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England: Autumn Internationals

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Post by Geordie Wed 27 Oct - 22:24

England squad for autumn Tests:

Forwards: Jamie Blamire (Newcastle), Callum Chick (Newcastle), Jamie George (Saracens), Tom Curry (Sale), Trevor Davison (Newcastle), Nic Dolly (Leicester), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jonny Hill (Exeter), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), George Martin (Leicester), Sam Simmonds (Exeter), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Will Stuart (Bath), Sam Underhill (Bath)

Backs: Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), George Furbank (Northampton), Max Malins (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Raffi Quirke (Sale), Adam Radwan (Newcastle), Harry Randall (Bristol), Henry Slade (Exeter), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Joe Marchant (Quins), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

In Positions:
1.Marler, Genge
2.George, Blamire, Dolly
3.Sinckler, Stuart, Davison
4.Itoje, Hill
5.Lawes, Ewels
6.Curry, Martin
7.Underhill, Ludlam
8.Dombrandt, Simmonds, Chick

9.Youngs, Randall, Quirke
10.Smith

11.May, Radwan
12.Farrell, Atkinson
13.Tuilagi, Slade
14.Freeman, Marchant
15.Steward, Malins, Furbank
-------------------------------------------------
England v Tonga - 6th November
England v Australia - 13th November
England v South Africa - 20th November

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Post by Geordie Wed 27 Oct - 22:30

Do people think Eddie will use tonga as a real warm up / tune up for the Aus and SA games...or another experimental game?

I think it'll be the first...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 27 Oct - 23:35

I think Tonga will be used as a bit of an experiment, maybe some of the Lions will be rested for this one. Good chance to spread the game time around the squad.

Genge (c), Blamire, Stuart
Ewels, Hill
Martin, Underhill, Dombrandt
Randall, Smith
Atkinson, Marchant
May, Radwan, Steward.

Dolly, Marler, Sinckler, Lawes, Curry, Quirke, Malins, Manu.

Something like that perhaps, maybe a little less experimental.

Bringing back George for Dolly, switching the locks and centres for the next two games. I think Quirke might end up starting Vs Aus with Youngs on the bench. Curry likely to partner Underhill Vs Aus but then us maybe revert to Martin at 6 for more physicality Vs SA?

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Post by Geordie Wed 27 Oct - 23:49

SO is Underhill and George Martin genuinely vying for the 6 spot...or is Underhill still the main man?

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Post by lostinwales Wed 27 Oct - 23:59

GeordieFalcon wrote:SO is Underhill and George Martin genuinely vying for the 6 spot...or is Underhill still the main man?

We'll see - but it seems every time we question Underhill's place in the team he pulls out the kind of performance that removes all doubt.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 28 Oct - 1:29

formerly known as Sam wrote:I think Tonga will be used as a bit of an experiment, maybe some of the Lions will be rested for this one. Good chance to spread the game time around the squad.

With Oz and SA up next and a lot of new or newish players in the squad, I don't think Tonga will be particularly experimental - I think we will see the XXIII that Eddie expects to play for all three games given a game to gel before facing tougher opposition. We may see some experimentation positionally or from the bench later in the game, but if as expected Eddie is going to hand the keys to Smith, I think he will also want to give him time to get used to the players around him.

We may see some playing around with who starts vs who's on the bench between games, and anyone who "does a Teimana" may be unceremoniously dropped, but after the 6N and with changes to make I can't see experimentation for experimentation's sake.
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Post by BamBam Thu 28 Oct - 1:39

Not watched a single game of club rugby this season, but looking forward to this set of games. Freeman and Atkinson stand out as being the names I know little about, am I right in assuming Freeman is probably an apprentice type of selection, Atkinson as a diet Tuilagi?

Been seeing a lot of buzz about Quirke, and am pleased to see that it looks like the keys are being turned over to Smith at 10. Its a fresh looking selection which is always exciting

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu 28 Oct - 1:41

I am really looking forward to these Autumn Internationals, more so as I am actually going to the Tonga match. I think the England squad has more than a hint of "new" about it.

I am looking forward to seeing who Eddie picks - hoping to see Martin at 6, and Marchant in the centre where he belongs. Would like to see Quirke get a cap, but am somewhat resigned to Ewels somehow getting more.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 28 Oct - 2:22

Mr Bounce wrote:I am really looking forward to these Autumn Internationals, more so as I am actually going to the Tonga match. I think the England squad has more than a hint of "new" about it.

I am looking forward to seeing who Eddie picks - hoping to see Martin at 6, and Marchant in the centre where he belongs. Would like to see Quirke get a cap, but am somewhat resigned to Ewels somehow getting more.

Scrum half choice is really interesting, with two challengers to Youngs in the squad and another on the sidelines (JVP). I suspect that Quirke won't get capped unless its vs Tonga, and a toss up between Youngs and Randall over who starts.

I also suspect Marchant won't get a look in unless Malins starts as FB. Whatever the rights or wrongs of it we have 2 multi position backs in the squad in Marchant and Malins. One will be on the subs bench and one will either start or not be in the squad at all, and I think Malins is more likely to be involved.

Martin must have a good chance of being involved, although that may be from the subs bench.

8 is also very interesting. Chick must miss out. You would have thought Dombrandt would be in prime position but there may not be as much between him and Simmonds as we'd like to think.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 28 Oct - 3:31

GeordieFalcon wrote:SO is Underhill and George Martin genuinely vying for the 6 spot...or is Underhill still the main man?

I think Underhill/Curry is the preferred combination but Martin offers a point of difference. He's still very mobile for a bloke his size, he carries well and hits hard but you would lose out on the breakdown ability (though he did snag a turnover penalty at the weekend). With his lineout ability he can be a go to option there though Tigers use him mainly alongside Ford to stop the opposition big ball carrier or offer a carry option (normally alongside the 8 so Ford can pick either on the pass). Those options could both work off of Smith as well as young 10 is almost certainly going to targeted irrelevant of how reliable he is in that channel at Prem level.

If the 6N and ANC taught us anything it's that we need to develop a bigger pool of players for selection. The team selection had narrowed around the world cup so that the realistic options were to limited. Eddie might well go with the same 23 for all three games but that really wouldn't help us ahead of the 6N. Having players like Dunn in the squad previously and knowing there was no chance of them getting game time has been largely pointless. 

I don't think Simmonds is considered an 8 by Eddie. There's two 8s selected for this squad and that's not including Simmonds.

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Post by Sharkey06 Thu 28 Oct - 10:48

formerly known as Sam wrote: I don't think Simmonds is considered an 8 by Eddie. There's two 8s selected for this squad and that's not including Simmonds.

If Simmonds isn't considered an 8, then I am not sure what Eddie thinks he is.  At 7 you have Curry, Ludlam and Underhill and at 6 you have Underhill, Martin and Lawes.

It seems a bit pointless calling Simmonds up unless Eddie is going to look at him at 8, but then again Eddie does have a bit of a reputation for calling up players and not giving them any playing time.  Perhaps I am being cynical, but I can see Eddie not picking Simmonds or Dombrandt for the 6 Nations, saying that having looked at them in training camp they have things they need to work on.  Billy was pretty average for the last 2 seasons, whilst both of them were pulling up trees at club level, yet neither got a look in.  So I get the impression he just doesn't fancy them.  I don't think either of them have done anything in the last few months that they weren't doing for the last couple of years.

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Post by Geordie Thu 28 Oct - 20:24

Sharkey06 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote: I don't think Simmonds is considered an 8 by Eddie. There's two 8s selected for this squad and that's not including Simmonds.

If Simmonds isn't considered an 8, then I am not sure what Eddie thinks he is.  At 7 you have Curry, Ludlam and Underhill and at 6 you have Underhill, Martin and Lawes.

It seems a bit pointless calling Simmonds up unless Eddie is going to look at him at 8, but then again Eddie does have a bit of a reputation for calling up players and not giving them any playing time.  Perhaps I am being cynical, but I can see Eddie not picking Simmonds or Dombrandt for the 6 Nations, saying that having looked at them in training camp they have things they need to work on.  Billy was pretty average for the last 2 seasons, whilst both of them were pulling up trees at club level, yet neither got a look in.  So I get the impression he just doesn't fancy them.  I don't think either of them have done anything in the last few months that they weren't doing for the last couple of years.

Simmonds size is the issue at international i think for Eddie. Simple as that. Plus Ben Earl on his day is simply better at the game style SImmonds and Earl play, which is why hes always been in the squad.

Dombrandt issue was his fitnees and workrate, coming from the UNi route. He was clearly given instructions by Eddie to get fitter and work harder. He does that very well now...and is also a heavy duty carrier if required...though not quite Billys level.

He adds a lineout option also....

i think Dombrandt will be the 8 going forward, and i actually think Tom Willis will be the next real big challenger for the 8 spot after that, soon...

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 28 Oct - 22:07

lostinwales wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:I am really looking forward to these Autumn Internationals, more so as I am actually going to the Tonga match. I think the England squad has more than a hint of "new" about it.

I am looking forward to seeing who Eddie picks - hoping to see Martin at 6, and Marchant in the centre where he belongs. Would like to see Quirke get a cap, but am somewhat resigned to Ewels somehow getting more.

Scrum half choice is really interesting, with two challengers to Youngs in the squad and another on the sidelines (JVP). I suspect that Quirke won't get capped unless its vs Tonga, and a toss up between Youngs and Randall over who starts.

I also suspect Marchant won't get a look in unless Malins starts as FB. Whatever the rights or wrongs of it we have 2 multi position backs in the squad in Marchant and Malins. One will be on the subs bench and one will either start or not be in the squad at all, and I think Malins is more likely to be involved.

Martin must have a good chance of being involved, although that may be from the subs bench.

8 is also very interesting. Chick must miss out. You would have thought Dombrandt would be in prime position but there may not be as much between him and Simmonds as we'd like to think.

I think that is a little unfair or Furbank who is a very competent 10 as well as a 15 and Freeman who equally adept at 15 or 14. Not that either will be in the match day 23.
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Post by lostinwales Thu 28 Oct - 22:30

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:I am really looking forward to these Autumn Internationals, more so as I am actually going to the Tonga match. I think the England squad has more than a hint of "new" about it.

I am looking forward to seeing who Eddie picks - hoping to see Martin at 6, and Marchant in the centre where he belongs. Would like to see Quirke get a cap, but am somewhat resigned to Ewels somehow getting more.

Scrum half choice is really interesting, with two challengers to Youngs in the squad and another on the sidelines (JVP). I suspect that Quirke won't get capped unless its vs Tonga, and a toss up between Youngs and Randall over who starts.

I also suspect Marchant won't get a look in unless Malins starts as FB. Whatever the rights or wrongs of it we have 2 multi position backs in the squad in Marchant and Malins. One will be on the subs bench and one will either start or not be in the squad at all, and I think Malins is more likely to be involved.

Martin must have a good chance of being involved, although that may be from the subs bench.

8 is also very interesting. Chick must miss out. You would have thought Dombrandt would be in prime position but there may not be as much between him and Simmonds as we'd like to think.

I think that is a little unfair or Furbank who is a very competent 10 as well as a 15 and Freeman who equally adept at 15 or 14. Not that either will be in the match day 23.

Freeman may very well be one for the future but I think he's there as an apprentice right now. Furbank is a difficult case and I could be very wrong but I don't expect him to feature. He's very close to being Alex Goode mk2, brilliant at premiership level but, based on evidence to date, not an international.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 29 Oct - 1:46

I don't get the Furbank selection. I suppose being nice he's had some horrendous conditions in his games so far. And does offer cover to fly half.

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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 2:04

Theres alot of "playmakers" in those backs mind...even the likes of Malins playing on the wing etc...

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 29 Oct - 2:06

Reading some of the media reports, and listening to podcasts, it is striking how much Eddie Jones drives some people nuts. Among some of the views expounded:

Jones only selected  fan favourites like Radwan, Dombrandt and Simmons to keep the naysayers happy. He will hardly give them any playing time, and his match day 23 won't look much different from his other teams since the World Cup. They will soon be discarded.

Maybe he won't give players a go. Jones has called up people before without giving them a cap. Nick Tompkins and Cameron Redpath both eventually went elsewhere. Louis Lynagh and Paolo Odogwu have that option too.

Jones places a lot of store in what he sees at training. Just the other day, he mentioned how he half had a mind to send Radwan home early from one camp, before seeing him switch on, and change his mindset. Squad selection doesn't guarantee anything. Then again, this time, there have been some high profile ommissions. Some of these players will surely get a go. Jones hasn't bowed to popular opinion before, and no-one is currently talking about him facing the risk of the sack.

Jones will thow a bone to players like Smith but will probably drop him, just as he did with Cipriani, after taking him on tour to South Africa.

Yes, it could happen. Zach Mercer got a couple of caps before disappearing completely from consideration. By contrast, Daly, Itoje, Tom Curry and Underhill all quickly became fixtures, while Genge and Sinckler are vying for first choice. All were talked up as prospects before they were capped (especially Itoje), so Jones isn't preternaturally disposed to picking popular players so he can drop them.

There are also a lot of players who made debuts under Jones, who stalled at less than 10 caps, with most of them coming from bench appearances. That concerns me less, as I'd rather a coach made up his mind quickly on a player, Certainly, some of them may well have kicked on if given more of a run. Alex Lozowski always seems unlucky in that regard. Still, if a coach can't trust his own judgement, then he's in the wrong job.

By dropping the in-form Saracens players, Jones is creating an unsettled and unhappy squad. They are bound to feel resentful that he has not kept faith with them, and, when he inevitably recalls them, the bonds of trust will have been broken.


Jones regularly gets credit for knowing how to man-manage players, so it's hard to believe he will suddenly lose the changing room, because he dropped some of his previous Saracens favourites. Even Danny Care - who allegedly clashed with Jones, and never got selected again as a result - believes Jones excels in knowing how to get the best out of a player.

Jones is too fixated on losing to South Africa in the World Cup. He is building a team to beat them, at the expense of developing a balanced team to beat growing threats. elsewhere.

The World Cup loss will undoubtedly be weighing on his mind. When you lose to a team playing a certain style, then it will have highlighted weaknesses you want to address. Still, it's a bit of a leap to say Jones is living in the past. Again, one of the things we know about Jones is that he is always thinking about where the game is going to be in the next 18 months. It's hard to imagine he will have dumped all that, in favour of focusing on  how to counter the 2019 Sprinboks.

Jones is dropping senior players now, because it worked for him four years ago, and he thinks doing the same again will have the same impact. That's too simplistic: it's unlikely the same methodology works the same way twice.

This always seems to be rewriting history a little. Jones didn't suddenly have one big clearout halfway through the World Cup cycle. It was a bit later, and there were a lot of factors. Haskell injured his foot badly on the 2016 Australia tour, and never fully recovered. Jones gave him some time to see if could still deliver but he couldn't. He joined Saints to stay available for England, and hardly took the field, because he was crocked. The same is largely true of Dylan Hartley. Arguably, Jones would have stuck with both, all the way to the Cup, if injuries hadn't done for them.

Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown both played their last England games in 2018. However, Robshaw was well out the picture, while Brown was still at a World Cup camp in 2019, which is where his career ended after the bust-up with Ben Te'o. Given that Jack Nowell was carrying an injury, and Jones ended up including Ruaridh McConnochie in the World Cup squad, it's not inconceivable Brown could have made it to Japan. Robshaw, on the other hand, was nowhere near the 43 man World Cup training squad.

Jones had long wanted to remake the back row anyway. He had been stymied by injuries to Sam Jones and Jack Clifford, and frustrated by the lack of open side flanker options in England. He'd had his eye on Underhill for some time. It's no surprise he was keen to look at the Curry brothers.

In reality, then, the "clearout" after the 2018 tour of South Africa, and subsequent Autumn internationals, was mainly the result of continuing injuries to Hartley and Haskell; an apparent bust-up with Danny Care which saw him dropped; a long-planned move to bring in young open-side options, and promoting Daly to full back in place of Brown. It wasn't a Night of the Long Knives, in the way this recent squad selection is being represented. The main unexpected casualties in 2018 were Lozowski and Mercer, who were hardly squad stalwarts.

Some of the thinking about Jones seem to start from the assumption that he is fundamentally a bad actor, rather than a rugby coach whose ideas might differ. While I wouldn't presume to know what goes on the Australian's mind, they don't really tally with what we do know about him.

I have several gripes about the tenure of Eddie Jones, particularly his inexplicable scrum half selection policy. I do not believe he makes selections to troll anyone, however, and nor do I think he has some predetermined methodology about how to build a squad, which he would follow, regardless of form and scheduled opposition. He wants to win a World Cup. He is 61, and almost a full World Cup cycle older than Gatland, so this is probably his last real shot. He might fail in the attempt but not because he got distracted with the need to spite people at The Telegraph, Times and Rugby Pod.

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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 2:15

Rugby Fan wrote:Reading some of the media reports, and listening to podcasts, it is striking how much Eddie Jones drives some people nuts. Among some of the views expounded:

Jones only selected  fan favourites like Radwan, Dombrandt and Simmons to keep the naysayers happy. He will hardly give them any playing time, and his match day 23 won't look much different from his other teams since the World Cup. They will soon be discarded.

Jones places a lot of store in what he sees at training. Just the other day, he mentioned how he half had a mind to send Radwan home early from one camp, before seeing him switch on, and change his mindset. Squad selection doesn't guarantee anything. Then again, this time, there have been some high profile ommissions. Some of these players will surely get a go. Jones hasn't bowed to popular opinion before, and no-one is currently talking about him facing the risk of the sack.

.

Well ive NEVER seen that comment. Radwan is one of the hardest trainers at the falcons, and the only report ive seen from Eddie was pretty much saying the same, that the lad just works so hard and is constantly looking to learn. And that he would sidestep you in a phone box....

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 29 Oct - 2:31

GeordieFalcon wrote:Well ive NEVER seen that comment.
Listen to the October 18th BBC Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, where Chris Jones and Danny Care talk to Jones. Radwan comes up at the nine minute mark.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09z1rx0

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 29 Oct - 3:36

Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Well ive NEVER seen that comment.
Listen to the October 18th BBC Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, where Chris Jones and Danny Care talk to Jones. Radwan comes up at the nine minute mark.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09z1rx0
I thought Eddie's comments about Radwan were actually very positive. Radwan, for Eddie, didn't show what he wanted to see, then got it switched on.

At this point in time, I can't believe people think he would pick players just because of the media or fans. He picks players he believes will help him win. Whether they do or not is another thing.

Iif players are unhappy for not getting picked, then they need to work harder for their £20k per game checks. I think they all understand

And if Jones was trying to pick a squad just to beat the Boks, wouldn't he pick the last fly half to do that?
(note: this is a joke)

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Post by Poorfour Fri 29 Oct - 3:59

RF - I agree with a lot of what you've written - especially that the press writes a lot of nonsense about Eddie - but not all of it.

I think that Eddie does very deliberately have a change of tactics and personnel mid-RWC cycle, and there are a number of factors that feed into it.

In terms of tactics, I suspect he feels - with a fair amount of evidence to back it up - that a tactical system in rugby has a shelf life of around 2 years. It takes other teams about that long to work out how to counter it, and then you have to have somewhere else to go. Look at Ireland: in 2018, they were arguably the best team in the world. In the 2019 6N, Eddie worked out how to break their system, and from that point on they were a busted flush. They had nothing else in the kit bag, and by the RWC other teams were able to copy England's strategy. England's system worked in 2016 and 2017, got broken in 2018... but critically, they had a replacement for the 2018 AIs and 2019 6N that was good enough to reach a final.

Secondly, the ELVs are introduced mid-RWC cycle, which makes it a natural point at which the balance of play shifts. Eddie's too much of a plotter not to think ahead for this - and to be looking at who he might need to fill that gap.

In terms of personnel, I think he is again planning a way ahead. He seems to bring players into training, tell them what they have to work on and then seemingly ignore them for an extended period. In practice, they're probably getting terse input on what they still have to work on, and he's watching for when they're going to be ready.

At the same time, I can't help but feel that he likes to provoke a crisis. After 2016, he was even reported as saying that he expected a crisis in 2018 (and one duly arrived). I think he likes to play a tactical system until it breaks and then see who of his current squad copes with the crisis and who doesn't. But equally, he's ruthless in making changes when it fits his desired system.

For instance, from what I've read the accounts of Brown and Robshaw were almost the opposite of what you've written. Robshaw had a chance to get back in the squad but has since said that he rushed to get back from a knee injury and wasn't able to perform to the level that Eddie wanted; he'd probably have been behind Curry and Underhill anyway, but he could still have made the squad.

Everything that's been said about Brown in the Te'o incident was that it was all on Te'o and Borwn was trying to calm him down. He was very aggrieved that Eddie used it as an excuse to drop him - but it's clear from what happened afterwards that the underlying driver was anyway to put Daly at 15 so as to have an extra playmaker in the backfield. That's not a role Brown could have played.

I will be very surprised if we don't see a tactical shift from England in the AIs. He's already said that the balance has shifted away from tactical kicking and towards being able to run with the ball. In Smith, he's picked a fly half who is a little less adept than Ford at territorial kicking, but offers more of a running, passing and kick-passing threat, and he's bringing in players like Quirke and Randall who are also running threats, and Dombrandt who trades a little of Billy's power for a much broader range of skills to keep the ball alive and the attack moving.
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Post by tigertattie Fri 29 Oct - 5:16

Scotland fan coming in peace

Who is showing the England games this series? Terrestrial? Amazon? Sky?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 29 Oct - 5:24

All the games for everyone bar Ireland are on Amazon I think.

Shame we're not going to see Smith go head to head with Cooper.

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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 17:42

Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Well ive NEVER seen that comment.
Listen to the October 18th BBC Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, where Chris Jones and Danny Care talk to Jones. Radwan comes up at the nine minute mark.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09z1rx0

Just listened to that RF, really interesting. Wonder what the problems were initially....

I loved that quote about Bob Dwyer..."Always pick the players with the things you cant coach, because you can coach the other stuff..." So simple and yet so true.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 29 Oct - 18:21

It implies the razzle dazzle players doesn't it. Sitting and thinking on some choices though I feel its a good sound bite but doesn't necessarily translate to his England picks.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 29 Oct - 18:27

GeordieFalcon wrote:Just listened to that RF, really interesting. Wonder what the problems were initially....
I don't think it's necessarily anything like misbehaving, or slacking. It's often said that Jones doesn't really value Premiership form. While that's not entirely true, he does put a lot more weight on what he sees when he calls a player into the squad. He hasn't been shy about sending a player back to his club rather than having him stick around. It probably happens when a player doesn't match the idea he's formed of him, and he hasn't got the squad time to sort it out.

As the doc says above, the whole comment sounds positive for Radwan, because Jones got the chance to see what he wanted. Genge has spoken well of Radwan too.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 29 Oct - 18:58

GeordieFalcon wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Well ive NEVER seen that comment.
Listen to the October 18th BBC Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, where Chris Jones and Danny Care talk to Jones. Radwan comes up at the nine minute mark.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09z1rx0

Just listened to that RF, really interesting. Wonder what the problems were initially....

I loved that quote about Bob Dwyer..."Always pick the players with the things you cant coach, because you can coach the other stuff..." So simple and yet so true.

First time in camp he might have been to quiet, not demanding the ball etc. Eddie might have given him a nudge and a this is your chance so speak up and make your presence felt type of thing. Eddie isn't one for picking shrinking violets is he.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 29 Oct - 19:07

formerly known as Sam wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Well ive NEVER seen that comment.
Listen to the October 18th BBC Rugby Union Weekly Podcast, where Chris Jones and Danny Care talk to Jones. Radwan comes up at the nine minute mark.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09z1rx0

Just listened to that RF, really interesting. Wonder what the problems were initially....

I loved that quote about Bob Dwyer..."Always pick the players with the things you cant coach, because you can coach the other stuff..." So simple and yet so true.

First time in camp he might have been to quiet, not demanding the ball etc. Eddie might have given him a nudge and a this is your chance so speak up and make your presence felt type of thing. Eddie isn't one for picking shrinking violets is he.
Yeah, agree: We will never know for sure, but this sounds like the most reasonable explanation to me.  In camp, not really knowing his place until given that gentle nudge just to let loose.

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Post by BamBam Fri 29 Oct - 19:39

There’s a very interesting read on Jones in the Times today.. I’ll post it up in full shortly but here’s the link. It’s probably well sourced and with a lot of truth in it, but bits of it do come across as a bit of a hatchet job. Some is already in the public domain through books etc, was interested to see the Gustard quotes too given what subsequently happened at Quins

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/eddie-jones-blazing-rows-brutal-texts-and-airport-firings-why-its-so-hard-to-work-for-england-rugby-coach-mjjg2z9xz


Last edited by BamBam on Fri 29 Oct - 19:48; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BamBam Fri 29 Oct - 19:47

Owen Slot in The Times wrote:

Eddie Jones: Blazing rows, brutal texts and airport firings – why it’s so hard to work for England rugby coach
Owen Slot speaks to backroom staff and players about why the coach, who led England to their joint worst-ever finish in the Six Nations, is such a hard taskmaster

It was one day last summer that settled it for John Mitchell and led to him becoming the latest coach to leave Eddie Jones’s England.

Mitchell was with the other coaches at the Lensbury Club, where the England team were based for their two summer Test matches. On a day off, he was intending to go and watch his son, Daryl, a professional cricketer who plays for New Zealand and Middlesex.

As Mitchell was leaving, though, he was caught by Jones. Jones asked him where he was going and Mitchell replied: “I’m going to the cricket.” Jones told him: “No, you’re not.” Mitchell’s response was that it was a day off. Jones’s response was to tell Mitchell that, actually, he had some work for him to do.

This stand-off did not go well. The result was that Mitchell did indeed go to the cricket. On July 23, the RFU then released a press statement saying that, after the November series, Mitchell would be leaving his role as England’s defence coach. In fact, Mitchell didn’t even hang on that long; within days, he was in his new post at Wasps.

Mitchell’s departure is just the latest. It may seem strange that a coach, such as Mitchell, at the pinnacle of the game with England, might elect to leave to work in club rugby. With Jones’s England, though, this isn’t unusual at all.

England’s record in the Six Nations earlier this year, where they finished fifth, losing to Scotland, Wales and Ireland, equalled their worst ever in the competition. However, at a time when they would benefit from some continuity in the coaching group, England are just about to start working with their third defence coach in the six years of Jones’s tenure. In the four years up to the 2019 World Cup, they used five different sports psychologists.

In every department, the turnover is high: coaches, doctors, psychologists, physios, analysts. The fact is that the churn of Jones’s staff is unmatched anywhere in the world game and the reason is clear. Working for Jones is a relentlessly intense experience and Jones can be a brutal employer.

One analyst was sacked as the squad were going through Faro airport in Portugal. Dean Benton was recruited from Australia as head of sports science; in one staff meeting, Jones’s ire was such that he sent Benton out of the room, like a naughty schoolboy from class. Benton left and now has a similar role with the Wallabies. Good people are lost this way.

“Verbal abuse, pressure, belittling,” is how one former employee described it.

“Brutal, rude, aggressive,” were the words of one player describing the way Jones treats his staff.

This is another player: “We all know how hard Eddie is and how tough it is. Staff openly talk about it. You can feel the tension in the environment if one of the department heads had just had it in the neck, especially in the medic group. The physio room is the social hub and if they are a bit down, you’d be: ‘Eddie’s on one, is he?’ And they’d be: ‘Yeah yeah.’ ”

Initially staff started disappearing in the summer of 2017, 18 months into Jones’s reign: a coach, an analyst, a psychologist, a senior communications officer. All of this was noted by the players. For a while, the players had a song about this, written by Jonny May, in which they would recall the missing. Soon there were too many to name and, really, it wasn’t funny any more.

In those days, the RFU used to name all the assistant England staff in the Twickenham match-day programmes, but this soon stopped because this just told the story of Jones’s revolving-door policy.

Three things have become clear since The Times started investigating this story.

One: of the multiple sources that we spoke to, even Jones’s staunchest critics spoke of what a great coach he is; they agree that he understands the game as well or better than anyone else they have ever worked with and that the education he provides is unmatched. That is the reason some staff hang on as long as they do.

Two: there are those who argue that, at the top of international sport, tough and unforgiving is how the environment has to be. This is Paul Gustard, who did three years with Jones: “I am sure that there are people that have been unhappy but I am not one of those. He has a certain style and a certain way. That’s him. My experience was very, very positive. I owe a lot to him.”

Three: those who criticise Jones are loath to be mentioned by name. This is because some have signed non-disclosure agreements and others because rugby is a small world and it does no one’s future any good to be outspoken about such a senior, influential figure. “But this needs to be said,” one said. “This story should be told,” said another.

There is another perspective, here, which is Jones’s. He is always looking to improve and that, he believes, means always looking for staff who may be able to do things better than those already in the job.

Furthermore, he doesn’t believe in a comfortable working environment but thinks that you need disruption for teams to move forward. If you can live with being uncomfortable, he says, then you will produce your best work and if you cannot live with it, then international rugby probably isn’t the place for you.

How is he with the players? He had a fearsome reputation before he arrived as England’s head coach but has since acknowledged that the modern generation won’t respond to hard, old-school management methods.

Nevertheless, this is how Dylan Hartley recalled it in his autobiography, The Hurt: “You could never relax into the rhythms of the England camp and enjoy the experience. If you can’t cope, you don’t stay.

“I went through a phase of dreading going away and I know other England players felt similarly . . . we were bonded by the ripples in Eddie’s character and constrained by the ludicrous convention that athletes, like Victorian children, should be seen and not heard.”

Hartley used to relish the times when he could retreat to his room. “Yes, some people hide in their rooms,” another player said. “You speak to the guys from Scotland, Ireland and Wales and they have such good fun. I wish we could be more like that.”

“Everyone has heard the scare stories and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of him,” wrote Mike Brown in his column in The Mail on Sunday, recounting how he once contested an assessment Jones had made of his game and that Jones’s response was a volley of f-words and the end of his England career.

Danny Care, Brown wrote, was also frozen out at the end of 2018 after challenging Jones’s opinion.

Hartley recalls Marland Yarde arriving at England’s Pennyhill base, “a bit bruised and battered”, after driving down from playing a club game: “Eddie greeted him with a bright ‘How are you feeling, mate?’ and the conversation quickly went downhill. ‘Oh, a bit tired.’ ‘Frak off, mate.’ ‘What?’ ‘If you’re tired, Frak off. I don’t want tired players here.’ As you can imagine, their cosy fireside chat echoed around the halls within minutes.”

One player said: “The way he screams at players in training isn’t good. Sometimes it’s almost like he wants to push the player to either snap back — so it’s easier to move them along — or just grind them down to the point of them not wanting to be there.

“Also, the text messages: it’s not good for an athlete in the grind of a season if you come off the pitch from a club game and the first message you see — he’s clearly texted during the game — is telling you you’ve blown an opportunity. It’s basically saying ‘You’re Poopie’ in a one-liner. That’s not good for people’s confidence or wellbeing, especially if you’ve just lost a game or not played as well as you wanted to.

“You just end up worrying about what he’s thinking. In mid-game, I find myself worrying about doing certain things or expressing myself or being able to play with freedom because I’m worried about the message I’m going to get from him.

“I’ve been sat in pre-match food with my club and I’ve got a message telling me I wasn’t going to be selected for the next England squad — when you’re literally about to go and play a game. Can you imagine how mentally tough that is? When we told the other England coaches, they were fuming.”

And that is just the players’ side of it. They all agree that the coaches and the staff have a harder time still. Steve Borthwick was the coach who had the worst of it, burdened with the role of Jones’s long-term punchbag. As Jones’s coaching coordinator, he was regarded as having the toughest job because he had the greatest demands placed on him. The coaches used to refer to those moments, when Jones turns his ire on you, as “getting an Eddie spray”. It was Borthwick who received the most spray. His four-and-a-half year tour of duty is regarded as a heroic feat of endurance.

Borthwick left in the summer of 2020. Then, following a disastrous Six Nations earlier this year, the RFU conducted a review in which the conclusions made no reference to staff turnover or named any coaches as not being up to the mark. A fortnight after the review, though, Simon Amor, the attack coach, had gone and it was announced that Jason Ryles, the highly-rated Australian skills coach, who had been stuck on the other side of the world due to Covid, would not be coming back either. Three months later, after Mitchell had also left, Jones’s four-man team of assistants was down to one.

“He demands a lot from people,” said one former staff member, “and the question is: is it too much? Does it adversely affect their confidence and enthusiasm? Eddie’s is quite a tough school. The Aussie banter is bone deep; is it meant to hurt or to build character?

“For me, the line was crossed too many times. It becomes all about self-preservation; you keep your head down to survive. The texts to me overstepped the line. I’ve saved some of them. He would be derogatory about other coaches in texts to me too.” Another said: “It was an intense environment. Some people last and enjoy it, others make a different decision. I felt it wasn’t sustainable.”

Some also noted Jones’s dismissiveness of the English, which is strange, given they are his employers and his team. “I always felt there was a slight hatred to the English,” one former staff member said, “references to what we were like as a country. We’re this, we’re that.”

In his own autobiography, Jones writes that: “The Japanese and the English are very similar in that there is always a facade of politeness to their interaction . . . there is no doubt that, beneath the surface, the English and the Japanese both love to bitch about everyone around them.”

With the England team, in particular, Jones is wary of the private-school core of the side and is concerned that the players have had it too easy and that a system is in place where the financial rewards come so quickly to them in the professional game that it could dull their appetite.

“He would reference the English a lot,” one player said, explaining that Jones was concerned about players being distracted by spending time doing commercial work. “Then we would always see him doing it — especially before the World Cup. You would think: hang on, you always bang on about only focusing on England, but you are doing that [other work]. Contradictory.”

Other coaches say that all the hard work, long hours and relentlessness might be worthwhile if there was a light side too. Jones can be funny and excellent company, but rarely when he is on duty.

On the other hand, there are those who believe in his methods. When Gustard left Jones’s set-up in 2018 to join Harlequins, it seemed a strange move, coming only a year before the World Cup. Yet Gustard says that, for family reasons, he wanted a job with less time away from home.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy working for England,” he said. “The learning with Eddie was immense. There was no falling out. I have nothing but admiration for Eddie.

“Almost everyone would say that he is the deepest-thinking coach you’ll come across. He is the one person that continually looks how he can change the game. He is the most proactive in asking questions and challenging the status quo.

“Without doubt, he challenges you and that can make things uncomfortable. There were times when we had strong discussions. Without doubt, feedback was constant, daily, twice a day at times and Eddie doesn’t mince words. Instead of saying things like I would in 20 words, he might say it in three and [get] straight to the point.

“We had an expression with England called ‘critical candour’. Be candid about your opinion. That sits uneasily with some people; with me, I understood it and, for the most part, responded positively to it.”

These are now crucial times for England. They are two years out from the World Cup and, after the fallout of last summer, Jones has another new coaching team assembling: a new group who have got to get to know each other, work out how to work best with each other and how to get England to the top of the world.

England are thus charging on in the same manner: changing everything around Jones but never touching Jones himself. At no point, in the conclusions to the RFU’s post-2021 Six Nations review, was there any reflection upon the environment that Jones creates for his coaches to work in. Neither did they question Jones himself. While the team around him are expendable (and therefore expensive), Jones is the one constant who appears to have the firm backing of his employers. He is a hugely convincing advocate. Whenever his stewardship looks set to hit the rocks, he manages to convince the RFU that he can steer them to safety.

The RFU thus remains convinced that he is the right man. Yesterday, in response to this article, an RFU spokeswoman said: “Eddie is widely regarded as one of the leading international rugby coaches in the world. International coaching in the elite game requires a unique super high-performance, competitive environment and the demands of this can be challenging.

“There are many coaches and players who have worked with Eddie that speak very highly of him, his commitment and work ethic, and value the experience. While the demands of an international environment are not for everyone, many have gained from Eddie’s knowledge and experience and furthered their career as a result of learning from him. Steve Borthwick has worked with Eddie in a number of roles since 2007 and he was part of the England coaching team with Eddie for five years; they continue to have a strong relationship and there are many other examples of long-standing relationships. Eddie visited Steve and Leicester Tigers every four weeks over the summer and describes Steve’s coaching as outstanding.”

But serious questions remain. This is Jones’s third group of coaches since he started. He needs to build continuity, but will they all actually last to the World Cup or will there be more casualties along the way? The one constant is that while their jobs are always on the line, Jones’s is not.


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Post by lostinwales Fri 29 Oct - 19:48

Obano has done his ACL so we won't be seeing him for England for a while (if ever)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59079491

Be interesting to read the article on Jones. I am very struck by how players he has 'apparently' fallen out with always seem to have good things to say about him, and that he is obviously close to Marler, who can't always be easy to manage, is striking. There is a definite edge there though.

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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 20:05

Quite an Article....im surprised Jones hasnt had a heart attack going on with that stress etc.

But it shows the man and what he strives for. Do i agree with it...not all of it, as somethings can be achieved through different methods.

Borthwick will surely benefit from his tour of duty....and Leicester appear to be partially benefitting now (accepting some of this revival was already in place ).

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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 20:06

lostinwales wrote:Obano has done his ACL so we won't be seeing him for England for a while (if ever)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59079491

I hate to see players get these kinds of injuries.

But with regards to England, im not sure he would be threatening the squad much. Theres a lot of competition coming through, both established and new kids on the block...

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 29 Oct - 20:30

BamBam wrote:There’s a very interesting read on Jones in the Times today..

Thanks for posting the piece. Echoes there of GB rowing's issues with Jurgen Grobler. Some thought he drove high standards, while others felt abused. The key question for the RFU is whether anything crosses the line on moral or legal grounds. You hope they woud have satisfied themselves on those counts.

GeordieFalcon wrote:Quite an Article....im surprised Jones hasnt had a heart attack going on with that stress etc.

He had a stroke in 2013.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 29 Oct - 20:56

lostinwales wrote:Obano has done his ACL so we won't be seeing him for England for a while (if ever)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59079491

Be interesting to read the article on Jones. I am very struck by how players he has 'apparently' fallen out with always seem to have good things to say about him, and that he is obviously close to Marler, who can't always be easy to manage, is striking. There is a definite edge there though.

Shame for Obano. He doesn't seem to have much luck with injuries.

I was going to post about Marler. I don't think he is difficult to manage. In fact, I think he lives up exactly to what Eddie says he demands. Twice now he's told Eddie that he's not putting himself through a tour or a tournament because he doesn't feel he can give everything he has to give. Twice he's come back and said "I'm ready to go again.". Also, I strongly suspect that Marler is as immune as a player gets to Eddie's style. If anyone can laugh it off, it's him. From his autobiography you get the feeling that Eddie respects him because he's honest about where he is physically and mentally, but can also take a joke or prank at his own expense and give as good as he gets. Being the best setpiece and defensive prop available to England can't hurt, either.

It'll be interesting to see how some of the new batch adapt to Eddieland. Smith in particular is going to be a litmus test. Eddie needs to find the right balance between pushing him to improve but not pushing so hard that he goes into his shell. I hope they are able to find a balance.
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Post by Geordie Fri 29 Oct - 22:48

Rugby Fan wrote:
BamBam wrote:There’s a very interesting read on Jones in the Times today..

Thanks for posting the piece. Echoes there of GB rowing's issues with Jurgen Grobler. Some thought he drove high standards, while others felt abused. The key question for the RFU is whether anything crosses the line on moral or legal grounds. You hope they woud have satisfied themselves on those counts.

GeordieFalcon wrote:Quite an Article....im surprised Jones hasnt had a heart attack going on with that stress etc.

He had a stroke in 2013.

Not surprised...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 29 Oct - 23:32

Poorfour wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Obano has done his ACL so we won't be seeing him for England for a while (if ever)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59079491

Be interesting to read the article on Jones. I am very struck by how players he has 'apparently' fallen out with always seem to have good things to say about him, and that he is obviously close to Marler, who can't always be easy to manage, is striking. There is a definite edge there though.

Shame for Obano. He doesn't seem to have much luck with injuries.

I was going to post about Marler. I don't think he is difficult to manage. In fact, I think he lives up exactly to what Eddie says he demands. Twice now he's told Eddie that he's not putting himself through a tour or a tournament because he doesn't feel he can give everything he has to give. Twice he's come back and said "I'm ready to go again.". Also, I strongly suspect that Marler is as immune as a player gets to Eddie's style. If anyone can laugh it off, it's him. From his autobiography you get the feeling that Eddie respects him because he's honest about where he is physically and mentally, but can also take a joke or prank at his own expense and give as good as he gets. Being the best setpiece and defensive prop available to England can't hurt, either.

It'll be interesting to see how some of the new batch adapt to Eddieland. Smith in particular is going to be a litmus test. Eddie needs to find the right balance between pushing him to improve but not pushing so hard that he goes into his shell. I hope they are able to find a balance.

I think Eddie prefers head strong players who will speak their mind. I think Lancaster preferred the quiet studious types but not Eddie. Just look at the props; Marler, Genge and Sinckler aren't what you'd call wallflowers are they. Eddie seems to back characters and those that aren't afraid to come out swinging. Marler fits that bill nicely, probably didn't help him Gatland who I get the impression is more autocratic. Eddie likes the high work rate and makes demands but from what I've heard the players can turn round and tell him what they think without him throwing his toys out the pram, though if you're interrupting him you'd better have a damn good point to make.

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Post by BamBam Sat 30 Oct - 0:35

From the article, I got the impression that he likes his players challenging him, but not so much his coaching staff - anyone else think the same?

The Gustard quotes made me think he tried to implement similar at Quins, and it just didn't work. Their subsequent success doesn't help if that is the case!

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Post by Sharkey06 Sat 30 Oct - 8:58

BamBam wrote:From the article, I got the impression that he likes his players challenging him, but not so much his coaching staff

Sorry but I don't agree with that.  Mike Brown was chucked out of the squad I believe because he stood up to Jones and Jones didn't like it.  A couple of players having a spat happens all the time and isn't a reason to jettison them.  I think Jones doesn't like players who challenge him - I am thinking of the likes of Danny Cipriani, Danny Care, etc - who want to play progressive rugby.  Jones strikes me as someone who is totally controlling and who won't pick players who won't do things his way.

I have said before that there is clearly something wrong in the England setup with the number of coaches who have left.  In my job if a partner lost half as many key staff as Eddie did, then serious questions would be asked.  If we had won the world cup in 2019 you might understand where he was coming from, but we didn't.  Similarly, I think based on the last 2 years we have no chance of winning the 2023 world cup.  We have lots of exciting players, half of whom never get near an Enland squad or if they do then they are not played, or played out of position, or told to play some stupid kick 90% of the time game plan.  For me Eddie is 100% a case of the Emperor's New Clothes - "I am really clever and the best coach in the world and if you believe in me then England are going to be the best team in the world".

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Post by Sharkey06 Sat 30 Oct - 9:17

On a rant here, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to defend Eddie's decision to pick Jamie Blamire and Nic Dolly in his England squad off the back of a couple of substitute appearances for their clubs ahead of more seasoned players like Jamie George, Jack singleton, Jack Walker, Gabriel Oghre, Tom Dunne, etc (yes I know Jamie George has now been called up due to injury to Luke Cowan-Dickie).

Personally I see it as a selection based on BT Sport highlights which is a real slap in the face for players who have done it for a season or more at club level. i appreciate as has been said above Eddie puts little store in club form, as he clearly knows more than the rest of us.

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Post by lostinwales Sat 30 Oct - 11:20

Not saying its the reason why but Jones has never really bought into the idea that club form will translate to internationals. He's also looked at a lot of these players and has already decided they are not made of the stuff internationals are (right or wrong).

Dolly is a surprise, no doubt about it. But he has been off the radar, come into the Leicester team from nowhere and scored a hat full of tries. It is entirely possible we'll never see him in England colours again after the Autumn but it makes sense that Jones wants to look at him.

Blamire is in because he does look the part. You can argue separately about his selection for the Summer games, but he made the most of his chances. He's not quite the finished article on the evidence of his Summer games but he's a long way down the right path

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 30 Oct - 18:22

Sharkey06 wrote:
BamBam wrote:From the article, I got the impression that he likes his players challenging him, but not so much his coaching staff

Sorry but I don't agree with that.  Mike Brown was chucked out of the squad I believe because he stood up to Jones and Jones didn't like it.  A couple of players having a spat happens all the time and isn't a reason to jettison them.  I think Jones doesn't like players who challenge him - I am thinking of the likes of Danny Cipriani, Danny Care, etc - who want to play progressive rugby.  Jones strikes me as someone who is totally controlling and who won't pick players who won't do things his way.

I have said before that there is clearly something wrong in the England setup with the number of coaches who have left.  In my job if a partner lost half as many key staff as Eddie did, then serious questions would be asked.  If we had won the world cup in 2019 you might understand where he was coming from, but we didn't.  Similarly, I think based on the last 2 years we have no chance of winning the 2023 world cup.  We have lots of exciting players, half of whom never get near an Enland squad or if they do then they are not played, or played out of position, or told to play some stupid kick 90% of the time game plan.  For me Eddie is 100% a case of the Emperor's New Clothes - "I am really clever and the best coach in the world and if you believe in me then England are going to be the best team in the world".

Jones has a fantastic record with England. Better win percentage than anyone. Despite what Brown has said since I don't think having a punch up with another player is going to endear you to any coach.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 30 Oct - 18:24

Sharkey06 wrote:On a rant here, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to defend Eddie's decision to pick Jamie Blamire and Nic Dolly in his England squad off the back of a couple of substitute appearances for their clubs ahead of more seasoned players like Jamie George, Jack singleton, Jack Walker, Gabriel Oghre, Tom Dunne, etc (yes I know Jamie George has now been called up due to injury to Luke Cowan-Dickie).

Personally I see it as a selection based on BT Sport highlights which is a real slap in the face for players who have done it for a season or more at club level.  i appreciate as has been said above Eddie puts little store in club form, as he clearly knows more than the rest of us.

Blamire rewarded for his work in the summer and Dolly for his excellent start with Leicester. Fair enough picks and weren't you one post before saying Jones should be picking exciting new players?

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Post by cb Sat 30 Oct - 22:29

Other than leaving out George which seems to be for "motivational" reasons with which I would not agree, of the others I am not sure there is a lot evidence that they are far superior to either Blamire or Dolly.

Dunne was set-off at the end of last season and this season Bath have been awful, and he is perhaps not the future.
Oghre plays far more as a flanker than as a hooker.
Walker never quite showed enough at Bath (never first choice) but has been doing better at Quins.
Singleton seems to be improving this year but was not a major force last.

So all in all, other than George originally being missing, difficult to criticise Jones.

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Post by lostinwales Sat 30 Oct - 23:57

The eternal problem for England is that there are always options, especially these days now the academies and the U20 performances seem to be really bearing fruit. There are always going to be fan favourites (and some very good players) who miss out.

It is a good problem to have though

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Post by Geordie Sun 31 Oct - 2:48

Sharkey06 wrote:On a rant here, but I would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to defend Eddie's decision to pick Jamie Blamire and Nic Dolly in his England squad off the back of a couple of substitute appearances for their clubs ahead of more seasoned players like Jamie George, Jack singleton, Jack Walker, Gabriel Oghre, Tom Dunne, etc (yes I know Jamie George has now been called up due to injury to Luke Cowan-Dickie).

Personally I see it as a selection based on BT Sport highlights which is a real slap in the face for players who have done it for a season or more at club level.  i appreciate as has been said above Eddie puts little store in club form, as he clearly knows more than the rest of us.

Well with regards to Blamire, he's much younger than LCD, George etc...so he's considered one for the future, who can be involved now. He's a big physical, aggressive, fast guy, who scores tries. Exactly what Eddie likes. The thing about him which you haven't witnessed much of yet is he actually has great hands, and down the line Could very much take on a role like sinkler and Mako have as a pivotal role in attack.

He's ideal for the 3rd hooker spot as Jones has George and LCD as his seniors and can work on Blamire.

I don't rate Oghre from what I've seen of him.

Dolly has been similarly playing well for Tigers and is worthy of his spot.

I like Frost wasps new hooker. He could very well come in to the discussion.

I still think the 6n squad will be different from this one...this one is Eddie still having a little look at players aswell...seeing their character in tough games...up from USA and Canada.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 1 Nov - 3:00

England well on top vs NZ. Annoyed I've just realised it's on TV. 29 7.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 1 Nov - 3:13

And a fumble gives a walk in for 36 7.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 1 Nov - 3:22

And a great try from a rolling maul backs move lovely offload in added time. Back to Harlequins then.

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Post by Geordie Mon 1 Nov - 5:25

England squad for Tonga updated...

FORWARDS
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)
Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons, 2 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 33 caps)
Trevor Davison (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap)
Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 1 cap)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 30 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 59 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 48 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 87 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 72 caps)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 44 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 24 caps)

BACK
Mark Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 93 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)
Max Malins (Saracens, 8 caps)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 6 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 66 caps
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons, 1 cap
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 40 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 2 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 43 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 109 caps)

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