• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

England 2021/22

Don't Skip Leg Day

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
3,798
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

The article also states that only 7 of his team that started the Australia final test were actually privately educated.

Would need more data overall but from that point of view it doesn’t stand up.

I remember in years gone by, England teams having a few premiership captains in them and having some real leaders. Now I look at all the meek players and you don’t really have that any more.

But maybe England players are away too much to be good club captains or maybe there are too challenging for Jones’ England environment.

Who knows
 
Last edited:

BPM

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
3,403
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Harlequins

I reckon so,
Binny and Mercer with Simmonds as utility
Perhaps, but I’d be much more inclined to keep Billy and Dombrandt as the specialist 8s and have Mercer as the ‘utility’ option. Mercer is definitely best at 8, but given he regularly played on the flanks for Bath he is familiar with playing in those roles. Simmonds is a utility mostly due to the fact that his role at Exeter is unique to their system and isn’t really an 8 or a flanker. IMO, this is this biggest drawback when it comes to test selection as he lacks the experience of playing as a more traditional 8 or flanker.
 

BPM

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
3,403
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Harlequins

Jones having a go at the public school system in the Times - doesn’t produce leaders, don’t see kids playing touch in the park etc.

2003 was just a ‘situational success’. (We’ll overlook the identity of the coach of the losing finalists….).

Obviously been good enough to get to other RWC finals in 91, 07 and 19 (We’ll overlook the identity of the coach in the last one who confessed to getting selection wrong……).

Ireland have been pretty successful recently and none of their players went to public school did they?

He has a point on the leadership though. I blame academies more than schools for that. We’ll also overlook the identity of the coach who doesn’t seem to empower players or allow anything other than his way.

Roll on 2024. I’m almost past caring what happens in France.
Actually, I’d have thought a majority went to a small group of fee paying schools in Ireland. Certainly would be a lot from the likes of Blackrock or St. Michael’s, maybe a couple of Ulster players from Campbell College.

As for kids not playing touch in the park, I agree with him. If you see a group of kids playing sport, it’ll almost always be football. It would only be a good thing if more kids were playing touch rugby.
 

Ragey Erasmus

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
8,708
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Even if Mercer is going to the 6 fingered enemy, I'd be glad to have him back in England and eligible for the side. I was a supporter before he moved to France, as he looked good even in terrible Bath sides. He has the right sort of attitude too and could potentially be one of the leaders on the field setting by example, something we do miss (although admittedly our flanker options in Curry and Underhill particularly do tend to put in good shifts repeatedly). I think he's shown up Jones weird mind games of saying he wasn't going to get in for the stupid nonsense it was and also shown up comments I saw on the forums a few years ago about being too small and lightweight. The French league is probably the heaviest in the world and if he really was too light, it would have been shown up.

Before the Aussie series I'd have said it would easily be Dombrandt, Simmonds and Mercer if available as our 8 / utility back row choices. Binny coming back into some form does make things more complex, although he will need to prove he can maintain that form now. Not a bad problem to have and I hope we move back to the Jones of 2016 where the bench were an integral part of the overall gameplan and not merely people to be brought on for the minimal time possible as players tire. An in form Billy would start IMO but having any of Mercer, Dombrandt or Simmonds available off the bench for 25 mins or so could be a huge asset if correctly used.
 

Reiser99

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
6,415
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Leicester

My concern with Billy is that while he showed some good form, he still wasn't at his best and Jones also kept mentioning how he's getting back to full fitness. I still find it ridiculous that we are carrying a player who can't be bothered to train properly. I'm not sure he's playing well enough to be given a free pass and I certainly think it has to annoy other players who work hard and don't get the same opportunity.
 

die_mole

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
4,223
Club or Nation

Bristol

Jones having a go at the public school system in the Times - doesn’t produce leaders, don’t see kids playing touch in the park etc.

2003 was just a ‘situational success’. (We’ll overlook the identity of the coach of the losing finalists….).

Obviously been good enough to get to other RWC finals in 91, 07 and 19 (We’ll overlook the identity of the coach in the last one who confessed to getting selection wrong……).

Ireland have been pretty successful recently and none of their players went to public school did they?

He has a point on the leadership though. I blame academies more than schools for that. We’ll also overlook the identity of the coach who doesn’t seem to empower players or allow anything other than his way.

Roll on 2024. I’m almost past caring what happens in France.

Guardian had a write up about elite success to grassroot improvements. Talks a bit about the 2003 and how rugby didn’t have the infrastructure to sustain the increased interest to get kids “playing touch in the park”.

Seems Eddie is preemptively making excuses though. I don’t know what policy change he is expecting out of this. I mean, he’s the head coach he could just choose more state school players.
 

Reiser99

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
6,415
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Leicester

Can he not be bothered to train properly?

Be played 230 minutes in tour and looked good
If he's not been injured recently and he's not at full fitness then what other explanation is there?

My point is more based on what Jones said and previous comments rather than how much he played.
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

G.O.A.T
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
23,468
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leicester

If he's not been injured recently and he's not at full fitness then what other explanation is there?

My point is more based on what Jones said and previous comments rather than how much he played.

The dude is like 20 stone and had multiple injuries the last 2 years (Granted minor in the end).
It will take a while for him to get too full fitness especially with it being during the season.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
3,798
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

While he looked better, Binny was still not back to Binnys best and he was far from full fitness from his showings around the pitch.

He might have played a lot of minutes but how many of them were walking around or standing in line compared to a Binny of years gone by.

I think Binny might be someone who is best when kept on his toes, so drop him to the bench and let him run havoc for 20 minutes at the end of game. Our very own bomb squad.
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

G.O.A.T
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
23,468
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leicester

surely you need explosive power off the bench for it to be a bomb squad.

Billy isn’t that.
He doesn’t and never has been running through gaps and exploiting tired legs on the whole.

He’s been the pass it to Billy and he will tire the opposition.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
3,798
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

surely you need explosive power off the bench for it to be a bomb squad.

Billy isn’t that.
He doesn’t and never has been running through gaps and exploiting tired legs on the whole.

He’s been the pass it to Billy and he will tire the opposition.
Yeah I agree thinking about it, although I’m not sure that tactic works as well as when he’s doing the little pass or step before contact which we saw glimpses of in Australia.

I’ve personally never been given 100% on Billy as I like a more dynamic 8 so aware of my personal bias but he might just be our best option come the World Cup depending on mercer and Dombrant form and if they get a chance or not.
 

Old Hooker

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
5,046
Country Flag

England

Down under, against moderate opposition, Binny had one good game, one average one and one quiet one. So a 6/10 tour. He’s an experienced international and that was on the back of a very good club season. He’s openly admitted in the past to struggling with motivation.

Dombrandt and Mercer both bring something different and higher tempo as does T Willis for that matter.

Binny can be a useful squad player but not much more in my book now. His days of rampaging around influencing matches against good opposition have gone. If he is to be our starting 8 it should be because the others are given the chance to nail down the shirt and fail to do so, not because we look at him as the default option from here on in. Looking back to his golden days isn’t quite like pining for Manu but it’s in that general direction.
 

Old Hooker

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
5,046
Country Flag

England

Don’t disagree that Dombrandt hasn’t wowed yet although there have been flashes.

France was a great move for Mercer and I wish others would also go and experience life / rugby outside the Premiership bubble. He’s got the skills / pace and France presumably has laid to rest questions around his physicality. But asking him to run into brick walls is as pointless as asking Binny to produce at a couple of sidesteps in a 70m sprint. Guess it all comes back to the perennial how do we want to play question.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
3,798
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Northampton

Dombrandt not really shown his higher tempo in international rugby though.

Largely looked ineffective in this level.

For me the big thing about Billy is even his average games he’s still deemed a weapon by the opposition.
While I agree I also think Dombrant wasn’t given the chances that Binny has been. If Dombrant had been given a proper run and left to settle in then that’s ok but Binny seemed to play even when in poorish form for years and still got picked.

I just think that Lawes seems to be nailed on, then curry or underhill at 7 means we need a bigger 8. If we got a more meater 6 (who carried more) then we could afford Dombrant at 8 but that’s about balance overall in the back row and locks.
 

Ragey Erasmus

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
8,708
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

While I agree I also think Dombrant wasn’t given the chances that Binny has been. If Dombrant had been given a proper run and left to settle in then that’s ok but Binny seemed to play even when in poorish form for years and still got picked.

I just think that Lawes seems to be nailed on, then curry or underhill at 7 means we need a bigger 8. If we got a more meater 6 (who carried more) then we could afford Dombrant at 8 but that’s about balance overall in the back row and locks.
I disagree, we don't need a bigger 8, we need an effective carrying 8. Rugby is full of many large players who are ineffective carriers and many smaller players who are immensely good carriers (Hamish Watson always springs to mind as someone whose carrying effectiveness is so much better than their size would indicate). Billy V has been a good carrier because of his sheer bulk. Mercer, Dombrandt and Simmonds are all smarter carriers in that they look to hit gaps and exploit weaknesses more than simply barrelling into someone.

As usual with Eddie, it's about picking the right players for their roles. Of the 8's available and with experience, none can perform the role of Billy, so if Jones is going to pick an 8 to play that way, it should be Billy. If Jones actually accepts altering the role for the player, then it works much better for Dombrandt, Simmonds and Mercer type players.
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

G.O.A.T
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 13, 2013
Messages
23,468
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leicester

I guess who works with the back row of Lawes and Curry better?

Eddie isn’t going to alter his entire game plan for 1 player though.

It’s like if Borthwick gets the role, do people think he’s going to move away from his Wiese, Vunipola style 8 that he has always had?
 

Old Hooker

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
5,046
Country Flag

England

It’s like if Borthwick gets the role, do people think he’s going to move away from his Wiese, Vunipola style 8 that he has always had?
That may be his preference, but I’d hope he - any coach - would be open minded enough to make the smartest use of the resources available at that time, rather than bringing preconceived ideas that they stick to come hell or high water in the face of available evidence.
 

Latest posts

Top