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England - the build-up and winning the World Cup at a canter

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 09 Aug 2023, 5:05 am

First topic message reminder :

Here we go again.....

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 12:06 am

lostinwales wrote:If Farrell doesn't make it who would they choose? I still think Slade would be a reasonable bet. If Borthwick wanted a specialist 10 then would it be other Smith? Atkinson?
I don't know. As a Saints fan, I watch a lot of games, and I'm not sure Fin Smith is ready for this level. I think he has a lot of upside and can absolutely get there, but for today I would rather sacrifice someone else in this voyage of the damned.

By the way, given that Marcus Smith is Smith the Younger, then Fin Smith is to be known as Smith the Youngest.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 18 Aug 2023, 2:03 am

lostinwales wrote:If Farrell doesn't make it who would they choose? I still think Slade would be a reasonable bet. If Borthwick wanted a specialist 10 then would it be other Smith? Atkinson?

It won’t be Slade. Slade is a good player but he makes no sense in an RWC 33 given the composition of the rest of the squad - he only covers one position, which is already covered by at least 4 other players and does not solve the problem that losing Farrell would create, which is lack of cover at fly half.

If they do need to replace Farrell, it will most probably be Fin Smith, and if not him then someone else who can play at fly half.
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Post by yappysnap Fri 18 Aug 2023, 5:56 am

Daly can cover flyhalf well enough. I think if we lost Farrell you probably wouldn't see another called up.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 6:58 am

Borthwick is disappointed and bemused. I'm feeling the same.

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Post by Poorfour Fri 18 Aug 2023, 7:00 am

yappysnap wrote:Daly can cover flyhalf well enough. I think if we lost Farrell you probably wouldn't see another called up.

When did he last play there? I can’t ever remember seeing him play 10.
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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 8:16 am

If Farrell replaced for RWC it'll be Slade who comes in.

Ford Smith are the 10s and at a push Slade can cover there so can't see anyone else being bought in.

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 8:17 am

Farrell will be in the squad...dont have any doubt.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 8:33 am

Unless his ban goes over the entirety of the WC Farrell will be there. One of the most important players to this team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 8:41 am

Wonder if Dan will get on this week. Obviously important that George saw out the game last week, will Dan be trusted if we're less than 2 scores up though with 10 to go? Experience is king in these warm ups.

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 8:55 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wonder if Dan will get on this week. Obviously important that George saw out the game last week, will Dan be trusted if we're less than 2 scores up though with 10 to go? Experience is king in these warm ups.

Very disappointed he didn't get on last week but given everything that happened the win was crucial so I guess George was able to last 80.

Can't see Eng winning this week so hopefully Dan gets time on pitch regardless of match status.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 9:05 am

Walker will be the guy on the bench for the WC anyway so up to a point bit of a no brainer to let George gets mins on the pitch to tune up for the big one? We really need Vunipola to go for the 80 minutes this week too.

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 9:10 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Wonder if Dan will get on this week. Obviously important that George saw out the game last week, will Dan be trusted if we're less than 2 scores up though with 10 to go? Experience is king in these warm ups.

He MUST get on. Its absolutely critical. He needs as much gametime as the coaches can afford him...

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 9:10 am

And Youngs surely?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 9:13 am

Youngs looks as good as ever though mm, while Vunipola generally needs that run of games to reach his top level. It was a great showing last week but he's got several levels above that.

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Post by Yoda Fri 18 Aug 2023, 10:24 am

yappysnap wrote:Daly can cover flyhalf well enough. I think if we lost Farrell you probably wouldn't see another called up.

Alex goode, cometh the hour cometh the man!

If you want someone who can play 10 in an emergency then malins has experience there and isn't too shabby.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 18 Aug 2023, 10:27 am

If Farrell is to be replaced I would go completely left field and call up........

ALEX GOODE

Covers fullback and 10. And in my humble opinion has all the qualities to be an international 10.
You could then have a backline of
9 Young's / Care doesn't really matter
10 Goode
12 Steward
13 Marchant/Lawrence
11/14/15 Arundel Daly Watson

Now that's a backline that could win a world cup.
Just borthwick doesn't have the vision

Only saw the post above after I had posted. Great minds thumbsup

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 10:37 am

SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 10:43 am

Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


Can't say it ever really occurred until reading it on here. Has he ever played there? England have enough issues as it is without trialing players in new positions.

I just cannot see Borthwick picking him anywhere other than FB. He's not greatest attacking threat there but he is so reliable that to have at least one area that is secure must count for something.

Only thing I advocate is giving other players time at FB in case Steward injured etc.

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Post by Big Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:00 am

Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


No.  He's not played there (edit: to the best of my knowledge), and I'm not convinced I've seen anything from his play to date to suggest he'd make an immediate international class 12.  He's a young guy still with plenty of potential, but that potential needs to be developed.  I'd like him to do the best he can in the world cup, then when he goes back to Leicester spend some time with Mike Brown developing his foot work to be come a more complete player in his current position.


Last edited by Big on Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : being pernickety)

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:03 am

mountain man wrote:
Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


Can't say it ever really occurred until reading it on here. Has he ever played there? England have enough issues as it is without trialing players in new positions.

I just cannot see Borthwick picking him anywhere other than FB. He's not greatest attacking threat there but he is so reliable that to have at least one area that is secure must count for something.

Only thing I advocate is giving other players time at FB in case Steward injured etc.

I beleive he played 10 at age grades but nothing senior.

I disagree about him not being an attacking threat. I think hes a big attacking threat..hes scores plenty of tries. The key is getting the system right that allows everyone to be used properly. Hes a big 6'5 17st full back...maybe not electric pace but hes mobile enough.

I think theres other 12s coming through who are way better potential at 12 than moving a full back there.

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:10 am

Well I did say not greatest attacking threat, not that he wasn't one. I was thinking of likes of Arundell or Malins could be given some time at 15.
Maybe Watson or Daly will rotate with Steward this week but I suspect if Steward picked at 15 that's where he'll stay.

Arundell got no time with ball last week, at 15 he definitley would. Imagine him receiving ball and running it back, could be exciting!

Anyway, not even in 23.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:17 am

Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


I think it's just me.

I also think it shouldn't be a permanent move. Just for the world cup to solve England's obvious problems at 12.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:22 am

carpet baboon wrote:
Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


I think it's just me.

I also think it shouldn't be a permanent move. Just for the world cup to solve England's obvious problems at 12.

If Steward isn't at 15 we have a far bigger problem. There are weaknesses in his game but he's still the best fullback in the squad by a significant distance. If Freeman was in the squad it might be worth a trial sadly he's not.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:28 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


I think it's just me.

I also think it shouldn't be a permanent move. Just for the world cup to solve England's obvious problems at 12.

If Steward isn't at 15 we have a far bigger problem. There are weaknesses in his game but he's still the best fullback in the squad by a significant distance. If Freeman was in the squad it might be worth a trial sadly he's not.

I think Watson is just as good as him at 15, and Daly can certainly play there too.

I'm Irish so not bothered where he plays if I'm honest. But as an outsider looking in, with the squad you have it seems like a good fit for borthwicks game plan

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:28 am

Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?
Not me. I don't think he has the quickness or agility on either side of the ball to play 12. As a fullback he is doing fine and having a little extra space for his acceleration helps a lot. But I can't see him at 12. To be fair, England may have to take some risks positionally to improve where they currently are until some younger players put their hands up. But I don't think Steward in the midfield is what I would do.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:29 am

And Alex goode should be called up to cover 10

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:31 am

I'm still in the Andy Goode to 10 camp.

Anyone else a bit mystified by this bubbling criticism of England players celebrating winning pens? This the latest thing to moan about now?

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:33 am

mountain man wrote:Well I did say not greatest attacking threat, not that he wasn't one. I was thinking of likes of Arundell or Malins could be given some time at 15.
Maybe Watson or Daly will rotate with Steward this week but I suspect if Steward picked at 15 that's where he'll stay.

Arundell got no time with ball last week, at 15 he definitley would. Imagine him receiving ball and running it back, could be exciting!

Anyway, not even in 23.

Whats has he done at senior level yet that warrants even being in the WC squad? Bar a few highlight reel tries?

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'm still in the Andy Goode to 10 camp.

Anyone else a bit mystified by this bubbling criticism of England players celebrating winning pens? This the latest thing to moan about now?

Your on f&%king heavier drugs than you have been

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:39 am

He's about as much chance as Alex.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:40 am

Geordie wrote:
mountain man wrote:Well I did say not greatest attacking threat, not that he wasn't one. I was thinking of likes of Arundell or Malins could be given some time at 15.
Maybe Watson or Daly will rotate with Steward this week but I suspect if Steward picked at 15 that's where he'll stay.

Arundell got no time with ball last week, at 15 he definitley would. Imagine him receiving ball and running it back, could be exciting!

Anyway, not even in 23.

Whats has he done at senior level yet that warrants even being in the WC squad? Bar a few highlight reel tries?

His kick chase sadly hasn't been good enough. Should be Malins and Watson in the team now.

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Post by Geordie Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:41 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:
mountain man wrote:Well I did say not greatest attacking threat, not that he wasn't one. I was thinking of likes of Arundell or Malins could be given some time at 15.
Maybe Watson or Daly will rotate with Steward this week but I suspect if Steward picked at 15 that's where he'll stay.

Arundell got no time with ball last week, at 15 he definitley would. Imagine him receiving ball and running it back, could be exciting!

Anyway, not even in 23.

Whats has he done at senior level yet that warrants even being in the WC squad? Bar a few highlight reel tries?

His kick chase sadly hasn't been good enough. Should be Malins and Watson in the team now.
No it shouldnt

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Post by Big Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:42 am

Geordie wrote:
Whats has he done at senior level yet that warrants even being in the WC squad? Bar a few highlight reel tries?

To be fair, they are seriously good highlight reel tries... he's scored some crackers against Leicester, and perhaps Borthwick's thinking is if him and Kev can't work out how to stop him he's worth having in the side. It's not really unreasonable.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:43 am

Clearly the best chaser we have in the squad. Think he won about 3 of 5 high balls vs Wales (Malins that is).

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:51 am

By the way, does anyone know if Farrell will travel to Dublin or whether he is left home? I think if he is in the building and is shown on the big screen or tv it will get a reaction from the crowd which might not be good.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 18 Aug 2023, 12:01 pm

Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 18 Aug 2023, 12:32 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
Geordie wrote:SO is everyone saying Steward must move to 12 now?


I think it's just me.

I also think it shouldn't be a permanent move. Just for the world cup to solve England's obvious problems at 12.

If Steward isn't at 15 we have a far bigger problem. There are weaknesses in his game but he's still the best fullback in the squad by a significant distance. If Freeman was in the squad it might be worth a trial sadly he's not.

I think Watson is just as good as him at 15, and Daly can certainly play there too.

I'm Irish so not bothered where he plays if I'm honest. But as an outsider looking in, with the squad you have it seems like a good fit for borthwicks game plan

Watson is very good but better on the wing than at fullback. Doesn't really have the kicking game and defensively under the high ball isn't quite as good. Better counter attacker though and chasing the ball there's not much between them. Steward's certainly the better of the two at 15.

Daly has shown previously he isn't up to fullback at international level.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 18 Aug 2023, 12:34 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

Malins started 22 games last season, 2 were at fullback and the rest were on the wing. He's never been a regular at fullback even at Bristol. Maybe he will be when he goes there for next season.

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 12:59 pm

Also have to consider what is Stewards greatest strength, it's being ultra reliable under high ball.
In centre that will hardly come into it so negates that part of his game.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 1:04 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.
The lack of rotation in the warm up games is puzzling, but there is still another warm up game to go after Saturday.  Steward will be the fullback for most of the RWC games, the big ones certainly.  But backups/alternatives should be tried.  If Steward get hurt, who is the next man up?  I would guess Watson or Daly.  Malins heart heart heart makes me nervous back there and not convinced about Arundell.  Hence why we need to get people game time.

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 1:09 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.
The lack of rotation in the warm up games is puzzling, but there is still another warm up game to go after Saturday.  Steward will be the fullback for most of the RWC games, the big ones certainly.  But backups/alternatives should be tried.  If Steward get hurt, who is the next man up?  I would guess Watson or Daly.  Malins heart heart heart makes me nervous back there and not convinced about Arundell.  Hence why we need to get people game time.

That is why these warm ups be ideal time to try Arundell or Malins etc at FB.

No good waiting until it HAS to happen because Steward gone off 5 mins into a crucial RWC game.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 18 Aug 2023, 1:31 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

Malins started 22 games last season, 2 were at fullback and the rest were on the wing. He's never been a regular at fullback even at Bristol. Maybe he will be when he goes there for next season.

I believe he's been signed as the Piutau replacement. He came through the U20s as a 15/10, so he's got a decent amount of experience there. He's wasted on the wing, mainly because he's not a winger.

Edit: Plus he's never ousting Goode as the Saracens 15

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Post by mountain man Fri 18 Aug 2023, 1:37 pm

Malins has said he is going to Bristol specifically as a FB.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 2:52 pm

mountain man wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.
The lack of rotation in the warm up games is puzzling, but there is still another warm up game to go after Saturday.  Steward will be the fullback for most of the RWC games, the big ones certainly.  But backups/alternatives should be tried.  If Steward get hurt, who is the next man up?  I would guess Watson or Daly.  Malins heart heart heart makes me nervous back there and not convinced about Arundell.  Hence why we need to get people game time.

That is why these warm ups be ideal time to try Arundell or Malins etc at FB.

No good waiting until it HAS to happen because Steward gone off 5 mins into a crucial RWC game.

Well Borthwick agreed with you last week that it was a must win game, hence Dan couldn't come on as he's not experienced enough. Runs true that we need to keep this momentum going now?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 18 Aug 2023, 2:56 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

Malins started 22 games last season, 2 were at fullback and the rest were on the wing. He's never been a regular at fullback even at Bristol. Maybe he will be when he goes there for next season.

I believe he's been signed as the Piutau replacement. He came through the U20s as a 15/10, so he's got a decent amount of experience there. He's wasted on the wing, mainly because he's not a winger.

Edit: Plus he's never ousting Goode as the Saracens 15

Certainly looks like he'll be the go to 15 for Bristol next season but it'll be the first time he's been the go to 15. I suspect he'll probably do well there as well. I did like how Bristol used him the last time though as a playmaker that would come off his wing and into the line to link play. Gave them a lot of options, I'd hoped England would use him in a similar fashion but it's never happened.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 18 Aug 2023, 3:14 pm

Mr Bounce wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

Malins started 22 games last season, 2 were at fullback and the rest were on the wing. He's never been a regular at fullback even at Bristol. Maybe he will be when he goes there for next season.

I believe he's been signed as the Piutau replacement. He came through the U20s as a 15/10, so he's got a decent amount of experience there. He's wasted on the wing, mainly because he's not a winger.

Edit: Plus he's never ousting Goode as the Saracens 15

He hadn't ousted Daly as a FB at Sarries either. When Goode played early in the season Daly was at wing or 13. When Goode didn't play it was Daly at 15 with Malins on the wing. Which would suggest that McCall (and his coaching team) might have noticed something that Eddie (and his team(s)), now Borthwick (and his deputies) have also spotted in Malins as a fullback.

I'd like to see Arundell get a chance at 15 against Fiji. I don't mind Steward, Daly and Watson playing against Ireland as I reckon that's our first choice back three, so it makes sense for them to play in the toughest warmup. The fullback selection for the second Wales warmup is the one I'd question if Steward was always expected to play here. Probably would have given Arundell or Malins a chance there.

Giving Stuart or Billy a run of starts makes sense as they need to play themselves into fitness in positions where we are struggling otherwise. Doing it with Steward makes less sense to me.

Re Watson at fullback. He never looked very good there for Bath IMO. He's a starting Lions level winger when fit. But an OK Prem fullback. It's always seemed odd the idea of moving him other than covering an injury midgame. To my eyes we'd be losing our best winger for an OK 15.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 3:27 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:Constantly playing Steward at 15 is banking on him not getting an injury which I think is a mistake.

Considering that both Arundell and Malins are ACTUAL fullbacks rather than wings I find it strange that there is no rotation.

Malins started 22 games last season, 2 were at fullback and the rest were on the wing. He's never been a regular at fullback even at Bristol. Maybe he will be when he goes there for next season.

I believe he's been signed as the Piutau replacement. He came through the U20s as a 15/10, so he's got a decent amount of experience there. He's wasted on the wing, mainly because he's not a winger.

Edit: Plus he's never ousting Goode as the Saracens 15

Certainly looks like he'll be the go to 15 for Bristol next season but it'll be the first time he's been the go to 15. I suspect he'll probably do well there as well. I did like how Bristol used him the last time though as a playmaker that would come off his wing and into the line to link play. Gave them a lot of options, I'd hoped England would use him in a similar fashion but it's never happened.

Think it's clearly the plan though as Malins talked post Wales on loving looking for work and the inside balls he play. Perhaps part of the missing final pass that we were looking for.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 4:13 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Think it's clearly the plan though as Malins talked post Wales on loving looking for work and the inside balls he play. Perhaps part of the missing final pass that we were looking for.
To which team?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 18 Aug 2023, 4:18 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Think it's clearly the plan though as Malins talked post Wales on loving looking for work and the inside balls he play. Perhaps part of the missing final pass that we were looking for.
To which team?

I know we're disappointed with 1 try in 2 but it's been a huge improvement from Jones. We've got the entertainment back, the tries and the results are in touching distance. I think the Argentinian coaches will be watching our games and feeling uncomfortable.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 18 Aug 2023, 5:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Think it's clearly the plan though as Malins talked post Wales on loving looking for work and the inside balls he play. Perhaps part of the missing final pass that we were looking for.
To which team?

I know we're disappointed with 1 try in 2 but it's been a huge improvement from Jones. We've got the entertainment back, the tries and the results are in touching distance. I think the Argentinian coaches will be watching our games and feeling uncomfortable.
I feel the excitement.

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