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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:59 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Oh, yeah, the season. Right.

It's utterly bonkers and I am heartily sick of the morons who run the sport in this country going out of their way to make everything worse for everyone, from ticket prices to scheduling to internecine warfare to being incapable of enforcing their own rules.

Can't wait for the reaction from the athletics clubs who share Allianz Park with Sarries, I'm sure they'll be delighted :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:14 am 
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Mahoney wrote:
To think, we’ll never know how good Hipkiss was at passing.


He tended to get all of his passing out of the way in the warmup drills from what I saw at the Rec; never seen a crowbar like him, he genuinely seemed to think he’d score every time he got the ball, no matter who was outside him and how much space they had.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:46 am 
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Good article about the No.6 options for the AI's (primarily focused around Mark Wilson)
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For several seasons, at least since Jonny Wilkinson was in his pomp, playing for Newcastle Falcons was not seen as the most straightforward route to earning selection for England. A barren spell that included relegation to the Championship had not helped, but even since their revival and remarkable fourth-placed finish in the Premiership last season, there has been a feeling that some of the North East’s home-grown products have suffered for their geographical location and missed out on the international recognition granted to others at more fashionable clubs.

As Dean Richards, the Falcons’ director of rugby, said at the start of this season: “We maybe do get overlooked, I’ve spoken to the Fiji coach more times than I have with Eddie Jones. I’ll make them tea and stotties if it’ll help.”

Over the past couple of weeks, though, that picture may have changed for Mark Wilson, Newcastle’s sole representative in Jones’s 36-man squad for the autumn internationals, with places up for grabs in the England back row. His club may have endured a sluggish start to the Gallagher Premiership, with one win from their first six games, but a return to the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time in 14 seasons has provided Wilson with the platform on which to remind the England head coach of his abilities, with opening fixtures against Toulon and Montpellier.

The prospect had even enticed Jones up to Kingston Park on Sunday for the visit of Montpellier, watching Wilson, 29, at blind-side flanker, jutting his jaw against a formidable back row of Fulgence Ouedraogo, Wiaan Liebenberg and Louis Picamoles. In fact, it was not Jones’s first visit to Newcastle in recent weeks, as he had called in for a chat with Richards before the Falcons’ first Champions Cup game, away to Toulon.

He can hardly fail to have been impressed with the way Wilson performed on Sunday, as the Falcons followed up their unexpected win in Toulon with a dramatic victory over Montpellier, transforming themselves from underdogs to leaders of pool five. Over the course of those two games, Wilson was a study in intelligent graft and defensive resilience. His Champions Cup tally: 29 tackles attempted, 29 tackles completed. Jones urges his England players to perform like internationals when they are on club duty and those are the statistics of a No 6 responding to the call.

“He brings an incredible work rate, strength and he’s a pretty good ball-carrier,” Richards said.

“His defensive stats are always very good, I think England have been wanting him to be a little more dominant in his tackling and if that happens, we’ll be delighted with that.”

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When Billy Vunipola, Chris Robshaw and Nathan Hughes slipped out of the picture for the autumn internationals last week, claimed by injury or suspension, the make-up of England’s back row for the first Test, against South Africa a week on Saturday, suddenly became a conundrum for Jones.

The lack of a recognised No 8 was the most pressing problem, resulting in a recall for Ben Morgan, but there were knock-on effects for the blind side, too, a position Robshaw might have been expected to fill. Does Jones now require more carrying and experience from his blind-side flanker than he would have wanted had Vunipola been fit?

Two of Wilson’s rivals to play No 6 have come on the scene only since the end of last season. Brad Shields arrived in the summer from New Zealand to join Wasps — qualifying through his English parents — and won two caps against South Africa in June, while Michael Rhodes, from South Africa, became eligible this season through residency after three years playing for Saracens.

Wilson has considerable claims to be chosen ahead of these two. In South Africa, he came off the bench in Bloemfontein and Cape Town, adding to the two caps he had won on tour to Argentina the previous summer. His international experience, however limited, must surely count in his favour against the uncapped Rhodes for the games against South Africa and New Zealand; Wilson is also fully battle-hardened, having played every minute of Newcastle’s eight games this season, whereas Shields has recently returned from injury for Wasps.

Ultimately, the selection will depend on the balance Jones seeks in his back row and, perhaps, whether he picks Zach Mercer or Morgan at No 8. It may be that Maro Itoje is chosen in the back row, rather than at lock.

But Wilson will surely have a significant role to play for England at some point this autumn. He has flown under the radar for a long time, maybe because his qualities are solid rather than spectacular but maybe also due to the club he plays for. Now that the Falcons have begun to take Europe by storm, Wilson’s ability could be about to catch the attention of a much wider audience.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:00 am 
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happyhooker wrote:
Wtaf?

Any ideas as to how accurate this is about the season??

https://amp.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... ssion=true


The idea of extending the season by building in a week off here and there seems completely insane. Even if their clubs aren't letting them train on those weeks, which I'd be very sceptical about, surely it's obvious that players need a sustained period of rest to properly from what they're putting their bodies through.

Have attendances at games started to drop off? Must be getting near saturation point if we've not passed it already. I don't see how anyone can afford to go to all or most of the games that are played.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:15 am 
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Wilson reminds me a lot of Robshaw; ridiculous work-rate and engine and has shown up well in his England caps, but isn’t as physically imposing as you’d ideally like an international 6 to be. In many ways I’d prefer to see him at 6 over Rhodes or Shields, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Eddie goes for a bit more ballast (particularly if he’s thinking of selecting Mercer) and picks Rhodes or Itoje there.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:32 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Carl Fearns really has a high opinion of himself, doesn't he? Hey Carl - do something in Europe and THEN you can complain about not being picked for England despite opting against coming back to English rugby to push for selection.


I always like to give the player the benefit of the doubt in quotes, since they have to answer the questions asked... having said that, this really doesn't seem like the case this time. He's actively saying he's the 2nd best, should be in the squad and that's that.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:34 am 
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Those stats are really not kind to Shields or Rhodes...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Those stats are really not kind to Shields or Rhodes...


Interesting that tackles per 80 minutes has been left off.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:25 am 
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Joost wrote:
Mahoney wrote:
To think, we’ll never know how good Hipkiss was at passing.


He tended to get all of his passing out of the way in the warmup drills from what I saw at the Rec; never seen a crowbar like him, he genuinely seemed to think he’d score every time he got the ball, no matter who was outside him and how much space they had.


He had a great season in 2006/7 (I think) when it eventually dawned on him that the guy outside him - Tom Varndell - had a bit of pace and an eye for the tryline.

He racked up quite a few assists that year by doing his usual carry through the first tackle and then actually offloading. Tom was always on his shoulder, so he didn't have to pass the ball as such... just sort of let go of it in a backward direction.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:58 am 
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Joost wrote:
Wilson reminds me a lot of Robshaw; ridiculous work-rate and engine and has shown up well in his England caps, but isn’t as physically imposing as you’d ideally like an international 6 to be. In many ways I’d prefer to see him at 6 over Rhodes or Shields, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Eddie goes for a bit more ballast (particularly if he’s thinking of selecting Mercer) and picks Rhodes or Itoje there.


I’m not sure about that. Wilson is a physically uncompromising player. More so than Robshaw and Shields. Rhodes’ game is all about physicality and aggression, although he plays very much on the edge of what is legal.

I’d agree that Wilson is comparable to Robshaw but with slightly different skills. He’s a better carrier but less of a linking player and not as good in the lineout. I suspect that the latter point is his biggest obstacle to his selection for the AIs given that the options at 7 and 8 aren’t notable lineout forwards either.

Right now, Morgan is the best option at 8 which means the 6 needs to be more of a lineout option than Wilson. The alternatives are to play Mercer at 8 (which is a bigger risk IMO) or to play Rhodes at 7 which I don’t like at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:17 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Those stats are really not kind to Shields or Rhodes...


Especially Shields.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:39 pm 
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Itoje’s metres made stats will have been massively boosted by his try at the weekend. He must have run 30+ on that carry but I’d imagine the rest of his stats are made up of short carries like the rest.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Mallinder out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he picked up against Clermont


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:09 pm 
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New season structure outlined on the RFU site. Only read the RFU spin briefly, but it doesn't sound completely crazy.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Scrumhead wrote:
Joost wrote:
Wilson reminds me a lot of Robshaw; ridiculous work-rate and engine and has shown up well in his England caps, but isn’t as physically imposing as you’d ideally like an international 6 to be. In many ways I’d prefer to see him at 6 over Rhodes or Shields, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Eddie goes for a bit more ballast (particularly if he’s thinking of selecting Mercer) and picks Rhodes or Itoje there.


I’m not sure about that. Wilson is a physically uncompromising player. More so than Robshaw and Shields. Rhodes’ game is all about physicality and aggression, although he plays very much on the edge of what is legal.

I’d agree that Wilson is comparable to Robshaw but with slightly different skills. He’s a better carrier but less of a linking player and not as good in the lineout. I suspect that the latter point is his biggest obstacle to his selection for the AIs given that the options at 7 and 8 aren’t notable lineout forwards either.

Right now, Morgan is the best option at 8 which means the 6 needs to be more of a lineout option than Wilson. The alternatives are to play Mercer at 8 (which is a bigger risk IMO) or to play Rhodes at 7 which I don’t like at all.


Think we can assume that Curry will play 7 given his performances in SA and with the lack of big ball carriers at 6 and 7 you’d assume Morgan will start at 8 (Mercer would be a good shout off the bench imo, he’ll be more effective against a tiring defence). Then I think in comes down to filling in the gaps with the selection at 6 - big tackler, safe lineout option, decent secondary carrier - by that logic (such as it is) would think it’ll be Rhodes or Itoje.

Guess something like:

Moon, Hartley, Williams, Kruis, Lawes, Itoje, Curry, Morgan

Bench: George, Hepburn, Sinckler, Rhodes/Shields, Mercer


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Margin_Walker wrote:
New season structure outlined on the RFU site. Only read the RFU spin briefly, but it doesn't sound completely crazy.

Maximum "game involvements" of 35. Maximum starts of 30. Seems reasonable, although I do wonder if anyone else is going to sign on


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:37 pm 
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Joost wrote:
Scrumhead wrote:
Joost wrote:
Wilson reminds me a lot of Robshaw; ridiculous work-rate and engine and has shown up well in his England caps, but isn’t as physically imposing as you’d ideally like an international 6 to be. In many ways I’d prefer to see him at 6 over Rhodes or Shields, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Eddie goes for a bit more ballast (particularly if he’s thinking of selecting Mercer) and picks Rhodes or Itoje there.


I’m not sure about that. Wilson is a physically uncompromising player. More so than Robshaw and Shields. Rhodes’ game is all about physicality and aggression, although he plays very much on the edge of what is legal.

I’d agree that Wilson is comparable to Robshaw but with slightly different skills. He’s a better carrier but less of a linking player and not as good in the lineout. I suspect that the latter point is his biggest obstacle to his selection for the AIs given that the options at 7 and 8 aren’t notable lineout forwards either.

Right now, Morgan is the best option at 8 which means the 6 needs to be more of a lineout option than Wilson. The alternatives are to play Mercer at 8 (which is a bigger risk IMO) or to play Rhodes at 7 which I don’t like at all.


Think we can assume that Curry will play 7 given his performances in SA and with the lack of big ball carriers at 6 and 7 you’d assume Morgan will start at 8 (Mercer would be a good shout off the bench imo, he’ll be more effective against a tiring defence). Then I think in comes down to filling in the gaps with the selection at 6 - big tackler, safe lineout option, decent secondary carrier - by that logic (such as it is) would think it’ll be Rhodes or Itoje.

Guess something like:

Moon, Hartley, Williams, Kruis, Lawes, Itoje, Curry, Morgan

Bench: George, Hepburn, Sinckler, Rhodes/Shields, Mercer


I’d be surprised to see Morgan parachuted straight in to the starting 15.. I think we’re more likely to see Shields at unfortunately. I’d prefer to see Mercer, especially if we are going to have a 2nd row in the back row again, which I suspect will be the case, especially with Robshaw out.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:07 pm 
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I hope we play Morgan at 8; I’m liable to get flashbacks of the Tom Wood game against Wales if it’s Shields :uhoh:


We could have a serious impact bench for this match:

George
Hepburn
Sinckler
Rhodes/Shields
Mercer
Care
Tuilagi
Cokanasiga


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:51 pm 
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Saint wrote:
Mallinder out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he picked up against Clermont


Shit news. Was a great opportunity for him to settle in at fullback.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Saint wrote:
Mallinder out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he picked up against Clermont

Bollocks!! Thought he looked far more comfortable this season!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Joost wrote:
I hope we play Morgan at 8; I’m liable to get flashbacks of the Tom Wood game against Wales if it’s Shields :uhoh:


We could have a serious impact bench for this match:

George
Hepburn
Sinckler
Rhodes/Shields
Mercer
Care
Tuilagi
Cokanasiga


Agreed on both points.

I’m also concerned that we’ve called up Morgan but will pick a flanker out of position at 8. I really hope that doesn’t happen.

That bench looks good though!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:30 pm 
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The new season plan is total bollocks

The whole point of shortening the season isn't to avoid game contact, it's to give players a break from the weekly grind of training, weights etc which is where most of the burnout damage actually occurs

The fact that the "total rest" period (ie rest without any weights, conditioning etc) in this new season plan is just 2 weeks in a year is a joke

Players should really be striking over this, its a worse deal than they currently have


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:43 am 
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openclashXX wrote:
The new season plan is total bollocks

The whole point of shortening the season isn't to avoid game contact, it's to give players a break from the weekly grind of training, weights etc which is where most of the burnout damage actually occurs

The fact that the "total rest" period (ie rest without any weights, conditioning etc) in this new season plan is just 2 weeks in a year is a joke

Players should really be striking over this, its a worse deal than they currently have


I'm surprised. But then the players will moan but offer them an extra £80k for 10 more games a season and they would probably still sign for it.

The fact is English clubs are simply not managing their players effectively, while most other nations appear to be more ahead of the game.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:02 am 
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"McCafferty has also revealed the 2021 Premiership final will be played on 26 June, "

From the Grauniad

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/23/storm-clouds-rugby-union-calender-lions

That is total insanity.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:42 am 
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Kitson really is dreadful.

No idea why he keeps going to bat for Pichot's "meaningful matches not meaningless friendlies" idea either. Rugby doesn't have that problem to begin with.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:01 am 
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Yep, certainly issues with the new season, but Pichot's proposals were clearly nonsense that there is no appetite for.

By and large the new structure will be good for EPS players with the slight reduction in game time and enforced 10 week breaks. Normal club players are a little more exposed in terms of proper time off as Opebclash points out.

Pretty sure the RPA have been involved throughout though so wouldn't expect to see too much discontent.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:25 am 
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Rumours that Wasps are about to sign Campagnaro with immediate effect and moving Daly to the wing to cover Wade leaving. From RugbyInsideLine on Twitter.

Makes a lot of sense, he's a perfect fit for Wasps what with being injured constantly. Plus Baxter doesn't use him all that much even when he is fit


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:47 am 
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Chuckles1188 wrote:
Rumours that Wasps are about to sign Campagnaro with immediate effect and moving Daly to the wing to cover Wade leaving. From RugbyInsideLine on Twitter.

Makes a lot of sense, he's a perfect fit for Wasps what with being injured constantly. Plus Baxter doesn't use him all that much even when he is fit


:thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am 
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Margin_Walker wrote:
Yep, certainly issues with the new season, but Pichot's proposals were clearly nonsense that there is no appetite for.

By and large the new structure will be good for EPS players with the slight reduction in game time and enforced 10 week breaks. Normal club players are a little more exposed in terms of proper time off as Opebclash points out.

Pretty sure the RPA have been involved throughout though so wouldn't expect to see too much discontent.



There's a lot of fuss about this in the press but in reality the GP is just aligning with the rugby calendar that was agreed by World Rugby in San Francisco. The internationals that were played in June have been moved to July so that the Super whatever can be played in one chunk. It would be strange to have the season end in May and then a gap of a month before the summer international tours begin. Other NH tournaments will almost certainly follow the same calendar.

As for players' rest, this will increase and will be monitored by RFU, PRL and RPA. All England players will have a minimum 10 weeks off and there will be a twelve week gap between the GP final and the first game of the new season.

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/sport/ot ... on-2138791


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm 
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So, in summary, our back row is all at 6's and 7's....


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:29 pm 
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Jake wrote:
So, in summary, our back row is all at 6's and 7's....

:::Slap:::


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:29 pm 
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Chuckles1188 wrote:
Rumours that Wasps are about to sign Campagnaro with immediate effect and moving Daly to the wing to cover Wade leaving. From RugbyInsideLine on Twitter.

Makes a lot of sense, he's a perfect fit for Wasps what with being injured constantly. Plus Baxter doesn't use him all that much even when he is fit


If Campagnaro can stay not broken he could be a useful addition, not sure what that means for Lovobalavu's place in the pecking order. Le Bourgeois and De Jongh are clearly first choice at the moment.

:( We played a lot of our best rugby with Daly at 13, his continued exile from that channel is upsetting.

I found it odd that Bassett was playing in the 14 shirt in Wade's absence. Would have that Daly's left boot would have a better angle kicking for touch from the right wing and Bassett's a settled left wing who was clearly feeling out of position at times.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Campagnaro has played a fair bit of his rugby at Chiefs on the wing. I imagine Wasps are looking at him as a centre, but he can also cover 11 or 14.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:42 pm 
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With Jones clearly seeing Daly as a back three player I can't imagine him volunteering for time at 13 for Wasps unless he has to. Campagnaro would probably only see wing time during the international windows if we haven't managed to break our other centres.

Who Chiefs put on the wing can sometimes be a bit baffling too. Ian Whitten, for all his many attributes, is a hard as nails centre, not a wing.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:13 pm 
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1. Hepburn
2. Hartley
3. Williams
4. Lawes
5. Itoje
6. Wilson
7. Underhill
8. Morgan
9. Youngs
10. Faz
11. May
12. Tuilagi
13. Lozowski
14. Cockinaringer
15. Daly

Not a bad side.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:34 pm 
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Care to 9, Ford to 10, Daly to wing, Brown to fullback. Who knows what we do with the mid-field. Don't think Tuilagi's got 80 mins of international rugby in him at the moment. If you stick Ford between Youngs and Farrell we're just going to keep seeing more of the same - Ford playing like he's not got any options.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:54 pm 
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mr flaps wrote:
1. Hepburn
2. Hartley
3. Williams
4. Lawes
5. Itoje
6. Wilson
7. Underhill
8. Morgan
9. Youngs
10. Faz
11. May
12. Tuilagi
13. Lozowski
14. Cockinaringer
15. Daly

Not a bad side.


Lozowski is suspended for the 1st game.
And that backrow would mean we're a bit light on line out options.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:57 pm 
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sockwithaticket wrote:
Care to 9, Ford to 10, Daly to wing, Brown to fullback. Who knows what we do with the mid-field. Don't think Tuilagi's got 80 mins of international rugby in him at the moment. If you stick Ford between Youngs and Farrell we're just going to keep seeing more of the same - Ford playing like he's not got any options.

Care and ford is definitely a no. Care has worse scrumhalf basics than youngs and doesn't play frequently with ford so has no understanding with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:01 pm 
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ovalball wrote:
mr flaps wrote:
1. Hepburn
2. Hartley
3. Williams
4. Lawes
5. Itoje
6. Wilson
7. Underhill
8. Morgan
9. Youngs
10. Faz
11. May
12. Tuilagi
13. Lozowski
14. Cockinaringer
15. Daly

Not a bad side.


Lozowski is suspended for the 1st game.
And that backrow would mean we're a bit light on line out options.



I think it’s a pretty well balanced side, drop in Slade if Lozowski is out of the first game. Lots of pace and 3 good ball handlers in the backs and 2 meat sticks to keep us going forward.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Petej wrote:
sockwithaticket wrote:
Care to 9, Ford to 10, Daly to wing, Brown to fullback. Who knows what we do with the mid-field. Don't think Tuilagi's got 80 mins of international rugby in him at the moment. If you stick Ford between Youngs and Farrell we're just going to keep seeing more of the same - Ford playing like he's not got any options.

Care and ford is definitely a no. Care has worse scrumhalf basics than youngs and doesn't play frequently with ford so has no understanding with him.


True. However, Youngs' form has found a new trough in recent weeks such that I don't think anyone can credibly suggest starting him.


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