[2014 Mid-Year Tests] England

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by ImScotty, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice Hall of Fame

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    I think Daly will certainly settle at 13 - Wasps haven't signed Miller to sit on the bench.
     
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  3. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    The arguments against Daly are logical but they are not consistent with what Lancaster is doing, that is to say, Lancaster has shown he is willing to overlook these issues i.e.

    Defence - Ashton is the major culprit here, but Henry Trinder is no defensive colossus either, yet somehow's made the squad

    Outshine contenders for position - Henry Thomas hasn't done that and nor has Cowan-Dickie. Both guys are there because of belief in their potential. Ditto Calum Clark, Jackson Wray... if Lancaster likes a player, it doesn't matter what they've done

    Nail down a position - Is Nowell a wing or a full-back or even a 13? Will Slade start all games ahead of Steenson, or play some at 12?

    If Lancaster is willing to pick players simply due to a belief that they have England level potential and that the rest will come, then why isn't Daly there? The only logical answer is that he doesn't think he has England level potential, which is absolutely nuts. No denying there are rough edges to file off there but his potential peak is huge.

    There appears to be a hint of bias going on when assembling the squad tbh. Calum Clark has stunk up the squad for ages cos he's an ex-Leeds player. Jackson Wray continues the fine tradition of Sarries players gaining unwarranted international recognition. In contrast, Wasps players have to really struggle to get anywhere with England it seems, Exeter players without U20s pedigree struggle too. You might be forgiven for thinking that Rowntree still has ancient Tiggers vs Baaarf matches replaying in his head given the slowness of recognition given recently to Webber, Wilson, Attwood, and non-existence of recognition shown to Fearns and Garvey. I'm sure Olyy has his list of Sale grievances as well.

    p.s.

    I never want to see Alex Goode play for England again but he is a very talented player and reader of the game, and if we were to go conservative as recently argued for by some, he'd certainly be in the squad as his positioning makes him ideal for a kicking battle.

    I'd love to see Allen get England caps but everyone knows its not happening now, so his presence in the squad is a bit of a waste. Gods only knows how he didn't get more than 2... oh wait, scapegoated for poor performance in NZ; now where have I heard that recently? ;)

    Devoto is the most interesting name mentioned. Seems very clear that Lancaster is unhappy with what he has at 12 and is looking for more playmaking options. Slade can play 12 a bit too, gods knows including as 6th fly-half seems pointless.

    Strongest team from those not named:

    Tait; Rokodugni, Daly, Hill, Sharples; Blank, Thomas; Waller, Ward, JCW; Stooke, Kitchener; Garvey, Gibson, Ewers (bench: Miller, Blank, Simpson, S. Jones, Kruis, Sinckler, Catt, Taylor)

    We have bottomed out on fly-halves unless I'm forgetting names. A lot of the guys not named arguably have superior claims to some of those named for my money.

    The selection of Jackson Wray is really truly absolutely incredible.
     
  4. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    Well that's exactly my point, if he is consistently played in one position and outperforms the England players then he gets a call up, but whilst he's a jack of all trades he doesn't deserve to be there - we don't really need a utility player.

    I think this is a bad move, and i'd like to see him at 12.

    To be honest, I think people are reading too much into an extended training squad.

    Lancaster has shown previously, that he is happy to rotate fringe players to see how they go in a set up... so whilst i think Wray is a steaming pile of dog gash, i understand why he's there.

    I think that's the same with other guys we may be thinking "WHY?" about, he has a look at the potential and puts them in an elite environment to see how they respond, and THAT is why i think Daley is missing because he's been in and around that scenario iirc, and hasn't addressed any of his issues over the last two season.

    Defence, inconsistent positional play, wild passing - i think he's got bags of potential but he's been in the Saxons squad and he can only live on reputation for so long.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  5. ratsapprentice

    ratsapprentice Hall of Fame

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    I've gotta agree on the bias - I cannot see how either Wray or Clark are selected without it.
    It's blatant.

    Wray shouldn't even be a fringe player though, if the level he has reached is the level required for England recognition (no matter how insignificant) then the entire idea of it being an elite squad is cheapened IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  6. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    I don't think bias really comes into it just because we think someone is rubbish.

    To be fair, these guys, elite coaches, have access to a ton of stats and information that we have no sighting on, they talk to club coaches and make informed judgments on a bunch of different things.

    i think it's a bit disingenuous of everyone to claim these decisions come down to Lancaster sticking a pin in a list of names or doing someone a favour because they play for a certain club. There is absolutely no benefit in him doing that.
     
  7. TRF_Peat

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    The bias might not be conscious. It might easily be a set of unconscious thought processes through which Lancaster and Farrell plump for players they know better i.e. Leeds academy/Sarries.

    Either way, I think hiding behind the excuse of "Oh it must be justified by knowledge we don't have" when we are consistently getting players of extremely questionable worth to England with close personal ties to a coach is equally disingenuous. People in high positions make biased decisions and take actions with no objective benefit to them all the time. They're human, it comes with the territory. We have no way of knowing for sure why Lancaster is taking these decisions, but it looks and smells like bias. Discounting that possibility would be foolish.

    As for "Oh, it means nothing, Lancaster rotates all the time to get a look at players"... when was the last time Henry Thomas was dropped from training squads for a good look at Brookes/JCW/Sinckler/Collier/Swainston/Wilson? When did Clark get told "Have a break, I want a look at Garvey/Fearns/Jones"? Or tell Tom Johnson that instead? There's a persistent list of fringe players there time after time. There's a persistent list of players never given a chance, unless Lancaster turns up and runs Saxons these days, or you count selection for a Baabaas squad as a good chance. I don't. Once again, your case is a logical one, with the flaw that it doesn't fit how Lancaster is operating. The simplest explanation is that Lancaster doesn't rate Daly and that's that.
     
  8. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    Has he though?

    Were talking fringe players. The major squad (AI/6N) is reasonably consistent. The bulk of his tried and tested are there. He brings others in for a bunch of reasons not all of them ones we all understand.

    Coaches have their favourites, or players they hope to get more from, I don't think that's a reason to question the guys integrity.

    Re: Daly, I think that's the basic crux of it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  9. Crapspray

    Crapspray Bench Player

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    Is it a case of Lancaster's tail wagging the dog?

    He's stated several times that he's looking for players who are good in all areas and have a "point of difference" in a couple. At the moment it seems his policy is to take solid players into camp/Saxons/midweek and see if they can show something special. The more effective method would be to take players who show tremendous talent and potential, with rough edges, and round out the player.

    Take Daly: we've listed his weaknesses, but he possesses attacking talent far beyond any fullback tried under Lancaster at a senior level, has long-range place kicking to boot (something the side currently lacks), is an alternative to Tuilagi at 13, and a great option for a utility back at 23. Bring him in and round him out. Don't pick a bland player like Wray and hope he somehow turns out to have world-class skill hidden under the journeyman's appearance. What point of difference does he have?

    Ashton is another example: a player who has a point of difference (i.e. goal-hanging), but who has huge defensive issues. Why, after three years, has he not been taught to tackle (or been dropped)? If Lancaster is unwilling (or incapable) of rounding current players, is this why he doesn't want to select on talent alone?

    So long as Lancaster makes bizarre selections – preferring certain mediocrity over possible brilliance – he’s going to receive accusations of nepotism. People are always going to look for a reason.
     
  10. Geordiefalcon

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    I do agree with many of the sentiments here.

    What have players like Clark, Wray, Thomas, Johnson, etc done to deserve a call up.

    However i also just cant see Rowntree happily selecting a guy who is not showing the signs of imprioving like Henry Thomas. There must be something thats pushing his selection. LIkewise Clark...he must be showing something...maybe its that alround flanker style like Wood and Robshaw. Yet he never makes the EPS match day squad ...so what is his purpose?
     
  11. living sacrifice

    living sacrifice First XV

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    As a saints fan I should defend Clark and call for his inclusion but I just can't.

    He is a good hard tackler, very good at rucking. Solid in the line out. Good around the park. Carries well.......but I could say that about a lot of premiership flankers.

    I don't see what he or wray offers that offers don't hmmmmm
     
  12. stus768

    stus768 Bench Player

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    Haven't seen much of Wray. Could anyone explain what the issue with him is to me?
     
  13. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen First XV

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    It's just that he is average...very average. He is a good player for us and I like him at 6 but he isn't at England level yet, maybe a couple more years and he could be there. He is a strong carrier and kind of the 'typical' 6 role but he isn't even in the top 5 in the country and players like Ewers and Fearns haven't been called up.
     
  14. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    I don't see a great deal of difference between accusing him of having favourites and having bias. Seems very semantic to me. Call it favourites if you prefer though. I don't think he's bent, or actively picking players because he likes them or their coach, but some players seem to have to do less to get into England squads and some players seem to have to do more and there are correlations there. In general its better to be at a top 4 club than not be at one; doing well for the ex-club of the most influential assistant coach is a very quick route into the squad; and the continued belief in Calum Clark is most simply and easily explained by his time with him at Leeds academy. As you say, every coach has their favourites, and every coach should be exposed and criticised for it when their favourites are not up to snuff.

    And yeah, that is the crux of the matter with Daly, which disappoints me as he's one of the most talented attackers going at the moment and I find it strange that Lancaster isn't trying to work with and improve him every chance he can get. While there is plenty of rotation, there are also plenty of ever-presents among the fringe players (paging Calum Clark...) - I think Daly should be one of them. Relatively minor thing I guess, but small margins between victory and defeat and all that.
     
  15. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen First XV

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    Well players are more likely to be picked from top 4 teams for a couple reasons- 1.Lancaster gets to see them on the big stage more often, take Wray for example he played in the prem final and the H Cup final. Now take Ewers for example, his biggest game was for the Saxons ? Maybe even against Saints or Saracens ? Lancaster doesn't know how Ewers will act on the big stage, without throwing him in with only a year till the world cup. If he fails in his first performance he isn't going to try him again because he doesn't have time. 2.They're normally just the better player, Northampton won the league and the Amlin so he is going to build his team around the likes of Lawes, Wood, Hartley. Now obviously players like Goode, Ashton aren't as good as others but i dont blame a coach picking players from the most dominant team this season (by a long way). Players like Daly who aren't playing for a big team and is up against the likes of Goode, Foden, Brown, Tait well he just isn't going to be considered because he wont play on the big stage.
     
  16. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    The real talking point is this:

    Dan Braid is eligible for a British passport, hasn't been capped within the last 18months, and has been overlooked for this squad.
    Scandalous.
     
  17. Draggs

    Draggs Hall of Fame

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    Does this mean any British passport holder can represent all countries in the UK?
    I recall hearing that individuals born in British military hospitals can represent all of those nations, but can't remember where.
     
  18. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    From my understanding, which may be way off, No.
    Because England is highest ranked GB sevens side, it is the side which acts as the qualifier for Team GB in the Olympics, i.e. If England qualify so does Team GB.
    So for the olympics/passport loophole, because you have to play in an olympic qualifying tournament, it can only be England that players can qualify for, as Wales/Scotland technically aren't taking part in olympic qualifying games.
     
  19. TRF_Peat

    TRF_Peat Super Moderator

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    Nope. However, if he is eligible for a British passport, he probably qualifies for one of the countries somehow.

    All Channel Islanders are eligible for all four countries though. Wonder if the same applies to Manxmen.
     
  20. Maverick1987

    Maverick1987 First XV

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    Anyone else think Lancaster has 2 competitions to prove his worth or he won't be offered a new contract ?

    I believe if we get KO'd from the group stages which is easily viable then that will be his lot.

    He's had 3 6N already and has done well but hasn't won anything add a fourth and a poor World Cup and all his hard work will be for nothing .....
     
  21. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Not sure when the EPS is usually announced for the November tests, but apparently (according to an interview with Cipriani at the Sale press day today) they've delayed it until after the first 6 rounds of the premiership because of the amount of competition for spots.
     
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