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England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond.

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England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond. - Page 20 Empty England Pre 2023 6Ns and Beyond.

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

First topic message reminder :

Continued.......

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 7:54 pm

I agree about Ribbans but they won't make an exception. Maybe George Martin will come in. See how he goes the rest of the season.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 18 Mar 2023, 7:55 pm

carpet baboon wrote:They have to make an exception for ribbans. I thought he was what the England pack has needed for a while

Borthwick has already said he'd like to see the rule changed. I suppose in support of that Willis has shown that positive performances can be provided. It's very much a balance between the rfu and prl on that though.

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 7:56 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:So....6n done thank god

5 changes allowed for warm ups and world Cup. Plus I presume replacing those unavailable due to moving abroad like LCD and Ribbans.

So 7 changes.

Who do you bring in...and who goes?

Anyone allowed for the WC.
Only 5 changes plus any unavailable. Then complete overhaul allowed post WC

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:00 pm

What id the point in picking Marcys S ith on the bench if he is not given ant game time?

How many of the England team who played today played their last game foe England?

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Post by king_carlos Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:06 pm

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:So....6n done thank god

5 changes allowed for warm ups and world Cup. Plus I presume replacing those unavailable due to moving abroad like LCD and Ribbans.

So 7 changes.

Who do you bring in...and who goes?

Anyone allowed for the WC.
Only 5 changes plus any unavailable. Then complete overhaul allowed post WC
Pretty sure they can select anyone for the RWC build up and tournament.

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:07 pm

Well we need to confirm that KC...as I thought they can only do the changes isaid above and then full change allowed post WC for next 6n.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:07 pm

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:So....6n done thank god

5 changes allowed for warm ups and world Cup. Plus I presume replacing those unavailable due to moving abroad like LCD and Ribbans.

So 7 changes.

Who do you bring in...and who goes?

Anyone allowed for the WC.
Only 5 changes plus any unavailable. Then complete overhaul allowed post WC

How is that then? The 5 changes quoted previously is from the initial elite squad. So they're done. You think there's another 5 baked in every tournament?  I've not seem that. Also the whole of the WC is co ered from the international window including the build up so can't see how it's covered.

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:11 pm

Yeah i thought it was 5 per tournament 7.5

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Post by carpet baboon Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:14 pm

Surely he can pick whoever he wants? The EPS is just for the extra training camps.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:18 pm

The RWC falls fully within an international window. They can select who they want.

Technically England can select players outside the EPS for match weeks anyway I believe. They wouldn't be available for camps outside the interantional windows though so wouldn't have the same training time with the squad.

The EPS allows England access to players outside the windows whilst the limit on changes midseason allows the Prem clubs to plan for those absences.

Worth noting that Premiership Rugby and many clubs were open to Borthwick being allowed more than 5 changes for this tournament anyway as he'd just come in. I'm not sure if the RFU officially approached Premiership Rugby over doing so. As the 45-man EPS is no longer released we don't know.

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Post by king_carlos Sat 18 Mar 2023, 8:20 pm

Geordie wrote:Yeah i thought it was 5 per tournament  7.5
To my knowledge there is a 45-man EPS named before the season starts then 5 changes allowed in January. Then changes due to injury.

A 45-man squad is such a big group that by the time you add in 5 changes and injuries I'm not sure it's quite as restrictive as some have discussed. That's also if he wasn't granted more changes as said above. IMO it's been a bit of an overstated issue.

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 9:04 pm

OK.. so he can change what he wants.

So what changes if any do you make for the warm ups and WC

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Post by king_carlos Sat 18 Mar 2023, 9:42 pm

Other than looking at Ford and Quirke if fully fit I'm not sure I'd make many changes to the players picked in the backs. I'd bring Daly in as well as a wing or 13 option.

In the forwards I'd concentrate on players who can win collisions as said ad nauseum after the France game. Whilst we performed much better this week I can't say that view has changed at all. We need that physicality in terms of carriers but still tacklers as well.

Front row - Marler, LCD, Stuart
Second row - Martin
Back row - Underhill, Pearson, Mercer, Barbeary, Ted Hill

I'd be looking at many of that group depending on fitness. Turry and Lawes too of course.

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Post by Geordie Sat 18 Mar 2023, 10:01 pm

Are all the French headed players available? Ribbans, LCD efc?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 18 Mar 2023, 11:02 pm

Yup.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 4:59 am

king_carlos wrote:Other than looking at Ford and Quirke if fully fit I'm not sure I'd make many changes to the players picked in the backs. I'd bring Daly in as well as a wing or 13 option.

In the forwards I'd concentrate on players who can win collisions as said ad nauseum after the France game. Whilst we performed much better this week I can't say that view has changed at all. We need that physicality in terms of carriers but still tacklers as well.

Front row - Marler, LCD, Stuart
Second row - Martin
Back row - Underhill, Pearson, Mercer, Barbeary, Ted Hill

I'd be looking at many of that group depending on fitness. Turry and Lawes too of course.

Only players I'd look to add are possibly VPR who I think is in outstanding form and could be a real addition to the scrum/maul.

Ribbans showed what we've missing in the pack, some old fashioned grunt and physicality. Itoje and Chessum have went ok, but they don't compliment each other and struggled against the more physical sides. I wouldn't be adverse to seeing Ribbans/Chessum as that is arguably a better line out duo than with Itoje involved.

Backrow is still an interesting conundrum. I don't think anybody nailed a position with all 3 having some decent outings and some poor ones too. Willis had a good defensive outing against Ireland (despite his poor tackling technique at times), but really adds very little in carrying terms. Ludlam seems to have less ups and down than the others and offers more of an all round game and Dombrandt still isn't fully taking the shirt despite a good run.

Personally, I like the the options in waiting (Lawes, Hill, Pearson, TCurry, Underhill) over any of the starting flanks, but 8 is still a big question mark. I've seen Mercer offered as a hailing hero on return from France, but he's very much a front foot 8 for me......I'm not sure how he'd go in this current set-up.

Halfbacks.....JVP seems to be very up and down, awful last week and decent this week...he kicked much better. I'd like to see Mitchell from the start, the attack always looks brighter with him. JVP seems to have a few Youngs traits as in he struggles to get the ball away at times and his passing isn't that great....although I don' think we have anything better currently. Farrell has went well.....I still think SB is waiting for Ford to come back fit though. I could see us lining up Ford/Farrell/Lawrence for the WC.

Back 3....Watson good again, I think we missed Malins personally but I like others, would prefer a real winger though.

Question on Freddie Steward............ok, he's good in the air, we can all agree on that, but he's not as good as the commentary team like to make out I feel (he does drop some big clangers at times). He seems to have a real stormer in the air every 4 or 5 games it seems and this sticks.

Is Stewarts lack of attacking threat worth what we're getting from him in others areas? Basically.....does he ability in the air offset his lack of pace/defensive positioning/attacking ability.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 8:47 am

Stewards used pretty well in attack. Full back is an area of least concern and given there is probably the need to bed in 2 new wings (Arundell needs a run now) and a midfielder, probably Kelly with Lawrence moving to 13 think it s a Needless change. Not as if we have a Delon Armitage knocking on the door.

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Post by Geordie Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:12 am

Chessums injury is a sad one. Would have been very interested to see how he went with Ribbans. As it is...we just don't know how long Chessum is out for.

So for the warm ups and WC I think you have to go with Ribbans and Itoje..and for go for a power option at 6. If George Martin continues his successful switch to lock he must be included..imagine him coming off the bench in the engine room. Real impact...that can change the game.

Backs yes so wish we'd had the chance to see Kelly for a tournament...and post WC there's some other 12s who will be pushing their claims.

I don't see too many changes one or two ..but I do see a few more after rthe WC for next 6n.


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Post by mountain man Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:25 am

Steward stays at 15, there is at least cover if needed with likes of Malins/Arundell/Watson but unless a massive dip in form he is England FB.

Arundell needs time on pitch, he had more of ball in France game than yesterday. Watson looking sharp.

Issue is back up for Sinckler and Genge. Not sure whether we'll see Marler back in an Eng shirt. At least get VRR in for a look in summer. Surely cant be heading to RWC with Mako and Cole on bench.

Centres, as ever. Manu was OK yesterday but too injury prone. Hopefully Lawrence gets fit plus Kelly and get Ojomoh in for a look in warm up games.

Ribbans was good. Shame he's off to France.

Back row there are options at least. Underhill seems too injury prone as does Barbeary.

As others said maybe Pearson and Hill of the Ted variety gets a shot.

After France all was very dark, after yesterday there is a light at end of tunnel.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:30 am

Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

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Post by mountain man Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:36 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

Maybe because he basically never got a pass and any he did was to run up a blind alley. He plays 15 for Irish but good enough on wing but yesterday he had worse service than OHC had.

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Post by Geordie Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:40 am

Options at LH are there...West at Tigers now , VRR, etc.

Tighthead will be addressed hopefully most likely post WC.

I think 12 will be an interesting battle...from having nothing we suddenly have 3 / 4 young lads coming through. Kelly, Sebastian Atkinson, Olly Hartley, Ojomoh...

Let's see how they push on.

Big question though is 9 and 10.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:47 am

mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

Maybe because he basically never got a pass and any he did was to run up a blind alley. He plays 15 for Irish but good enough on wing but yesterday he had worse service than OHC had.

Not sure he's had that many run outs for Irish at 15 either. Mainly used on the wing so far. Classy player. Good to see him turn up in defence too as that was an area which had been questioned.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:47 am

Geordie wrote:Options at LH are there...West at Tigers now , VRR, etc.

Tighthead will be addressed hopefully most likely post WC.

I think 12 will be an interesting battle...from having nothing we suddenly have 3 / 4 young lads coming through.  Kelly, Sebastian Atkinson,  Olly Hartley, Ojomoh...

Let's see how they push on.

Big question though is 9 and 10.

The big question is pretty easy for me. Quirke vP and Mitchell. Smith and Smith.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:11 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

Maybe because he basically never got a pass and any he did was to run up a blind alley. He plays 15 for Irish but good enough on wing but yesterday he had worse service than OHC had.

Not sure he's had that many run outs for Irish at 15 either. Mainly used on the wing so far. Classy player. Good to see him turn up in defence too as that was an area which had been questioned.

Incorrect 7.5......All of Arundell's starts for Irish have been at 15 (10 starts)..........he's never started on the wing.

He's a FB first and foremost, not a winger....although sometimes these positions are easily transferable obviously. His assets are much more suited to FB though, he thrives in a bit of space which you don't often get at Int level.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:13 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:Options at LH are there...West at Tigers now , VRR, etc.

Tighthead will be addressed hopefully most likely post WC.

I think 12 will be an interesting battle...from having nothing we suddenly have 3 / 4 young lads coming through.  Kelly, Sebastian Atkinson,  Olly Hartley, Ojomoh...

Let's see how they push on.

Big question though is 9 and 10.

The big question is pretty easy for me. Quirke vP and Mitchell. Smith and Smith.

Mitchell with Ford or Farrell......

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Post by Geordie Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:15 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:Options at LH are there...West at Tigers now , VRR, etc.

Tighthead will be addressed hopefully most likely post WC.

I think 12 will be an interesting battle...from having nothing we suddenly have 3 / 4 young lads coming through.  Kelly, Sebastian Atkinson,  Olly Hartley, Ojomoh...

Let's see how they push on.

Big question though is 9 and 10.

The big question is pretty easy for me. Quirke vP and Mitchell. Smith and Smith.

Ah so you see Fin Smith coming in to the equation

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:17 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

Maybe because he basically never got a pass and any he did was to run up a blind alley. He plays 15 for Irish but good enough on wing but yesterday he had worse service than OHC had.

Not sure he's had that many run outs for Irish at 15 either. Mainly used on the wing so far. Classy player. Good to see him turn up in defence too as that was an area which had been questioned.

Incorrect 7.5......All of Arundell's starts for Irish have been at 15 (10 starts)..........he's never started on the wing.

He's a FB first and foremost, not a winger....although sometimes these positions are easily transferable obviously. His assets are much more suited to FB though, he thrives in a bit of space which you don't often get at Int level.

I'm aware of him coming through as a full back from youth teams. My impression was that he'd been eased in into the senior side at wing mainly.

Hes going to go onto be class in either position. Just needs a run now.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:18 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
mountain man wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Arundell appears to be more comfortable at FB from what I've seen....he looked lost yesterday.

Maybe because he basically never got a pass and any he did was to run up a blind alley. He plays 15 for Irish but good enough on wing but yesterday he had worse service than OHC had.

Not sure he's had that many run outs for Irish at 15 either. Mainly used on the wing so far. Classy player. Good to see him turn up in defence too as that was an area which had been questioned.

Incorrect 7.5......All of Arundell's starts for Irish have been at 15 (10 starts)..........he's never started on the wing.

He's a FB first and foremost, not a winger....although sometimes these positions are easily transferable obviously. His assets are much more suited to FB though, he thrives in a bit of space which you don't often get at Int level.

I'm aware of him coming through as a full back from youth teams. My impression was that he'd been eased in into the senior side at wing mainly.

Hes going to go onto be class in either position. Just needs a run now.

Nope....all of his starts have been at FB, not one start on the wing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:22 am

Fair enough. Still going to be a bit of a legend with some luck. Would you move him to 15 already then? Whose your wings.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:27 am

I'd be very tempted to give him a start....we know what Steward can bring. Watson seems nailed down and I'd love to see Radwan involved somewhere.

I like Murley at Quins as well.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:36 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'd be very tempted to give him a start....we know what Steward can bring. Watson seems nailed down and I'd love to see Radwan involved somewhere.

I like Murley at Quins as well.
This is what the last two years were for.  Now England will likely be going into the RWC without knowing the best players at some positions and who is quality depth, and who is not.  And there is precious little which can be done between now and then. The Lords of Twickenham own this one.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:43 am

Very right Doc.....it's been a cluster. At least SB seems to trying things out in some kind of logical order. Freeman is another who showed some good signs of course.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 19 Mar 2023, 2:19 pm

Will comment on much of the discussion later tonight if time.

Just a quick point on the 5 changes to the EPS conversation from yesterday. I chatted with a pal from when I did some rugby analysis a few years back that's now in sports journalism and usually very reliable. I accept that without a name it's cousins, mistresses, neighbour, stuff but there it is, for what it's worth I trust them. They said that noise around the changes is that PRL have never denied an England coach additional changes outside agreement when requested.

The limit on changes are there to allow the clubs to plan but being a 45-man EPS with 5 changes allowed in January then changes for injuries it's a huge pool anyway. Apparently the coach can approach Premiership Rugby for additional changes in the right circumstances and they then discuss it with the clubs. Talk is PRL have never denied a coach as they've only been asked in scenarios where they felt it was reasonable. Given PRL said publicly in December that they'd be open to SB making more changes I'd be extremely shocked if he was actually limited by those regs in selection.

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Post by Poorfour Sun 19 Mar 2023, 2:23 pm

With a decent length training camp, the summer games and a relatively weak pool, Borthwick probably needs to pick around 2/3 of his squad from players with a bit of experience but has room to try a few outsiders as well.

I’d not be surprised to see Marler come back into the training squad if he doesn’t pick up another ban for sledging (though I do wonder why the mic only seems to pick him up. It’s not like no-one else does it). There was speculation he’d retire this summer but he’s signed a new deal at Quins.

I’m still not convinced by Steward at international level. He’s the best under the high ball we’ve had in the past 5 years, but I still worry about his positioning and agility. I would be interested to see what Arundell could bring to the position.

The other big question mark for me is Borthwick’s use of the bench, which is the opposite of Lancaster’s pre-programmed substitutions. Borthwick clearly doesn’t trust a lot of his bench players - and some of the ones he does trust haven’t performed. To some extent his hand has been forced by injuries, but England will be vulnerable if they can’t use their full XXIII. Sinfield’s defence still hasn’t convinced me - it was significantly better today with players actually delivering some line speed, but there are still system errors as with the try where the backline drifted early leaving Dombrandt facing a 2 or 3 on 1 next to the maul. That should never happen if the system is working.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 19 Mar 2023, 2:49 pm

Poorfour wrote:
I’d not be surprised to see Marler come back into the training squad if he doesn’t pick up another ban for sledging (though I do wonder why the mic only seems to pick him up. It’s not like no-one else does it). There was speculation he’d retire this summer but he’s signed a new deal at Quins.

I’m still not convinced by Steward at international level. He’s the best under the high ball we’ve had in the past 5 years, but I still worry about his positioning and agility. I would be interested to see what Arundell could bring to the position.

Re Marler it would be a logical step as he's our best scrummager and a good defender. His discipline is an issue though (and it's not just the verbals), Borthwick has enough issue with stopping the English pack giving penalties away as is. The return of Stuart from injury might well help the Marler cause as a bench of Cole and Marler doesn't offer much in the carrying or mobility stakes.

Steward's positioning is generally excellent. Acceleration and agility are always likely to be an issue with a 6ft5 and 16 stone fullback when up against guys a foot shorter and a stone or more lighter. Arundell looks the opposite from what I've seen, positioning at the back pretty iffy but geez is he quick and fleet footed when in space.

Ideally Freeman would take the Saints 15 shirt or move to another top club where he'd get those chances. He looks the most likely challenger to Steward.

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Post by mountain man Sun 19 Mar 2023, 2:59 pm

I’m still not convinced by Steward at international level. He’s the best under the high ball we’ve had in the past 5 years, but I still worry about his positioning and agility.

Steward positioning is fantastic. I can understand some saying he's not the quickest which is fair enough but he's almost always in right place right time.
Arundell be an interesting 15 in say warm up game against Wales in summer. Dry firm pitch, chance to see who#s quickest between him and LRZ.

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Post by carpet baboon Sun 19 Mar 2023, 3:17 pm

Arundel to 15 and Steward to 12. Solves the problem with Manu always being injured and gives you another kicking option

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 3:50 pm

mountain man wrote:
I’m still not convinced by Steward at international level. He’s the best under the high ball we’ve had in the past 5 years, but I still worry about his positioning and agility.

Steward positioning is fantastic. I can understand some saying he's not the quickest which is fair enough but he's almost always in right place right time.
Arundell be an interesting 15 in say warm up game against Wales in summer. Dry firm pitch, chance to see who#s quickest between him and LRZ.

His defensive positiong is not good.....his positiong to receive kicks is very good.

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Post by Geordie Sun 19 Mar 2023, 3:58 pm

Josh Hodge is finally playing alot....

As to changes for the WC I'm not sure there's many to make. A few we've all banged on about for weeks yes but not many others. Ted Hill to 8?

The young locks are a season or two away...etc etc, rhe 12s bar Kelly are all a season or two away.... etc

I'd still like to see Blamire push on....he's got all rhe attributes physically.  And hopefully Brantingham can really push on next season with big Trev moving on...

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Post by mountain man Sun 19 Mar 2023, 4:04 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
mountain man wrote:
I’m still not convinced by Steward at international level. He’s the best under the high ball we’ve had in the past 5 years, but I still worry about his positioning and agility.

Steward positioning is fantastic. I can understand some saying he's not the quickest which is fair enough but he's almost always in right place right time.
Arundell be an interesting 15 in say warm up game against Wales in summer. Dry firm pitch, chance to see who#s quickest between him and LRZ.

His defensive positiong is not good.....his positiong to receive kicks is very good.

I don't think his defensive positioning is bad, he's just not got Arundell like sharpness to move and react.

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Post by king_carlos Sun 19 Mar 2023, 5:34 pm

I think Steward's positioning is generally very strong. I've said before that I think when defending as the last man close to his line he can be hesitant in when to bite in looking for a ball and all tackle or when to drift, using the touchline as an additional defender. Which allows him to be caught in a middle ground where he doesn't pressure either the passer or receiver enough in 2 v 1 situations. That's common for most back threes arriving at international level though. Back threes who stick around improve those things quickly. James Lowe being a great example. His defence was once pretty poor, now it's very good.

Back three players getting exposed defensively is common across all teams though. Once the ball gets to a 2 v 1 situation or a back three player is completely isolated by a high ball then the systems prior to that have already failed and is usually the actual problem. I've been saying that going back to Daly, Cokanasiga, even May and Watson prior to their improvements being criticised defensively it's probably worth adding before anyone accuses Tigers bias there with Steward.

Often back three players get the blame from fans purely because they are isolated so it's easy to see and note.

Steward getting flack for the first try against France was a classic example of that for me. Dumortier is clear with Ramos outside, there's no way Slade is catching the former. So Steward is completely isolated with two back three players at full pace. He holds on Dumortier as long as he can to force the pass, then has to turn and go from a standing start to chase down Ramos who takes a good pass at full flight. Yet some absolutely laughably mentioned him turning too slowly to chase Ramos down. Defensive fault there entirely lay in the original break. Willis is slow getting into the line. Slade doesn't respond well enough to that, doesn't adjust his line speed. Lawrence and Willis then fail to stop the offload from Ollivon despite attempting a double tackle.

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Post by Poorfour Sun 19 Mar 2023, 6:22 pm

There are still system errors for England to work out that have left a number of players exposed over the course of the 6N, but even going back before that, there have been a number of times where Steward has been out of position to over a break. I’m not a fullback, but my guess is that he either commits too late to a position, or lacks the acceleration and agility to adjust on the fly.

I also suspect that in facing kicks he tends to err on the side of playing to the game plan rather than reading the game - that’s what France were able to exploit, reading where he was going to go and putting the ball where he was not going to be.

That’s not to say he can’t improve, but Steward’s running and high ball skills tend to get him a pass on the weaker areas of his game - which are definitely there and need to be addressed if he’s going to be the fullback in a truly competitive England team. He’s almost the opposite of Daly - who had the pace and game understanding, but was beatable in the air and in the tackle.
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Post by Geordie Sun 19 Mar 2023, 6:46 pm

So Freeman is the answer Laugh

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 19 Mar 2023, 6:54 pm

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.

Good luck SB!

I did think Farrell was impressive against Ireland again though. With some tweaks in the backs, it could work.

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Post by carpet baboon Sun 19 Mar 2023, 7:12 pm

Do you sometimes feel England are hamstrung by the amount of options available? At the moment I see a lot of good players but not many outstanding players, if that makes sense.
Always seem to have a lot of good young players coming through but recently none have made the step up, or is it they aren't being given long enough to prove themselves as the next "new young" talent is given a shot or it's back to the trusted old head?

Yes no maybe??? It's been a long weekend

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 7:19 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Do you sometimes feel England are hamstrung by the amount of options available? At the moment I see a lot of good players but not many outstanding players, if that makes sense.
Always seem to have a lot of good young players coming through but recently none have made the step up, or is it they aren't being given long enough to prove themselves as the next "new young" talent is given a shot or it's back to the trusted old head?

Yes no maybe??? It's been a long weekend

I think alot of time it's more that there isn't an obvious choice and thus if someone doesn't hit the ground running it's easy to move on before that player actually develops or settles in.

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Post by TJ Sun 19 Mar 2023, 8:03 pm

I put this on the wrong thread first- apologies

MY thoughts on why England are underperforming.  I'm a Scotland fan.  I'd claim neutrality but you would never believe me Very Happy Whistle Its all just my impressions and I am not expert on the English game

I think the issues are structural not selection or coaching mainly.  The PRL have too much power in England.  Ireland and to an extent Scotland everything in rugby is geared towards the national side.  Players play and get rested and the position they play is dictated by the needs of the national side.  English as the clubs hold the power league games get the top priority

England players play too many games.  IMO no player should be playing more than 25 games or so a season.  12 internationals and half a dozen european games means the top players simply do not play that many league games if you are Irish or Scots.  English players play more league games and that must mean that they are not as well prepared for internationals ( but every team rotates - they have to)

Playing only in the english league means that the players are exposed to less variation in how the opposition play.  English clubs seem to prioritise the european games less as well

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 :-) )

English clubs will buy in talent rather than developing it.  Again a result of the league being run by the clubs.  Ireland and Scotland only buy in overseas players to fill a gap that can't be filled from within the country or if they are a "project player".  I read that in some positions only a handful of the players in the english league are england qualified.  That cuts down your pool of talent for the national side

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

URC players because of the much smaller number of national teams play alongside their international team mates more in the club game - they get more familiarity with each other.

Too much emphasis on power and bulk, not enough on running round folk and creating space that way

I think England will continue to underperform until they get these structural issues sorted

I am disappointed in Borthwick.  I thought he would bring clarity even if to a stodgy game plan but this series he seems to chop and change every match what the game plan is.  One match its Smith at 10, the next its both of them, the next its Farrell
No wonder the players have not clicked as a team and look disjointed at times

Its just my thoughts, I acknowledge I am no expert on the england league.  I only watch a few english games but those I do watch are generally stodgier affairs than URC

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Post by Heaf Sun 19 Mar 2023, 8:24 pm

Watch the London Irish games - they are generally far from stodgy ....

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Post by Poorfour Sun 19 Mar 2023, 8:52 pm

I partially agree, TJ, but there are also some out of date generalisations there. The clubs do have power - a mistake by the RFU in the late 90s that they won’t be able to rectify unless there’s a more major crisis in clubs’ financial viability than we have at the moment (which is pretty big) at the same time as the RFU is flush with cash (which they could have been if they hadn’t misread the tea leaves and blown their RWC 2015 cash on a white elephant corporate hospitality suite). Basically, not going to happen any time soon.

Overplaying is definitely an issue as a result, and English clubs are hampered in Europe by a lower salary cap than France and less ability to preserve their best players for European rugby than Ireland. The power over skills argument is outdated, though. Most of the clubs at the top of the game are playing attractive, attacking rugby with a pretty high ball in play time, especially since the law changes in this cycle..

The “buying in talent” argument is only partially true. The English clubs have more overseas players, but that’s a function of having more clubs and a match schedule that means clubs have to keep playing during the international window. In terms of developing talent, though, the clubs agreement with the RFU commits them to having around 70% (I think - it might be higher now) of match time over the season played by EQPs. Crudely put, that means there are at least 175 EQPs playing in the Prem, even with the loss of Worcester and Wasps. Allowing for a fully fit squad, a Quins XXIII would include 7 England Internationals and 9 further EQPs; most of the top half of the table could make a similar claim. The only position where there seems to be a real issue with EQPs is Inside Centre, where we still don’t have a good replacement for Will Greenwood. I don’t know why that position is so hard to fill, but there are finally a decent number of candidates coming through.

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.
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