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England - Summer Tour

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Post by king_carlos Tue 10 Aug 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 Sgt_Pooly Mon 04 Oct 2021, 7:14 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
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.

I think he's a step up on Daly, who is pretty poor for me. Malins has much better positioning, slightly better in the air and similar straight up tackling. I really like Malins at FB but I have that same feeling he could be targeted with high balls, time will tell I guess.

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Post by Old Man Mon 04 Oct 2021, 8:14 am

Don't know if any of you are aware of the fact that SARU might cancel the SA tour to Europe. They said if the Boks have to go through another enforced bubble they won't tour.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 04 Oct 2021, 1:09 pm

Not heard that. Must be hugely challenging to be in a bubble that amount of time as England found out in the 6Ns. Things are pretty much back to normal now despite the huge number of new infections and deaths. Seems down to each team on how they approach things though I suspect the RFU will want some assurances on teams this autumn to try and protect the money coming in.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 04 Oct 2021, 1:13 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
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.

I think he's a step up on Daly, who is pretty poor for me. Malins has much better positioning, slightly better in the air and similar straight up tackling. I really like Malins at FB but I have that same feeling he could be targeted with high balls, time will tell I guess.  

My spelling was abysmal there. I just think Malins is a fly half who found himself there and is now making the most of it. I think it'll be interesting to see how Saracens line up in the future too, Malins, Daly and Goode to fit in, and I imagine it'll be Malins who shifts to the wing. If it's speed thats your concern though at full back he's clearly electric. For me a very good bench option, especially if he were considered a good enough 10 at international level by Jones.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:58 pm

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/10/04/eddie-can-answer-question-george-ford-england-snub-playing-achilles/

George Ford talking about his injury and having a proper pre season. A year is a long time to be managing an injury and operating on limited training.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 05 Oct 2021, 5:06 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/10/04/eddie-can-answer-question-george-ford-england-snub-playing-achilles/

George Ford talking about his injury and having a proper pre season. A year is a long time to be managing an injury and operating on limited training.

Youngs must have been carrying an injury for about 5 years then Whistle

I don't think Ford's form has particularly suffered over the last year, he's been playing well. I'm not really sure why Eddie has dropped him, if indeed he has. He does seem to like to run with 2 x 10's and maybe he just sees Smith as a better option and he'll never drop Farrell.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 6:57 am

It's another example of player welfare though traditionally this sort of thing is acknowledged and revered: it is in all professional sport. I don't think you'll here many stories of a pro sportsperson going through a season 100%. In fact you here how good McCaw was to play a world cup with a broken bone.

I'm also not that surprised that Ford wasn't in the squad. Smith is an exciting prospect yes, but he's also the guy on form.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 8:34 am

Samoa have cancelled their tour in the NH. RFU say they're confident that the matches will go ahead as scheduled for them but I really hope someone is earning their money and having a quiet word with the other NH teams to arrange a match together should things go wrong.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Oct 2021, 8:37 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's another example of player welfare though traditionally this sort of thing is acknowledged and revered: it is in all professional sport. I don't think you'll here many stories of a pro sportsperson going through a season 100%. In fact you here how good McCaw was to play a world cup with a broken bone.

I'm also not that surprised that Ford wasn't in the squad. Smith is an exciting prospect yes, but he's also the guy on form.

The guy in form who hasn't played a game in months? 

It's a training squad so I'm not reading a great deal into it. Smith certainly should be in the squad he showed he's operating at a high enough level to be there. I still think we'll see all three in the EPS for the Autumn Internationals.

I think Ford played alright last year but there was definitely a lack of running game from him which if he's trying to nurse a dodgy achilles through games makes sense. He has looked a bit more mobile this season, helped by the fact Tigers actually have some form of attacking structure for him to play with. However, there were some games last season where Ford was outstanding which suddenly look even better in hindsight, I'm think Ulster and Quins how he put those displays on whilst not moving freely is impressive, perhaps explains why he was subbed shortly after half time Vs Quins.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 8:59 am

Yeah the guy on form Sam. I don't think many would say that Smith is not there on merit, and given Jones traditionally doesn't take that many FHs in these sort of groups not surprising to me.

Again unlike Youngs, I think Ford has played well. His case is that there is a better player pushing him now rather than say the case of Farrell who alot don't like and are scratching around for a replacement (ruminating on Ojamoh and getting more convinced Jones will have another look if he can keep his levels up in the coming weeks).

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 05 Oct 2021, 10:12 am

You can't be suggesting Smith has no form after missing the first 3 games of the season.....he was outstanding at the tail-end of last season and impressed for England.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 05 Oct 2021, 12:04 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:You can't be suggesting Smith has no form after missing the first 3 games of the season.....he was outstanding at the tail-end of last season and impressed for England.

He can, Sgt, he can. Also, Ford had the better game the last time they played each other at Welford Road.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 05 Oct 2021, 12:08 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:You can't be suggesting Smith has no form after missing the first 3 games of the season.....he was outstanding at the tail-end of last season and impressed for England.

He can, Sgt, he can. Also, Ford had the better game the last time they played each other at Welford Road.

That's a bit daft surely???

I'm setting my form indicator level to 3.6 months........Smith has played 4 games (2 superb, 2 very good) and Ford only 3 (Pretty good in these, 1 very good perhaps.)

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Oct 2021, 12:42 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:You can't be suggesting Smith has no form after missing the first 3 games of the season.....he was outstanding at the tail-end of last season and impressed for England.

I'm saying we don't know his form. Having not played in about three months. I never said he wasn't very good last season, quite the opposite in fact. I'm looking forward to seeing him back for Quins this weekend potentially. Given Quins start the the season I'm pretty confident he'll go well though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 1:26 pm

Form wise then Farrell is the man at fly half if you want to only view the start of the season.

Even if you think that form is irrelevant to the squad previous Smith clearly offers something else to Ford, depending on what size squad Jones' is allowed to pick it could spell that another specialist fly half is 1 too many. Smith, Farrell, Malins and Furbank could be that cover in the coaches' minds.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Oct 2021, 5:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Form wise then Farrell is the man at fly half if you want to only view the start of the season.

Even if you think that form is irrelevant to the squad previous Smith clearly offers something else to Ford, depending on what size squad Jones' is allowed to pick it could spell that another specialist fly half is 1 too many. Smith, Farrell, Malins and Furbank could be that cover in the coaches' minds.

Quite possibly though Farrell played solidly as opposed to particularly well. When you're team dominates the first half of a game and you create no try scoring opportunities or really notable breaks it's not the best look for a flyhalf. Sarries lost that game because they finished the half with the wind at their backs with a meagre 6 point lead. The kick dominant game was not going to be as dominant in the second half kicking into the wind.

Furbank I think will be lucky to make the AI squad. He is playing well and covers multiple positions but was a bit lacking when given chances at international level previously. Malins could get the utility back option instead.

Malins could well provide the third flyhalf option in the squad. Eddie likes him as a back three option as well. I'd expect him to feature in the squad, he has started the season very well. I can't see him getting many if any games at flyhalf for Sarries though so that might not make that option a particular long term option. For this Autumn it could work though.

If Tigers can keep hold of Ford through the Autumn that would certainly help Tigers. Three wins on the spin with Ford central to all three wins. We're liable to lose a load of players to call ups so a player of his quality might help us get something from the Bath game and then get two weeks off during the cup weeks. He and Burns can mentor Lancaster for those cup games.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 6:08 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Form wise then Farrell is the man at fly half if you want to only view the start of the season.

Even if you think that form is irrelevant to the squad previous Smith clearly offers something else to Ford, depending on what size squad Jones' is allowed to pick it could spell that another specialist fly half is 1 too many. Smith, Farrell, Malins and Furbank could be that cover in the coaches' minds.

Quite possibly though Farrell played solidly as opposed to particularly well. When you're team dominates the first half of a game and you create no try scoring opportunities or really notable breaks it's not the best look for a flyhalf. Sarries lost that game because they finished the half with the wind at their backs with a meagre 6 point lead. The kick dominant game was not going to be as dominant in the second half kicking into the wind.

Furbank I think will be lucky to make the AI squad. He is playing well and covers multiple positions but was a bit lacking when given chances at international level previously. Malins could get the utility back option instead.

Malins could well provide the third flyhalf option in the squad. Eddie likes him as a back three option as well. I'd expect him to feature in the squad, he has started the season very well. I can't see him getting many if any games at flyhalf for Sarries though so that might not make that option a particular long term option. For this Autumn it could work though.

If Tigers can keep hold of Ford through the Autumn that would certainly help Tigers. Three wins on the spin with Ford central to all three wins. We're liable to lose a load of players to call ups so a player of his quality might help us get something from the Bath game and then get two weeks off during the cup weeks. He and Burns can mentor Lancaster for those cup games.

I can't see Malins getting many games ahead of Goode either.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Oct 2021, 7:25 pm

No but I can see Malins rotating with Goode and shifting to the wing for the big games.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 06 Oct 2021, 2:50 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Looks OK. Nothing special though. On of those who will have a nice club career.

Am I allowed to say like his Dad should have had, rather than being made England captain after Carling stepped down?

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Post by lostinwales Wed 06 Oct 2021, 2:59 pm

dummy_half wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Looks OK. Nothing special though. On of those who will have a nice club career.

Am I allowed to say like his Dad should have had, rather than being made England captain after Carling stepped down?

Nobody is stopping you. I seem to remember he was adequate rather than bad (and that Carling was a better player than his general reputation would suggest). I am trying to think who the main alternatives were.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 06 Oct 2021, 3:05 pm

I think Phil de Granville was rather underrated as both captain and centre.

At first I couldn’t understand why he was starting instead of Guscott - after all, Guscott would usually come off the bench and after 60 minutes of unrewarding toil England would suddenly put three tries past their opponents. Why not just have him on from the start and avoid all the huff and puff?

It was only as I learned a bit more about rugby tactics and defensive patterns that I realised that both aspects were necessary. De Glanville’s job was to hammer the opposition defence until it started to crack, at which point it was ready for Guscott to come on and rip it to shreds. Guscott could only be that effective because of the hard, unrewarding yards put in by de Granville first.

It was one of the best uses of tactical substitution I’ve seen.
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Post by lostinwales Wed 06 Oct 2021, 3:17 pm

I wonder were Guscott would fit in these days? I expect he'd struggle unless he learned to tackle.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 06 Oct 2021, 6:47 pm

lostinwales wrote:I wonder were Guscott would fit in these days? I expect he'd struggle unless he learned to tackle.

He might thrive, he'd certainly be punched a lot less for being smug under the current law interpretations.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 06 Oct 2021, 8:25 pm

Talent is talent....Guscott was a beautiful runner. I imagine a lot of the amateur guys would have adapted fine, especially the top end ones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 07 Oct 2021, 8:52 am

It's why it's hard to say conclusively who the best players are across different generations especially throwing in rugby's move from amateur to professional. Maybe he'd have got better training and more practice. Maybe he would have been hidden. Maybe he'd carry a lot more muscle these days and his impact would be limited?

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Post by Poorfour Thu 07 Oct 2021, 12:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's why it's hard to say conclusively who the best players are across different generations especially throwing in rugby's move from amateur to professional. Maybe he'd have got better training and more practice. Maybe he would have been hidden. Maybe he'd carry a lot more muscle these days and his impact would be limited?

I think what's certain is that Guscott's vision and rugby brain would be exceptional in any era. If he were dropped into the modern game in his amateur era prime, he'd get smashed. But if he'd had the academy upbringing that a Slade or a Marchant had had (and hadn't flounced off in a huff somewhere along the journey) then I'd have every confidence that he would be able to play at a very high level.

The guys who made the transition from being great amateurs to great professionals were typically those whose grasp of the game was the best and were able to reinvent themselves almost seamlessly - the likes of Leonard, Johnson, Eales, Dallaglio. Though writing those names down it strikes me that they were all forwards - the backs who spring to mind were more typically those who went to League and came back like Jiffy. But that said, the parallels between Jeremy and Jiffy are strong. Both visionary players, both experts at managing space, both only marginally less annoying than Austin Healey.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 07 Oct 2021, 12:11 pm

Nice little piece on Kenningham from xv (who now seem in bed with rugbypass):

Just back from a quickfire England training camp, Kenningham has been served notice he is on Jones’ radar, in a scenario that was unthinkable six months ago. “The messaging was all about building towards the 2023 World Cup. Often in club rugby imperfections go unnoticed but they get picked up at an England training camp. Say at the breakdown, whether in attack or defence, it’s making good decisions and refining the little technical bits like staying on my feet in certain areas, or a perfect lift at the lineout,” says Kenningham.

Even now, Kenningham has to pinch himself when rubbing shoulders with contemporaries who have a World Cup final behind them: “Look at Tom Curry and Sam Underhill. They are unbelievable. Even in England camp I’ve seen how talented the likes of Lewis Ludlow and Lewis Ludlam are.”

So where can he make the progress to take his burgeoning game to the next level? “For me, it’s about gradual improvement. This season, I want to push my lineout game on, my lines of running and attack, my timing. It’s nothing massive because no player can do everything. No6 or No7, I’ve always said I don’t care where I play, as long as it’s not scrum-half or on the wing!” he says.

Kenningham will be only 23 when France judders into focus and while admitting it is his ultimate ambition, he is keeping his feet on terra firma: “Obviously I have a dream of playing for England and will keep on working super-hard to put myself in a position to do that, but week to week, it’s just making yourself the best you can be. There is no point making your goals outcome-based because you can’t control that. It’s what you’re doing on training days, what you’re doing to recover. The biggest thing, however, is continuing to enjoy it. If I’m not doing that, what’s the point?”

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Post by Poorfour Thu 07 Oct 2021, 12:25 pm

FirstXV was always the paid-for side of RugbyPass, but they've folded it into the main brand as RugbnyPass+.

The Kenningham article is a really good read, and interesting to see how BUCS is becoming an alternative path for late developers - particularly for forwards (who tend to mature later) that's a useful extension of the pathway to pro ruigby.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 07 Oct 2021, 10:31 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Talent is talent....Guscott was a beautiful runner. I imagine a lot of the amateur guys would have adapted fine, especially the top end ones.

I wish Joseph had been fit and on form for more games for England...hes a class act...hes a strong defender aswell...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 08 Oct 2021, 8:45 am

Australia have called up Will Skelton, Rory Arnold, and Tolu Latu, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Connal McInerney and RPone Fa’amausiliy for the tour. Eye catcher for me is Skelton as always feel Aus lack top quality locks. Not seen as much of him since he went to France but he came on leaps and bounds at Saracens. Makes the Aus game look slightly tougher for me.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 6:29 pm

Sarries was the making of Skelton. Caught him a few times and he's still playing very well....one of the best locks around.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:17 pm

I think we can safely say Smith is in pretty good form.....what a showing!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:21 pm

Smith and Dombrandt...

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:40 pm

Well Eddie already has 3 players in the teamsheet...
Dombrandt, Smith and Radwan Wink

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:47 pm

Dombrandt was great but I still have some concerns about him. He can do some great things but players really need to be on his wave length.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:54 pm

That's Eddie's job to pick the right team...

This England side could be both frighteningly entertaining AND efficient....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 08 Oct 2021, 9:55 pm

He said he based his game in part on sonny Bill williams and it shows. Those offloads are things to dream about.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:04 pm

They're amazing....but we'd need to build a team around him and Smith really. Not sure having Farrell and Slade in midfield could adapt tbh.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:09 pm

Slade is on good form but he's a known quantity - he's not really excelled for England since 2019. Personally I'd look at Marchant and Tuilagi at 13.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:24 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:They're amazing....but we'd need to build a team around him and Smith really. Not sure having Farrell and Slade in midfield could adapt tbh.

Slade I dont care about....we have better 13s namely Joseph, Manu and Marchant....and I'd even say Odgowu if he returns in the form he was pre injury....

Farrell well he divides opinions...If hes as good as many say he should be able to adapt.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:29 pm

Is the jury out on the 9 spot or should it go to Randall?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:35 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Is the jury out on the 9 spot or should it go to Randall?

Not been overly impressed. His passing is sharp and he likes a snipe, but makes poor calls and kicking can suffer. It's back to the same issue that nobody is really pushing Youngs enough.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:37 pm

Anyone bar Youngs.
It will be Quirke and vP who take it up a significant notch though.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 10:57 pm

I'm with you but nobody really steps up and Youngs get in despite any kind of form. These 2 youngsters look very good though, just hope we have enough time to get them in.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 11:01 pm

Yeah I'm not sold on Randall just yet...

Haven't seen a huge amount of Quirke to judge but I've been impressed with JVP.

That's the one position that literally is wide open....

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Post by king_carlos Fri 08 Oct 2021, 11:23 pm

Randall has shown more than any other challenger so I'd have him starting the AIs.

JvP and Quirke look huge talents, I really like Alex Mitchell as well.

I know Sarge wants to see Robson start a run of games before judging him but I just don't see it at international level. His cameos have largely been so poor that they've given Jones a justification to keep picking Youngs whilst in such poor form. Robson can be electric against Premiership defences but against tighter international defences he just doesn't offer the same in attack, whilst his kicking is sub Care levels and his defensive work is really non-existant.

It's interesting how the defensive role of the 9 is developing at international level. At club level I think 9s can still hide a bit in defence. Just hover behind a ruck and look busy, "I'm organising the forwards", type stuff. At international level 9s are really involved defensively now. Faf is a genuine part of the Boks blitz around the fringes. Dupont is an absolute pest of a tackler near the ruck and a very good cover defender with his pace. Murray frequently acts as the final defender on the openside, which allows Ireland to play that winger deep to cover kicks. Youngs on the other hand will drop back to cover kicks for England, allowing their wingers to play high in the line. The game is developing so that scrum-halves find a role defensively. Aaron Smith is a fantastic sweeper covering probing kicks.

Standout club 9s who are good on the front foot but offer nothing without the ball often look lost at international level in my opinion. Robson feels like one of those to me. If you offer nowt without the ball you need to be spectacular with it, otherwise your side is effectively selecting a sin binned player for the 40-50% of the game (on a good day) that you don't have the ball.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 08 Oct 2021, 11:27 pm

And I can see from Robson's cameos why people write him off KC, totally fine with it. I just think a run of starts can really be the benchmark, there's a different pressure being given 20mins to impress.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 08 Oct 2021, 11:58 pm

I'm not convinced on Robson now. 29 , I think id rather plump for the kids now...

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Post by TightHEAD Sat 09 Oct 2021, 12:14 am

Well that's Smith confirmed at 10 for every England fan. Let's hope Eddie doesn't do a Eddie and bench him or say he is not ready yet mate.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 09 Oct 2021, 9:47 am

Have to say I thought Randall was great for 50 mins yesterday. Exactly the type of player who could link excellently with tge aforementioned Dombrandt and Smith.

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