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England post 2022 6Ns, Aus tour and beyond

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Post by hugehandoff Sun 20 Mar 2022, 5:50 pm

First topic message reminder :

A few things whirling around my head and most start with the fact that Eddie is likely to remain in charge. There are probably a lack of available alternatives and the RFU won't want to fork out more money. Therefore, he is likely to remain in charge until the RWC 2023 is done. Bearing that in mind what are the positives and negatives?

Positives
We have some decent forwards for sure and the set piece should be fine. Underhill was terrific yesterday and I think a return to Curry and Underhill playing around a big 8 would be very handy. Dombrandt should be that man.
Our defence is excellent and the team spirit is clearly there.
We have loads of quality players who can hopefully return to fitness and form and add to the mix. All countries lose players and of course we have more resources than anyone bar France, but we will no doubt look completely different if Launchbury, Hill, Curry, Cowan-Dickie, Manu, May, Watson, Cockanasiga, Farrell are all fit and firing.
We have some foundations to build on and it is not Eddie's fault that we have not had Manu, or a decent replacement, available to add some power to our midfield.
There is enough time to fix many of these issues.

Negatives
Inconsistent selection
Inconsistent tactics and coaching team (too many coaching changes). Taking over from Lancaster Eddie was very clear on what to do. Restore England's traditional strengths in the set piece, defence and back it up with good kicking. Now we are totally confused as what we are trying to do.
The whole thing about playing players not in their best positions
Everyone is bored with Eddie's comments - we need less of him

Aus Tour
What a statement he made by winning 3-0 last time post a grand slam. Ruthless in taking off Burrell after 25 minutes. And they were missing Manu then as well and ended up with Ford, Farrell and Joseph so if we assume that Manu is unavailable then there is still hope. But we need players in their correct position and we need some consistency. Considering we don't have too many options at 12 and Slade is not really working out should we revert to Farrell? Not exactly a running beast, but at least he will be fresh and might just add some toughness. I would love to see Youngs left behind and to back 2 of our younger 9s. Genge, Dombrandt, Smith, Steward etc all need exposure to a tough away series.

Autumn
Based purely on form this is now the time to select the 23 Eddie sees as our strongest RWC team. All bets are off now and if a Mako or Bill V are playing well and showing the form and hunger to return then why not consider them. We might need then in the RWC group even if they are back ups to the regular starters. So maybe give them a game to see where they are? And then hopefully we can enjoy some consistent selection allied with a revamped game plan.

Anyone else hopeful that Eddie can resurrect the team and our RWC ambitions?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:24 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Well he's not Vunipola. But I could see him going instead of Simmonds. Said on another thread, don't get this point of difference thing.

Does Mercer offer anything that Simmonds doesnt?

Better in the lineout perhaps.

I'd prefer Mercer over Simmonds but I don't like Simmonds at all.....

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:24 am

8's for me...

Preferred
Dombrandt
T. Willis

Option for specific opposition
Simmonds

Others...
Billy - Back to form...
Barbaery - depends how he develops.

Further away..not likely to challenge
Chick...

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:28 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:8's for me...

Preferred
Dombrandt
T. Willis

Option for specific opposition
Simmonds

Others...
Billy - Back to form...
Barbaery - depends how he develops.

Further away..not likely to challenge
Chick...

I'd go with Billy and Dombrandt with Barbeary as the one coming through. That's until the might Freddie Lockwood nails down the shirt of course.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 14 Apr 2022, 10:33 am

Freddie is a sure thing Sgt....possibly at 6 though...

Reminds me of old Peter Walton...

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 14 Apr 2022, 11:22 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's Borthwick's job if he wants it though.  I can't see the RFU looking beyond him at present. And the flip side is he would need to offer England a style of play that is better to watch and more successful than Jones over the last 2 years. If he did come in and try to simply play to Leicester's style as it then it wouldn't be successful. I think he's a coach though who will use the players available in the style that suits.

Baxter similarly plays very stodgy rugby a lot of the time. Having a better set of players available than either have currently would bring pressure though.

I like the quotes Sam on player power, something that comes up more and more given the Harlequins situation too.

Borthwick is interested in winning rugby, you don't hire a set piece coach to play Barbarians Rugby, took a change in board for Tigers to sort their thinking out on regards to this. The kick heavy, chase hard part of the game plan was the first thing Borthwick installed at Tigers and the second was the lineout driving maul game. I'd put money on those two being a major factor in the England job. Provide a strong structure for the players to play within but allow key playmakers and leaders to opt for adjustments within that structure where they feel it benefits the game plan. Any England player not a fan of hard work and methodical planning wouldn't make it past the first week's training. There was some Tigers players who didn't make it past Borthwick's first training session.

The player power thing is more a mutual respect thing with SB. I think Quins go further in their culture and I'm not sure if a player came to training and said he didn't fancy a tough session Borthwick would be that pleased. Not unless the player came with data to support the feeling, I get the impression Borthwick likes data.

The players might be happier and the style might suit what we have better but I'd again warn against optimism in respect of a nicer style of rugby. It'll be brutally efficient, just like the win over Clermont was, those five tries were built off the maul and kicking game the Borthwick foundations.

Chiefs don't look good currently but they were very successful playing a brand of rugby that doesn't take shots at goal. Better halfbacks and more flair from the squad in general Baxter's tactics could be quite fun.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Apr 2022, 11:40 am

You surely pick a coach good enough to bring players together to win as much as possible. There isn't a type of rugby which is more about winning than any other. Just don't know why you'd want to become hamstrung playing a type that doesn't get the best out of your group. Jones hasn't done that the last couple of years. At least if you're trying to entertain there's something to fall back on!

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Apr 2022, 3:07 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:You surely pick a coach good enough to bring players together to win as much as possible. There isn't a type of rugby which is more about winning than any other. Just don't know why you'd want to become hamstrung playing a type that doesn't get the best out of your group. Jones hasn't done that the last couple of years. At least if you're trying to entertain there's something to fall back on!
Agree, But don't you think a good coach should be able to modify his/her game plan to fit the skills and talents of the players to get the best out of them?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Apr 2022, 3:38 pm

Sorry craply worded, I do expect that and think that Borthwick is more than a basic set piece and kick it coach. Someone like McCall really showed that with his initial iterations of the Saracens team that they were pretty much a blunt force, but he built from that and when they play they can match anyone.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 14 Apr 2022, 5:59 pm

Borthwick has done wonders for Tigers, obviously. The attacking play for much of the first 18 months was as turgid anything England have offered recently. It's developed more this season but the back play is sometimes still dependant on forward dominance and/or Nadolo doing something few others can to spark it into life.

What Borthwick and a strong team around him have done in terms of forward play, defence and improving players under their coaching is outstanding though. The majority of players, especially young ones, at Tigers seem to have got better under their coaching.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Apr 2022, 9:02 pm

I agree with 7½ and the King there are more arrows in Borthwick's quiver than what we have seen from Leicester so far. I think he has taken the approach to build on what he has, then expand from there. Next season will tell us if this is right. That assumes he thinks he actually has the horses to play a more balanced game plan.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 15 Apr 2022, 8:33 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sorry craply worded, I do expect that and think that Borthwick is more than a basic set piece and kick it coach. Someone like McCall really showed that with his initial iterations of the Saracens team that they were pretty much a blunt force, but he built from that and when they play they can match anyone.

Oh Borthwick definitely will build more than the defence and kick game but I'd thoroughly expect those to be the foundations along with the set piece. The attack comes from strength in those areas. I just want to dampen the enthusiasm for anyone who thinks Borthwick taking over will see a Quins or Saints style expansive attack as the primary basis for how the side plays. That just won't happen.

Given what England have as well they are primed for Borthwick to implement a similar game time to Tigers, some personnel tweaking. Smith would probably flourish within the strict structure but with licence to break out when he wants. Would give him go to options to probe defences and then when he spots the space he can make the call. Bit different to Quins might be more workable than Eddie's chaos attack.

KC is spot on that Borthwick is excellent at developing players. Genge has just talked about it on Haskell's podcast. The commitment he has to developing players who want to make the effort is right up there and is why so many young Tigers and other acquired development players are making strides.

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Post by mountain man Fri 15 Apr 2022, 9:40 am

Fairly obvious point but club coach is a whole different ball game to Int one especially one under intense heat of media like England.
Borthwick be one of the candidates but the pressure he would be under with England be intense, way more than with Leicester.
Add in time with players way less than with club so getting players to buy into plan and implement it much harder.

So, we can put forward ideas of who we think might be a good Eng head coach and why but whoever gets it won't be the same coach as he is for club.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 15 Apr 2022, 10:38 am

mountain man wrote:Fairly obvious point but club coach is a whole different ball game to Int one especially one under intense heat of media like England.
Borthwick be one of the candidates but the pressure he would be under with England be intense, way more than with Leicester.
Add in time with players way less than with club so getting players to buy into plan and implement it much harder.

So, we can put forward ideas of who we think might be a good Eng head coach and why but whoever gets it won't be the same coach as he is for club.
Good point.

Just wondering, who was the last successful club coach to take over England? I am putting aside Eddie Jones' experience coaching Brumbies. Was it Jack Rowell?

Going further afield than England, Warren Gatland was successful as a club coach before taking over Wales.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 15 Apr 2022, 1:11 pm

doctor_grey wrote:...Just wondering, who was the last successful club coach to take over England?  I am putting aside Eddie Jones' experience coaching Brumbies.   Was it Jack Rowell?...
In the modern era, Jack Rowell is pretty much the only successful club coach ever to be in charge of the England team. While his win rate isn't bad, he is mainly remembered as someone who didn't deliver on the promise of his club career. At the time, the debate over his management was as brutal as anything you see today. This is from 1996:

THE England coach Jack Rowell yesterday made the astonishing accusation that his former second in command Dick Best was trying to undermine the England squad's build up to tomorrow's international against Italy at Twickenham.

Rowell questioned the timing and motivation of a bitter personal attack by Best on the England supremo who sacked him from his post as coach two years ago. Best also described certain RFU members as "two faced and gutless."

The long running war of words between the two coaches was given a fresh twist when Chris Sheasby, who wins his first cap as England's number eight due to the late withdrawal of the injured Ben Clarke, suggested he would not have been selected had he remained with Harlequins instead of switching to Wasps last summer. Best, the Harlequins director of rugby, pushed Sheasby's international claims with a notable lack of success last season.

Rowell, who supervised an England squad session at Twickenham yesterday, took Best to task in strong terms for his outburst. "I am sorry to hear about Dick Best's remarks," he said. "It's not my practice to criticise or comment on the work of other coaches. I don't understand the motivation of other people who seek to disrupt the preparation of the international team."

Best forecast that Rowell would be sacked by the RFU at the end of this season, though the RFU executive congratulated the England coach on his new look team which includes five new caps, at a meeting last Friday. "You don't give someone a one year contract if you have confidence in him," claimed Best.

Best also criticised Rowell's team selection last season. "In bringing back Dean Richards he wasted a whole year in the development of the team - he did it to get a result, otherwise he would have been out of a job. I don't think he'll be the coach or manager by the time of the next World Cup in 1999.

"I just don't like people who ignore you and cannot even say: `bad luck' after you've lost an international match. Rowell avoids me at all costs - he has avoided confrontation all his life."

Rowell's position wasn't helped by the exit of Tony Hallett as RFU CEO, who was one of his big backers. When the game went professional, this was Hallett's view, reported in July 1995. It remains one of English rugby's great "What ifs".

Hallett has a vision for the game and it makes good sense. Some 60 top players would have contracts with the RFU worth around £35,000. They would get every opportunity to play and train and, in addition, benefit from enormous welfare treatment: for instance, extended periods to study (five rather than three years for a degree) and a network of part-time employment (optional, of course) in whatever field was requested so that players would have careers to go to when they come out of the game. The Courage League would, meanwhile, be slimlined so that the top four (or so) clubs would play in an international, rather than national, club competition.
However, Hallett is remembered mainly as the man at the top when England almost got kicked out of the Five Nations, for looking at a separate broadcasting deal, which soured relations with players and the other unions. That did for him, and, when Rowell lost one of his main backers, the knives were out for him too.

The thing is though, some in the RFU had already wanted Rowell out, because they thought they could get Ian McGeechan. However, he turned them down to stay with Saints. While Geech was a successful club coach, he was mainly in demand for his international pedigree with Scotland and the Lions. Rowell decided he'd had enough.

Jack Rowell announced yesterday that he is to step down as England coach when his contract expires on August 31st. His decision comes just 48 hours after Lions coach Ian McGeechan rejected the England post in order to remain at Northampton. Rowell, who took over the England reins in April 1994 and has led England to a Five Nations Championship Grand Slam, three Triple Crowns and a World Cup semi-final, is to pursue his business interests. He has been under pressure to upgrade his existing part-time England arrangement to a full-time contract, but has repeatedly insisted that would be highly improbable.

It had been thought that Rowell's appointment up until the 1999 World Cup would be rubber-stamped by the RFU's management board on Friday week. However, senior RFU player policy-making figures Bill Beaumont and Fran Cotton publicly voiced their support for McGeechan, which may have been the straw that broke Rowell's back.

England captain Phil de Glanville led fierce criticism of the Rugby Football Union after Rowell's announcement. De Glanville aimed his fire at Beaumont and Cotton.

"We all know that the RFU has been looking around for a possible successor, but this sort of thing should be done behind closed doors, and not in public," De Glanville said. "I'm sure the things said in public about Jack and the coaching position will have had some effect on him. The RFU has handled this whole affair very badly."
After Rowell, Ashton is the only coach who had a club title to his name, and that was with Bath, ten years before he took over the top job from Robinson.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 19 Apr 2022, 10:38 am

A lot of the coaching between Woodward and Jones though had to put up with quite a lot of dross, certainly in depth. There were some bloody good players don't get me wrong but there was not what you'd consider a conveyor belt of great talent. You could give Lancaster some pats on the back for bring through young players early in his tenure but that was more the gaping hole in some of the guys in their mid to late 20s too. Jones then has had even more benefit with the guys coming through; there will always be a comment from someone on lack of depth in x y and z from personal preference but we really are awash with very good players, being pushed by youth as well. Not saying any of them were great head coaches but they'd have all preferred the current options I'm sure.

There is a lack of continuity between what the RFU look for in a coach and I don't foresee that every changing. It will continue to be looking at the short term end of the previous coach, seeing what people grumbled about and getting someone who offers the opposite. The latest being foreign coach doesn't get the importance of a 6Ns tournament so we need an English one that does.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 19 Apr 2022, 12:33 pm

There's a pretty solid template for building a winning team that most coaches follow - you tighten up the defence, setpiece and territorial play. When that's working, you can start to open up the attack.

With slight variations, it's what both Lancaster and Eddie did on taking over the England team (along with refreshing the playing squad), it's what Deano did with Quins (though it was Conor O'Shea who set the attack free, he openly thanked Deano for getting the basics right), what Venter and McCall did with Saracens, what Baxter did with Exeter, what Sanderson has done with Sale and what Borthwick is part way through doing with Leicester.

The only recent examples of teams that haven't done it that way are Bristol and Quins - both with squads with an unusual level of attacking talent and still based around solid setpieces even if the defence is a bit looser. It's not paid off in silverware for Bristol, though it's been fun to watch, and it remains to be seen how long Quins can sustain what they're doing. This year both teams have tended to come unstuck when up against the more traditional power-based sides, though it will be interesting to see if the balance shifts as we move into the good weather at the business end of the season.
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Post by doctor_grey Tue 19 Apr 2022, 1:46 pm

Poorfour wrote:There's a pretty solid template for building a winning team that most coaches follow - you tighten up the defence, setpiece and territorial play. When that's working, you can start to open up the attack.

With slight variations, it's what both Lancaster and Eddie did on taking over the England team (along with refreshing the playing squad), it's what Deano did with Quins (though it was Conor O'Shea who set the attack free, he openly thanked Deano for getting the basics right), what Venter and McCall did with Saracens, what Baxter did with Exeter, what Sanderson has done with Sale and what Borthwick is part way through doing with Leicester.

The only recent examples of teams that haven't done it that way are Bristol and Quins - both with squads with an unusual level of attacking talent and still based around solid setpieces even if the defence is a bit looser. It's not paid off in silverware for Bristol, though it's been fun to watch, and it remains to be seen how long Quins can sustain what they're doing. This year both teams have tended to come unstuck when up against the more traditional power-based sides, though it will be interesting to see if the balance shifts as we move into the good weather at the business end of the season.
To be fair, it is usually the better defensive clubs which tend to win championships in almost every sport. Leading to the inevitable: "Offense wins awards, defense wins championships."

But I agree the basic approach is to tighten up fundamentals, then defense, and finally open the attack. Unfortunately for me, you omitted Saints from the list of teams which didn't follow the script. They followed the up-tempo, no defense approach, which has caused numerous matches to be lost near the end of the halves or matches. And are 11 up and 9 down - mediocre. Don't try this method at home, kiddies....

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Post by yappysnap Tue 19 Apr 2022, 10:54 pm

I think the difference is that Quins and Bristol need to play at their best to win tough games, there is little margin for error as it takes so many little parts working well to make each try. Conversely teams that play a simpler more physical game have less to get wrong, it's a little easier for all the parts involved to get their contributions done correctly and so it's more forgiving when under pressure.

Quins and Bristol both have/had very good set piece as well, guys like Afoa and Marler being some of the best around. You have to have this if you want to go run it about and still win.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 20 Apr 2022, 12:02 pm

Lawes could be out of the Australia tour with a dislocated thumb. Would imagine he would have gone if fit so nicely opens a chance for someone, thinking Willis will get a chance (again if fit) which could well be at 7 and a guy like Chessum at 6.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 20 Apr 2022, 12:53 pm

When is George martin back fit?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 20 Apr 2022, 1:55 pm

Not sure. I prefer what Chessum brings at 6 to that of Martin tbh. Obviously a small question of longer term is either move to lock.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 20 Apr 2022, 1:59 pm

Its going to be interesting actually 7.5 over the next few years at lock. The old guard will all be moving on (bar Itoje)and we have a new batch of VERY tall locks coming through. And one or two shorter powerhouses...be interesting to see how they all develop

Will Martin (6'6) or Chessum Snr (6'8) move to lock permanently...

Will Tizzard (6'5) come through to this International level with his move to Saracens...

Will Alfie Bell (6'8) or Chessum Jr (6'9-10) make any kind of impact at prem level...and then subsequently international?

Will Groves (6'8) moves to Sale bring him on...?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 20 Apr 2022, 2:19 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not sure. I prefer what Chessum brings at 6 to that of Martin tbh. Obviously a small question of longer term is either move to lock.

The thing with Chessum is he plays the same way at 6 as he does at lock. He's got such a big engine on him. He's obviously a great lineout option and not a bad carrier though possibly more there. Depends what England want because Martin is ok at carrying (that's a work on) and a decent jumper but his tackling ability is pretty destructive. If you want your 6 to cut people in half primarily and then be a third jumper and carry a bit he's your man. If you want a mobile third lock you go Chessum. If those are the two options obviously.

I think Chessum will increasingly be used in the row at club level, he keeps bulking up which given his age isn't unusual. The first game Vs Clermont in Clermont he was fantastic alongside Green at lock, setting up the rolling mauls and generally making life tough for Clermont's big forwards. I think he's a potential point of difference (if he keeps developing the way he is) at lock but whilst able at 6 not likely to set the world alight.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 20 Apr 2022, 2:24 pm

Really hard to say who is going to make the leap, thought that Joel Kpoku would be a natural successor through the England side but obviously didn't manage to get into the Saracens side consistently. Have to admit I've never seen him play for Lyon but you'd imagine he's not even on the radar now. Out of those you named I think Tizzard has looked good for Harlequins and have to admit it's a bit annoying given that that he's now off to Saracens from an England perspective. Could spur him on, could find himself down the pecking order. The rest all have promise but I wouldn't put a great deal of money down on them playing for England with any regularity as yet.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 20 Apr 2022, 2:33 pm

If Chessum Snr makes lock his position, at 6'8, bulks up and yet keeps that mobility and real in your face style of game...he will be quite a force. He wont be pleasant to play against at all.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 20 Apr 2022, 3:53 pm

He looks good. Not sure he's in the style of bruiser you crave. Haven't Simon Shaw or Martin Johnson any sons that are suddenly going to appear?!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 20 Apr 2022, 4:19 pm

No i dont see him as a bruiser....i see him as a right royal pain in the rear...athletic lock forward. Hes in your face just being a nuisance.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 20 Apr 2022, 5:01 pm

Strong possibility that Lawes will be unavailable this summer, he had a compound dislocation of his thumb at the weekend, the bone actually came out, but it either popped back in or was put back in, and it has been irrigated and sewn back up again. Doc will obviously know lot more than me, but from what experience I have, they are nasty and mess up a lot more than the joint.

A chance possibly to allow someone else to show what they can do.
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Post by Cumbrian Wed 20 Apr 2022, 5:14 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Its going to be interesting actually 7.5 over the next few years at lock. The old guard will all be moving on (bar Itoje)and we have a new batch of VERY tall locks coming through. And one or two shorter powerhouses...be interesting to see how they all develop

Will Martin (6'6) or Chessum Snr (6'8) move to lock permanently...

Will Tizzard (6'5) come through to this International level with his move to Saracens...

Will Alfie Bell (6'8) or Chessum Jr (6'9-10) make any kind of impact at prem level...and then subsequently international?

Will Groves (6'8) moves to Sale bring him on...?

There are so many locks getting regular game time at a relatively young age this season, in addition to the names on your list are Ewan Richards (17), Chunya Munga (12), George Hammond (14). But in truth, most teams have a player worth keeping half an eye on. I have to believe that at least one of them will come through to international honours/ regular squad membership in the next 2-3 years.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Apr 2022, 7:58 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:He looks good. Not sure he's in the style of bruiser you crave. Haven't Simon Shaw or Martin Johnson any sons that are suddenly going to appear?!

Chessum Jnr is more akin to that style of player. He's at least 6ft9 and possibly taller and according to his Notts (where he's been on loan) bio over 18 stone whilst looking like he's made up of twigs. Very confrontational player but he's a couple of years of development away from being around the Tigers side and that's before he shows enough to get into the England side so might just make the world cup after next.

Considering his current weight to height ratio he could quite easily hit 20 stone and not be bulky. Whether he can bring enough impact in the loose is yet to be seen though.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Apr 2022, 8:00 am

Cumbrian wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Its going to be interesting actually 7.5 over the next few years at lock. The old guard will all be moving on (bar Itoje)and we have a new batch of VERY tall locks coming through. And one or two shorter powerhouses...be interesting to see how they all develop

Will Martin (6'6) or Chessum Snr (6'8) move to lock permanently...

Will Tizzard (6'5) come through to this International level with his move to Saracens...

Will Alfie Bell (6'8) or Chessum Jr (6'9-10) make any kind of impact at prem level...and then subsequently international?

Will Groves (6'8) moves to Sale bring him on...?

There are so many locks getting regular game time at a relatively young age this season, in addition to the names on your list are Ewan Richards (17), Chunya Munga (12), George Hammond (14). But in truth, most teams have a player worth keeping half an eye on.  I have to believe that at least one of them will come through to international honours/ regular squad membership in the next 2-3 years.

Richards at Bath looks very promising. He should get plenty of game time as well unless they go out and sign about three locks.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Apr 2022, 8:10 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He looks good. Not sure he's in the style of bruiser you crave. Haven't Simon Shaw or Martin Johnson any sons that are suddenly going to appear?!

Chessum Jnr is more akin to that style of player. He's at least 6ft9 and possibly taller and according to his Notts (where he's been on loan) bio over 18 stone whilst looking like he's made up of twigs. Very confrontational player but he's a couple of years of development away from being around the Tigers side and that's before he shows enough to get into the England side so might just make the world cup after next.

Considering his current weight to height ratio he could quite easily hit 20 stone and not be bulky. Whether he can bring enough impact in the loose is yet to be seen though.

One of those who could go either way. I've not been that impressed with him watching the youth teams but with a physical position as is his it's as much about how you have developed in physique as much if not so than the talent you have.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Apr 2022, 10:24 am

Well most are a good few years down the line...we shall watch their development with interest.

As to current...
Starters
Lawes - Now seen as a 6
Itoje
Hill - Seemingly was 1st choice along side Maro.

Others
Launchbury - Can he force himself back in to the setup?
Isiekwe - Can he make a real push for the starting spots?
Ewells - Why is he there...and will he still be after his red card.

Youth
Ollie Chessum - Can he continue his excellent progression
Tizzard - Shows up impressively for Quins. Can he push on his development moving to Saracens.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 22 Apr 2022, 11:14 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He looks good. Not sure he's in the style of bruiser you crave. Haven't Simon Shaw or Martin Johnson any sons that are suddenly going to appear?!

Chessum Jnr is more akin to that style of player. He's at least 6ft9 and possibly taller and according to his Notts (where he's been on loan) bio over 18 stone whilst looking like he's made up of twigs. Very confrontational player but he's a couple of years of development away from being around the Tigers side and that's before he shows enough to get into the England side so might just make the world cup after next.

Considering his current weight to height ratio he could quite easily hit 20 stone and not be bulky. Whether he can bring enough impact in the loose is yet to be seen though.

One of those who could go either way. I've not been that impressed with him watching the youth teams but with a physical position as is his it's as much about how you have developed in physique as much if not so than the talent you have.

His work in the tight seems good and he's more than happy to get stuck in when the handbags go, never a bad thing for a big second row. At age grade you tend to notice the more athletic and naturally powerful forwards though. Baxter the Quins LH was largely anonymous but we know he has already been in and around the Quins squad which suggests the coaches back him at set piece time. Heyes similarly wasn't much heralded at under 20s level but is considerably ahead of Painter and Street who were.

Chessum Jnr will have to develop physically and that loose game though because being a set piece lock won't be enough to get him selected. His carrying game in particular needs to be more robust and given his size his body positioning will be a continual work on. He only turned 19 in Feb so there's a good couple of years development in him before I expect much first team impact. He's already playing Championship Rugby so a couple more years of that with PRC and age grade representation should help him kick on.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 22 Apr 2022, 11:18 am

BBC 'England number eight Sam Simmonds could miss the summer tour of Australia with a hip and groin injury.

The 27-year-old started three of England's Six Nations games this year.

Simmonds could also be absent for the Premiership play-offs, with Exeter in the fourth and final qualifying spot with three regular-season games to go.

"I don't want to say he will definitely be back for England or back for us at the end of the season," said Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter.

"I don't think it is as simple a prognosis as that.

"There are some treatment options, a lot more is going to be known this week."

England will play three Tests against Australia this summer, with the first coming in Perth on 2 July.

Fellow forward Courtney Lawes is also a doubt for the tour after dislocating his thumb.

Harlequins' number eight Alex Dombrandt started England's Six Nations wins over Italy and Wales when Simmonds was on the bench, while Tom Curry filled the role during England's autumn wins over Tonga, Australia and South Africa.'

I talk about injuries being key in opening or shutting doors for players and this could be a really key one. I still think Dombrandt is the preferred choice in the short term but given some of his performances in an England shirt Simmonds was making his mark to be at least in the wider squad and bench. If he misses this tour it could be that Barbeary doesn't look back.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 22 Apr 2022, 12:27 pm

If Simmonds does miss the tour, that could be his England career over already after having just squeezed his way back in the squad / team.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 22 Apr 2022, 3:24 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:If Simmonds does miss the tour, that could be his England career over already after having just squeezed his way back in the squad / team.
So many untimely injuries have changed the course of careers. Simpson Daniel always comes to mind, and Cipriani another. When Stuart Lancaster took over, it was reported that he planned on naming Tom Wood as England captain. Wood then injured his big toe, and played no part in the 2012 Six Nations. Though he returned as an England regular, Robshaw was, by then, established as captain, and his sliding doors moment had passed.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 22 Apr 2022, 5:21 pm

I could see Billy getting recalled for the summer. His form for Sarries has been getting consistently better to be fair. In a couple of games I've seen the entirety of he's been very good indeed. Difficult to say if he's right at his best without seeing him against international or top European competition. His form in the Premiership has been very good though. If a 22-year-old was playing as he has in a few games then there'd be a lot of chat about them!

He's always tended to get better with a run of games. Some players can come back from injury string 2 or 3 games together and look similar to what they will after 10 more. Billy never could do that. 22 apps, 21 starts and 1,532 minutes so far this season is a lot of rugby though and he's looking pretty good for it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 23 Apr 2022, 3:33 pm

Ever think the most important appointment for England next isn't the head coach or Edwards as defence coach, but Adam Jones for the scrum?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sat 23 Apr 2022, 10:30 pm

Nope....scrum is fine.

Attack coach is the biggy cos its gash

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Sun 24 Apr 2022, 7:45 am

king_carlos wrote:I could see Billy getting recalled for the summer. His form for Sarries has been getting consistently better to be fair. In a couple of games I've seen the entirety of he's been very good indeed. Difficult to say if he's right at his best without seeing him against international or top European competition. His form in the Premiership has been very good though. If a 22-year-old was playing as he has in a few games then there'd be a lot of chat about them!

He's always tended to get better with a run of games. Some players can come back from injury string 2 or 3 games together and look similar to what they will after 10 more. Billy never could do that. 22 apps, 21 starts and 1,532 minutes so far this season is a lot of rugby though and he's looking pretty good for it.

I think Alfie Barbeary & Possibly Tom Willis deserve a summer slot ahead of Billy.
Alfie in particular can do all that Billy V does & more & is young & will only get better.Tom is unfortunate that Alfie is in the same Wasps squad!

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 25 Apr 2022, 10:59 am

Ive been very critical over the years so its only fair that i give praise when due, i thought Owen Farrell was excellent yesterday...creative, vocal, generally controlled the game...

Maybe the enforced injury break has been good for him....

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Post by Poorfour Mon 25 Apr 2022, 2:54 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ive been very critical over the years so its only fair that i give praise when due, i thought Owen Farrell was excellent yesterday...creative, vocal, generally controlled the game...

Maybe the enforced injury break has been good for him....

Nah, it's the time he's spent in camp chatting to Marcus...
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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 25 Apr 2022, 3:33 pm

Poorfour wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Ive been very critical over the years so its only fair that i give praise when due, i thought Owen Farrell was excellent yesterday...creative, vocal, generally controlled the game...

Maybe the enforced injury break has been good for him....

Nah, it's the time he's spent in camp chatting to Marcus...

Ha ha.....picked up a few tips eh?

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Post by king_carlos Mon 25 Apr 2022, 5:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Ever think the most important appointment for England next isn't the head coach or Edwards as defence coach, but Adam Jones for the scrum?

GeordieFalcon wrote:Nope....scrum is fine.

Attack coach is the biggy cos its gash

Judging by the timing that post from 7.5 was just before halftime of the Quins vs Tigers game when Collier was mincing van Wyk in the scrum. Once Genge came on it was a different battle!

That said I've sung Colliers praises before. If he can stay fit he does the set-piece very solidly.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 26 Apr 2022, 8:03 am

It was at half time. Bar that first scrum after the break though I thought Harlequins stayed on top in the scrum which surprised me once Cole and Genge were on. Think Jones has really transformed them and I get there are bigger issues than that for England; 6 nations we actually looked really good but I don't want him to go to Wales and them actually be half decent there again either!

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Post by mountain man Tue 26 Apr 2022, 8:04 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ive been very critical over the years so its only fair that i give praise when due, i thought Owen Farrell was excellent yesterday...creative, vocal, generally controlled the game...

Maybe the enforced injury break has been good for him....

Same here, he had a great game. I'd definitely have him in Eng side but only as 12 not 10. In absence of Manu or anyone else who is unavailable/not picked, Farrell is the 12 Smith needs outside of him

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 26 Apr 2022, 8:10 am

Well Kelly looks like he could be well ruled out of the summer tour, Ojomoh has been missing from the Bath team the last few weeks (assume that's also an injury but haven't seen anything on it) it would make sense for Farrell to come back in at 12. Smith is clearly 1st choice now. Just who is outside and inside him.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 26 Apr 2022, 2:52 pm

So the two players we hoped to tour for one of the key positions we want fixed...possibly wont lol....typical

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 26 Apr 2022, 4:23 pm

Just seen the u20s Dr banned for 4 games after the hia incident against Italy.

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