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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 Mr Bounce Mon 12 Jul 2021, 8:08 pm

Yes, the Nick Easter game was in August 2007 - he played No8 alongside Martin Corry & Joe Worsley. It was a bit of a mismatch - the pack was pretty much full strength whereas Wales' was less so. AWJ was playing 6 that day and was yellow-carded. Was it his now infamous "trip" moment?

Even Shaun Perry scored a try.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 12 Jul 2021, 8:46 pm

I am sure the trip was a 6n game but could be wrong

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Post by cb Mon 12 Jul 2021, 8:55 pm

I think the answer is very nuanced because it depends on both the current strength of the incumbent and the potential of the new comers.  So really needing to compare existing with new, and should we also include players who are injured or just coming back such as Launchbury and Nowell (Willis is long-term injury but was just starting to look good).  Genge is both an incumbent and a newbie.

A case might be argued for Dombrandt on the basis that Vunipola is nowhere near as effective as a few years ago (this would also give a line-out option).  Smith over Ford is an interesting choice.  I think Ford is good player who has not been able to play well recently.

Otherwise Steward over Daly but difficult to justify Randall or Robson over Youngs mainly because there was so little game time.

Probably stronger opposition would have helped.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 12 Jul 2021, 8:56 pm

Easter scoring three tries and AWJ at blindside was a world cup warm-up, the Gareth Jenkins era was a sad time.

The trip was in a 6N game at Twickers, maybe 2010.

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 12 Jul 2021, 9:14 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Easter scoring three tries and AWJ at blindside was a world cup warm-up, the Gareth Jenkins era was a sad time.

The trip was in a 6N game at Twickers, maybe 2010.

Excellent memory Mikey - just looked it up on YouTube. Awful commentator....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 25 Jul 2021, 8:02 am

What are peoples thought on Daly in the centre then? Didn't get many passes due to the game plan but did he impress enough for a run out in the autumn?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Jul 2021, 9:10 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:What are peoples thought on Daly in the centre then? Didn't get many passes due to the game plan but did he impress enough for a run out in the autumn?

No. Out of position defensively, got bullied in contact. SA should have targeted him more. He's got a good skill set and can play across the backline but maybe not to international standard. It looks likely that his days at 15 are numbered and the return to 13 is a no go. It might be wing or nothing by the Autumn.

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Post by Yoda Sun 25 Jul 2021, 11:10 am

Bit harsh, didn't have the game plan to really see his capabilities under pressure.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 25 Jul 2021, 1:43 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:What are peoples thought on Daly in the centre then? Didn't get many passes due to the game plan but did he impress enough for a run out in the autumn?

No. Out of position defensively, got bullied in contact. SA should have targeted him more. He's got a good skill set and can play across the backline but maybe not to international standard. It looks likely that his days at 15 are numbered and the return to 13 is a no go. It might be wing or nothing by the Autumn.

I'm with you completely. I have my doubts that he'll start next week, surely Harris has to come in though I'd be tempted to put Farrell at 12 and shuffle Henshaw.

The way Radwan played I'd like to see him start against at least Fiji and Aus. Perhaps it's a toss up between Daly and Malins for the Jack of all trades bench position.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 25 Jul 2021, 2:37 pm

I find Daly quite the enigma. I'm at a loss to what his position is but coach's keep selecting him. I think his long range kicking (at about 20% success rate) keeps him in a lot of thoughts for some reason.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 25 Jul 2021, 2:45 pm

If Jones can get Daly performing as he did in 2018 and 2019 when he was the key distributor in the wide channels releasing our wingers then he gets in the backline every time for me. It's just about finding where he does that best. If he can recapture the form to do so at all that is.

Despite his weaknesses under the high ball I still believe that Daly at 15 improved England massively overall compared to our back play with Brown there. Early in Jones tenure the improved fitness and physicality in the forwards gave the backs a lot of front foot ball which offered a lot of opportunities, hence mitigating Brown's lack of distributing. Whilst Brown was excellent defensively and brilliant at beating the first man he did frequently pass a rugby ball like he'd put his hands on back to front that morning.

As sides responded to England's higher tempo game the amount of quick ball was stemmed and having a better distributor in the wide channels became vital to take advantage of the fewer chances when they came. Daly did that brilliantly for a time at 15. The number of easy 2 on 1 chances he butchered for England in the last year has been alarming given his previous strengths there.

It's easy to look at Daly's weaker performances where he's been targeted under the high ball and say, "we would win that game with Brown or a fullback more similar to Brown?" The equally easy counterargument is how many wins from '18 to '19 when Daly performed well could have losses with Brown there instead throwing passes like Andy Sheridan after 4 bottles of Shiraz?

I can definitely see why Gatland as well as Jones is so keen to get Daly in the side. At his best he's very quick (often performs the modern 'rabbit' role of one player leading the chase on kickoffs), has great feet, good hands and a siege gun boot. The handling and footwork have gone missing in the last year but that to me says confidence issue rather than skill issue given his performance in both regards previously.

Personally I think the midfield at the moment is just crying out for a running threat rather than specifically a crash ball runner. With Manu so injury prone I'd be keen to use Daly and Marchant at 13 as that running threat with Lawrence having the potential to offer a more direct option at 12 when required as Manu did when partnering Slade. Daly on form has the potential to offer a kicking and passing option from 13 as Slade can (hypothetically...) whilst also offering the running lines, footwork and acceleration that JJ did at his best. If that clicks for Daly at 13 then it's a potent combination and I can see why coaches would persist with him for that reason. He has a very high ceiling as a player.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 25 Jul 2021, 4:36 pm

Marchant is the guy putting his hand up for that midfield role for me. I know Jones has used him mainly on the wing but too much competition there for him. Smith Farrell Lawrence could work too.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Jul 2021, 5:08 pm

Daly has previously been a very handy at the back for England. Time moves on though and he looks more like a player in decline than one on the up. That may change when he's back at Sarries next season playing regular Prem rugby. If not then there are players surpassing him at 15 and at 13 I'm not sure he's direct enough to compensate for Farrell at 12 which is what we need.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 25 Jul 2021, 6:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Easter scoring three tries and AWJ at blindside was a world cup warm-up, the Gareth Jenkins era was a sad time.

The trip was in a 6N game at Twickers, maybe 2010.

No, no, no I was at the game, they were great times. Easter ran a total meterage of 1.5m to get his hat trick.

First time I have seen a train load, well half a train load, of Welsh supporters absolutely silent on the train back to Waterloo
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Post by king_carlos Sun 25 Jul 2021, 7:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Marchant is the guy putting his hand up for that midfield role for me. I know Jones has used him mainly on the wing but too much competition there for him. Smith Farrell  Lawrence could work too.

Marchant looks a very good player to me. Approaching a stage where I'd have him as a must have in the 23 with his versatility given I rate him as a player who can genuinely play 13 and wing to a very high level.

9.Randall
10.Smith
11.May
12.Farrell
13.Daly
14.Watson
15.Nowell

21.Youngs
22.Ford
23.Marchant

Add in Steward, Radwan and Cokanasiga pressuring those established back three players. Then Manu and/or Lawrence offering the potential of more direct carrying in the midfield when circumstances demand. Odogwu could offer the latter too if he can return well from injury.

That's a group of backs that I'd be very excited to see build game time together going into 2023. Overall I feel very positive about the players England have. There's a good core of very experienced players with big game experience (9 of them in yesterdays Lions test despite a pish Six Nations!) but also a good number of younger players pushing as Curry, Underhill, George, Sinckler, LCD, etc were starting to do around 2017.

Right now it feels like Josh Hodge is a long way off due to needing to catch up with senior rugby's physicality but I reckon he could challenge by 2023 as well. The difference between being 21-years-old and 23-years-old is huge in terms of physical development. He's got everything else to be very special. He's a player who could genuinely mix it with the best at wing and fullback I think too - similar to Issy Dagg in that regard.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 25 Jul 2021, 8:02 pm

Not a bad backline for the Tonga game there Carlos though I'd like to see Radwan get a game over May for one game this Autumn. I'd like to see something more like;

9. Youngs
10. Ford
11. May
12. Farrell
13. Marchant
14. Watson
15. Malins

21. Randall
22. Smith
23. Nowell/Daly

Form and fitness depending. I'd like to see Steward get another go as well but there is a few quality back three options and you don't want to just remove the experienced options.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Jul 2021, 8:24 am

You wouldn't even give Smith or Randall a game against Tonga Sam?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 26 Jul 2021, 9:42 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You wouldn't even give Smith or Randall a game against Tonga Sam?

Smith deserves to start ahead of Ford and it would make sense to give Randall a start against better opposition. We know what Ford and Youngs can do (Can't do in Youngs case), it makes zero sense to stick with them during the AI.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 26 Jul 2021, 11:01 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You wouldn't even give Smith or Randall a game against Tonga Sam?

I'd start both Randall and Smith for the Tonga game and then look to give them at least 20 minutes Vs Australia and SA. This is all players being in decent form at the time. Any player's form falls off a cliff then I'd see them not included irrelevant of who they are.

Despite Sgt's grumpyness Ford was instrumental for Tigers in the season just gone despite playing with an injury. He also had the metaphorical mill stone of an appalling backline to deal with. Youngs actually played well for most of the season, was easily England's best player Vs Scotland (though that was a low bar) and generally in the 6N our better attacking play came through him. His quality emphasised when Robson took to the field and looked out of his depth.

If all are in form I'd be looking to get Randall and Smith game time and minutes but in a development way as opposed to throwing them straight in against SH teams and seeing if they can sink or swim. 

I also really hope we see a better backline than the unbalanced dross Ford had to work with in the 6N. It's wasting his and would be wasting Smith's talent to deploy them with no running options. They both have two centres running lines for them in their club midfields, makes it a lot easier for them to play closer to the gain line.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 26 Jul 2021, 11:14 am

This echos my worry with Smith - that he'll be asked to play with a team that is built around Farrell and not him, and as a consequence will severely hamper what he can do.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 26 Jul 2021, 12:08 pm

Haha....grumpiness! Have you been speaking to my wife??

I'm a big Ford fan, always have been. I just think Smith's form and ability to unlock a defence deserves a run. We know what Ford can do, let Smith have a run of games. You only really learn about a player with 5 to 10 starts behind him.

Smith has the potential to be world class...Ford isn't going to reach these heights for me.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 26 Jul 2021, 12:51 pm

I think Ford starting for his game management with Smith's mercurial attacking ability on the bench could be ideal in some scenarios. I also think Smith starting with Ford's control on the bench to close out games could be ideal in other scenarios.

Ford, Smith and Farrell at fly-half options is a great place to be 2 years out from a RWC. Two very experienced players who have already reached high peaks and a younger talent with the potential to have an even higher ceiling.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 26 Jul 2021, 3:08 pm

"Mercurial" is normally shorthand for "this player has a great highlights real but is frequently flaky"... which isn't really a good description of Smith. His game management isn't quite where Ford's or Farrell's are today, but he's not far behind, especially considering the difference in age and experience.

Before the 2019 RWC, Eddie decided he needed more creativity in the back three and persisted with Daly despite some glaring gaps in his skill set. If he's prepared to do the same with Smith, by the time the 2023 tournament rolls around he will almost certainly have ironed out the remaining gaps in his skill set and gained exposure to managing crunch games under pressure. Plus, he brings a level of variation and creativity in attack that should make England much harder to defend against.
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Post by king_carlos Mon 26 Jul 2021, 4:43 pm

By mercurial I just meant capable of individual brilliance in attack. I don't think Smith is weak in game management. A bit weaker than the more experienced Ford and Farrell but by no means poor.

Smith looks an absolutely terrific fly-half to me and I hope he gets a run in the 10 shirt for England.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:31 pm

lostinwales wrote:This echos my worry with Smith - that he'll be asked to play with a team that is built around Farrell and not him, and as a consequence will severely hamper what he can do.

Eddie isn't about to bin his captain, go to flyhalf and centurion scrum half. The combination he's preferred for years. To build an entirely new backline around a 22 year old who has yet to play a meaningful game at international level. Smith (like Ford has had to) is going to have to work around Farrell at 12. 

What I'd like to see personally is a balanced approach to the introduction of Smith. Build him up over the AIs and maybe 6N (very much form depending) then give him the reins and send him down to Australia in the summer as the 10. By then he'll had chance to grow into the shirt and be ready to lead the backline. A summer off for the Lions players that need it and England can still name a strong squad to go down under. Youngs and Farrell would definitely be in line for the summer off and Ford asked to play mentor. Careful planning and we might be able to give ourselves the nice position of having three viable options at 9 and 10, though Robson will only ever be viable at best never going to flourish.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 26 Jul 2021, 11:54 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Eddie isn't about to bin his captain, go to flyhalf and centurion scrum half. The combination he's preferred for years. To build an entirely new backline around a 22 year old who has yet to play a meaningful game at international level. Smith (like Ford has had to) is going to have to work around Farrell at 12. 

Because Eddie has totally never done that before, perhaps? I mean, that never happened to Hartley, for instance. Or to Robshaw, Haskell or Brown.

Oh, wait…

Eddie’s pretty famous for being quite prepared to drop even high performing players if he sees someone he thinks can better fit where he wants to take the team.

For what it’s worth, I think he might be prepared to ditch Youngs, or at least relegate him to a reserve role. He’ll be 33 when the RWC rolls around and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to play 70+ minutes across a whole campaign. He’ll need to develop someone to be more than second fiddle, and Randall looks like he fits Eddie’s template.

For all he’s still only 22, Smith hasn’t just emerged as far as Eddie’s concerned. He’s been watching him since he was 17 and Brighton College sent a squad to provide opposition for an England training session; Eddie name checked him then, gave him a few sessions in training camp and presumably since that point has been watching, providing feedback and waiting until he thought he was ready. There are still two big questions - does Eddie really think he’s ready, rather than only giving him a chance this summer because Ford was rested? And is Eddie prepared to move to a more attacking style that will make the most of his talents?

Once the answer to both of those is “Yes”, I don’t for a moment think Eddie will hesitate to switch horses. He’s spoken anyway of wanting to shift to a new attacking style before 2023.

I do agree with you on Farrell - he’s unlikely to be dropped because there isn’t yet another serious contender at 12. That in turn might determine when and whether they cutover to Smith - though a lot may depend on how they got on in the Lions camp. If they can work productively together then that could in time be a combination that can rival Wilkinson and Greenwood.
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Post by doctor_grey Tue 27 Jul 2021, 1:40 am

I am not sure Farrell is the type to work productively with a rival for the same position. And I agree if Smith gets his run in the 10 spot, Farrell cannot be the 12. There would need to be a running or attacking threat at 12. And Malins at 15 would further reduce any need for Farrell at 12 because Malins could always come up as a second receiver.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:43 am

I doubt you get to the level Farrell, picked and supported by the amount of coaches by being anything other than a pro. There'll always be the comp between players but he's seen as a leader and if he was truly just out for himself that wouldn't happen.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 27 Jul 2021, 7:05 am

Poorfour wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Eddie isn't about to bin his captain, go to flyhalf and centurion scrum half. The combination he's preferred for years. To build an entirely new backline around a 22 year old who has yet to play a meaningful game at international level. Smith (like Ford has had to) is going to have to work around Farrell at 12. 

Because Eddie has totally never done that before, perhaps? I mean, that never happened to Hartley, for instance. Or to Robshaw, Haskell or Brown.

Oh, wait…

Eddie’s pretty famous for being quite prepared to drop even high performing players if he sees someone he thinks can better fit where he wants to take the team.

For what it’s worth, I think he might be prepared to ditch Youngs, or at least relegate him to a reserve role. He’ll be 33 when the RWC rolls around and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to play 70+ minutes across a whole campaign. He’ll need to develop someone to be more than second fiddle, and Randall looks like he fits Eddie’s template.

For all he’s still only 22, Smith hasn’t just emerged as far as Eddie’s concerned. He’s been watching him since he was 17 and Brighton College sent a squad to provide opposition for an England training session; Eddie name checked him then, gave him a few sessions in training camp and presumably since that point has been watching, providing feedback and waiting until he thought he was ready. There are still two big questions - does Eddie really think he’s ready, rather than only giving him a chance this summer because Ford was rested? And is Eddie prepared to move to a more attacking style that will make the most of his talents?

Once the answer to both of those is “Yes”, I don’t for a moment think Eddie will hesitate to switch horses. He’s spoken anyway of wanting to shift to a new attacking style before 2023.

I do agree with you on Farrell - he’s unlikely to be dropped because there isn’t yet another serious contender at 12. That in turn might determine when and whether they cutover to Smith - though a lot may depend on how they got on in the Lions camp. If they can work productively together then that could in time be a combination that can rival Wilkinson and Greenwood.

Eddie eases players out when their time has come. Brown was no surprise as he'd dropped out of contention before poor discipline in camp. Hartley's injuries did for him as much as anything else.

I disagree Randall is what Eddie wants currently, I think he could be. Replacing Robson on the bench and easing into international rugby and learning the tactical game from Youngs is the ideal short term option. Youngs might not make the RWC though he's managed to avoid serious injuries and hasn't noticeably slowed so could still be fine, 33 isn't particularly ancient for a scrum half. Aaron Smith is 32 and I'd currently bet on him being at the RWC.

I think Youngs would have to be overtaken at Tigers to lose his England place. The positives for England are if that happens it'll be JVP and that'll be good for England because his kicking game is massive and he's more than a little attacking when he wants to be.

I think it's wildly optimistic to think Smith/Farrell is going to be akin to Wilko/Greenwood. Farrell just doesn't have the running game that Greenwood brought so there's never going to be that penetration. Smith also likes to overplay a little too much, I think the influence of Care, which he needs to adapt. Best we can hope for is that Smith and Ford offer us to excellent flyhalfs that can play around Farrell at 12 and we find a good 13 who can challenge the opposition defence (Marchant?). Post world cup maybe we'll see Farrell moved on for an emerging young 12, or we can at least hope.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 27 Jul 2021, 7:24 am

It will be good for England when Quirke and JVP are the options. Could well happen this year.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 27 Jul 2021, 9:42 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:It will be good for England when Quirke and JVP are the options. Could well happen this year.

Doubt it. They are both likely to play understudy to the very experienced options at their clubs. The RWC year is probably when you will see them push through and past, particularly JVP.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 27 Jul 2021, 9:52 am

Just need an injury and they'll be right up there. Quirke's already looking excellent for Sale.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 27 Jul 2021, 10:15 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just need an injury and they'll be right up there. Quirke's already looking excellent for Sale.

To be fair JVP has looked excellent for Tigers as well and it's definitely when he overtakes Benny and not if. Youngs doesn't tend to pick up much in the way of injuries though and will have had a full pre season to get fully fit so unlikely to present an obvious chance for JVP.

Quirke potentially has a better chance in that Faf will be away with the Boks for a period of time. Bit unsure what's happened with Quirke though as he featured on the bench for one under 20s game but didn't come on and then vanished from the squad. Unsure whether he's injured or not, I've not bothered to check whether he's doing pre season with Sale. He should get a good number of games at the start of the season if fit, unless Faf opts out of international selection for the games Vs Aus/NZ/Arg.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Jul 2021, 12:42 pm

Some completely unsubstantiated reports that Cockers is a target for England. I can't see it personally but I'd love it to happen. The idea I've always got of Cockers is that he's an absolutely brilliant, hands on coach when it comes to the training field. England will need that to replace Mitchell who performed a similar role.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:18 pm

king_carlos wrote:Some completely unsubstantiated reports that Cockers is a target for England. I can't see it personally but I'd love it to happen. The idea I've always got of Cockers is that he's an absolutely brilliant, hands on coach when it comes to the training field. England will need that to replace Mitchell who performed a similar role.
Cockers is needed to coach players how to respond to the Haka.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Jul 2021, 7:00 pm

For all the hate Faz jnr gets he had his haka response nailed in the RWC semi to be fair. That screenshot of him smirking during it became its own meme!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:08 am

Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:38 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

If Ford has been managing an ankle problem for a while this might contribute to the lack of running.

But I do agree. Ford and Farrell have strengths and weaknesses and when they are working well their combined strengths cancel out the weaknesses. Smith is a much more complete player

I think its easier to talk up Smith now because he's had a couple of years at premiership level (with a very experienced team around him) and is therefore a much more finished product than he was when he first broke through.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:55 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

It's also very hard to run as a 10 if your centres don't offer anything to challenge the opposition defence. Far to easy to number off on Farrell and Slade and then it's Ford Vs his opposite number and whatever forward cover is there. 

I'm hoping a summer off helps us see a fully tested Ford as he's got some real competition now. Smith is a very fine young player and I'm looking forward to seeing the development of his tactical game which if it rounds out under the mentoring of Nick Evans he could be special.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:38 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

If Ford has been managing an ankle problem for a while this might contribute to the lack of running.


Yes thats a valid point...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:39 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

It's also very hard to run as a 10 if your centres don't offer anything to challenge the opposition defence. Far to easy to number off on Farrell and Slade and then it's Ford Vs his opposite number and whatever forward cover is there. 

I'm hoping a summer off helps us see a fully tested Ford as he's got some real competition now. Smith is a very fine young player and I'm looking forward to seeing the development of his tactical game which if it rounds out under the mentoring of Nick Evans he could be special.

Again, i agree Sam...he has little around him to create space for him. So what will Smith be able to do differently.

I think Ford cops a lot of stick when its not his fault...or much he can do about it.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:45 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Im a big Ford fan...my biggest gripe with him is that whilst he was never a devastating runner, he did actually have a running game. That has all but disappeared at int level...and it makes us a little predictable. Maybe thats down to tactics etc...who knows.

I think this is another reason smith is getting a lot of plaudits because he can mix his game up.

If Ford was still running at times...i dont think he would have as many critics.

It's also very hard to run as a 10 if your centres don't offer anything to challenge the opposition defence. Far to easy to number off on Farrell and Slade and then it's Ford Vs his opposite number and whatever forward cover is there. 

I'm hoping a summer off helps us see a fully tested Ford as he's got some real competition now. Smith is a very fine young player and I'm looking forward to seeing the development of his tactical game which if it rounds out under the mentoring of Nick Evans he could be special.

Again, i agree Sam...he has little around him to create space for him. So what will Smith be able to do differently.

I think Ford cops a lot of stick when its not his fault...or much he can do about it.

This is why, if we play Smith we should think seriously about not playing Farrell. There is a separate discussion on who we should have at 12, but at least there is space for another runner. Incredible the difference having a fit Tuilagi makes - he's the universal centre sticky plaster - but he's not really an option going forward.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 02 Aug 2021, 1:25 pm

i really wonder what Odgowu might have offered in the Summer games had he been fit. He might not be manu...but he has that explosive ability to go through players...and maybe Cokasaniga also.

Farrell will be there though and that is the issue.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 02 Aug 2021, 1:32 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i really wonder what Odgowu might have offered in the Summer games had he been fit. He might not be manu...but he has that explosive ability to go through players...and maybe Cokasaniga also.

Farrell will be there though and that is the issue.

Yes agreed on Odogwu.

Lawrence is the other one but its early days and although he hasn't done much wrong I don't think he's had a lot of impact either.

Big Joe was really good in the summer games, and could definitely be used coming off his wing. Who misses out if he plays?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 1:35 pm

If Jones wasn't already thinking a more attacking based strategy was needed the Lions will have done wonders.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 02 Aug 2021, 3:18 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:i really wonder what Odgowu might have offered in the Summer games had he been fit. He might not be manu...but he has that explosive ability to go through players...and maybe Cokasaniga also.

Farrell will be there though and that is the issue.

Farrell and Slade together has been a massive issue but I really don't think Farrell is an issue. So much of England's success since 2015 has been built around Farrell's strengths. I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater there. Especially when we have no better alternatives at 12.

Lots of people say "Slade has the perfect skillset for a 12" but I just don't see what might hypothetically offer as a 12 that Farrell hasn't? Farrell has the the much stronger passing and kicking games. They are similar as runners in that they will never be strong there against international defences. Slade is certainly a better defender in wide channels where he's excellent, hence being used at 13, but I don't think he's any stronger than Farrell closer in. On top of all that you get Farrell's goal kicking and leadership (which is consistently praised by coaches and teammates through Sarries, England and the Lions).

Cokanasiga was impressive along with Radwan and Steward. I really hope that Nowell stays fit as a 15 option then we can have 11.May 14.Watson 15.Nowell being chased by 11.Radwan 14.Cokanasiga 15.Steward.

Odogwu's injury was a real shame. He has so much talent going forward and his defence has come on a long way in a short time playing 13.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:45 pm

I don't think we will see much change in the regular England squad until (Cockers takes over) after the RWC,

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:34 pm

king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:i really wonder what Odgowu might have offered in the Summer games had he been fit. He might not be manu...but he has that explosive ability to go through players...and maybe Cokasaniga also.

Farrell will be there though and that is the issue.

Farrell and Slade together has been a massive issue but I really don't think Farrell is an issue. So much of England's success since 2015 has been built around Farrell's strengths. I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater there. Especially when we have no better alternatives at 12.

Lots of people say "Slade has the perfect skillset for a 12" but I just don't see what might hypothetically offer as a 12 that Farrell hasn't? Farrell has the the much stronger passing and kicking games. They are similar as runners in that they will never be strong there against international defences. Slade is certainly a better defender in wide channels where he's excellent, hence being used at 13, but I don't think he's any stronger than Farrell closer in. On top of all that you get Farrell's goal kicking and leadership (which is consistently praised by coaches and teammates through Sarries, England and the Lions).

Cokanasiga was impressive along with Radwan and Steward. I really hope that Nowell stays fit as a 15 option then we can have 11.May 14.Watson 15.Nowell being chased by 11.Radwan 14.Cokanasiga 15.Steward.

Odogwu's injury was a real shame. He has so much talent going forward and his defence has come on a long way in a short time playing 13.

Slade was a great 10 at the age grades...always thought it was a shame he got pushed out to the centres. We seem to produce great 10's but poor 12's.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 03 Aug 2021, 12:39 am

Worth remembering that the new player welfare agreement means that England's Lions players have to be rested for 1 week each during the Autumn Internationals.

So Mako, George, LCD, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Lawes, Curry, Simmonds, Farrell, Smith, Daly and Watson will all need resting at some point over the AIs. That will open up opportunities for other players.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 03 Aug 2021, 9:01 am

Do you think Simmonds will be in the AI squad KC? I really cant see it. Jones clearly doesnt want him.

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