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England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 13 Feb 2023, 2:16 am

First topic message reminder :

Continued.......

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 23 Feb 2023, 9:46 am

Cumbrian wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:He still looks a little like a lanky kid to me (which is hardly surprising given that he is 19).  He'll be bloody huge when he fills out.  It is great to think that by the time he is Ollie's age he could follow his brother into the English set up, who at that point will be 24/ 25 and could/should be heading towards 30 caps.

Looks like Leicester are going to have an embarrassment of riches in the row with Chessum x2, Martin, Henderson.  The Manz brothers have been around the England U20s set up too I think.

He's 6ft9 he's always going to look lanky. He's filled out an awful lot between last year and this year. He's heading towards 19 stone already so he ain't going to get that much bigger or he'll never get round the pitch.

He's a proper workhorse lineout lock. Not quite like Ollie who's a bit more of a mobile carrier. Ollie's pretty tough and Lewis likes getting stuck in even more.

Tigers have got a good stable locks with Rob Carmichael also in the under 20s and 6ft10.

Tom Manz missed the under 20s because of injuries. He's a handy squad man but don't think he'll get to be more than that but you never know. His younger brother and Fin Carnduff are both playing under 20 rugby at 18 as blindside flankers but could well be hybrids or locks in the future.

I don't know players like Etzebeth, Richie Gray and RG Snyman are all roughly the same height, but I wouldn't describe them as lanky.   Like I said, he's still a kid, he'll naturally fill out a bit more.  Having worked in secondary/ higher education for most of my professional life, most people don't tend to reach their adult maturity/ body shape at 19.  Athletes in particular become more solid (for want of a better word) as they mature into their twenties.  Anyway, I’m not suggesting he’ll put on another three or four stone, I think he’ll retain his ability to get around the pitch.

Aye, a lot to be said for good club men.  If Tom Manz was to become the next Callum Green or Harry Wells, I think you’d be justified to be more than satisfied with that.  I wasn’t sure if he’d sneaked into an U20s squad.

Anyway, exciting time to be a Tigers fan, if feels like you’ve got something bubbling up.  It will be interesting to see where you are in three or four years time.


Oh yeah completely agree on Tom Manz. I'd be very happy if he was a Green it Wells style club man. He's a big unit as well so would be a real asset to the club if he hit that level.

I tend to avoid comparisons with Etzebeth as he's a genetic freak. Richie Gray struggled earlier in his career with the hard physical graft, remember that awful stint at Sale? I'm hoping for something akin to RG Snyman who is the same height but less than 19 stone (allegedly, all quoted weights on line to be taken with a pinch of salt). I'd have thought Lewis will hit 19 stone and there's been a massive shift in body shape from last season to this season (similar age to when Ollie suddenly filled out and became a second row fixture). I'm not sure he'll ever be a 20 stone behemoth and I'm not sure we'd want him to, for a big man he gets around the pitch with a high work rate. The difference in size from last season to this season has definitely helped his game.

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Post by king_carlos Thu 23 Feb 2023, 11:53 am

Having seen Snyman up close signing autographs after a game I'd be surprised if he's under 19 stone. He didn't look small next to Lood. Absolute behemoth!

Weight is fairly meaningless regardless though. Bierne is no monster but an absolutely incredible player in tight and loose. Meanwhile, I've repeated it like a broken record I know, France beat the Boks in the autumn with Woki and Flament at lock plus a fantastic but fairly small hooker in Marchand.

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Post by Poorfour Thu 23 Feb 2023, 12:10 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Have neem looking at the squad for saturdays game I am please to see Farrell at 10 and Smith on the bench.
Would like to see Farrell come off and smith get a good 30 pr so , minutes to show hat he can do  .

So say we all (or at least most of us). Whether he'll get it or not is another question.

One takeaway for me from the first half against Italy was that England were playing in a style that was very recognisable to anyone who's followed Quins closely - and it was working from 22 to 22, but Farrell wasn't able to execute the final kick pass.

By the time Smith came on, the pack had lost its cohesion and he still had Farrell inside him. Before anyone judges him, he needs to be given the chance to actually run the game with a functioning set of forwards and without Farrell - otherwise it's not a reasonable comparison.

I'm actually kind of resigned to the idea that the fly halves for RWC 23 could well be Farrell and Ford. Borthwick needs to get results quickly, they're a known quantity to him and they can deliver in a more conventional attack. My hope is that post-RWC, he starts building for RWC 27, and does that by focusing on M Smith and F Smith.
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Post by doctor_grey Thu 23 Feb 2023, 2:05 pm

Marcus and Fin Smith:
England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond. - Page 6 Cherry

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Post by king_carlos Sun 26 Feb 2023, 10:06 pm

A lot of frustrations still after Saturday's largely dull game but on the bright side I think there are notable areas of improvement. In terms of the team:

- The defence obviously has tightened up a huge amount with Slade and Lawrence deserving a lot of kudos there but also Farrell for the improvement in midfield alignment

- The kicking game I think is looking far better with the way Steward, Malins and Farrell are being smartly used to dictate 'kick tennis' better then that allowing more tactical kicking in phase play to be done going forward

- In addition to the above the kick chase is far better now on top of the kicking improving with Lawrence, Watson and Ludlam all putting in very good hits against Wales from memory

- The attack is showing glimpses from early phase play with the Watson try a cracker though we understandbly aren't going through the phases as much so early in a new setup

The set-piece I think there are clear improvements in the scrum, attacking lineout and defensive lineout (that last one being vital as it was abject for a while). I'm waiting on the next two rounds before really judging there though due to how low a bar they were coming from and wanting to see how it goes against the Irish and French packs.

In terms of players showing improvement or promise:

- Lawrence has been really impressive indeed at 12 with his defensive showing against Wales the best I've seen from him at any level

- Ludlam has been terrific and must be pushing towards holding a starting shirt when Lawes and Curry are both fit

- Scrum-half feels far healthier with JvP and Mitchell both going well plus Quirke to hopefully return

- Chessum has settled excellently as a long term partner for Itoje and they complement one another well

- Not new players or individuals but I think Genge, George and Sinckler have all been really good and are forming a very strong starting front row

- Watson's strong return added a lot to the balance of the back three and our potency in attack

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 27 Feb 2023, 12:58 am

Good points again KC, can't argue too much with any of those. Ludlam has been excellent every game, certainly our best backrower. Willis looked good against Italy but certainly dropped off against the better side......and Dombrandt did enough to suggest he may have what he takes. I hope we go:

6. Lawes
7. Ludlam
8. Dombrandt

Apart from this, I think we look pretty settled. I'd stick with front 5 and the backline has been steadily improving each game. I don't expect us beat either of France or Ireland, but we should give them a good run.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Feb 2023, 2:23 am

That would be a disaster for our breakdown. I do think after watching the Scotland game Borthwick will be tempted to strengthen our maul but going with Lawes Ludlam Dombrandt will be a losing strategy in the loose. The changes need to be in the backs for me. Do we see new half backs. What does he do in midfield, Slades certainly solidified the midfield but has offered very little I'm attack. Malins still making big errors.

And for petes sake use the bench better.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Feb 2023, 2:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 27 Feb 2023, 2:44 am

In what way?

In suggesting our breakdown....you're saying that we wouldn't be able to protect our own ball our provide quick ball for the scrum half by replacing Willis with Lawes? If so, I would strongly disagree with this. Lawes is probably an upgrade in this aspect over Willis if anything as well as offering a world class line out option (in defence and attack) as well as a stronger carrier.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 27 Feb 2023, 2:54 am

Changing the backline every game isn't the way forward.....this affects both the defensive structure and any kind of attacking familiarity from forming....it's basic stuff.

The defence is tightening up somewhat, over time the attack will come.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Feb 2023, 3:13 am

Lawes benefits the lineout massively if he plays, either from lock or especially from the flank as we'd then have 2 wc options and chessum who seems pretty decent there so far. In terms of the breakdown I do think playing Lawes further back in the pack for me generally results in more challenge for our ball and hence slower clear outs and more risk. Switching it of course Willis is probably our premier poacher even when the better curry returns.

I'm not a massive fan of chopping and changing in an ideal world but as with the first match I think you do have to acknowledge when people have had a hit of a mare, or where people have put their hand up. I think we're very much in the phase with Borthwick where he's not settled on exactly what he wants yet and the door is more open now then it would be in 12 months time.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 27 Feb 2023, 3:57 am

"Switching it of course Willis is probably our premier poacher even when the better curry returns."

Not so far in the championship.....

Dombrandt - 4
Ludlum/Farrell/Lawrence/Itoje/Willis - 2

Pilfering hasn't overly been an issue from the above figures, it's nicely spread around the team.

If I recall correctly, Curry really struggled here last 6N.....I'm sure he only got 1 or 2 the whole championship??

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Post by majesticimperialman Mon 27 Feb 2023, 4:00 am

England seem to have ended the Smith at 10 and Farrell at 12 combo , Farrell had a shocker on saturday kicking penalties, now Smith is on the bench who is England back up kicker in the starting 15?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Feb 2023, 4:03 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:"Switching it of course Willis is probably our premier poacher even when the better curry returns."

Not so far in the championship.....

Dombrandt - 4
Ludlum/Farrell/Lawrence/Itoje/Willis - 2

Pilfering hasn't overly been an issue from the above figures, it's nicely spread around the team.

If I recall correctly, Curry really struggled here last 6N.....I'm sure he only got 1 or 2 the whole championship??

Thought Willis got 2 against Italy? He certainly then got a pen and turnover from jackling at the weekend, and another which was pretty harshly ruled out for Ludlam not rolling away, think he did for me. Hey if you think Ludlam and Lawes etc are as good as Willis well, it's all opinions!

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Post by mountain man Mon 27 Feb 2023, 4:40 am

Can't believe anyone wants to drop Willis but hey ho, we all have an opinion. I'd keep starting pack exactly as it was for France. I'd put Earl on bench instead of Curry, Lawes still on bench to cover 2nd and backrow.

I'd even keep backline same I think although JvP wasn't as good as he can be. I would keep Malins on wing, just give Arundell more time off bench than 20 secs or whatever. Likwise Smith, assuming Ford isn't put in.

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Post by Geordie Mon 27 Feb 2023, 4:54 am

Ive been hugely critical of Sinckler...but must give credit...hes improved quite considerably. Clearly a good coach is starting to get the best out of him like they did at Quins.

Back row will be fascinating. Some very good players will be disappointed.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 27 Feb 2023, 5:49 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:"Switching it of course Willis is probably our premier poacher even when the better curry returns."

Not so far in the championship.....

Dombrandt - 4
Ludlum/Farrell/Lawrence/Itoje/Willis - 2

Pilfering hasn't overly been an issue from the above figures, it's nicely spread around the team.

If I recall correctly, Curry really struggled here last 6N.....I'm sure he only got 1 or 2 the whole championship??

Willis is playing in France?

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Post by Poorfour Mon 27 Feb 2023, 6:28 am

Turnovers need to be treated with a bit of caution, because a) they have to be balanced against how many penalties the player gives away to get those turnovers and b) slowing the ball down without going for the turnover (and knowing when to do it and how far you can go) is harder to spot but more valuable for the team.

Steffon Armitage got loads of turnovers - but he gave away the same number of penalties.

I really like how the Ludlam/Willis/Dombrandt back row is coming together. It gives you three players who all get through a ton of tackles and are good at the breakdown, and because Willis and Ludlam can do a share of hard carrying it gives Dombrandt a bit more freedom to run the wider lines. I don't have lineout stats, but one thing I have noticed is that Dombrandt is being used a lot as a lifter - I suspect the idea is to go for a Matfield-style lineout where you know where the opposition know where the ball is going to go the majority of the time but can't get high enough to compete.

I haven't seen anything from Earl or B Curry that's additive to that combination, though Curry did well vs Wales after an initial dumb penalty. It will be interesting to see where T Curry fits into the equation once he's fit; some combination of those 4 plus Lawes gives a very strong 6, 7, 8, 19, 20 group.
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Post by doctor_grey Mon 27 Feb 2023, 6:30 am

majesticimperialman wrote:England seem to have ended  the Smith at 10 and Farrell at 12 combo , Farrell had a shocker on saturday kicking penalties, now Smith is on the bench who is England back up kicker in the starting 15?
That's a good question, mate. I would guess it has to be Slade. He has experience at 10, though years ago now unless I have missed something, and has handled kicking duties. Can't see anyone else in the anticipated XV with experience at a high level who can do that.

On the other hand, I think Borthwick won't replace Farrell as his kicker unless he has to come off.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 27 Feb 2023, 11:01 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:He certainly then got a pen and turnover from jackling at the weekend, and another which was pretty harshly ruled out for Ludlam not rolling away, think he did for me. Hey if you think Ludlam and Lawes etc are as good as Willis well, it's all opinions!

Maybe being pedantic but feels odd to highlight a turnover not actually won due to Ludlam rolling on the wrong side preventing a clearout. Feels a bit like arguing a winger that runs one in that gets called back by the whistle technically scored a try as they were in the right place!

I think Willis has played well but Ludlam has been the pick of the back row for me and Dombrandt had his best game for England at the weekend. Were Turry fit I'd definitely be looking at a straight swap with Willis on the bench. With Lawes only just returning I can see merits in either Willis or Lawes, though I think Lawes is certainly the better overall player given his far stronger tackling, carrying and lineout work.

I've been critical of Dombrandt but the only fault I can think of from Saturday was the attempt at a one handed pickup off the back of a messy lineout that he knocked on, offering turnover ball. Realistically he should just be dropping on that to secure possesion every time I think. That aside he was really good.

1.Genge 2.George 3.Sinckler 4.Itoje 5.Chessum 6.Ludlam 7.Turry 8.Dombrandt
16.LCD 17.Marler/Mako 18.Stuart 19.Lawes 20.Willis

If everyone's fit I'd be looking towards a pack such as that for the RWC. That feels like progress with the emergence of Ludlam and Chessum, Dombrandt improving and Willis forcing Earl out on merit of performance. Many fans wanted a more clear first choice 23. I'd say we seem to be moving that way pretty quickly which is promising even if I still have significant frustrations.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Feb 2023, 11:39 am

Ludlam is a busy player, just don't see him in the class of Curry or Willis. Can't see him being moved to 7 without 1 of the 2 either. Fair point on the turnover that was a pen...I still don't think Ludlam did much wrong there like, but it highlights another instance where Willis is just a nuisance and doesn't appear in a stat one way or the other. The other thing to mention as I think was covered in someones narrative above, the limitiation of stats. Curry, as much as I don't think is good enough, caused a turnover by rucking someone out of the way, Dombrandt gets the stat for picking the ball up. Farrell, as much as I thought he was pants on Saturday, was involved in 4 turnovers, wasn't mentioned in the list though.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 27 Feb 2023, 2:36 pm

Willis has two registered turnovers in 2 games....not much more to add that to that really.

I was honestly expecting more from Willis at the breakdown but he's getting bullied somewhat. Teams are targeting him because he's a threat and so far, he hasn't quite been able to adjust. If you take out Willis's jackal threat, I'm not sure he adds enough to start above Ludlam (who's been fantastic) and Lawes (who is a world class option in other aspects). Willis certainly deserves his spot in the squad still....but he's had a good game against Italy so far, we need more.

Whatever it is....we have competition with Curry coming too, a decent place to be. I really hope Dombrandt kicks on as 8 is a bit of an issue.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 27 Feb 2023, 3:13 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Willis has two registered turnovers in 2 games....not much more to add that to that really.

I was honestly expecting more from Willis at the breakdown but he's getting bullied somewhat. Teams are targeting him because he's a threat and so far, he hasn't quite been able to adjust. If you take out Willis's jackal threat, I'm not sure he adds enough to start above Ludlam (who's been fantastic) and Lawes (who is a world class option in other aspects). Willis certainly deserves his spot in the squad still....but he's had a good game against Italy so far, we need more.

Whatever it is....we have competition with Curry coming too, a decent place to be. I really hope Dombrandt kicks on as 8 is a bit of an issue.

I think that's over-focusing on one stat and not looking at the wider picture. The back row, perhaps more than any other part of the team, is about balance. The Willis / Ludlam / Dombrandt combination has worked well. Collectively they've delivered fast ball when in possession, disrupted opposition ball, made a lot of tackles, carried well and supported the setpiece effectively.

They work well together and the other combinations we've seen in the recent past have been noticeably less effective.

From what I can see, Willis is tackling and clearing out, making it possible for other players to go for the turnover. There may be a better combination once T Curry and Lawes are back, and it may be that different permutations of those 5 will be suitable for different opponents.

My touchstone for this is Richard Hill. Dallaglio and Back were the ones who stood out in the highlights reels, and it took us a while to realise that they stood out because of all of the less flashy stuff that Hill was doing. But a lot of people - in the NH at least - would have Hill as one of the first names on their all-time XV.
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Post by king_carlos Mon 27 Feb 2023, 9:37 pm

Sam Underhill is slowly looking a bit more like his usual self. Given the juggling of Earl and Burry I do wonder if Underhill might be a potential addition to the squad if he's fully fit.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 2:08 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Willis has two registered turnovers in 2 games....not much more to add that to that really.

I was honestly expecting more from Willis at the breakdown but he's getting bullied somewhat. Teams are targeting him because he's a threat and so far, he hasn't quite been able to adjust. If you take out Willis's jackal threat, I'm not sure he adds enough to start above Ludlam (who's been fantastic) and Lawes (who is a world class option in other aspects). Willis certainly deserves his spot in the squad still....but he's had a good game against Italy so far, we need more.

Whatever it is....we have competition with Curry coming too, a decent place to be. I really hope Dombrandt kicks on as 8 is a bit of an issue.

Well stats can lie as talked through above but he got 2 alone again Italy. So as well as interpretation errors this is just an incorrect one depending on the definitions you're using. Is this just actually turned over ball and not penalty won? Perhaps more likely.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Feb 2023, 4:46 am

7&1/2, I think you're being harsh on Ludlam to damn with with faint praise saying he is only a busy player. All games so far he's been really good. No drop off in work rate throughtout match, some crucial turnovers. Tackles everything.

I'd be surprised if Borthwick changed pack at all for France and I don't think he should. I also doubt there'll be any changes to entire team.

The MASSIVE issue as ever is at 10. Farrell wasn't as bad as some make out against Wales, yes he was terrible off tee but otherwise OK and he did win some good turnovers as well. However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland.
He's captain so we know he'll be starting, all we can hope for is if he has another off day Borthwick subs him for Smith sooner than later.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 4:53 am

I think he's a good player mm, he would be my choice currently with Curry out but I don't see him as the equal of Tom C or Willis. I've said this before but for the vast majority of players in and around England I consider them to be excellent players and thus it comes down to quibbling. Sometimes its about focusing on the strengths you believe a certain player brings, and sometimes its the reverse focusing on what you think another doesn't. Because of this you'll see me say I think the breakdown suffers when Lawes is in the backrow; good player but I think he's always a step off for being a top class player there. Vice versa clearly having Lawes in the back row with 2 good jumpers at lock hugely strengthens that set set piece. And hence with Ludlam, he's a good player, but he's a squad player when all are fit for me, and probably I'd prefer 1 or 2 others in there.

On your second point despite the breakdown and starting back row looking a lot better in games 2 and 3 I do expect to see Lawes back in as Scotland really should have pushed that lineout and maul advantage more. Not a change I would personally make but I can see the logic.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:13 am

mountain man wrote:7&1/2, I think you're being harsh on Ludlam to damn with with faint praise saying he is only a busy player. All games so far he's been really good. No drop off in work rate throughtout match, some crucial turnovers. Tackles everything.

I'd be surprised if Borthwick changed pack at all for France and I don't think he should. I also doubt there'll be any changes to entire team.

The MASSIVE issue as ever is at 10. Farrell wasn't as bad as some make out against Wales, yes he was terrible off tee but otherwise OK and he did win some good turnovers as well. However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland.
He's captain so we know he'll be starting, all we can hope for is if he has another off day Borthwick subs him for Smith sooner than later.

Because we always pick our 10's for their abilities in defense


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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:14 am

Henry Slade and Jack Nowell are on the Rugby Pod this week. Nowell was poking fun at Slade for kicking the ball away when he had men outside him in good positions to score. Slade said he heard Steward a fraction too late, and admitted it looked bad when he watched it back.

Jim Hamilton asked him if he thought it was a confidence issue with the team. Slade disagreed. He said England had planned to kick, as they thought Wales wanted them to run kicks back, so they could target the breakdown. However, players are encouraged to look for opportunities, and Slade though there were several occasions when everyone was on the same page, only for an error to take the scoring chance away.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:16 am

France have a monster pack so combatting that be key. Both in scrum and loose. Jelonch was superb in the short time he was on so be interesting to see if he's fit to play. Alldritt whilst not quite at form of last year is a brilliant 8 and Olivon superb as well. Then the enormous 2nd rows. Only hope is run them around a bit, can't see England beating them at power game.

We can assume Eng front 5 stay same so what backrow do England have to compete. Lawes is really good but I'd still stay with Willis Ludlam and Dombrandt to start.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:18 am

lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:7&1/2, I think you're being harsh on Ludlam to damn with with faint praise saying he is only a busy player. All games so far he's been really good. No drop off in work rate throughtout match, some crucial turnovers. Tackles everything.

I'd be surprised if Borthwick changed pack at all for France and I don't think he should. I also doubt there'll be any changes to entire team.

The MASSIVE issue as ever is at 10. Farrell wasn't as bad as some make out against Wales, yes he was terrible off tee but otherwise OK and he did win some good turnovers as well. However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland.
He's captain so we know he'll be starting, all we can hope for is if he has another off day Borthwick subs him for Smith sooner than later.

Because we always pick our 10's for their abilities in defense


You then missed out my next line which was " However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland."

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:21 am

mountain man wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:7&1/2, I think you're being harsh on Ludlam to damn with with faint praise saying he is only a busy player. All games so far he's been really good. No drop off in work rate throughtout match, some crucial turnovers. Tackles everything.

I'd be surprised if Borthwick changed pack at all for France and I don't think he should. I also doubt there'll be any changes to entire team.

The MASSIVE issue as ever is at 10. Farrell wasn't as bad as some make out against Wales, yes he was terrible off tee but otherwise OK and he did win some good turnovers as well. However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland.
He's captain so we know he'll be starting, all we can hope for is if he has another off day Borthwick subs him for Smith sooner than later.

Because we always pick our 10's for their abilities in defense


You then missed out my next line which was " However he's not helping backline and without scoring tries I can't see Eng beating France and certainly not Ireland."

Apologies as it was not an attack on what you wrote so much as a general point because that 'stat' on the turnovers has been pushed plenty in the last few days.

I would fully admit that when it comes to defense Smith is enthusiastic rather than effective, but it is an area where Farrell has got plenty of criticism in the past.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:34 am

On BBC HYSs get the usual clowns who say Smith avoids tackling. He doesn't. He's not a big guy but he doesn't shirk physical stuff.

Farrell of course v good in defence but his technique has rightly been criticised at times. However, unless Farrell kicks his points, makes his tackles but far more importantly sparks backline he shouldn't be in XV. He will be though. It's tricky, I've always been a Smith fan but he hasn't produced for England really. Maybe Borthwick will bring in Ford but he won't drop Farrell so does he have Ford on bench instead of Smith?

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Post by Yoda Tue 28 Feb 2023, 5:43 am

Willis has been a absolute pest in the ruck and has been man marked, usually by two clearers. This does three things, takes out two attackers, allows others to compete for the turnover and slows the ball down. We slowed Wales down to a crawl on Saturday through being an absolute pain in the arse at the breakdown. Willis dombrant and Ludlum are a cracking defensive unit, the only thing we might need to develop is a bit more attacking link play which curry and Underhill brought in 2019.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 28 Feb 2023, 6:06 am

Yoda wrote:Willis has been a absolute pest in the ruck and has been man marked, usually by two clearers. This does three things, takes out two attackers, allows others to compete for the turnover and slows the ball down. We slowed Wales down to a crawl on Saturday through being an absolute pain in the arse at the breakdown. Willis dombrant and Ludlum are a cracking defensive unit, the only thing we might need to develop is a bit more attacking link play which curry and Underhill brought in 2019.

In 112 minutes of rugby Willis has made 30 tackles, 3 of them dominant. Two turnovers, one of which was a cracker Vs Wales. Dombrandt is only showing as 3 turnovers on the official site btw.

Willis has been everywhere when he's played, I certainly don't think he's likely to get dropped this 6N. Ludlam and Willis is a flanker combination that works pretty well for us.

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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 28 Feb 2023, 6:09 am

I think what may be a disadvantage to France is that they will have no option but to use their 3rd and 4th choice tightheads due to Atonio being banned and Haoas likely to be.

If we are able to use Genge to target their side of the front row at scrum time we could find a chink in their armour. If he can get the upper hand early then maybe, just maybe...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 6:25 am

Next years fixtures out.

Italy away, wales home, Scotland away, Ireland home, France away.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Feb 2023, 6:27 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Next years fixtures out.

Italy away, wales home, Scotland away, Ireland home, France away.

And the possibility that one of those is against the World Champions...

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:30 am

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Next years fixtures out.

Italy away, wales home, Scotland away, Ireland home, France away.

And the possibility that one of those is against the World Champions...

Are you writing off the possibility that all those matches will feature the World Cup winner?

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:43 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Next years fixtures out.

Italy away, wales home, Scotland away, Ireland home, France away.

And the possibility that one of those is against the World Champions...

Are you writing off the possibility that all those matches will feature the World Cup winner?

Yup i certainly am....

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:48 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Next years fixtures out.

Italy away, wales home, Scotland away, Ireland home, France away.

And the possibility that one of those is against the World Champions...

Are you writing off the possibility that all those matches will feature the World Cup winner?

A man can dream but it is unlikely.

The reason why I want to see the back of Farrell is that we definitely won't get close with him at 10. We'll be hard to beat but, eventually, we will get beat.

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:51 am

I've just seen that Ford is in, Smith is out.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/64799016


Last edited by propdavid_london on Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:52 am

propdavid_london wrote:I've just seen that Ford is in, Smith is out.  

Hmmmm theres something about Smith the coaches dont seem to like.

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:54 am

Ford wasn't exactly a stand-out in last weekends fixture.
This might just be for the training group - Smith needs some game time so just released back to Quins for the big game fixture.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Feb 2023, 7:58 am

You would hope so...crazy how underused Smith is.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:06 am

Bit odd. But it's based on form as Borthwick said...

Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 98 caps)
Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 3 caps)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 12 caps)
Ben Earl (Saracens, 15 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 46 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 75 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 65 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 97 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 17 caps)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 59 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 77 caps)
Jack Walker (Harlequins, 2 caps)
Jack Willis (Toulouse, 8 caps)
BACKS
Henry Arundell (London Irish, 5 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 104 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
George Ford (Sale Sharks, 81 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 72 caps)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 3 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 54 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 20 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:08 am

“The performance against Wales was pleasing in a number of important respects. It was good to see the hard work the squad have put in on the training field reflected in a deserved and hard-won victory.

“Reduced fallow week squad numbers, injuries and our wish for some players to have valuable game time minutes with their clubs, means that the squad gathered in Brighton has a slightly different feel to it. We are very pleased to welcome back Jonny May.

“The players and coaches alike are looking forward to another three days of focused training, before the full squad meets back up back at Pennyhill Park on Sunday, in anticipation of our continued preparations for the remainder of what is proving to be a magnificent Six Nations tournament”.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:09 am

No Malins and May back in. Interesting.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:10 am

Malins is injured apparently. Hoping it's a niggle that keeps him out for about 3 to 4 weeks.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:18 am

What are they doing with Ribbans aswell...?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Feb 2023, 8:31 am

That's a point too, Tuilagi in training while suspended, thought players were banned in totality?

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