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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 lostinwales Wed 13 Dec 2023, 8:48 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Interesting that. 'May describes the "Verona Group" of senior players at the last World Cup, and says they played a big part in getting the team on the right path after those painful warm-ups. ' I'd say the teams we played had more to do with it than any improvement.

'He praised Wigglesworth for arranging "Social Media Monday" during the World Cup camps, where the squad would laugh at critical press and social media coverage, to get it out of their system. It did seem at times like the players adopted a Millwall stance during the tournament.' And yes it was very much evident that they were all singing from the same hymn sheet of proving people wrong and thinking they were on the right track while doing not much special. Hope they shake that off and Wigglesworth starts doing something about the attack. Wonder if he was showing the criticism on Farrell too which has led to him stepping away?

They deserve some credit. The warm up team could of lost to Argentina, did lose against Fiji and would of got absolutely hammered by SA. Instead they played all those games and lost one by one point. The performances were patchy at times, but they went from being a team that was easy to beat to one that was very hard to break down.

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Post by mountain man Wed 13 Dec 2023, 8:52 am

That is true although playing not to lose will only get you so far. At some stage to win tournaments a team needs to actively look to attack and win.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 8:53 am

And we need to balance it that Argentina properly bottled it,Fiji had key injuries and the weather with SA. And teams were waltzing through us at times. I think a few are in for a sock when France and Ireland destroy us again.

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Post by mountain man Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:00 am

Yep France and Ireland gonna sock it to England...

On a serious note I think (well hope) England will be a lot more competitive this 6N. England came a very credible 3rd in RWC, OK circumstances definitely helped but players will take confidence from that as they will have from European matches so far. Long way to go still but there's promise.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:21 am

3rd at best. 4th probable. 5th possible.

And it'll be dull after the Italy game.

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Post by mountain man Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:32 am

England simply have to beat Scotland, the losing streak gone on too long now. Trouble is Scotland are a good team.
Despite what you think 7.5 I really don't see Italy beating England.
England are a better side than Wales but often doesn't look like it on day, Wales invest so much into that one match.
France be really tough as will Ireland. Both are beatable but be an upset for sure.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:41 am

The 6 nations following a World Cup is always very open. France will be a different team without Dupont, Ireland will be starting life without Sexton so they may not click as they usually do.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:43 am

Italy definitely can beat us, I still think we'll be favourites going in but they'll fancy it. Wales, well we're lucky we're at Twickenham.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 13 Dec 2023, 9:47 am

Margin_Walker wrote:Was a pretty odd intervention from the RFU. Whatever you think of whether he should be 6n eligible or not, saying one thing a few months ago, then reversing it now doesn't seem like the way to go about things.

It's a scenario that will only be repeated if another club goes pop, so hopefully (!) not one they will see again in the near future.

Do we know for certain that it was the RFU intervening first? They made it clear over the summer that they'd applied the exceptional circumstances rule for Arundell for the 2024 6N, but that may well have been implicitly or explicitly contingent on him negotiating a contract with an English club for next season. They haven't applied the exemption for anyone else who has moved to or remained in France, so it's very likely that it was granted on the expectation that he would come back at the end of the season.

Contracts aren't signed overnight, so presumably Racing approached him early in the season about signing the extension. When it became clear he was planning on signing it, the exemption may not have been valid any more.

The key points for me are:
1) The RFU is being consistent with its wider policy, even if it looks like a U turn on Arundell specifically
2) We don't know what the exemption was contingent on, so it may well have been consistent for Arundell but just not particularly clearly communicated
3) The purpose of the exemption is to allow the RFU to include players it expects to be part of their long term plans but are outside the Prem. As far as I know, it's only been used twice - once for Wilkinson, whose contract allowed him effectively to spend as much time as needed with England, and Arundell, who moved for exceptional reasons and was expected to return in time for the next season
4) The RWC itself is different - effectively there's an international window from the start of the training camps until the end of the tournament, so even players who are overseas or going overseas are available.
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed 13 Dec 2023, 10:11 am

Poorfour wrote:
Margin_Walker wrote:Was a pretty odd intervention from the RFU. Whatever you think of whether he should be 6n eligible or not, saying one thing a few months ago, then reversing it now doesn't seem like the way to go about things.

It's a scenario that will only be repeated if another club goes pop, so hopefully (!) not one they will see again in the near future.

Do we know for certain that it was the RFU intervening first? They made it clear over the summer that they'd applied the exceptional circumstances rule for Arundell for the 2024 6N, but that may well have been implicitly or explicitly contingent on him negotiating a contract with an English club for next season. They haven't applied the exemption for anyone else who has moved to or remained in France, so it's very likely that it was granted on the expectation that he would come back at the end of the season.

Contracts aren't signed overnight, so presumably Racing approached him early in the season about signing the extension. When it became clear he was planning on signing it, the exemption may not have been valid any more.

The key points for me are:
1) The RFU is being consistent with its wider policy, even if it looks like a U turn on Arundell specifically
2) We don't know what the exemption was contingent on, so it may well have been consistent for Arundell but just not particularly clearly communicated
3) The purpose of the exemption is to allow the RFU to include players it expects to be part of their long term plans but are outside the Prem. As far as I know, it's only been used twice - once for Wilkinson, whose contract allowed him effectively to spend as much time as needed with England, and Arundell, who moved for exceptional reasons and was expected to return in time for the next season
4) The RWC itself is different - effectively there's an international window from the start of the training camps until the end of the tournament, so even players who are overseas or going overseas are available.

Just going off this where Sweeney is states that he will be available and how it was reported in the Times. No mention of it being contingent on him agreeing to return prior to the 6N. That timeline then seems to have been accelerated with an ultimatum prior to that.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/england-set-to-have-henry-arundell-available-for-2024-six-nations/

“We want the best English players playing in England. In Henry’s case, he will be available for the 2024 Six Nations and then we will work very hard with him and with the Premiership, so that hopefully he can get a contract to come back to England.”

I'm actually okay with it as an approach if that's how you want to enact the policy. But be clear from the beginning. You also have Jack Willis last year not being made to choose prior to the 6N.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 13 Dec 2023, 10:13 am

Just saw a newsflash saying Tillis is out for 3 months.

We could still end up with a disinterested card hunting Billy at 8

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Post by mountain man Wed 13 Dec 2023, 11:40 am

Eddie now back with Japan to no-ones amazement.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/67703042

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 11:50 am

Radwan is better than Arundell anyway

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:00 pm

If it's any consolation he's not going to pick Radwan either sadly.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:17 pm

Margin_Walker wrote:
Just going off this where Sweeney is states that he will be available and how it was reported in the Times. No mention of it being contingent on him agreeing to return prior to the 6N. That timeline then seems to have been accelerated with an ultimatum prior to that.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/england-set-to-have-henry-arundell-available-for-2024-six-nations/

“We want the best English players playing in England. In Henry’s case, he will be available for the 2024 Six Nations and then we will work very hard with him and with the Premiership, so that hopefully he can get a contract to come back to England.”

I'm actually okay with it as an approach if that's how you want to enact the policy. But be clear from the beginning. You also have Jack Willis last year not being made to choose prior to the 6N.

That looks like an extract from a longer press release - which I haven't been able to find. But even so, we don't know what Arundell himself was told. The clear assumption at the time was that he would be returning to the Prem the following season, so it seems likely that he knew that it would exclude a longer stay in France
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:39 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Margin_Walker wrote:
Just going off this where Sweeney is states that he will be available and how it was reported in the Times. No mention of it being contingent on him agreeing to return prior to the 6N. That timeline then seems to have been accelerated with an ultimatum prior to that.

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/england-set-to-have-henry-arundell-available-for-2024-six-nations/

“We want the best English players playing in England. In Henry’s case, he will be available for the 2024 Six Nations and then we will work very hard with him and with the Premiership, so that hopefully he can get a contract to come back to England.”

I'm actually okay with it as an approach if that's how you want to enact the policy. But be clear from the beginning. You also have Jack Willis last year not being made to choose prior to the 6N.

That looks like an extract from a longer press release - which I haven't been able to find. But even so, we don't know what Arundell himself was told. The clear assumption at the time was that he would be returning to the Prem the following season, so it seems likely that he knew that it would exclude a longer stay in France

This is the extract from the Times interview with him at the start of the month, which implies that the PRL/clubs weren't happy with the original. With this, the quote from Sweeney above and the fact that they didn't put any conditions on Willis' 6N involvement last season, it seems pretty clear for me that there's been a change in position. Everyone may not see it that way though, which is fair enough and I doubt it had any impact on Arundell's decision.

"During the World Cup Bill Sweeney, the RFU chief executive, said Arundell would be available for the 2024 Six Nations even if he re-signs for Racing — but the clubs were not pleased Sweeney said that, so are pushing back. More avoidable politics."

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/94cc1124-b348-4f3e-8fd3-0f6e965846c3?shareToken=ee47ede3269e08dbd92cc6b0bd85da27

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:49 pm

There's a clip on him for Sky sports where he qualifies it slightly that as Arundell hadn't had an offer from an English club he was allowed to play. Given he now has you could say they haven't changed the terms, though they kinda have.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If it's any consolation he's not going to pick Radwan either sadly.

Correct and as a falcon thats fine by me. The only bit of joy i get watching that sack of **** these days. Well him and Stephens.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:There's a clip on him for Sky sports where he qualifies it slightly that as Arundell hadn't had an offer from an English club he was allowed to play. Given he now has you could say they haven't changed the terms, though they kinda have.

That depends on what they told Arundell, rather than what we have been told. I don't know why there's this presumption that clubs and unions will declare the full details of what they've discussed in negotiations to the media, or the assumption that what is in the media represents the full situation of who has been told what.

And again, we've seen nothing that's inconsistent with a position that the exemption applies to players who've been forced by circumstance to take a short term contract in France, as long as they return to England at the first opportunity.

There was one player who fit those criteria. Now there are none.
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Post by Margin_Walker Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:05 pm

I think the difference in the expectations placed on Willis and Arundell is fairly inconsistent. But again, ultimately it's not important as I doubt it had much bearing on the decision and they are free to administer the exemptions as they please.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:06 pm

The inconsistency comes from the quote that Arundell would be available as he didn't have an offer from an English club. Well for this season he didn't get that. They've gone with the fact that as he's not returning next year after an offer he's no longer available. He should be available for me, and frankly the RFU should back down from not selecting players out of the English league. Tbf it doesn't make much difference now but it may for the next coach.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:22 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The inconsistency comes from the quote that Arundell would be available as he didn't have an offer from an English club. Well for this season he didn't get that. They've gone with the fact that as he's not returning next year after an offer he's no longer available. He should be available for me, and frankly the RFU should back down from not selecting players out of the English league. Tbf it doesn't make much difference now but it may for the next coach.

I disagree....he was being allowed to play as no offer had been made. Now its clear and offer has been made but Arundel declined it. Quite straight forward...makes him ineligible

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:30 pm

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:The inconsistency comes from the quote that Arundell would be available as he didn't have an offer from an English club. Well for this season he didn't get that. They've gone with the fact that as he's not returning next year after an offer he's no longer available. He should be available for me, and frankly the RFU should back down from not selecting players out of the English league. Tbf it doesn't make much difference now but it may for the next coach.

I disagree....he was being allowed to play as no offer had been made. Now its clear and offer has been made but Arundel declined it. Quite straight forward...makes him ineligible

Well there isn't an offer for this year, it's next season as I understand it. So it's why I said it's kinda changed as nothing has changed in the situation up to and including the 6Ns.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:33 pm

Well some good news for Borthwick in that Vunipola's red card has been overturned.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:42 pm

6 Chessum
7 Underhill
8 Barbaery

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:55 pm

Barbeary and Underhill will be injured by then and Chessum will be a lock. And Vunipola is rated by Borthwick.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 1:59 pm

Itoje
Martin
Chessum
Underhill
Barbeary


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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:04 pm

Can't see it from Borthwick. You're quite keen on a fair few changes though Geordie. Was it about 3 in your back line? Another 3/4 here if you count Chessum as Borthwicks first choice lock with Itoje. Was it a change at tighthead you wanted too? Starting to look like a scratch side.

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well there isn't an offer for this year, it's next season as I understand it. So it's why I said it's kinda changed as nothing has changed in the situation up to and including the 6Ns.

The RFU's stance is that the exemption was for exceptional circumstances, where Arundell had no option on the table to play in the Premiership. The clearance to be available for England was contingent on committing to return next season. As soon as he turned down an English offer, the clearance no longer applied.

It comes as a surprise to us, because press coverage simply said "Arundell available for the 6N, but not the summer tour", which made it sound like the RFU had given him unconditional clearance for the French season.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:19 pm

Fair enough then. As I say no real impact at the moment as he doesn't suit the kick chase game we have.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:27 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Can't see it from Borthwick. You're quite keen on a fair few changes though Geordie. Was it about 3 in your back line? Another 3/4 here if you count Chessum as Borthwicks first choice lock with Itoje. Was it a change at tighthead you wanted too? Starting to look like a scratch side.

Injury and unavailable enforced changes...are you saying that SB's fault aswell?

Cole wont last forever will he? Are you disputing that?

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:28 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Fair enough then. As I say no real impact at the moment as he doesn't suit the kick chase game we have.

All wingers have to kick chase...even you know that lol

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:34 pm

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Can't see it from Borthwick. You're quite keen on a fair few changes though Geordie. Was it about 3 in your back line? Another 3/4 here if you count Chessum as Borthwicks first choice lock with Itoje. Was it a change at tighthead you wanted too? Starting to look like a scratch side.

Injury and unavailable enforced changes...are you saying that SB's fault aswell?

Cole wont last forever will he? Are you disputing that?

Not all those are enforced are they? Just doubting he's going to move that far away from his squads so far. Given there was talk that it took a while (was it 3 months) to get his defensive points across to the last group and he has 2 weeks this time as well as getting Wigglesworth to do his job not sure it's very him. Me personally, I'd have made some sweeping changes last year, then in the WC so I'm very much up for bedding players in for the benefit of the near future and frankly now. I'm really hoping I've been completely wrong on Borthwick and he was just caught up with the WC. I hope he is brave in his selections and introduces tactics that aren't as boring as they have been. I'd be happy and you wouldn't have to put up with me moaning.

Presuming this is your wish list though rather than your expectation?


Last edited by No 7&1/2 on Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 2:35 pm

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fair enough then. As I say no real impact at the moment as he doesn't suit the kick chase game we have.

All wingers have to kick chase...even you know that lol

All wingers do. Just some sides actually have another form of attack. Think we all appreciate that players all have a range of strengths and weaknesses though don't we? Given that Arundell is well down the list in terms of this tactic getting the best out of him surely it's smarter to pick players where the tactic best benefits them and the team?

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:30 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Can't see it from Borthwick. You're quite keen on a fair few changes though Geordie. Was it about 3 in your back line? Another 3/4 here if you count Chessum as Borthwicks first choice lock with Itoje. Was it a change at tighthead you wanted too? Starting to look like a scratch side.

Injury and unavailable enforced changes...are you saying that SB's fault aswell?

Cole wont last forever will he? Are you disputing that?

Not all those are enforced are they? Just doubting he's going to move that far away from his squads so far. Given there was talk that it took a while (was it 3 months) to get his defensive points across to the last group and he has 2 weeks this time as well as getting Wigglesworth to do his job not sure it's very him. Me personally, I'd have made some sweeping changes last year, then in the WC so I'm very much up for bedding players in for the benefit of the near future and frankly now. I'm really hoping I've been completely wrong on Borthwick and he was just caught up with the WC. I hope he is brave in his selections and introduces tactics that aren't as boring as they have been. I'd be happy and you wouldn't have to put up with me moaning.

Presuming this is your wish list though rather than your expectation?

Not my wish list...as you well know. You do like putting words in peoples mouths.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:35 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Fair enough then. As I say no real impact at the moment as he doesn't suit the kick chase game we have.

All wingers have to kick chase...even you know that lol

All wingers do. Just some sides actually have another form of attack. Think we all appreciate that players all have a range of strengths and weaknesses though don't we? Given that Arundell is well down the list in terms of this tactic getting the best out of him surely it's smarter to pick players where the tactic best benefits them and the team?

And Arundell will need to improve that aspect of his game aswell.

Its actually no biggy for me, him not being available. We have match winners, game changers etc in the youngsters coming through in the prem...Murley for example...a proven try scoring machine, strong as an ox and probably not much slower than Arundel...hes well ahead of Arundell.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:36 pm

Not at all, hence asking if that was your wish list or your prediction. So you're predicting Borthwick to pick a new tighthead, lock, whole new back row, new centre pairing and a new winger. 8 out of 15. Realistic?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:37 pm

He's not ahead of Arundell, or wasn't in Borthwicks mind. Again not really sure he suits the kick chase as much as others do.

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 3:50 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not at all, hence asking if that was your wish list or your prediction. So you're predicting Borthwick to pick a new tighthead, lock, whole new back row, new centre pairing and a new winger. 8 out of 15. Realistic?

Nope...Dan Cole will be there..but i am predicting that Stuart or Sinkler might not be IF he likes the look of Painter for example.

Locks...obviously as Ribbans is away, and with the injuries to the back row boys he may very well go for experience in Chessum at 6. Not rocket science.

Back row - Earl now not back until next month which makes it very tight...Tom Willis out for 3 months....Curry out...Jack Willis unavailable, unlike you i honestly dont think Billy will be picked...so yes big changes. Ludlum...will he wont he pick him...big question. Will Ted HIll be fit?

New Centers...Marchant is away, so who knows what happens

Winger ...again..May gone...Watson mostly unavailable these days, Malins clearly not rated during the WC...Arundel not taking a spot...so yes new wingers.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 13 Dec 2023, 4:04 pm

I'd welcome the new faces, would be great. We're been treading water too long.

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Post by mountain man Wed 13 Dec 2023, 4:12 pm

Going on who he's picked before I think we can safely guess a few positions that Borthwick will pick.

Cole
George
Genge
Itoje
Chessum
Those likely definites

Back row given injuries may be a shake up but I'd think Underhill be a starter, I'd hope Ludlum be in as well. No 8 as ever is conundrum. Hopefully not Billy. I'd like to see C-CS and Barbeary in squad. Dombrandt? Dunno if he's up to it.

Mitchell 9 highly likely. Question is bench, probably Care.
Ford 10, Smith bench.
Manu 12
Lawrence 13
Wings? Maybe a new face or two or could see Freeman and Joe C again.
Steward 15.

So, likely to be some changes but going on who he's picked in past and Borthwick game plan I'd say most of those named be in or around.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 13 Dec 2023, 4:42 pm

The point about Arundell is that lots of wingers can score tries from anywhere at certain levels of the game. He can do it at international level, and that isn't common at all.

I do think he's a special talent although there are lots of areas to work on

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Post by Geordie Wed 13 Dec 2023, 6:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:The point about Arundell is that lots of wingers can score tries from anywhere at certain levels of the game. He can do it at international level, and that isn't common at all.

I do think he's a special talent although there are lots of areas to work on

He did it against Chile...I'm pretty sure Radwan, Murley, Sleightholme, Reed, Roebuck etc could have scored those aswell.

He has about 3 full length blinders on his record...at club Level...a few of the above have some pretty specials scores under the belts also.


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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:08 am

He'll be better than all of the above. Just hope it's not in Scottish or Welsh colours!

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Post by Geordie Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:25 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:He'll be better than all of the above. Just hope it's not in Scottish or Welsh colours!

Thats assumption / thought. Nothing factual to prove that. He might not be.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:31 am

Geordie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:He'll be better than all of the above. Just hope it's not in Scottish or Welsh colours!

Thats assumption / thought. Nothing factual to prove that. He might not be.

Well of course you have to use judgement. It's like saying Ali Dia was a lesser player than his 'cousin'; not factual as it's opinion.

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Post by mountain man Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:36 am

Impossible to say who will be better player. Can only judge on how they perform at present although need to take into account potential. Arundell certainly has that potential although same could be said for the others. Currently Seightholme is looking on fire but does that mean he'll be better than say Radwan by end of career? Impossible to say.

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Post by Geordie Thu 14 Dec 2023, 8:54 am

mountain man wrote:Impossible to say who will be better player. Can only judge on how they perform at present although need to take into account potential. Arundell certainly has that potential although same could be said for the others. Currently Seightholme is looking on fire but does that mean he'll be better than say Radwan by end of career? Impossible to say.

Exactly so everyone crying because of Arundel is to be honest quite laughable.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 14 Dec 2023, 9:06 am

Huh? I've said it currently makes more sense to play O'Flaherty than Arundell at the moment. There is a risk though that other teams now benefit from such a great talent, or do in 3 years time.

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Post by Geordie Thu 14 Dec 2023, 9:12 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Huh? I've said it currently makes more sense to play O'Flaherty than Arundell at the moment. There is a risk though that other teams now benefit from such a great talent, or do in 3 years time.

And thats a huge risk i understand that..but we have a load of young talent...each could be top class with the right development. Each has their own point of difference...

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