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England Autumn Internationals - MARK II

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 20 Nov 2021, 3:43 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 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 9:26 am

I keep hearing the point of difference thing. I'm not so bothered by it. Not much point at being amazing in the lineout for instance if you're a revolving door in defence. And in rugby terms and especially the detail coaches like Jones go into its as much how will people dovetail with others. Will that 'engine and lineout' for instance mean he can give a curry or a dombrandt a different role to bring out their strengths. Or does it mean a stronger lineout at 6 means he's more comfortable in playing Barbeary at 8?

Like I said I wouldn't have had him as yet in my match day squad but I think he'll be in conversations in the coming years.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 9:50 am

Well point of difference is what does he offer that the others dont. And again i dont see anythng.

For Example - George Martin does everything he does (engine, lineout ) but is hugely physical and has offensive tackling ability.

Kenningham is more like a Tom Wood...who i did like, but didnt excell at anything...just had a decent alround game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 10:31 am

Well what does Martin do better? Less of a lineout than Lawes. Less of an engine than Ludlow. Less physical than Ewers. Less tackling than Underhill. Unless you want to look at the whole player and combos?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 12 Jan 2022, 11:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well what does Martin do better? Less of a lineout than Lawes. Less of an engine than Ludlow. Less physical than Ewers. Less tackling than Underhill. Unless you want to look at the whole player and combos?

Martin doesn't call the lineout like Lawes does but when Tigers have used him as a jumper he's effective on both attack and defence. I'm not sure many in the Prem have a bigger engine than Martin, his tackle count is always well into double figures. Defensively not less physical than Ewers, needs to work on the offensive carrying though that's why he's not getting selected currently, he's getting there but compared to someone like Ewers nowhere near as effective. He's not really one for the jackling game either though neither is Lawes the incumbent at 6 though they have their moments (Lawes has added more of that to his game).

Kenningham for me looks like Robshaw mark 2. He's developing a lot of the strengths of Robshaw, tackling and jackling, but he's got more pace and runs better lines. It depends on where England go with the rest of the backrow but if Eddie wanted to look at a kamikaze kids flanker combination again then Kenningham would be high up the list of options, particularly if he keeps developing his jumper as that would in turn allow more flexibility in 8 selection. If Eddie persists with the mobile lock option at 6 then Kenningham is going to be out of luck as Tom Curry looks like a potential England great. Jack Willis's return could also be a hurdle for Kenningham as they both offer that similar role for England.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 12 Jan 2022, 12:15 pm

Post RWC there will be very big changes with Eddie going and the remaining older warhorses retiring (through choice or otherwise). That is the point at which guys like Kenningham may well get a chance to get established.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 12 Jan 2022, 12:17 pm

Martin's definitely got as big an engine as Ludlow and makes more dominant tackles than any of the options outside of Curry, Underhill and Lawes - probably sums up why they're still first choice really.

As Sam says he needs to work on his carrying further as at his height and bulk he's not going to be a breakdown threat at international level. His carrying this season has been massively improved though.

Ewers carries well in the Chiefs pick and go game from close range but when I watch him doesn't seem to get over the gain line carrying off 9 as much. Fringe defences at international level are so much stronger that no sides really pick and go so getting over the gain line comes down to carrying around the corner off your scrum-half. I've never been sure Ewers does that.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 12:36 pm

I see the guardian have confirmed the "potential" assault case is a 29 year old man (former England player) and took place in manchester...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 1:30 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I see the guardian have confirmed the "potential" assault case is a 29 year old man (former England player) and took place in manchester...

Shows why you shouldn't jump to conclusions. I now know exactly who is accused though.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 1:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I see the guardian have confirmed the "potential" assault case is a 29 year old man (former England player) and took place in manchester...

Shows why you shouldn't jump to conclusions. I now know exactly who is accused though.
Exactly and the person who most seemed to think it was...has put out a big twitter complaint to the press to leave him alone.

Yes its obvious to me who it is.

HOWEVER...innocent until proven guilty. No-one has any idea of the story or what happened or anything.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 12 Jan 2022, 1:56 pm

On the rugby ahead of us.

The Scotland fixture presents an interesting matchup in the front row as both sides will likely be much stronger at LH than TH.

England are really crying out for a second choice TH behind Sinckler who's been short of his best form for a while albeit I actually thought he had a quietly solid Autumn. Their solution to that seems to be playing Sinckler much deeper into the second half than props usually do these days. Not ideal for Sincks or England in my opinion.

Scotland now have two very good LHs in Sutherland and Schoeman but are comparatively struggling at TH with Fagerson having been below his best recently and Oli Kebble making the shift to TH as they search for depth.

I think we could see a few scrum penalties go both ways if the weather is as you'd expect for a February game at Murrayfield.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:11 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I see the guardian have confirmed the "potential" assault case is a 29 year old man (former England player) and took place in manchester...

Shows why you shouldn't jump to conclusions. I now know exactly who is accused though.
Exactly and the person who most seemed to think it was...has put out a big twitter complaint to the press to leave him alone.

Yes its obvious to me who it is.

HOWEVER...innocent until proven guilty. No-one has any idea of the story or what happened or anything.

Well, presumed innocent in the eyes of the law anyway.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:12 pm

king_carlos wrote:On the rugby ahead of us.

The Scotland fixture presents an interesting matchup in the front row as both sides will likely be much stronger at LH than TH.

England are really crying out for a second choice TH behind Sinckler who's been short of his best form for a while albeit I actually thought he had a quietly solid Autumn. Their solution to that seems to be playing Sinckler much deeper into the second half than props usually do these days. Not ideal for Sincks or England in my opinion.

Scotland now have two very good LHs in Sutherland and Schoeman but are comparatively struggling at TH with Fagerson having been below his best recently and Oli Kebble making the shift to TH as they search for depth.

I think we could see a few scrum penalties go both ways if the weather is as you'd expect for a February game at Murrayfield.

I'm really thinking it has to be Collier.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:20 pm

I do rate Collier higher than Stuart I must say.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:24 pm

No question Collier is far better

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:34 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:I see the guardian have confirmed the "potential" assault case is a 29 year old man (former England player) and took place in manchester...

Shows why you shouldn't jump to conclusions. I now know exactly who is accused though.
Exactly and the person who most seemed to think it was...has put out a big twitter complaint to the press to leave him alone.

Yes its obvious to me who it is.

HOWEVER...innocent until proven guilty. No-one has any idea of the story or what happened or anything.

Well, presumed innocent in the eyes of the law anyway.

This whole topic is a very dark grey area, 7.5.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:35 pm

Can we not find a replacement for Sinkler whilst we're at it.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:42 pm

Telegraph have confirmed that the "player" was not part of the recent England squad
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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 12 Jan 2022, 2:48 pm

Seems pretty obvious who it is.

However I would like to draw attention to two shameful actions:
1 on Social Media
2 in the Press

Some on Social Media are pointing the figure at Cipriani because his wife is 41.
The person arrested is 29, Cipriani is 34.
Self appointed social media judge and jury get it wrong -- again !

As to the Press the Daily Mail report the story alongside a picture of Marcus Rashford.
I am convinced this is deliberate and typical of the low life at that paper who
want to have a dig at Rashford for his attack on the Tory Government

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Post by lostinwales Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:06 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Seems pretty obvious who it is.

However I would like to draw attention to two shameful actions:
1 on Social Media
2 in the Press

Some on Social Media are pointing the figure at Cipriani because his wife is 41.
The person arrested is 29, Cipriani is 34.
Self appointed social media judge and jury get it wrong -- again !

As to the Press the Daily Mail report the story alongside a picture of Marcus Rashford.
I am convinced this is deliberate and typical of the low life at that paper who
want to have a dig at Rashford for his attack on the Tory Government

There is, after all, an extensive list of 29 year old former England players based in Manchester

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Post by king_carlos Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:15 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can we not find a replacement for Sinkler whilst we're at it.
Did Sinckler do anything particularly wrong in the Autumn?

Even with his form dipped below the level where he was one of the two best performing THs in rugby he's still a very good player who was on the bench behind Furlong for all three Lions tests in the summer. Most nations would take Sinckler at this slightly lower level of performance in a heartbeat.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:25 pm

I worry that Sinckler's scrummaging has declined a bit since his move to Bristol. Adam Jones is proving to be an excellent scrum coach, and I think he is missing that level of input.

I still think he warrants a place in the XXIII, but I think there will be times when we need a stronger scrummager to complement him, and most of the alternatives who have been tried are a bit Sinckler-lite - good in the loose, not so good in the scrum. That, combined with Cole's slight decline in the scrum, puts Collier on the radar given his return to full form and fitness.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:26 pm

king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Can we not find a replacement for Sinkler whilst we're at it.
Did Sinckler do anything particularly wrong in the Autumn?

Even with his form dipped below the level where he was one of the two best performing THs in rugby he's still a very good player who was on the bench behind Furlong for all three Lions tests in the summer. Most nations would take Sinckler at this slightly lower level of performance in a heartbeat.

Not really anything wrong, he just ,looks half the player he was. His body language on the pitch is a big tell tale. in a recent game for bristol...honestly it looked like he was hating every minute. Is he regretting moving to Bristol? Who knows....but he just doesnt look right mentally. They've worked on his aggression and i think thats had a detrimental effect on his game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:28 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can we not find a replacement for Sinkler whilst we're at it.

You're mad.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Can we not find a replacement for Sinkler whilst we're at it.

You're mad.

No i just have an opinion...thats allowed.

Do you think Sinkler has been great.

Id wager that if we actually had a rival at the moment...Sinkler wouldnt be starting.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:50 pm

There can be a problem that we judge the best players by different standards. The other point is of course that there are no established rivals, the closest being Stuart who is huge and OK if a bit average. Sinckler's ceiling is very high.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 12 Jan 2022, 3:55 pm

Do you think there is much chance of us seeing this midfield:

10 Smith
12 Slade
13 Marchant

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Post by king_carlos Wed 12 Jan 2022, 4:36 pm

The biggest strength Slade adds by a mile is his defending in the 13 channel. I really don't see what we'd gain by shifting Slade to a position he basically never plays.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 12 Jan 2022, 4:39 pm

I tend to agree with GF, something was very wrong with Sinckler last season. He failed to get in the Lions and it seemed to light a fire. This Autumn he has regressed back a bit though far better than early 2020/2021 season form.

As a Scotland fan, on paper I am not too worried about the England props. It will come down to on the day but expecting it to be a wash even if England have a bigger back five of the pack. Not sure many sides are happy with their back-up TH's in the NH (France and Ireland if Porter is not playing LH).

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 12 Jan 2022, 4:47 pm

Ex Sarge, ex international. Not part of the current squad.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 12 Jan 2022, 4:53 pm

Just seen it has already been mentioned.

Not hard to figure out a 29yo Sale/Ex England anyway.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:10 pm

Best TH in England at the moment - Dan Cole

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:21 pm

After Collier and Sinckler you're right.

Don't think I'm stretching RDWs advice by posting the Daily Heil link. As much as I loathe them they're the only ones seemingly with the update.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10394517/Prostitute-arrested-England-rugby-star-suspicion-raping-teenager-tells-threesome.html

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:24 pm

Id have Cole above Sinckler at the moment.
Collier is indeed impressing

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:34 pm

Cole was disposed of too quickly it appears. Probably be able to keep it up until the RWC and has the experience not to be fazed by having to step up in case of injury. I don't see it happening as Jones would have to admit to being wrong unless it is so far out there he can claim to be the smartest man in the room and that he dropped Cole to preserve him for RWC2023.

If Jones were staying on, he should be looking at Heyes. As he is not, Collier will be 32 at the RWC without too many chances to get to 15-20 caps but with a scrum coach pushing him to his peak.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:52 pm

I think Cole is being remembered a little too fondly. His scrummaging wasn't what it used to be and he added little in the loose bar 2 or 3 idiotic penalties.

He was a fine servant but his time had come.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:57 pm

Poorfour wrote:I worry that Sinckler's scrummaging has declined a bit since his move to Bristol. Adam Jones is proving to be an excellent scrum coach, and I think he is missing that level of input.

I still think he warrants a place in the XXIII, but I think there will be times when we need a stronger scrummager to complement him, and most of the alternatives who have been tried are a bit Sinckler-lite - good in the loose, not so good in the scrum. That, combined with Cole's slight decline in the scrum, puts Collier on the radar given his return to full form and fitness.

Sinckler had off days at Quins as well. He's always been susceptible to them at scrum time but has generally been consistent around the park. At the minute he just seems to be in a general slump. He played solidly in the AIs and KC says so replacement might be a bit early but competition is definitely required. Collier would be a solid All rounder to bring in and would perhaps just spur Sinckler on to better performances.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 12 Jan 2022, 5:58 pm

Sale have just released a statement saying they've suspended a player. Given there's so many 29 year olds at the club capped by England I'm sure we won't be able to guess who it is.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 12 Jan 2022, 6:16 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Id have Cole above Sinckler at the moment.
Collier is indeed impressing

Yeah. No.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 12 Jan 2022, 6:33 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I think Cole is being remembered a little too fondly. His scrummaging wasn't what it used to be and he added little in the loose bar 2 or 3 idiotic penalties.

He was a fine servant but his time had come.

The Dan Cole of today is a better player than the one who played for England.
His play in the loose is now a strength not a weakness

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7:29 am

He really isn't.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 13 Jan 2022, 8:17 am

Some quotes via the guardian from Genge:

“A lot of people have said I tried to gouge him,” said Genge. “That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’d never even dream of doing something like that. That’s disgusting. But, yeah, I lost my head and pushed him in the face a bit. It potentially cost us the game, being down to 14 men for that length of time. I’ll learn from it.

“I have apologised to the boys for letting them down, I apologised to [head coach] Steve Borthwick but it is something I can’t promise I won’t do again. It is one of those things, you lose your head in the heat of the moment. I have not got a bad disciplinary record, I have never been red-carded in a professional game and I think I have got four yellows in my Premiership career.”

Don't think he tried to gouge him but still have no idea how hes got away with it. Contact with eye area seems clear as day, as did the hair pull. Citings in the past in England didn't seem to change around tournaments and we've had players rightly ruled out while rivals seemed to turn a blind eye; can't help but feel this is in part due to the 6Ns.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 13 Jan 2022, 8:32 am

From Walesonline re Hughes:

England international Nathan Hughes has announced he wants to switch nations and represent Fiji.

Hughes will become one of the first players to take advantage of new rugby laws that allow players to change national allegiance after a three-year stand down period.

The number eight, who was born in Fiji but decided to play for England in 2016, won 22 caps for the English. He last represented them in 2019 and so is now eligible to switch.

It means he could face Wales in next year's Rugby World Cup pool stage.

In 2016, the Bristol Bears star said: “It wasn’t easy. People said ‘you’re not from here, why do you want to play for England, you should be playing for your own country’.

“But at the end of the day it’s my decision and it’s my choice, who I want to play for.

“I count this as home now. England is where I’ve played for more than three years and I’m comfortable in saying this is home.

“No disrespect, Fiji is always in my heart and my family will always be there. But this is where I play my rugby, this is my bread and butter, over here.”


Quite succinctly summaries the situation a lot of people find themselves in, and Hughes only finds himself between 2 countries.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 13 Jan 2022, 8:42 am

Maybe not better than his peak England/Lions first choice but better than the worn out version that laboured ender the early days on Jones before being ditched. I dont really see a recall being on the cards though, best will in the world he'll be 36 by the next world cup and its not likely the dynamism hes shown at club level recently will stack up against the elites for a high intensity tournament by then. Jones has pretty consistently gone for very young raw players ahead of short term "fill a gap" veterans. Even where he did that with scrum halves for a while he pretty much admitted the error after a poor year or so and is even more fixed on young players. Cole at his best was an absolute beast, and he's been dominant at club level this season....I dont think that makes him the kind of dynamic prop Jones is looking for at test level, although if we were facing SA you wouldnt mind seeing him in the scrum they did manage to somehow beat them without him (and Vuniploa) anyway, the kids (plus Marler) did just enough and hopefully will continue to improve. There's quite a big core of capped props now even if its not clear who's a reliable first choice, pressure on Sinkler to step up his game is really good and hopefully he will respond in camp.

In terms of the arrested player the only reason Ciprianis name got dragged into it is because of the reporting restrictions, the sources that printed the age pulled it after it was noted that made it too easy to join the dots. Its a downright odd thing that its fine for Ciprinia's name to be printed for things he wasnt convicted of but this chap gets protected for a much more serous offence.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 13 Jan 2022, 8:50 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I think Cole is being remembered a little too fondly. His scrummaging wasn't what it used to be and he added little in the loose bar 2 or 3 idiotic penalties.

He was a fine servant but his time had come.

The Dan Cole of today is a better player than the one who played for England.
His play in the loose is now a strength not a weakness

He may be a better fit for Tigers but he's not as good as when he was in his prime for England. He was a rock in the scrum, he isn't this anymore. I would suspect he would still be a penalty liability too....this was an issue that was intensified in the Int scene.

Cole was a great player for England but time to move on.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 13 Jan 2022, 9:04 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I think Cole is being remembered a little too fondly. His scrummaging wasn't what it used to be and he added little in the loose bar 2 or 3 idiotic penalties.

He was a fine servant but his time had come.

The Dan Cole of today is a better player than the one who played for England.
His play in the loose is now a strength not a weakness

Cole in his prime was always recognised for his breakdown play - he was viewed as being like having an extra flanker in the squad. He was also a top notch scrummager. As far as I can see, the Leicester fitness regime has rejuvenated his impact at the breakdown and made him a better carrier but with the trade off that he lacks some of the power and strength he used to have so has to rely more on technique in the scrum. That's good enough for most purposes, but probably no longer enough against an international loosehead in his prime.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 13 Jan 2022, 10:45 am

Let face it...if its anything other than...this...ill be shocked.

1 Marler
2 LCD
3 Sinkler
4 Itoje
5 Hill
6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry

9 Youngs
10 Smith
11 May
12 Farrell
13 Slade
14 Malins
15 Steward

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Post by lostinwales Thu 13 Jan 2022, 10:51 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Let face it...if its anything other than...this...ill be shocked.

1 Marler
2 LCD
3 Sinkler
4 Itoje
5 Hill
6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry

9 Youngs
10 Smith
11 May
12 Farrell
13 Slade
14 Malins
15 Steward

I suspect Farrell won't make it for the first game. (I'd be pretty happy if he didn't make it to any of them). I am not sure where Tuilagi is in his recovery, but would expect him to be there if fit.

Otherwise pretty much. I'd expect Genge to start over Marler. Only other questions outstanding are Dombrandt starting or on the bench, and who starts out of Malins and Marchant.

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 13 Jan 2022, 10:53 am

For me, if a player has proven international pedigree, I don't care how old he is. If Cole is the best man for the job (not saying that he is), then get him in, there is precedent of props older than Cole playing for England (Julian White and Jason Leonard come to mind). I guess it may seem like a regressive step, but if he can help lay a stronger platform for some of England's new caps then I wouldn't be against it.

I think perhaps some of the doubts over Sinkler are being cast because he is looking a bit unenthusiastic at Bristol at the moment. He doesn't prop in isolation though, he is part of a unit that often contains Yann Thomas and Harry Thacker who are both good club men, but (with respect) neither of whom would be considered scrummaging titans.
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Post by Cumbrian Thu 13 Jan 2022, 11:04 am

lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Let face it...if its anything other than...this...ill be shocked.

1 Marler
2 LCD
3 Sinkler
4 Itoje
5 Hill
6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry

9 Youngs
10 Smith
11 May
12 Farrell
13 Slade
14 Malins
15 Steward

I suspect Farrell won't make it for the first game. (I'd be pretty happy if he didn't make it to any of them). I am not sure where Tuilagi is in his recovery, but would expect him to be there if fit.

Otherwise pretty much. I'd expect Genge to start over Marler. Only other questions outstanding are Dombrandt starting or on the bench, and who starts out of Malins and Marchant.

To be fair, with a few tweaks it is a bloody good team. It's an unpopular opinion, but Farrell isn't the anti-christ. We've won plenty of big games with him at inside centre. I know most of us want to freshen up the centres, but it isn't like we've got a massive choice there (especially if Manu is injured).

For me Underhill drops out of the team at the moment. I know his club isn't doing well, but he is also part of that environment. As a player with 20+ England caps entering his prime, he should be one of the ones putting his hand up to turn things around.

I'm optimistic for the tournament overall.


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Post by lostinwales Thu 13 Jan 2022, 11:31 am

Cumbrian wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Let face it...if its anything other than...this...ill be shocked.

1 Marler
2 LCD
3 Sinkler
4 Itoje
5 Hill
6 Lawes
7 Underhill
8 Curry

9 Youngs
10 Smith
11 May
12 Farrell
13 Slade
14 Malins
15 Steward

I suspect Farrell won't make it for the first game. (I'd be pretty happy if he didn't make it to any of them). I am not sure where Tuilagi is in his recovery, but would expect him to be there if fit.

Otherwise pretty much. I'd expect Genge to start over Marler. Only other questions outstanding are Dombrandt starting or on the bench, and who starts out of Malins and Marchant.

To be fair, with a few tweaks it is a bloody good team.  It's an unpopular opinion, but Farrell isn't the anti-christ.   We've won plenty of big games with him at inside centre.  I know most of us want to freshen up the centres, but it isn't like we've got a massive choice there (especially if Manu is injured).

For me Underhill drops out of the team at the moment.  I know his club isn't doing well, but he is also part of that environment.  As a player with 20+ England caps entering his prime, he should be one of the ones putting his hand up to turn things around.

I'm optimistic for the tournament overall.  

Also optimistic and agree on Underhill, who seems to be spending most of his time injured anyway. (Concussion a couple of weeks ago I think?). Still he does have a habit of playing out of his skin any time we think he's in real danger.

Farrell - it is complicated and I have said the following before. I know he's not the antichrist and I do appreciate how much all of the coaches love him, but it feels as if he casts too long of a shadow over the rest of the team. I can't help but wonder if they play with more freedom in his absence. I also think the balance in the midfield looked so much better with Slade and Marchant or Slade and Tuilagi rather than one of the combinations with Farrell.

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