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England - Summer Tour

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Post by king_carlos Wed Aug 11, 2021 2:11 am

First topic message reminder :

GeordieFalcon wrote:Sam Simmonds should be a 12. Wink

With limited distribution and no kicking game... I hate to be a killjoy but he sounds a bit like Manu without the same power! Whistle

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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:52 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I think Smith has more strings to his bow than Ford and his strengths more pronounced. Why you'd want to limit those by a 1 dimensional game plan would be the question. .

Aside from his running game which is considerably better, i dont believe the rest of his game is much better than Fords. But he is young and you would expect him to surpass him.

i would hope that be it Ford or Smith at 10...neither have to put up with the one dimensional rugby that Ford has had to put up with for some time now.

When Ford was Smith's age, at Bath his running game was excellent. He evolved to fit international rugby as all successful international players do.

Dan Carter kicked from hand very little in his early days with the Crusaders then evolved into the tactical lynchpin in a NZ side that kicked from hand more than any other team in rugby.

In Richie McCaw's early days he competed almost every breakdown, winning a lot of turnovers but also giving away a fair few pens. For a time in the middle of his career he basically stopped jackaling instead prioritising a huge volume of tackles and slowing the opposition ball (McCaw's wrong side of the ruck invisibility cloak...) rather than trying turnover the ball as often.

I think that Smith and Ford will both be vital parts of England's squad going into the 2019 RWC squad. I think Ford has too much quality and experience to cast aside, whilst I think Smith is too talented to not be brought through. It's a good place for England to be.

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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:57 am

lostinwales wrote:
Devoto is 27 so now or never. 2 caps 5 years ago doesn't make for much optimism.  O'Conor may be the next cab off the rank, but it is always hard to tell how much Jones rates any of them.

Devoto raises the same questions for me that come to mind whenever people say, "Slade has the perfect skill set to be a 12". I just don't see what either offer as a playmaking 12 that Farrell hasn't shown. Devoto and Slade have worse passing and tactical kicking games, don't offer a place kicking option and whilst they are better carriers than Farrell it isn't a strength for either and neither are going to get over the gain line against international defences as players like Manu, Aki, Henshaw or de Allende can.

In the absence of Manu I just really want to see a player such as Marchant at 13 with us playing faster, higher ball in hand time style more similar to 2016 and 2017 when Jones first took over.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:16 am

Can we avoid the Ford Vs Smith rehashed debate every week? We've done it a few times now. 

It is all somewhat irrelevant if the backline is not reviewed and developed outside of the halfbacks. A pack without the discipline of a career repeat offender and a tendency to fluff their lines at set piece time is also in desperate need of improvement.

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Post by cb Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:23 am

It would still be interesting to give Simmonds 20 minutes at 12 and see what happens?

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:42 am

cb wrote:It would still be interesting to give Simmonds 20 minutes at 12 and see what happens?
Simmonds? Not much to his game. All he does is score tries.....

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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:10 am

Waldrom scored tries in the Exeter game plan. Jonny Hill scored the same number of Premiership tries (10) as Simmonds in 2019/20. He's hardly lit up the England sides carrying.

Simmonds has fantastic attacking abilities but forwards scoring tries does need to be put into perspective of how their team plays.

Neil Back scored plenty of tries because he was used exclusively at the back of the maul. It doesn't mean he'd make a good back!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:54 am

Not convinced my Simmonds at 12 is necessarily a good idea. Maybe a late in a game when we're throwing the kitchen sink at them all or nothing type move. Alfie Barbeary however looks like the most likely backrow to IC convert though Wasps are pushing him the other way. His acceleration and offloading ability are more back than forward. Lean him up a touch and he's good to go.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:37 am

king_carlos wrote:Waldrom scored tries in the Exeter game plan. Jonny Hill scored the same number of Premiership tries (10) as Simmonds in 2019/20. He's hardly lit up the England sides carrying.

Simmonds has fantastic attacking abilities but forwards scoring tries does need to be put into perspective of how their team plays.

Neil Back scored plenty of tries because he was used exclusively at the back of the maul. It doesn't mean he'd make a good back!
But, but, but, the data. The stats!

Actually if we started calling for Simmonds at 12 then we would be calling for a player to play out of position (though it would be fun to watch as a one off).

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:26 pm

Agree Poor.

I'm a big fan of Ford's, but Smith is playing better and can reach a whole new level in terms of ability. Ford has a great all round game but offers no running game at Int level (which is odd as he used to have a good break), where Smith always has this in the locker.

I do think Smith is more creative in a can create from very little way though, this could be the difference on the big stage.

Personally, I would now start with Smith and let him keep the shirt for 10 or so games.

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Post by lostinwales Tue Aug 24, 2021 7:05 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Agree Poor.

I'm a big fan of Ford's, but Smith is playing better and can reach a whole new level in terms of ability. Ford has a great all round game but offers no running game at Int level (which is odd as he used to have a good break), where Smith always has this in the locker.

I do think Smith is more creative in a can create from very little way though, this could be the difference on the big stage.

Personally, I would now start with Smith and let him keep the shirt for 10 or so games.

We'll never see him in an England shirt again will we...

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Post by Poorfour Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:08 pm

lostinwales wrote:
We'll never see him in an England shirt again will we...

I think Smith is in a similar position to where Sam Underhill was last RWC cycle in Eddie's mind. He namechecked Underhill at an early stage and then took ages to actually give him a cap, but since then he's played whenever he's been fit. Similarly, he namechecked Smith before anyone else had heard of him, but took a long time to cap him. I think now he has done so, we should see a lot more of him in an England shirt - assuming that Eddie liked what he saw, which is never a given.

Thinking more widely, like all coaches Eddie will have been giving a lot of thought to how the Law changes, especially the 50:22 and goal-line dropout, will change attacking patterns. We've already seen the former leading to defending teams having two players back rather than one, which gives an advantage to teams with a running game and an eye for a gap. The latter will have a similar effect - defending teams will know that they can win an effective turnover if they put enough bodies behind the ball, but that will leave more space outside.

Either way, a fly half who can call the game as he sees it and get the ball to where the space is becomes a massive asset. Assuming Eddie agrees with my analysis (again, not a given), then I would expect him to be preparing for England to have a more instinctive style of play, and if that's the case then Smith is by some distance the best candidate to run it.
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Post by doctor_grey Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:51 pm

Ultimately, I think we have a talent who is knocking on the door. Can’t see any reason not to give him a run. He cuts the mustard or not, but no need to grow old waiting to find out.

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Post by lostinwales Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:56 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Ultimately, I think we have a talent who is knocking on the door. Can’t see any reason not to give him a run.  He cuts the mustard or not, but no need to grow old waiting to find out.

Oh yes I agree - I am certain he'll get game time. Its just we have been in that situation too many times when X is the next big thing and then is never seen again.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:25 am

lostinwales wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:Ultimately, I think we have a talent who is knocking on the door. Can’t see any reason not to give him a run.  He cuts the mustard or not, but no need to grow old waiting to find out.

Oh yes I agree - I am certain he'll get game time. Its just we have been in that situation too many times when X is the next big thing and then is never seen again.
There must be some forgotten corner of purgatory or Limbo full of players who only get a game or two then simply disappear!



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Post by Poorfour Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:45 am

lostinwales wrote:
Oh yes I agree - I am certain he'll get game time. Its just we have been in that situation too many times when X is the next big thing and then is never seen again.

Usually that's either when a kid has had a couple of good seasons in a good team and gets a chance that exposes their flaws (at least in the eyes of the coach), or when the clamour for a player whose flaws are all too evident (*cough* Christian Wade *cough*) eventually gets the better of a coach and confirms their suspicions.

Smith's a bit different in that he's already racked up 4 seasons as Quins' first choice fly half (despite having some theoretically strong competition - originally he, Lang and Catrakilis were intended to be played in rotation depending on the style of play required), most of the time when they were labouring under coaching styles that didn't suit the squad, and has looked ready at every opportunity. He could still fall flat at some point but there's enough evidence in his favour to suggest otherwise.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:28 am

I still bang my hands in the desk as I think what Joel Tomkins could have been.

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Post by king_carlos Wed Aug 25, 2021 10:55 am

If he stays fit then I'd put money on Smith having a long and distinguished international career.

I just thought Tomkins was Jamie Noon with an even worse attacking capacity. He was an excellent defender to be fair, albeit playing outside Barritt meant he didn't need to lead the defensive line often. Plus they had Jacques Burger in the side which helped a fair bit too. I just didn't get the clamour with Tomkins though.

I still wish Sam Tomkins had given the switch a go at some point. At his peak he was an unbelievable player.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:11 pm

Smith for me is more of a generational talent, arguably the most exciting talent (and potential to be much more) than George Ford.

I do recall Ford coming in with a lot of hype and he's obviously went on to have a great career. I do feel he didn't quite reach the standard people expected though, perhaps that's something to do with playing alongside Farrell?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:11 pm

....just taking the mick of someone coming and going quickly king (and rightly).


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Post by Soul Requiem Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:21 pm

king_carlos wrote:If he stays fit then I'd put money on Smith having a long and distinguished international career.

I just thought Tomkins was Jamie Noon with an even worse attacking capacity. He was an excellent defender to be fair, albeit playing outside Barritt meant he didn't need to lead the defensive line often. Plus they had Jacques Burger in the side which helped a fair bit too. I just didn't get the clamour with Tomkins though.

I still wish Sam Tomkins had given the switch a go at some point. At his peak he was an unbelievable player.

Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins were the two I always wanted to see switch at some point. Hall on the wing with his size and pace could have been spectacular in union but equally he could have been another Vainikola. I really rate Sam Tomkins, not sure what position would suit him in union though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:32 pm

He played on the wing in his 1 rugby union appearance, scored but can't say I remember him much from that. Would surely have been a full back if he'd actually moved.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:56 pm

Didn't Sam Tomkins play in Ba's game against England? I think he played FB"

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:12 pm

Australia were the opponents and he was out on the wing. Love his running but from the relatively little I've seen of him suggests to me he's never been great on the air. Would have been interesting to see. The convert who could have been great was Burgess but as a blindside. I've not watched any league in ages now, couldn't tell you if there are any players who could convert. Thought Charnley would have done miles better than he did when he came over.

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Post by lostinwales Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:26 pm

Eastmond at scrum half.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:51 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Smith for me is more of a generational talent, arguably the most exciting talent (and potential to be much more) than George Ford.

I do recall Ford coming in with a lot of hype and he's obviously went on to have a great career. I do feel he didn't quite reach the standard people expected though, perhaps that's something to do with playing alongside Farrell?

Three Six nations titles and key to England making a RWC final, including beating NZ. Whitewashed Australia in Oz. Ford has done alright! The only thing missing is Lions appearances but as seen with Russell recently fly-half is a position where tactics play a huge role in Lions selection.

I think Smith looked even better as a teenager than Ford did. He's up there with the most exciting talents I've seen. Certainly the most exciting back from an attacking perspective since Manu broke through. We've had forwards who have caught the eye immediately in Itoje, Underhill and Curry when they came into senior rugby but not a back like that for a wee while. May looked unbelievable at age grade then stuttered a bit. Cokanasiga has huge attacking potential but I think there are fair questions over where he can do it against top sides.

I think Ford and Smith can both be key parts of the England side going into 2023.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:30 am

lostinwales wrote:Eastmond at scrum half.
As handy as Ben Foden was at full back, can't shake the feeling he could have been even better for England at scrum half. His first cap was in that position against Italy. It was a year after Wigglesworth, Hodgson and Care got capped and one year before Youngs. Harry Ellis was still in the mix too.

While there's a tendency to overpraise players who never got selected, it's hard to overlook the death of Nick Duncombe in 2003 as reason we looked rudderless at scrum half after Dawson and Bracken moved on. Our 2007 World Cup squad scrum halves were Andy Gomasall, Peter Richards, and Shaun Perry. We spent years not knowing what we wanted our scrum halves to do, and not selecting anyone consistently as a consequence.

Foden left Sale for Saints because he wanted to be a scrum half but Philippe Saint-André thought he'd be better as a full-back. Saints came to the same conclusion. However, I don't think Foden was a bad number nine. Sale and Saints both realized they needed him on the pitch, and it was a cinch to give him playing time and space at the back. If he'd found a club to give him that regular number nine spot instead, life might have been different.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:45 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Eastmond at scrum half.
As handy as Ben Foden was at full back, can't shake the feeling he could have been even better for England at scrum half. His first cap was in that position against Italy. It was a year after Wigglesworth, Hodgson and Care got capped and one year before Youngs. Harry Ellis was still in the mix too.

While there's a tendency to overpraise players who never got selected, it's hard to overlook the death of Nick Duncombe in 2003 as reason we looked rudderless at scrum half after Dawson and Bracken moved on. Our 2007 World Cup squad scrum halves were Andy Gomasall, Peter Richards, and Shaun Perry. We spent years not knowing what we wanted our scrum halves to do, and not selecting anyone consistently as a consequence.

Foden left Sale for Saints because he wanted to be a scrum half but Philippe Saint-André thought he'd be better as a full-back. Saints came to the same conclusion. However, I don't think Foden was a bad number nine. Sale and Saints both realized they needed him on the pitch, and it was a cinch to give him playing time and space at the back. If he'd found a club to give him that regular number nine spot instead, life might have been different.

Foden on top form must be the best FB we have had in the last 10 years. Interesting question though. Duncombe and Ellis should both of had decent international careers

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:59 am

I think Foden would have been a cracking 9. Certainly one of the quickest out there.

Another potential League guy who could have done really well in the early days of Professional Union would have been Gary Connolly. Didn't he have a few games for Quins?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:23 am

lostinwales wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Eastmond at scrum half.
As handy as Ben Foden was at full back, can't shake the feeling he could have been even better for England at scrum half. His first cap was in that position against Italy. It was a year after Wigglesworth, Hodgson and Care got capped and one year before Youngs. Harry Ellis was still in the mix too.

While there's a tendency to overpraise players who never got selected, it's hard to overlook the death of Nick Duncombe in 2003 as reason we looked rudderless at scrum half after Dawson and Bracken moved on. Our 2007 World Cup squad scrum halves were Andy Gomasall, Peter Richards, and Shaun Perry. We spent years not knowing what we wanted our scrum halves to do, and not selecting anyone consistently as a consequence.

Foden left Sale for Saints because he wanted to be a scrum half but Philippe Saint-André thought he'd be better as a full-back. Saints came to the same conclusion. However, I don't think Foden was a bad number nine. Sale and Saints both realized they needed him on the pitch, and it was a cinch to give him playing time and space at the back. If he'd found a club to give him that regular number nine spot instead, life might have been different.

Foden on top form must be the best FB we have had in the last 10 years. Interesting question though. Duncombe and Ellis should both of had decent international careers

Quite. Duncombe was tragically lost far too early and Ellis retired at 28(?) but the knee injury a few years earlier in his mid twenties really meant his prime was cut far shorter than it should have been. Definitely hurt England's half back stock.

I thought Wigglesworth in his Sale days looked like he might be an exciting option but it didn't quite materialize. Shaun Perry, less said the better. Andy Gommarsall not much better. Peter Richards I'd managed to banish from my memory in an England shirt before the reminder. Hopefully some of the young guns kick on this season.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:50 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Eastmond at scrum half.
As handy as Ben Foden was at full back, can't shake the feeling he could have been even better for England at scrum half. His first cap was in that position against Italy. It was a year after Wigglesworth, Hodgson and Care got capped and one year before Youngs. Harry Ellis was still in the mix too.

While there's a tendency to overpraise players who never got selected, it's hard to overlook the death of Nick Duncombe in 2003 as reason we looked rudderless at scrum half after Dawson and Bracken moved on. Our 2007 World Cup squad scrum halves were Andy Gomasall, Peter Richards, and Shaun Perry. We spent years not knowing what we wanted our scrum halves to do, and not selecting anyone consistently as a consequence.

Foden left Sale for Saints because he wanted to be a scrum half but Philippe Saint-André thought he'd be better as a full-back. Saints came to the same conclusion. However, I don't think Foden was a bad number nine. Sale and Saints both realized they needed him on the pitch, and it was a cinch to give him playing time and space at the back. If he'd found a club to give him that regular number nine spot instead, life might have been different.

Foden on top form must be the best FB we have had in the last 10 years. Interesting question though. Duncombe and Ellis should both of had decent international careers

Quite. Duncombe was tragically lost far too early and Ellis retired at 28(?) but the knee injury a few years earlier in his mid twenties really meant his prime was cut far shorter than it should have been. Definitely hurt England's half back stock.

I thought Wigglesworth in his Sale days looked like he might be an exciting option but it didn't quite materialize. Shaun Perry, less said the better. Andy Gommarsall not much better. Peter Richards I'd managed to banish from my memory in an England shirt before the reminder. Hopefully some of the young guns kick on this season.
Peter Richards had really great hair.  

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:19 pm

lostinwales wrote:...Foden on top form must be the best FB we have had in the last 10 years...
One of the reasons I would have liked Foden at scrum half, is because we had just the man for full back in Delon Armitage.

Armitage was a better version of Elliot Daly. He could kick long range, play wing & centre and, crucially, was actually a proper full back. Given how few goalkicking options we generally had in the side during that time, Armitage would have been a real asset. He's remembered by many as just a gobby disciplinary liability but it didn't have to go that way. He was one of the few, if not the only, England players in the 2011 World Cup to have a good tournament.

There are lots of might-have-beens in all areas of sport but that failed 2011 World Cup brought a lot of promising starts to a screeching halt. Dan Cole and Ben Youngs had the most consistent careers over the subsequent decade, though we never saw as much of the 2010 vintage Youngs as we should have. While Courtney Lawes was great 11 years ago, and has played well recently, he had some missing international years in between, which better Test coaches might have been able to deal with. At least Lawes came back: we pretty much lost Chris Ashton for good, when he should have been a fixture. Lancaster just didn't know how to use him properly, and interest by Eddie Jones came too late in the day.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:42 pm

Lawes had silly injury problems for a long time which really disrupted his career. What is impressive is the way in which he's adapted his game over the years, although I can't see him being around for a lot longer.

Agree on Armitage

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Post by Poorfour Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:53 pm

One of the most annoying things about the 2011 RWC was that by all accounts the young players in the training camp were the ones who were performing, but Johnno trusted his old mates to deliver for him and they failed. If he'd had the courage to go with what he was seeing rather than history, it could have been a very different tournament.

I guess what we're waiting to see now is whether Eddie will make a similar mistake, or whether he'll make the changes needed to exploit England's emerging talent.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:Lawes had silly injury problems for a long time which really disrupted his career. What is impressive is the way in which he's adapted his game over the years, although I can't see him being around for a lot longer.

Agree on Armitage

But whos going to replace him. Our top class group of locks are getting on now...and the young replacements are.....well.... SH*&E!!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:25 pm

Poorfour wrote:One of the most annoying things about the 2011 RWC was that by all accounts the young players in the training camp were the ones who were performing, but Johnno trusted his old mates to deliver for him and they failed. If he'd had the courage to go with what he was seeing rather than history, it could have been a very different tournament.

I guess what we're waiting to see now is whether Eddie will make a similar mistake, or whether he'll make the changes needed to exploit England's emerging talent.

I have no faith...same old tosh...and same rubbish coming out of his mouth.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:31 pm

Lawes hasn't really been a main lock for England for a little while now anyway. Given his age (32) he's very capable of that supporting role for another few years, and I think Ribbands and Hill are very capable of having good international careers.

I've had an issue with some of Jones picks where he's been a little reluctant in picking the younger option, Youngs and Wilson being mystifying choices but overall I don't think he strikes me as a coach who is scared of picking youngsters. As with every coach though I think injuries are a main part of selection; sometimes they screw you, sometimes they can make you.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:35 pm

Disagree with Hill..he clearly looks good at exeter...dont nothing of note internationally...and out of his depth for the Lions. Ribbans...meh we'll have to see. He's 25 now already.

Lawes hasnt been a main lock as hes always covering 6.

Unless some of the kids come through strongly...we'll be stuck with Ewells for the next 5 years...oh joy!


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:45 pm

I have no issue with guys coming in mid 20s and slightly later, its lovely when you get special guys coming through like Curry and Itoje but they are few and far between, simply looking for the next superstar can mean you ignore guys like Hill and Ewels who do their jobs. No secret I quite like them both, strong set pieces and just hit rucks all day can give the space for the aforementioned to do special things. Neither are going to be the next Launchbury but few will.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 26, 2021 8:55 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I have no issue with guys coming in mid 20s and slightly later, its lovely when you get special guys coming through like Curry and Itoje but they are few and far between, simply looking for the next superstar can mean you ignore guys like Hill and Ewels who do their jobs. No secret I quite like them both, strong set pieces and just hit rucks all day can give the space for the aforementioned to do special things. Neither are going to be the next Launchbury but few will.

And a good proportion of the guys who come through really young have a couple of great years then a long run of injuries. (Tuilagi obviously, Wilkinson arguably and a few who never came back).

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:01 pm

I have no issues with guys developing later...my issue is when they develop later and still pretty average at international level.

Ribbans....hes solid and powerful guy. he will be an improvement on Ewells (most people would be) But hes not a patch on say a fit and firing Kruis...

Ewells is a quality premier player...below average International. If thats the level we settle for...may aswell kiss good bye to winning any competitions.

I dont see Johnny Hill being anything different either which is a shame...as i do actually rate him highly at Prem level and the style he brings to Exeter.

I have more hope of George Martin...but i wonder if he will remain at 6 for a while yet.

i also wonder how the Ted Hill to Lock trial will go....but i would not be happy going in to top international competitions with both locks at 6'5!

Thats leaves us with the kids coming through...and the like of Isiekwe fulfilling his potential?

All in all...its looking a bit meh...


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:08 pm

Compared to anyone else I think we have a good group. SA are back in vogue at present but I don't think quality wise they're quite there for their locks, certainly have a bit of depth like. I'm thinking they'll have their arses handed to them by NZ in the next few weeks as well which will bring the hype down.
Looking at NZ they probably have the best lock in the world when fit in Rettalick, Whitelock is missing for the next game possibly 2 and I'm not sure I rate the guys next in line at anywhere near their level.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:12 pm

Itoje is absolutely in his prime so we are only looking for one player

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:38 pm

I don't know I think short term we are struggling a bit but long term there's some really good prospects.

Launchbury has never really shown reliable International form due to his catalogue of injuries, Lawes has had little luck with injuries as well. Ewels and Hill have looked no more than average sadly.

Martin, Hill and Groves all look like they've got a lot of potential and could really come good on the next couple of years. Problem is that it's unlikely to be this year.

We've got to hope that Isiekwe and Ribbans can step up in the interim.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Compared to anyone else I think we have a good group. SA are back in vogue at present but I don't think quality wise they're quite there for their locks, certainly have a bit of depth like. I'm thinking they'll have their arses handed to them by NZ in the next few weeks as well which will bring the hype down.
Looking at NZ they probably have the best lock in the world when fit in Rettalick, Whitelock is missing for the next game possibly 2 and I'm not sure I rate the guys next in line at anywhere near their level.  

Retallick fit and on form is a country mile ahead of anyone...but there arent many like him in the world.
The South Africans have size and physicality...but wouldnt match the Kiwi pairing.

Kruis and Itoje werent a monstrous pairing...but by god they were very good together. Kruis had come through as a flanker with Saracens of course..but at around 19.5 stone...had that mass to match his athleticism and make him a quality lock. We're missing the Kruis part of the engine room.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:58 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Compared to anyone else I think we have a good group. SA are back in vogue at present but I don't think quality wise they're quite there for their locks, certainly have a bit of depth like. I'm thinking they'll have their arses handed to them by NZ in the next few weeks as well which will bring the hype down.
Looking at NZ they probably have the best lock in the world when fit in Rettalick, Whitelock is missing for the next game possibly 2 and I'm not sure I rate the guys next in line at anywhere near their level.  

Retallick fit and on form is a country mile ahead of anyone...but there arent many like him in the world.
The South Africans have size and physicality...but wouldnt match the Kiwi pairing.

Kruis and Itoje werent a monstrous pairing...but by god they were very good together. Kruis had come through as a flanker with Saracens of course..but at around 19.5 stone...had that mass to match his athleticism and make him a quality lock. We're missing the Kruis part of the engine room.

A fit Joe Launchbury?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:06 pm

Yeah if he can get fit...absolutely Joe Launchbury...but can he get and STAY fit...

We do then need another lineout option...but if Dombrandt comes in that is sorted anyway.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:27 pm

Maybe im being harsh on Ribbans...hes a big unit who is doing well. Maybe he could be Englands answer. Ill judge when i see him...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:34 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Compared to anyone else I think we have a good group. SA are back in vogue at present but I don't think quality wise they're quite there for their locks, certainly have a bit of depth like. I'm thinking they'll have their arses handed to them by NZ in the next few weeks as well which will bring the hype down.
Looking at NZ they probably have the best lock in the world when fit in Rettalick, Whitelock is missing for the next game possibly 2 and I'm not sure I rate the guys next in line at anywhere near their level.  

Retallick fit and on form is a country mile ahead of anyone...but there arent many like him in the world.
The South Africans have size and physicality...but wouldnt match the Kiwi pairing.

Kruis and Itoje werent a monstrous pairing...but by god they were very good together. Kruis had come through as a flanker with Saracens of course..but at around 19.5 stone...had that mass to match his athleticism and make him a quality lock. We're missing the Kruis part of the engine room.

A fit Joe Launchbury?

Depends which Launchbury comes back from injury. The pre world cup Launchbury was a whole lot of meh. Really seemed stuck in a rut and was nowhere near good enough to push into the 23 there was just no one to push him out of fourth spot in the squad. Post world cup Launchbury under went some serious reinvigoration at Wasps and really rolled the years back to his best form. He's still only 30 so could come again, was really unlucky he got injured having managed to force his way back in on such good form.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:37 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:I don't know I think short term we are struggling a bit but long term there's some really good prospects.

Launchbury has never really shown reliable International form due to his catalogue of injuries, Lawes has had little luck with injuries as well. Ewels and Hill have looked no more than average sadly.

Martin, Hill and Groves all look like they've got a lot of potential and could really come good on the next couple of years. Problem is that it's unlikely to be this year.

We've got to hope that Isiekwe and Ribbans can step up in the interim.

Groves is a very interesting long term option but it wouldn't surprise me if he took a few years before challenging for international honours. He was a vital cog in the U20 6N team but could do with filling out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:49 pm

Isiekwe is one who should be pushing on. I've discounted him a bit as he really underwhelmed after initial promise. The guy is only 23 thought (remarkably) and where better to learn from than at Saracens? Another guy though who seems to have stalled as people decide whether he's a lock or blindside.

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