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England: Autumn Internationals

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:24 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:34 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Smith needs to get used to playing with Youngs as the latter is going nowhere.

Not a fan of Slade at all but perhaps his inclusion is somewhat forced with the niggles. Backrow balance the less said the better, insane.

And then I spy Furbank at 23.....

It's like you're inside my mind. Frankly keep Smith away from Youngs.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:34 pm

I also can't really see what we gain from playing Lawes in this fixture, but then Martin departed a few days ago.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:44 pm

Looking forward to seeing this back 3 though I might add.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:45 pm

I'm no massive fan of Slade as his good performances for England have been sparse. His best performances were very good indeed though so there is a high ceiling. His partnership with Manu worked very well, how Slade fits in without Manu is a big question for me. Plus he is exceptional defensively even if his attacking output has been very up and down.

I'm delighted that Steward and Radwan are starting together. I could see them being mainstays by the RWC. Both impress me every time I see them play.

The back row is just meh but if the tactics are altered to work with it then it won't bother me. Ball carriers in the back row often get more attention than ball carriers from elsewhere. If England alter their tactics to use that mobile pack to play a quicker game plan, then use Manu, Genge and Sinckler as needed to get over the gain line it could work very well. Number 8s that carry hard always catch the eye the same as inside centres that act as playmakers. For some reasons those skills in those shirts just seem 'correct' to my rugby fan brain. The number on the shirt doesn't actually matter if it works as a whole though. A prop getting over the gain line to produce quick ball is just as good as a number 8 doing so. A winger stepping in the throw a try creating pass is just as good in reality as an inside centre doing the same.

The 2016-17 sides that played brilliant rugby looked woefully imbalanced on paper to me. Hartley at hooker was a worse carrier than George or LCD. Cole as starting TH offered less carrying than Sinckler. Haskell and Robshaw on the flanks. No Manu in the back line. With the correct tactics it worked fantastically though. That's my concern for these games far more than selection. If tactics continue being woefully poorly matched to the players picked then I'll despair. If the tactics evolve to suit then great.

Most forwards under Jones have started from the bench as well to be fair so I'm not sure it means Dombrandt can't force his way in with good performances. The only forwards Jones has blooded that I remember becoming immediate starters were Itoje and Curry. I don't think it's a coincidence that they are also England's best two players, if they keep good injury records going should end up being remembered as once in a generation talents for England. If naming an all time England XV I'd already be darn close to naming Itoje in the row with Johnson to be fair, his best performances have been immense.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:48 pm

lostinwales wrote:I also can't really see what we gain from playing Lawes in this fixture, but then Martin departed a few days ago.

Jones, Proudfoot and Cockers all love a lineout option in the back row. I could see Lawes being first choice blindside under that trios coaching. With Launchbury and Kruis unavailable I'd pick Lawes at lock ahead of Hill given I'm very much a get your best players on the pitch type of thinker. That said Lawes has produced some fantastic performances from blindside over the last few years.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:48 pm

Well lets give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe Youngs, Farrell etc etc will have license to open it up...and from 11 out...thats some firepower.

Dombrandt and Smith will maybe come on at half time...

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:48 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Smith needs to get used to playing with Youngs as the latter is going nowhere.

Not a fan of Slade at all but perhaps his inclusion is somewhat forced with the niggles. Backrow balance the less said the better, insane.

And then I spy Furbank at 23.....
Understand your happiness seeing Furby at 23. I know it can be hard to contain. It's almost as if we can start to see the RWC trophy coming home to its rightful place. Without question, Furbank is the perfect player to be on the bench at 23. Covers 10 and 15 with great skill, has great pace and vision, and is playing the best of his career. In addition, he speaks well, represents his club and country with pride and dignity, and is vaccinated. Could there possibly be a better person to wear the white of England?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:50 pm

king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I also can't really see what we gain from playing Lawes in this fixture, but then Martin departed a few days ago.

Jones, Proudfoot and Cockers all love a lineout option in the back row. I could see Lawes being first choice blindside under that trios coaching. With Launchbury and Kruis unavailable I'd pick Lawes at lock ahead of Hill given I'm very much a get your best players on the pitch type of thinker. That said Lawes has produced some fantastic performances from blindside over the last few years.

Not in an England shirt. Good prem player there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:54 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Well lets give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe Youngs, Farrell etc etc will have license to open it up...and from 11 out...thats some firepower.

Dombrandt and Smith will maybe come on at half time...

I have no doubt we'll thrash them. I expect lots of tries even in the first half through running backs moves. But it's basically a warm up, the only people who potentially won't look great at the guys who are used as dummy runners. Just feels a missed opportunity. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh and I understand that Mitchell was a late call up so perhaps isn't in the running medium to long term and Smith has been involved in only some training this week but bloody hell.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:59 pm

Lawes has been good at BS. Those early woeful performances at 6 are long ago. I just don't think there is a lot to be gained or learned by playing him against Tonga when you could be developing Martin or Hill

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:07 pm

I understand that its only Tonga, but Its all about the WC 2023.

If they have new tactics and attack plans etc, then it starts on Saturday and he'll slowly evolve the team selection. Smith and Dombrandt will have a big part in the AI games.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:21 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Smith needs to get used to playing with Youngs as the latter is going nowhere.

Not a fan of Slade at all but perhaps his inclusion is somewhat forced with the niggles. Backrow balance the less said the better, insane.

And then I spy Furbank at 23.....
Understand your happiness seeing Furby at 23.  I know it can be hard to contain.  It's almost as if we can start to see the RWC trophy coming home to its rightful place.  Without question, Furbank is the perfect player to be on the bench at 23.  Covers 10 and 15 with great skill, has great pace and vision, and is playing the best of his career.  In addition, he speaks well, represents his club and country with pride and dignity, and is vaccinated.  Could there possibly be a better person to wear the white of England?

Somebody good at rugby would be a start.

In all seriousness, Furbank is a good Prem player but he's an extremely average international. Nothing in his skill set is Int quality and he'd get nowhere near any other top tier side. It's as clear as day he's not good enough. I have no doubt he'll be discarded again relatively soon.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:25 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:I also can't really see what we gain from playing Lawes in this fixture, but then Martin departed a few days ago.

Jones, Proudfoot and Cockers all love a lineout option in the back row. I could see Lawes being first choice blindside under that trios coaching. With Launchbury and Kruis unavailable I'd pick Lawes at lock ahead of Hill given I'm very much a get your best players on the pitch type of thinker. That said Lawes has produced some fantastic performances from blindside over the last few years.

Not in an England shirt. Good prem player there.

Lawes hasn't been good for England at blindside?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:38 pm

Not that I've seen. He generally unbalances the back row. Too slow to the break down most of the time. Even Against Tonga that will be the case now and again, keep an eye out. Great to have as a lineout option obviously, better than any other 6 we have (prob since Wood and Croft before), but that doesn't balance the minuses by quite a bit for me. Perhaps the Underhill Curry balances out more but meh, we're playing a flanker at 8 to seemingly accommodate a lock at flanker. Doesn't make sense to me

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Post by king_carlos Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:46 pm

I think Lawes has been excellent at flanker. His carrying has improved out of sight, he's an animal in the tackle and has a huge work rate. If a young blindside offered those qualities then most of us would need a change of pants. Those are basically the attributes that got me so excited about Ted Hill early on but his form has faltered somewhat. They're now the qualities that make George Martin such an exciting player.

Lawes has just kept improving to point where he is an incredibly consistent and rounded player. One of those experienced internationals who suffers from not being new and shiny in a position where there are always new and shiny players in the Premiership. Due to talented forwards gravitating to the back row in school and age grade rugby there are always great talents coming through there but very few that ever hit the heights Lawes has.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:49 pm

Just don't agree. Come the tier 1 sides you'll notice he's the one there too late to prevent a turnover. His carrying has improved though I'd agree, he doesn't knock on or get turned over by backs half as much anymore.

He's a good player, a very good lock. Never first choice since Johnson for me and never a blindside as a first option. Fair enough a lot like him, like they do Youngs, like they do Slade. Personally opinion but I don't think its a progressive move for this game.

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Post by Mr Bounce Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:55 pm

I don't get the need to play Curry as an 8 when there's a superb 8 in the 23. We all know that Curry is a superb player. We also know that he isn't a natural Number 8.

Hopefully Dombrant will come on at 8 early in the 2nd half.

Also hoping that Mitchell gets a chance earlier than 70 minutes.

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Post by king_carlos Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:56 pm

Yea, clearly an agree to disagree thing. From my knowledge his ruck involvements are absolutely sky high which doesn't imply a player struggling to retain the ball but I'll keep an eye out against Australia and SA.

As is always the case in sport we all focus on what we expect/want to see. Last season when Youngs threw a bad pass or got caught at the base there would instantaneously be half a dozen messages mentioning it. Then when Robson comes on and box kicks like a he has no feet or defends like a blind David Campese it might get a single mention.

That's sport, always has been and always will be. If we all agreed it'd be a lot more boring.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:02 pm

king_carlos wrote:I think Lawes has been excellent at flanker. His carrying has improved out of sight, he's an animal in the tackle and has a huge work rate. If a young blindside offered those qualities then most of us would need a change of pants. Those are basically the attributes that got me so excited about Ted Hill early on but his form has faltered somewhat. They're now the qualities that make George Martin such an exciting player.

Lawes has just kept improving to point where he is an incredibly consistent and rounded player. One of those experienced internationals who suffers from not being new and shiny in a position where there are always new and shiny players in the Premiership. Due to talented forwards gravitating to the back row in school and age grade rugby there are always great talents coming through there but very few that ever hit the heights Lawes has.

I agree and that consistency is such that he could slot in next week without playing this week if we wanted to try something different.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:04 pm

king_carlos wrote:Yea, clearly an agree to disagree thing. From my knowledge his ruck involvements are absolutely sky high which doesn't imply a player struggling to retain the ball but I'll keep an eye out against Australia and SA.

As is always the case in sport we all focus on what we expect/want to see. Last season when Youngs threw a bad pass or got caught at the base there would instantaneously be half a dozen messages mentioning it. Then when Robson comes on and box kicks like a he has no feet or defends like a blind David Campese it might get a single mention.

That's sport, always has been and always will be. If we all agreed it'd be a lot more boring.

I'd love to see rugby journalists move on the stats a bit more as an aside, very rarely can you get decent stats on rucks etc just the very basic tackles made etc which have been around for donkeys years. They're obviously collected by sides shame its not made more widely known. But on the other hand I suppsoe it may frighten the casual onlooker away.

And yes I'll always notice how slow and loopy Youngs passes are! Never been an advocate of Robson though. Re stats Sam likes the stat that Youngs was the quickest out of him and Robson throughout and thats the danger of stats as you can read that as Youngs has the quicker game; which isn't true is it? Robson plays with more width most of the time so has further to run to get there etc and then that Youngs pass, well he's not Peter Stringer! I love rugby in part because it's complicated and can be viewed many ways and talked about for ages. I'll say again the vast amount of time when I criticise a player it's because England have so many players of such quality. Because I say Lawes is too slow as a blindside it's because I think we have other players and combos which I think would be more successful. As I say above he's a very good lock, hope it doesnt come off like I think hes an average Joe. Unless I'm talking about Daly at full back. Hes just gash.

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Post by lostinwales Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:05 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:I don't get the need to play Curry as an 8 when there's a superb 8 in the 23. We all know that Curry is a superb player. We also know that he isn't a natural Number 8.

Hopefully Dombrant will come on at 8 early in the 2nd half.

Also hoping that Mitchell gets a chance earlier than 70 minutes.

There are arguments we can make for a lot of these decisions, however stretched. It does give Curry more experience. Assuming Dombrandt gets on the pitch he'll be playing against a tired Tongan team where he may be able to do a lot of damage. It could help to boost both players.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Nov 04, 2021 2:56 pm

Well….Curry has to practice staying bound to rolling mauls, eh?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:04 pm

Lawes at 6 or anywhere is an old chestnut with 7 1/2, lets just leave it, that both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland both disagree.

Sarge, you realise that Furbs reads these boards and now we have some fine weather and it is Tonga, he is going to carve them up and make himself undropable just to spite you.
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Post by miltonkeynesengland Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:07 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Lawes at 6 or anywhere is an old chestnut with 7 1/2, lets just leave it, that both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland both disagree.

Sarge, you realise that Furbs reads these boards and now we have some fine weather and it is Tonga, he is going to carve them up and make himself undropable just to spite you.

Whatever else one can say abt Douglas Furbanks Jr, the chap has a nose for the line and a moustache for trouble.
I do fear though that he will end up as Alex Goode mk2.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:17 pm

Wouldn't say it worked for Gatland and Lawes ain't exactly been the first choice 6 for Jones. Launch bury (possibly Itoje now) is our most capped starting lock and he's had a few injuries of late. I would have Lawes on the bench at the mo in place of Hill.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:20 pm

miltonkeynesengland wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Lawes at 6 or anywhere is an old chestnut with 7 1/2, lets just leave it, that both Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland both disagree.

Sarge, you realise that Furbs reads these boards and now we have some fine weather and it is Tonga, he is going to carve them up and make himself undropable just to spite you.

Whatever else one can say abt Douglas Furbanks Jr, the chap has a nose for the line and a moustache for trouble.
I do fear though that he will end up as Alex Goode mk2.
You mean Furbank's porn star mustache?

The thing about Furbank, he was in the England squad before and admittedly didn't set the world afire. Eddie Jones told him what he needed to work on, and he seems to have gone away and embraced it, and is now playing the best Rugby of his life. Much better than when he was called up the first time (and I was unsure why he was brought up at that time). So rather than base his selection on his previous, which was likely too early for him, let's see what Eddie has in store for him.


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Post by lostinwales Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:26 pm

Lawes has 87 caps (+5 for Lions)
Launchbury 65
Itoje 48 (+6)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:29 pm

How many starting at lock?

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:40 pm

By my reckoning Lawes has played 68 times as a lock starting 47 of those matches.
Launchbury has started 52 times and Itoje 44 times.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:41 pm

That is quickly done Soul.

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Post by yappysnap Thu Nov 04, 2021 7:36 pm

Kind of what was expected really. Eddie was never going to start too many of the new guys no matter how easy the game.

It's difficult though to work out some of his reasoning behind selections going forward. Like at 10 we started years ago with Farrell then move towards more progressive rugby with Ford at 10 only to lose the RWC and suddenly Ford is out completely and Farrell is back at 10. So do we want the more progressive stuff that we know Farrell struggles to do? Or are we going to just pummel Tonga without subtlety, because what's the point in doing that?

I think it'll be the latter, it'll work because it's Tonga but it will paper over issues which might come back to bite us later on. I don't think these selections show that Eddie is past his obsession with dominating the opposition physically like he tried in the 6N's, and I don't think it'll work against the best.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu Nov 04, 2021 8:29 pm

I don't think the number the number of new guys is the issue....it's more the balance for me. I would have no issue with Radwan not starting for instance.

The players that really warrant a start are Dombrandt, Smith and Steward imo. Maybe fitness etc has caused issues.

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Post by yappysnap Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:31 pm

Yea it's not the numbers but who is starting. Just seems pointless having a low quality lock start so another lock can shift to 6 so that a flanker can shift to 8, when we have actual no8's and flankers ready to play.

Smith should be starting over Farrell. Marchant as well should have got a look in ahead of Slade. Slade hasn't done much to get a start imo and Marchant is one of the best 13's in the league.

Great that Radwan and Steward are there though.

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Post by ebop Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:18 am

Why does England play Australia 10x the rate they do the ABs? We seem to play Wales, Ireland and woeful Italy so much and rarely England and Scotland. What’s that about?
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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:57 am

ebop wrote:Why does England play Australia 10x the rate they do the ABs? We seem to play Wales, Ireland and woeful Italy so much and rarely England and Scotland. What’s that about?

Only in recent years, overall NZ have played France and England a fair bit more than other NH sides. Ireland and Scotland have met NZ the least (aside from Italy).

Im sure it has to do with money.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Nov 05, 2021 7:01 am

Agree completely. Money. Its up to the teams themselves to decide and negotiate fees etc to play each other. England don't need NZ to generate money as much as others do hence can pay less which makes NZ look elsewhere more.

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Post by propdavid_london Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:34 am

I havent seen the Tongan lineup - is it the same side that played the Jocks?
Or a stronger/weaker side?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:38 am

To be fair to Slade, he is in a no win situation with Farrell inside him and with EJ's kicking game. If he gets the ball , he gets his opposite number with it. From memory in a time, long, long, ago, Slade played very well when Manu played inside him. Manu either made space and drew in defenders or ran a dummy line that allowed Slade the space to exploit, which he did very well.

Of course, I would have Dingwall in at 13 and start Mitchell at 9, but hey we all have our favorite clubs and players.

I can't remember where I saw it, something that popped onto my phone showing the player stats for the first 7 games of the Premiership, Mitchell was in the top ten on most "disciplines", tackles, clean breaks, tries, offloads, try assists. For a little guy (83 kg) he certainly tackles well above his weight. He brought DvdM down cleanly 4 times against Warriors giving away 20kg+.............. George Ford, watch and learn.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:46 am

Ive been very critical of Slade, but the one thing about him is he clearly has the handling skills that Jones loves in the backs. Very Australian. I was watching him play basketball in training and Slade was all over it. Having fun.

Have we seen that skill set being best used for England...and especially at 13 though....? Not sure.

However with Manu in there...chances are they will rotate between 12 and 13...and that could open up all sorts of options.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:56 am

Must be fantastic to play with Tuilagi. For me Farrell is a country mile better than Slade on the pitch in terms of ability, he's clearly a great leader given the amount of praise he gets from his teammates and guys who only occasionally cross paths with him (Rees-Zammitt comments). Slade must be ticking some boxes, and I think they're mainly defensive ones. It would be great to see him actually step up against Australia and SA if he is on the pitch in an offensive sense and not just intercepts or chasing, but in terms of a genuine ball playing creative threat.

Was it the Japan game where in the first half in particular Nigel Owens just thought it was a nice exhibition game and didn't enforce laws which spelled the end to Lozowski? For me his performances in the role were far better than anything we've seen so far from Slade in an attacking role. I'd still prefer to see Marchant overtake him though.

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Post by Poorfour Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:25 am

I do wonder what Marchant has to do to impress Eddie. He was quite subdued on his return from NZ, but since the Quinnaissance began last year he's been on fire - especially in broken and transition play. The only thing I can think is that he's not known for his kicking game and perhaps Eddie is expecting international rugby to be more structured. But I think he has a real role to play even if only as a bench option to change things up late in the game.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:32 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Must be fantastic to play with Tuilagi. For me Farrell is a country mile better than Slade on the pitch in terms of ability, he's clearly a great leader given the amount of praise he gets from his teammates and guys who only occasionally cross paths with him (Rees-Zammitt comments). Slade must be ticking some boxes, and I think they're mainly defensive ones. It would be great to see him actually step up against Australia and SA if he is on the pitch in an offensive sense and not just intercepts or chasing, but in terms of a genuine ball playing creative threat.

Was it the Japan game where in the first half in particular Nigel Owens just thought it was a nice exhibition game and didn't enforce laws which spelled the end to Lozowski? For me his performances in the role were far better than anything we've seen so far from Slade in an attacking role. I'd still prefer to see Marchant overtake him though.

I see what you did there....

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Post by lostinwales Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:35 am

Slade has a kicking game too. Just to add that Marchant looks every bit the international center. I do like Slade but I don't think he's as good as Marchant, although he does have the extra strings.

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Post by Hoonercat Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:44 am

Mr Bounce wrote:I don't get the need to play Curry as an 8 when there's a superb 8 in the 23. We all know that Curry is a superb player. We also know that he isn't a natural Number 8.

Hopefully Dombrant will come on at 8 early in the 2nd half.

Also hoping that Mitchell gets a chance earlier than 70 minutes.

I can only guess that Eddie wants to give him more gametime at 8 not because he sees him as England's future no8, but because he wants a player on the field who can seamlessly cover 8 in the event of injury. I also think that Curry has the most potential to develop his power game over the net 2 years which would suit Eddie's preference for a hard-hitting no8. I have a feeling that Eddie still sees Billy V as England's long-term 8 so Dombrant really needs to make the most of his chances if he's to be in with a shot.
As for the balance of the pack, meh. The front row has the potential to be exceptional in the loose but overall, despite Eddie's talk of attack, it seems like a very defence-orientated selection. Maybe Eddie expects to see Tonga come out all guns blazing for the first 30 minutes, with Faz kicking the ball down their throats? In which case I'd rather see Manu on the bench coming on for impact later in the game, the thought of him tackling Tongans on the charge fills me with dread Shocked Hill seems to stick out like a sore thumb in this pack, he strikes me as a bit slow and lumbering at international level in what is otherwise a very mobile pack, he really needs to show that he deserves his place. While I do agree that Lawes has had some very good shows at 6, I think he's a better lock than Hill at the moment.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:51 am

lostinwales wrote:Slade has a kicking game too. Just to add that Marchant looks every bit the international center. I do like Slade but I don't think he's as good as Marchant, although he does have the extra strings.

For me its the position hes in. I still maintain Slades skillset is not a strike runner...something i think the position of 13 is. Slades skillset as a handler, distributor and kicker is better suited at 12. And defensively he is strong.

But thats just my opinion...clearly Baxter and other top level managers disagree with me.

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Post by MichaelT Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:17 am

Farrell testing positive for Covid. I thought he had it earlier this year?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:18 am

Hmm, puts the question mark on the match now doesn't it. You can catch covid more than once even with the vaccine and booster Michael.

If it does ahead and we're lucky enough to avoid other cases probably means Smith in with Furbank to cover and bring Marchant in to cover midfield?

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:00 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Agree completely.  Money. Its up to the teams themselves to decide and negotiate fees etc to play each other. England don't need NZ to generate money as much as others do hence can pay less which makes NZ look elsewhere more.

France have played NZ a lot as I think they often play them when the Lions tour is on, they have one more summer tour than everyone else.

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Post by No9 Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:01 am

MichaelT wrote:Farrell testing positive for Covid. I thought he had it earlier this year?

No 7&1/2 wrote:Hmm, puts the question mark on the match now doesn't it. You can catch covid more than once even with the vaccine and booster Michael.

If it does ahead and we're lucky enough to avoid other cases probably means Smith in with Furbank to cover and bring Marchant in to cover midfield?


BBC wrote:
Owen Farrell: England captain tests positive for Covid-19 before Tonga Test

.... Farrell will miss training on Friday but the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said he may still be able to play the match.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/59176625


What a complete FARCE... so much for "bubbles".. If they do this, he should be fined heavily by PHE for breach of isolation rules and the RFU should be fined very heavily for letting this happen.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:05 am

It's dependant on further testing 9.

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