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England 2021/22

HamJan

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I agree with some of that, but it’s a bit unfair on Cipriani. Injury really robbed him of the chance to build on that debut.

Also worth bearing in mind that the England team is a lot better than it was in that era. We probably needed a saviour/successor to Jonny then. Smith can make us much better, but he doesn’t need to save us.
No he doesn't, but he will be able to help to develop a far more potent attacking game whist still improving his own game. I think what I'm trying to say is that I'd sooner see the England management help him to thrive under the pressure rather than to demand too much from him while he's still coming to terms with test match rugby.
 

HamJan

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Cipriani fell out of favour because he was a *** and that continued long after his youth. Even now his ethic at Bath at least has been awful. It's easy to say pressure got to him but more likely is that is just who he is. Smith has not displayed any signs of being like that and is far from some young, inexperienced player being hyped up without reason. The likes of Curry, Itoje, Underhill all cemented their places as 1st team starters about the same age as Smith is now, with Farrell and Ford getting into the team even younger.

I can understand Jones being careful, I can't understand claiming Smith needs Farrell there to hold his hand and help him out, he's proven he doesn't need that so why say it?
I'm not saying that Smith can't handle the pressure, he seems level headed and intelligent, but Eddie is in regular contact with him and I'm sure he's more aware of how media pressure affects him than we are. What I am saying is that Eddie's deflecting much of the unnecessary pressure on him to allow him to concentrate more on himself over the next few weeks. That can't be a bad thing.

I don't know if you heard Eddie's interview with Matt Dawson on Tuesday, where he said that Farrell's the captain 'for now', whereas he's previously stated that he'll take us to the RWC. There might be something in that or it might be another one of Eddie's tactics.
 

Scotty

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So if EJ wants an experienced playmaking 12 to take pressure off Smith then why not use Slade...also get the bonus of form, running game and match fitness...

Given the squad Slade will be playing at least most games at 12 or 13. So why introduce and out of form unfit Farrell? And also given we need to find our best non manu parnership...i want Smith Slade Marchant to get more gametime.
 

HamJan

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Farrell = struggled to keep his cool, struggled with pressure has loads of experience though (not that it shows)

Smith = prem, England, lions shown no signs of losing his cool and played well at every level so far


Sorry which one needs babying? I think smith should be babysitting Farrell rather than the other way sound.

I really want us to just pick Atkinson and stick with him at 12 this 6 nations. Give him a chance and at the WC bring back Manu at 12 with Atkinson as

That is a good point, though i would counter that by saying Smith took the pressure of the prem semi final coming back from 28 - 0 down and winning the prem final then backing it up for England and the Lions without even his kicking % dropping, but it is a valid point, much like all the stupid stuff EJ used say and to do in the media getting the spotlight firmly on himself and off the team.

But it may take the pressure off smith but doesnt mean Faz will have a performance that hinders the team by lack of match fitness...
That's all true Scotty, but look how the media have built him up since then, even the Welsh were singing his praises during the Lions series, which is almost unheard of. Since the 6N squad announcement, everybody's talking more about Farrell than Smith.

I'm not saying that Farrell deserves his place in the side, because since RWC 2019, he really hasn't, but he has the mental hardness that Eddie likes and he wants it to permeate throughout the squad in the same way as he did with Dylan Hartley.
 

Old Hooker

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I think everyone’s taking it as read that Smith will be the 10 through to the RWC?

He’s now on what 4 caps. Before France we have 2 x 6N, a summer tour and this year’s AIs, so ignoring RWC warm ups that’s a max of 17 games taking him to 21 assuming he keeps form and doesn’t get injured. 10 is a key position, the international game is a step up and I’d say 20 caps is an absolute bare minimum that we’d want him to have in France. Perhaps more importantly he’ll have only racked up a combined 3 caps against the big beasts of NZ and SA where the pressure ratchets up. How he goes against them in successive weeks in November will be very interesting.

Also don’t forget the likes of St Johnny, Dawson, Grewcock, Rowntree and Lewsey were all on the 1998 Tour of Hell. In the long run that did them no harm. If you’re made of the right stuff all experience is good and frankly you learn more when the going is tough. Many others on that tour weren’t of the right calibre and were never heard of again internationally.
 

Geordiefalcon

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I think everyone’s taking it as read that Smith will be the 10 through to the RWC?

He’s now on what 4 caps. Before France we have 2 x 6N, a summer tour and this year’s AIs, so ignoring RWC warm ups that’s a max of 17 games taking him to 21 assuming he keeps form and doesn’t get injured. 10 is a key position, the international game is a step up and I’d say 20 caps is an absolute bare minimum that we’d want him to have in France. Perhaps more importantly he’ll have only racked up a combined 3 caps against the big beasts of NZ and SA where the pressure ratchets up. How he goes against them in successive weeks in November will be very interesting.

Also don’t forget the likes of St Johnny, Dawson, Grewcock, Rowntree and Lewsey were all on the 1998 Tour of Hell. In the long run that did them no harm. If you’re made of the right stuff all experience is good and frankly you learn more when the going is tough. Many others on that tour weren’t of the right calibre and were never heard of again internationally.
Why wouldnt he be? And whats the point playing him now if hes not?
 

BPM

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I think everyone’s taking it as read that Smith will be the 10 through to the RWC?

He’s now on what 4 caps. Before France we have 2 x 6N, a summer tour and this year’s AIs, so ignoring RWC warm ups that’s a max of 17 games taking him to 21 assuming he keeps form and doesn’t get injured. 10 is a key position, the international game is a step up and I’d say 20 caps is an absolute bare minimum that we’d want him to have in France. Perhaps more importantly he’ll have only racked up a combined 3 caps against the big beasts of NZ and SA where the pressure ratchets up. How he goes against them in successive weeks in November will be very interesting.

Also don’t forget the likes of St Johnny, Dawson, Grewcock, Rowntree and Lewsey were all on the 1998 Tour of Hell. In the long run that did them no harm. If you’re made of the right stuff all experience is good and frankly you learn more when the going is tough. Many others on that tour weren’t of the right calibre and were never heard of again internationally.
Arguably I think away games in the 6N, particularly in Paris (this year)*, Cardiff and Dublin (next year) are bigger than any of the AIs in terms of pressure. For one, they’re tournament games and two (rightly or wrongly), there’s more of an expectation on us winning.

We attach a lot of importance to the AIs as a barometer of where we are against the top SH sides, but they’re still mostly money-spinners.

*Particularly if it’s a grand slam decider.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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That's all true Scotty, but look how the media have built him up since then, even the Welsh were singing his praises during the Lions series, which is almost unheard of. Since the 6N squad announcement, everybody's talking more about Farrell than Smith.

I'm not saying that Farrell deserves his place in the side, because since RWC 2019, he really hasn't, but he has the mental hardness that Eddie likes and he wants it to permeate throughout the squad in the same way as he did with Dylan Hartley.
Farrell is not mentally ‘hard’ at all. He constantly loses his cool and falls apart on the pitch.
 

Goodey

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Arguably I think away games in the 6N, particularly in Paris (this year)*, Cardiff and Dublin (next year) are bigger than any of the AIs in terms of pressure. For one, they’re tournament games and two (rightly or wrongly), there’s more of an expectation on us winning.

We attach a lot of importance to the AIs as a barometer of where we are against the top SH sides, but they’re still mostly money-spinners.

*Particularly if it’s a grand slam decider.
The difference in England's results between the Six Nations and AIs over the last few years only points one way, especially if you exclude Italy

I don't think it's media pressure so much as it's England having one of the biggest discrepancies in their home/away record of any tier 1 team, and the fact that playing Australia and Argentina is usually easier than Wales/France/Ireland in recent years anyway
 

Old Hooker

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Arguably I think away games in the 6N, particularly in Paris (this year)*, Cardiff and Dublin (next year) are bigger than any of the AIs in terms of pressure. For one, they’re tournament games and two (rightly or wrongly), there’s more of an expectation on us winning.

We attach a lot of importance to the AIs as a barometer of where we are against the top SH sides, but they’re still mostly money-spinners.

*Particularly if it’s a grand slam decider.
Agreed although I was using SA and NZ as a proxy for what we might face in the semi / final of the RWC and can’t really use Sco or Ire as a barometer for that :)

What happens away from home will be particularly telling. For SH opposition there’s a trip down under in the summer but pre RWC Smith and other newbies won’t have faced NZ or SA anywhere other than the comfortable and partisan surrounds of HQ. COVID hasn’t helped, but that’s a pretty big hole in a rugby education.
 

Old Hooker

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You aren't going to convince many forum members here Farrell has a cool head #iceman
I guess he’s mentally tough in the sense that he’s much more fight than flight when the going gets tough. Worse traits than that and iceman was deserved for a good while for his goal kicking, particularly on the important kicks.

But he also suffered from the English trait, particularly evident in cricket, of making the ‘best’ player captain irrespective of whether they actually had any leadership skills and consequently sending their personal performance down the toilet. Thankfully Jonny was spared that, playing in era where we had a number of good captaincy options - a luxury Jones really hasn’t had post Hartley (and Hartley was pretty much his only option then).
 

ncurd

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Think EJ views it as:
  1. Farrell
  2. Lawes
  3. Curry
  4. Itoje
I think that is the pecking order from EJ but I think its fair to say that any of those three could probably step up for Farrell now. They certainly look more the part on the field.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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In your opinion
If you had watched England you’d know how he starts to speak to the ref once we start to get behind. You’d also see how he starts playing when the pressure is on and his team are giving away penalties.

We all have different opinions but you can’t hide the fact that the pressure gets to Farrell and he is not mentally hard.
 

Goodey

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If you had watched England you’d know how he starts to speak to the ref once we start to get behind. You’d also see how he starts playing when the pressure is on and his team are giving away penalties.

We all have different opinions but you can’t hide the fact that the pressure gets to Farrell and he is not mentally hard.
This is like an example I'd show to students of what confirmation bias is
 

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