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England 2023/24

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I don't think we do have a backline to score 35+ points in a international.
We don't have the size of the fijian backline to play like them
We don't have the pack of Ireland and France to have backs that play like that.
France play exciting rugby but have an amazing pack to back them up.
We don't have the skillset and balance of the NZ backline

We need our pack do be able to be on par with at least 9/10 International teams before thinking of playing fast and loose
They've all developed over 4/5 years. We are starting the post World Cup rebuild.
There are pieces of the jigsaw there....some already developed and some that are very rough diamonds..so it will take time. But a pack just starting with Underhill, Martin, Earl is going to have a hard edge to it..and be explosive...

We need to develop our own style not just copy others...but its critical now that we develop an attack...
 
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I'd say without looking that Ibotoye would be quite a lot heavier than both. He certainly carries well in contact. With him he has always had the raw ingredients but has not had the correct mentality. This looks to have changed this season

I'd have Freeman and Murley, Radwan and Arundell all in a wider squad. With Freeman also covering 13. We all know that this is unlikely to happen and we will most likely end up with a back three of Daly, Steward and Malins
I remember seeing Ibitoye at U20 where he absolutely tore it up and thinking it would be interesting to see how he did in seniors. He didn't do well. I think he is one of these players who got used to being faster, strong etc that his opposition leading to less being put into things like work ethic, tactics, thinking, accuracy etc. It's normally lumpy forwards who suffer here and take a while to realise they can't rely on just their raw physicality any more.

I'd be interested in seeing him for England but not now, I think he needs to really make a name for himself over the next season or two and really stand out, something I don't feel he has achieved yet. I think when people talk about the nuts and bolts in a player, it's this whole thing that it's exceptionally rare that raw talent will get you far in international rugby. Hard work, intelligence and teamwork will often trump raw talent. England in the first 2 years of Jones imo highlighted this perfectly. We were a team that for years had been marked as devoid of any world class talent, with the Welsh and Irish in particular often saying no English players were worthy of any 6N combined team. 2 years under Jones and those same players everyone was writing off nearly went 2 years unbeaten and nearly got back to back grand slams.

On the flip side, England now have more raw talent imo and look dire. Admittedly that also brings in coaching but I think it makes the point.
 
So Ludlum off to France in the summer is a dilema. Do you pick him for the 6n knowing hes unavailable for the summer tour etc or do you use the 6n to blood another young back rower. I think id choose the latter.

The list of leavers from the squad is growing....

Jack Willis
Ribbans
Youngs
May
Marler
Marchant
Lawes
Ludlum? - Very Possible
 
I'd still keep him in for the 6N - lost a lot of experience in the pack and could be going into the 6N with only Underhill having double digit caps in the backrow (I know Earl is due back pre-6N but just a couple of weeks of extra rehab and he'd miss the opening camps)
 
Can see that either way and not really too fussed.

6N is about the here and now. If Ludlam's good enough to be part of that then fine. But we're unlikely to be challenging for the ***le, and I doubt Ludlam's availability or otherwise would change that, so does it really matter if we choose to experiment a bit?

On balance I'd probably move on. Plus I guess there's also a bit of messaging to others in taking a more ruthless approach.
 
IDK depends on how some players perform
Pearson looks good slightly worried how Wiese manhandled him somewhat.
Europe can be a good test for a few players

Earl is meant to be fit for the 6N's so I don't think Ludlam position should be secured, even though he would start for me.

6. T.Willis
7. Underhill
8. Earl

Would be interesting
 
IDK depends on how some players perform
Pearson looks good slightly worried how Wiese manhandled him somewhat.
Europe can be a good test for a few players

Earl is meant to be fit for the 6N's so I don't think Ludlam position should be secured, even though he would start for me.

6. T.Willis
7. Underhill
8. Earl

Would be interesting
Pearson had one bad game but has otherwise played physically and played well. He does a fair bit in the loose though so got to make sure the balance is there in the back row.

6. Pearson
7. Undrhill
8. Earl

Doesn't actually feel that balanced to me.
What abkut

6. Underhill
7. Earl
8. T Willis

20. Pearson

Or maybe SB goes for a different move and picks Coles at 6 or another bigger player.

Also need to nail down that 4th lock spot, lots of good premiership locks but wonder if they could make the step up?

Moon, Coles, Freddie Clarke, Stooke?
 
Will definitely be interesting to see how Stooke goes when back in country - I remember when he was meant to be the chosen one at lock, but it never really materialised. Been playing a lot of rugby in France, if he can add firepower to Bath's 2nd row he could definitely get himself a callup
 
I... really don't remember Stooke ever being a chosen one, certainly not at Gloucester or Bath.
He was good enough to attend a couple of England camps; and probably just about deserved a double handful of caps, but...

I know the bar "chosen one" is pretty low, but that seems OTT
 
I... really don't remember Stooke ever being a chosen one, certainly not at Gloucester or Bath.
Yeah, that's my point - there was a ton of hype when he was coming through age grade rugby/breaking into the Gloucester side but it never really turned into anything more than a decent club player
 
Locks id be looking at
Itoje, Chessum, Martin, Coles for the moment.

And if any of the kids develop and push past a current squad member then they come in.

Back row...
Depends if Martin starts or not. If he does...you need a jumper at 6 or 8...sorry im boring but its a requirement. If its Chessum and Itoje in the engine room then you can have more action flankers.

Having said that....
4. Martin
5. Itoje
6 Pearson
7 Underhill
8 Earl

Has a nice powerful feel to it. Just need to get Martin smashing the lineout training.
 
Only need a specialist jumper in the backrow if Billy is at 8 tbh, and even then..... meh

Martin's supposed lack of lineout is being blown out of all proportion - when you look at his stats for Leicester:
His last 5 appearances last season he was:
Primary target (semi-final), secondary target, secondary target, secondary target, secondary target
There was only one game where didn't take at least three lineouts, and that was the blowout vs Leinster

He was primary lineout target in one of the warmups vs Wales then barely used for the rest of the tournament

Chessum was only primary target for one RWC game, the rest he was third, with him taking 1 lineout in most games - does that mean he's not good enough, or just that other options were preferred?
 
Or maybe SB goes for a different move and picks Coles at 6 or another bigger player.

I'm sure he will, especially if Earl's at 8. Depending on what you want, any of Itoje, Chessum or Martin could step in. Not sure there's a great need to look outside those.

Also need to nail down that 4th lock spot, lots of good premiership locks but wonder if they could make the step up?

Moon, Coles, Freddie Clarke, Stooke?

Isiekwe for me.
 
Tbh I'm not really sure that this idea that Borthwick absolutely loves big blindsides has much credibility to it. Last 6N I remember everyone was absolutely certain that he was going to pick Chessum there and yet Ludlam started every game.

Sure, Lawes was his 1st choice for the entire RWC run but he was also (IMO) our second best player at the tournament so is that a case of favouring a big blindside or just favouring the best blindside?

Similarly, yes he tended to pick bigger blindsides at Leicester but were any smaller flankers ever being shunned? Or were Leicester just very blessed with a crop of talented young lock/blindsides with Martin, Chessum, etc.

Maybe Borthwick will turn out to favour big blindsides going forwards but so far I'd say he's pretty consistently just picked the best blindsides available to him, both for Leicester and England. After all, he did go with Curry-Underhill-Earl vs Argentina.
 
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Only need a specialist jumper in the backrow if Billy is at 8 tbh, and even then..... meh

Martin's supposed lack of lineout is being blown out of all proportion - when you look at his stats for Leicester:
His last 5 appearances last season he was:
Primary target (semi-final), secondary target, secondary target, secondary target, secondary target
There was only one game where didn't take at least three lineouts, and that was the blowout vs Leinster

He was primary lineout target in one of the warmups vs Wales then barely used for the rest of the tournament

Chessum was only primary target for one RWC game, the rest he was third, with him taking 1 lineout in most games - does that mean he's not good enough, or just that other options were preferred?
Ah well all good then eh...
 
Tbh I'm not really sure that this idea that Borthwick absolutely loves big blindsides has much credibility to it. Last 6N I remember everyone was absolutely certain that he was going to pick Chessum there and yet Ludlam started every game.

Sure, Lawes was his 1st choice for the entire RWC run but he was also (IMO) our second best player at the tournament so is that a case of favouring a big blindside or just favouring the best blindside?

Similarly, yes he tended to pick bigger blindsides at Leicester but were any smaller flankers ever being shunned? Or were Leicester just very blessed with a crop of talented young lock/blindsides with Martin, Chessum, etc.

Maybe Borthwick will turn out to favour big blindsides going forwards but so far I'd say he's pretty consistently just picked the best blindsides available to him, both for Leicester and England. After all, he did go with Curry-Underhill-Earl vs Argentina.
I certainly hope he favours big blindsides going forwards, I think the idea of big blindsides going backs would be nuts. Now that thought is in my head though, given our complete lack of backs play, he may just do that.
 
Tbh I'm not really sure that this idea that Borthwick absolutely loves big blindsides has much credibility to it. Last 6N I remember everyone was absolutely certain that he was going to pick Chessum there and yet Ludlam started every game.

Sure, Lawes was his 1st choice for the entire RWC run but he was also (IMO) our second best player at the tournament so is that a case of favouring a big blindside or just favouring the best blindside?

Similarly, yes he tended to pick bigger blindsides at Leicester but were any smaller flankers ever being shunned? Or were Leicester just very blessed with a crop of talented young lock/blindsides with Martin, Chessum, etc.

Maybe Borthwick will turn out to favour big blindsides going forwards but so far I'd say he's pretty consistently just picked the best blindsides available to him, both for Leicester and England. After all, he did go with Curry-Underhill-Earl vs Argentina.

Fair challenge although I wouldn't read anything into the Arg match which was a dead rubber.

I think the RWC will have reinforced that our pack needs to increase the physicality (not that's there a direct correlation between size and physicality although a good big un etc). A restricted game plan and a smallish 8 are other reasons why he might. Earl was in great form in the RWC but there will be days where he won't be that influential and we'll need to look more towards muscle.
 
So Sanderson has said Borthwick is coming to Sale next week to have meetings with:
Rodd, Tuilagi, the Curry twins, Ford, Jonny Hill, Joe Carpenter and Tom Roebuck



.....erm........Gus Warr?!
We're really gonna lose him to Scotland
 
So Sanderson has said Borthwick is coming to Sale next week to have meetings with:
Rodd, Tuilagi, the Curry twins, Ford, Jonny Hill, Joe Carpenter and Tom Roebuck



.....erm........Gus Warr?!
We're really gonna lose him to Scotland
Also trying to convince Youngs to put back retiring from international rugby another 4 years...
 
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