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England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023

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England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023 - Page 3 Empty England v Scotland 6N Championship Saturday 4th February 2023

Post by BigGee Sun 29 Jan 2023, 6:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

England v Scotland
Twickenham Stadium
London

Calcutta Cup & 6 Nations Championship

Saturday 4th February 2023

Kick Off - 16.45



Well here we go again, The Auld Enemies meet up in their first games of the 6N to play for the Calcutta Cup, just the same as last year, except at a different stadium.

Time was, Scotland rocking up at Twickenham was pretty much a certain defeat, but we have won and drawn on our last two trips down south, so maybe HQ does not hold the same fear for us as it once did.


First games of the 6N can of course be a bit of a lottery, when form goes out of the window. Both sides though, could only be described as having patchy form in the first place, with England playing badly enough in the autumn to manage to get their coach the sack and Scotland hardly setting the heather alight either. So a hard one to call.

England under a new coach, have everything to prove and the players have world cup squad places on their minds. A big ask for a new squad under new coaching to immediately get what the new regime wants straight away.

Scotland are perhaps a lot more settled than they have been arriving for recent tournaments and the polemic between the coach, Townsend and the star playmaker, Russell seems to have simmered right down and has the making of a fine romance at the moment, can't live with each other, can't live without. Townsend is also probably playing for his job as well, as his contract has not been renewed post WC either. He says he would consider staying on, but whether he gets the chance will likely depend on a very good tournament from this perennially under performing side, albeit one that can pull off big wins on their day.


Home advantage for this fixture is still massive though and Scotland's depth will be sorely tested going into the competition with some key injuries, so the bookies money probably still rests with England. A close and exciting game though hopefully and I have got a vested interest as I am going!


My guess at the Scotland team:

1. Schoeman
2. Brown
3. Nel
4. Gray R
5. Gilchrist
6. Ritchie - capt
7. Crosbie
8. Fagerson M
9. Horne
10. Russell
11. DVDM
12. Tuipolotu
13. Harris
14. Steyn
15. Kinghorn


Subs

Sutherland
Turner
Fagerson Z
Skinner
Watson
White
Jones H
Smith





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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:36 am

England announce the team at 3, hope that's not an indicator that George ain't making it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:41 am

Meanwhile Scotland:

SChoeman
Turner
Nel
R Gray
Gilchrist
Ritchie
Crosbie
Fagerson

White
Russell
VDM
Tuipulotu
Jones
Steyn
Hogg

Brown Bhatti Berghan J Gray Demsey Horne Kinghorn Harris


I'm sure someone is working to turn to nicknames so will leave them to it.

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Post by BigGee Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:47 am

Scotland team to face England in the Guinness Six Nations opener on Saturday, 4 February at Twickenham, kick-off 4.45pm, live on STV and ITV
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps

14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
3. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice Captain – 59 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 36 caps
7. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps

Replacements

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps
20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 39 caps



Pretty much as Tramp predicted except Zander has been pulled, obviously not quite there yet and the right decision if it means he risks the rest of the championship.

I like that team.

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Post by Tramptastic Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:48 am

king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Yoda wrote:According to the times it's:

F Steward; M Malins, J Marchant, O Farrell, O Hassell-Collins; M Smith, J van Poortvliet; E Genge, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, O Chessum, B Curry, L Ludlam, A Dombrandt. Substitutes J Walker, M Vunipola, D Cole, N Isiekwe, B Earl, B Youngs, O Lawrence, A Watson.

Not a fan of Malins. He's versatile but doesn't strike me as a starting international. I don't think his impressive achievements at premier level translate that well to playing against the better international teams.
I rate Malins as a fullback but not as an international wing. That would be the only selection in there that I really wouldn't be on board with. The rest I largely like. I'd have started Earl over Burry and Murley over OHC but I rate all of them so those aren't calls that frustrate too much.

I can see the logic of picking Malins on the wing as an additional fullback who is good under the high ball - Hogg and Russell's territorial kicking game is world class at times - but then I'd of thought Watson provides a similar level of security under the high ball with the addition that he's a better player overall

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Post by tigertattie Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:50 am

Well. That’s a very un-Toonie-like selection.

I’d have put maitland on the wing over steyn but that’s about it really
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Post by mountain man Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:52 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:England announce the team at 3, hope that's not an indicator that George ain't making it.

15:00? That's late. Is it to give max time to 50/50 injured players?
Radio 4 news mention squad announced today and only thing they say is Manu likely to be dropped. If so no doubt that will be the headline on BBC etc articles rather than concentrating on who's actually in.

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Post by mountain man Thu 02 Feb 2023, 8:55 am

That's a decent looking Scotland team, BBC podcast were questioning capability of WP Nel starting but I don't see England scrum as anything to fear at present.

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Post by BigGee Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:01 am

Interview with Toonie

Watson not quite up to international game pace yet, but close and will come into contention as tournament goes on.

Zander a very marginal call, but will be ready for next week.

White, Steyn, Jones and Crosbie all picked on the back of their club form.

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Post by BigGee Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:04 am

mountain man wrote:That's a decent looking Scotland team, BBC podcast were questioning capability of WP Nel starting but I don't see England scrum as anything to fear at present.

Nell did 80 mins against the Sharks last time out, he is well managed at Edinburgh and will be fine for this one. Berghan likely will do the last 20 mins.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:19 am

Tramptastic wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Yoda wrote:According to the times it's:

F Steward; M Malins, J Marchant, O Farrell, O Hassell-Collins; M Smith, J van Poortvliet; E Genge, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, O Chessum, B Curry, L Ludlam, A Dombrandt. Substitutes J Walker, M Vunipola, D Cole, N Isiekwe, B Earl, B Youngs, O Lawrence, A Watson.

Not a fan of Malins. He's versatile but doesn't strike me as a starting international. I don't think his impressive achievements at premier level translate that well to playing against the better international teams.
I rate Malins as a fullback but not as an international wing. That would be the only selection in there that I really wouldn't be on board with. The rest I largely like. I'd have started Earl over Burry and Murley over OHC but I rate all of them so those aren't calls that frustrate too much.

I can see the logic of picking Malins on the wing as an additional fullback who is good under the high ball - Hogg and Russell's territorial kicking game is world class at times - but then I'd of thought Watson provides a similar level of security under the high ball with the addition that he's a better player overall

Eddie tried Malins on the wing and it did not work. He is a 15 and needs to play in that position. He is very skilful and great at counter attacking and coming into the line, but much less effective out on the wing when pure speed/power/footwork is required.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:21 am

hugehandoff wrote:
Tramptastic wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
Yoda wrote:According to the times it's:

F Steward; M Malins, J Marchant, O Farrell, O Hassell-Collins; M Smith, J van Poortvliet; E Genge, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, O Chessum, B Curry, L Ludlam, A Dombrandt. Substitutes J Walker, M Vunipola, D Cole, N Isiekwe, B Earl, B Youngs, O Lawrence, A Watson.

Not a fan of Malins. He's versatile but doesn't strike me as a starting international. I don't think his impressive achievements at premier level translate that well to playing against the better international teams.
I rate Malins as a fullback but not as an international wing. That would be the only selection in there that I really wouldn't be on board with. The rest I largely like. I'd have started Earl over Burry and Murley over OHC but I rate all of them so those aren't calls that frustrate too much.

I can see the logic of picking Malins on the wing as an additional fullback who is good under the high ball - Hogg and Russell's territorial kicking game is world class at times - but then I'd of thought Watson provides a similar level of security under the high ball with the addition that he's a better player overall

Eddie tried Malins on the wing and it did not work. He is a 15 and needs to play in that position. He is very skilful and great at counter attacking and coming into the line, but much less effective out on the wing when pure speed/power/footwork is required.  

He's done alright on the wing for Bristol and Sarries. Depends how he's deployed on the wing, if he's given licence to roam then that's a very different role to play then hugging the touchline.

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Post by BamBam Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:32 am

Malins on the wing would be disappointing for me, I’d be happy with the proven quality of Watson or some youthful talent, Malins just feels a bit meh

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:40 am

Happy with that Scotland side.

Scrum will be a keen test with Nel long in the tooth and on the small side for an international LH but Mako/Genge are not the deadliest scrummagers and Gilchrist/R Gray is a big boiler room.

Plenty of different carrying options in the backs between the size of VDM/Tuipulotu and the speed of Hogg/H Jones. Russell should be able to put pressure on the England centres. The main worry I have is the lack of pace on the wing but not sure if England have someone who can exploit that without May or Radwan. Maybe Malins but he comes with different question marks.

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Post by mountain man Thu 02 Feb 2023, 9:50 am

Malins himself says he's a FB but obviously for England he'll play where asked. Should the unthinkable happen and Steward is injured then at least he's an extremely capable back up.

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Post by tigertattie Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:10 am

BigGee wrote:
mountain man wrote:That's a decent looking Scotland team, BBC podcast were questioning capability of WP Nel starting but I don't see England scrum as anything to fear at present.

Nell did 80 mins against the Sharks last time out, he is well managed at Edinburgh and will be fine for this one. Berghan likely will do the last 20 mins.

Nel is a technical scrummager and should get the better of mako at scrum time. Nel just can’t last the pace at international level now so I’d say Berghan will like play 30 mins after Nel empties the tank. Nel gives 100% each time and isn’t the Pentateuch machine Zander is so I have no problem with Nel starting at all
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Post by bsando Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:15 am

Berghan on the bench doesn’t really fill me with confidence. Great player but just not the same as Fagerson. Such a shame he’s not available, that’s a big loss. I’d have thought Sebastian would have got t he nod over Berghan.

Great backline but the pack have a huge challenge ahead of them. Glad gray is on the bench, Bhatti too, he’s been great for Glasgow.

England by 10 for me

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:17 am

tigertattie wrote:
BigGee wrote:
mountain man wrote:That's a decent looking Scotland team, BBC podcast were questioning capability of WP Nel starting but I don't see England scrum as anything to fear at present.

Nell did 80 mins against the Sharks last time out, he is well managed at Edinburgh and will be fine for this one. Berghan likely will do the last 20 mins.

Nel is a technical scrummager and should get the better of mako at scrum time. Nel just can’t last the pace at international level now so I’d say Berghan will like play 30 mins after Nel empties the tank. Nel gives 100% each time and isn’t the Pentateuch machine Zander is so I have no problem with Nel starting at all

Lol, you don't need to add anything about Nel being a technical scrummager to then say he'll get the better of Vunipola!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:26 am

Malins hasn't filled me with much hope he'll ever be a great winger for England. I get he's a useful bench option but Watson, H-C seem the obvious choices for the wings and would compliment each other along with Steward. I do understand that point of another full back option given Scotlands previous tactics of kick the leather off it, but again Watson is better there than Malins. Would even prefer Freeman as although I think he suffers from some of the same issues as Malins he's younger and has a higher ceiling for improvement.


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Post by mountain man Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:30 am

Assuming Malins is picked and on wing we could of course see a "fluid" back 3 with likes of Steward and Malins interchanging position at times.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:32 am

You could with Watson and Freeman though. Malins to me makes even less sense if we're going with Smith and Farrell too.

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Post by mountain man Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:44 am

Yeah well Malins not be my choice on wing but I think we just have to wait and see what 15/23 are and how it all pans out come 16:45 Saturday.

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:45 am

Beeb now reporting that Manu will miss out, with Marchant being played in the centres. Looks like some of those earlier team predictions may be accurate.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/64495208

Pretty happy with it to be honest, Manu hasn't looked the force he was and Marchant offers gas.
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Post by George Carlin Thu 02 Feb 2023, 10:53 am

BigGee wrote:Scotland team to face England in the Guinness Six Nations opener on Saturday, 4 February at Twickenham, kick-off 4.45pm, live on STV and ITV
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps

14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
3. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice Captain – 59 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 36 caps
7. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps

Replacements

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps
20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 39 caps

Wow. Townsend has actually selected on form? For the first time ever?

I think we all know that parity in the scrum is the best that Scotland can hope for here, but I'm not sure that England fans are properly registering how much their lineout is going to be attacked with Gray, Gilchrist and Crosbie. Am delighted for Luke Crosbie - he could be one of the stars of this tournament.

Great centre combo. Steyn is slower than most tectonic plate movement and I'm not sure how he made it in ahead of Maitland, but apart from that, this is as promising a Scotland team as I've seen for a while and as I've said, these are mostly choices based on current form.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 02 Feb 2023, 11:26 am

mountain man wrote:Assuming Malins is picked and on wing we could of course see a "fluid" back 3 with likes of Steward and Malins interchanging position at times.

I was thinking more of how Tigers played with Borthwick trending towards a left winger that was given licence to roam. Come off his wing and pick lines in the backline, off of 9, off of 10 and supporting forwards in case of a half break. It added a layer of unpredictability to what was otherwise an average attack. Nadolo was the preferred option but Evans appears to be an intelligent coach so could take that option and mold it into something more akin to what Malins did at Bristol.

At Bristol Malins would normally start on the wing but then was effectively another link player but with an emphasis on creation. Allowing the backs to set up strike plays in game whilst he gave the forwards more go forward than a one off runner from 9 would.

England's famous comeback Vs the ABs had Smith, Farrell and Slade on the field operating as playmakers runner layers of attacking plays that were hard to pick off defensively. Could be Evans and Borthwick are looking at having that type of thing as an option.

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Post by sensisball Thu 02 Feb 2023, 11:42 am

Toonie, for once, is picking many form players, which is great. The starting 15 is arguably the best he could have picked (I would have preferred Maitland over Steyn for his experience and ability to cover 15) so well done Gregor:

IMO there are four main issues with the bench:

Berghan has struggled for Glasgow coming off the bench in recent weeks. If Nel has go go off injured before half time we could be in a lot of bother in the second half come scrum time. With ZF still unavailable this selection was probably forced.

Jonny Gray is either a starter or you don't have him in the 23. He brings no dynamic impact when he comes on: makes a dozen soak tackles and carried for half a foot but that wont change things, certainly not in a good way. Skinner is a better ball carrier and tackler and also has the flexibility to play 6, if Ritchie picks up a knock.

Harris is a great defensive player but he is unable to open up defences with a devastating running or passing game in the final quarter. if Toonie must include him, which clearly he must, then better to have him on at the start to give us a rock solid midfield and then deploy Jones once defences are tiring.

Finally Kinghorn. He has been covering wing for Edinburgh for the last three games and so any skills he developed as a 10 will be atrophying through lack of use. Don't think he has looked all that good on the wing either. if Kinghorn is needed anywhere, but especially at 10, for more than 15 minutes then I think we lose.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 02 Feb 2023, 12:06 pm

Sensiball that is on the assumption that Scotland want to chase the game later on. It's a fairly attack minded starting team, perhaps Townsend's idea is to try and hit England hard and early before they've had chance to settle into their new structure and combinations. Get the points on the board and then use the likes of Harris and Gray to set the defence and strengthen the lineout towards the end of the game and protect the lead as England start to hit their straps.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 02 Feb 2023, 12:07 pm

George Carlin wrote:On one of our projects, the finance guys codenamed it Project Biden.

Because it might keel over and die at any time.

I once worked for a client who had a secret project that was codenamed, but they kept deciding that too many people knew what it was so they kept renaming it. It went through about 4 or 5 names while I was there.

Meanwhile, everyone outside the project knew what it was and called it Project Voldemort, the Project That Must Not Be Named.
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Post by BigGee Thu 02 Feb 2023, 12:08 pm

Toonie almost never subs Russell unless he is injured.

I think BK is more likely in to cover Hogg, who may not have the legs to do 80 mins.

Healy may get picked over BK for some of the other games if he is more co fident sbout Hoggy lasting.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 02 Feb 2023, 12:21 pm

If the England XXIII is as trailed, then it's an interesting contrast and a bit of an inversion of the usual way the teams line up.

For once Scotland are more about size and power than England are, while England are very light and fast for an England side. This Scotland side, I suspect, will be looking to hammer the English line to create space for Russell to get the ball out wide, while England will be looking to pull the defence in different directions and give them too many targets to track.

I'm looking forward to it. Should be an interesting game, whichever way it goes.
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Thu 02 Feb 2023, 12:43 pm

I'm actually astonished that Toonie has picked that side, and that he's not started Price and Harris. Wonders will never cease!

Truth be told I've been struggling to get excited about watching Scotland play recently, with Gregor's selections and ludicrous people management dramas playing a big part in that, but this selection certainly helps!

Huge +1 to being delighted for Crosbie, I would not be at all surprised if he goes on to have a very big tournament

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Post by Recwatcher16 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 1:21 pm

Useful looking Scottish back row. Scotland are always successful if they can cause havoc at the breakdown and create hesitation in the opposition. I note it is an all kiwi officials team - that wont hurt either.

England will surely target both scottish front rows who look suspect at test level. Fagerson is a big loss.
Huw Jones is a useful attacking player but England have had success against the defensive alignment in the past.

Should be a close game unless Evan's gets some much heralded clarity on the England attack, or Finn Russell holds a masterclass on the gain line and cuts England up.

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:38 pm

England team is up:

England: Steward; Malins, Marchant, Farrell (capt), Hassell-Collins; Smith, Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Chessum, Ludlam, B Curry, Dombrandt.

Replacements: Walker, M Vunipola, Cole, Isiekwe, Earl, Youngs, Lawrence, Watson.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:40 pm

Could have been worse. At least we're back to 2 flankers.

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Post by Geordie Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:45 pm

Would rather Murley over Malins...be hey lets see how they go.

Sinfield and Evans are good coaches who know what they are doing so we shall see.

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Post by Cumbrian Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:46 pm

I quite like it, got a good mixture of athleticsm and power. All three backrowers are good over the ball in the ruck and dynamic carriers. Looks set fair for the next few days in London too, so the ground shouldn't be too heavy.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:47 pm

Wow, that's probably the most mobile England team I can remember us fielding.

Kelly's injury obviously a blow that's disrupted the midfield a bit but there's three playmakers, pace, running threats and solidarity under the high ball in that backline plus JVP and Smith combining at halfback.

Back to the two opensides which considering what Scotland have selected and how they play makes a lot of sense. Very much need Dombrandt to turn up with some big carries though.

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Post by Sharkey06 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:49 pm

Starting

15. Freddie Steward

14. Max Malins

13. Joe Marchant

12. Owen Farrell (C)

11. Ollie Hassell-Collins

10. Marcus Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Ellis Genge (VC)

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Ollie Chessum

6. Lewis Ludlam

7. Ben Curry

8. Alex Dombrandt

Replacements

16. Jack Walker

17. Mako Vunipola

18. Dan Cole

19. Nick Isiekwe

20. Ben Earl

21. Ben Youngs

22. Ollie Lawrence

23. Anthony Watson

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Post by lostinwales Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:52 pm

Not much ballast for scrums but it shouldn't matter too much. Interesting that should Chessum or Itoje go off they'll bring on another lock/flanker hybrid to replace them.


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Post by hugehandoff Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:54 pm

The big unknown is exactly how will England play? Borthers has talked about a back to basics approach and doing the set piece and kicking games well just like Leicester played winning the title. Boring pragmatic stuff yet effective and sensible in the very limited time he has had with the squad.

But he has hardly picked a side to do that as it is much lighter and more mobile than in recent times. Smith is not the 10 to play such a game and Nick Evans is not that way inclined either. So will England be more expansive than we have been led to believe? Smith & Farrell should have been binned and I just wonder/fear if the clarity with which Brothers talks about is a tad cloudy now?

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 02 Feb 2023, 2:56 pm

and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:03 pm

I know that Farrell is good defensively but he's going to be tired with Tuipulotu running down his channel all day.
Very different looking England team to the one we usually see - a really interesting match in the offing.
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Post by Sharkey06 Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:03 pm

Even without injuries we only have 2 1/2 jumpers v Scotland's 4. Plus I would take Schoeman and Nel ahead of Genge and Sinckler at scrum time. If we are struggling with set pieces from the outset, it could be a long day.

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Post by hugehandoff Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:07 pm

Selection is always the big debate and I am just going to have to trust that our coaches know more than I do! My preferred team if all available is as below and the gap between the two explains many of my concerns. I am worried we are under powered in the set piece, the mid-field and that we are also playing Malins on the wing which was hardly a success last time.

Genge
George
Sinckler - front row unchanged so happy with that
Launchbury
Itoje
Lawes
Dombrandt
T Curry
JVP
Farrell
OHC
Kelly
Slade
Watson
Steward

Bench

Marler/VPR
Cowan-Dickie
Stuart
Chessum
Earl
Youngs
Smith
Daly

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Post by bsando Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:07 pm

Two teams that could put on a show if you ask me! Still think England have superior firepower but it’s going to be an intriguing match up. Fair weather forecast for Saturday as well.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:14 pm

George Carlin wrote:I know that Farrell is good defensively but he's going to be tired with Tuipulotu running down his channel all day.
Very different looking England team to the one we usually see - a really interesting match in the offing.

Pack is pretty mobile so he might end up targeting Farrell and getting Ludlam instead.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:14 pm

Our front five may actually be bigger than England's and the back-row does not have much in it either. Hopefully, we can do a bit more than get parity at the set-piece but England are not short of strong carriers up front. Gilchrist and, when he comes on, J Gray are going to need to get through a mountain of work.

Feels weird to think that we have VDM and Tuipulotu who can act as battering rams in the backs, whilst England have (maybe) OHC. That will help our forwards who may be outgunned a bit in the carrying stakes. Farrell, as always, is going to be key to that England backline. If he gets the ball out to the danger men or at least threaten to run a line effectively enough to hold Tuipulotu for a second too long, England may be able to take advantage of a fairly defensively suspect pairing. I think we are going to get Tuipulotu running at him and see if tackle school worked.

Someone noted the jumpers, would also point out England have picked more kickers in the backline. Huw Jones and Steyn can kick a bit but we are going to be reliant on Hogg and Russell whereas England have Smith, Farrell, Steward and Malins to field and return.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:14 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:Even without injuries we only have 2 1/2 jumpers v Scotland's 4.  Plus I would take Schoeman and Nel ahead of Genge and Sinckler at scrum time.  If we are struggling with set pieces from the outset, it could be a long day.

Anywhere else however...

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Post by lostinwales Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:18 pm

Just to add that Genge is one of a very select few England players to have increased his reputation over the last couple of seasons of Jones' rule.


Last edited by lostinwales on Thu 02 Feb 2023, 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Poorfour Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:33 pm

hugehandoff wrote:The big unknown is exactly how will England play? Borthers has talked about a back to basics approach and doing the set piece and kicking games well just like Leicester played winning the title. Boring pragmatic stuff yet effective and sensible in the very limited time he has had with the squad.

But he has hardly picked a side to do that as it is much lighter and more mobile than in recent times. Smith is not the 10 to play such a game and Nick Evans is not that way inclined either. So will England be more expansive than we have been led to believe? Smith & Farrell should have been binned and I just wonder/fear if the clarity with which Brothers talks about is a tad cloudy now?

It's all about knowing when to be boring and when to be expansive. It's not often recognised that Quins won the title off the back of a top notch scrum, reliable lineout and Danny Care kicking when there was nothing on as much as they did from Smith's ability to get the ball into space.

The interview with Evans and the Quins players in the Times was illuminating if you have access to it. It was making the point that what looks like an unstructured attack at Quins isn't just instinctive players feeding off chaos. Evans has the idea of "landmarks" - situations that are the opportunity for a break or a score - and players who know how to recognise the same opportunity from different positions and react to it.

One side of the attack is Smith reacting to the opportunity and being able to pick the right option to exploit it - but the other side is multiple players seeing the same opportunity and being in position to exploit it. I think Eddie was trying to create that through his morphing structure, but it was causing too much confusion. Evans and Borthwick seem to be doing it by just picking players who read the game better.
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Post by Geordie Thu 02 Feb 2023, 3:42 pm

hugehandoff wrote:and if Itoje is injured then we will have a real lightweight duo in Chessum and Isiekwe and I fear hugely for our set piece.

Lightweight?

Ollie Chessum - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone
Nick Isiekwe - 6'7 and just shy of 19 stone...and not someone id call weak!

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