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England Rugby 2019/20 Thread

BPM

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Apprentice, probably

Let's see how his scrummaging and throwing in measures up at senior level before throwing him in at the deep end...
Indeed. That’s what Wasps are playing him at 6. Blackett has been quoted as saying it’s to ‘take pressure of of his set piece work’, which Barbeary has also admitted needs improvement.

George, Cowan-Dickie and Barbeary could be a fine trio to call upon by 2023 though.
 

ragerancher

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So a quick thing then as I have nothing better to do, if you were limited to only 3 players breaking into the England team as regulars between now and the Lions tour, who would you pick? Personally:

1 - Ben Spencer
2 - Sam James
3 - Sam Simmonds

Quite a few areas I would have liked to addressed but I think these 3 have the potential to offer the most difference and/or plug gaps in Englands capabilities.
 

noah_jo

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So a quick thing then as I have nothing better to do, if you were limited to only 3 players breaking into the England team as regulars between now and the Lions tour, who would you pick? Personally:

1 - Ben Spencer
2 - Sam James
3 - Sam Simmonds

Quite a few areas I would have liked to addressed but I think these 3 have the potential to offer the most difference and/or plug gaps in Englands capabilities.
Spencer, marchant, dommers
 

TRF_Olyy

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3 - Sam Simmonds
Was he injured or dropped, before?
I feel like it's rare for EJ to bring players back into the EPS once they've left it, and Earl is on fire at Bristol and fulfills a similar role
 

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Spencer
Dombrandt
Coka

I think Simmonds had quite a bad knee injury that put him out of contention for the RWC.
 

Which Tyler

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We desperately need a SH so Ben Spencer
Tom Willis is surely the obvious choice in the backrow - or indeed, for any position as a player demanding selection.

Outside those 2, there's no obvious hole in the team or standout player demanding selection. A fit Cokanasiga would be amazing, a second valid SH feels greedy, and no-one is really putting their hand up and demanding to be picked...
I'm going to opt for a specialist inside centre, in Ollie Devoto


I'm going to be cheeky and add 3 apprentices.
Alfie Barbeary is just that talented, and would benefit hugely from being involved.
We need to find an IC from somewhere, so Cameron Redpath and Luke James get the last 2.
I wish there was an obvious choice of SH to take an apprentice spot. Quirks looks promising but needs a couple of years and some senior club starts
 
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TRF_Olyy

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Jacks' the one kicking the door down, isn't he?
Tom is the younger of the two
I wish there was an obvious choice of SH to take an apprentice spot. Quirks looks promising but needs a couple of years and some senior club starts
Alex Mitchell? (Though TBH he's probably past apprentice level being 23 and a club starter - should be in contention for a senior spot)

Spencer and Robson are both 28 so will comfortably make the next WC - those two + Mitchell is fine set of 9s to start a RWC cycle with, imo
 

Which Tyler

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Good point, well made in the Willis - both are playing well, and I got their names muddled up.

I thought of Mitchell, but he's gone off the boil a bit since rugby returned, he's also a bit old to be an apprentice and not ready yet to be a senior IMO.
I'd be happy enough with Robson and Spencer, but neither have really fulfilled their early potential, and both are too erratic for my taste. Not that the incumbent is any better in that regard. Between Robson and Spencer, Ben has the better form this mini-season, and I'm resigned to it being Ben Youngs + 1 SH :(
 

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We desperately need a SH so Ben Spencer
Tom Willis is surely the obvious choice in the backrow - or indeed, for any position as a player demanding selection.

Outside those 2, there's no obvious hole in the team or standout player demanding selection. A fit Cokanasiga would be amazing, a second valid SH feels greedy, and no-one is really putting their hand up and demanding to be picked...
I'm going to opt for a specialist inside centre, in Ollie Devoto


I'm going to be cheeky and add 3 apprentices.
Alfie Barbeary is just that talented, and would benefit hugely from being involved.
We need to find an IC from somewhere, so Cameron Redpath and Luke James get the last 2.
I wish there was an obvious choice of SH to take an apprentice spot. Quirks looks promising but needs a couple of years and some senior club starts
I really like the idea of Devoto, totally what I want from a 12. But now that Manu won’t break so much under Dimes (at least that’s the theory......) I’m more than happy with him at 12 and Slade at 13. Although I’ve always been a Faz fan, I’d prefer him to duke out 10 with Ford and leave the centres to the centre.
 

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So a quick thing then as I have nothing better to do, if you were limited to only 3 players breaking into the England team as regulars between now and the Lions tour, who would you pick? Personally:

1 - Ben Spencer
2 - Sam James
3 - Sam Simmonds

Quite a few areas I would have liked to addressed but I think these 3 have the potential to offer the most difference and/or plug gaps in Englands capabilities.

Mine would be:

- Ben Spencer
- Jack Willis
- Ben Earl

I also think Joe Marchant will cement a place if he gets an opportunity.

I would have liked to have gone for Mitchell over Spencer at 9, but I think Spencer is probably the form scrum half in the league while Mitchell’s been no more than OK.

Jack Willis will surely get a chance. He’s got everything I want to see in a flanker and I think he’d take to test rugby like a duck to water. It’ll be hard for him to break up the Curry/Underhill combination, but if the former is playing at 8, all three could start.

Personally, I’d like to see Ben Earl at 8. He’s had plenty of experience there and as others have said, he brings similar attributes to Simmonds but crucially, Eddie likes him. Whether it’s fair or not is debatable, but I’m not sure that’s the case with Simmonds. Having Earl at 8 with Curry and Underhill or Willis on the flanks would be a very tidy back row.
 

scotty507

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Mine would be:

- Ben Spencer
- Jack Willis
- Ben Earl

I also think Joe Marchant will cement a place if he gets an opportunity.

I would have liked to have gone for Mitchell over Spencer at 9, but I think Spencer is probably the form scrum half in the league while Mitchell’s been no more than OK.

Jack Willis will surely get a chance. He’s got everything I want to see in a flanker and I think he’d take to test rugby like a duck to water. It’ll be hard for him to break up the Curry/Underhill combination, but if the former is playing at 8, all three could start.

Personally, I’d like to see Ben Earl at 8. He’s had plenty of experience there and as others have said, he brings similar attributes to Simmonds but crucially, Eddie likes him. Whether it’s fair or not is debatable, but I’m not sure that’s the case with Simmonds. Having Earl at 8 with Curry and Underhill or Willis on the flanks would be a very tidy back row.
Agree on all that really, but i am on the Dombrandt train. He just seems a very intelligent rugby player, runs good lines and has good hands as well as the bread and butter carrying.

Jack Willis is the real deal too. He's good ball in hand too.

Id love to see(eventually)

Back 3 of
6. Willis
7. Curry
8. Dombrant

But one thing we need to think is for players to come into the squad players have to leave so we cant say we want Willis and not say who you will get rid of

So 2020 6N squad had(Billy was injured).
Curry - stays. Any explanation needed? No? Good.

Underhill - Great partner to Curry amd hits like a truck. And was brilliant for us when ever he's played.

Hill - Dombrant needs a shot for me and i think Hill is class but i dont think he should be picked over Dombrandt

Ludlam - Willis on form must be picked there's no question. Ludlam i like but dont think he is anything to special.

Earl - now this is tough i rate him highly and right now think he is in form and deserves his spot over Billy but Billy is the one out and out 8 we have realisticly with any experience. So i think Billy comes in for Earl, if Dombrandt steps up and takes over Billy then earl comes in for Billy. But im not sold on this because earl does deserve a shot.
 

TRF_Olyy

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I think Ludlam drops out, I rate him but he's not as good as the others.

Hill is superb but being a specialist 6 could hurt him because EJ likes his players playing all over the place.
I think Earl stays because he's the most experience at changing position across the backrow and that makes him great for the bench spot - only way I see him missing out is if he's swapped for Simmonds.

Really depends if Binny is brought back in as well, I guess - if he is then it's tough for Dombrandt as he's a specialist 8 (see: Hill).

Also we're forgetting Mercer, who is in fine form atm and has been in/around the EPS in the past too.
Some really tough decisions to be made.

That said: by the numbers we had six locks and five backrows, but EJ views Lawes as a backrower, so do we actually have six backrow spots up for grabs?



Will be interesting to see what happens in the backline as well:
Like....why was Furbank there? Who's next in line, cause he shouldn't be, really.
Will EJ stick with Daly at 15 even when he's in the championship? Will we finally see Watson at fullback? If so who's our wing partnership?
 

BPM

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Dombrandt hasn’t been in good form since the restart. I’m a huge fan and I’d like to see him in an an England jersey, but if we’re picking on form, he’d be lower down the list right now.

I’ve said elsewhere that Billy can only be included if we’re basing it on past form (and it’s a long while since he was playing better than OK). IMO, there’s simply no way you could fairly put him in the squad based upon his listless displays since the restart. He spent a lot of time on The Good, The Bad, The Rugby talking about being more focused and ‘on it’, but if anything he’s looked less so and he hasn’t adapted well to the stricter interpretation of the breakdown. He’s been a liability for Saracens in that sense.

I think we’re potentially going to experiment with a fluid back row made up of 3 flankers where shirt numbers are insignificant. Any combination of Curry, Underhill, Willis and Earl works for me. Without doubt the form quartet IMO. 3 on the pitch, one in the bench.
 

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I think we’re potentially going to experiment with a fluid back row made up of 3 flankers where shirt numbers are insignificant. Any combination of Curry, Underhill, Willis and Earl works for me. Without doubt the form quartet IMO. 3 on the pitch, one in the bench.
Aye, I'm expecting Curry at 8 tbh - no other reason he'd have started there over Jono Ross on Saturday imo
 

BPM

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I think Ludlam drops out, I rate him but he's not as good as the others.

Hill is superb but being a specialist 6 could hurt him because EJ likes his players playing all over the place.
I think Earl stays because he's the most experience at changing position across the backrow and that makes him great for the bench spot - only way I see him missing out is if he's swapped for Simmonds.

Really depends if Binny is brought back in as well, I guess - if he is then it's tough for Dombrandt as he's a specialist 8 (see: Hill).

Also we're forgetting Mercer, who is in fine form atm and has been in/around the EPS in the past too.
Some really tough decisions to be made.

That said: by the numbers we had six locks and five backrows, but EJ views Lawes as a backrower, so do we actually have six backrow spots up for grabs?



Will be interesting to see what happens in the backline as well:
Like....why was Furbank there? Who's next in line, cause he shouldn't be, really.
Will EJ stick with Daly at 15 even when he's in the championship? Will we finally see Watson at fullback? If so who's our wing partnership?

As for the backs ... I’d love to see us take a chance on Malins. We’ve seen glimpses of what he can do and I think he is perfect for the role Eddie wanted Daly to perform.
 

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That's what I mean - Ross has played at 8 for us a ton, Tom literally never has - even off the bench we put other players there and kept Tom at 6 or 7.
Dimes' old buddy is a current England coach, with internationals a couple weeks away I wouldn't be surprised if a text message was sent suggesting him getting game time there.
 

ragerancher

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As for the backs ... I’d love to see us take a chance on Malins. We’ve seen glimpses of what he can do and I think he is perfect for the role Eddie wanted Daly to perform.
I'd drop furbank for Malins. Looks like he has more to offer and seems decent at 10 too. Going forward we may see England move to a style where there is a lot of inter-changeability between player positions. We could potentially have a lock who can do a job at flanker, flankers who can cover any of the back row, 10's who could play at 12 or 15 and likewise centres with a second position. Could do wonders for injury resistance during games and potential to adapt game styles. That's the theory at least, one thing England have consistently shown poor ability in is adapting their game plan mid-game. Once a game begins to slip from us we really struggle to pull it back.
 

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In terms of FB who have you got?

Daly: Doesn't really play there except for England and has never looked secure under a high ball.
Watson: Been injured, personally my choice to go forward with.
Pennell: Too old, he missed his chance
Goode: Again too old and Jones has never really rated him.
Luke James: I haven't seen lots of him, but seems to be doing ok. Not his natural position though.
Furbank: Hasn't played well from what I've seen really and didn't impress massively for England.
Mallinder: I haven't seen him at all since the restart, is he injured? Wouldn't want him as last line of defence anyway.
Brown: Definitely too old now to be a long term prospect.
Woodward: Haven't seen too much of him either, but his name has been thrown about previously.
Nowell: Coming back from injury, has he ever really been considered as a FB?
Malins: Looked pretty good at Bristol. Bit young, apprentice style for the future?

For me I would be Watson with Nowell or Daly as back up. Then Malins as earmarked for future.
 

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Agree on Malins being the best 15 option going forward. In the modern game a 15 has to be able to act as a playmaker/distributor which Watson just isn't capable of. He's much better on the wing than at 15 IMO. Malins has the raw pace to pose a big threat to defences as an individual and is also an excellent playmaker. He's essentially what Alex Goode would've been if he didn't have the athleticism of a thumb.
 
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