.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 03 May 2021, 1:24 pm

As I have said previously, Ribbans is over 19 stone and in the form of his life, Also the forgotten man Alex Moon at pushing 20 stone. He was in the England squad last year
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Post by king_carlos Mon 03 May 2021, 4:51 pm

I really rate Moon but he does seem somewhat the forgotten man. The Saints locks are so strong. Any of Lawes, Ribbans, Moon or Isiekwe would walk into the Tigers second row. Much as that pains me to admit given the strength Leicester once had there.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 03 May 2021, 6:13 pm

You are also forgetting, in addition to having really good talent in the second row, they are better looking guys than other teams in the Premiership.  Winning on the pitch and off the pitch as well.  Style points.....

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Post by king_carlos Mon 03 May 2021, 6:48 pm

Moon has improved his looks with the beard to be fair but it was a low baseline beforehand. On the other side of that coin Lawes really needs to accept he can't grow a beard. 6'7" and 19 stone but he's got the beard of a late teen that's developed early but doesn't know how to shave.

Nick Isiekwe is far too handsome to be a second row it must be said and Ribbans has some jawline on him. That pairing could certainly earn marquee wages if they worked the right corners in Soho.

Sarries were all set to dominate a second row beauty pageant after Kruis and Skelton left but then they signed Tim Swinson. A serious own goal there.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 12:51 pm

So England contingent for Lions...

Backs
Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson,

Forwards
Luke Cowan Dickie, Tom Curry, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Sam Simmonds, Mako Vunipola,


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Post by hugehandoff Thu 06 May 2021, 12:55 pm

Interesting to see how Eddie plays this. Nothing to be gained from playing the same old faces and plenty to learn about loads of promising new players, but you need enough experience to help them out. If he just goes full strength it will yet another missed opportunity. Some of the Sarries contingent could go but otherwise hopefully rest up some key players to enable them to return fit and healthy for the new season.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 06 May 2021, 1:12 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:So England contingent for Lions...

Backs
Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson,

Forwards
Luke Cowan Dickie, Tom Curry, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Sam Simmonds, Mako Vunipola,

Delighted for Simmonds though personally still think Earl is the even better player in a similar style.

Amazed for Jonny Hill. Poor James Ryan!

Daly is a very lucky boy.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 06 May 2021, 1:34 pm

The good point is that there's no choice to try and play daly back into form. Dont think Malins is the answer at 15 so hopefully Jones 'rests' him as well. Hopefully the lions fly halfs don't get injured and Smith ain't called upon.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 1:42 pm

And we can have a backline without Farrell...

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 06 May 2021, 1:43 pm

Easy to say after the fact, when a hunch has been proven to be correct, but I did think Billy's place was in jeopardy. He has looked a shadow of the player he can be. I wonder if it will inspire any doubts in Eddie's mind? Although knowing him, he is likely to double down and make Billy the captain! Very Happy

Think May can consider himself a bit unlucky. He's had a quiet year, but he had been superb for the last few seasons before this one. I know it is probably unfair to say it, but it seems wrong that he is losing out to a lad who probably grew up dreaming of pummeling the Lions in a victorious Bokke side!
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 1:44 pm

i might be interested in seeing Slade at 12 though...IF we continue with the 2 man playmaker in the midfield.

And if he doesnt go for O'Connor ...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 1:46 pm

Cumbrian wrote:Easy to say after the fact, when a hunch has been proven to be correct, but I did think Billy's place was in jeopardy.  He has looked a shadow of the player he can be.  I wonder if it will inspire any doubts in Eddie's mind?  Although knowing him, he is likely to double down and make Billy the captain!   Very Happy

Think May can consider himself a bit unlucky. He's had a quiet year, but he had been superb for the last few seasons before this one.  I know it is probably unfair to say it, but it seems wrong that he is losing out to a lad who probably grew up dreaming of pummeling the Lions in a victorious Bokke side!

I think most people did to be honest. And hopefully now it forces Eddies hand to have a look at alternatives.

Dombrandt looks the obvious...a hard carrier (if not Billy esque) but great at running lines in to space etc. And he's a lineout option now...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 1:52 pm

Ok so for the summer how about...

1 Genge / Obanno
2 Dunn / Capon
3 Stuart  Hayes
4 Ewells
5 Ribbans
6 Hill / Martin
7 Earl
8 Dombrandt

9 Mitchell / Randall
10 Smith
11 Odogwu
12 Slade
13 Lawrence
14 Cockasaniga
15 Steward

Barbaery Floating about the squad somewhere...

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 06 May 2021, 1:59 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:Easy to say after the fact, when a hunch has been proven to be correct, but I did think Billy's place was in jeopardy.  He has looked a shadow of the player he can be.  I wonder if it will inspire any doubts in Eddie's mind?  Although knowing him, he is likely to double down and make Billy the captain!   Very Happy

Think May can consider himself a bit unlucky. He's had a quiet year, but he had been superb for the last few seasons before this one.  I know it is probably unfair to say it, but it seems wrong that he is losing out to a lad who probably grew up dreaming of pummeling the Lions in a victorious Bokke side!

I think most people did to be honest. And hopefully now it forces Eddies hand to have a look at alternatives.

Dombrandt looks the obvious...a hard carrier (if not Billy esque) but great at running lines in to space etc. And he's a lineout option now...

No they didn't, it was my insight alone!

My other observations include Farrell being a blunt attacking weapon, and rain is wet.

You're right about Dombrandt, he does seem to play a different game to Billy. To be honest, I could be wrong but I don't think we have another no.8 that can carry as hard and draw defenders the way that Billy does. It's part of the reasone I kind of wanted to see the Barbearian there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 06 May 2021, 2:05 pm

Farrell with an attacking 9 is great do people forget the partnership with care so easily?

That said I'm in a real swings and roundabouts place. So looking forward to the England games and people putting their hands up, then the Lions look gash.

My match day team at present would be (and it changes weekly):

Genge Dunn Hill
Ribbands Ewels
Martin Curry
Donbrandt
Mitchell Smith
Cokanasiga Lawrence Odogwu Sleightholme
Steward

Obano, dont't know, Singelton maybe or a newcastle player, Heyes, Kpokwu, Barbeary, Randall, Umaga, Parton.

I'd want those LI wingers capped as well.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 06 May 2021, 2:21 pm

Care and Farrell worked because Care controlled the plays, French style. It's a great shame it didn't work as a long term option because for a brief while it looked great.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 06 May 2021, 2:29 pm

lostinwales wrote:Care and Farrell worked because Care controlled the plays, French style. It's a great shame it didn't work as a long term option because for a brief while it looked great.

Mainly as Ford came to prominence and back when Youngs looked good that partnership and the lack of an inside centre who truly took their chance led to Farrell at 12. That said Smith farrell odogwu I could definitely live with.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 06 May 2021, 5:57 pm

7.5 what is it about Farrell that you rate so much?

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 06 May 2021, 6:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Care and Farrell worked because Care controlled the plays, French style. It's a great shame it didn't work as a long term option because for a brief while it looked great.

Mainly as Ford came to prominence and back when Youngs looked good that partnership and the lack of an inside centre who truly took their chance led to Farrell at 12. That said Smith farrell odogwu I could definitely live with.
I would prefer my old man at 10 at this point in lieu of Farrell.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 06 May 2021, 6:09 pm

Farrell is class full stop. His passing, his reading of the game. Game management. Defence. All top notch. The only thing he lacks is pace.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 07 May 2021, 9:21 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell is class full stop. His passing,  his reading of the game. Game management. Defence. All top notch. The only thing he lacks is pace.

Its funny how people see players in different lights...

I see quite the opposite of what you see.

I see a petulant leader, with an incredibly limited running game. I see a 10 / 12 with decent passing and reasonable game management but not a player who seems to demand the selection that he is currently getting.

I think hes had players around him that make him look better than he is.




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Post by Poorfour Fri 07 May 2021, 9:59 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Care and Farrell worked because Care controlled the plays, French style. It's a great shame it didn't work as a long term option because for a brief while it looked great.

Mainly as Ford came to prominence and back when Youngs looked good that partnership and the lack of an inside centre who truly took their chance led to Farrell at 12. That said Smith farrell odogwu I could definitely live with.

Going in to the 2015 RWC, I fully expected that Lancaster would use Care / Farrell and Youngs / Ford as units because the balance of play was better when they were paired that way. Instead we got Youngs / Farrell and a very dull attack. Likewise, I thought Eddie would use Care to bring some variation later in the game but then they fell out.

It's odd that as one of England's most capped scrum halves, he never got a real chance to shine at the RWC or for the Lions.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 07 May 2021, 10:06 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell is class full stop. His passing,  his reading of the game. Game management. Defence. All top notch. The only thing he lacks is pace.

Its funny how people see players in different lights...

I see quite the opposite of what you see.

I see a petulant leader, with an incredibly limited running game. I see a 10 / 12 with decent passing and reasonable game management but not a player who seems to demand the selection that he is currently getting.

I think hes had players around him that make him look better than he is.  




Always think it's a good thing to have a team which makes individuals look better.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 07 May 2021, 10:11 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell is class full stop. His passing,  his reading of the game. Game management. Defence. All top notch. The only thing he lacks is pace.

Its funny how people see players in different lights...

I see quite the opposite of what you see.

I see a petulant leader, with an incredibly limited running game. I see a 10 / 12 with decent passing and reasonable game management but not a player who seems to demand the selection that he is currently getting.

I think hes had players around him that make him look better than he is.  




Always think it's a good thing to have a team which makes individuals look better.

So long as the individual they are making look better is actually doing a legitimate functional role in the team. Im just not quite sure i see that in Owen.
Clearly a succession of top level coaches would disagree with me...so he must have some huge influence behind the scenes, but i just cant see it.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 07 May 2021, 10:35 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell is class full stop. His passing,  his reading of the game. Game management. Defence. All top notch. The only thing he lacks is pace.

Its funny how people see players in different lights...

I see quite the opposite of what you see.

I see a petulant leader, with an incredibly limited running game. I see a 10 / 12 with decent passing and reasonable game management but not a player who seems to demand the selection that he is currently getting.

I think hes had players around him that make him look better than he is.  




Always think it's a good thing to have a team which makes individuals look better.

So long as the individual they are making look better is actually doing a legitimate functional role in the team. Im just not quite sure i see that in Owen.
Clearly a succession of top level coaches would disagree with me...so he must have some huge influence behind the scenes, but i just cant see it.


That's just it. I think he's done better (a lot better) than Borthwick did, but I remember that feeling that we were not missing anything at all when Borthwick was replaced.

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Post by Cumbrian Fri 07 May 2021, 10:57 am

I don't know, I think Farrell's skills are mostly fine. He can throw a very decent pass (I still remember the one he threw to put Daly in the corner for the win in Cardiff in 2017). In my opinion he doesn't always show the attacking instincts/ creativity that someone like Ford shows. When England are in control and grinding out a win he is a good option, when England need a spark to unlock a particularly stubborn defence, I think he struggles a little bit.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 07 May 2021, 7:26 pm

Before tonight's game; Dan Kelly? Too soon to threaten the team but you would have said the autumn was too soon for Cameron Redpath and then suddenly he's capped elsewhere.

Pretty good match up vs the unfashionable (albeit probably never quite international class) of Hill and the could be quite good as well Sam James.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 08 May 2021, 8:05 am

Will the summer sqaud be announced after the prem season is finished?

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