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England - The Next Episode

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Post by Geordie Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:44 pm

The next stage of development....progression or failure....who can tell.

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Post by Geordie Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:45 pm

So George Martin and Manu should be back for the Scotland game...

They will lack match fitness if they are selected but surely would offer some impact off the bench?

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Post by mountain man Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:51 pm

What about Marcus Smith, any news on him? Lawrence for sure has to be back in 23.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:57 pm

I don't think Manu should play. On the other hand, any news about Lawrence? I agree, if healthy has to start. Can't play him off the bench because he doesn't cover the back line terribly well.

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Post by Geordie Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:16 pm

mountain man wrote:What about Marcus Smith, any news on him? Lawrence for sure has to be back in 23.

No there wasnt anything mentioned about him. Would be good to have him back aswell....

I think the Weekend showed the strengths and weaknesses of George Ford nicely.

I personally would have started Marcus Smith for this tournament had he been fit...id love to know what SB's intentions were if all had been fit.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:29 pm

There was news on Smith a week ago Wigglesworth said it would be more than a couple of weeks.

Poor Ford now he's getting the blame for Borthwick.

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Post by Flintoff05 Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:55 pm

Looks like Cowan-Dickie, Martin, Lawrence and Tuilagi all back in training but Marcus Smith is still out. Although nothing against LCD, Theo Dan has done enough to keep his place on the bench.

Just reading an article in the Telegraph about Tom Curry and his injury. No exact return date but next season apparently. Hopefully they'll look after his long term health as it sounds like a real ordeal for the lad. Injury2

Geordie wrote:So George Martin and Manu should be back for the Scotland game...

They will lack match fitness if they are selected but surely would offer some impact off the bench?

Rumour has it England were considering starting all three of Itoje, Chessum & Martin with one of them at blindside. The latter got injured obviously so Roots got his debut.

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Post by Geordie Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:58 pm

Flintoff05 wrote:Looks like Cowan-Dickie, Martin, Lawrence and Tuilagi all back in training but Marcus Smith is still out. Although nothing against LCD, Theo Dan has done enough to keep his place on the bench.

Just reading an article in the Telegraph about Tom Curry and his injury. No exact return date but next season apparently. Hopefully they'll look after his long term health as it sounds like a real ordeal for the lad. Injury2

Geordie wrote:So George Martin and Manu should be back for the Scotland game...

They will lack match fitness if they are selected but surely would offer some impact off the bench?

Rumour has it England were considering starting all three of Itoje, Chessum & Martin with one of them at blindside. The latter got injured obviously so Roots got his debut.

I had a feeling Chessum was earmarked for the 6 spot...replacing Lawes pretty much

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Post by Geordie Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:02 pm

I see Tom Curry is out for the season...and by all accounts its not looking good.

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Post by mountain man Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:17 pm

Jamie George obviously be starting and Dan definitely deserves to keep bench place so if LCD fit then fine as a back up but I'm happy to keep hookers as is.

Lawrence I'd say back in at 12 if 100%. Might be tough on Dingers as no-one is calling him but Lawrence offers more. Manu? Think England need to move on unless there really isn't anyone else.

Martin? I see a lot saying he should be back in team but as lock or backrow? Itoje going to be there so it's only Chessum to replace/move. I'm happy for Chessum to stay as is. Backrow again is fine although I would put C-CS 8 Earl 7 and then it's who's 6. I think Roots done enough to merit keeping shirt. Not sure Underhill has. Martin on bench in place of Coles maybe.

I'm more concerned with backs though than pack. Although I think some signs of improvement I'm not at all convinced Ford, Dingwall, Slade, Daly are answer to improving England attack enough to challenge Scotland France and Ireland.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:31 pm

Geordie wrote:I see Tom Curry is out for the season...and by all accounts its not looking good.

Bar the accounts from him and his Dr via his club.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:06 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:I see Tom Curry is out for the season...and by all accounts its not looking good.

Bar the accounts from him and his Dr via his club.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“I came back and tried to play for Sale and couldn’t really do that so we had it scanned, and found out that there was an arthritic change within the hip; labrum and cartilage tears. The radiologist’s report was a long list, a bit of a car crash. But the surgeon went in and was very happy when we came out which gave me a lot of confidence.”
Also from The Telegraph:  Curry’s surgery involved reshaping the head of the femur, fixing the labrum tears and sewing them up, before adding some synthetic cartilage and covering it with stem cells. The extensive operation was Curry’s preferred choice out of three possible options.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“One was to leave it; that wasn’t going to happen the way I was walking and running. Two was [the surgery], and then three was the resurfacing where they put the metal in. I wasn’t ready for that, I wanted to keep my hip. The surgery was the best option of the three.”
Based on what Curry reports, that surgery is the logical approach (barring many details, to be fair).  It is a standard approach, tailored, of course, to the specifics of where/how the hip was breaking down.  Nothing radical here, which is very good. My guess is the medical team was very confident or they may have given more consideration to titanium plate.  As an FYI, the titanium plates are a huge advance in joint replacement procedures are are now commonly inserted for knees and hips, less frequently in other joints.

So cautious optimism for Curry, but he will be doing very well to make the start of next season.  And hoping - and expecting - he gets there.

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Post by hugehandoff Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:01 pm

What changes do people want to see against Scotland? I think people would like to see Ollie Lawrence at 12 instead of Dingwall if fit. I just listened to Courtney on the rugby pod talking about backrow balance and he thinks Martin at 6, Cunningham-South at 8 with Earl at 7. Tough on Root and Underhill, but might be better balanced? Any other changes?

Telegraph writes.....England are set to welcome a raft of reinforcements ahead of their pivotal Six Nations trip to Murrayfield, with Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ollie Lawrence and Manu Tuilagi all poised to compete for places against Scotland.

George Martin, who trained with Steve Borthwick’s side in the build-up to their win over Wales last weekend, will also be in contention for his first Test appearance since the World Cup semi-final against South Africa.

Cowan-Dickie and Lawrence were included by Borthwick in an initial 36-man party a month ago before having to withdraw before that squad flew to Girona. Tuilagi, a mainstay of England’s World Cup campaign last year, has not played since suffering a groin injury while in action for Sale Sharks against Saracens on Dec 22.

Either he or Lawrence, who underwent a running session at Pennyhill Park last Friday as he makes his way back from a hip issue, would add thrust to England’s midfield. Cowan-Dickie, meanwhile, would vie with Theo Dan to back up captain Jamie George, while Martin’s availability gives Borthwick scope to rework the back five of his pack.

Before Martin’s latest knee complaint, England are thought to have been considering starting him alongside Maro Itoje and Ollie Chessum with one of that trio at blindside flanker. Instead, Ethan Roots has been granted the first two caps of his Test career.

Borthwick is to announce an updated, 36-man squad on Wednesday before England travel to Edinburgh next week aiming to improve a run of just one win in six games against Scotland. Nullifying the threat of Finn Russell, Borthwick acknowledged, will be crucial for the visitors.

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Post by Yoda Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:34 pm

I'd keep the pack the same with Martin on bench instead of Coles. If completely fit and able to train for two weeks I would have Mitchell, ford, feyi waboso, tuilgai, Lawrence, freeman and steward. Stick to what we are good at with some finishing power on the wings.

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Post by Poorfour Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:37 pm

Yoda wrote:I'd keep the pack the same with Martin on bench instead of Coles. If completely fit and able to train for two weeks I would have Mitchell, ford, feyi waboso,  tuilgai, Lawrence, freeman and steward. Stick to what we are good at with some finishing power on the wings.

I can see the attraction, but I'd worry that a brand new 12, 13 partnership would be vulnerable defensively, especially as both of them prefer to play 13. Felix Jones's system requires good synchronisation between the centres and they wouldn't have long to pick it up.
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Post by carpet baboon Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:46 pm

Why o why o why o why is the England rugby team obsessed with forcing a powerful 13 who's playing brilliantly for his club (@13) and got called up on those performances (@13) and force him to play 12?  Where his skills that got him selected for the national team can't be used to such a good effect?

But if you suggest moving Steward to 12 it's all "you can't move him there it's his performances at 15 that got him selected"

And those that say 12 and 13 are interchangeable, I would say maybe at club level but at international it's different gravy, very few can pull it off (Henshaw seems to be capable, not sure of anyone else at the moment)

Anyway. Against Ireland I would be happy for you to play Lawrence out of his most potent position

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Post by Geordie Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:20 pm

Play Slade and Lawrence in the midfield....

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Post by Geordie Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:24 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:I see Tom Curry is out for the season...and by all accounts its not looking good.

Bar the accounts from him and his Dr via his club.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“I came back and tried to play for Sale and couldn’t really do that so we had it scanned, and found out that there was an arthritic change within the hip; labrum and cartilage tears. The radiologist’s report was a long list, a bit of a car crash. But the surgeon went in and was very happy when we came out which gave me a lot of confidence.”
Also from The Telegraph:  Curry’s surgery involved reshaping the head of the femur, fixing the labrum tears and sewing them up, before adding some synthetic cartilage and covering it with stem cells. The extensive operation was Curry’s preferred choice out of three possible options.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“One was to leave it; that wasn’t going to happen the way I was walking and running. Two was [the surgery], and then three was the resurfacing where they put the metal in. I wasn’t ready for that, I wanted to keep my hip. The surgery was the best option of the three.”
Based on what Curry reports, that surgery is the logical approach (barring many details, to be fair).  It is a standard approach, tailored, of course, to the specifics of where/how the hip was breaking down.  Nothing radical here, which is very good.  My guess is the medical team was very confident or they may have given more consideration to titanium plate.  As an FYI, the titanium plates are a huge advance in joint replacement procedures are are now commonly inserted for knees and hips, less frequently in other joints.

So cautious optimism for Curry, but he will be doing very well to make the start of next season.  And hoping - and expecting - he gets there.

Earls will be the best 7 in the world by the time he comes back...

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Post by carpet baboon Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:41 pm

[quote="Geordie"]Play Slade and Lawrence in the midfield....[/quote

And I think that's the big problem no natural 12 in England deemed good enough.

Interesting playing stats about Manu
Center : 130 times ( Outside Centre 52%, Inside Centre 47% )
Winger : 2 times ( Right Wing 2% )

Manu has the most experience at 12 but I don't think his defense is good enough. Marchant covered for him brilliantly in the world cup in that respect

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:01 pm

Geordie wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Geordie wrote:I see Tom Curry is out for the season...and by all accounts its not looking good.

Bar the accounts from him and his Dr via his club.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“I came back and tried to play for Sale and couldn’t really do that so we had it scanned, and found out that there was an arthritic change within the hip; labrum and cartilage tears. The radiologist’s report was a long list, a bit of a car crash. But the surgeon went in and was very happy when we came out which gave me a lot of confidence.”
Also from The Telegraph:  Curry’s surgery involved reshaping the head of the femur, fixing the labrum tears and sewing them up, before adding some synthetic cartilage and covering it with stem cells. The extensive operation was Curry’s preferred choice out of three possible options.
Tom Curry, The Telegraph wrote:“One was to leave it; that wasn’t going to happen the way I was walking and running. Two was [the surgery], and then three was the resurfacing where they put the metal in. I wasn’t ready for that, I wanted to keep my hip. The surgery was the best option of the three.”
Based on what Curry reports, that surgery is the logical approach (barring many details, to be fair).  It is a standard approach, tailored, of course, to the specifics of where/how the hip was breaking down.  Nothing radical here, which is very good.  My guess is the medical team was very confident or they may have given more consideration to titanium plate.  As an FYI, the titanium plates are a huge advance in joint replacement procedures are are now commonly inserted for knees and hips, less frequently in other joints.

So cautious optimism for Curry, but he will be doing very well to make the start of next season.  And hoping - and expecting - he gets there.

Earls will be the best 7 in the world by the time he comes back...

Delusional.

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Post by Geordie Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:03 pm

I said a few weeks back we are a year away from having about 3/4 genuine options at 12. And 2/3 options at 13.

It's the A team game aswell isn't it...who do you pick?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:03 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Why o why o why o why is the England rugby team obsessed with forcing a powerful 13 who's playing brilliantly for his club (@13) and got called up on those performances (@13) and force him to play 12?  Where his skills that got him selected for the national team can't be used to such a good effect?

But if you suggest moving Steward to 12 it's all "you can't move him there it's his performances at 15 that got him selected"

And those that say 12 and 13 are interchangeable, I would say maybe at club level but at international it's different gravy, very few can pull it off (Henshaw seems to be capable, not sure of anyone else at the moment)

Anyway. Against Ireland I would be happy for you to play Lawrence out of his most potent position

More interchangeable certainly and Lawrence and Tuilagi have played at 12 already at club and international level. Don't think Steward ever has. He's an excellent full back...just wish we'd play him with some top wingers instead of trying to force a second playmaker in there like Malins or Daly.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:07 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Why o why o why o why is the England rugby team obsessed with forcing a powerful 13 who's playing brilliantly for his club (@13) and got called up on those performances (@13) and force him to play 12?  Where his skills that got him selected for the national team can't be used to such a good effect?

But if you suggest moving Steward to 12 it's all "you can't move him there it's his performances at 15 that got him selected"

And those that say 12 and 13 are interchangeable, I would say maybe at club level but at international it's different gravy, very few can pull it off (Henshaw seems to be capable, not sure of anyone else at the moment)

Anyway. Against Ireland I would be happy for you to play Lawrence out of his most potent position
Some of my preferences echo your point.  To start, I can't see a midfield of Tuilagi and Lawrence (or Lawrence and Tuilagi).  Can't really have either on the bench because they don't cover many positions.  My preference is to leave Lawrence in his preferred 13 role and leave Dingwall at 12 for distribution purposes.   But I think Lawrence at 12 and Slade at 13 is more probable.  Back three remain the same, though I would prefer to see another option than Daly.  Unfortunately if the midfield (or the wings) doesn't get any ball, then it almost irrelevant who is in the mid-field.

In the pack Martin at 6 - if and only if - he is truly match ready.  If he is gassed at 50 minutes I wonder if Borthwick will take him off.  We have seen George stay on far too long, and not just now but also at the RWC before George was named captain.  If Martin can go 15-20 minutes, then on the bench.  My preference would be Martin at 6 (if healthy, if not then stay with Roots), Pearson at 7, and Earl at 8.  Plenty of power and more dynamic in attack.  

Obviously, I would like to see Fin and IFW get some quality game time.  Just to have them on the bench and maybe have a short cameo doesn't cut it as either or both could potentially form a big piece of the future.  But we will never know unless they get game time.  And not just in garbaage time.

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Post by nlpnlp Tue Feb 13, 2024 11:46 pm

I thought Courtney Lawes was unusually candid in his views on England's backrow in the rugby pod. We need someone who can turnover the ball as Reffell did against us on Saturday. We need a stronger ball carrier than Earl at no8, particularly in heavy traffic (the try on Saturday was put down to poor defence by Wales). We need a workhorse at no6 who is a genuine lineout option. He stressed the need for a balanced backrow that complimented each other - as hugehandoff said his choice was Martin, Earl and CCS.

As is often said, games are won by nos 1 to 10 and 11 to 15 just determine by how many. So perhaps we spend too much time talking about who the 12 and 13 should be.

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 6:23 am

I think Martin should stay at lock...

Again....its very well saying you need a better ball carrier at 8 but WHO? Billy isn't the player he was, Dombrandt isn't a heavy duty carrier, neither Mercer, and Barbeary is injured. Earl deserves a pat on the back for doing it as well as he has.

You could have a back row of
6 CCS
7 Earl
8 Barbeary

Where does Underhill fit in?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:51 am

Geordie wrote:I think Martin should stay at lock...

Again....its very well saying you need a better ball carrier at 8 but WHO? Billy isn't the player he was, Dombrandt isn't a heavy duty carrier, neither Mercer, and Barbeary is injured. Earl deserves a pat on the back for doing it as well as he has.

You could have a back row of
6 CCS
7 Earl
8 Barbeary

Where does Underhill fit in?

Barbeary is injured again?! That guy has no luck after missing out in part due to suspension. To then get injured presumably in training is really unlucky. How long is he out for?

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 8:06 am

Seems a bit obvious(well to me) to play C-CS at 8 because, well he is a genuine 8. Earl is 7 which is his position and then Roots 6.

12 is Lawrence, although I suppose if both fit could even go Manu 12 Lawrence 13 but will Borthwick change both centres? And really need to try and live without Manu but then it's who else.
Steward stays at 15 as he is such a good player, some pace on wings. IFW I'd like to see start but won't. Freeman other wing.

Front row as always still an issue, Stuart still not convincing he is Int class. Has some good periods in games then goes off boil big time.
How long can Cole and Marler go on for. By next year hopefully see some of U20s breaking into senior side but next 12 months could be tough.

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:21 am

At present back row is a condunrum. Underhill not really firing yet...but that might just be a need for gametime.
Roots meh...hes a stop gap...not a long term option.

CCS is a genuine one to be excited about. I worry if hes fit enough yet, or quite ready...but ah..id happily give him the 8 spot in the absence of other experienced 8s who are "better". Develop him.

Earl can move to 6 or 7 with Underhill at 7 or Chessum / Roots at 6. Suddenly the back row has more balance.
A grafter, a 7 who can also be an attacking weapon, and an 8 who is physical and a 4th lineout option.

Stuart has carried more this 6n than i have in his whole previous England career. Im still not sold...but until the kids make the shirt theirs...hes in there. At least Sinckler is gone. But we do need some young Tight heads really firing. This A game might show us where Painter is.
Loosehead im not so worried about...we have Baxter and Brantingham coming through who i think are very good young LH's in the making.

Please just play Lawrence at 13...

And give some gametime to Fin Smith!

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:30 am

Regarding Fin Smith getting game time, I thought Wales game was perfect match to put in IFW. Aside from his pace/power the added spice of facing Wales would have been interesting but some suggested Borthwick didn't because of that. If that was the case, and no-one of course knows, then could same apply to Fin Smith playing Scotland.

I'd hoped Marcus be back in contention but so far it seems not.

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:50 am

mountain man wrote:Regarding Fin Smith getting game time, I thought Wales game was perfect match to put in IFW. Aside from his pace/power the added spice of facing Wales would have been interesting but some suggested Borthwick didn't because of that. If that was the case, and no-one of course knows, then could same apply to Fin Smith playing Scotland.

I'd hoped Marcus be back in contention but so far it seems not.

That was my biggest hope...

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Post by hugehandoff Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:42 am

How good are some of these young guys coming up? Pollock the U20 no.7. Asher Opoku-Fordjour the Sale tighthead. Who else is there? Any prospects for 12? I assume that there is a real danger of the media over hyping some of them because we are playing such boring rugby at the moment and we all want something exciting to believe in?

But who excites you and who should we be following this year and next?

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Post by Recwatcher16 Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:43 am

Borthwick really is spoilt for choice in the back row.

The Willis and Curry boys are not currently in contention.
CCS looks a great prospect but not going to get much game time at 8 at Quins. Barbeary and Pearson are big and quick specimens as the next generation. Martin is a lock and should stay there. Underhill on form is still the best breakdown/ tackle specialist, whereas Earl with his pace could be more of link man. Root hasn't let the team down and could develop a real physical presence. That welsh penalty try was a nonsense given the number of English arms wrapped around the ball.

At this stage of Borthwick's tenure he is looking for consistency but he could really mix and match depending on the opposition. It's the centres and back three that needs to be developed with more options.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:45 am

Bbc are running a pole which neatly sums up our problems. Who is the best winger in the 6Ns. Lowe,Penaud,Bielle-Biarrey,vdm,Dyer......or elliot daly.

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 11:48 am

Over last few seasons likes of Penaud, Hansen, VDM and Lowe. Currently Lowe I'd say. Daly? Not in top 10. Or 20.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:02 pm

Think they're doing it purely from who they think has impressed this 6Ns but even so! No Italian in there so not even an excuse of just picking one form everyone.

'While 18 tries from 64 Tests isn't exactly prolific, we're looking at the full skillset and that is where Elliot Daly shines. His versatility means he can play wing, centre or even slot in at full-back.

He's industrious rather that spectacular, but that is no slight on the Saracens man's ability, and he was an unsung hero of England's three Six Nations titles since he made his debut in 2016.

With a thumping left boot, he's also a very handy option from the kicking tee.'


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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:10 pm

Aren't they contradicting themselves then? Asking who is best wing but then quotes his versatility. Industrious rather than spectacular? Damned with faint praise!

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:40 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Borthwick really is spoilt for choice in the back row.

The Willis and Curry boys are not currently in contention.
CCS looks a great prospect but not going to get much game time at 8 at Quins. Barbeary and Pearson are big and quick specimens as the next generation.  Martin is a lock and should stay there. Underhill on form is still the best breakdown/ tackle specialist,  whereas Earl with his pace could be more of link man. Root hasn't let the team down and could develop a real physical presence. That welsh penalty try was a nonsense given the number of English arms wrapped around the ball.

At this stage of Borthwick's tenure he is looking for consistency but he could really mix and match depending on the opposition. It's the centres and back three that needs to be developed with more options.

I know i harp on but for me hes an outstanding 7. The stats so far show hes the most carrying, meters and defenders beaten etc of back rowers in the prem. Hes also only behind Reffell and Evans in jackall/ turnovers (playing in a team that usually has more possession than the other two). He also regularly hits over 20 tackles.

Match him in a balanced back row AT 7...and he just offers so much.


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Post by lostinwales Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:44 pm

Just saw something saying Pearson, Marcus and Blamire all released - indicating that Martin and LCD are back and Smith (M) is still crocked

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:48 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/68296246

Tuilagi in 36 man squad for Scotland match.

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:54 pm

So Chessum or Martin covering 6.

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Post by dummy_half Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:54 pm

mountain man wrote:Aren't they contradicting themselves then? Asking who is best wing but then quotes his versatility. Industrious rather than spectacular? Damned with faint praise!

Absolutely. Daly is a good rugby player, but at international level he lacks a little bit in any of his possible positions: on the wing, lacks the outright pace and elusiveness of the best, at centre lacks a bit of power and defensive nous, and at fullback is not strong enough under the high ball. A bit like Chris Paterson for Scotland, has plenty of attributes of a good player, but no position that really fits his combination of strengths and hides his relative weaknesses.

It's a problem of the England back line set up though, and has been present for all of Borthwick's time and goes back well into EJs era - we lack either an individual with the X factor that can pull defenders out of their system, or a combination of players that really works well together (I recently saw some highlights of England v SA in 2002 - the inside backs combination of Dawson's sniping running, Wilkinson's tactical and technical skills, Greenwood's nous, handling and ability to support play and Tindall's power running did such a good job of covering all bases. OK, was helped by having one of the best packs of all time in front of them, but still - was a good enough team to make Phil Christophers look like a worldie on that day).

I'm not convinced that Tuilagi and Lawrence works in combination - too similar in style and attributes. We do though need one of them to help in getting the early phase go forward, along with a stronger ball carrier in the back row (preferably at 8). Attacking rugby is so much easier if you can get a few yards over the gain line in the early phases, and rpesently we lack players who can give us that reliably.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:11 pm

Borthwick definitely looking for a playmaker in the back 3 though. If Daly were to be dropped I reckon we'd just see Furbank in and Steawrd to wing...thinknid prefer Daly to stay!

Tuilagi comes straight back in at 12 then.

Mitchell Ford daly tuilagi slade Freeman Steward.

Sets the pulse racing.

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Post by Yoda Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:14 pm

I didn't realise when selecting tuilagi and Lawrence in midfield it would cause so much debate. I think they suit the way we are playing currently. Lawrence definitely at 13 as he can pass as is a better defender than manu. We are not going to out think Scotland or Ireland or our pass them but we can run teams close with sheer unadulterated pragmatism and power/weight. We haven't got an all rounder at 12 available yet and we don't have the ability or cohesion to play on the hoof and attack wide quickly. Borthwick has shown his hand with the squad he has chosen and we won't see a deviation from previous years. All this pretending is ridiculous so the sooner we accept that he will pick the biggest lumps of meat he can find the better. Murrayfield will be a meat grinder where we will look to defend and then try and pounce on mistakes.

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:19 pm

I would take Manu at 12 and Lawrence 13 over Dingwall and Slade. Think give more pace and power and those attributes be needed against next 3 opponents.

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Post by Poorfour Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:22 pm

I suspect that as CCS's 80 minute fitness improves, he will take the starting 6 shirt for Quins in most games but will play more like a conventional 8 given Dombrandt doesn't (which is essentially what Chisholm and Lawday do at the moment, but they are both much nearer the end of their careers).

I think England have some interesting back row combinations. There are enough players that cover multiple bases that it gives them the chance to try some combinations that might bring a bit of difference. Earl has something of that Richard Hill quality that he can play all three positions well and has a work rate that allows England to consider players in the other two positions who have real strength in some area but maybe a less rounded game.

Quins are reporting that Marcus is back with England for rehab, which given he was released for the Wales match I take as a sign that he may be closing in on being fit.
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Post by dummy_half Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:31 pm

mountain man wrote:I would take Manu at 12 and Lawrence 13 over Dingwall and Slade. Think give more pace and power and those attributes be needed against next 3 opponents.

Sure - while I doubt that Tuilagi and Lawrence will work particuarly well as a combination, we've seen for certain that Dingwall and Slade (or indeed Farrell and Slade) don't work  - you need at least A centre that can challenge the defensive line with hard running. If they can off-load as well, so much the better (look at Aki for Ireland - brilliant at getting the ball past the tackler and slipping it to a support runner).

Personally, I'd prefer Dingwall and Lawrence as the pairing, but YMMV.

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Post by Geordie Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:52 pm

dummy_half wrote:
mountain man wrote:Aren't they contradicting themselves then? Asking who is best wing but then quotes his versatility. Industrious rather than spectacular? Damned with faint praise!

Absolutely. Daly is a good rugby player, but at international level he lacks a little bit in any of his possible positions: on the wing, lacks the outright pace and elusiveness of the best, at centre lacks a bit of power and defensive nous, and at fullback is not strong enough under the high ball. A bit like Chris Paterson for Scotland, has plenty of attributes of a good player, but no position that really fits his combination of strengths and hides his relative weaknesses.

It's a problem of the England back line set up though, and has been present for all of Borthwick's time and goes back well into EJs era - we lack either an individual with the X factor that can pull defenders out of their system, or a combination of players that really works well together (I recently saw some highlights of England v SA in 2002 - the inside backs combination of Dawson's sniping running, Wilkinson's tactical and technical skills, Greenwood's nous, handling and ability to support play and Tindall's power running did such a good job of covering all bases. OK, was helped by having one of the best packs of all time in front of them, but still - was a good enough team to make Phil Christophers look like a worldie on that day).

I'm not convinced that Tuilagi and Lawrence works in combination - too similar in style and attributes. We do though need one of them to help in getting the early phase go forward, along with a stronger ball carrier in the back row (preferably at 8). Attacking rugby is so much easier if you can get a few yards over the gain line in the early phases, and rpesently we lack players who can give us that reliably.

Bold 1 - Radwan, Marcus Smith for starters, hell id even say move freeman to 13...
Bold 2 - I completely agree, would prefer whoever at 12 and Lawrence at 13. Hell Ojomoh is in the squad so why not play the club combo. If Lawrence isnt fit move freeman to 13 so he sees more ball and bring Waboso on the wing.

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 2:02 pm

I think Freeman at 13 definitely an option but with Manu back supposedly and possibly Lawrence very much doubt we'll see Freeman at 13.
Radwan? Must be a new boy on scene as you cannot mean Adam. Chances of him being in squad are remote verging on non-existant.

Feyi-Waboso I'd hope will get time off bench if not start. Somewhat suspect be another token 10 minutes as sub.
Still, could be worse. Could be Cai Evans who gets his first cap at 81mins. What ridiculous sub that was from Gatland.

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Post by dummy_half Wed Feb 14, 2024 2:04 pm

Geordie wrote:
dummy_half wrote:
mountain man wrote:Aren't they contradicting themselves then? Asking who is best wing but then quotes his versatility. Industrious rather than spectacular? Damned with faint praise!

Absolutely. Daly is a good rugby player, but at international level he lacks a little bit in any of his possible positions: on the wing, lacks the outright pace and elusiveness of the best, at centre lacks a bit of power and defensive nous, and at fullback is not strong enough under the high ball. A bit like Chris Paterson for Scotland, has plenty of attributes of a good player, but no position that really fits his combination of strengths and hides his relative weaknesses.

It's a problem of the England back line set up though, and has been present for all of Borthwick's time and goes back well into EJs era - we lack either an individual with the X factor that can pull defenders out of their system, or a combination of players that really works well together (I recently saw some highlights of England v SA in 2002 - the inside backs combination of Dawson's sniping running, Wilkinson's tactical and technical skills, Greenwood's nous, handling and ability to support play and Tindall's power running did such a good job of covering all bases. OK, was helped by having one of the best packs of all time in front of them, but still - was a good enough team to make Phil Christophers look like a worldie on that day).

I'm not convinced that Tuilagi and Lawrence works in combination - too similar in style and attributes. We do though need one of them to help in getting the early phase go forward, along with a stronger ball carrier in the back row (preferably at 8). Attacking rugby is so much easier if you can get a few yards over the gain line in the early phases, and rpesently we lack players who can give us that reliably.

Bold 1 - Radwan or Marcus Smith for starters, hell id even say move freeman to 13...
Bold 2 - I completely agree, would prefer whoever at 12 and Lawrence at 13. Hell Ojomoh is in the squad so why not play the club combo. If Lawrence isnt fit move freeman to 13 so he sees more ball and bring Waboso on the wing.

Smith's had a few chances and so far has only really shone against lesser opposition, and has struggled to look any more creative than Ford or Farrell against top teams. Now, whether that's because of the step up in quality or because of underperformances around him is yet to be demonstrated.
As for Radwan, I'm increasingly frustrated with the England selection policy being to exclude players for what they don't do well in negating opponents rather than picking a couple who are there to make the opposition's life difficult. Start picking players and teams to win rather than to not lose... IF that means having a relatively light weight flyer on the wing, lets make it happen. Obviously was less of an issue with prime Jonny May on the wing, who gave us the pace and became solid defensively, but is definitely something missing from the team over the last couple of years or so.

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Post by mountain man Wed Feb 14, 2024 2:11 pm

Players often seemingly not picked because of what they cannot do as opposed to be picked for what they can do.
Hence get jack of all trades types who are decent at most things but rarely excell in one. Daly a good example I'd say.

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