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England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Jan 07, 2023 6:55 am

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/jan/06/eddie-jones-mistakes-with-england-why-i-got-the-sack-rugby-union

Interview with Jones about being sacked there. Some interesting stuff in amongst it.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Jan 07, 2023 7:17 am

It's rumoured to be a 36-man squad on the 16th January. I'm bored and sat in a train station. Anyone want to take a punt at what it will be? Looking at rumours and thinking about SBs potential game plan I'd guess something like below.

1.Genge, Marler, Mako
2.George, LCD, Blamire
3.Cole, Sinckler, Stuart
4.Itoje, Hill
5.Chessum, Tizard
6.Lawes, Hill
7.Curry, Earl, Willis
8.Vunipola, Dombrandt

9.JvP, Quirke, Youngs
10.Farrell, Smith, Ford

11.May, Radwan
12.Kelly, Lawrence
13.Tuilagi, Slade
14.Watson, Daly
15.Steward, Arundell

Possible replacements due to unavailability: Heyes (Stuart), Martin or Underhill (any back rows given it's such an attritional position), Mitchell or Spencer (Quirke), Fin Smith (Marcus or Ford), Porter (Manu), Malins (Arundell)

If the new coaching team want the option of power on one wing then OHC or Big Joe might be in with a shot.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Jan 07, 2023 8:19 am

I think thats a really good shout. I'd throw in the names of Rodd and Baxter as possibles too.

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Post by Geordie Sat Jan 07, 2023 9:16 am

Fan of Tizzard but I'm starting to think he's not quite ready yet...was pretty lost last night v Gloucester..

I'd go with Ribbans...

I also don't think Trevor Davison should be totally forgotten.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Jan 07, 2023 10:13 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think thats a really good shout. I'd throw in the names of Rodd and Baxter as possibles too.
I've championed Rodd in the past as his breakdown work offers something our other props don't. His scrummaging is IMO worse than Mako's though from what I've seen of him for Sale and Mako for Sarries respectively. At 22 he can improve at set-piece of course. Marler was once more prominent for his carrying than set-piece or defence. Players develop in odd ways. At the moment I still view Mako as a significantly better player though.

Baxter seems a talent but honestly I've seen relatively little of him so am not best placed to comment. I used to watch the vast majority of Prem matches each season as I did a bit of data analysis (mainly around the lineout and using it as an attacking platform) in my spare time. When you fast forward through stoppages it's amazing how quickly you can actually get through that many games a week. In recent years I've stopped that hence don't see as many games limiting myself to Tigers and big matchups basically. Hence I haven't seen a huge amount of him to be honest.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sat Jan 07, 2023 11:57 am

king_carlos wrote:It's rumoured to be a 36-man squad on the 16th January. I'm bored and sat in a train station. Anyone want to take a punt at what it will be? Looking at rumours and thinking about SBs potential game plan I'd guess something like below.

1.Genge, Marler, Mako
2.George, LCD, Blamire
3.Cole, Sinckler, Stuart
4.Itoje, Hill
5.Chessum, Tizard
6.Lawes, Hill
7.Curry, Earl, Willis
8.Vunipola, Dombrandt

9.JvP, Quirke, Youngs
10.Farrell, Smith, Ford

11.May, Radwan
12.Kelly, Lawrence
13.Tuilagi, Slade
14.Watson, Daly
15.Steward, Arundell

Possible replacements due to unavailability: Heyes (Stuart), Martin or Underhill (any back rows given it's such an attritional position), Mitchell or Spencer (Quirke), Fin Smith (Marcus or Ford), Porter (Manu), Malins (Arundell)

If the new coaching team want the option of power on one wing then OHC or Big Joe might be in with a shot.

Obviously with my Bias hat on.

At the moment, I would have Saints 3 EQ locks against any of the ones chosen outside of itoje, Ribbans is on fire, Coles is not far behind and Moon has struck the sort of form that got him into the squad a couple of years ago. All are very big, very mobile and very good lineout operators.

Freeman showed against Quins his ability to not only be in the right at the right time but also made ground every time he got the ball. He is still streets ahead of Arundell and Radwan, probably May and Watson on current form. Plus he is a 14/15 and covers fullback giving the bench more versatility.

I know he is not a loved figure, but do not rule out Furbank on the bench anyway, stepped into Fin Smiths shoes last week and everything went seamlessly, also made every kick a few from right out wide.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Jan 07, 2023 12:27 pm

I'd agree on Ribbans Doc but Coles and Moon are average. Coles runs good lines in attack which is why it's probably worth preserving with him in some form. Furbank is only useful if there is a run of injuries. I'd definitely have Freeman in though, he's big, strong, quick and rock solid under the high ball, I'd take him over Daly or Arundell.

So Ribbans in for Tizard and Freeman for Arundell who I think is injured anyway. There might be room for Coles at 6 as competition for Ted Hill with Lawes and Martin still absent from action.

I think VRR might make an appearance as well. His all action displays are the type that Borthwick has tended to favour when at Tigers.

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Post by Geordie Sat Jan 07, 2023 3:27 pm

If Lawes and Martin aren't fit and Ted Hill doesn't stsrt I'll be pretty annoyed.

As Sam said...Ribbans in for Tizzard who i think has some work to do. Moon doesn't bring anything over Johnny Hill...so stick with Hill and hope Borthwick can sort his discipline issues out.

Chessum had his moments today one was carrying 2 of our players (one was Gary graham) over the line (strong boy) and he's defo in the squad but he's not a tighthead lock...

Props...
Tightheads
Sinckler, Cole, Davison

Loosehead
Genge, VVR, Mako

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat Jan 07, 2023 11:15 pm

I agree with Ribbans for Tizzard, who is still developing. I'm not seeing much in Coles, Chessum and Moon though....nothing past decent Prem locks at this stage in their development.

Rodd isn't good enough in the set piece, I'd go with VVR too Geordie....he's looked great this season.

As mentioned on the Prem thread, Kelly looks as close to an International 12 as I do right now. We may still see Farrell lining up there as he's streets ahead.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Jan 08, 2023 4:12 am

I'm still yet to be persuaded by Freeman. He's big and fast. And that's where it ends currently.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Jan 08, 2023 4:56 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I agree with Ribbans for Tizzard, who is still developing. I'm not seeing much in Coles, Chessum and Moon though....nothing past decent Prem locks at this stage in their development.

Rodd isn't good enough in the set piece, I'd go with VVR too Geordie....he's looked great this season.

As mentioned on the Prem thread, Kelly looks as close to an International 12 as I do right now. We may still see Farrell lining up there as he's streets ahead.  

Is there a different kelly around now? We can't be talking about Dan surely!?

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Post by mountain man Sun Jan 08, 2023 5:08 am

Freeman seems a good club wing, I'm not 100% convinced he's top level (yet).

Farrell at 12 is not what I want to see. Assuming he's available for England he'll be at 10 I would think, if we get Smith/Ford 10 and Farrell 12 Manu 13 we're back to last year. And that didn't work.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Jan 08, 2023 6:48 am

Good morning, boys.
The media have picked up the Farrell shoulder tackle and both the Times and Telegraph are reporting a citing seems likely.  Currently both report he might miss the first game of the Six Nations.  However, I presume if Farrell receives a ban he cannot train with the team?  If so, and given Borthwick is putting in a new game plan, that could leave Farrell far behind the other players and he might not be ready until further on through the Six Nations.  In that case, we are back to the question who backs up Marcus Smith.

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Post by mountain man Sun Jan 08, 2023 7:06 am

Ford I would think if fit and has some game time. Otherwise, good question.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Jan 08, 2023 7:25 am

Has Ford been playing?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Jan 08, 2023 7:27 am

Farrell I'd imagine will still start. Ford and m Smith then due to be back with a couple of weeks to spare for 6 nations. Heard nothing on fin.

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Post by lostinwales Sun Jan 08, 2023 7:37 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm still yet to be persuaded by Freeman. He's big and fast. And that's where it ends currently.

Hes another guy with a lot of potential and a lot to prove.

I think Arundell in contrast is really special. He may not quite have the same all round skills as Freeman but he's not polished or experienced as opposed to weak. He very definitely has obvious strengths, and the kind of pace which makes defences sit up and take notice.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:10 am

Freeman has scored twice as many tries as any of the other contenders a this season and is top of the Saints assist table. May and Watson do not seem to be producing much at all, Radwan and Arundell (is he injured) are not scoring either. Freeman may have some slight weaknesses; I am honestly struggling to think where, but not as many or as bad a weakness as the other youngsters. In open play when they have space they are superb, but tackling, contesting high balls, general tracking of what is happening to get into the right place and what Freeman is far better at, taking the crash ball and making serious yards, they are all behind and in the last item will never catch up.

Arundell and Radwan will get more tries that are shown on on the various media sites, but they do not do the work in defence or in the tight areas that Freeman does.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Farrell I'd imagine will still start. Ford and m Smith then due to be back with a couple of weeks to spare for 6 nations. Heard nothing on fin.

Fin Smith was a HIA so he's going through the process. Hard to put a timeframe on that.

Re Kelly, he's a young guy in a really bad attacking structure. His defensive work has been fantastic since he's been back and his passing game is improving. There's no point pretending he's the finished article but if we want to play a 12 at 12 he's currently our best option.

Chessum I'd also agree not the finished article. Can see him being on the bench and covering lock and 6 so that another openside (probably Earl) can be in the 20 shirt. A Ribbans and Itoje partnership would be my preference.

WPI, agreed I'd have Freeman, Steward and A N Other in the back three. That would give us a real solid base. Pick from OHC, Radwan, May and Watson for the other berth depending on form and fitness.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:53 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Freeman has scored twice as many tries as any of the other contenders a this season and is top of the Saints assist table. May and Watson do not seem to be producing much at all, Radwan and Arundell (is he injured) are not scoring either. Freeman may have some slight weaknesses; I am honestly struggling to think where, but not as many or as bad a weakness as the other youngsters.  In open play when they have space they are superb, but tackling, contesting high balls, general tracking of what is happening to get into the right place and what Freeman is far better at, taking the crash ball and making serious yards, they are all behind and in the last item will never catch up.

Arundell and Radwan will get more tries that are shown on on the various media sites, but they do not do the work in defence or in the tight areas that Freeman does.

Does he? Thought Hassell-Collins, murley and Malins all had more than him?

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Post by lostinwales Sun Jan 08, 2023 9:01 am

To the best of my knowledge Arundell has been injured.
He can score tries against pretty much any side from any distance when the chances come. That is worth something.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:04 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Freeman has scored twice as many tries as any of the other contenders a this season and is top of the Saints assist table. May and Watson do not seem to be producing much at all, Radwan and Arundell (is he injured) are not scoring either. Freeman may have some slight weaknesses; I am honestly struggling to think where, but not as many or as bad a weakness as the other youngsters.  In open play when they have space they are superb, but tackling, contesting high balls, general tracking of what is happening to get into the right place and what Freeman is far better at, taking the crash ball and making serious yards, they are all behind and in the last item will never catch up.

Arundell and Radwan will get more tries that are shown on on the various media sites, but they do not do the work in defence or in the tight areas that Freeman does.

Does he? Thought Hassell-Collins,  murley and Malins all had more than him?

As usual 7.5, you deviate from the discussion, the four I stated were the ones that KC included in his squad, I listed them to make sure there was no confusion. Of yours the only one I would put along side Freeman on all round ability is Malins, but despite having the size and physique to do the hard stuff, he doesn't. That puts Freeman ahead in my book. The other two are wingers only and do not defend like Freeman or offer the full back a chance to move forward as much as they have defensive weaknesses.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:22 am

Oh sorry honestly thought we were just talking general English players from the first sentence. I'd have Malins no where near the squad.

Tom curry just picked up an injury and is off.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Jan 08, 2023 11:23 am

Still don't get a chance to watch much Rugby this weekend - got called back in to A&E (in American, the ER) this morning.  Kind of glad I missed Saints debacle yesterday, but I need my Rugby fix or I get ornery.  I want to watch the LI match later - when on form they are fun to watch.  

As a non-Rugby aside, please don't mind me if I bitch a little about getting called in to work.  A friend of mine is an OB/GYN and he gets calls at all times of the day and night.  But he says it's what he signed up for, and when the baby is born and everyone is happy and healthy, he has the best job in the world, bar none.  I assisted him a few times and it is a completely different and wonderful world.  

And for me, it's just my team and I doing everything we can to give people a chance, whatever that may be.  Failure can ruin someone's life.  Though most patients injuries who come in are not severely life altering or life-threatening, it is those times when we are up against it are the most stressful and energising and by far, satisfying when we get it right.  And my team is unbelievably great.

Sorry for the little diatribe.  Going out to Touch Rugby now....

To avoid taking the thread off target, let me just say that Freeman has to start for England. Excellent attacking weapon, great ball skills, good leg, fields kicks very well, would be one of the fastest on the pitch. I could see him and Steward pairing up in the back three for years to come.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Jan 08, 2023 1:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Oh sorry honestly thought we were just talking general English players from the first sentence. I'd have Malins no where near the squad.

Tom curry just picked up an injury and is off.

Man of the match for his brother (again? Think he got it last week as well) maybe it's time for Ben to shine at international level. He's a proper nightmare of an openside.

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Post by Margin_Walker Sun Jan 08, 2023 3:54 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Freeman has scored twice as many tries as any of the other contenders a this season and is top of the Saints assist table. May and Watson do not seem to be producing much at all, Radwan and Arundell (is he injured) are not scoring either. Freeman may have some slight weaknesses; I am honestly struggling to think where, but not as many or as bad a weakness as the other youngsters.  In open play when they have space they are superb, but tackling, contesting high balls, general tracking of what is happening to get into the right place and what Freeman is far better at, taking the crash ball and making serious yards, they are all behind and in the last item will never catch up.

Arundell and Radwan will get more tries that are shown on on the various media sites, but they do not do the work in defence or in the tight areas that Freeman does.

Arundell only played the first month of the season. When he got injured, he'd made 100 odd more yards than the next best player in the league. He'll likely struggle to feature in the 6N given his lack of game time, but making serious yards is literally his USP.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Jan 08, 2023 5:05 pm

Margin_Walker wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Freeman has scored twice as many tries as any of the other contenders a this season and is top of the Saints assist table. May and Watson do not seem to be producing much at all, Radwan and Arundell (is he injured) are not scoring either. Freeman may have some slight weaknesses; I am honestly struggling to think where, but not as many or as bad a weakness as the other youngsters.  In open play when they have space they are superb, but tackling, contesting high balls, general tracking of what is happening to get into the right place and what Freeman is far better at, taking the crash ball and making serious yards, they are all behind and in the last item will never catch up.

Arundell and Radwan will get more tries that are shown on on the various media sites, but they do not do the work in defence or in the tight areas that Freeman does.

Arundell only played the first month of the season. When he got injured, he'd made 100 odd more yards than the next best player in the league. He'll likely struggle to feature in the 6N given his lack of game time, but making serious yards is literally his USP.

Making something of nothing is his USP. He's that bit of magic that you just can't coach. Keeping that and not losing it as he tries to provide the consistency and basic required of an international player will be the challenging (see Radwan).

Arundell does need more club games to grow. The 6N would probably be to soon for him but he's the type of option that might be useful at the world cup of chasing a game.

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Post by Margin_Walker Sun Jan 08, 2023 5:42 pm

TBF he just needs to play some games again before worrying too much about England. What looked like a pretty minor issue ended up being pretty complicated, requiring surgery etc.

He's someone I'd absolutely want in any 23 if fully fit though.

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Post by Geordie Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:22 am

Yeah if Tom Curry is not available ...Ben Curry or Ben Earl can come in. No major worries...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:26 am

One thing I wouldsay for Freeman is he probably benefits most of the wingers/full backs in Jones getting fired. It's normally a little bit of time before he'd offer people back in from the cold after a performance he felt was a little lack lustre.

Sounds like Curry (Tom) may be back in time for the 6Ns but does pose the first interesting question on France based players. Will it count against Willis despite the relaxation of the RFU rules. He's still going to be on reduced training time and will have to go back in between (assuming that he hasn't built in some sort of exception to his contract).

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Post by mountain man Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:54 am

If Curry not fit then Ben Earl a no brainer. In fact I'd pick him at 7 over Curry at moment.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:00 am

He may well work a bit better as a back row unit should we be continuing with Lawes and Vunipola. Needs speed from somewhere. I obviously prefer what Willis brings. I'd like to see anyone who is picked be given a run of the 6Ns games unless they are absolutely struggling. In a lot of cases I so think that helps players bed in. That includes whoever is picked on the wing and centre (you can all old me to that when I moan).

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:08 am

I'd take Earl over Willis every day of the week.

I'm not a huge Willis fan and moving to France has surely put him out of contention anyway. I think we have better options available in the Prem (Underhill, Curry, Earl to name a few).

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Post by mountain man Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:49 am

Farrell cited so if he should miss at least Scotland match who is 10 for Eng? Will Ford be fit and if not who does Borthwick go with?
Hopefully not do a Jones and pick Furbank.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:52 am

Can't imagine it's going to be a long ban, if he is banned. Ford and Smith due back soon. If everyone is struck down along with Fin, Simmonds and Atkinson would be higher up surely.

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Post by Geordie Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:52 am

Nah...he'll get 8 weeks reduced to 3 and will be available.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:54 am

I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:58 am

Geordie wrote:Nah...he'll get 8 weeks reduced to 3 and will be available.

I would tend to agree with Geordie here!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:59 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

Fin Smith will be there or there abouts if fit to play. Keep saying it, cap him or lose him as well.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

Fin Smith will be there or there abouts if fit to play. Keep saying it, cap him or lose him as well.

I don't agree with this.

If he sees himself as English, he'll wait till he's ready and naturally selected. If he sees himself as Scottish or whatever....let him play for Scotland. I don't think capping a player for the sake of it when he might never actually be good enough is the right way to go about it.

Redpath is a fine example, he obviously didn't want to play for England as he would have fought for the opportunity.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:06 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'd take Earl over Willis every day of the week.

I'm not a huge Willis fan and moving to France has surely put him out of contention anyway. I think we have better options available in the Prem (Underhill, Curry, Earl to name a few).  

Any player who moved to France because of the bankruptcy of his employer is eligible until after the world cup. If they are still overseas then they are ineligible. Jack Willis is therefore available for Steve.

Willis is the better defensive option and Earl the better offensive one so it depends on what we are trying to achieve and the make up of the backrow and pack over all as to which one I'd look to play.

I'd be surprised if Lawes is available for the 6N. He's barely played this season. He needs to get back fit and play some games for Saints first and foremost. Ted Hill at blindside seems the obvious choice given the current selection options.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:08 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

Fin Smith will be there or there abouts if fit to play. Keep saying it, cap him or lose him as well.

I don't agree with this.

If he sees himself as English, he'll wait till he's ready and naturally selected. If he sees himself as Scottish or whatever....let him play for Scotland. I don't think capping a player for the sake of it when he might never actually be good enough is the right way to go about it.

Redpath is a fine example, he obviously didn't want to play for England as he would have fought for the opportunity.  

Yeah, not sure the world works like that! Redpath is a good example though, we could have had him competing for the 12 shirt now with a little more foresight at how quickly he stepped up after he was in our squad. Not entirely convinced Scotland aren't in a better shape for midfield choice than we are either!

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Post by mountain man Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:13 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

So do I. I was being facetious.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:15 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

Fin Smith will be there or there abouts if fit to play. Keep saying it, cap him or lose him as well.

I don't agree with this.

If he sees himself as English, he'll wait till he's ready and naturally selected. If he sees himself as Scottish or whatever....let him play for Scotland. I don't think capping a player for the sake of it when he might never actually be good enough is the right way to go about it.

Redpath is a fine example, he obviously didn't want to play for England as he would have fought for the opportunity.  

Yeah, not sure the world works like that! Redpath is a good example though, we could have had him competing for the 12 shirt now with a little more foresight at how quickly he stepped up after he was in our squad. Not entirely convinced Scotland aren't in a better shape for midfield choice than we are either!

It can work like that in some ways though.....especially for a nation like England who have an abundance of talent to choose from. I can get Scotland scouring the planet for players, but we don't need to. If Finn Smith sees himself as more Scottish, go for it. We have better options and they'll be another "next big thing" along at 10 next year or the year after.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:18 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm hoping Borthwick give Furbank a wide berth as he's bloody awful.

Next in line would obviously be Smith or Ford....then potentially Simmonds? Or maybe even Connon (who's having a good season for Falcons). Finn Smith is a long shot you'd think and Atkinson is even further away...like miles.

Fin Smith will be there or there abouts if fit to play. Keep saying it, cap him or lose him as well.

I don't agree with this.

If he sees himself as English, he'll wait till he's ready and naturally selected. If he sees himself as Scottish or whatever....let him play for Scotland. I don't think capping a player for the sake of it when he might never actually be good enough is the right way to go about it.

Redpath is a fine example, he obviously didn't want to play for England as he would have fought for the opportunity.  

Yeah, not sure the world works like that! Redpath is a good example though, we could have had him competing for the 12 shirt now with a little more foresight at how quickly he stepped up after he was in our squad. Not entirely convinced Scotland aren't in a better shape for midfield choice than we are either!

It can work like that in some ways though.....especially for a nation like England who have an abundance of talent to choose from. I can get Scotland scouring the planet for players, but we don't need to. If Finn Smith sees himself as more Scottish, go for it. We have better options and they'll be another "next big thing" along at 10 next year or the year after.

We have better options now, so do Scotland, but things change quickly, especially with players who are obviously very talented. He's already a better 10 than most in the league!

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Post by Sharkey06 Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:38 am

Ford is meant to be pretty much fit and ready to go, but Rob du Preez has been on fire at 10 for us so I can't see Ford getting much game time between now and the 6 Nations.

Rightly or wrongly club form and fitness seems not to matter too much at International level and coaches seem happy to throw players straight into test matches after injuries, But it seems to be a bit of a risk to throw both Marcus Smith and Ford into the matchday squad. Fin Smith would be my choice of the young 10's available and not because Scotland are sniffing round him.

I am hoping we move on from the likes of Nowell and Malins on the wing for England, as they have not really produced much over the last couple of years. I can see Daly being picked for his big boot as part of a fairly pragmatic game plan particularly if the weather for the Scotland game is wet and windy.

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Post by mountain man Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:44 am

Well Malins wasn't picked in autumn then got injured but he had been in excellent form for Saracens.
Nowell isn't quick enough and his workrate etc doesn't compensate for me so I wouldn't pick him. I'm not convinced May has pace anymore like he once had.
There are enough excellent wings Borthwick can pick from. Watson may well get a shout as he's back fit and firing. I know a lot rate OHC highly as well.
However, as ever its getting whole backline functioning as well as wings. Who's 9 and 10. Who's in centres. Ony real certainty is 15.

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Post by Geordie Mon Jan 09, 2023 7:03 am

mountain man wrote:Well Malins wasn't picked in autumn then got injured but he had been in excellent form for Saracens.
Nowell isn't quick enough and his workrate etc doesn't compensate for me so I wouldn't pick him. I'm not convinced May has pace anymore like he once had.
There are enough excellent wings Borthwick can pick from. Watson may well get a shout as he's back fit and firing. I know a lot rate OHC highly as well.
However, as ever its getting whole backline functioning as well as wings. Who's 9 and 10. Who's in centres. Ony real certainty is 15.

9 JVP - Tigers noticeably improved / sped up when he came on, on Saturday
10 Farrell - He'll be available
11 (So many to choose from)
12 Kelly
13 Lawrence
14 (So many to choose from)
15 Steward

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Post by mountain man Mon Jan 09, 2023 7:06 am

Geordie wrote:
mountain man wrote:Well Malins wasn't picked in autumn then got injured but he had been in excellent form for Saracens.
Nowell isn't quick enough and his workrate etc doesn't compensate for me so I wouldn't pick him. I'm not convinced May has pace anymore like he once had.
There are enough excellent wings Borthwick can pick from. Watson may well get a shout as he's back fit and firing. I know a lot rate OHC highly as well.
However, as ever its getting whole backline functioning as well as wings. Who's 9 and 10. Who's in centres. Ony real certainty is 15.

9 JVP - Tigers noticeably improved / sped up when he came on, on Saturday
10 Farrell - He'll be available
11 (So many to choose from)
12 Kelly
13 Lawrence
14 (So many to choose from)
15 Steward

Those are players I'd pick but we haven't yet seen team so don't know if Borthwick will. So, only Steward at 15 is nailed on at present as he will surley have him at 15.

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Post by lostinwales Mon Jan 09, 2023 7:14 am

There are good (on paper) options in the back row. I think Earl gets attention because he does some really eye catching things. I think Curry (on form) is a much better player because he's very good at less eye catching but more important tasks such as the key turnovers and endless tackling.

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