England Post-WC discussion

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TRF_Peat

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I guess you missed all the Wasps, Saracens and Gloucester games last season then.

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I like Vunipola, and you could argue he is up there with the best in Europe, but Morgan, no way, his work rate isn´t even international class.

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I think you could say both Vunipola and Hughes have world-class potential, but Vunipola would be world-class in a South African team, and Hughes in a NZ one (after all, he was scouted by Graham Henry).
I was actually looking for your opinion about what's so great about Hughes that isn't about Vunipola and Morgan. Apparently I wasn't clear enough.

What about Morgan's work rate isn't good enough? Bearing in mind he's been making more tackles at international level for the last few years than Hughes has at domestic last season.

edit: I'm watching Morgan's highlights right now. Cherryandwhitepicking I know, but given what you said, I'd have expected to see a lot more from the back of the scrum than what I'm seeing...
 
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msf

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Hughes topped most of the stats last season, but Morgan may have tackling over him, I´ll give him that.
 

TRF_Peat

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Hughes topped most of the stats last season, but Morgan may have tackling over him, I´ll give him that.
What stats are you using to show work rate? If Morgan's putting in more tackles in a harder environment than Hughes, but Morgan doesn't have an International Level work rate, either you're looking at different stats and it would be nice to know which, or questions have to be raised about whether Hughes has International Level work rate?

Also, still, what do you rate about him that you don't about Vunipola and Morgan?
 

SWAGGER

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Wasn't Ben voted England's player of the autumn last year and billy voted England's player of the 6 nations. So both are class acts. We don't need Hughes but personally I wouldn't argue if he wanted to try & get the number 8 shirt away from them. All it can do is improve Billy's and bens game. Maybe England will try one at 6. But if that would be the case we really would need a true 7. As a tigers fan I rate will Owen as young England 7, who played really well for the under 20's. Will be pushing for the 7 shirt in the next couple of years.
 

msf

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I barely noticed Owen, Lewis Ludlam looked like a much better 7, even playing at 6.
 

living sacrifice

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I barely noticed Owen, Lewis Ludlam looked like a much better 7, even playing at 6.
I agree with you but saints won't give a chance to a young back row. We just take players on too slowly for my liking
 

j'nuh

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Morgan was Gloucester´s no.4 no. 8 on last season´s form.
No... he was pretty poor the season before (back when the front 5 was being pulverised), but he was definitely the best Glos 8 last season, with Evans a somewhat close second. As for third and fourth, Gloucester barely play anyone else there? Kalamafoni and Moriarty may have gotten a small number of minutes there, but I can't think of who else actually got regular starts there...

I find it hard to believe anyone thinks Morgan is less than international class, especially on last season's performances?
 

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Morgan's absolute class, and I'm not naturally predisposed to giving Gloucester players credit...
 

msf

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Well, I must have missed the games you are talking about, whereas I saw the games where the three you mentioned played better than him.

I didn´t say he wasn´t international class, I said his work rate wasn´t (at least at club level). I think he is a long, long way from world class though.

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I know stats aren´t everything, but surely Morgan would show up in some of them if he played so well last season?
 

ratsapprentice

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Owen was ****ing anonymous for the u20's.
 

Every Time Ref

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I'm no statshead, but Morgan isn't did miss half the season with a broken leg, is it possible you're looking at while season stats rather than per minute?
 

msf

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No, it´s per game, and you had to start at least 8 games to qualify.

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I just checked, and Morgan started exactly 8 games!
 
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goodNumber10

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No, it´s per game, and you had to start at least 8 games to qualify.

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I just checked, and Morgan started exactly 8 games!
just to clarify, you're expecting a guy who played 8 games ( six of which were at the start of the season) to profile stats equivalent to guys who played a whole season and thus played themselves into form?
 

TRF_Peat

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just to clarify, you're expecting a guy who played 8 games ( six of which were at the start of the season) to profile stats equivalent to guys who played a whole season and thus played themselves into form?
The stats were posted in February tbf. Minor pedantry.

Must agree Owen didn't look much of ought. Ludlam and Chisholm were the stand out backs in the U20s. I wouldn't recognise any of the U18s if they slapped me in the face tbh.
 

goodNumber10

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The stats were posted in February tbf. Minor pedantry.
ah, i missed that.

Still not sure that i'd expect a guy who spent nearly 6 weeks away with England to profile comparable stats of guys who played continually.

also, stats tho'! eh?
 

msf

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Vunipola was also away with England, as was Parisse with Italy, Heaslip with Ireland, Picamoles with France...
 

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I honestly still don't get this vunipola love and I'm a saracens fan. As some pointed out after the France game, he always gets the ball very statically. He can also flop over rucks when clearing out. Pretty solid defensively in rucks and is a big boy but don't think he's quite there to compete with picamoles, parisse, read etc.

I think a year or two more with the England set up competing with Morgan (or anyone actually) should help if he works hard. Think we'll need one more long term no.8 prospect though.
 

j'nuh

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I know stats aren´t everything, but surely Morgan would show up in some of them if he played so well last season?
Stats are dangerously used as a substitute for what our eyes tell us.

Give you an example: Morgan carries 30m in 10 carries. Easter carries 60m in 10 carries. 3m/carry to 6m/carry. Seems like Easter is a better carrier. Stats don't tell you that Easter actually carried the ball out of his 23 twice, netting 40m unchallenged, whereas Morgan's carries are all straight into contact. Remove those two out-of-23 carries and Easter drops to 20m in 8 carries, or 2.5m/carry.

Teams use their 8s in completely different ways and that shows in the stats. Fantastic players can be ignored by the stats because their skills cannot fashionably be shown in the stats. There's also the matter of service; easier to show well in the stats for a winning team.

I honestly still don't get this vunipola love and I'm a saracens fan. As some pointed out after the France game, he always gets the ball very statically. He can also flop over rucks when clearing out. Pretty solid defensively in rucks and is a big boy but don't think he's quite there to compete with picamoles, parisse, read etc.

I think a year or two more with the England set up competing with Morgan (or anyone actually) should help if he works hard. Think we'll need one more long term no.8 prospect though.
I just like having an 8 who guarantees you getting past the gain line.

It's funny that msf is talking about Morgan's work rate, because for me it is his work rate that makes him just slightly ahead of Vunipola. Vunipola's carrying is hard to compete with.
 
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Vunipola's improved massively since he was dropped for Morgan last year, including his work rate. I actually think he's probably England's most improved player over the last year or so - he came back with the fitness to play 80 minutes (at a higher work rate than previously) and a much more rounded game.
 
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