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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 10, 2021 4:11 pm

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 GeordieFalcon Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:28 am

OK My issues with Farrell:

1. Playmaking skills not good enough for International 10. And hes a make shift 12 due to lack of alternative option.
2. No Running game
3. In tough times on the pitch, comes across as petulant rather than the leader a team needs.
4. Doesnt "appear" to have the best relationships with referees.

Now clearly Mark McCall, Eddie Jones and a succession of top class coaches would disagree with me...but thats just my opinion of the player.

And i agree that Jones hasnt helped by his recent selections and tactics. (Slade at 13 isnt helping a 12 who has no running game for example)

But as far as i see it....Hes done a job for England but if better options had been available i seriously doubt he would have had that spot.

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Post by Poorfour Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:37 am

I agree with you on Manu. But that’s Sale and Sanderson, isn’t it? They play a very direct game. However, strip away the tactics and you have a player who looks fitter than he has in years and has lost only a fraction of the power in exchange for (we can hope) a bit more durability.

Make him one of the options that Smith is choosing between and it gets very hard for defences and the temptation to close up just a little around his channel may be all that’s needed to open up space elsewhere.

I think the point that Squidge was making wasn’t meant to be that Care does all the kicking, but that Care does the game management - i.e. making sure that Quins are playing in the right part of the field, ensuring that when they have the ball it doesn’t go to Smith until Quins have front foot ball and so on.

That means that Smith can concentrate on manipulating the defence and looking at where he might be able to create space.

It’s a contrast to the classic play off 9 vs play off 10 game plans - I think he’s saying Quins tend to play off 9 when they’re in the wrong part of the field or are pressured for space and time, and off 10 when they have the room to do something.

The clip from the final is a case in point - Care sees the initial opportunity but when the response is too slow takes responsibility for putting the ball downfield to force Exeter to kick it back, and that gives Smith the chance to exploit the lack of mobility in the Exeter back three until they are horribly out of shape.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:47 am

Didn't realise that Daly is out to late November. That definitely ensures the door is open for him to be knocked down the pecking order on wing, full back and utility player.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:53 am

I think there is space for Manu to change his game. In his last games for England he was increasingly used as a dummy runner rather than the default carrier he was in his early years.

Playing at 12 he can still make space just because he's who he is. What you do want is for the centres to be able to switch positions so he can occasionally make a run from 13.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:12 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Didn't realise that Daly is out to late November. That definitely ensures the door is open for him to be knocked down the pecking order on wing, full back and utility player.

Yes you would think his time as now come...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:43 am

Fingers crossed. He looks mentally shot when he pulls on the shirt these days.

Tuilagi will make metres if he plays at either 12 or 13 for me. Throw in a greater running threat from Smith, better service potentially from 9, out and out speed on the wing, could be a pretty good autumn. Will it be Steward, Malins or Watson at full back though. Watson is probably the all rounder but Steward would cause any team to think again about kicking and with SA in particular coming up you'd imagine Jones would want a couple of appearances for him leading up to it.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:57 am

lostinwales wrote:I think there is space for Manu to change his game. In his last games for England he was increasingly used as a dummy runner rather than the default carrier he was in his early years.

Playing at 12 he can still make space just because he's who he is. What you do want is for the centres to be able to switch positions so he can occasionally make a run from 13.

We don't really have that as an option though, we don't have a 13 that can slide into 12 and switch with Manu bar Slade who I don't think has ever settled at international level. At Sale he plays with Sam James and they change positions frequently in attack with Manu looking the most dangerous when he moves into the wider channel and James plays as the second playmaker interlinking with McGinty. 

Running Manu into traffic to create space for the rest of the backs I think will just lead to Manu getting injured. He's lighter now, I'd like to see us make the most of that. 

Manu at 12 is somewhat academic because Farrell will be playing one way or the other and we don't want that to be at 10.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:00 pm

It would be interesting to see how we do with a really solid option at FB, it's been a long time since we had this. With 2 flying wingers (Radders and Watson maybe?), it could be a potent mix. As much as Radders isn't tall, he's decent in the air and Watson is pretty dependable.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:01 pm

Im really holding my judgment of Tuilagi as i just have no confidence that he will remain injury free...

With that in mind, i could handle Farrell at 12 if you have a runner like Marchant at 13...and a playmaker (and Runner) at 10 like Marcus Smith.

9. Randall
10. M.Smith
12. Farrell
13. Marchant

Id also take the Captaincy off Farrell and let him focus on just managing the game.

RE The Full back.....
Steward all the way for me....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:32 pm

If Farrell plays and its hard to imagine he won't then he'll be captain. I see no real reason to take it off him unless he's dropped.

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Post by Poorfour Thu Sep 30, 2021 12:53 pm

Marchant doesn't present the running threat in the 12 channel that some larger players do, but he has the distribution and creativity to swap with Manu there.

Another option would be for Sinckler to wrap round into second receiver, letting Manu shift out one. That could be a very effective way to overload the defence because they each need two defenders to stop them effectively.
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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:09 pm

Poorfour wrote:...Care does the game management - i.e. making sure that Quins are playing in the right part of the field, ensuring that when they have the ball it doesn’t go to Smith until Quins have front foot ball and so on...
That's how Nick Evans always operated with Care. When Evans was still playing, he used to maintain England coaches should let Care do the same at international level.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Sep 30, 2021 2:02 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
Poorfour wrote:...Care does the game management - i.e. making sure that Quins are playing in the right part of the field, ensuring that when they have the ball it doesn’t go to Smith until Quins have front foot ball and so on...
That's how Nick Evans always operated with Care. When Evans was still playing, he used to maintain England coaches should let Care do the same at international level.

It was more an observation of something that amused me in the video than anything else.

Marchant isn't going to be a secondary playmaker nor are you likely to want to move your hot stepping centre into traffic. Seems a bit of trying to shoehorn them both into the same midfield. Start Marchant as he's the future at 13 it would seem and then Use Manu for impact, no tired player is going to want a fresh Manu coming on at 55 minutes.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:22 pm

Nabbed this from XV,

'Asked at the naming of his 45-man squad for next week’s mini training camp if a line had been drawn in the sand in the countdown to the tournament where England are looking to go one step further than in 2019 when beaten finalists, Jones agreed it was a new era for his team. “100 per cent and it’s the last chapter for me, the last two years. So I have never been so excited in my life and the squad we have assembled is just the start.

“We have got five campaigns and each time we pick the squad we want the squad to be a bit stronger. Next time we are going to have some of those Lions players who have been left out competing at their best and the competition is going to get even hotter, so it’s a fantastic time to be a part of the team.

“Rugby is evolving nicely, we have been through some difficult times but the game is evolving nicely, the refereeing is starting to get a little more consistent around the breakdown which is allowing teams to play with a bit more freedom and space because the ball is quicker and we want to take the game forward and be the best in the world.


“Since 2016, our squad is becoming increasingly more diverse and a greater range of ages. Now we got from the oldest bloke, 31, 32, probably Benny Youngs is 31 to 18, 19-year-olds. We have got a great spread of players, a great spread of different backgrounds and we want the leadership group to reflect that diversity and that is what we intend to do. I have got a few ideas how we want to do it and I want to talk to players before we elaborate on it.” No removal of the England captaincy from the struggling Farrell is envisaged, however.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old has endured a difficult 2021 with England and he also faded on the recent Lions tour, but Jones isn’t writing off England skipper just yet. “I’m not here to talk about the Lions. Go on one of the chat shows and they will tell you all about the Lions. I am not a television commentator. All I am worried about is this minicamp, all I am worried about is getting Owen Farrell back to his best. He hasn’t been at his best over the last period of time but I am convinced that I can get him back to his best and then we will decide on the leadership of the team but at this stage, there is no reason why he won’t be captain.  

“There are a number of reasons,” added Jones when asked why Farrell has been off colour with England and his other teams. “He had covid before the Six Nations, his team was in the Championship, they had spasmodic training sessions, he didn’t get high-quality games and they played back to back seasons. You look at South Africa at the moment how they are struggling after ten weeks in the bubble.

“This has been a difficult period for the players. Some players have reacted well and some players haven’t reacted well. For some players, we’ll decide we are going to give them a rest and for other players, they need to get back in to stoke the fires. I have got no doubt that Owen will be back to his best by autumn.”'


Barnes also thinks the same as GF '“Farrell has failed as a centre. He has failed as a captain when the game plan has wobbled. He has succeeded as a link between team and management,” wrote Barnes in his column in The Times.

“This leads to the primary problem for England — an inability to think for themselves. New faces are needed, new faces with a freedom to think fresh thoughts.

“There is only one alternative: Maro Itoje must be appointed captain. The case is strong. He has been world-class for half a decade.”

Barnes also argues that Itoje, and not Alun Wyn Jones, should have captained the Lions.

“He should have been the Lions captain and he should be the England captain. It is time to hear the England players — not only the coach. Here is someone capable of inspiring players and supporters; on the field, in a press conference and in the big wide world beyond the team camp.”'

I do tend to scratch my head on the line 'he has failed as a captain when the game plan has wobbled' as every defeat or even poor performance tends to come about due to the game plan not going right. I really find it hard to think of captains wh have altered tactics on the pitch, cue someone jumping in with a good example no doubt.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Sep 30, 2021 3:44 pm

There are always problems with assessing captaincy. So much of what they do is going to be on the training pitch and behind closed doors. In the big games we will notice good performances and poor, but the vast majority will sit somewhere in the middle.

Farrell's voice is obviously hugely important outside of the actual games. You get that feeling from the Lions too- He gets respect from players from across the 6N. However when his form is off and England are not playing well its not surprising we start to question him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:03 pm

True enough. And some of that will also obviously depend on how good the players are (to be able to deliver the tactics etc). Farrell is obviously a very vocal player, we're heard evidence of that through empty stadiums. I'm just interested in Barnes' point re when the tactics aren't right and the belief that a good/great captain should put things right on the pitch. I just can't believe that's going to be the case ever, perhaps if a coach is prepping their team they will occasionally give another option of style if things aren't working but more likely will be drilling in 1 thing which they believe should work. The 'best' captains in the history of the game tend to be the guys who were leading the best teams ie didn't often get beaten but how much of that was down to them rejigging the team themselves mid half rather than a bunch of extremely talented players being really good?

in this case though I think it's another example of Barnes liking his preferred style of player over a guy like Farrell. I do think Itoje or Curry would make a good captain but I do think the impact of the role is overegged.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:13 pm

I dont necessarily think Farrell has failed as a centre.

I fully salute/ respect that he has put his hand up and played at 12 when its not really his position and has "taken one" for the team. As mentioned above...hes good at playing to the gameplan.

He has lead the team to the best of his ability...and that includes taking alot of negative press thrown his way.

But what i said above still stands...he has his limitations as a player and Captain(in my opinion) and due to that, you need to make sure you have the right players around him, which currently we dont.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:39 pm

Why has he failed as a captain though?

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Post by king_carlos Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:True enough. And some of that will also obviously depend on how good the players are (to be able to deliver the tactics etc). Farrell is obviously a very vocal player, we're heard evidence of that through empty stadiums. I'm just interested in Barnes' point re when the tactics aren't right and the belief that a good/great captain should put things right on the pitch. I just can't believe that's going to be the case ever, perhaps if a coach is prepping their team they will occasionally give another option of style if things aren't working but more likely will be drilling in 1 thing which they believe should work. The 'best' captains in the history of the game tend to be the guys who were leading the best teams ie didn't often get beaten but how much of that was down to them rejigging the team themselves mid half rather than a bunch of extremely talented players being really good?

in this case though I think it's another example of Barnes liking his preferred style of player over a guy like Farrell. I do think Itoje or Curry would make a good captain but I do think the impact of the role is overegged.

My view precisely.

I think that the move towards refs working as a team with the ref, 2 touch judges and TMO has reduced the impact that captains can have on refs. In the past it was largely the ref on his own with two captains (and scrum-halves, props at scrum time, locks at lineout, etc etc) in their ear. The move to officials working as a team has limited the impact that players (whether skipper or not) can have in influencing the ref, overall that's a very good thing in my opinion.

I view Warburton in the 2017 Lions tour as one of the last times a captain really seemed to influence a refs decision. Good captaincy by Warburton but a train wreck of a reffing decision. Whilst captains influencing refs by interacting with them is a skill it's not one that makes the game better. The length of games is creeping up due to some TMO decisions being dawdled over (which needs to watched as overlong games wont help grow an audience) but overall I prefer the officials acting as a team and telling the players to p*** off.

Decisions about what to do at a penalty are made by groups of senior players more now which again I think is a good thing. Anyone who's played rugby knows that the goal kicker wants post, the guy with a cannon of a boot wants to punt on getting a 5m lineout, your lanky lineout jumper just wants a lineout anywhere further up the field, your prop who can only scrum wants a scrum, your hyperactive scrum-half wants to tap and go. The best way to make those decisions is through a group of 3 or 4 experienced players across the pack and backline offering different inputs, then making a call depending on the situation.

The main reason I think a change of captaincy will help is that Farrell being a divisive player makes him as easy captain for lazy pundits to write endless articles about that they know will get clicks. Fans who hate Faz will love to read them and ones who rate Faz will be triggered to retort. It's a tedious cycle and a move to a skipper who finds the media circus easier to navigate such as Itoje or Curry will take some unneeded negative press away from the team and allow Farrell to concentrate on playing.

Teammates of Farrell from Sarries, England and the Lions always seem to praise his leadership on the field and in training. He will still be one of the most vocal players on the pitch without the armband.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:21 pm

When we see Owen Farrell, he comes across as a dour, humourless man, who seems heavy-going. Meanwhile, his team mates regard him as someone who drives standards in training, and on the pitch, and is easygoing off it. On the Rugby Pass podcast, Hamish Watson had to identify who among the Lions tour party most confounded his expectations. He said Farrell was far friendlier, and funnier, than he imagined.

Alex Payne often says he wishes someone in the England set-up could find a way to get Farrell to show his private side in public, as it would help sell the team and the sport. When Sam Burgess was dropping dark hints about being undermined in the England camp, virtually everyone assumed he was talking about Farrell, when it was actually Mike and George Ford.

The only person I've ever heard speak slightly negatively about Owen Farrell is Jim Hamilton, who thinks Farrell didn't have much time for him at Saracens, because he didn't reckon he was any good (see Twitter clip).

https://twitter.com/jimhamilton4/status/1337157158039932929

Every time he puts that to a Saracens player, they do the same as Ashton, and laugh. While it must have a germ of truth, Jim Hamilton does like to exaggerate.

In some respects, Farrell seems like an example of what we often want coaches to do more: select players for what they can do, rather than what they can't.

king_carlos wrote:...The move to officials working as a team has limited the impact that players (whether skipper or not) can have in influencing the ref...I view Warburton in the 2017 Lions tour as one of the last times a captain really seemed to influence a refs decision...

Agree completely. When Jones told Farrell to spend less time talking to the refs during the last Six Nations, it was written up as an admission of his weak communication skills. Instead it was probably sound advice based on how referees were actually operating.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by lostinwales Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:24 pm

I suppose from England's point of view you had Johnson who had real impact on the players around him (as well as the jaws of his opponents...). I guess leadership isn't just about changing direction, its also about inspiring the guys around you when things are not going well.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:05 pm

Johnson's captaincy basically began in the amateur era for England at international level though. Taking over in '99 the pro era was underway of course but it was largely an amateur game in all but name.

Bob Dwyer brought professionalism over to the Tigers before it had really impacted the England team on the field I'd argue. Certain players (especially Austin Healey) didn't like the change in direction at Tigers hence Dwyers relatively short tenure despite having the best win percentage of any Tigers coach by a mile. Johnson bought into the methods though hence brought it to the England set-up where he found a natural ally in SCW.

Dallagio's captaincy isn't really remembered by many but lol did have a significant impact on fitness levels which is something he bought into early in professionalism and dragged some members of the England squad kicking and screaming into s & c programmes whilst briefly skipper at the start of the pro era.

In those eras of captains driving fitness standards, style of play and even babysitting certain players they had a big impact. Larger coaching staffs, s&c specialists, analysts, more knowledgeable players as a whole, etc. There are so many voices and influences on internationals teams now that captains naturally have a smaller influence.

The important thing now I think is having a group of vocal, experienced players across a squad that younger players will listen to when they speak. In Farrell, Itoje and Curry in particular this squad has that. Youngs, Ford and Daly if they can re-find their best and a place in the squad (which I think all can) also have a wealth of experience. I think George has been overtaken as starting hooker by LCD on merit now but George is still a 2 time Lions tourist with nearly 60 England caps. Watson has very similar experience to George. Lawes is a 2 times Lions tourist with over 90 international caps. I strongly believe that Kruis will be back in the squad by 2023.

That spine of experience and leadership is there I think.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:09 am

Well i said before the last World Cup...i thought we'd go well in 2019 and then win 2023...

Lets hope this coaching and captaincy team can really come together with the right tactics and style and make the most of what is undoubtedly a talented squad (with serious talent on the fringe)...

Starting with the AI's and the next 6n...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:58 pm

The guardian have a little piece on Earl. He's a good player but not sure he'd be near my current squad and that's without my obivous man crush of Willis being out injured. He does strike me as the utilty back row option which is made even more difficult when you have a much more widely loved Simmonds there (the nearest like for like for me) and also with Lawes and Itoje seen as genuine blindsides by the coaches.


'Sometimes it feels as if Jones is endlessly searching for the impossible: a reincarnation of the great George Smith. Either way, it is odd that Earl has been chosen to play 13 Tests since first being selected to tour South Africa in 2018 but has yet to be trusted to make a single start. Not that the player is currently fussy about the number on his back. “I’d do anything to play again for England. It’s the pinnacle of the game and the best days of my career have involved wearing a rose on my shirt. That’s all the motivation I need. I’m not going out every weekend thinking ‘I need to impress Eddie.’ I’ve just got to keep pounding away for the club and it’ll take care of itself.”

It does no harm that Saracens, uniquely in the Premiership, are looking to support and enhance their players’ mental health, having appointed the former England flanker Calum Clark as their “wellbeing and player development manager”. In Earl’s view it is already paying off. “I still think rugby is stuck in … I don’t want to say the stone age but it’s stuck in its ways. It’s quite an alpha or beta-male environment … tough love, if you’re not playing just get on with it. It can get wearing at times.

“Being a young player can also be kind of a weird time. One week you’re starting, the next you’re on the bench, the next you’re not involved for whatever reason. Calum is there to … not soften the blow but to remind you that things are never as low as they feel. I’ve certainly been picking his brains and chatting away for the last couple of months. He’s been a massive help to me over my short career.”

The more the impressively articulate Earl talks, the more you wonder why the England management still seem faintly unconvinced. His mother started her working life as a Saturday assistant in the menswear department of her local Debenhams in Devon aged 16 and her elder son also does not lack for drive and quiet ambition. He is currently living in a north-west London building site – “We have a roof at the moment but I think it’s going soon” – amid renovations to his terraced home in Queen’s Park but his year in Bristol has opened his eyes to alternative horizons. “I’m always open to trying something new. I love rugby league, I love the NRL. If the opportunity ever arose later on, I’d love to give it a go.”


For now, though, propelling Saracens back to a happier place is his overriding priority. “I think the group’s got more perspective. It’s matured, it’s been humbled and is regrowing in a slightly new direction in terms of what is important. We’re chasing the same things but what’s important now is enjoyment, appreciating the position we’re in and feeling we’re growing as people and players. We’re hungrier than ever.”

And personally? “Almost every game you play these days you’re pitted against someone who wants to be in your position. Or vice versa. It’s brilliant. If I was looking for personal motivation I’ve got it every week. I’m only 23 and hopefully I’ve many years of playing ahead of me. I’ve just got to keep going. Things aren’t going to change overnight but you can always get the ball rolling.”

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Post by king_carlos Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:33 pm

Earl looks an absolutely fantastic player to me. I wouldn't pick him ahead of Curry or Underhill yet. Possibly not Willis if he returns at his best either. I'd take Earl ahead of Ludlam or Kenningham though. Not that I don't rate the latter two as I really do. I just think Earl's pace offers a point of difference as a carrier and especially as a support runner.

He has had a lot of bench appearances without a start but so did Jamie George and it didn't hold him back! George's first international starts were with the Lions after 17 bench apps for England.

As a side note, Calum Clark as "wellbeing and player development manager" is a good joke. That assault on Hawkins probably pips Schalk Burger's gouge, the Mealamu-Umaga spearing of BOD and Duncan McRae's attack on ROG as the worst thing I've seen from a rugby player in the pro era.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:53 pm

Earl would be quite a player in Rugby League...

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:23 pm

king_carlos wrote:9.Randall
10.Smith
11.May
12.Farrell
13.Marchant
14.Watson
15.Steward

21.Youngs
22.Tuilagi
23.Radwan

I'd love to see that against Australia or South Africa.

It's a similar set-up to our backline that worked so well in '16 and '17. Steward offers less of a threat returning kicks than Brown but already offers more of a threat joining the line than Brown did in my opinion. Steward also has a much better passing game than Michael Scissorhands.

JJ will have done himself no harm last night in front of Eddie, his passing and decision making was outstanding. Randall was handy on his 1st game back, arguably better than the form of Youngs (not exactly hard) but still a little rusty.

Caught Steward a few times, he's playing well. Only issue I have is his pace...he's is really quite slow. I know he's got other assets but being that slow could really stop him stepping up.


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Post by king_carlos Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:48 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
king_carlos wrote:9.Randall
10.Smith
11.May
12.Farrell
13.Marchant
14.Watson
15.Steward

21.Youngs
22.Tuilagi
23.Radwan

I'd love to see that against Australia or South Africa.

It's a similar set-up to our backline that worked so well in '16 and '17. Steward offers less of a threat returning kicks than Brown but already offers more of a threat joining the line than Brown did in my opinion. Steward also has a much better passing game than Michael Scissorhands.

JJ will have done himself no harm last night in front of Eddie, his passing and decision making was outstanding. Randall was handy on his 1st game back, arguably better than the form of Youngs (not exactly hard) but still a little rusty.

Caught Steward a few times, he's playing well. Only issue I have is his pace...he's is really quite slow. I know he's got other assets but being that slow could really stop him stepping up.


I've said many times that I think JJ has been discarded too soon. He's a better fit at 13 than Slade in my opinion. When JJ originally returned from injury I actually thought he'd lost a yard and his footwork wasn't as nimble. I was a bit critical of him coming straight back in as I thought that injury might have killed what made him special. He proved me a muppet after more game time though. He's one of the best defenders in that 13 channel too. The way he uses his pace on the blitz but also to drift and cover the outside arc is fantastic.

Steward isn't as fast as Daly or Malins (or Hodge thinking further down the line) but I'd wager he's quicker than Goode or Brown. That big stride eats up ground, I haven't noticed him having issues being burned by wingers when tracking back to cover probing kicks. Much the opposite actually as I think tracking back is a great skill of his. If I had to pick a concern with him stepping up then his pace would be the nearest thing to a concern but I don't think it will hold him back from being a strong international fullback. Whether Hodge has that something extra with more time at senior level is a different question.

Hopefully Malins, Steward and Hodge mean we don't have to put up with the, "why not move Watson to fullback?", quarterly debate. Watson's one of the best winger in international rugby and one of the poorer fullbacks in the Premiership when picked there. Why trade!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:57 pm

Joseph is better than Slade comfortably. He was playing that great for England attacking wise when he was dropped (still amazing defender) but Slade has been so mediocre. His midfield partner impressed me. Really varied the attacking game and his kicking was great.

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Post by Poorfour Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Joseph is better than Slade comfortably.  He was playing that great for England attacking wise when he was dropped (still amazing defender) but Slade has been so mediocre.  His midfield partner impressed me. Really varied the attacking game and his kicking was great.

The problem for JJ is that Marchant is a very similar player, but younger, more versatile and in just as good form. I’d have JJ over Slade without question, but not over Marchant at the moment.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:50 pm

Poorfour wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Joseph is better than Slade comfortably.  He was playing that great for England attacking wise when he was dropped (still amazing defender) but Slade has been so mediocre.  His midfield partner impressed me. Really varied the attacking game and his kicking was great.

The problem for JJ is that Marchant is a very similar player, but younger, more versatile and in just as good form. I’d have JJ over Slade without question, but not over Marchant at the moment.

Same.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:23 pm

I think I'd take JJ at the minute, looked back to his best but with vision and distribution.

Steward takes so long to get going though, he's really slow. Brown was certainly faster...perhaps not Goode.

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Post by Poorfour Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:36 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I think I'd take JJ at the minute, looked back to his best but with vision and distribution.

Steward takes so long to get going though, he's really slow. Brown was certainly faster...perhaps not Goode.

To each his own, I guess.

Steward might be well advised to connect with Margot Wells, who helped Brown work on his running. Brown’s top speed was never an issues, but when he first broke through to international level his acceleration wasn’t good. He took long strides and ages to reach top speed. Wells helped him work on shifting to shorter, faster steps which improved both agility and acceleration.

Given how rangy he is, I’d not be surprised if Steward has the same problem and could fix it in a similar way.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:50 pm

Have to say Isiekwe is impressing more and more.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Oct 02, 2021 9:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Have to say Isiekwe is impressing more and more.

He was excellent today. Probably should have been given the man of the match even though he was on the losing team.  If he can get a working partnership with Itoje going then it could be an easy selection for Eddie.

Re Steward and pace. It's never been an issue when he's played. He's obviously not rapid but he covers the ground quickly and his positioning is very good for a twenty year old. He's basically lock sized so he's never going to be rapid. He's attending Loughborough University so if he wants to work on his sprinting there's various options down at the Hi-Pac. It will all depend on what Eddie wants at the back for England and the make up of the back three, as the wing options we are likely to go with are absolutely rapid it probably won't be an issue.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 10:27 am

At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:47 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

Being safe under the high ball is certainly an underrated attribute but an essential one at that. I'd certainly like to see him given a run and see if his lack of pace is an issue. You need a good run of starts (5-10 at least) really....it's why I haven't really fully wrote Robson off yet.

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Post by cb Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:57 am

The Tonga match is a question how much you want to experiment versus how much you want to treat it as a dress-rehearsal for Australia and South Africa.

it would be nice to see the following players given another game: - Steward, Radwan, Dombrandt, Smith (though I assume he is now the 1st Choice FH), and then one/two of the scrum-halves.

Personally I would like to see Ted Hill given a chance to see if he can make the grade so to speak.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:22 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

Being safe under the high ball is certainly an underrated attribute but an essential one at that. I'd certainly like to see him given a run and see if his lack of pace is an issue. You need a good run of starts (5-10 at least) really....it's why I haven't really fully wrote Robson off yet.

Positioning will negate any pace of the mark he may have. Certainly would be good to have a weighty running option in attack too. Agree on the run of games. Robson is merely holding on until Quirke Randall and vP come through. Same as Youngs.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

Steward also has a massive boot and can play as a link player to the wingers. He obviously won't touch Watson for try scoring, step or speed but if you want one to play at fullback pick the speciality fullback. Steward would also be the best tackling fullback we've had in years, a fullback that's actually the last line of defence.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

How many good games has Watson ever strung together at fullback for Bath?

He's a truly world class winger and an average fullback. I've never understood the desire to switch one for the other.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:44 pm

king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

How many good games has Watson ever strung together at fullback for Bath?

He's a truly world class winger and an average fullback. I've never understood the desire to switch one for the other.

I just disagree on this. He is basically Baths first choice full back now and so I see him as an option for both for England. Given Baths ups and downs I'd understand some undulation in his form but he's consistently one of the better players for them. I see his place for England seriously under threat from Radwan also. With daly definitely out there are options or forced choices for Jones here anyway. As I said for its out of those 2 personally don't see Malins as a great option.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

How many good games has Watson ever strung together at fullback for Bath?

He's a truly world class winger and an average fullback. I've never understood the desire to switch one for the other.

I just disagree on this. He is basically Baths first choice full back now and so I see him as an option for both for England. Given Baths ups and downs I'd understand some undulation in his form but he's consistently one of the better players for them. I see his place for England seriously under threat from Radwan also. With daly definitely out there are options or forced choices for Jones here anyway. As I said for its out of those 2 personally don't see Malins as a great option.

Just an agree to disagree thing probably but I don't think Watson has many standout games at 15 at Premiership level but is consistently very good on the wing at international level. He gets used there at Bath largely due to lack of alternatives and strength on the wing.

Malin's I think has similar weaknesses to Daly so I'd be surprised if he excels at international level long term but would love to be proved wrong as his attacking play at times is brilliant.

I think Radwan will put pressure on May more than Watson. It wouldn't surprise me if Radwan is an England starter by the end of the season though.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:41 pm

Watson isn't the answer at FB imo, I don't think he has skill set. Malins, Steward and hopefully Hodge (coming through) would be my options.

I love Watson on the wing, let's keep him there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:11 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Watson isn't the answer at FB imo, I don't think he has skill set. Malins, Steward and hopefully Hodge (coming through) would be my options.

I love Watson on the wing, let's keep him there.


Nooooooooooo. Malins is varely better than Daly defense wise. Hodge ...like him alot but he's chosen poorly in his love imo.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:At the moment it's out of Watson and Steward for full back for me. Watson has the better all round game but Steward in the air is brilliant. Watching the SA games it's basically their only attacking weapon and they certainly loved playing against Daly.

How many good games has Watson ever strung together at fullback for Bath?

He's a truly world class winger and an average fullback. I've never understood the desire to switch one for the other.

I just disagree on this. He is basically Baths first choice full back now and so I see him as an option for both for England. Given Baths ups and downs I'd understand some undulation in his form but he's consistently one of the better players for them. I see his place for England seriously under threat from Radwan also. With daly definitely out there are options or forced choices for Jones here anyway. As I said for its out of those 2 personally don't see Malins as a great option.

I think the young lad Tom de Glanville is the first choice now. He had an injury last season so Watson played 15 quite a bit. TDG offers them a secondary playmaker at 15 which is handy for getting the ball into the hands of their quality wingers quickly. He's got a good all round skill set as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:18 pm

Don't rate him really. Will be interesting to see if he becomes first choice though.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:26 pm

Really? I've thought he's looked pretty handy for Bath. Seems to do everything competently and creates chances. Still young enough to improve more.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:53 pm

Looks OK. Nothing special though. On of those who will have a nice club career.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:36 pm

Well given the competition at 15 that is emerging there could be some very good players that end up with good club careers where in recent years they might have accumulated a decent number of caps. TDG might well be one of them but doesn't stop him being a handy player. Leon Lloyd has a mere 5 caps for England but was a crucial member of the Tigers midfield for multiple national titles and the back to back European ones. Sometimes competition hinders the ability to win caps.

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