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England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 13 Feb 2023, 6:16 am

First topic message reminder :

Continued.......

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:11 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:It's finding that balance again.......Daly offered such an attacking threat in the line from FB but had glaring issues defensively. Steward is almost the opposite offering some solidity but we lack in attack

No player made more metres in the contact before the final round of the tournament than Steward. Is it we lack in attack or that we aren't making the most of having a fullback that offers a direct carrying threat? There was more than one occasion this tournament where our centres completely missed Steward's run into the line and had they made the pass we'd have had at least a break, the most tragic being Slade's kick through when Steward flying up on his right left am obvious overlap.

I mean we aren't really making best use of most the backline really but I still think once the midfield comes together we'll be able to look again at the back three.

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Post by TJ Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:40 pm

Poorfour wrote:I partially agree, TJ, but there are also some out of date generalisations there. ...................................................

The bigger problem is probably the pathway to international rugby. Without England A, and with Eddie’s insistence on only changing team and tactics in the second half of the cycle, we’re in a position where there’s a big gap between an older generation who are probably entering their last RWC and a younger generation who haven’t had time to gain enough experience as a side. I think that’s less of an issue for the Celtic nations as they often have to bring new talent through earlier because of injuries. France seem to have been able to build an impressive side, though, despite the clubs having a decent amount of power.

its not just because of injuries. If the policy ( and money available) dictates that you do not buy a non Scotland qualified player to fill a place that a Scotland qualified one does and the experienced players move on to higher paying clubs then there is more opportunity for youth. Its not great for the pro sides but great for the development of players

Russell started playing regular games for Glasgow at 19. Ross Thompson the latest Scottish ten wonder kid at 20 or 21 IIRC. Mark Bennett was 17 or 18 when he made his pro debut. would these guys have been playing pro rugby so young for an english club?

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Post by king_carlos Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:47 pm

TJ wrote:English rugby is too "safety first" with players unwilling to try a high risk high reward game ( Its going to be very interesting to see how Finn gets on :-) )

URC teams are used to higher ball in play time and are fitter - especially towards the end of the season when fatigue will be building in England players due to the higher number of games played

Too much emphasis on power and bulk, not enough on running round folk and creating space that way
I'd have to agree with Poorfour that points such as these are a bit of a dated generalisation on the Prem, TJ. In the last few years it's got far more open but at the same time the standard has plummeted in my opinion. Games now are generally very attack, open and high scoring. Too many games are so far off international standard that they don't give that good an indication of potential at the highest level.

With the reduced cap we have seen more young players filling out depth instead of the much maligned 'squad player' or 'journeyman'. With this shift and relegation removing the threat of a bad season we have seen a drastic reduction in physicality and defence as a whole I think. Fitness levels have therefore been able to decline to an extent too. Maybe not in the top players, i.e. stronger clubs starting XV or first choice 23, but the next grade below that who play so many minutes covering injuries and interantional absentees I absolutely believe this to be the case.

Young players getting very early exposure can seem like a good thing on paper but I'm far from convinced it always is in practice for the player, club or leagues in question.

Your point on playing too many games is absolutely fair. The most league games Sexton has played in 6 season is 5 for instance! Many England stars have looked fatigued over the last 2 years.

I'm not sure a system where the clubs are entirely reliant on RFU handouts is the way to go though. Cricket is at that point for instance and the financial state of the County Championship system ain't pretty.

Final thing I would say is that I think it's sometimes overlooked how good the side prior to this decline had been at times. After most great sides you expect a downturn to some degree as teams rebuild.  The malaise of Eddie's final two years has extended that process unnecessarily, made it more extreme and at times more entertaining for many non-England fans looking on as I know only too well living in Scotland. But I do think how well that team did is overlooked. Often brushed off even as almost men due to the RWC final. They won 3 Six Nations in 5 years, 1 grand slam, a record winning run, whitewashed Oz at home. Even the 2019 RWC saw many impressive feats. Topped the toughest group, beat Australia then NZ convincingly in the QF and SF before meeting a very good Boks side having the game of their lives. Brutal not to finish it but they were a terrific side.

A rebuild of some sort with a decline whilst it happens is expected after that sort of team. Sadly that process has been dealt with very poorly though. First, Eddie trying to introduce that less structured attacking system we just no longer had the players for. Then the RFU holding on too long hoping it would come good. Now Borthwick given one tournament before the RWC.

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Post by TJ Sun 19 Mar 2023, 11:13 pm

Fair enough. Its just my thoughts for discussion.

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Post by yappysnap Mon 20 Mar 2023, 3:09 am

king_carlos wrote:
TJ wrote:English rugby is too "safety first" with players unwilling to try a high risk high reward game ( Its going to be very interesting to see how Finn gets on :-) )

URC teams are used to higher ball in play time and are fitter - especially towards the end of the season when fatigue will be building in England players due to the higher number of games played

Too much emphasis on power and bulk, not enough on running round folk and creating space that way
I'd have to agree with Poorfour that points such as these are a bit of a dated generalisation on the Prem, TJ. In the last few years it's got far more open but at the same time the standard has plummeted in my opinion. Games now are generally very attack, open and high scoring. Too many games are so far off international standard that they don't give that good an indication of potential at the highest level.

With the reduced cap we have seen more young players filling out depth instead of the much maligned 'squad player' or 'journeyman'. With this shift and relegation removing the threat of a bad season we have seen a drastic reduction in physicality and defence as a whole I think. Fitness levels have therefore been able to decline to an extent too. Maybe not in the top players, i.e. stronger clubs starting XV or first choice 23, but the next grade below that who play so many minutes covering injuries and interantional absentees I absolutely believe this to be the case.

Young players getting very early exposure can seem like a good thing on paper but I'm far from convinced it always is in practice for the player, club or leagues in question.

Your point on playing too many games is absolutely fair. The most league games Sexton has played in 6 season is 5 for instance! Many England stars have looked fatigued over the last 2 years.

I'm not sure a system where the clubs are entirely reliant on RFU handouts is the way to go though. Cricket is at that point for instance and the financial state of the County Championship system ain't pretty.

Final thing I would say is that I think it's sometimes overlooked how good the side prior to this decline had been at times. After most great sides you expect a downturn to some degree as teams rebuild.  The malaise of Eddie's final two years has extended that process unnecessarily, made it more extreme and at times more entertaining for many non-England fans looking on as I know only too well living in Scotland. But I do think how well that team did is overlooked. Often brushed off even as almost men due to the RWC final. They won 3 Six Nations in 5 years, 1 grand slam, a record winning run, whitewashed Oz at home. Even the 2019 RWC saw many impressive feats. Topped the toughest group, beat Australia then NZ convincingly in the QF and SF before meeting a very good Boks side having the game of their lives. Brutal not to finish it but they were a terrific side.

A rebuild of some sort with a decline whilst it happens is expected after that sort of team. Sadly that process has been dealt with very poorly though. First, Eddie trying to introduce that less structured attacking system we just no longer had the players for. Then the RFU holding on too long hoping it would come good. Now Borthwick given one tournament before the RWC.
.
This is an incredibly smart post that pretty much sums up English rugby. Very interesting about the negatives of too many youngsters and a drop off in league intensity.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 20 Mar 2023, 5:07 am

On the England fitness side, Telegraph reports that has been the rudest surprise for Borthwick. to the extent he may have changed his plans against Scotland, if he had known about it earlier. Borthwick is reported saying he doesn't want to use the World Cup camps to build fitness, so it will have to be the responsibility of players and their clubs.

This isn't the first time fitness has been an issue. Something went wrong with England's conditioning ahead of the 2015 World Cup, which seemed to depower our scrum. Haskell, or someone like him, said the coaches expected longer ball-in-play time, and tailored the regime for that. It ended up being one of the shortest ball-in-play tournaments.

There were no obvious issues in the first half of Jones' tenure, so perhaps a lot of the points KC raised above have contributed to the current apparent shortfall.


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Post by mountain man Mon 20 Mar 2023, 7:56 am

Is Englands fitness lacking? Post France match it was being suggested on this forum that their S&C was below standard.
It didn't look it during the Ireland game and England were in camp for long enough by the France match to be up to par.

Yes players can always be fitter and stronger but if they face a better side on a very very good day, eg France last week then no matter how fit you are you are liable to get blown away. In that process you are made to look out of condition as chasing shadows. I think Dombrandt looks a bit "soft" in physical condition but he performed fine on Saturday.

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Post by TJ Mon 20 Mar 2023, 8:09 am

Scotland had in their plans the aim to run the England forwards off their feet by moving them around the park. From that we can infer that Toonie thought the scots fitter

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 8:32 am

mountain man wrote:Is Englands fitness lacking? Post France match it was being suggested on this forum that their S&C was below standard.
It didn't look it during the Ireland game and England were in camp for long enough by the France match to be up to par.

Yes players can always be fitter and stronger but if they face a better side on a very very good day, eg France last week then no matter how fit you are you are liable to get blown away. In that process you are made to look out of condition as chasing shadows. I think Dombrandt looks a bit "soft" in physical condition but he performed fine on Saturday.

Looks are nothing though. If i remember correctly Thomas Waldrom looked like an old school prop forward playing at 8 yet regularly was at the top of the Tigers and Exeter fitness charts.

However i actually agree with you on Dombrandt...though i thought he played well on Saturday.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 Mar 2023, 9:37 am

Geordie wrote:
mountain man wrote:Is Englands fitness lacking? Post France match it was being suggested on this forum that their S&C was below standard.
It didn't look it during the Ireland game and England were in camp for long enough by the France match to be up to par.

Yes players can always be fitter and stronger but if they face a better side on a very very good day, eg France last week then no matter how fit you are you are liable to get blown away. In that process you are made to look out of condition as chasing shadows. I think Dombrandt looks a bit "soft" in physical condition but he performed fine on Saturday.

Looks are nothing though. If i remember correctly Thomas Waldrom looked like an old school prop forward playing at 8 yet regularly was at the top of the Tigers and Exeter fitness charts.

However i actually agree with you on Dombrandt...though i thought he played well on Saturday.

Waldrom was fitter than he looked and used to carry more than anyone else. When it came time for defence he played like the prop he looked.

Dombrandt, I think that's a mental thing. He just needs to find some more aggression in himself or a coach that can tap into his psyche and get him a bit more angry pre game. His work rate was what I thought was going to be the issue and that's been fine, the lack of impact ball in hand has been an issue. He's really struggled to be on the same wavelength as those around him as well which has limited his ability to run great lines often overrunning teammates.

All entirely fixable but he definitely needs to find that extra gear.

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Post by Sharkey06 Mon 20 Mar 2023, 10:03 am

TJ wrote:Scotland had in their plans the aim to run the England forwards off their feet by moving them around the park.  From that we can infer that Toonie thought the scots fitter

I think that was England's game plan for the France game, pick Smith and run the big French pack around the park. That didn't prove to be correct, or work too well.

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 10:12 am

Sharkey06 wrote:
TJ wrote:Scotland had in their plans the aim to run the England forwards off their feet by moving them around the park.  From that we can infer that Toonie thought the scots fitter

I think that was England's game plan for the France game, pick Smith and run the big French pack around the park.  That didn't prove to be correct, or work too well.

England had a bigger pack though...

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 10:14 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Geordie wrote:
mountain man wrote:Is Englands fitness lacking? Post France match it was being suggested on this forum that their S&C was below standard.
It didn't look it during the Ireland game and England were in camp for long enough by the France match to be up to par.

Yes players can always be fitter and stronger but if they face a better side on a very very good day, eg France last week then no matter how fit you are you are liable to get blown away. In that process you are made to look out of condition as chasing shadows. I think Dombrandt looks a bit "soft" in physical condition but he performed fine on Saturday.

Looks are nothing though. If i remember correctly Thomas Waldrom looked like an old school prop forward playing at 8 yet regularly was at the top of the Tigers and Exeter fitness charts.

However i actually agree with you on Dombrandt...though i thought he played well on Saturday.

Waldrom was fitter than he looked and used to carry more than anyone else. When it came time for defence he played like the prop he looked.

Dombrandt, I think that's a mental thing. He just needs to find some more aggression in himself or a coach that can tap into his psyche and get him a bit more angry pre game. His work rate was what I thought was going to be the issue and that's been fine, the lack of impact ball in hand has been an issue. He's really struggled to be on the same wavelength as those around him as well which has limited his ability to run great lines often overrunning teammates.

All entirely fixable but he definitely needs to find that extra gear.

Agree on Dombrandt...ironically i thought he was excellent in the nitty gritty stuff on Saturday, he was all over the breakdowns slowing ball down and disrupting etc or at least he seemed to be. Be interested to see his stats.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 20 Mar 2023, 2:58 pm

I wasn't that impressed by Dombrandt once again to be honest. Willis had his best game so far for England though. His tackling was miles better than it has been previously.

Chessum having surgery this week and expected to be out for 5-6 months with the broken & dislocated ankle. Unless he can get back into S&C training long before contact work (not out the question with the break but ligament damage likely to be the bigger issue I'd guess) then his RWC will be in doubt. Such a shame.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 Mar 2023, 4:18 pm

Geordie wrote:
Sharkey06 wrote:
TJ wrote:Scotland had in their plans the aim to run the England forwards off their feet by moving them around the park.  From that we can infer that Toonie thought the scots fitter

I think that was England's game plan for the France game, pick Smith and run the big French pack around the park.  That didn't prove to be correct, or work too well.

England had a bigger pack though...

Big and mobile pack. The aggression and physicality levels just weren't as good though, those things aren't size related some of the time. Once Dupont has an armchair ride then you are totally screwed as well. Arguably the best player in the world.

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 4:29 pm

king_carlos wrote:I wasn't that impressed by Dombrandt once again to be honest. Willis had his best game so far for England though. His tackling was miles better than it has been previously.

Chessum having surgery this week and expected to be out for 5-6 months with the broken & dislocated ankle. Unless he can get back into S&C training long before contact work (not out the question with the break but ligament damage likely to be the bigger issue I'd guess) then his RWC will be in doubt. Such a shame.

Sad for him but that opens the door for someone else....Dave Ribbans or even George Martin?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 Mar 2023, 4:51 pm

Geordie wrote:
king_carlos wrote:I wasn't that impressed by Dombrandt once again to be honest. Willis had his best game so far for England though. His tackling was miles better than it has been previously.

Chessum having surgery this week and expected to be out for 5-6 months with the broken & dislocated ankle. Unless he can get back into S&C training long before contact work (not out the question with the break but ligament damage likely to be the bigger issue I'd guess) then his RWC will be in doubt. Such a shame.

Sad for him but that opens the door for someone else....Dave Ribbans or even George Martin?

It's likely to mean Martin and Henderson remain the go to lock combo at Tigers. They've both been in outstanding form recently. If that is maintained until the end of the season then it'll make Martin's chances of making the squad that much better.

Do feel sorry for Chessum though he's grafted hard to get where he has and was a bright spark of the current campaign. Dave Ribbans is the logical choice but it's a short term one as he's unavailable for selection post world cup though by then Chessum should be back.

I'm expecting Hugh Tizard to make a make before the end of the season with Sarries as well so he could come into the picture.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 20 Mar 2023, 5:48 pm

Tizzard hasn't looked anywhere near ready.

As much Iike Chussum, his partnership with Itoje isn't working...its too lightweight.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 Mar 2023, 7:05 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Tizzard hasn't looked anywhere near ready.

As much Iike Chussum, his partnership with Itoje isn't working...its too lightweight.

The Chessum and Itoje partnership isn't lightweight. With them in tandem the scrum worked, the lineout worked and they both hit rucks and carried. As a combination it worked well. At 118kg he's the same weight as Dave Ribbans, if you want bigger then it's a return to Johnny Hill and no one wants that.

Tizard has been largely average this season since his move, solid but not much more. I just have a feeling he might come good during the run in and make a case for selection.

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 8:12 pm

Sam I agree Ribbans is short term...but post World Cuo we can rebuild..so that's fine. There's some huge young locks on the horizon...surely one or two of them can really push on. I've mentioned Alfie Bell many a time but he has the lot...and is 6'8 and 19st already. I'll be really watching how Exeter develop him.  

I do agree with Sgt about Chessum and Itoje..I don't think he means lightweight.  I think he means it's not a powerhouse pairing. Ironically I'd swap out itoje and give Chessum his role and find a powerhouse partner for Chessum. Itoje has money in the bank but he's got a lot to prove at the moment. And being a smaller lock...his point of difference has diminished when you look at what the likes of Flament and some of the Irish locks etc etc are offering.

I also agree with Sgt at the moment Tizzard has looked really ordinary. I get it's his first season with Saracens so we'll wait and see.

Ps...of all rhe massive kids coming through...who do you think could really push on post World cup and threaten the England squad.

Alfie Bell (Exeter) 6'8, 19st
Rob Carmichael (Tigers) 6'11, 18 St 3
George Martin (Tigers) 6'6, 19st
Lewis Chessum (Tigers) 6'9, 19st
Ben Bamber (Sharks) 6'9, 20st
Alex Groves (Sharks) 6'9, 19st

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 20 Mar 2023, 9:38 pm

Of the 6 you name only George Martin is actually playing Prem rugby and he isn't that big a lock. He uses his size very well and has great tackle technique but he isn't massive. Certainly if you stood him and Chessum side by side you'd have money on Chessum weighing more. That being said I expect Martin to make at international level because he hits like a train and can do so for 80 mins and 20 plus tackles if it's required. He's got an engine.

Groves and Bamba didn't make much impact at Bristol and are squad options at Sale. They might not even get much chance to shine over the world cup period as Sale might not lose any locks. Going to need some luck for one of them to break through whilst Sale have Weise, Hill, Barrow, Beaumont and then du Preez able to cover as well.

Carmichael has another year at under 20s level. He's a big lad but looks a bit raw going to be a couple of years before we see him regularly. Lewis Chessum I think will get promoted up the pecking order slightly on the off season with it very likely Eli Snyman is off. Even then he's going to have to sit behind Martin, Chessum, Henderson, Wells and Green though I'd expect Green to probably only have one more year in him, would take him up to 34.

Alfie Bell is in a great position at Chiefs during their rebuild to get game time. They are losing loads of forwards so he might be lucky and find himself as high as fourth choice by the start of next season with Gray, Dunne, Jenkins ahead of him. The two Saffers moving on could work out well for him and free up cash for Chiefs to focus spending on areas of need (like the backrow).

Outside of Martin it would be a left field selection for any of those guys. Post world cup then you've got the Saints locks Moon and Coles that could be looked at, Coles could be an interesting option if he plays more lock than 6 as he does run good lines for a big lad. For whatever reason Borthwick rates Isiekwe as well and he's only 24 still.

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Post by Geordie Mon 20 Mar 2023, 9:52 pm

I'm struggling with Isiekwe now. I really thought he could come through but I think he's never going to be more than than a squad member and will probably be put aside post World Cup.

Of the ones I listed, yes Martin is smaller rhan the others.  I'm actually surprised he's moved to lock with The tigers options coming through. But as you've mentioned if he can offer what he did at lock he'll be quite a prospect.  

I think of the others it's Lewis Chessum and Alfie Bell who I'll be watching. Hopefully can both really get plenty of gametime and push on.

Itoje
Ollie Chessum
Lewis Chessum
George Martin
Alfie Bell


As you say there's Coles aswell who offers some real athleticism...

If they all hit their potential (Itoje excepted) in a few years we could really have a special lock combo...

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 20 Mar 2023, 10:36 pm

Geordie wrote:I'm struggling with Isiekwe now. I really thought he could come through but I think he's never going to be more than than a squad member and will probably be put aside post World Cup.

Of the ones I listed, yes Martin is smaller rhan the others.  I'm actually surprised he's moved to lock with The tigers options coming through. But as you've mentioned if he can offer what he did at lock he'll be quite a prospect.  

I think of the others it's Lewis Chessum and Alfie Bell who I'll be watching. Hopefully can both really get plenty of gametime and push on.

Itoje
Ollie Chessum
Lewis Chessum
George Martin
Alfie Bell


As you say there's Coles aswell who offers some real athleticism...

If they all hit their potential (Itoje excepted) in a few years we could really have a special lock combo...
But we still won't know our effing centres.

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Post by Yoda Mon 20 Mar 2023, 11:15 pm

George Martin at 6'6" and 19 st is a hefty old mass and does suggest he's stacked. Sounds more like a 6 to me but could be good enough at lock.

What's his rugby brain like? Is he able to pass and think quickly or a bit of plodder/psycho who needs a handler to tell him what to do and when to do it? We need some players that can play what's Infront of them and react quickly to change what they are doing and where best to stand etc.

As for centres well I'm at a loss really. We have to settle on our favourite pairing and fast as familiarity breeds confidence. Not sure Manu and Slade are the answer personally, easily defended.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 20 Mar 2023, 11:34 pm

Martin's a really good young player, not just a brute in contact. Good in the lineout, throws the odd offload, reasonable enough hands. He's not Tadgh Bierne or Retallick in his prime ball in hand but he's got more than good enough skills to play lock.

I know many will hate this but I don't think they are completely done with Farrell at 12. I don't think we'll see Smith-Farrell again but Ford-Farrell I could absolutely see playing in the RWC with either Manu or Lawrence outside them.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 4:09 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Tizzard hasn't looked anywhere near ready.

As much Iike Chussum, his partnership with Itoje isn't working...its too lightweight.

The Chessum and Itoje partnership isn't lightweight. With them in tandem the scrum worked, the lineout worked and they both hit rucks and carried. As a combination it worked well. At 118kg he's the same weight as Dave Ribbans, if you want bigger then it's a return to Johnny Hill and no one wants that.

Tizard has been largely average this season since his move, solid but not much more. I just have a feeling he might come good during the run in and make a case for selection.

I disagree. The combination only really worked against the lesser sides....against Scotland and much more against France, it was highlighted as underpowered.

Lightweight in not physical.....neither Itoje or Chessum have that in their locker. Ribbans is more of lump and does the old fashioned 4 jobs much better than either.

I wouldn't be adverse to Ribbans/Chessum......I think that has everything.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Mar 2023, 5:50 am

You simply don't drop a lock of the quality of Itoje.

Robertson now NZ head coach. The one that got away.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 6:27 am

I didn't say anything about dropping Itoje....I just like the balance of Chessum/Ribbans.

Good luck to Robertson, I don't rate him personally....I imagine he'd have been a disaster for us.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Mar 2023, 6:46 am

Sarah Hunter is to retire on Saturday. Seems an odd choice to do it after the first game albeit its in her home city. Quite the career.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Mar 2023, 6:49 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I didn't say anything about dropping Itoje....I just like the balance of Chessum/Ribbans.

Good luck to Robertson, I don't rate him personally....I imagine he'd have been a disaster for us.

Itoje ain't a flanker.

Still not sure why you don't rate him. But he has the chance to take over a team no where near its best and turn them around. Think he said his aim was to coach a tier 1 and tier 2 side though and with Borthwicks start it doesn't quite rule us out!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 21 Mar 2023, 7:54 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:You simply don't drop a lock of the quality of Itoje.

Robertson now NZ head coach. The one that got away.

He was never going anywhere whilst the All Blacks job was on offer. There's no way they haven't been discussing him taking the job for a couple of months at least as well.

Agree about Itoje. One of England's few stand out players.

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Post by Geordie Tue 21 Mar 2023, 8:22 am

Yoda wrote:George Martin at 6'6" and 19 st is a hefty old mass and does suggest he's stacked. Sounds more like a 6 to me but could be good enough at lock.

.
Many big 6's have moved to lock quite soon in their career...launchbury, kruis, Bakkies Botha etc etc etc....

If he can bring that style for 80mins at lock...then he's going to have a say in one of those lock spots sooner rather than later.

4 Martin
6 Ted Hill

Mean you can let Itoje loose to get on with his proper game. Or Chessum when he comes back

As to the centres.

12 (To World Cup) - Farrell or Dan Kelly if he recovers from injury
12 (Post World Cup) - Kelly, Hartley, Atkinson, Ojomoh - Whichever one is playing regularly, playing well and has everything we need from a 12 and has the highest ceiling.
13 Lawrence but will be watching Will Josephs development

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:13 am

Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

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Post by mountain man Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:13 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sarah Hunter is to retire on Saturday. Seems an odd choice to do it after the first game albeit its in her home city. Quite the career.

Yep, been a stellar career. Seems odd to only play first game of 6N even though in home city. I get impression most on here don't bother with the womens game but I'll be watching.

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Post by mountain man Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:19 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

That could be worth a try(excuse the pun). Get real pace at 15, say Arundell. Watson and oooh I don't know Radwan on wings and backline look decent. Lawrence at 13 not Slade, sorted.
Doubt see Radwan though and in fairness hes not been tearing it up this year so far.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:25 am

mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

That could be worth a try(excuse the pun). Get real pace at 15, say Arundell. Watson and oooh I don't know Radwan on wings and backline look decent. Lawrence at 13 not Slade, sorted.
Doubt see Radwan though and in fairness hes not been tearing it up this year so far.

Problem is he'd need to learn the position at his club and I can't see Tigers shifting Kelly to accommodate this. I personally think he'd make a fantastic 12, he has everything in his locker ready. I recall a similar situation with Harry Mallinder (who's of similar stature) who had/has bags of talent but just seemed to lack to attitude/technique in defence.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:38 am

Geordie wrote:
Yoda wrote:George Martin at 6'6" and 19 st is a hefty old mass and does suggest he's stacked. Sounds more like a 6 to me but could be good enough at lock.

.
Many big 6's have moved to lock quite soon in their career...launchbury, kruis, Bakkies Botha etc etc etc....

If he can bring that style for 80mins at lock...then he's going to have a say in one of those lock spots sooner rather than later.

His performances over the last month or two from lock have been outstanding. Played 80 mins with all the trademark big hits still present. As KC says above, he's a good lineout jumper as well. Got a nice all round skillset. Off the bench Vs Glaws last time out be made a huge difference and helped turn the game in Tigers favour. Running straight through the Glaws blindside on his first carry helped.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:40 am

mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

That could be worth a try(excuse the pun). Get real pace at 15, say Arundell. Watson and oooh I don't know Radwan on wings and backline look decent. Lawrence at 13 not Slade, sorted.
Doubt see Radwan though and in fairness hes not been tearing it up this year so far.

We had real pace and a lack of ability under the high ball before remember Elliott Daly anybody? Arundell's positioning is somewhat suspect as well. I'd have him quite far down the list for a fullback role. Steward, Freeman and Watson all well ahead.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:44 am

I am not going to say putting Steward to 12 wouldn't work (and Banana man is another example of someone who could have made a fantastic 12) but I have a couple of reservations
1) Speed. Steward is not slow, not super rapid either, but unsurprisingly his acceleration isn't all that. I know Manu is a one-off but his acceleration was (hopefully still is) brutal, and there is a lot less space at 12 than at 15.
2) The situation just makes me think of the old marriage joke about the woman who finds the perfect man then works hard to change him.

I do know we need both Steward and Arundell in the 15, and we need to find a way for them both to have the opportunities and space for them to do their thing. Steward looked like he's been playing for England for years. That stability he offers in the air, the big boot and the running from deep are very valuable things which we would lose putting him at 12.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:55 am

lostinwales wrote:I am not going to say putting Steward to 12 wouldn't work (and Banana man is another example of someone who could have made a fantastic 12) but I have a couple of reservations
1) Speed. Steward is not slow, not super rapid either, but unsurprisingly his acceleration isn't all that. I know Manu is a one-off but his acceleration was (hopefully still is) brutal, and there is a lot less space at 12 than at 15.
2) The situation just makes me think of the old marriage joke about the woman who finds the perfect man then works hard to change him.

I do know we need both Steward and Arundell in the 15, and we need to find a way for them both to have the opportunities and space for them to do their thing. Steward looked like he's been playing for England for years. That stability he offers in the air, the big boot and the running from deep are very valuable things which we would lose putting him at 12.

I really think his defensive aerial ability is somewhat overplayed you know....he has the 1 game in 5 where he's really strong, but he's not actually that effective most of the time (be that teams not kicking to him etc). Moving him to 12 would offer a different threat though.....an offensive aerial threat rather than just a defensive. JVP knocking up bombs and Steward contesting would be a real weapon.

It's not so much wanting to change him....it's finding that player for a 20 year problem position when you have other options in the original position (I'm unable to find a relationship analogy for this, sorry LIW.).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:59 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

That could be worth a try(excuse the pun). Get real pace at 15, say Arundell. Watson and oooh I don't know Radwan on wings and backline look decent. Lawrence at 13 not Slade, sorted.
Doubt see Radwan though and in fairness hes not been tearing it up this year so far.

We had real pace and a lack of ability under the high ball before remember Elliott Daly anybody? Arundell's positioning is somewhat suspect as well. I'd have him quite far down the list for a fullback role. Steward, Freeman and Watson all well ahead.

Thought you never rated Watson at full back?

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Post by mountain man Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:04 am

To say Steward is only strong in air 1 game in 5 is incorrect. He has limitations at 15 as do most but he's been excellent there and I'm struggling to think who'd be better. The argument to put him at 12 just a discussion point, doubt it will ever happen.

I'd be amazed if he's not England 15 for RWC and next RWC cycle at least.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:05 am

I've also heard Freeman floated around as similar convert.....personally think Steward would make a better option.

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Post by Geordie Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:05 am

I think we need to all remember that Freddie Steward is....22 years old.

He has 18 + caps already, scored tries and has been a breath of fresh air. The lad will improve all areas of his game with out doubt. I really dont think we should be binning him just yet!

Arundle can play wing...and the two will develop an understanding of moving between the positions on the pitch as scenarios come about.

England is so guilty of looking for the next cab off the rank before the original cab has even been run in.

11 Arundle
14 Watson
15 Steward

Has a nice balance to it and they can all play wing and FB....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:08 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Listening to one of the rugby podcasts and they made some good points regarding Steward and a potential position change.......to 12.

- It would negate somewhat his lack of pace and agility
- He has good basics, distribution and tackling are decent
- Good in contact and impressive yardage after the tackle
- Can still use his aerial skills to good effect
- Cited Jordie Barrett (similar stats) and of course Robbie Henshaw as fairly recent successful converts

That could be worth a try(excuse the pun). Get real pace at 15, say Arundell. Watson and oooh I don't know Radwan on wings and backline look decent. Lawrence at 13 not Slade, sorted.
Doubt see Radwan though and in fairness hes not been tearing it up this year so far.

We had real pace and a lack of ability under the high ball before remember Elliott Daly anybody? Arundell's positioning is somewhat suspect as well. I'd have him quite far down the list for a fullback role. Steward, Freeman and Watson all well ahead.

Thought you never rated Watson at full back?

I don't, well not at international level.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:10 am

mountain man wrote:To say Steward is only strong in air 1 game in 5 is incorrect. He has limitations at 15 as do most but he's been excellent there and I'm struggling to think who'd be better. The argument to put him at 12 just a discussion point, doubt it will ever happen.

I'd be amazed if he's not England 15 for RWC and next RWC cycle at least.

I would say dominant rather than strong perhaps, I really think his effectiveness is overplayed though.

I like Steward as a player. but I have major reservations about him as an attacking force and as an International FB. I don't think I've ever seen a slower FB....it grates on me. I know a lot like to complain about the limitations of our attack because of the FH....the centres...the wings.....etc, but I think a lot of issues arise from the selection of Steward at FB.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:13 am

Geordie wrote:I think we need to all remember that Freddie Steward is....22 years old.

He has 18 + caps already, scored tries and has been a breath of fresh air. The lad will improve all areas of his game with out doubt. I really dont think we should be binning him just yet!

Arundle can play wing...and the two will develop an understanding of moving between the positions on the pitch as scenarios come about.

England is so guilty of looking for the next cab off the rank before the original cab has even been run in.

11 Arundle
14 Watson
15 Steward

Has a nice balance to it and they can all play wing and FB....

Far from binning him GF, he has some real qualities.....just utilising him elsewhere. I'm not convinced Arundell can play wing....well not up to the level we need anyway.

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Post by Geordie Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:17 am

We have 4 really good young players coming through at 12 now...all different styles. Why move an outstanding young 15 to 12 when we have these on the horizon? i dont get it.

Dan Kelly (Leicester, 21) 6'1, 16st
Ollie Hartley (Saracens, 20) 6'4, 15st
Seb Atkinson (Gloucester, 20) 5'10, 14.5 st
Max Ojomoh (Bath, 22) 5'11, 15.5 st

Only Hartley is not playing regular...playing in the cup etc...but that will soon change as he has everything...size and skills...and Saracens will develop him well.


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Post by Geordie Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:18 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Geordie wrote:I think we need to all remember that Freddie Steward is....22 years old.

He has 18 + caps already, scored tries and has been a breath of fresh air. The lad will improve all areas of his game with out doubt. I really dont think we should be binning him just yet!

Arundle can play wing...and the two will develop an understanding of moving between the positions on the pitch as scenarios come about.

England is so guilty of looking for the next cab off the rank before the original cab has even been run in.

11 Arundle
14 Watson
15 Steward

Has a nice balance to it and they can all play wing and FB....

Far from binning him GF, he has some real qualities.....just utilising him elsewhere. I'm not convinced Arundell can play wing....well not up to the level we need anyway.

Hes played 2 games...and is 20 year old. How do we know?

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Post by mountain man Tue 21 Mar 2023, 10:18 am

I'd say Halfpenny as slow or slower than Steward.

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