- Nov 12, 2015
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Genge, George, StuartSo from the dissection, what should be the team for next week?
Itoje (c), Hill
Willis, Curry, Wilson (8)
May, Watson, Daly (15)
Obano, LCD, Williams, Lawes, Earl
Robson, Farrel, Malins
Billy and Owen are in ruts with their form, and didn't deserve to be there in the first place - everyone else has actually earned their place in the team, and deserve the chance to turn it around. This wouldn't be the team I'd pick if I were starting from scratch, but from where we are.
Were I starting from scratch, George would have been on the bench - due to rust.
Hill would have been on the bench - because I'm just not a fan, even though I acknowledge that he's earned the right to be tested.
I'd have started with the 6-13 named above - there are no valid alternatives to Youngs as starter, because no-one's been given the chance to be tested and kept / discarded. I'm Ford > Farrell anyway, but as a preference, not an absolute; after November, and yesterday, it's become an absolute.
I'd have started with Malins at FB - Daly's just never looked right back there, whilst Malins has shown what we want to see from Daly, but in practice, not theory.
Billy and Owen desperately need to learn that they're not undroppable; Daly is headed in that direction as well, though I wouldn't be pulling the plug just yet.
As for captaincy, Itoje has seemed like the captain in waiting since almost his first cap; whilst Farrell has never had the right temprament for the job - not to mention that FHs and kickers generally make terrible captains.
The most important change though, is that the players need to be authorised to actually go off-script when necessary.