• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

[2021 Six Nations] England Squad

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,004,370
Reaction score
8,877
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

Tom Curry played well and I think we can all agree that that's all that matters
Top tackler (from either side) won a couple of penalties - gave one away but it's to be forgiven because....I say it is

Just need Ben to get over his shoulder surgery and get the Double Cunderhill backrow that we've all been dreaming of on the go
 

TBeastT

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
4,907
Reaction score
1,680
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Exeter

Or a fit Launchbury.
Even then I don’t think he compares. Launchbury has a great work rate and is arguably a better ball carrier than Kruis but Kruis offered something entirely different to our other lock options IMO. He was an absolutely world class lineout operator and had the experience and leadership of a man who’d been directing the forwards of the most dominant club team in the world for several years. That leadership and experience is what England are desperately lacking at the moment; it’s definitely no coincidence that Itoje played his best rugby when he was alongside Kruis.
 

mkersyshull

Academy Player
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
137
Reaction score
8
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

I’m not sure if it’s over-coaching, lack of freedom or lack of intelligent rugby players, but a couple of things that irk me:

1 - not adapting to the ref. It links to what Johnson said after the game. He was saying that in one international game they had to stop pushing in the scrum as they kept getting pens. But our players seem to not be able to adapt, at all. In this game I think of Itoge. He just needed to stop and let someone else be on the edge as the ref had his number. It’s not a new problem, my mind goes back to the Italy game and ‘ruckgate’. They just don’t adapt

2 - again it comes to adapting but this time in attack. If you watch an NFL match and a yellow flag is thrown (a pen is coming) you see the quarterback try a risky play, and if it doesn’t come off it doesn’t matter because of the pen. But in this game we’re given advantage but then kick for touch. It’s a fantastic kick for touch, and if a normal play I’d be happy with it. But because of the advantage we just go back for the pen. Surely if the fly/scrum half see an advantage there’s a planned call for a risky backs move. If it pays off amazing, but if not you’ve got the pen to fall back on

I don’t know the reason for this as I’m obviously not seeing what’s going on behind the scene, but it needs to change
 

Welsh Exile

Bench Player
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
718
Reaction score
265
There aren’t too many positives to draw from that game but one for me is that Billy looked much better today. He’d been outspoken during the week about knowing that he wasn’t playing good rugby and needed to improve, and he delivered on that today IMO. He carried with a lot of intent, actually running into contact rather than trying to tiptoe around it. Given that he’s undroppable, it definitely helps that he looks to actually be on the up.

Agreed. Not just him. England played well. I mean, we were up against the best open side in the world as well as the best player in the world in Itoje and we still put 40 points on you and didn’t even play well.

Glad you’re staying positive though bud. Onwards and upwards.
 

living sacrifice

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
2,402
Reaction score
367
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

Agreed. Not just him. England played well. I mean, we were up against the best open side in the world as well as the best player in the world in Itoje and we still put 40 points on you and didn’t even play well.

Glad you’re staying positive though bud. Onwards and upwards.
Tuprick was poor yesterday, no actually he played his usual game of being away from the hard work all the time and was anonymous in the tackle and ruck. Navidi on the other hand was brilliant, not sure why he didn’t get man of the match.
 

Welsh Exile

Bench Player
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
718
Reaction score
265
Tuprick was poor yesterday, no actually he played his usual game of being away from the hard work all the time and was anonymous in the tackle and ruck. Navidi on the other hand was brilliant, not sure why he didn’t get man of the match.

Cool, dude.
 

higgik

Academy Player
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
84
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Saracens

So where to now?

Daly looks undroppable to me. ie. He can make so many mistakes and still will get picked.
Daly's confidence is shot, he needs to go back and find some form.
 

living sacrifice

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
2,402
Reaction score
367
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

Cool, dude.
Yeah nothing to say on that obviously. The two players you pretend are brilliant (AWJ and Tuprick) were really poor yesterday, you can’t deny it.

But has someone like Navidi done enough to get a lions call up this 6 nations though?
 

Welsh Exile

Bench Player
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
718
Reaction score
265
Yeah nothing to say on that obviously. The two players you pretend are brilliant (AWJ and Tuprick) were really poor yesterday, you can’t deny it.

But has someone like Navidi done enough to get a lions call up this 6 nations though?

I mean, I can deny it. It’s subjective at the end of the day, bud. Navidi is world class though, never doubted it, he’s a massive player for us.

I’m on good vibes now. I’ve apologised for my poor behaviour. Only semi serious responses from now on, until I pass out.
 

higgik

Academy Player
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
84
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Saracens

Part of the issue is so many penalties are braindead and not from pressure at all despite what was said in the other thread. We keep giving advanatag when the opposition hadn't worked for it and that is frustrating.
Johnson would never have spoken to a ref in the way Farrell did. He would always take his time to lose the anger before talking. There was even one time where he was so irate, Dawson told him to **** up a minute and let soneon else do the talking as they didnt need to get on the wrong side of the ref. Farrell is acting more like a Football player
 

Which Tyler

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
2,320
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Daly's confidence is shot, he needs to go back and find some form.
Learning to play fullback would help as well. He's a really good player, with an impressive boot, and I can absolutely see the attraction of making him a FB.
But it hasn't worked.
His positioning, high ball, and tackling aren't good enough back there, and when he joins the line for a run, he runs the winger's line, and forgets that the outside men need some space of their own (are we sure he's used to OC?).
He's a natural winger, and should be competing with May and Watson for those spots.
 
Last edited:

Jashay

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
255
Reaction score
151
Country Flag

England

Daly's confidence is shot, he needs to go back and find some form.
That might take a while, as Saracens still aren't playing at the moment and even when they do start again it'll be championship. But I would say his is the position most under threat.

Knowing how conservatively Eddie plays these things I wouldn't even mind if Daly was benched instead of dropped; let Malins have a decent run in the 15 shirt and have Daly as back cover.

I'd also like to see a 5-3 split on the bench; we only used 4 of the forward subs in the Wales game so we might as well!
 

higgik

Academy Player
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
438
Reaction score
84
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Saracens

Learning to play fullback would help as well. He's a really good player, with an impressive boot, and I can absolutely see the attraction of making him a FB.
But it hasn't worked.
His positioning, high ball, and tackling aren't good enough back there, and when he joins the line for a run, he runs the singer's line, and forgets that the outside men need some space of their own. He's a natural winger, and should be competing with May and Watson for those spots.

That might take a while, as Saracens still aren't playing at the moment and even when they do start again it'll be championship. But I would say his is the position most under threat.

Knowing how conservatively Eddie plays these things I wouldn't even mind if Daly was benched instead of dropped; let Malins have a decent run in the 15 shirt and have Daly as back cover.

I'd also like to see a 5-3 split on the bench; we only used 4 of the forward subs in the Wales game so we might as well!
Issue with Malins is that he is another playmaker type, which gives us 4 playmakers in the backline and no gainline winners, which is still a vital component, (just ask Will Greenwood).
Maybe first option is to move Watson to FB, as he seems to be wanting to be more direct atm, with Daly on wing or even put in Thorley who is another direct runner.
I do like Malins at 15, but think you would have to drop Slade and either Ford or Farrell, for it to work and then you have to find 2 centres with power.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,004,370
Reaction score
8,877
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

I'd also like to see a 5-3 split on the bench; we only used 4 of the forward subs in the Wales game so we might as well!
That would involve having Lawrence or Odogwu in the side, though, and Eddie ain't about that life
 

Which Tyler

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
2,320
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

I think as a sport we don't breed intelligent people. We like deference. So if the score goes well, we blame Eddie. (That doesn't mean he isn't to blame - but the players don't have self responsibility not to give away or do dumb ****)

In regards to today - the ones presumed under pressure:

Billy Vunipola

Owen Farrell

Elliot Daly

Ben Youngs


Negatives today:

Jonny Hill

Dan Robson

Ellis Genge

Maro Itoje

Discipline

Are we kidding ourselves a bit?

The Premiership?
As a sport, we've become ever more coach-led and don't trust players who go off script.
As a player, if you stick to the script, then it's not your fault if the script is wrong - if you go off script, then it's on you, succeed or fail. Go off script too often, and you'll be dropped as the coach can't trust you to play the game-plan.
I find this sad, but I also remember the reaction last time we had a coach who tried to empower the players - the players empowered themselves, reached a RWC final, and everyone blamed the coach, who was fired, for empowering the players.

Billy - a welcome return to form - not great form, but enough to retain his place on merit.
Owen - actually played okay, even ran a few IC lines and asked the defence some questions (basic ones, but better than not).
What he should have done better is to be respectful of the ref. Right or wrong, his word is final. The ref gets to talk first in any conversation, DO NOT talk over him. That gives you a chance to take a few breaths, and force yourself to relax and be less aggressive. Call him sir, say "yes" and that you understand but...
If your team is giving away soft penalties all over the place, you ARE going to lose the ref, and it's up to the skipper to impose better discipline. Don't tell your team mate that they were harshly done by when they were stupid - tell them that shit happens, but don't don't again.
If the ref is being particularly pernickety, then you need to be whiter than white - even if it puts you at a disadvantage in-play.
Elliott - was bad, and it's not just a single bad day at the office. He's not a fullback, and whilst it was a worthwhile experiment, it's also a failed one, that's been given longer than it should have been. He's easily replaced as we already have better options in the squad, including one that actually plays the way we want Daly to (Watson or Steward change the balance and set-up of the team, and need a new game-plan. Malins does on the pitch what Daly does on paper).
Benji - I've talked about this before, but I don't think it's been on this board. Youngs is a naturally talented scrum-half, when he's playing on instinct. Wind him up and let him go, and he can be brilliant, genuinely world class. He'll make mistakes, but they'll be massively outweighed by the good he can bring.
But he's... a bit thick I guess, or possibly not self-confident enough. He's got good instincts, but makes terrible decisions. Ask him to be the playmaker rather than the opportunist and he's great. Tell him to play off 9, select his runners, call the play, and he can't process all the information and starts second guessing himself, takes 3 times longer, and executes poorly and can lose us a game on his own.

Jonny - performed to my biases yesterday. He's played well in the prem and absolutely earned a shot at international level, but I'm not convinced. But nor is Ewels. In a team making too many brain farts, we can't afford him. Unfortunately, Kruis, Lawes and Launch are all unavailable; it's also too early (for me) to call him a failed experiment, but he's really not putting any pressure on those ahead of him in the pecking order.
Dan - on one of Youngs good days, can't complain about sitting on the bench for that long. He's not getting long anyway, even on Youngs bad days, but he needs to do better in 10 minutes if he wants to be trusted with longer.
Ellis - meh, props give away penalities, especially when you're in the ref's bad books as a team. I'd need info from people far more knowledgeable than I about the scrum to say what needs to be done there.
Maro - needs to be captain, and given past experience, that's probably help his game - it worked for Jonno, and Dylan, I see no reason it wouldn't for such an intelligent player. I think he's been given licence to live as close to the edge as he can, and that it's worth the penalties, which comes from higher up; and on a day like yesterday when things aren't going your way, you'll give away too many. I'd suggest he needs to adapt to the ref on the day more than the laws as a whole, and play ever so slightly within himself (or be allowed a touch more leeway as captains usually are).
Discipline - yup, Eddie likes fighty, tough players and fighty, tough teams who play on the edge. I think he's got too many that push too far , but his win ratio in general disagrees with me. Playing like that will always leave you open to sometimes just pissing off the ref, and getting pinged off the plark.
Are we kidding ourselves? - we have a lot of individual talent in the prem, but that doesn't necessarily make a good team, and a lot of that talent is concentrated into positions with a lot of depth. We've a dozen backrowers who have all earned the right to show what they can do. They can't all, and the players in their positions are mostly going well themselves. Billy has in a rut for a while, but we know he's also world class when not in a rut, equally most of our backrow talent is on the flank - where the best are already being looked at. At #8, Wilson, Earl, Willis and Simmonds are all flankers who can cover 8 rather than specialists, they all require a complete reworking of the back 5 and game-plan. Dombrandt is simply not ready for international level yet (maybe this summer), Mercer should have been given a chance during Billy's rut (I know some don't see it - in much the same way that I don't see it in JHill) - but he's thrown his toys out of the pram and taken himself out of contention (I hope it works for him, and that he comes back stronger in a couple of years, but for now, he's not eligible).
At FH, Ford is world class and Farrell is a good international, and neither are remotely close to the scrap heap. However good Umaga, Smith or (especially) Simmonds are, they've got to show that they're better than that. Bear in mid - they won't be given the game-plan they want, they'll have the same restrictions placed on them that Ford does.
It's 9 and 12 we most desperately need someone to come through, we're starting to experiment, but several of our best talents have gone elsewhere.
Premiership - is ever less relevant to international sport. Club coaches get an 8 week pre-season and 36 week season with their players and no contradictions. Internationals get 2 1-week pre-seasons and 4 or 8 week season with their players, contradicting what most of them are told at club level.
 
Last edited:

Rinkadink

Bench Player
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
985
Reaction score
388
Club or Nation

Bristol

For poops and giggles on our club forum we've been suggesting in-form England XVs... I made it spicier with players not involved yesterday.

1) Marler
2) Cruse
3) Schonert
4) Attwood
5) Beaumont
6) Isiekwe
7) Ludlam
8) Simmonds

9) Randall
10) Smith
11) Odogwu
12) O'Connor
13) Lawrence
14) Marchant
15) Steward

You could even add the likes of Cole, Care, Dombrandt and co as they've also been in good form. It's amazing how stagnant England's international team has become under Jones, there really are so many options.
 

Jashay

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
255
Reaction score
151
Country Flag

England

It's amazing how stagnant England's international team has become under Jones, there really are so many options.

I looked into the numbers behind this at the end of last year, and Jones has generally been really good at bringing in new forwards and really, really bad at bringing in new backs.

You can almost make an entire pack of players who debuted under Jones and are clearly still favoured: Genge, Sinckler, Itoje, Curry, Underhill, Earl/Wilson... I could perhaps squeeze Cowan Dickie in; he played a friendly under Lancaster but EJ was manager for the 2016 6N for his first competitive game, I think. Ewels isn't really 'favoured', but another EJ starter. I think Earl is the only one there without at least 20 caps.

But in terms of backs who debuted under Jones the top choices in terms of caps are Daly (50), T'eo (16), Heinz (13), Robson (10), Cokanasiga (9). It's pretty horrendous really.
 

Tigs Man

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
18,274
Reaction score
3,532
Country Flag

Puerto Rico

Club or Nation

Wigan

Benji - I've talked about this before, but I don't think it's been on this board. Youngs is a naturally talented scrum-half, when he's playing on instinct. Wind him up and let him go, and he can be brilliant, genuinely world class. He'll make mistakes, but they'll be massively outweighed by the good he can bring.
But he's... a bit thick I guess, or possibly not self-confident enough. He's got good instincts, but makes terrible decisions. Ask him to be the playmaker rather than the opportunist and he's great. Tell him to play off 9, select his runners, call the play, and he can't process all the information and starts second guessing himself, takes 3 times longer, and executes poorly and can lose us a game on his own.

On this point

 
Top