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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:26 pm 
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*****THE OFFICIAL ENGLISH RUGBY THREAD*****

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HEAD COACH/ATTACK COACH: EDDIE JONES
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/FORWARDS COACH: STEVE BORTHWICK
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/DEFENCE COACH: PAUL GUSTARD


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ENGLISH EPS SQUAD DEPTH:

Forwards:

Loosehead Prop:
1.Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 25 Years Old, 41 Caps) Image Image
2.Joe Marler (Harlequins, 26 Years Old, 50 Caps) Image
3.Matt Mullan (London Wasps, 28 Years Old, 17 Caps)
4.Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 21 Years Old, 3 Caps)
5.Nathan Catt (Bath, 29 Years Old, 0 Caps).

Tighthead Prop:
1.Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 29 Years Old, 73 Caps) Image Image
2.Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 23 Years Old, 7 Caps)
3.Henry Thomas (Bath, 24 Years Old, 7 Caps)
4.Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints, 25 Years Old, 16 Caps) Image
5.Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 20 Years Old, 3 Caps)

Hooker:
1. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 29 Years Old, 86 Caps) Image Image
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 26 Years Old, 16 Caps) Image
3. Tommy Taylor (Wasps, 25 Years Old, 1 Cap)
4. Luke Cowan Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 22 Years Old, 4 Caps)
5. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 28 Years Old, 27 Caps) Image Image

Locks:
1. George Kruis (Saracens, 26 Years Old, 20 Caps) Image
2. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 22 Years Old, 11 Caps)
3. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 27 Years Old, 57 Caps) Image
4. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 25 Years Old, 44 Caps) Image
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath, 21 Years Old, 5 Caps)

Blindside Flanker:
1.Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 30 Years Old, 56 Caps) Image
2.Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 25 Years Old, 2 Cap)
3.Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs, 25 Years Old, 0 Caps)
4.Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers, 25 Years Old, 0 Caps)
5.

Openside Flanker
1.Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 Years Old, 1 Cap)
2.Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 Years Old, U18 Capped)
3.Sam Underhill (Bath, 20 Years Old, 1 Cap)
4.James Haskell (London Wasps, 30 Years Old, 73 Caps) Image
5.Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 22 Years Old, 8 Caps)

No 8/3rd Rower:
1.Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 24 Years Old, 34 Caps) Image
2.Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 25 Years Old, 10 Caps)
3.Zach Mercer (Bath, 19 Years Old, U20 Capped)
4.Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks, 24 Years Old, 0 Caps)
5.Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints, 24 Years Old, 6 Caps)

Backs:

Scrum Half:
1.Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 27 Years Old, 70 Caps) Image Image
2.Danny Care (Harlequins, 29 Years Old, 73 Caps) Image
3.Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, 19 Years Old, 1 Cap)
4.Dan Robson (London Wasps, 25 Years Old, 0 Caps)
5.Ben Spencer (Saracens, 25 Years Old, 0 Caps)

Fly Half/1st 5/8s:
1.George Ford (Bath, 23 Years Old, 37 Caps) Image
2.Alex Lozowski (Saracens, 22 Years Old, 2 Caps)
3.Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 23 Years Old, 7 Caps)
4.Danny Cipriani (London Wasps, 29 Years Old, 14 Caps)
5.Billy Burns (Gloucester, 22 Years Old, U20 Capped)

Inside Centre/2nd 5/8s:
1.Owen Farrell (Saracens, 25 Years Old, 52 Caps) Image Image
2.Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors, 30 Years Old, 8 Caps)
3.Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 27 Years Old, 2 Caps)
4.Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, 20 Years Old, U20 Capped)
5.Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 22 Years Old, U20 Capped)

Outside Centre:
1.Jonathan Joseph (Bath, 25 Years Old, 33 Caps)
2.Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 24 Years Old, 24 Caps) Image
3.Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 21 Years Old, U20 Capped)
4.Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 23 Years Old, 1 Cap)
5.Nick Tompkins (Saracens, 22 Years Old, U20 Capped)

Winger:
1.Elliot Daly (London Wasps, 24 Years Old, 13 Caps)
2.Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 22 Years Old, 23 Caps) Image
3.Jonny May (Gloucester, 26 Years Old, 27 Caps)
4.Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 21 Years Old, 26 Caps) Image
5.Marland Yarde (Harlequins, 24 Years Old, 13 Caps)

Full Back:
1.Mike Brown (Harlequins, 31 Years Old, 62 Caps) Image
2.Mike Haley (Sale Sharks, 23 Years Old, Saxons Capped)
3.Alex Goode (Saracens, 28 Years Old, 21 Caps) Image
4.Jason Woodward (Bristol, 26 Years Old, 0 Caps)
5.Jamie Shillcock (Worcester Warriors, 19 Years Old, U20 Capped)

The Kit

Home:
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Away:
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Twickenham Stadium

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Stadium Capacity: 82,000

Stadium Nickname: HQ

History:


World Cup History:

1987: Quarter Final
1991: 2nd
1995: 4th
1999: Quarter Final
2003: 1st
2007: 2nd
2011: Quarter Final
2015: Group Stages
2019:

Six Nations History:

Entered: 121
Overall: 28 Titles
Home Nations: 5
Five Nations: 17
Six Nations: 6

Grand Slams: 13 (1st)
Triple Crowns: 26 (1st)
Wooden Spoons: 22 (3rd Tied Highest with Wales)

Last Grand Slam: 2016
Overall 6Ns Ranking: 1st

Records vs 6Ns:

Wales (Played 131, Won 62, Lost 57, Drawn 12, 47% Win rate)
France (Played 104, Won 58, Lost 39, Drawn 7, 55% Win rate)
Ireland (Played 131, Won 76, Lost 47, Drawn 8, 58% Win rate)
Scotland (Played 135, Won 75, Lost 42, Drawn 18, 55% Win rate)
Italy (Played 23, Won 23, Lost 0, Drawn 0, 100% Win rate)

Records vs 4Ns:

Argentina (Played 20, Won 15, Lost 4, Drawn 1, 75% Win rate)
Australia (Played 48, Won 22, Lost 25, Drawn 1, 45% Win rate)
New Zealand (Played 40, Won 7, Lost 32, Drawn 1, 17.5% Win rate)
South Africa (Played 38, Won 13, Lost 23, Drawn 2, 34% Win rate)

England Under 20s Records:

Under 20 6 Nations (Ranked 1st Overall):

Grand Slam - 2008, 2011
1st - 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
2nd - 2010, 2014
3rd - 2009
5th - 2016

Junior World Rugby Championship (Ranked 2nd Overall):
World Champions - 2013, 2014, 2016
2nd - 2008, 2009, 2011,2015
4th - 2010
7th - 2012

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ENGLAND 2017 FIXTURE LIST:

February
4 February 2017 16:50 GMT England 19-16 France
11 February 2017 16:50 GMT Wales 16-21 England
26 February 2017 14:00 GMT England 36-15 Italy

March
11 March 2017 16:00 GMT England 61-21 Scotland
18 March 2017 17:00 GMT Ireland 13-9 England

May
10 May 2017 Rugby World Cup 2019 Draw - Tokyo (World Cup Group - England, Argentina, France, Samoa, USA/Canada)
28 May 2017 15:00 BST England 28-14 Barbarians

June
3 June 2017 New Zealand Barbarians 7-13 British and Irish Lions
7 June 2017 Blues 22-16 British and Irish Lions
10 June 2017 Crusaders 3-12 British and Irish Lions
10 June 2017 Argentina 34-38 England
13 June 2017 Highlanders 23-22 British and Irish Lions
17 June 2017 Argentina 25-35 England
17 June 2017 Māori All Blacks 10-32 British and Irish Lions
20 June 2017 Chiefs vs British and Irish Lions
24 June 2017 New Zealand v British and Irish Lions
27 June 2017 Hurricanes vs British and Irish Lions

July
1 July 2017 New Zealand v British and Irish Lions
8 July 2017 New Zealand v British and Irish Lions

November
11 November 2017 England v Argentina
18 November 2017 England v Australia
25 November 2017 England v Samoa

IRB World Rankings:

1. New Zealand 94.78
2. England 90.14
3. Ireland 85.09
4. Australia 84.63
5. Scotland 83.90
6. South Africa 83.63
7. Wales 81.90
8. France 80.16
9. Argentina 79.31
10. Fiji 76.63
11. Japan 74.09
12. Georgia 73.61
13. Tonga 71.40
14. Samoa 71.25
15. Italy 71.00
16. Romania 70.27
17. USA 66.10
18. Spain 64.32
19. Uruguay 62.28
20. Namibia 61.50


Last edited by Wendigo7 on Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 210 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:27 pm 
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I give it 1 page. 2, max.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:29 pm 
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Bad idea. It has been tried before.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:33 pm 
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I was wondering after reading the top section of that article what Darth Squeaky the bullet dodger was up to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Good move. I'll use it.


Last edited by openclashXX on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Mick Mannock wrote:
Bad idea. It has been tried before.


To be honest I never knew there was another one. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:40 pm 
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The arrogance of this thread is astounding. How very dare you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:54 pm 
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The Irish would have got to 50 pages by now. Wouldn't have mentioned rugby once, mind


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:56 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
The arrogance of this thread is astounding. How very dare you.


Let's hope Jim Telfer doesn't see this thread.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:59 pm 
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How the fudge does squeaky survive.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:04 am 
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lets hope Lanny gets his way and ensures the new national performance centre is in Yorkshire :nod: :nod:

since we added some honest northern grit to the coaching staff, and got the players training in gods own country, we've been on the up. It's more than a coincidence.

maybe a Northern Union could be setup to administer it all?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:02 am 
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Quote:
George Ford is hopeful that his decision to leave Leicester Tigers will lead to more regular rugby next season.

Ford is reportedly on the verge of joining Bath Rugby ahead of next season and he is hopeful that the move away from the Tigers, where he frequently found himself on the bench with Toby Flood starting, will pay dividends. "It is difficult when you are on the bench and you are coming on for 10 or 20 minutes each game. Playing a full 80 minutes is what I need to be doing really," Ford told Press Association Sport. "Like any young player, you need to be playing and the more you play the better you get.

"For any young player who is willing to learn and progress in their career they need to be playing as much as they can. It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make and I didn't take it lightly. Young players need to be playing to learn and develop. It (my situation) is no different to any young player."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:15 am 
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Am I the only person who doesn't think Lancaster should be coaching the seniors and overseeing the whole of the England age grade and all? Sounds like two full time jobs for me.

Also, any National Training Centre should be in close reach of the main grounds used by England. Somewhere along the M4 in other words.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:09 pm 
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This thread is IRISHED! 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Saint wrote:
The Irish would have got to 50 pages by now. Wouldn't have mentioned rugby once, mind


That's the Leinster lads for ya,all they talk about is shoes,scarfs and skinny jeans,and something called the Amlin cup,think it has something to do with showjumping.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:14 pm 
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ScarfaceClaw wrote:
How the fudge does squeaky survive.


He's quite good at a couple of things and as long as he stays a long way away from the national side(s) it's fine.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:20 pm 
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openclashXX wrote:
Quote:
George Ford is hopeful that his decision to leave Leicester Tigers will lead to more regular rugby next season.

Ford is reportedly on the verge of joining Bath Rugby ahead of next season and he is hopeful that the move away from the Tigers, where he frequently found himself on the bench with Toby Flood starting, will pay dividends. "It is difficult when you are on the bench and you are coming on for 10 or 20 minutes each game. Playing a full 80 minutes is what I need to be doing really," Ford told Press Association Sport. "Like any young player, you need to be playing and the more you play the better you get.

"For any young player who is willing to learn and progress in their career they need to be playing as much as they can. It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make and I didn't take it lightly. Young players need to be playing to learn and develop. It (my situation) is no different to any young player."


As stated previously with 12trees you could understand why he left as he was 23-24 and had been pissed about for a few years by cockhead but Ford has had plenty of opportunities at Tigers (and Flood does get injured) and currently does not deserve to be played in front of Flood.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:22 pm 
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The Tigers approach does not suit everyone, even if you're regularly playing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Don't think anybody could argue against the top talent in the country being more spread out throughout clubs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:35 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
The Tigers approach does not suit everyone, even if you're regularly playing.


True, but going to Bath who already have several 10s instead of a team like Saints (who really need a good 10) does seem to be a case of running to Dad (who will probably play Banahan at 12).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Petej wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
The Tigers approach does not suit everyone, even if you're regularly playing.


True, but going to Bath who already have several 10s instead of a team like Saints (who really need a good 10) does seem to be a case of running to Dad (who will probably play Banahan at 12).


Bath have a couple 10s but one of them is the biggest waste of money in the AP and the other is not as good as Ford.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:48 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-OI0ESvFY

Foden singing :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:21 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Petej wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
The Tigers approach does not suit everyone, even if you're regularly playing.


True, but going to Bath who already have several 10s instead of a team like Saints (who really need a good 10) does seem to be a case of running to Dad (who will probably play Banahan at 12).


Bath have a couple 10s but one of them is the biggest waste of money in the AP and the other is not as good as Ford.


Donald is meant to be Japan bound as well, which could make i a straight shoot between Ford and Heathcote.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:26 pm 
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English rugby is too understated and modest to have its own thread.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:37 pm 
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This thread needs some LUKE WALLACE.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:39 pm 
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Image


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:02 pm 
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pwhoar


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Twelvetrees will be the 18th new player capped for England under Lancaster, in 13 tests.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Quote:
Ultra-competitive Harlequins flanker Luke Wallace believes he could provide the long-term answer to England’s search for a genuine openside.

And he has put Quins team-mate and current England captain Chris Robshaw on notice that he aims to usurp his place for both club and country.

As debate rages over England’s reluctance to deploy a specialist No.7, Wallace believes a gap in the market is ready to be exploited.

But in order to follow in the footsteps of his hero, New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw, Wallace must make it his business to depose Robshaw.

“It’s tough being behind Chris and my aim isn’t to get him out of the England team, it’s to push him to No.6,” Wallace, 22, told The Rugby Paper.

“No.7 is where I like to play and it’s where I see my future, so Conor (O’Shea, Quins director of rugby) might have to make the first move there.

“But I think he’s open to it and if I’m playing well enough and pushing hard to get in the side, hopefully I can push him to make that decision.”

There is no wavering from Wallace over which position suits him best.

While some back rows will happily switch between positions, the former Haywards Heath junior shows a healthy determination to stand by his chosen trade.

Citing his admiration for McCaw and Australia’s Michael Hooper, Wallace explained: “The way the rules are at the moment I think it’s open for a specialist No.7, someone that’s good on the ground and really looks to keep the ball moving.

“Richie is the obvious one to look at, isn’t he, and I pay close attention to what he and the other No.7s do by going through international games.

“What I’m taking from Richie at the moment is how well he wraps his arms around people in the tackle. He doesn’t miss many and is very solid.

“Our back row at Quins is very competitive and there’s a lot of experience there, but the key is to show that I offer something a bit different.

“That’s been the case for me over the last couple of years and I’ve got to keep showing what I contribute in keeping our ball fast and slowing their ball down is different to what the other boys offer in their carrying capabilities or whatever.”


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:16 pm 
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openclashXX wrote:
“What I’m taking from Richie at the moment is how well he wraps his arms around people in the tackle.”



whoa


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:19 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
pwhoar


Yep, I even cropped it to make him bigger in the frame. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Official RFU ‏@Official_RFU

Lancaster on Twelvetrees: "He's played for me before. He's always had the passing skills and quality, now he's added that physicality."

Official RFU ‏@Official_RFU

Lancaster on T.Youngs: "He played v.well and I need to reward the man with the shirt. He's been outstanding in Premiership and in Europe."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Slightly old article but not posted here before so:

Quote:
Stuart Lancaster keeps ‘gutted’ Tom Varndell in loop

Tom Varndell got the phone call he had been expecting last week and again he was left out in the cold – but his record-breaking response was a clear message to Stuart Lancaster and he has vowed it will not be the last.

At first there was the familiar feeling of rejection but soon Varndell came to see Lancaster’s phone call on the eve of his EPS announcement in a positive light – after all it brought to an end years of radio silence from the England selectors.

The gist of Lancaster’s message was: close but no cigar. But, after ten tries in 11 Premiership appearances this season to drag Wasps back into the top four, Varndell can count himself unlucky to not even make the Saxons squad.

David Strettle and Chris Ashton are the only out-and-out wingers in the senior squad and have just four Premiership tries between them this term while Saxons quartet Tom Biggs, Charlie Sharples, Ugo Monye and Christian Wade have 13 – six from the latter, Varndell’s partner in crime at Wasps.

And Varndell readily admits his Amlin Challenge Cup hat-trick inside the first 13 minutes against Mogliano – a competition record – was borne out of rage, not that he intends to sulk about his latest snub.

“I was gutted, I’m not going to lie, I was very, very disappointed, I really thought that my form this season was the best of my career and that I had done enough,” said Varndell. “It took about half an hour to get over the initial disappointment and to realise that it was a good thing to get the call from Stuart and for him to tell me that I’m very close to the England set-up.

“There wasn’t anything specific he told me he wanted me to do, just that I’m very close but I know that I need to be consistent, there’s no point doing it every now and then.

“And that’s what I wanted to show against Mogliano. I wanted to prove a point, I was playing angry and I wanted to get the ball in hand and show what I can do and what my strengths are.

“I know that I have to keep doing that. I want to play for England and I haven’t given up on it, it’s as simple as that. I know that there could be injuries between now and the end of the Six Nations and I could get my chance.

“My goal is now to make sure I’m in that squad for the summer tour to Argentina.

“Stuart told me that there’s going to be 40-man squad and I believe I can be a part of it.”

The last of Varndell’s four England caps came in New Zealand in 2008, having made his debut against Samoa in 2005 but it is the two appearances in 2006 in Australia for which he is best, and unfavourably, remembered after butchering two chances in the first Test and having his defensive naiveté exposed by Lote Tuqiri in the second.

In all, Varndell managed three England tries but he has found the reputation of ‘pace to burn but much to learn’, difficult to shake off.

By his own admission, it has taken Varndell longer than most to learn his trade, but he is adamant he is now far from a one-trick pony.

“I admit that when I first starting playing I was a sprinter playing rugby but I have no doubt that I am now a rugby player,” added Varndell, who announced himself in 2004 with a 13-minute hat-trick for Leicester against Worcester.

“And I admit I’ve been quite slow at improving the other aspects of my game but I don’t think I’ve still got the reputation of just a fast finisher.

“I’ve been working very hard on my all-round game and I’ll continue to do so to make sure I keep that level of consistency that’s required for international rugby.”


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:45 pm 
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Perhaps he could make a few tackles and hit the odd breakdown.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:47 pm 
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How is Luke Wallace getting on? heard a lot about him last year.. not so much this year.

Still looking handy?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:54 pm 
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covrich wrote:
How is Luke Wallace getting on? heard a lot about him last year.. not so much this year.

Still looking handy?


He's been fine. Played very well in certain games this year. I think the key thing will be if and when they get him into the starting XV at Quins, and whether he has 6 on his back and plays like a 7, or Robbo moves to 6 to accomodate Luke. Rest assured whilst Maurie's around it won't be easy either way.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:57 pm 
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I wouldn't mind seeing Varndell get another shot this summer if he keeps up his form. He's still only 27.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:03 pm 
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I think a National Centre is a great addition to the set up. This England set up is fast becoming the best organised I can remember. Since 2003 for sure, but that set of coaches had a team who picked themselves, and whilst Clive did some great work in setting up structures to help planning of opposition and preparation, there was never this kind of foresight.

I never want to see England field a Tim Payne, an Older Mike Tindall and a Jamie f**king Noon ever again. :(


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:48 am 
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Wendigo7 wrote:
covrich wrote:
How is Luke Wallace getting on? heard a lot about him last year.. not so much this year.

Still looking handy?


He's been fine. Played very well in certain games this year. I think the key thing will be if and when they get him into the starting XV at Quins, and whether he has 6 on his back and plays like a 7, or Robbo moves to 6 to accomodate Luke. Rest assured whilst Maurie's around it won't be easy either way.


That's the big one isn't it? If I'm honest, I like Wallace as a player, but I can't see him shifting Maurie anytime soon.

Speaking of Quins back rowers, how's Guest doing?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:50 am 
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Quote:
Twelvetrees aims to seize chance

Billy Twelvetrees is determined to lay permanent claim to the England inside centre jersey after being awarded his Test debut against Scotland.

The 24-year-old has been called up in place of the injured Manu Tuilagi and he will partner Brad Barritt in a rejigged midfield for England's RBS 6 Nations opener at Twickenham.

Barritt will revert to the outside centre role he filled on his own Test debut in last year's Calcutta Cup win at Murrayfield, with Twelvetrees operating between him and Owen Farrell.

Tuilagi is expected to be fit for England's second appointment of the championship, away to Ireland a week on Sunday, but Twelvetrees is out to prove he is here to stay.

"You have to back yourself and what you can add to the team - otherwise there is no point being there," Twelvetrees said.

"I am very aware of Manu not being there but it is a great opportunity for me. Playing for England is a huge honour and I want to take every chance I am given.

"Players get their opportunities through injuries sometimes. I have to make the position my own.

"I have got to impose myself on the game and get my hands on the ball - otherwise there is no point being there.

"I want to show everyone what I can do.

"In a weird way I have always really enjoyed being nervous. You have to relish it. This is the biggest stage you can be on. I have always dreamed of it and I can't wait to run out."

The England management have long been fans of Twelvetrees, who offered what Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies described as a complete package of qualities at inside centre.

Twelvetrees is a powerful defender and a strong ball-carrier but he also offers a more natural kicking and passing game than Barritt.

Ultimately, Stuart Lancaster's selection choice for England's future midfield combinations may well come down to which of Twelvetrees or Barritt will partner Tuilagi in midfield.

"I coached him with the Saxons in the Churchill Cup and I could see then he had lots of potential and physicality," Lancaster said.

"I have always wanted ball-players in the back line, as well as people who can carry as well as pace and physicality.

"Billy has the opportunity to demonstrate that he has all three.

"I have every confidence in him going into the game.

"Sometimes opportunities present themselves in different ways. We know Manu is going to be fit for next week and we hope Billy puts a marker down this week and gives us another headache."

If Twelvetrees does succeed in cementing his place in the England midfield, his relationship with Farrell will become crucial - the modern day Jonny Wilkinson and Will Greenwood.

"We have been working on that relationship this week," Twelvetrees said.

"I looked up to those sort of players when I was growing up, whether it was Wilkinson and Mike Catt or Wilkinson and Greenwood.

"Sometimes those partnerships are under-estimated. You have to understand your fly-half and I think that will grow between me and Owen."

Twelvetrees made his Leicester debut in a Heineken Cup fixture against the Ospreys in 2009 at just 10 minutes' notice and emerged as man of the match.

Although he won Saxons recognition under Lancaster, he struggled for regular game-time and his summer move to Kingsholm has been key to his rise into the England ranks.

"Self-confidence and self-belief comes from playing regular rugby, game understanding and decisions under pressure," Lancaster said.

"He has an excellent kicking and passing game."

The only other change Lancaster has made to the England side that beat New Zealand in December was also injury-enforced, with Joe Marler replacing Alex Corbisiero at loosehead prop.

Tom Youngs has retained the hooker's jersey ahead of the more experienced Dylan Hartley, who missed the autumn series through injury.

Ben Youngs held off the challenge from Danny Care to keep the scrum-half position and Alex Goode returned from a shoulder injury in time to retain the full-back berth.

"We are happy to stick with the team that did so well against New Zealand," Lancaster said.

"We always had self-belief but what that win did was confirm to those outside the team that we have a group of players who will fight for the shirt.

"It was a tight call at hooker. Tom played very well in the autumn. Dylan comes back into the equation but I need to reward the player who is in the shirt.

"It's not a given but Tom has been outstanding since the New Zealand game for Leicester, both in the Premiership and in Europe."

The presence of Hartley, Care and Toby Flood among the replacements means that England's bench (230 caps) is more experienced that the starting team (191 caps).


http://www.rugbyrugby.com/news/more_new ... ize_chance


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