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HMilner
Big Dog (IP Logged)

Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 15:45
Real shame for him as was a good opportunity to get a first cap and give himself a chance to play more of a role throughout the tournament. Would presume Simmonds is best bet to start 8 now given Robshaw fit enough to start too?

[www.bbc.co.uk]



Adopted players: 2017-18 Shaun Knight

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 16:00
Not to mention the 23k match fee that chest infection may have cost him!

 
MESSAGES->author
woodpecker (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 16:14
I was surprised to read in The Times that Simmonds is only 5 ft 9, whereas Chiefs has him at 6 foot, that's a big difference

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 16:54
I can only see him at 6ft on the web - there is no way he is 5'9". In the England team photos he looks about the same as Mako (who is 5'11", or 180cm supposedly). There is also one next to Matt Jess who is also 180cm.

 
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woodpecker (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 17:04
I just checked here you go:

Sam Simmonds could take his place in the back row but at only 5ft 9in it may leave England short of ball-carriers which is a concern to The Ruck panel.

I would have Sam Simmonds but when I saw him at Glasgow last week it is remarkable how small he is, said Stephen Jones.

 
dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 17:13
A real shame for him...

...and would be a great idea if he got his match fitness back versus Saints at The Rec next Friday.

 
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JimDaff (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 18:11
Quote:
BathMatt53
I can only see him at 6ft on the web - there is no way he is 5'9". In the England team photos he looks about the same as Mako (who is 5'11", or 180cm supposedly). There is also one next to Matt Jess who is also 180cm.

Maybe hes got his long studs on in those pictures?

 
dcsh
dcsh (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 18:45
What a shame, I would have loved to see him charge around against Italy. Hopefully he gets well soon.

 
MESSAGES->author
joethefanatic (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
31 January, 2018 19:37
If Simmonds does play it suggests a heavy carrying load for Mako and the second rows and possibly 2 second rows on the bench. Are Lawes and Itoje the right starting row combo in those circumstances?



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

 
cb2
cb2 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 09:19
Could he play Lawes, Itoje and Robshaw in the back-row? Not a solution when playing against Australia but an option against Italy.

 
annie blackthorn
annie blackthorn (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 09:27
Sods law eh, Zach! Get well soon.



Adoptee for 2017/18 James Phillips - newly arrived and bringing a wealth of experience in the Prem!

 
Bathovalballer
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 09:38
I sm fairly sure EJ will go with the following pack:

Vunipola Hartley Cole
Launchbury Itoje
Robshaw Simmonds Lawes
Young's
Ford
May Farrell Joseph Watson
Brown

George
Hepburn
Williams
Kruis
Underhill/Graham
Care
Teo
Nowell

Simmonds will have to do the carrying with Robshaw. They could start Underhill but think Eddie wants to crush the Italians up front and play a forward orientated game for at least 50 minutes with lots of kicking to the corners and behind their back 3, then look to go wide with Underhill coming on or Graham, probably for Launchbury with Lawes going into the second row. I must say I haven't noticed Graham.before, so am.not sure of his strengths.

Also with Maco being subbed after 50/60 mins, he will introduce Hepburn who is very mobile and carry's well.
England should win but with O'dhea's astute coaching, I am sure the Italians will have a few surprises up their sleeves.

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 10:00
God that Eddie is cunning, putting 15 in the pack. ;-)

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 10:21
Its all a bit irrelevant. England have never lost to Italy, and they arent going to lose this w/e.

 
Boldangrey
Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 10:32
Isn't Italy's pack their strength?

Against strong sides the Eng pack has not shown up well so is BoB's expectation of scrum superiority valid?

 
Bathovalballer
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:02
I said I thought that is EJ's game plan to nullify the Italian pack, but I agree that is one of their main strengths and also why Eddie will go for a big England eight.

Didn't I read that Eddie said he intended to play an aggressive, physical game plan and wants the English forwards to really get on top and boss the opposition? Whether they can will be interesting to see because they have not in recent games. Big test here in the build up to the WC.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:11
Why is it a 'big test'? Italy have not won a single game in the last two 6 Nations, and generally win one a year at most. England have won 22/23 games.

If England are taking it seriously, they should be targeting a 40-50 point margin. The All Blacks would.

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:19
"Didn't I read that Eddie said he intended to play an aggressive, physical game plan and wants the English forwards to really get on top and boss the opposition"

Maybe, do you still take anything Eddie says at face value?

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:21
Quote:
woodpecker
I just checked here you go:
Sam Simmonds could take his place in the back row but at only 5ft 9in it may leave England short of ball-carriers which is a concern to The Ruck panel.

I would have Sam Simmonds but when I saw him at Glasgow last week it is remarkable how small he is, said Stephen Jones.

Stephen Jones would have a team of 15 Simon Shaw's or Andy Sheridan's if he could. Loves his players BIG.

 
cb2
cb2 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:31
England talk all about doing their prep but we never start games that well. The sides of SCW's era would sometimes come out and blow the opposition away. I hope we pick a big pack and go for it from the start. Starting with Danny Care might help with this.

 
DanWiley
DanWiley (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:47
Stephen Jones seems to put a lot of effort into including at least one fatal flaw in all his opinions. If not, just by shear chance, you'd think he'd put one out that is actually valid every now and again.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:48
It sounds very much as though Care will start this week. And quite right too. It's all very well saving your best players for a grandstand finish, but as cb2 says, there's nowt wrong with finishing the opposition off in the first 20 minutes either.

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 11:53
Also Youngs is playing like a drain. He desperately needs a change of environment.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 12:06
I find it a bit hard to separate objective feelings and schadenfreude when it comes to George Ford. He's a fabulous player, and i'd love to see England playing like Bath did in our wonder-year with George pulling strings all over the place. However, at this moment I think England could benefit from playing Farrell at 10. I'm just not sure that George is doing anything that Farrell isn't these days. And someone like Te'o (form unknown notwithstanding) would certainly take the gainline pressure off the back row. As with Care - it's all very well pointing to the impact players have as 'finishers', but i'd rather see England starting well, than constantly having to squeak through in the last 15.

 
HMilner
Big Dog (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 12:39
With the form Care is in I don't know why not have him start and then have brought in Robson as the impact sub off the bench.. That's whom the All Blacks would have as their two 9 options! Like Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara as the sub!

Alas a little late for that now but Youngs and Ford's form for that matter have both been distinctly average most of this season so will be interesting how they fare in the different environment!



Adopted players: 2017-18 Shaun Knight

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 12:42
It feels like YBY has started to model his game on Mike Phillips - the 2/3 step shuffle, slow inaccurate pass and no running threat.
It really can't be much fun playing outside him, even if he is your best mate.

Gutting for Zach. Hope he get another chance during this 6N.

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 12:55
I'm not gutted for Zach. There's a good chance it was coming a bit soon for him, due to the various injuries. He'll be better off long-term getting his consistency up at AV level.

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 13:26
Quote:
England talk all about doing their prep but we never start games that well. The sides of SCW's era would sometimes come out and blow the opposition away. I hope we pick a big pack and go for it from the start. Starting with Danny Care might help with this.

In SCW's era England had grasped professionalism far, far better (mostly down to money) than any of the other 5/6 Nations. I don't think it's a fair comparison.

 
cb2
cb2 (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 13:57
Does Robson have the kicking game for international rugby? Care has improved a lot in this area but the way the kicking went on the Lions tour from both sides showed what is possible. I think it is holding Robson back.

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: Zach Mercer ruled out of England - Italy
01 February, 2018 14:31
Farrell's been distinctly average and I'm not sure I'd trust his defence at 10 at Test level at the moment. Ford gets knocked back but at least he slows/stops his man. Farrell is grasping at thin air more often than not.

Quote:
Dorset Boy
It feels like YBY has started to model his game on Mike Phillips - the 2/3 step shuffle, slow inaccurate pass and no running threat.
It really can't be much fun playing outside him, even if he is your best mate.

Gutting for Zach. Hope he get another chance during this 6N.

Started? He's been doing that his whole career. Often times it works.


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