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England post 2022 6Ns, Aus tour and beyond

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 30 Jun 2022, 9:22 am

First topic message reminder :

sensisball wrote:
With Bath enduring a terrible season how many tries has Cokonasiga scored?

In five starts and four sub appearances he's bagged five tries. One appearance and one try for England.

It's a bench lacking experience but it's the type of players we'd like to have as options come the world cup.

Ignore the front row that pretty much picked itself.

Chessum - covers lock and 6 highly mobile and physical, good lineout option and we've been desperate for a young lock to come through.

Ludlam - covers 8 and 7 which is what the bench needs, club captain so adds much needed leadership here.

JVP - no one likes the current 9 options for last season's Under 20 captain and player of the J6N gets a chance. Best kicking game of the three 9s on tour and likes to play high tempo.

Porter - covers every position in the backs outside of 9 and 10, could probably do a job on the flank as well. Eddie likes a versatility option as they very much help the overall squad come world cup so audition time for Guy.

Arundell - exciting young player, not ready yet but Eddie will be hoping some international game time might speed up his development. Unlikely starter but potential game changer off the bench, always handy to have one of those at a world cup. Porter's inclusion means Arundell won't have to go in early unless there's multiple injuries.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 02 Sep 2022, 5:41 pm

Arundell...

I have been a huge May fan over the years. He really has been, overall, one of the greatest ever England wingers and only Rory Underwood has a higher try count. Right now I do think he has a few things to prove to keep his position in the England squad. Watson has to prove he's not the new Tuilagi as well. Both of them on form are terrific, but at the back of my mind I am wondering how much more time they have at the top level.

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Post by Margin_Walker Fri 02 Sep 2022, 9:27 pm

lostinwales wrote:Arundell...

I have been a huge May fan over the years. He really has been, overall, one of the greatest ever England wingers and only Rory Underwood has a higher try count. Right now I do think he has a few things to prove to keep his position in the England squad. Watson has to prove he's not the new Tuilagi as well. Both of them on form are terrific, but at the back of my mind I am wondering how much more time they have at the top level.

Played the final 20 in pre season against Munster tonight. Finished a try with his first touch again from a scrum strike move from the LI 22. Didn't have to do a lot other than run quickly, but he's a knack of always being in the right place to take advantage on attacking ball.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 02 Sep 2022, 11:34 pm

Arundell could be something very special. He has everything needed to be fantastic at wing or fullback. I think he'll stay around the 23 at the very least, may well force his way into a starting shirt.

Freeman I think is terrific as well. Not many with his mix of size, pace and skills. He's another who genuinely plays both wing and fullback to a great level too rather than primarily being one and sort of covering the other.

Steward
Watson
May
Arundell
Freeman
Nowell

That's the group of back three players I'd be looking to take towards the RWC now with Marchant in the centres group but a very good winger as well.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 06 Sep 2022, 10:47 am

May and Watson if anywhere near what they were will be a huge plus this season. I'm still disappointed that at a time where injuries dictated chances we haven't given the right people runs to cement themselves and it feels like a bit of a waste. Freeman is in a band where he's very young and has no real weaknesses but personally I'm not sold whether he can be a top class winger yet. Arundell will be a superstar, sooner or later so that's a tick.

Nowell still has his uses but I'm not sold on a back 3 involving him and Steward, just lacks gas and with that huge safety blanket at 15 I'd prefer a winger who if he gets the ball in space you think he's going to score. Nowell has huge strengths but finishing isn't at the top.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 06 Sep 2022, 2:30 pm

I think Freeman has everything to be a fantastic winger or fullback. I've been consistently very impressed.

I'm a massive fan of Radwan but he was disappointing last season in a poor Falcons side. Hopefully he can rediscover his best. His tactical kicking game likely needs to improve for international rugby. He's good with attacking kicks, dinks behind at full pace, etc but in kick tennis is instinct seems to be to run it back which can end up spectacularly well or spectacularly badly depending on the quality of chase you're facing! The only standout wingers I can think with similar tactical games are players such as Koroibete, Tuisova and Duhan who are absolute freaks in contact. I hope Radwan fulfils that talent as I'm a big fan and his defence (both positioning and tackling) are largely good.

OHC is brilliant going forward with holes to fill elsewhere. A lot of talent though.

Louis Lynagh I like as he's got really good all round skills and distribution for a winger but I just don't quite see it transferring against international defences.

Malins (then Furbank recalled) on the wing really frustrated me but with Watson and May out, Radwan out of form, Big Joe injured or way off it, etc there weren't really any wingers I looked at and thought they were screaming out for a chance.

Nowell lacks the pace to be first choice but his defensive strengths are a brilliant option to have in a squad if the conditions and opposition suit.

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Post by Geordie Tue 06 Sep 2022, 3:18 pm

king_carlos wrote:

I'm a massive fan of Radwan but he was disappointing last season in a poor Falcons side. Hopefully he can rediscover his best. His tactical kicking game likely needs to improve for international rugby. He's good with attacking kicks, dinks behind at full pace, etc but in kick tennis is instinct seems to be to run it back which can end up spectacularly well or spectacularly badly depending on the quality of chase you're facing! The only standout wingers I can think with similar tactical games are players such as Koroibete, Tuisova and Duhan who are absolute freaks in contact. I hope Radwan fulfils that talent as I'm a big fan and his defence (both positioning and tackling) are largely good.

Radwan suffered the most i think of the Falcons last season due to our appalling tactics and Deans regimented structure. He inevitably got the ball standing still (due to no fault of his own) or with 4 defenders on top of him due to our dire shuffle the ball left to right ponderous attack. Due to this...his confidence and motivation was absolutely shattered and rock bottom.

Theres a total breath of fresh air around KP this summer and Preseason...its like a different club. Walder has expressed that things are changing on the field and whilst its early days and theres clearly lots to work on...we've shown glimpses in the two preseasons that we want to play at much more pace and give our attacking flyers like Radwan, Stephens, Carerras and Ben Stevenson the ball in places where they can really hurt teams.

It will be a one to watch but...hopefully that in turn will give him his mojo back for challenging for England. As you say he's a cracking player...just needs to continue improving his weaker areas.

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Post by Geordie Tue 06 Sep 2022, 3:21 pm

Ps im also a big fan of Sleightholme.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 06 Sep 2022, 6:01 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Ps im also a big fan of Sleightholme.
I am too. I admit my club bias, but also like that he is second generation Saints (and hopefully one day, England like his old man). But I wonder if he was one of those guys who was blooded at club level just a year or so early. Not from the skills standpoint, which is not in doubt, but from an injury and development angle. He was injured off and on last season. Sometimes getting a shot young can set one back more than if one was held back just a little.
Don't know anything in particular, but wondering....

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 09 Sep 2022, 9:35 am

It's a position with a lot of young and unproven players at International level, and yes as ever, you need some luck to get a place and keep it. Look at Lynagh, it's about 4 sets of England games he's missed after getting called up then getting injured isn't it?

I've seen there are a few players who have got dispensation to play early following England games. Genge potentially tonight, though it'll get cancelled, the biggest name. Rugby is a bit at odds with itself again at the moment with what is media PR to injuries and rest and cramming as many games into players as possible.

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Post by Geordie Sat 10 Sep 2022, 6:43 pm

Well just got home from the Quins v Newcastle game. Wonder if I just saw the future england 12 for Quins. Anywanyu (if I have that right) is a physical specimen and yet displayed some very good skills aswell...nice passes, deft chips etc. One to watch this season!

Him and Marchant are going to be a hell of a combo for Quins....is Esterhuizen still there aswell?

One for Post World Cup...our own much hyped young Loosehead Brantingham made his prem debut and looked very comfortable against Low...no mean feat!

Edit...Brantingham was MOTM...

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Post by king_carlos Tue 13 Sep 2022, 5:18 pm

I'm really excited to see how Tizard starts the season. With Isiekwe out and Itoje presumably resting he'll have a lot of responsibility straight away. If Tizard can kick on in partnership with Itoje and Chessum keep developing it would do the second row stocks a lot of good.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 14 Sep 2022, 9:00 am

Saw that George has been bigging him up along the lines of he won't be surprised to see him make the WC squad. Saracens certainly have a well deserved rep for improving players and the guy looks eager to challenge himself. We have a squad being announced by Jones at the end of the month, I wonder how many players to be established make it in and how much notice is taken to form at the start of this season.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 14 Sep 2022, 10:00 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Saw that George has been bigging him up along the lines of he won't be surprised to see him make the WC squad. Saracens certainly have a well deserved rep for improving players and the guy looks eager to challenge himself. We have a squad being announced by Jones at the end of the month, I wonder how many players to be established make it in and how much notice is taken to form at the start of this season.

Tizard could be the missing piece of the pack if he stays fit and links well with Itoje and George. I've said for a while that he's the closest I've seen to a direct replacement for Kruis. He's not flash, but he does everything well and has a low error count, while his main rivals for the shirt tend to have less consistency and make more dumb mistakes. I think he'll also improve Itoje in much the same way that Hill improved Back and Dallaglio, by shouldering a lot of the basic work so they could play to their strengths.

Oddly, though, I think in the long term Sarries need him more than Quins. Hammond is a year or two behind but if he continues to develop looks like he might have a higher ceiling.
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Post by king_carlos Wed 14 Sep 2022, 1:03 pm

That early season training squad will be the same stories as every year. Some experienced players will be left out which will be reported as "dropped" for clickbait whilst in reality they are just being allowed to rest or get game time. Other young players will be looked at then wont feature anywhere near the AIs.

It's a part of Jones selection process that I actually like. I think exposing talented youngsters to training camps early, showing them the standard and telling them what to improve then letting them return to their clubs is a great way to operate. I also think letting known quantities get game time or not have the wear and tear of a training camp is a really good thing sometimes. It's what NZ did brilliantly for a long time under Henry and Hansen. Due to the circus around Jones and English rugby having a lot of (largely poor) media we just see a ton of noise around it.

Other parts of selection such as many woefully misbalanced midfields and too slow back threes I've liked a lot less!

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 18 Sep 2022, 8:39 am

Sam Underhill has had shouder surgery, and will be unavailable for the Autumn Internationals.

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Post by mountain man Sun 18 Sep 2022, 8:53 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Sam Underhill has had shouder surgery, and will be unavailable for the Autumn Internationals.

Yep same here. Well I'm due for shoulder surgery next month but there the similarity ends...

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 18 Sep 2022, 9:09 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Sam Underhill has had shoulder surgery, and will be unavailable for the Autumn Internationals.
were there any reports about the type of injury? I didn't see anything outside of shoulder and 12 weeks: The first thought that comes to mind is a labrum tear or perhaps rotator cuff because of the lack of apparent hysteria and a standard 12 week recovery window. Or maybe a meniscal tear which can, pending site and severity, be on that 12 wk recovery treadmill as well.

Hoping Underhill is given the time and support to come back at his best level. After a couple of weeks off he can progress to the bike. An arm bike will be part of his rehab.

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Post by mountain man Sun 18 Sep 2022, 9:13 am

Underhill apart from latest injury is seemingly getting more and more prone to concussions, I fear for his health in future years. Hate to say it but I suspect he'll be one of many we hear about in 10/15/20 years who gets early onset dementia etc. If I were him, I'd be considering my options out of playing rugby.

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Post by Geordie Sun 18 Sep 2022, 2:21 pm

Not just his health bit for all hes a class act ...he has competition in the back row....
The more games he misses the more he moves to the back of the queue.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 18 Sep 2022, 8:09 pm

The 4 concussions he suffered in 2 months for Bath were very worrying indeed.

Beno Obano is undergoing knee surgery yet again as well. Such a shame for him as he was developing into a far better scrummager to go with his impressive defensive work.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Sep 2022, 8:48 am

Some players have no luck at all.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 19 Sep 2022, 10:13 am

king_carlos wrote:The 4 concussions he suffered in 2 months for Bath were very worrying indeed.

Beno Obano is undergoing knee surgery yet again as well. Such a shame for him as he was developing into a far better scrummager to go with his impressive defensive work.
Didn't realise he had 4 concussions in such a short amount of time. Is that right? I wonder why he was allowed to play after number 3 (or 2). This is extreme.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Sep 2022, 9:55 am

And he hasn't played since he got a concussion playing for England.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 20 Sep 2022, 12:26 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:The 4 concussions he suffered in 2 months for Bath were very worrying indeed.

Beno Obano is undergoing knee surgery yet again as well. Such a shame for him as he was developing into a far better scrummager to go with his impressive defensive work.
Didn't realise he had 4 concussions in such a short amount of time.  Is that right?  I wonder why he was allowed to play after number 3 (or 2).  This is extreme.
Sorry Doc. Not all were concussions specifically. That's my fault for misremembering and not checking. It was 4 head knocks in matches. He missed a cumulative 3 months of Bath's season due to head injuries. Difficult to find info on how many where specifically concussions. The final one with England in Oz has been widely reported as concussion though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:31 am

I know it's a training squad, may mean nothing come the competitive games in the autumn but is there anyone people are hoping to see get a foot on the ladder in a little while?

For me I'd love to see Alo, Anyanwu and Cokanasiga (the younger in there) in terms of uncapped guys. I'm still not sold on Murley but reckon he'll be there. Surprise inclusions anyone?

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:53 am

Not really surprises but Jack And Tom Willis for me. Size, Physical and skilled.

I think England may have missed a gem in Chris Tshiunza...

I think Anywanyu looks a real rough diamond. The lad has the lot if he can bring it together. Power, fitness, great offload, and can kick aswell. Reads the game very well from what i can see. Made a few mistakes yesterday but never let it get to him so strong minded also. He could be a real player....

Also his centre partner Northcote. He also has the lot. Defo needs to be in the squad

Phil Cokasaniga made a very telling input when he came on for Tigers aswell. Looks strong and skilled. Be worth having a look at him.

And Marchant is just a class act.

Theres a young lad called Owen Farrell whos doing alright...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:59 am

Think I missed that Tshiunza was ever England qualified, or you talking more long term?

The thing I liked (weirdly I know) were the couple of mistakes first half. Some players heads would have dropped from that but his didn't. Think there's a lot of improvement to come from him.

Farrell will be in the match day squads in the AIs for sure.

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:03 am

Ah ignore me...he could only qualify for Wales...i was reading his passport details.

Yes Anywanyu could be very interesting to watch his development. His try against us on the first game of the season was pretty impressive.


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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:05 am

Actually im not sure now..he lived in Wales but seems to have been available for all nations. I dont know how that works.

Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, to a French family, he moved to Wales in 2010. He attended Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, where he was part of the Cardiff Blues academy, before going to study at University of Exeter, where he was signed by the Chiefs on a four-year contract.

At international level, he was qualified to play for England, Wales or France, as well as his native DR Congo. He played in a friendly match for England Under-20s in March 2021,[1] before being called up by Wales for the 2021 Six Nations Under 20s Championship,[2] playing in four of their five matches and scoring the opening try in the final match against Scotland.[3] In October 2021, he was called up to the Wales senior team for their Autumn international series against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.[4] He made his international debut against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium on 14 November 2021.[5]

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:18 am

Yeah I read that, from my rudimentary maths he never got 10 years in England, think it's a Wiki writer thinking that if you qualify for the U20s you were qualified for the senior team.

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:40 am

Ah ok....

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Post by Cumbrian Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:57 am

Some interesting names in named in the squad for the training days. You'd imagine the likes of Itoje, Lawes and Dombrandt will come back into the squad when they are fit (hopefully in time for the AI's!)


FORWARDS

Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 37 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 41 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 39 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 69 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 15 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 14 caps)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Patrick Schickerling (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
Hugh Tizard (Saracens, uncapped)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 64 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 70 caps)
Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 4 caps)

BACKS

Henry Arundell (London Irish, 3 caps)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 97 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Will Joseph (London Irish, 1 cap)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 42 caps)
Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 13 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 46 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 117 caps)
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Post by Cumbrian Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:00 am

More worrying not to see Joe Marchant in there though...
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:02 am

Bit depressing to see Porter, Youngs and Furbank still in there.

Tizard and Ribbans is good though.

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:15 am

Ah id not put anything in to names included or missing. Just a bit of a get together.

However.... its good to see Tizzard, Coles and Ribbans being included..so Eddie does have them on the radar and looking at his lock options. Most of the rest pretty as per.

And Shickerling included....he looks very mobile for a big unit. Even though hes Namibian lol...

Ok question...
Do people see Nowell as a game winning winger? I just see him more like a roving centre these days...than a strike try scoring winger...

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:19 am

However...despite saying that.. i thought George martin might be included...

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Post by Cumbrian Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:03 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bit depressing to see Porter, Youngs and Furbank still in there.

Tizard and Ribbans is good though.


Think Youngs will be with us until the World Cup, it would be nice if we could have one or two of the understudies with a caps in double figures for the post WC rebuild though.

I've read on another forum (first I've heard about it though) that Sinkler will be off to France post World Cup, I'd image quite a few in their late 20s early 30s will be considering that option post 2023. Perhaps the Vunipolas? Maybe Jack Nowell and Henry Slade from Exeter?

Actually, looking at the age profile, you could see a fair number of the squad moving on during the next cycle (be it to France or retiring); Phil Vickery, Marler, Jamie George, Cowan-Dickie, Mako, Billy, Lawes, Youngs, Farrell, Ford, Slade, Nowell, May, Watson. There are probably some I missed (i'm actually getting sentimental reading some of those names, it doesn't seem like yesterday...). Either way, we're going to need to find replacements in a lot of key positions over the next 3-4 years.
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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:09 pm

Jack Nowells name is being rumoured along with Simmonds already. Seen it in a few different articles. Either of them going doesnt really affect England as far as im concerned. Could replace them now and not bat an eyelid.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:35 pm

Vickery will be around forever, I refuse to believe he'll take his leave.

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:52 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Bit depressing to see Porter, Youngs and Furbank still in there.

Tizard and Ribbans is good though.


Think Youngs will be with us until the World Cup, it would be nice if we could have one or two of the understudies with a caps in double figures for the post WC rebuild though.

I've read on another forum (first I've heard about it though) that Sinkler will be off to France post World Cup, I'd image quite a few in their late 20s early 30s will be considering that option post 2023.  Perhaps the Vunipolas? Maybe Jack Nowell and Henry Slade from Exeter?  

Actually, looking at the age profile, you could see a fair number of the squad moving on during the next cycle (be it to France or retiring); Phil Vickery, Marler,  Jamie George, Cowan-Dickie,  Mako, Billy, Lawes, Youngs, Farrell, Ford, Slade, Nowell, May, Watson.  There are probably some I missed (i'm actually getting sentimental reading some of those names, it doesn't seem like yesterday...).  Either way, we're going to need to find replacements in a lot of key positions over the next 3-4 years.

This applies to most teams in the six nations - apart from France - so we are not alone in that. I would say with Genge, Heyes, Chessum, Curry, Willis, JVP, Quirke, Smith, Arundell and Steward we are in a great position. A new coach coming in would have a young but quite experienced squad there.

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Post by Geordie Mon 26 Sep 2022, 1:33 pm

Plus Tizzard and a host of other young players.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:38 pm

Happy to see Tizard and Ribbans in more than anything. Lock has been an issue and I rate both.

Slightly concerned that Itoje is injured as I'd not seen anything about that yet.

Good to see May back and obviously it would be a big boost if Manu can string some games together.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:22 pm

Bit depressing seeing Youngs, Nowell and Furbank still in the squad. Looking forward to another AI's where we battle our way to some wins, paper over the cracks and perform terribly in the 6Ns again.

Good times.

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Post by Geordie Tue 27 Sep 2022, 8:10 am

Has Ribbans played this season?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 27 Sep 2022, 9:03 am

Zach Mercer has picked up player of the season in France. He'd be excluded from being able to join up with this squad but surely it's only a matter of time. Will be interesting to see the RFUs approach to the AIs and 6Ns for him.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 27 Sep 2022, 10:07 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Zach Mercer has picked up player of the season in France. He'd be excluded from being able to join up with this squad but surely it's only a matter of time. Will be interesting to see the RFUs approach to the AIs and 6Ns for him.

Mercer could be included for the international window but not the training window (without dispensation from his club, which probably won't be forthcoming). The RFU could fairly easily use the "exceptional circumstances" rule if they wanted to play him, but they might be inclined just to wait for the pre-RWC training camp and warm-up matches.

More broadly, though, we shouldn't read too much into the training squad. Eddie has form for using these squads to combine a mix of core and fringe players so that he can continue to develop his tactics while taking a look at who might fit into a wider squad. He's also pretty canny at using injury dispensations. Don't be at all surprised to see a big difference between the training squad and the final AI squad.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 27 Sep 2022, 10:13 am

I think the one thing you can get from the squad is those players who haven't been part of the team recently who are not included here are unlikely to force their way into the squad, not including the guys injured or unavailable.

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 27 Sep 2022, 10:21 am

I do feel sorry for Care though. Eddie was at Sundays game and would have seen the difference that DC made to the whole team performance when he came on.
Sadly though I always thought that DC being called into the tour squad was only a stop gap till Youngs was available again.
Perhaps not as a starter but as a bench option (impact player) - England couldn't ask for more.

Having said that, its a real positive that Mitchell is in the training squad and that JvP retains his spot.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Sep 2022, 2:18 pm

I thought Care's recall felt a lot like deja vu. His strengths at club level around the fringes get mitigated by far stronger defences and his weaknesses have tended to get exacerbated. There was a line of thought that he'd improved over time ironing out those weaknesses but prior to the recall I did express scepticism there. Basically saying that I thought his strengths had stayed as strong but the weaknesses as weak, which in itself is impressive at 35 as usually strengths decline and weaknesses grow as players hit that age in rugby. I largely thought the recall showed that he still had the same problems at international level.

Randall is a similar player in many ways though he is certainly better defensively than Care. My big concern with Randall was simply the lack of distance on his box kicks. If your 9 can't clear consistently from inside your 22 then teams will just pin you in your own half. Either the clearing side have to pass the ball back at least 10 metres to another player to clear under more pressure than the 9 does or their scrum-half makes a clearance that consistently hands the opposition a net gain. That's a big issue.

JvP played very well indeed over the summer tour and suits the game plan. I've rated Mitchell for a good while too, think he's a cracking young player. I think when Quirke gets fit he'll be back in the mix quickly as well. 9 is no longer the concern for me it recently was.

Second row has been my other big concern, seeing Tizard and Ribbans there feels like there's potential for swift improvement. Especially with Chessum's development as well.

Overall I feel optimistic looking at this squad.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 27 Sep 2022, 8:17 pm

Just as a reminder we'll be playing:

Argentina
Japan
New Zealand
South Africa

i'd love to see some of the youngsters come off the bench against Arg and then start against Japan.

I know we talk about wanting consistency of selection but the bulk of this squad will be players who've played every campaign since the last RWC, we need to keep playing the young talent too.

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