That's a decent looking squad tbh. Some great potential there, with some decent experience well spread throughout the squad. I'm going to look out for the likes of Myhill, WillGriff John, Cory Hill, Matthew Screech, Luke Hamilton, Matthew Morgan, Owen Williams, Harry Robinson, Eli Walker, Tom Prydie and Ross Jones.
I don't agree with Draggs' comment about Eli Walker. He struggled a little with the step-up with the Ospreys, but he was excellent in his last stint in the U20's, where he was a very consistent player. I'm still hoping to see him come good.
Doesn't look like Harry Robinson will be involved with the senior squad then?
I was hugely impressed with the performance of Ross Jones for the Ospreys against the Dragons. He seemed like quite a complete fullback who was rock solid under the high ball and dangerous in attack.
Ross Jones does look good (as does Hallam Amos). John is a big lad but has issues scrummaging.
I wonder where Owen Williams will be used. He was the Llanelli 10 along with Diggy Bird for most of the season but since the U20 Six Nations, has been used at 12.
Walker isn't bad, I just am not sure if he will be able to step up. Same with Iolo Evans. Luke Morgan has been lethal for Bridgend and looked one of the decent players in an awful U20 backline.
Does anyone know when the England squad will be announced?
I think the EPS squad for the SA tour is being announced some time next week, not sure if this will be before that though?
Not a clue Olyy; although given the already discussed intentions, I'd expect the two squads to be named fairly close together.
Pita Ahki is probably the most experienced member of the NZ U20 squad. He got a fair bit of game time for North Harbour in the ITM Cup. He played 13 for Tonga U20 last year (he was their captain) but he mainly played at 12 for North Harbour.
Scott Eade has also played a bit of ITM rugby for Southland. I think he is probably a first-five similar to Cruden but I haven't really seen much of him playing.
Joe Latta (lock) and Martin McKenzie (wing?) have also had a bit of game time (for Wellington and Southland, respectively) while Ihaia West (first-five) made the bench for Hawkes Bay but never made it onto the field.
Apart from those guys, players to watch:
Ope Peleseuma - If I remember correctly, he was one of the better performers against the Aussie Schools team. Plays 12 but can also play 10.
Ofa Tuungafasi - Played for Tonga U20 last year at tighthead prop. He was offered scholarships by the top rugby schools in Auckland but he chose to stay with his school in a lower division. He isn't the biggest of props but he is a very good player, nonetheless.
Dom Barrow (Leeds Carnegie)
Koree Britton (Gloucester Rugby)*
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Max Crumpton (Saracens)
Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)
Alec Hepburn (London Wasps)
Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)*
George Merrick (Harlequins)
Nathan Morris (London Wasps)
Ben Nutley (Northampton Saints)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
David Sisi (London Irish)
Sam Twomey (Harlequins)*
Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie)
Will Addison (Sale Sharks)
Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues)
Tommy Bell (Sale Sharks)
Jamie Elliott (Northampton Saints)
Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby)
Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby)*
Ben Ransom (Saracens)*
Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)*
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Spencer (Saracens)
Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
Marland Yarde (London Irish)*
Looks like Peat was right about Ford.
Fitting I guess that Quins would have the highest representation.
No Elliot Daly either. Might be them resting his dodgy knee, might be promotion straight to the senior squad... I think we can probably be sure that no Anthony Watson is injury rather than senior squad considering his age though
I have to say, although I called it, I'm not convinced by the move of promoting Ford.
That's... well, it's not bad, but it's not great either.
Forwards wise, a lot of them are a year young and it does show. Kyle Sinckler was the pick of the ball carriers in the 6N, he is like a 6ft version of Steffon Armitage. Ben Nutley and Matt Kvesic are the two most experienced players there, both have ranked up a lot of Prem and European appearances already - 15 and 19 respectively - both have made their names as 7s, but I imagine Kvesic will play 6 to accommodate Nutley. Could be other way around. They're likely to play Jack Clifford with him, who's a lanky 8 who runs great support lines, although I'd quite like to see David Sisi in there somewhere, as he is f**king huge. No Billy Vunipola either, no idea why.
Backs wise, there's a lot of talent there. Ben Spencer's had a fantastic season for Sarries as a distributing 9 and has already played for the Saxons, Dan Robson is a playmaking 9 who offers a lot more sniping. Tom Heathcote's had a real breakthrough season at Bath and is a classy option to have at 10, Ryan Mills has been in the 22 most of the season for Glaws and is an all-round 10/12. Charlie Walker will probably play at 13, he's a bit light but is seriously quick with a great step and has played a bit of 7s for England this year along with a great 6N, while outside him all of Addison, Yarde, Elliot and Bassett have played a lot of club rugby this season with plenty of success. The problem with the back-line is a lack of cohesion and the fact that most of them like to go around people rather than through, it could all get a bit lateral.
Ultimately, I don't think we have the pack to win it, and we don't quite have the backs to Australia our way out of it.
I'd say Yarde is more than capable of running people over played the senior team in my school in a tournament two years ago and ran through all of them a few times in the final.
I think we might see 10. Heathcote, 12. Mills, 13. Addison. That's who I'd pick anyway.
Bell could make a case for 10, but Heathcote's better and Bell has played 15 all season for Leeds. Will probably make the bench though (I'd have Ransom starting at 15).
It's good to see Harrison in there as well, he's an absolute unit. Can play either side of the scrum (1 usually, but played 3 during the 6 nations and went very well there - probably due to his size/strength. I think loosehead is where his future will be)
edit: Olyy, are you guessing on Harrison's future due to him being better on that size, or because of a looming impediment to his progress at tighthead at Sale And maybe on Addison, they preferred Walker through the U20s but that's no guarantee, either promises some real gas.
Also, am I alone in not really rating Ransom...?
Last edited by Peat; 01-05-12 at 04:43 PM.
Yeah stupid example I know but he is a beast built similarly to S. Armitage imo and quiet powerful similar in many respects to Siviatu though obviously nowhere near as good yet.
Built similarly to S. Armitage?
Are we thinking of the same player? The 13st something winger?
I was never a big fan of Ransom before this 6N, but thought he played well.
Harrison plays looshead for us - i'm not sure he started a game at tighthead for the u20s but definitely played there off of the bench a couple of times.
I suppose he's like Corisiero - a loosehead who can play tighthead at a push. I don't think he'd play there if you could have two props on the bench internationally.
Last edited by TRF_Olyy; 01-05-12 at 06:47 PM.
Uhm, yeah. Although its not so much weight - Yarde's nearly 14 stone - as body shape, Yarde looks quite trim, SArmitage looks like a baby seal... I'd deffo agree he's got some power to him though.
Olyy - Fair point on Addison coming back in for the last game.
And fairly sure Sinckler's started all games this season at TH. Thomas/Harrison sounds a fairly exciting potential combo...
Personally, I'm a fan of Ben Ransom. A brilliant counter-attacker..
Aus U20 squad:
Allan Alaalatoa (NSW), Curtis Browning (QLD), LindsayCrook (NSW), Steven Cummins (NSW), Thomas Cusack (ACT), James Dargaville (NSW), Allan Faalavaau (VIC), Con Foley (QLD), Nicholas Frisby (QLD), Liam Gill (QLD), Kyle Godwin (WA), Malietoa Hingano (NSW), Lewis Holland (ACT), Jed Holloway (NSW), Oliver Hoskins (WA), Sam Jeffries (NSW), Silatolu Latu (NSW), Apolosi Latunipulu (NSW), Matthew Lucas (QLD), Leslie Makin (ACT), Sean McMahon (QLD), Benn Melrose (NSW), Maile Ngauamo (QLD), Pettowa Paraka (QLD), Sam Reiser (QLD), Hugh Roach (NSW), Christopher Sautia (QLD), Ulupano Seuteni (QLD)
Is this Liam Gil any use seen him for the reds a few times and the commentators have said hes a great prospect but he seems anonymous to me.
Soon we shall rejoice
IMO He's been playing pretty good for the Reds this season. I'd imagine he'd be a top flanker at this level.
The Ireland squad (lifted from boards.ie):
Jake Cawley Old Belvedere Prop
Tadhg Furlong Clontarf Prop
Des Merry Clontarf Prop
Peter Reilly Lansdowne Prop
James Rael Garryowen Hooker
Niall Scannell Dolphin Hooker
Tadhg Beirne Lansdowne Lock
Iain Henderson Queen's University Belfast Lock
Alan O'Connor University College Dublin Lock
Shane Buckley Garryowen Flanker
Jordon Coghlan University College Dublin Flanker
Aaron Conneely Corinthians Flanker
Conor Gilsenan Mullingar / University College Dublin Flanker
Josh Van Der Flier University College Dublin Flanker
Jack Conan Old Belvedere Number 8
Kieran Marmion Corinthians Scrumhalf
Luke McGrath University College Dublin Scrumhalf
JJ Hanrahan University Limerick Bohemians Flyhalf
Paddy Jackson Dungannon Flyhalf
Cathal Marsh Trinity College, Dublin Flyhalf
Chris Farrell Dungannon Centre
Foster Horan Lansdowne Centre
Sam Coghlan-Murray University College Dublin Wing
Barry Daly University College Dublin Wing
Shane Layden Buccaneers Fullback
Peter Nelson Dungannon Fullback
Mikey Sherlock Clontarf Fullback
Stuart Olding Belfast Harlequins Utility Back
squad of 28.
Strongest team IMO:
Nelson, Coghlan-Murray, Farrell, Hanrahan, Layden, Jackson, McGrath; Merrey, Scannell, Furlong, Buckley, Henderson, Gilsenan, Conneely, Conan
Last edited by snoopy snoopy dog dog; 08-05-12 at 12:51 PM.
Sweet jesus; are Leinster really that far ahead at U20 level?
Strangely, at u20 level this season, Connacht won the championship beating all of Leinster, Munster and Ulster. In general though, Leinster are miles ahead of the other provinces in underage rugby.
You'll also note two of the guys I named are U19 this year - atm, Ireland only have 4 guys returning next year. Given how good this year's U19s are, and the advantages in returning players, I'm slightly surprised they haven't axed some of the squad guys in favour of younger bucks too.
Also, Van Der Flier should really be a winger with that name. What's the story there? Immigrant parents, over at school, shameless poach?
the Leinster thread.
I'm surprised that Kyle McCall and Danny Qualter didn't make it. Neither are from Leinster!
I'm guessing McCall and Qualter are injured. I'll take the rest of it to the Leinster thread as well.
Some very talented prospects in the Irish team yet our defense will still make painful watching against England and South Africa.