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[2021 Six Nations] England Squad

Geordiefalcon

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Saw article about EJ's caps analysis and players on the outskirts, completely forgot about it, but I'd say it's likely as well this summer if they're injury free, that the likes of Alfie the Barbarian and Randall really get a shot. Maybe off the bench, I'm not sure, but they both havent just been playing well, but rooting up trees. I think Randall was almost guaranteed it for the summer tour, and Barbeary is too much not it include at this point, if he recovers well
Combined with Willis performances, I think you could almost say England have players really pushing for spots, and actually it may be a highly different team in terms of explosiveness come the Autumn
One or two dynamic players can make a massive difference in a team
Does Barbeary go as a hooker or Back row? Or both..?
 

Jakedood

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Does Barbeary go as a hooker or Back row? Or both..?
Barbeary to 8 maybe

Also his presence allows an extra lock on the bench, as he can be included as Hooker cover
#EJthinking
 
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Jakedood

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That's what I'd do - really hope he commits his future there
With Curry, Underhill & Willis trying to fight for the 6/7 slots, I'd say 8 is his best option, though with all the injuries these days you just never know

He's certainly looking like the most able ball carrying replacement to Billy Vunipola though, and offers more dynamism at that
 

BPM

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It doesnt seem to matter if players are playing for their clubs or not at the moment.

I merely thinking if Ewells and HIll are deemed not good enough (which judging by many forums it would appear) then Eddie will to delve deeper into the resources.
I don’t entirely disagree with your line of thinking. The suggestions are just weird though ...

Kpoku hasn’t nailed down a starting spot at Saracens (he might have done in the Championship) and I’m not even sure Bamber has played a senior game and doesn’t have the pedigree of coming through the age grade sides, so how you think they’re in some way ready for test rugby is beyond me ...

OK, the Saracens players have been picked on 0 rugby in the last few months but you can’t seriously be comparing 50+ cap test players with guys who are yet to demand starting places for their clubs.

George Martin is a bit of a wild card, but he has captained England at U18 (and U20?) and has immediately looked at home in senior rugby. Certainly more than Kpoku ever has for Saracens.

As for Ewels and Hill, they’re not as bad as is being suggested. We’ve been spoiled by having an excellent crop of locks (Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury and Kruis) we’ve been able to call upon, who for various reasons aren’t available. IMO, Ewels and Hill are suffering by comparison more than anything else. Ewels is a solid 4th/5th choice. He’s only in the 23 because Lawes and Launch are injured and Kruis is in Japan (he hasn’t called time on England). Hill deserves a bit more time. Other than Itoje and Launch, I’d argue he’s been the next best lock in the Premiership for 2/3yrs. So far, he’s struggled to transfer his club form to test rugby, but personally I think he should be given the opportunity to show he can step up, adapt and cut out the dumb penalties (a lot stem from Exeter’s rucking style IMO).

Ideally Isiekwe goes back to playing lock and honing his game there, but until that happens, I don’t honk playing OK as a 6 qualifies him to play lock for England.

I hate capping players with dubious claims of being ‘English’ but I wouldn’t be against taking a look at Ribbans. He always looks good for Saints and has the size and aggression to be a successful test player. I’m not sure Moon is good enough and it’s too soon for the next crop like Tizard.

Looking back it’s a shame we lost Skinner and Rowlands, but honestly, I’m not sure either are obviously better than Ewels or Hill.
 

BPM

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With Curry, Underhill & Willis trying to fight for the 6/7 slots, I'd say 8 is his best option, though with all the injuries these days you just never know

He's certainly looking like the most able ball carrying replacement to Billy Vunipola though, and offers more dynamism at that
Tom Willis is looking better and better every week. I can see him being in the mix at 8 soon enough.

Re. Barbeary, I actually don’t mind where he plays, but I think it’s a case of picking a position and really honing his craft. IMO, a hooker able to cover 6/8 is more useful than the other way round. I just don’t think you can ‘moonlight’ as a hooker. The set piece game is too detailed.
 

Jakedood

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Tom Willis is looking better and better every week. I can see him being in the mix at 8 soon enough.

Re. Barbeary, I actually don’t mind where he plays, but I think it’s a case of picking a position and really honing his craft. IMO, a hooker able to cover 6/8 is more useful than the other way round. I just don’t think you can ‘moonlight’ as a hooker. The set piece game is too detailed.
True, you could say his around the park abilities mean if he's capable to good at international level as a hooker (iesay wins 85-90% of lineouts, decent scrummager) he'd make a fantastic, potentially worlds best hooker
 

TRF_Olyy

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Looking back it’s a shame we lost Skinner and Rowlands, but honestly, I’m not sure either are obviously better than Ewels or Hill.
Skinner has looked pretty poor for Chiefs recently, and completely dropped out of the Scotland squad
Rowlands is decent but nothing about him really screams top international - I wouldn't put him above Ewels

I don't think there's anything wrong with the way Hill has played (bar that one penalty) I just don't think him and Itoje work well as a unit
 

TBeastT

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Skinner has looked pretty poor for Chiefs recently, and completely dropped out of the Scotland squad
Rowlands is decent but nothing about him really screams top international - I wouldn't put him above Ewels

I don't think there's anything wrong with the way Hill has played (bar that one penalty) I just don't think him and Itoje work well as a unit
Skinner would have been a pretty terrible partner for Itoje anyway, even when he’s in his best form. Having an international lock pairing of 2 guys who are only 6’5 as well as only being 115kg and 111kg respectively would be very undersized. In the southern hem that’s much closer to being the size of a 6/8 pairing.
 

ragerancher

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Tom Willis is looking better and better every week. I can see him being in the mix at 8 soon enough.

Re. Barbeary, I actually don’t mind where he plays, but I think it’s a case of picking a position and really honing his craft. IMO, a hooker able to cover 6/8 is more useful than the other way round. I just don’t think you can ‘moonlight’ as a hooker. The set piece game is too detailed.
Imagine a back row in the future that has a Curry and Willis and at half time we replace with another Curry and Willis.
 

BPM

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Skinner would have been a pretty terrible partner for Itoje anyway, even when he’s in his best form. Having an international lock pairing of 2 guys who are only 6’5 as well as only being 115kg and 111kg respectively would be very undersized. In the southern hem that’s much closer to being the size of a 6/8 pairing.
Agreed. My point was that the alternatives, including those we’ve ‘lost’ to other nations are no better than Ewels or Hill, but might have been better than the next options beneath them.
 

Which Tyler

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I don’t entirely disagree with your line of thinking. The suggestions are just weird though ...
Exactly.

We're complaining that our 5th and 6th choice locks aren't quite as good as our first choice. I doubt we could name a single international side who has better options at 5th and 6th choice though (obviously, the kiwis and saffers will disagree, but there wouldn't be any daylight).

Hill and Ewels are perfectly acceptable. Ewels won't let anyone down at international level, but he's also unlikely to ever set the world alight and win a game single-handedly (I'd regard him as a 90% Kruis - not particularly appreciated when there, but really missed when he's not, does the dirty work allowing his mate to go for glory); Hill's more hot and cold, and came into the team with better form, but is struggling to adapt to the demands of international rugby.

We don't need to look beyond them just yet; and any up and comers need to actually play better than them, rather than be given a spot by default because they might be better... in 3 years time... if they actually play at lock... as first choice starter.
 

ncurd

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Really wish we'd invested properly in Dave Attwood,
Now there's a lock you can set your watch to
Same problem still would of been 5th choice at the end of the day just too many options.
 

ragerancher

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Same problem still would of been 5th choice at the end of the day just too many options.
I would have had Attwood ahead of a few locks in his prime. IIRC he was a more heavyweight lock and was very good at maul defence. Many times when we used Lawes I would have had Attwood instead.
 

TRF_Olyy

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He'd probably be my third choice, tbh
But I guess in Eddie's eyes 5th is about right for him (well, in Eddie's eyes he's not in the equation, but you get what I mean)
 

TBeastT

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With Kruis gone I’d say Attwood’s comfortably the best set piece lock available to England (maybe not lineout but definitely scrummaging). Would be the perfect kind of lock to partner a lightweight, athletic lock like Itoje.
 

BPM

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Maybe if you were looking at him solely for right now, but he’s 33 ... I’m not sure how sensible it would be re-introduce him to the squad?
 

TBeastT

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Maybe if you were looking at him solely for right now, but he’s 33 ... I’m not sure how sensible it would be re-introduce him to the squad?
I agree, I wouldn’t actually bring him back in at this point. Was more just kind of thinking out loud or... whatever the thinking out loud version of typing is.
 
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Geordiefalcon

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Well lets just hope they continue to put in better performances and cut out the errors. France in two weeks (if there are no covid issues) will be a tough one.
 
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