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Squad announced - missed opportunity??

International England
by MattC (U13844852) 26 October 2009
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The call-ups for Thompson and Duncan Bell in the front row are a good shout by Johnno but I can't help but think he has missed a trick by not including a younger player and blooding them, someone like Jon Golding instead of David Barnes? Though I concede that Barnes is a great professional and will add experience to a depleted squad.

Great call on Courtney Lawes... well deserved inclusion and also Richard Blaze, though George Skivington must be a bit disappointed and I would hope that if fit, Shawsy will be brought back in for the latter games. I am though, a tad confused by the omission of Dan Ward-Smith who has had a storming start to the season????

In the backs... no complaints except for Wigglesworth??????? Where did that come from???? Surely Joe Simpson was the obvious choice being as he has been in sparkling form this season, is the form player in that position with Hodgson and would have frightened the life out of the Aussies coming off the bench?

Overall an A- for a strong selection in trying times Johnno!!!

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comment by Dr Webb (U1763043)

posted Oct 27, 2009

Do you feel Crane showed better offloading for the Saxons because he's told to play tight for the Tigers, or because the USA close space slower than say Wasps or LI?

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comment by DT (U10007138)

posted Oct 27, 2009

It just seems odd that he seemed an almost completely different style of No8 for the Saxons than he did for Tigers.

He did the same against better opposition in Scotland/Ireland A teams. Some genuinely exceptional offloads creating opportunities and go forward.

Obviously the quality of opposition would be better in the AI's and GP, but not to the extent where he is now just used as the go-to man 90% of the time.

If he can his the right balance between his powerful drives, neat offoads and calculated kicks, he could be a world class No8.

I guess we will just have to wait and see how he gets on for England if he gets the 8 shirt.

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posted Oct 27, 2009

Jon golding a real miss in this lineup. been watching him since last season and expected to see him picked on current form. really mobile and great attacking scrumager

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posted Oct 27, 2009

Deacon and Blaze out, along with Armitage and Strettle. Down to three second rows of which Lawes remains a potential starter... as does Deacon??

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posted Oct 27, 2009

was personally suprised not to see more younger players for this especially Ryan Lamb who has been out standing. Very disappointed in Goode's selection seems a bit like Martin Johnson is selecting on mates rates.

What happened to French based players only getting picked if there wasn't a Premiership version

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comment by ausdmj (U14191237)

posted Oct 27, 2009

I think Barnes is a great addition to the squad. One thing Australia struggles against is experienced front rowers. I can see the case to blood some youngers players, however I think it's an astute move. Barnes will give his all and don't be surprised if he helps set a great platform against the rampaging Aussies.

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posted Oct 28, 2009

Personally I think MJ's selection is showing growing maturity.

Last Autumn he said there were not the 50 cap plus 7th cavalry around to help out having only Vicks with over 50 caps.

What has he done now?

Picked as many 50 cap players as there are around plus Thompson with 48. Since last Autumn he has now brought in Moody, Worsley, Tindall, Kay, Wilkinson, Thompson.

He has also selected White and Shaw when fit.

He is sticking by Borthwick as well.

Experience is important - especially players who have beaten NZ or NZ Maori, OZ or SA.

Picking Barnes is sensible - an experienced player who knows he may not stay in the squad but has a chance to impress.

MJ has selected a few tyros who need to gain experience and in this squad you have Lawes and Haskell and Blaze, Banahan, Foden, Geraghty, Hodgson, Strettle in that category.

Haskell for example has yet to settle down in an international shirt. Why pick any more especially after last year's experience?

MJ will blood players who clearly are ready for the step up because he needs to pick a team that will win the world cup in 2011 but he is not going to go overboard as he knows that performing well in world cups requires experience as demonstrated by 2003 and 2007.

If Mullan had been fit I think he would definitely have been selected as well.

There are at least three very exciting young scrum halves in the GP but I can understand why MJ is holding off from picking one of them.

MJ is picking solid squads with quality and experience now.

The positives are many and obvious - in this squad he has Moody, Wilko, Thompson, Worsley.

He has also selected Lawes who clearly has the makings to become a quite excellent player. I was at Wembley watching Saints versus Sarries and I asked one or two Saints fans why Lawes was not starting the game. I was surprised at their lack of enthusiasm for him even after I said he would play for England this season!

These are very exciting times for English rugby.

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posted Oct 28, 2009

i know this won't be the team, but this is what i would like...

1. Flatman
2. Hartley
3. Wilson
4. Lawes
5. Shaw
6. Croft
7. Moody
8. Haskell
9. Care
10. Wilkinson (c)
11. Banahan
12. Hipkiss
13. Geraghty
14. Monye
15. Foden

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comment by Clive9 (U13828806)

posted Oct 30, 2009

I would have liked Joe Simpson included in the squad, with him possibly being on the bench.

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comment by Juggler (U2995016)

posted Oct 30, 2009

>> I would have liked Joe Simpson included in the squad, with him possibly being on the bench. <<

But he wouldn't have been - Care and Hodgson are the obvious choices for the 22.

He'd have been sitting out the game rather than picking up more (much needed) experience playing for Wasps.

Bear in mind he's only started about 12 first class matches. He needs to be playing.

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