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England still winning the RWC at a canter - The quarter finals and beyond

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 08 Oct 2023, 11:20 am

First topic message reminder :

Carried on..............

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Post by dummy_half Mon 27 Nov 2023, 4:11 pm

king_carlos wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Ireland have the most foreign born players of any of the 6N, even more than Italy, however to be fair, from the 2023 squad, only 4 qualify on residency,  2 on grandparents and 4 on parents, one other was born in Ireland but moved away aged 6 to Australia. Two more were born abroad but moved to Ireland at an early age.
Scotland are furthest ahead there by a mile.

Two Cents Rugby has done a really good job of breaking squads down for a while now. He does it by both "home born" and "home grown". So he looks at where they learnt their rugby as well as simply where their mum happened to be when they popped out. Below is the RWC video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrleDjsjyt4&t=575s

Scotland have been hovering around the 50% mark for both home born and home grown for a while now. Only two pro teams and so many former Premiership academy grads with Scottish ancestry playing a big role in that. Saffas who moved whilst SA domestic teams had worse funding being the other large part

Ireland were at 25/33 home born and 26/33 home grown at the RWC. Which is pretty good. The more controversial thing Ireland have done is target foreign players in key positions with IRFU contracts with the aim of them qualifying under residency. They've done it extremely well though. Aki, Lowe and Gibson-Park for instance. Stander previously of course.

I think the residency rules are correct at 5 years. Longer than that and you would have players who have lived somewhere long enough to gain citizenship not being eligible for their adopted country. Which I simply don't think is reasonable.

I would get rid of the grandparent rule. Other than that I think the eligibility rules are in a much better place now.

I think most of us are in reasonable agreement on this - otherwise you can get cases like Thomas Waldrom, where he wasn't even aware that his grandmother was English-born until he was paying for Leicester. Being serious, you could have relatively old parents and grandparents, say each was 40 when a player was born. If the grandparent left the home country as an infant, you could be talking about using ancestry of a century ago to define eligibility.

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Post by Tramptastic Mon 27 Nov 2023, 4:42 pm

Just to throw another thought in there - WP Nel: A Brief Case Study

So, WP Nel has no Scottish ancestry, he's SA born and bred. He came over to Scotland for a new opportunity in 2012, got capped in 2015 and has been an ever presence for Edinburgh and Scotland since.

Now, thats what has previously been described in this thread as opportunism and "not how we should do things in rugger". However, the lad moved here, as raised a family here, has brought his kids up as Scottish and plans to live the rest of his life here. The lad is an immigrant to these shores and wants to commit to being Scottish (or a UK citizen that lives in Scotland). He's on the record as believing his family will have more opportunities growing up in Scotland.

So... is he Scottish? in any other walk of life, if someone immigrated here, to Scotland and wanted to make a real go of it I would be of the view that if you work, live and pay taxes here, yer one o us. Why does that line get fuzzy when it comes to sports representation?

I think it applies. If he wants to call himself Scottish and he's committed then yeh, he is.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 27 Nov 2023, 5:40 pm

I want to see the best players in international rugby. The ones jumping countries are always low in number. As for Scotland they only have 2 professional teams and they would struggle only using players developed in their own structures.

In other words of course we have to be sensible over the rules, but giving a single cap to somebody to tie them in just on the off chance that you'll want to use them in some point in the future when all your first choices are out of action seems pointless for everyone.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Nov 2023, 6:00 pm

lostinwales wrote:I want to see the best players in international rugby. The ones jumping countries are always low in number. As for Scotland they only have 2 professional teams and they would struggle only using players developed in their own structures.

In other words of course we have to be sensible over the rules, but giving a single cap to somebody to tie them in just on the off chance that you'll want to use them in some point in the future when all your first choices are out of action seems pointless for everyone.

Well not for the team capping them.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 27 Nov 2023, 6:04 pm

Tramptastic wrote:Just to throw another thought in there - WP Nel: A Brief Case Study

So, WP Nel has no Scottish ancestry, he's SA born and bred. He came over to Scotland for a new opportunity in 2012, got capped in 2015 and has been an ever presence for Edinburgh and Scotland since.

Now, thats what has previously been described in this thread as opportunism and "not how we should do things in rugger". However, the lad moved here, as raised a family here, has brought his kids up as Scottish and plans to live the rest of his life here. The lad is an immigrant to these shores and wants to commit to being Scottish (or a UK citizen that lives in Scotland). He's on the record as believing his family will have more opportunities growing up in Scotland.

So... is he Scottish? in any other walk of life, if someone immigrated here, to Scotland and wanted to make a real go of it I would be of the view that if you work, live and pay taxes here, yer one o us. Why does that line get fuzzy when it comes to sports representation?

I think it applies. If he wants to call himself Scottish and he's committed then yeh, he is.
Absolutely agree. I also think it's important for residency rules to be 5 years rather than 3 to ensure that those qualifying for it are in the Nel category more often than not though. 3 year contracts aren't at all unusual in rugby. So with the 3 year residency a player could realistically sign one contract at an overseas club, do well, get capped, then sign their very next contract elsewhere and never come back except for home games and training camps.

Whereas if you've been somewhere 5 years that is often long enough to gain citizenship, have signed multiple contracts, a third of generous sporting career, given the age of sportsman may well be the majority of their adult life. Hence why I think 5 years is the sweet spot. It's also why I argue against calls for simply silly things like 10 year residency.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 27 Nov 2023, 11:35 pm

Ludlam confirmed going to Toulon. Telegraph says it's a long contract, which sealed the deal.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2023/11/27/lewis-ludlam-toulon-northampton-england-squad/

Northampton back-row Lewis Ludlam will become the latest England international to head for France after agreeing terms to join Top 14 side Toulon next summer.

Ludlam has played in the last two World Cups for England and was an ever-present in Steve Borthwick’s first Six Nations campaign in charge. The 27-year-old is highly prized for his versatility and combativeness but was not assured of receiving one of the hybrid contracts set to be introduced next year by the Rugby Football Union. While Northampton were desperate to keep their club captain, Toulon not only offered high wages but a longer-term contract, which was thought to be crucial in Ludlam’s decision.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Nov 2023, 7:44 am

Something something RFU something abroad something play.

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

And Singleton away. Not used at all since Jones though.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Nov 2023, 8:15 am

That's a blow for Saints and England with Ludlum going. I know some don't seem to rate him but I think he's an excellent player and I have no problems at all when I see his name in Eng starting XV. Issue is it doesn't happen enough. Maybe by post 2024 season will have changed but not holding breath.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 8:31 am

The confusion over the hybrid contracts needs cleared up very quickly.

Ludlum is a good squad member. However it means another spot opens up potentially.

Does SB pick him for the 6n...now thats a big question. I wouldnt....

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Nov 2023, 8:41 am

Whereas I definitely would.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:01 am

Quiet talk of Borthwick asking Lawes to come back for the 6ns.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:10 am

Great as Lawes has been for England I hope he stays retired and we finally see the start of a proper rebuild. Back row is at least one area where England have good strength in depth. Well theoretically anyway. If same players are picked - Billy I'm looking at you - not sure how much progress Eng will make in that regard.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:21 am

mountain man wrote:Great as Lawes has been for England I hope he stays retired and we finally see the start of a proper rebuild. Back row is at least one area where England have good strength in depth. Well theoretically anyway. If same players are picked - Billy I'm looking at you - not sure how much progress Eng will make in that regard.

i agree...let Lawes retire and move on. Billy has to be dropped. I couldnt defend SB if he picked him.




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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:23 am

mountain man wrote:That's a blow for Saints and England with Ludlum going. I know some don't seem to rate him but I think he's an excellent player and I have no problems at all when I see his name in Eng starting XV. Issue is it doesn't happen enough. Maybe by post 2024 season will have changed but not holding breath.

Ludlam should have been picked ahead of Billy every single time at the RWC

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Post by dummy_half Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:34 am

lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:That's a blow for Saints and England with Ludlum going. I know some don't seem to rate him but I think he's an excellent player and I have no problems at all when I see his name in Eng starting XV. Issue is it doesn't happen enough. Maybe by post 2024 season will have changed but not holding breath.

Ludlam should have been picked ahead of Billy every single time at the RWC

I don't think Ludlam makes any starting position in our best back row, but think he is probably the best all rounder and so the best bench option and someone who can slot in easily to the starting line up at 6 or 7 when needed. In a way, I see him a bit like Robshaw - no USP but good at lots of the things a back row is supposed to do.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:48 am

Theres plenty of back rowers in contention

Hell....if SB was at Kingston park on Sunday he will have been HUGELY impressed with young Guy Pepper at 7. He was outstanding before Painter decided to take him out the game.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:51 am

Robshaw was no good at the showy bits of backrow play but very good at the dark arts, including shutting down opposition back rows. He also had a superb sense of where the ball was going to be which made up for the fact he wasn't very fast at all. Reminded me of Dean Richards who had all the pace of a bollard but somehow always managed to be where the ball was.

With Ludlam it isn't just that he's very good at most things, it's also the energy he brings when he's on the pitch. He enjoys it. Billy often looks miserable these days.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:54 am

So 6 Lawes, 7 Earl if hes fit and Vunipola to start against Italy!

Ben Curry on the bench.


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Tue 28 Nov 2023, 10:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Nov 2023, 9:58 am

dummy_half wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:That's a blow for Saints and England with Ludlum going. I know some don't seem to rate him but I think he's an excellent player and I have no problems at all when I see his name in Eng starting XV. Issue is it doesn't happen enough. Maybe by post 2024 season will have changed but not holding breath.

Ludlam should have been picked ahead of Billy every single time at the RWC

I don't think Ludlam makes any starting position in our best back row, but think he is probably the best all rounder and so the best bench option and someone who can slot in easily to the starting line up at 6 or 7 when needed. In a way, I see him a bit like Robshaw - no USP but good at lots of the things a back row is supposed to do.

So what is our best backrow then if Ludlum doens't make it, Lawes retired and assume Billy not picked? Curry of the Tom variety is out injured and may or may not be back in time.

For me I'd have Ludlum 6, Earl 7 and C-CS at 8. Yes I'd give him a start against Italy. Won't happen but I'd give it a go.*

* this will in all likelyhood change week by week up to 6N depending upon form and fact Ludlum currently injured.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 28 Nov 2023, 10:18 am

lostinwales wrote:Robshaw was no good at the showy bits of backrow play but very good at the dark arts, including shutting down opposition back rows. He also had a superb sense of where the ball was going to be which made up for the fact he wasn't very fast at all. Reminded me of Dean Richards who had all the pace of a bollard but somehow always managed to be where the ball was.

With Ludlam it isn't just that he's very good at most things, it's also the energy he brings when he's on the pitch. He enjoys it. Billy often looks miserable these days.

Deano was the originator of the offside cloak of invisibility that was inherited by Neil Back and then McCaw, but yes he had an uncanny ability to be where the ball was.

Good point re Ludlam being a positive energy generator, something I think Underhill also has and recent Billy V absolutely does not.

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 28 Nov 2023, 11:03 am

Hopefully as above Billy V isnt involved in anyway - he was off the pace/clumsy and looked disinterested. If you cant get up for an international, knock-out game in a world Cup then you don't deserve to have future involvement.

6N -
Earl definitely involved
Tom Pearson based on Saints performances should be there
Ludlam as above brings a lot of energy
Underhill proved he should have been in the initial WC squad
George Martin is that hybrid lock/back row

Jack Willis is now ineligible
T. Curry injured

Others that could be pulled in -
Mercer (although not seen his games for Glouces) - not sure what it was that Borthers didnt like!
Will Evans
Tom Willis
Ben Curry
Maybe its a chance for Dombrandt to come back in.

Certainly plenty of Back Row options

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 12:13 pm

mountain man wrote:
dummy_half wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
mountain man wrote:That's a blow for Saints and England with Ludlum going. I know some don't seem to rate him but I think he's an excellent player and I have no problems at all when I see his name in Eng starting XV. Issue is it doesn't happen enough. Maybe by post 2024 season will have changed but not holding breath.

Ludlam should have been picked ahead of Billy every single time at the RWC

I don't think Ludlam makes any starting position in our best back row, but think he is probably the best all rounder and so the best bench option and someone who can slot in easily to the starting line up at 6 or 7 when needed. In a way, I see him a bit like Robshaw - no USP but good at lots of the things a back row is supposed to do.

So what is our best backrow then if Ludlum doens't make it, Lawes retired and assume Billy not picked? Curry of the Tom variety is out injured and may or may not be back in time.

For me I'd have Ludlum 6, Earl 7 and C-CS at 8. Yes I'd give him a start against Italy. Won't happen but I'd give it a go.*

* this will in all likelyhood change week by week up to 6N depending upon form and fact Ludlum currently injured.


For Italy id go:
4 Itoje
5 Martin
6 Pearson
7 Underhill
8 Earl

Chessum floating around aswell

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Post by lostinwales Tue 28 Nov 2023, 12:15 pm

Isn't Mercer crocked?

I noticed a stat on carries by round. Weise leads the way but Mercer was no.1 for the first couple of rounds.

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Post by Sharkey06 Tue 28 Nov 2023, 12:27 pm

Mercer is recovering from ankle surgery and is a doubt to be fit for the 6 Nations.

It was disappointing to see Willis playing at 6 for Saracens at the weekend with Billy at 8.  I appreciate you couldn't swop them over and play Billy at 6, but I assumed that Willis moving to Saracens would help him tighten up his no8 skills.

I think we could see Dombrandt in contention for the no8 shirt for the 6 nations, for all the issues that there were in the 2023 6 Nations SB persevered with him and obviously saw some things he liked.

I do hope we move on from Lawes - I think he is mentally done with International rugby - and Billy who hasn't convinced at International level for 4 years.  Whilst Earl can play 8 he seems a short term solution and not the long term answer.  There are some good young no8s out there, I hope SB doesn't play it safe and picks whoever he likes best for the long term.

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Post by propdavid_london Tue 28 Nov 2023, 2:17 pm

Lawes showed last weekend against Quins that he still is an amazing player.
I wouldn't have any issues if he had decided to do a Marler and get a few more caps (if asked)
Think I saw somewhere about Ludlam signing for a French side - so may not be available for 6N anyway.

Earl as a No.8 for England if we have 2 other units in the back-row to complement him.

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Post by mountain man Tue 28 Nov 2023, 2:32 pm

Ludlum going to Toulon next season so he's available for 2024 6N.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 28 Nov 2023, 2:48 pm

Mercer is an intriguing player. Consistently very good at club level, including in the higher standard Top 14, but he isn't a similar player to many number 8s who last in international rugby. Beka Gorgadze and Lorenzo Cannone are the most similar I can think of. I'd say both are stronger in contact, whilst Gorgadze is a very good lineout option and one of the best at receiving kicks be that sitting back for box kicks or restarts. Italy and George also use Negri and Saginadze at flanker to take some leg work away from the 8. By and large number 8s are a lot more powerful than Mercer. I'd say even the flankers/8s such as Savea and Earl are significantly stronger in contact. It doesn't mean that Mercer can't succeed but it is the sort of thing that raises a red flag for me.

Similar with wingers who are lightning in attack but have clear weaknesses even at club level. Very few more flawed wingers survive in international rugby now and those who do tend to be utter freaks. Duhan, Koroibete, Tuisova. Even someone as a brilliant in attack as Caleb Clarke struggled to maintain a place given his weaknesses and not being quite as incredible as those 3 with the ball.

I rate Tom Willis. In that cameo during the first warmup he got out of trouble a couple of times with strong leg drive after contact. He'll need to get past Billy first though. Similar for CCS at Quins with Dombrandt. It's the old issue of the Prem being a bit w**k at the minute. Billy and Dombrandt were dismal for England. Genuinely embarrassing at times. Fart in a spacesuit levels of usefulness. Now Dombrandt is captaining Quins, making turnovers, throwing offloads. Whilst Billy has been strong for an impressive Sarries. Since the England players returned they've been the best team in the league by a distance. Billy comprehensively won the head to head with Dombrandt when Sarries pulled Quins pants down a few weeks ago. At least how those two did at international level means that if Tillis and CCS can't claim starting shirts then it's reasonable to presume there's something missing currently. Unless either can wrestle the shirt away from the incumbent I'd stick with Earl.

Mercer or Barbeary would be the two I'm most interested in as the other 8 in a training squad alongside Earl. Barbeary could be brilliant between his carrying and breakdown work but does strike me as a player that needs a run of games to get his conditioning back up. If either are fit and playing well come January then they'd be my shout for the squad.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 28 Nov 2023, 2:52 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Lawes showed last weekend against Quins that he still is an amazing player.  
I wouldn't have any issues if he had decided to do a Marler and get a few more caps (if asked)
Similar to my view there, David.

I think Cian Healy and Keith Earls are perfect examples of how much you can get from the experienced players even if they aren't first choice anymore. I really hoped that Marler would carry on for that reason.

Prior to his retirement I thought Lawes could even be a really useful bench option for another year. For instance:

1.Genge 2.George 3.Cole 4.Itoje 5.Chessum 6.Ludlam 7.Underhill 8.Earl
16.Langdon 17.Marler 18.Sinckler 19.Martin 20.Lawes 21.Pearson

A bench such as that offers flexibility to add something in the second or back row depending on the game at hand. Lawes can add to lineout as well as still being excellent in the loose and having a ton of experience. Martin is a beast in contact as seen in the SF. Pearson is very dynamic carrying and strong over the ball.

Where have the Lawes rumours come from out of interest? I haven't seen that anywhere else yet.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:00 pm

As a genuine question...mainly for Tigers fans.

George Martin...how is his lineout? Is it good enough that he can start with Itoje or Chessum and be a solid option at international level...or if you have him in there do you need an additional jumper in the back row ?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:21 pm

Geordie wrote:As a genuine question...mainly for Tigers fans.

George Martin...how is his lineout? Is it good enough that he can start with Itoje or Chessum and be a solid option at international level...or if you have him in there do you need an additional jumper in the back row ?

He's not bad but he's not full international class jumper. Better than Launchbury but not as good as Itoje and Chessum. Could be an area he develops though I suspect Borthwick will always want at least one additional jumper in there anyway though most of the backrows options jump.

Were we to go Underhill, Pearson and TWillis then we'd probably have enough options to work with.

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Post by Geordie Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:23 pm

In that case...

Itoje / Chessum
Martin
Pearson
Underhill
Earl (Tom Willis off the bench)

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Post by king_carlos Tue 28 Nov 2023, 3:44 pm

Geordie, it depends purely on the system for me. Rather than being a yes or no.

If using Martin and Itoje as your primary jumpers you'd likely have to cut numbers more. Which increases retention but reduces the attacking potential. NZ with Ali Williams and Keiran Read were the masters of this. Brad Thorn, Kaino and McCaw weren't strong jumpers even back then. They cut numbers a lot, played off the top then used Thorn, Kaino and Nonu as carriers to create momentum on early phase play. It didn't exactly harm them. It also took years and world class group of players to develop the systems to allow it. Somewhat similar to Ireland's attack working brilliantly without a standout second playmaker, whereas every other strong international attack has multiple. A golden generation and time together developing exceptional systems make it work.

The biggest area that three strong jumpers add to a team is on defensive lineouts. With three jumpers you can pressure the opposition ball far more easily in the air. Sides with three jumpers generally force teams to throw to the front, cut numbers and play off the top more often. All three of which make defending from the lineout easier. Setting a maul after a throw to the tail with a full lineout sucks in most the opposition forwards and gives the attacking side a decent short side to attack as well as the openside and most probably front foot ball if the maul moves forward. It's also the easiest to mess up due to the moving parts, the longer throw and it can be contested if you mark the tail with a jumper of Chessum/Itoje/Lawes whilst still sufficiently covering the middle with the other two.

I don't think it's a coincidence that England's lineout defence was the best it's been since Kruis retired when Chessum, Itoje and Lawes were in the same XV.

Of course the other way to mitigate the lineout as a platform for the opposition is to reduce lineouts. Minimise penalty count by contesting few 50/50 jackals. Maybe play with a slightly softer line speed to reduce risk of offsides. Then kick to keep the ball in play rather than putting it off the park.

It's all about the systems. Itoje and Martin with someone like Curry or Ludlam as a third jumper could theoretically work but would require shifts in the systems elsewhere. Be that cutting numbers and mauling less on your own ball or keeping the ball on the park when kicking in open play.

An important thing to note with "3rd lineout jumpers" is how much better you need to be to make a difference there at international level. Someone like Kenningham for instance is a better jumper than Curry or Ludlam but he isn't someone you'd want to throw up where a lock could contest. Similar with Mercer being better than Billy, Barbeary or Earl but still very much an option you'd throw to unmarked. Jumpers such as that also aren't going to add appreciably in lineout defence. 3rd jumpers of note at international level are the likes of Lawes, POM, PSdT and Gorgadze. Back rows who are as strong in the air as good lineout locks - some of them formerly being that. Taking Ireland for instance, Doris and Conan are realistically better jumpers than Kenningham or Mercer but would only be used much by Ireland if POM wasn't starting and their locks were well marked. For a back rows lineout work to make much difference they need to be closer to the Tom Croft or Tom Wood ability in the air than the Tom Curry or Ludlam level.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 28 Nov 2023, 11:19 pm

king_carlos wrote:
propdavid_london wrote:Lawes showed last weekend against Quins that he still is an amazing player.  
I wouldn't have any issues if he had decided to do a Marler and get a few more caps (if asked)
Similar to my view there, David.

I think Cian Healy and Keith Earls are perfect examples of how much you can get from the experienced players even if they aren't first choice anymore. I really hoped that Marler would carry on for that reason.

Prior to his retirement I thought Lawes could even be a really useful bench option for another year. For instance:

1.Genge 2.George 3.Cole 4.Itoje 5.Chessum 6.Ludlam 7.Underhill 8.Earl
16.Langdon 17.Marler 18.Sinckler 19.Martin 20.Lawes 21.Pearson

A bench such as that offers flexibility to add something in the second or back row depending on the game at hand. Lawes can add to lineout as well as still being excellent in the loose and having a ton of experience. Martin is a beast in contact as seen in the SF. Pearson is very dynamic carrying and strong over the ball.

Where have the Lawes rumours come from out of interest? I haven't seen that anywhere else yet.
Lawes himself. He had mentioned it from time to time, though never made a big deal about it. Now he formalizes it

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/nov/28/courtney-lawes-british-irish-lions-in-australia-rugby-union-england

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 8:57 am

I'd read the England rumour from a beeb reporter, who I can't quite remember now, Jones is it? Probably from a podcast.

In that interview Lawes does rule out playing for England again, which is a good thing as I think Borthwick does need to be forced into thinking for the future.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Nov 2023, 11:16 am

Apparently Sanderson has said Borthwick is going to Sale next week to have meetings with:
Rodd, Tuilagi, the Curry twins, Ford, Jonny Hill, Joe Carpenter and Tom Roebuck..

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Post by Poorfour Wed 29 Nov 2023, 11:20 am

Isn't Earl injured? He withdrew from the Quins game in the warm up and everything I've seen since suggests he picked up quite a serious injury that will keep him out for at least the first few rounds of the 6N.

With Curry under the knife and Lawes retired, Borthwick is going to be forced to look at a very different back row from the RWC, whether he wants to or not.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 11:34 am

Earls supposed to be back in time now. And mercer has bought himself an oxygen tank apparently.

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Post by Geordie Wed 29 Nov 2023, 11:44 am

Poorfour wrote:Isn't Earl injured? He withdrew from the Quins game in the warm up and everything I've seen since suggests he picked up quite a serious injury that will keep him out for at least the first few rounds of the 6N.

With Curry under the knife and Lawes retired, Borthwick is going to be forced to look at a very different back row from the RWC, whether he wants to or not.

Confirmed Earl will be back for the 6n. Also dont forget Ludlum is away in the summer...do you pick him? i suppose you cant not losing Lawes and Curry


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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 29 Nov 2023, 1:12 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd read the England rumour from a beeb reporter, who I can't quite remember now, Jones is it? Probably from a podcast.

In that interview Lawes does rule out playing for England again, which is a good thing as I think Borthwick does need to be forced into thinking for the future.

Rodd, Dan, Stuart
Chessum, Martin
Curry, Earl, Underhill

A whole pack that could easily be around at the next world cup and all of whom played at the last one under Borthwick. You can pretty much do the same for the backs as well.

He likes some experience in the squad but the idea he's not looked to bring some players on isn't particularly accurate.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 29 Nov 2023, 1:13 pm

Geordie wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Isn't Earl injured? He withdrew from the Quins game in the warm up and everything I've seen since suggests he picked up quite a serious injury that will keep him out for at least the first few rounds of the 6N.

With Curry under the knife and Lawes retired, Borthwick is going to be forced to look at a very different back row from the RWC, whether he wants to or not.

Confirmed Earl will be back for the 6n. Also dont forget Ludlum is away in the summer...do you pick him? i suppose you cant not losing Lawes and Curry


I wouldn't select Ludlam or any other player heading to France. Freeze them out. Make it clear the price paid for moving abroad. You're either committed or you're not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 1:40 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd read the England rumour from a beeb reporter, who I can't quite remember now, Jones is it? Probably from a podcast.

In that interview Lawes does rule out playing for England again, which is a good thing as I think Borthwick does need to be forced into thinking for the future.

Rodd, Dan, Stuart
Chessum, Martin
Curry, Earl, Underhill

A whole pack that could easily be around at the next world cup and all of whom played at the last one under Borthwick. You can pretty much do the same for the backs as well.

He likes some experience in the squad but the idea he's not looked to bring some players on isn't particularly accurate.

Maybe it's just my pessimism at the stone age tactics getting to me again. And going back to players like Cole, Vunipola, Moving backwards to playing Farrell at 10.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 1:55 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Geordie wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Isn't Earl injured? He withdrew from the Quins game in the warm up and everything I've seen since suggests he picked up quite a serious injury that will keep him out for at least the first few rounds of the 6N.

With Curry under the knife and Lawes retired, Borthwick is going to be forced to look at a very different back row from the RWC, whether he wants to or not.

Confirmed Earl will be back for the 6n. Also dont forget Ludlum is away in the summer...do you pick him? i suppose you cant not losing Lawes and Curry


I wouldn't select Ludlam or any other player heading to France. Freeze them out. Make it clear the price paid for moving abroad. You're either committed or you're not.

They may well have been given the nod. It's a growing list.

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Post by mountain man Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:09 pm

"I wouldn't select Ludlam or any other player heading to France. Freeze them out. Make it clear the price paid for moving abroad. You're either committed or you're not."

What about players from Wasps, Worcester and LI, you excluding those as well if they have gone abroad?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:18 pm

mountain man wrote:"I wouldn't select Ludlam or any other player heading to France. Freeze them out. Make it clear the price paid for moving abroad. You're either committed or you're not."

What about players from Wasps, Worcester and LI, you excluding those as well if they have gone abroad?

Wasps and Wuss players were given a year to recover and LI players will get the same. After the year if they aren't back in the Prem then that's it. Jack Willis being the case in point re Wasps, was available last season and the world cup, he's on the outside now. Arundell will be available this season and then it's up to him from then on.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:19 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Geordie wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Isn't Earl injured? He withdrew from the Quins game in the warm up and everything I've seen since suggests he picked up quite a serious injury that will keep him out for at least the first few rounds of the 6N.

With Curry under the knife and Lawes retired, Borthwick is going to be forced to look at a very different back row from the RWC, whether he wants to or not.

Confirmed Earl will be back for the 6n. Also dont forget Ludlum is away in the summer...do you pick him? i suppose you cant not losing Lawes and Curry


I wouldn't select Ludlam or any other player heading to France. Freeze them out. Make it clear the price paid for moving abroad. You're either committed or you're not.

They may well have been given the nod. It's a growing list.

It's fringe players who are replaceable at present. I doubt Borthwick or the RFU would be dumb enough to give the nod as it would effectively declare war between the RFU and the Prem at a time they are negotiating their agreement going forward.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I'd read the England rumour from a beeb reporter, who I can't quite remember now, Jones is it? Probably from a podcast.

In that interview Lawes does rule out playing for England again, which is a good thing as I think Borthwick does need to be forced into thinking for the future.

Rodd, Dan, Stuart
Chessum, Martin
Curry, Earl, Underhill

A whole pack that could easily be around at the next world cup and all of whom played at the last one under Borthwick. You can pretty much do the same for the backs as well.

He likes some experience in the squad but the idea he's not looked to bring some players on isn't particularly accurate.

Maybe it's just my pessimism at the stone age tactics getting to me again. And going back to players like Cole, Vunipola, Moving backwards to playing Farrell at 10.

Dan Cole who was easily our best tighthead at the world cup? Sad as it might be he was. Sinckler and Stuart were given chances and struggled, particularly at the set piece.

BillyV was relegated to the bench for a younger option. Shame he wasn't relegated further. Farrell at 10 was a shame. Ford looked much better there. Every England head coach seems to see something we don't though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:48 pm

I'm not overly surprised that a prop who excels in the scrum looked decent when our coach doesn't look much outside, more a restriction of ambition really. Ditto with all our fly halves. Kicking the ball away all the time is all fair and well but when we have the 3 we do along with a guy like Fin Smith in the wings it's just a waste.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 29 Nov 2023, 2:51 pm

And re playing abroad and the clubs being happy or not, the balance of the whole thing is going to change in this new agreement. Since covid the RFU probably have a little more power in this arrangement so it'll be interesting to see how far they can push it. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see more players based outside the prem being selected.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 29 Nov 2023, 3:13 pm

OOh

BREAKING: Owen Farrell has stepped back from international duties for the Six Nations to focus on his and his family’s well-being.

England will need a new captain for the Six Nations with Courtney Lawes retiring from the international game.

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