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England 2021/22

Reiser99

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I'm always saddened to read stuff like this. I am sure that that's what he's experienced, but I've also always thought that the best way to deal with it is for young players to see that there is a pathway for them to get to the top.

From the current squad:

1. Genge, Mako, Rodd
2. George, Cowan-Dickie, Walker
3. Stuart, Heyes, Schickerling
4. Itoje, Chessum
5. Hill, Ewels,
6. Lawes, Isiekwe, Willis
7. Curry, Underhill, Ludlam
8. Billy
9: Randall, Care, JVP
10. Smith, Furbank
11. May
12. Farrell, Porter
13. Marchant, Dingwall, Joseph
14. Cokanasiga, Nowell
15. Steward, Freeman, Arundell

I reckon that 11 of the 36 are non-white players. This sort of 'quiet inclusion' and selection of the best (coach's whims excepted...) players to represent the nation is likely to be far more effective in the long term than 'initiatives'.
TBH you don't have enough data to make any real conclusion there. 11 players is 30% of the squad. I have no idea but that might be higher or lower than the average in rugby. Also the 11 might represent like 50% of non-white players (again I have no idea on the real data). Just to be clear you could well be right in your view, but forming one just from 11 out of 36 is flawed.
 

Crash Hamster

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TBH you don't have enough data to make any real conclusion there. 11 players is 30% of the squad. I have no idea but that might be higher or lower than the average in rugby. Also the 11 might represent like 50% of non-white players (again I have no idea on the real data). Just to be clear you could well be right in your view, but forming one just from 11 out of 36 is flawed.

I'd fully accept that what I've given is a snap-shot, albeit the one that a youngster watching international rugby on the television is most likely to see. "If you can't see it, you can't be it" is an argument I've seen raised, but clearly it is possible to see BAME players represent England at rugby.

I'd probably rule out top tier club sides as they recruit worldwide rather than just from locally-developed players, so it would be hard to derive any meaningful data.
It would be really tedious to do the data mining to see which players are non-white for a statistically significant sample, but I did have a quick look at the current England U20 squad. By my reckoning 8 of 32 are non-white players.

Here's the 2021-22 Birmingham Moseley team picture. https://moseleyrugby.co.uk/first-xv-team/players/
Again, certainly not a bunch of white blokes, even though there are a variety of private and grammar schools to pick from in Birmingham.

From the 2011 census, 87% of the UK population are white (80.5% being white British).

Some people will always be scum and everyone has a hidden side to their character; we still have murderers, despite it being illegal for centuries. It's naive in the extreme to expect any organisation to completely eradicate any disagreeable form of behaviour.

I'm not trying to hold up England Rugby as a perfect and shining example, but I think the situation regarding inclusion is far more nuanced than it's often presented.
 

Old Hooker

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Random thought.

I wonder how Barbeary is spending his summer.

Eng are crying out for the kind of ball carrying punch he can potentially provide yet other aspects of his game don’t really seem to be there for a back rower, which is probably the most competitive area of the team and only likely to become more so.

At hooker we’ve only really got George who I can’t see going much past France and LCD who will be 30 by then.

Not wishing to reignite the whole “well he clearly hasn’t got the hooking basics” argument, but I’d just love to know what’s going on inside his head.

He’s still young - he’ll be 22 in a few months. Time is on his side, yet with all the hype and early impact with Pests he must be a little disappointed that he’s only had the odd training squad and hasn’t really broken through yet.
 

Reiser99

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Random thought.

I wonder how Barbeary is spending his summer.

Eng are crying out for the kind of ball carrying punch he can potentially provide yet other aspects of his game don’t really seem to be there for a back rower, which is probably the most competitive area of the team and only likely to become more so.

At hooker we’ve only really got George who I can’t see going much past France and LCD who will be 30 by then.

Not wishing to reignite the whole “well he clearly hasn’t got the hooking basics” argument, but I’d just love to know what’s going on inside his head.

He’s still young - he’ll be 22 in a few months. Time is on his side, yet with all the hype and early impact with Pests he must be a little disappointed that he’s only had the odd training squad and hasn’t really broken through yet.
My issue is less the hooking and more his defence. From what I've seen in the premiership it's not international standard and I don't think his carrying outweighs his defensive frailties. Especially as England look as likely to finish his breaks as Carrie Johnson does getting Boris neutered and stopping him impregnating another mistress.
 

TRF_Olyy

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From what I've seen in the premiership it's not international standard and I don't think his carrying outweighs his defensive frailties.
His carrying has regressed recently as well,

Tom Willis the one hard done by, but even then (and I do really wish he was touring) our issues aren't at 8 atm - Billy played his best England game in an age last week
 

Old Hooker

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My issue is less the hooking and more his defence. From what I've seen in the premiership it's not international standard and I don't think his carrying outweighs his defensive frailties. Especially as England look as likely to finish his breaks as Carrie Johnson does getting Boris neutered and stopping him impregnating another mistress.
I guess I’m thinking the defence is more likely to be exposed in the back row. Are we talking positioning or failures in contact?

His carrying is his point of difference. If that’s regressed then he’s just another reasonable player. You need the all round game, but if you’re lucky enough to have a real point of difference you’ve got to retain it.

It certainly feels like he has a lot to think about.

And 100% with Olyy on T Willis.
 

Scotty

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His carrying has regressed recently as well,

Tom Willis the one hard done by, but even then (and I do really wish he was touring) our issues aren't at 8 atm - Billy played his best England game in an age last week
Ive noticed that as the season went on tbh and yes TWillis is that rounded player that would make an internstional 8 in most countries

But i do agree with Old Hooker on that he should be training his front row skills because he really would have a shot. He regains his carrying form and improved his defence he does have a good shot and not that much competition.


Its all ifs obv, if his carrying improves and if his defence improves and if his set piece improves but he'd be daft not to try
 

TRF_Olyy

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Said it before but if he was anywhere near competent at playing hooker then he would've done for Wasps by now - they had a massive injury crisis at hooker and still didn't even trial him there

Don't think it's as easy as saying he needs to train his throwing a bit and it'll come good, feels more like it's bordering on a nature rather than nurture skill when you look at how many poor throwers there are who have been playing the position their whole life (you can't tell me the likes of Thacker, Acker etc. just don't train throwing in training?)
 

Pieter Steph du Teague

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Said it before but if he was anywhere near competent at playing hooker then he would've done for Wasps by now - they had a massive injury crisis at hooker and still didn't even trial him there

Don't think it's as easy as saying he needs to train his throwing a bit and it'll come good, feels more like it's bordering on a nature rather than nurture skill when you look at how many poor throwers there are who have been playing the position their whole life (you can't tell me the likes of Thacker, Acker etc. just don't train throwing in training?)
Lineout throwing is one of those skills at the top level that you have to be a pure professional/workaholic to really nail. It’s only really comparable to goal kicking in that it’s a pinpoint skill that you have to drill for hours and hours every week to really perfect.

Wasps and Barbeary have been pretty open about the fact that he’s not exactly addicted to his craft. He loves curries, he loves beers etc. and while I think it’s great that there’s still a place in rugby for that; it does mean that I don’t think Barbeary is really able to commit himself to the absolute slog of extras that it takes to be an international-level hooker.
 

Old Hooker

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Said it before but if he was anywhere near competent at playing hooker then he would've done for Wasps by now - they had a massive injury crisis at hooker and still didn't even trial him there

Don't think it's as easy as saying he needs to train his throwing a bit and it'll come good, feels more like it's bordering on a nature rather than nurture skill when you look at how many poor throwers there are who have been playing the position their whole life (you can't tell me the likes of Thacker, Acker etc. just don't train throwing in training?)
Of course you’re right. Although LCD might be a counter argument that hard work and experience seemed to get things to an acceptable level. We’re also assuming that his scrummaging was OK, which have no real idea of and presumably hasn’t trained for in a long time.

As I say I don’t want to rehash the old arguments, but would just love to know what he’s thinking.
 

Old Hooker

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Lineout throwing is one of those skills at the top level that you have to be a pure professional/workaholic to really nail. It’s only really comparable to goal kicking in that it’s a pinpoint skill that you have to drill for hours and hours every week to really perfect.

Wasps and Barbeary have been pretty open about the fact that he’s not exactly addicted to his craft. He loves curries, he loves beers etc. and while I think it’s great that there’s still a place in rugby for that; it does mean that I don’t think Barbeary is really able to commit himself to the absolute slog of extras that it takes to be an international-level hooker.
Good on him!

I think that changes over time, particularly as the realisation must be dawning that what worked so easily at junior levels won’t cut it at the top of the senior ranks. But it could go either way.
 

Reiser99

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Lineout throwing is one of those skills at the top level that you have to be a pure professional/workaholic to really nail. It’s only really comparable to goal kicking in that it’s a pinpoint skill that you have to drill for hours and hours every week to really perfect.

Wasps and Barbeary have been pretty open about the fact that he’s not exactly addicted to his craft. He loves curries, he loves beers etc. and while I think it’s great that there’s still a place in rugby for that; it does mean that I don’t think Barbeary is really able to commit himself to the absolute slog of extras that it takes to be an international-level hooker.
Kinda reminds me a bit of Rooney and Ronaldo. Both could have been world class, but for me only one really achieved it. Rooney didn't want to put in the effort to try and be the best and relied mainly on his talent. Ronaldo had the talent and the work ethic to be the best. (Not saying Rooney didn't train at all, but more he didn't go the extra mile)

Not going to say either is right or wrong, but it's a choice players have to make individually and decide what they want to achieve.
 

RedruthRFC

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Lineout throwing is one of those skills at the top level that you have to be a pure professional/workaholic to really nail. It’s only really comparable to goal kicking in that it’s a pinpoint skill that you have to drill for hours and hours every week to really perfect.
I don't agree with the goal kicking analogy. Kickers aim the ball at a fixed point and try and make it go there at their leisure. Hookers are aiming to hit a spot of thin air, which is much harder to visualise and have to get it there at as close as possible to the apex of the jumper's leap, which adds a timing aspect that doesn't exist in goal kicking. A kicker can replicate everything but the pressure by staying after training with a bag of balls. A hooker can replicate the mechanics of throwing a ball (the easy part), but without a pack to join in, it's hard to practice visualising an invisible target and putting the ball there at just the right time. I'd be interested to hear what practice routines hookers use these days, the last time I remember seeing anything about this, it was Mark Regan throwing balls at a target on the side of his garage in the early 90s!

I'm not sure if it's an innate skill that some people are never going to get really good at no matter how much they practice (like making clean contact with a golf / snooker ball or sticking three darts in the same bed) or whether there isn't the opportunity to get sufficient practice to get really good.

@Old Hooker the LCD thing is interesting. For starters, I'm pretty sure that stats proved that his throwing wasn't as bad as was made out. Whenever anyone switches to hooker, it's easier for the rugby media to highlight their throwing whether it's merited or not, then the rugby community group think attitude kicks in. I'm not necessarily saying that his throwing hasn't improved, he is lucky that Exeter had faith in him from very early on (or didn't have anyone better - delete as appropriate), so he got to hone his craft.
 

Rinkadink

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Thacker's line out statistics put him in the top 3 of premiership for majority of the season. Even BT pointed out he was tops for accuracy in a match during last season (can't remember which offhand) and was a key part of Bristol's top try scoring and meters made maul during their most successful period. Thacker's weakness in set piece for past few years has been his scrummaging.

None of this really matters because even the best hookers in the world won't flourish under Jones for reasons ranging from the lack of game time he gives new incumbents (poor old Dunn) and when he chooses to play them through to the procession of coaches and changing structures/systems.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Also I think England's carrying ability into heavy traffic has been ok recently, it's lack of control, poor resourcing of the breakdown and not exploiting the backs that have been our weaknesses in attack. Our defence is also much more of a weakness than our tight carrying. I'd be less inclined to pick a player who might help in an area we already aren't terrible but could make our existing weaknesses even worse. Our tight carrying isn't winning us games but our slowness to the breakdown and poor defence is definitely losing us them.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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By the way can someone explain to me who Sam Jefferies is? Does he play in Australia or Bristol etc as the web search has left me more confused.

And why is he there? Is he any good at 29year old?
 

Crash Hamster

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By the way can someone explain to me who Sam Jefferies is? Does he play in Australia or Bristol etc as the web search has left me more confused.

And why is he there? Is he any good at 29year old?
There are two of them, an Aussie second row playing in Japan and the back rower from Bristol. Google seems to mix them up, with pictures of the English one shown on the Aussie's fact box.

Just had a look on the 'tour announcement' page on England rugby and he doesn't warrant a mention.

It's all very odd.
 

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Think he took a two year sabbatical to get over injuries and came back this season, that's about the extent of my knowledge on him

Stats are pretty poor on here:
But Bristol fans seem really hot on him (though that must be taken with a pinch of salt as they also really rate Joyce)
 

Crash Hamster

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Not that he's getting international selection any time soon, but [that bloke who was arrested for rape and no-one can name him] will apparently face no police action, though apparently [that club that no-once can name either] aren't renewing his contract.

Seems being so innocent that there's no case to answer comes at a high price.
 
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