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England vs Italy
Discussion started by Optimist (IP Logged), 04 September, 2019 09:03
opti
Optimist
04 September, 2019 09:03
I'm not entirely sure what much of the last 3 years has been all about with Eddie. But however he got to where he is now - by grand design, or by last-minute change of heart - I really do like the look of our WC squad and prospects. Proper pace in the back 3; loads of playmakers in midfield; genuine balance in the back-row; a pack that can dominate set-pieces, and get over the gainline both by bosh and by offload. All the holy grails ticked!

Just need to draft Ben Stokes in - Sam Burgess style - and rugby's coming home.

England starting XV v Italy

15 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 35 caps)
14 Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 2 caps)
12 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 46 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 72 caps) C
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 88 caps)

1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 61 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 39 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 88 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 60 caps)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 74 caps)
6 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 12 caps)
7 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons/Sale Sharks, 14 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 44 caps)

Finishers

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps)
17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 11 caps )
18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 24 caps)
19 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
20 Matt Kvesic (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
21 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)
22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 58 caps)
23 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)

P G Tips
P G Tips
04 September, 2019 09:18
Mmmmm.... to me that's a bit worrying. Neither of our best 13s chosen because not fit, we plan to take a winger who has been injured since May and not played. Second choice SH does not get another start.

This selection is designed to hide a few concerns IMHO.

Still- they'll probably be enough to see off Italy on a cold night in Newcastle.

PG

opti
Optimist
04 September, 2019 09:26
I'm not really that bothered about what happens against Italy - i would seriously hope that they'll be treating it as a training run. I'd rather a loss with no injuries than a win with an injury. They are getting on a long-haul flight on Sunday evening!

Using the likes of Ewels, Kvesic and Marchant against Italy seems sensible from the point of view of both minimising risk to anyone who is harbouring a niggle, and also ensuring standby players are actually genuinely ready to go should they be required.

I don't think Nowell will make it, and I don't think his replacement will be a winger when it comes down to it. Eddie may even be exploiting the situation to give himself more time to decide who his 31st selection is. Wing is currently the least concerning position in the entire squad.

Scrum-half, however, is certainly an area where Eddie may get bitten.

ballsout
ballsout
04 September, 2019 09:38
I'd have picked even more players not going to Japan frankly, wrap the first team players like Vunipola in cotton wool, especially as he's played every game so far.

MESSAGES->author
Widcombe Boy
04 September, 2019 10:28
Quote:
ballsout
I'd have picked even more players not going to Japan frankly, wrap the first team players like Vunipola in cotton wool, especially as he's played every game so far.
Agreed BO Don't understand Eddie's thinking with Billy V unless maybe he needs the game time but one of the indespensables in my book.

John Tee
John Tee
04 September, 2019 10:36
Quote:
P G Tips
Mmmmm.... to me that's a bit worrying. Neither of our best 13s chosen because not fit, we plan to take a winger who has been injured since May and not played. Second choice SH does not get another start.
This selection is designed to hide a few concerns IMHO.

Still- they'll probably be enough to see off Italy on a cold night in Newcastle.

PG

yes....
not worrying in terms of beating Italy, but Nowell cant take up a valuable slot if not proven fit.
Would extend that to Slade as well.

You need 31 players fit and ready to go. imv

MESSAGES->author
jayeatman
04 September, 2019 11:59
I do wonder if Eddie has cooked up an injury crisis.
Nowell must be as good as out.
Will Ruaridh make it this time?
Question marks over Slade and JJ.
Mako dodgy.
Why bring in Kvesic on the bench and sit out Underhill and Ludlam unless they have 'niggles'?

Marchant and Kvesic must be in line for call ups.
If I were Ben Moon or Harry Williams, I'd have my bag packed and ready too.

I can see why you'd cotton wool Itoje, Kruis, Daly and Tuilagi though.



BATH supporter since 1975

Adopted players:
2015/6 Tom Homer
2016/7 Matt Banahan
2017/8 Jeff Williams
2018/9 Victor Delmas
2019/20 Semesa Rokoduguni

DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy
04 September, 2019 13:01
Ben Spencer should leave a bag packed too.

Hope RM is fit to play, be good to see what he can do.

SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint
04 September, 2019 13:55
I think this is a RWC England could actually win but if they do it will be in spite of Jones not because of him.

At the start of his time in charge he was incredibly lucky in terms of player injuries. He played almost two full seasons with the vast majority of his squad available and that as much as anything else he did was probably reflected in the results.
Right now I feel he's holding the team hostage to fortune to a similar level of fortune for the RWC. Players have picked up niggly injuries and yet no one has been ruled out as far as I know? Mako is fit ahead of schedule, a more responsible coach might think not to rush him back into probably the teams toughest game of the summer series. Ditto Billy who is pointlessly being played every game. The "he needs to play" stuff is certainly at odds with some coaches views at Sarries about how he should be treated during the Summer series and I know which I'd back.

Dorset Boy one possible factor re scrum half is that Wigglesworth will be/is out in Japan as a coach with the Canadian squad. I'd not be terribly surprised if he is lined up as the third @#$%& half if anything should happen.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
04 September, 2019 15:57
Quote:
ballsout
I'd have picked even more players not going to Japan frankly, wrap the first team players like Vunipola in cotton wool, especially as he's played every game so far.

Thankfully I have trained my eyes to see your posts because I am totally in agreement with this. Tom Curry as well tbh.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

opti
Optimist
04 September, 2019 18:12
Hate to be an apologist for Eddie - who is in many ways a bit of a kn0b - but I would imagine that, if it was up to him, he'd be on the phone to his opposite number saying, "Really sorry mate, but we can't get a team together this weekend. Half the boys have bu&&ered off to Ibiza, 2 more are going to their mum's wedding, and our captain has been glued to a lamp-post in Newcastle since his stag night in June. Really sorry to let you down at the last minute."

ballsout
ballsout
04 September, 2019 19:48
Quote:
SarrieSaint
I think this is a RWC England could actually win but if they do it will be in spite of Jones not because of him.

I know hardcore Premiership fans are never going to like any England head coach, but you're deluding yourself if you think that.

As for Billy Vunipola, word is he's not the best at training, so Jones picks him as much as possible to keep him fit.

Even if that isn't the case, though I believe Hatley suggested as much in the past, the point is these people have access to far more information than armchair supporters on a message board do. They know who should be played when and where.

SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint
04 September, 2019 21:41
I think the past 6 months has shown that Jones plan for the four-year cycle was fundamentally and obviously flawed. He's now taking a large number of risks including some entirely unnecessary ones; no proper 8 cover, suspect scrum-halves, inexperienced cover at scrum-half and hooker, backing a guy who isn't even a club journeyman at fullback as England's first choice, etc could easily go on.

I think he's lost the plot every bit as much as Lancaster did in the lead up to the last RWC he's just blessed with better players and so far no vital long term injuries.

I'd back the Sarries coaches and S&C to know Billy better than England and they don't take that approach to the extreme that Jones is.
Even if I take your view and accept it's correct what on earth is the value versus the risk of taking off both the flankers (uninjured) against Ireland with twenty to go and England winning comfortably and leaving Billy on? C'mon. Can you really justify that as making sense? Ditto starting in a nothing game versus Italy? We actually need to see Wilson at 8 so why not start him and given Billy a run from the bench if playing in matches is the only way to keep Billy fit. Who knows maybe the fact that half our backrows in camp have picked up injuries in training has some impact too?

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
04 September, 2019 22:24
I would disagree with Wilson not being ‘proper’ 8 cover - he is very good there IMO. The issue being that he is such a different player from BV (isn’t everyone) so England wouldn’t be able to play the same game. Would the closest alternative be Morgan (or Hughes at a push)? Who else can make the hard direct yards over the gain line that BV can?



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
04 September, 2019 22:51
I'm not sure we should wrap these guys up in cotton wool, it implies they are fragile and breakable. Isn't the best plan for a competition to pick a core of the side that will last through the tough games? Isn't that Eddie's philosophy? Farrell, Ford ,Youngs are there every game more or less. It doesn't matter how good you are, if your broken you are worthless.



https://i.ibb.co/sbQsmcr/darren-atkins-5.jpg


Darren Atkins Age 21 years, Fullback, 6 ft 1 in, 13 st 4 lbs. Sadly injured for the rest of the season!

ballsout
ballsout
04 September, 2019 23:00
Quote:
SarrieSaint
I think the past 6 months has shown that Jones plan for the four-year cycle was fundamentally and obviously flawed

You can plan all you want four years out, sometimes things don't work out. Players you put faith in don't deliver, ref interpretations change, tactics change, form, injury, fitness, everything. I'm sure there's a ton of his work that has gone to plan.

Also, we're going into the World Cup with 2 Six Nations win out of 4, something like 7 wins on the trot against Australia, 5 out of 7 wins against Wales, two humblings of Ireland in a row, and for the first time in 15 years, genuine world class players throughout the team. He's done fine.

Would I like to see Vunipola get less game time in these games? Sure, but I have to trust the England coaches know more than I, or any of us, do.

opti
Optimist
05 September, 2019 08:40
This England is very, very highly dependent on luck with injuries. Lose Billy and Manu for the France and Argentina games for example - which is, on recent history, pretty much a 50/50, plus one other such as Youngs or Itoje, and it’s quite possible to see the wheels coming off. So I guess Eddie might just as well test out his luck as test out his combinations.

DanWiley
DanWiley
05 September, 2019 22:34
Eddie's a dick and talks out of his @#$%&. But he might also be quite a good coach. I think he deserves credit if England do well. Just like Lancaster (who by all accounts is a nice guy and talks fairly straight, but wasn't an international head coach), he deserves to take the fall should we not get out of a fairly easy group. His strategy is a risky one, as far as anyone can tell, and I could see that happening. Unlike Lancaster though I can also see him doing well.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
05 September, 2019 22:43
Italy have put out a much changed team. It could well be (and should well be) a humping in which case the subs should be coming on early.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
06 September, 2019 08:28
It is very much catch-22 though isn't it?

Play tough friendlies which risk injury but gain more knowledge about your team or play easier games and all you learn is the latest try celebration.

I am sure the players just want to get past them and get on with the real business.

SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint
06 September, 2019 11:32
Bathmatt53. I basically agree. Wilson can do a job at 8 as we saw in SA but he's a very different beast to Billy (who isn't) and even against Wales and Ireland where we had multiple players as carrying threats it was still Billy (and Tuilagi, or the threat of them) doing the damage. In that regard I'd have been happier seeing Morgan or Hughes as they would attract and commit defence in a way that Wilson or Ludlam won't.

You make a very good point re a changing landscape in terms of player and plan over four years ballsout but I think I'd maintain that numerous issues now are ones that should have been foreseen almost regardless. Lack of game time for second and third options at hooker and scrum half being key ones.

Tbh I suspect we see this fairly differently but I appreciate having a reasoned discussion with you about it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2019 16:00 by SarrieSaint.

sirtidychris
sirtidychris
06 September, 2019 15:19
I am Guessing Vunipola will only play 40-50 minutes, then Wilson will switch to 8. WIlson hasn't played for a wee while so a bit unfair to chuck him in at 8 from the kick off. i Wonder if Kvesic is seen as a number 8 replacement, I guess he can play 6,7 and 8 so a good chap to have match fit as one of the back rows is guaranteed to break down due to the attritional nature of the role

ballsout
ballsout
06 September, 2019 21:07
Youngs has many flaws, but anyone who says he takes two three steps before the pass, watch Marchant's try

BerkeleyWood
The Bear
06 September, 2019 21:19
Ben Youngs = Flat-track bully.



Adopted Player:
[18] - Taulupe Faletau

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
06 September, 2019 21:49
Marchant unlucky not to be going to Japan imo.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

ballsout
ballsout
06 September, 2019 23:45
Conversely, Farrell lucky to be going based on his form this past year. Terrible.

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
07 September, 2019 05:02
Quote:
BathMatt53
Marchant unlucky not to be going to Japan imo.

It pains me to say it but I think he’s probably more incisive than Joseph.

John Tee
John Tee
07 September, 2019 09:38
im concerned that some of you guys think JJ has lost some pace.

Also concerned about Slade and Nowell.
You cant take two unfit players..

Im happy with Wilson at 8...he offers a different game to BV and i like the balance he brings..

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
07 September, 2019 09:54
Quote:
John Tee
Also concerned about Slade and Nowell.
You cant take two unfit players..

What about 3 Mako will miss the pool games?



https://i.ibb.co/sbQsmcr/darren-atkins-5.jpg


Darren Atkins Age 21 years, Fullback, 6 ft 1 in, 13 st 4 lbs. Sadly injured for the rest of the season!

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
07 September, 2019 12:20
Not sure what Piers Francis offers over Joe Marchant, pace is everything. Don't really get Joe C's rôle in this either, is he a winger or a ball carrier? Rory didn't even see the ball and Watson looked better than Daly in my view.
Anyway we will soon see if Eddie gets it right.



https://i.ibb.co/sbQsmcr/darren-atkins-5.jpg


Darren Atkins Age 21 years, Fullback, 6 ft 1 in, 13 st 4 lbs. Sadly injured for the rest of the season!

John Tee
John Tee
07 September, 2019 15:21
Quote:
shipwrecked
Quote:
John Tee
Also concerned about Slade and Nowell.
You cant take two unfit players..

What about 3 Mako will miss the pool games?

Been out too long. Wouldn't take him if not garaunteed fit for the start. He can go on the stand by list, imv

SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint
07 September, 2019 20:37
Quote:
shipwrecked
Not sure what Piers Francis offers over Joe Marchant, pace is everything. Don't really get Joe C's rôle in this either, is he a winger or a ball carrier? Rory didn't even see the ball and Watson looked better than Daly in my view.

Marchant and Francis are very different players. Francis is there as an alternative to Farrell (IMO) if he were to be injured as he covers both 10 and 12. As others mentioned above the duplication is with JJ and Marchant. If he'd had more game time I think I might have been tempted by Marchant. He's had a very good season and he offers a physicality that JJ doesn't. Obviously JJ has strengths of his own which is why he has been picked.
Tbh I don't sort of get Cokas selection but not McCs selection. hard to know if he was asked to stick on his wing yesterday and whilst he did nothing wrong the difference in work rate and involvement between him and May is crazy. Now obviously one is an experienced International winger and the other was a debutante but that just raises the question of whether he'd be ready if injuries meant he had to start.
Mako is IMO one of Englands very few genuine World Class players. I think he's worth waiting. It would have made even more sense not to rush him back but you know, Jones ...
Think McC is even more of a luxury if you do "carry" an injured Mako though.

cb2
cb2
09 September, 2019 11:27
The only reason I can think EJ took McC was with a view to starting him. He talked about bolters and he must have looked great in training. Due to his injuries, he is now looking like an expensive luxury. AJ, Daly, May and Joe cover most things, Nowell is also in there and JJ wouldn't let us down in a group game. An extra 9 would have been an easier choice but Eddie is Eddie.

Francis is also an odd choice. There's talk of him covering 10 but he doesn't look good enough to cover his own position. An extra prop might have been an idea.

Also, why hasn't Singleton played and why didn't Ford get a go at 9 for the final 20 minutes against Italy?

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
09 September, 2019 11:36
For all our quibbles as long as crucial players stay fit I can see us getting to the final & for all his faults EJ has engendered a great team spirit & belief so you have to give him that.

sirtidychris
sirtidychris
09 September, 2019 13:08
Nowell, Mako and Slade all worth waiting for they are class experienced players will slot right back in and offer something different, they will also be fresh. Mc rory, is there as social cohesion new caps bring the squad together (forgetting burgess !) and apaz hes a top bloke too. he will only play against the lower tier opposition then provide back up to May, Nowell, Waston and Big C.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2019 13:09 by sirtidychris.

opti
Optimist
09 September, 2019 13:15
Quote:
Bath Hammer
For all our quibbles as long as crucial players stay fit I can see us getting to the final & for all his faults EJ has engendered a great team spirit & belief so you have to give him that.

Team spirit is always "the best i've ever experienced" a few weeks before any tournament, in any sport, in any team, anywhere. Results then dictate whether this was actually true or not.

SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint
09 September, 2019 13:24
+1 Optimist.

John Tee
John Tee
09 September, 2019 13:37
Quote:
Optimist
Quote:
Bath Hammer
For all our quibbles as long as crucial players stay fit I can see us getting to the final & for all his faults EJ has engendered a great team spirit & belief so you have to give him that.

Team spirit is always "the best i've ever experienced" a few weeks before any tournament, in any sport, in any team, anywhere. Results then dictate whether this was actually true or not.

Of course they are going to say that and i think players try and buy into it...but they'll also know and have been witness to most things and seen how things pan out.

They'll keep their opinions to themselves most likely but theyll have them .
After 4 years in the making, that is too long to keep everyone happy in any camp.


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