England tour to RSA



  • I thought this was worthy of a thread of its own and also would ensure we do not derail the Exodus thread purely due to Brad Shields.

    There are some interesting decisions made. Cipriani to tour is one. To my mind (and previously Eddie's), if he's in the squad, then he's a starter. No point picking him to hold tackle bags. Another interesting point is that he is one of six (yes 6) Fly Halves in the squad, albeit that Farrell, Lowzoski and Slade also play centre and Redpath is likely there for experience only. Redpath is the son of former Scotland Scrum Half and captain Bryan Redpath so that selection may raise some eyebrows north of the wall.

    Only one full back but Cipriani has played there, though not for some time. Open side flanker is going to be an interesting pick, as always, with no nailed on 7 in the squad (Tom Curry the nearest to a genuine 7). It might raise the interesting idea of the Exeter No8 Sam Simmonds playing at 7, he has many attributes of a 7 but a big ask to paly at international level.

    The touring party is as follows:-

    England squad to tour South Africa:

    Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

    Forwards: Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Brad Shields (Hurricanes/Wasps), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Willis (Wasps), Mark Wilson (Newcastle)

    *Uncapped

    Not considered for selection (either because of injury or being rested):

    Backs: Danny Care (Harlequins), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

    Forwards: Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Will Spencer (Worcester Warriors), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)



  • @catogrande Aha....I thought I was being blind but then figured it appears that when you "bracket" anything with an asterisk it just changes the font to italic



  • So, from this squad, what has Eddie done to remedy England's biggest issue this season, speed to the breakdown?
    Still looks to be a team suited to one-off ball crashing, set-piece plays and the occasional loose play from the back.



  • I remember the indignation from some here when I suggested Luke Whitelock or any fringe New Zeland backrower could walk into the England team and here we are. This selection without even waiting for him to land in England cannot be good for the English game but thats what you get for hiring a mercenary coach.



  • @dmx Thats a little harsh on Eddie I think. He's had a huge amount of success coaching so is in demand. The England rugby coach is arguably the biggest job in world rugby - which coach worth their salt wouldn't want it?

    Gatland, Schmidt, Cotter all mercenaries?



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    @dmx Thats a little harsh on Eddie I think. He's had a huge amount of success coaching so is in demand. The England rugby coach is arguably the biggest job in world rugby - which coach worth their salt wouldn't want it?

    Gatland, Schmidt, Cotter all mercenaries?

    You could add Henry and Hansen to that list based on their coaching a foreign country.



  • @crucial said in England tour to RSA:

    So, from this squad, what has Eddie done to remedy England's biggest issue this season, for years, speed to the breakdown?
    Still looks to be a team suited to one-off ball crashing, set-piece plays and the occasional loose play from the back.

    Fixed your slight error there. But to answer the question, Tom Curry and Sam Simmonds have some speed about them and not just overall speed they have that "quick" about them too. Eddie though has shown reluctance to experiment in the back row and has used a trio of big bashers most of the time. It remains to be seen if he will try something a bit different and lets face it, it couldn't go much worse than the 6N this year.



  • @majorrage

    Fair point, though I was really taking a shot at Eddie in particular for his extremely short term approach. You would think it would be reasonable given the player numbers in England to build a culture and have players at least play domestically for some period of time before being selected. You would think it would be good for the long term integrity and culture of the game not just his win/loss column.



  • I had read that some players may be rested due to workloads/last years Lions tour. But that looks like full strength minus injuries?



  • Seems to me this tour could be a real banana skin for Eddie.

    After a great start to his English Coaching, a couple of losses in the 6N meant the sheen came off. Losing 2 or 3 games overseas means there is really only one home season before the RWC, and then if you don't know your top team or how you're going to play, the wheels could really come off in the leadup.

    There's loads riding on this - I'm looking forward to it. Go you Saffers!



  • @nzzp plus SA seem to be getting things moving in the right direction with plenty of talent coming through in time for the RWC and playing some attractive rugby with their usual upfront aggression.



  • @taniwharugby said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp plus SA seem to be getting things moving in the right direction with plenty of talent coming through in time for the RWC and playing some attractive rugby with their usual upfront aggression.

    I agree. They will be a real handful.

    also, anyone know where Handre Pollard is? He started in 2015 in the Semi, but haven't seen him since. Wikipedia says he missed 2016 with a knee injury. Is he still in SA, or moved to Europe? He was some player pre-injury, very good and a real threat with ball in hand and off the tee



  • @nzzp said in England tour to RSA:

    Seems to me this tour could be a real banana skin for Eddie.

    After a great start to his English Coaching, a couple of losses in the 6N meant the sheen came off. Losing 2 or 3 games overseas means there is really only one home season before the RWC, and then if you don't know your top team or how you're going to play, the wheels could really come off in the leadup.

    There's loads riding on this - I'm looking forward to it. Go you Saffers!

    Thinking in the press here seems along the lines of 'England cannot afford to lose this series'



  • @nzzp

    He has been playing for the Bulls this season.



  • @bovidae said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp

    He has been playing for the Bulls this season.

    OK, cool. How's he going? Knee injuries are horrific, hate to see them happen to classy players (or anyone for that matter)



  • @nzzp said in England tour to RSA:

    OK, cool. How's he going? Knee injuries are horrific, hate to see them happen to classy players (or anyone for that matter)

    I've only seen the Bulls play once, live against the Chiefs. Pollard played very well in that game. Ran the team well, scored a try and kicked 4 conversions.



  • I liked what I saw of Nathan Earle a few years a go for Canterbury.



  • Cameron Redpath is still at school? !!

    And apparently highest level he has played so far is Anglo-Welsh Cup.



  • REad an article this morning from the DAily Mail where Shields was described as "Chris Robshaw, with better hands".

    Fark me, Robshaw's hands must be appalling!!!



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    REad an article this morning from the DAily Mail where Shields was described as "Chris Robshaw, with better hands".

    Fark me, Robshaw's hands must be appalling!!!

    Robshaw gets a lot of unwarranted stick but this is the first time I've seen that as a criticism.



  • Here's the article ...

    Agree with you that Robshaw takes a lot of unwarranted stick. I suspect the writer of this article has don more research on Shields, than actually watching him play.



  • Who are the opensides in that squad? Are they any good?



  • @tim There are none, out an out 7s are anathema to English sides for the last few years



  • @tim said in England tour to RSA:

    Who are the opensides in that squad? Are they any good?

    Underhill is the great white hope but seems to be continually broken. He made a fantastic tackle on a Welsh guy to stop a certain try in the 6N, he's a ferocious tackler and a general bloody nuisance at the breakdown.

    When he's playing.

    Tom Curry has impressed on the tour to Argentina last year but not really an out and out 7 as yet. It doesn't help that he is played at 6 and 7 for his club and has suffered some injury problems this season. The bolter could be Sam Simmonds the Exeter No8. He is small for an 8 and is really quick off the mark. He tackles well, carries well, albeit in a non-English way as he tries to avoid contact and make ground round the edges. But,
    He.
    Is.
    Not.
    Big.



  • @rapido said in England tour to RSA:

    I had read that some players may be rested due to workloads/last years Lions tour. But that looks like full strength minus injuries?

    We're down the two scrum halves that played in the 6N, first choice 13, first choice wing/fullback, another first choice wing, first choice hooker and tight head, first and fourth choice locks and starting 8 from the 6N, plus another 4 wider squad members. So not ideal with RSA getting their shit together. Although there is the argument that some of those "first choices" should not have been, in which case it gives a chance for those who perhaps have not had their fair chance a good crack at things. It's going to be an interesting tour that's for sure.



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    Here's the article ...

    Agree with you that Robshaw takes a lot of unwarranted stick. I suspect the writer of this article has don more research on Shields, than actually watching him play.

    Well he hasn't researched WR regulations has he?



  • Just... Just... But... How can you have worse hands than old toasty?



  • Pretty difficult but I'm sure Eddie has noted an improvement. From memory it took 1 minute 29 seconds for old toasty's first droppsie last match but an impressive 17 minutes against the Blues. Will leave Eddie to work out the percentage stats on that.



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    @dmx Thats a little harsh on Eddie I think. He's had a huge amount of success coaching so is in demand. The England rugby coach is arguably the biggest job in world rugby - which coach worth their salt wouldn't want it?

    Gatland, Schmidt, Cotter all mercenaries?

    why do you say it is the biggest job in rugby? because of the salary? expectations? difficulty?

    reminds mo of all those english football supporters who would say the english coach is the biggest job in world football. no one outside england thought that or gave it a second thought....



  • @dagrubster said in England tour to RSA:

    @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    @dmx Thats a little harsh on Eddie I think. He's had a huge amount of success coaching so is in demand. The England rugby coach is arguably the biggest job in world rugby - which coach worth their salt wouldn't want it?

    Gatland, Schmidt, Cotter all mercenaries?

    why do you say it is the biggest job in rugby? because of the salary? expectations? difficulty?

    reminds mo of all those english football supporters who would say the english coach is the biggest job in world football. no one outside england thought that or gave it a second thought....

    That is the biggest job in world rugby.

    • Most wealthy union
    • Most professional players
    • Biggest pyramid of players
    • Most media attention

    I'd say that it is certainly the biggest job in world rugby



  • @nzzp fair enough thanks. it is not something that i have thought about in rugby but have heard it in football as mentioned.

    i suppose there has to be an element of difficulty in it as well. England have only been considered the best in the world on roughly 3-4 years in the last 100 so that in itself shows the magnitude of the job.

    I dont think there is a huge expectancy from the english public that puts pressure on a coach like say the AB coach or english football (although that has mostly dissapeared now)



  • @dagrubster said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp fair enough thanks. it is not something that i have thought about in rugby but have heard it in football as mentioned.

    Difference with football/soccer is that internationals are not the apex of the game like they are in Rugby. The english football manager is just another coach - it's the supporters who are (and don't take this wrong way lurking englishers) deluding themselves as to the quality of their international side.

    Rugby's a whole different ball o'wax.



  • stronger team than i thought was going to be selected. Eddie has had to play players he would prefer to rest on this tour.

    I thought SA would win this tour before the english side was named but not so sure now although I imagine a lot of the english players will be running on empty.

    with the boks looking like they will improve, at home and an english side fatigued i expect the boks to come away with a series win and heap more pressure on Eddie



  • @nzzp he is now, never used to be the case but as you say, internatioanl football has lost importance and interest in England due to decades of expectation and ultimate faliure, which has been replaced somewhat by english clubs in europe.

    still, would love to see england do well in a tournament again



  • @dagrubster said in England tour to RSA:

    with the boks looking like they will improve, at home and an english side fatigued i expect the boks to come away with a series win and heap more pressure on Eddie

    If the big SA loose forwards get rolling, it could be good fun out there. The way the Sharks manhandled us all over the paddock is fresh in my head. Big, committed rugby players take some beating. Going to be a crackign series.



  • @nzzp said in England tour to RSA:

    @dagrubster said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp fair enough thanks. it is not something that i have thought about in rugby but have heard it in football as mentioned.

    Difference with football/soccer is that internationals are not the apex of the game like they are in Rugby. The english football manager is just another coach - it's the supporters who are (and don't take this wrong way lurking englishers) deluding themselves as to the quality of their international side.

    Rugby's a whole different ball o'wax.

    You are wrong there. Nobody in England rates their football team. They don't even sell out stadiums anymore.

    I'm sure they'll support them in the WC but there is zero expectation of them!



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp said in England tour to RSA:

    @dagrubster said in England tour to RSA:

    @nzzp fair enough thanks. it is not something that i have thought about in rugby but have heard it in football as mentioned.

    Difference with football/soccer is that internationals are not the apex of the game like they are in Rugby. The english football manager is just another coach - it's the supporters who are (and don't take this wrong way lurking englishers) deluding themselves as to the quality of their international side.

    Rugby's a whole different ball o'wax.

    You are wrong there. Nobody in England rates their football team. They don't even sell out stadiums anymore.

    I'm sure they'll support them in the WC but there is zero expectation of them!

    You're right of course, up to and until we go to a major championship, then the media fellate the team and manager and the whole country puts out the St George's flag, including those really annoying ones stuck on all the cars and then we get kicked out in the group stages again.



  • After last night's MOTM performance for Cardiff Blues is Olly Robinson worth a go at 7?



  • Ludlow was very good too, until that (harsh ?) YC.



  • @majorrage said in England tour to RSA:

    Here's the article ...

    Agree with you that Robshaw takes a lot of unwarranted stick. I suspect the writer of this article has don more research on Shields, than actually watching him play.

    Better hands, I don't think so but it is sure that Shields runs faster than Robshaw. The latter is a carthorse.


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