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England XV announced

England
by Dr Webb (U1763043) 18 November 2009
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Payne
Hartley
Bell
Shaw
Borthwick
Worsley
Moody
Haskell
Hodgson
Wilkinson
Monye
Erinle
Hipkiss
Banahan
Cueto

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posted Nov 19, 2009

Paul Hodgson can not pass off his right, he slows the game down, get Care on after 2 minutes!

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comment by Mr T (U2432776)

posted Nov 19, 2009

"This has been mentioned elsewhere and the coaches were very keen to deny it. "

Well said Mr Pit. The coaches would say that wouldn't they? However, deeds not words define reality. England are so defence minded it even affects their attacking play. Wide you say? But wide is where they are! Not where we are. Much better to run back to where your forwards are. Then should it break down we'll be ready to defend! Hurrah!

It was oft quoted wisdom in the 90's and noughties that defences are what wins matches. At the time this was entirely true but as the drift and then the blitz became established the differences in defence became miniscule. Missed tackles at world level are an oddity. What wins matches now is the ability to unlock a defence and exploit space. When was the last time England actually created any?

England play like the forwards and the backs barely know each other. I wonder why that is? What is required is a holistic approach to rugby and I don't think there's anyone in the England set up with that kind of vision. That needs a White, a McGeechan or dare I even say it Eddie Jones? We're stuck in 2003 and failing to improve. Repeating the same thing will lead to the same failures.

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posted Nov 19, 2009

As expected. it is once again a dull and uninventive selection which Martin Johnson has been made. A team sheet which sends out all the wrong messages to everyone associated with the country, Johnson has purposely picked 15 individuals to represent England to not go out to try and win. No, Johnson is looking at stopping New Zealand rather than going out and actually playing rugby union, something England haven't been very accustomed to as of late.

Sending all the wrong vibes out of the dressing room into the public eye and the media, I fear for our chances on Saturday, I really do. It is a sad and sorry state of affairs which we currently find ourselves in. Stuck in a rut, England have been going round in circles. The final match of the autumn internationals after two very disheartening and disappointing performances against Australia and Argentina respectfully, you would expect that England would have nothing to lose. Throw caution to the wind and see what happens, we had the potential and the strings to our bow to potentially cause one of the biggest upsets of recent times.

But no. WIth a rookie coach who has no experience of coaching, unaware of what it takes to succeed at the highest level in this department, Johnson has opted the physicality, both individually and collectively which I think is the wrong philosophy to employ against one of the best sides in the world. Johnson is a man under pressure, of that there is no doubt. Brian Smith, John Wells and Mike Ford have all come in for strong criticism over the past week about how they are shaping this team, and rightly so.

Josh Lewsey has every right to express his own opinion and I fully applaud him for his courage in coming out and expressing his own view about the pathetic state that the national side are currently in. A World Cup winner and British and Irish Lions tourist, Lewsey is a well respected figure who knows what he is talking about. I want England to lose on Saturday, to be embarrassed and pummeled into submission because this is the only way we will see a change in our fortunes, by getting rid of 3 coaches whose methods of madness are simply not working.

Forgoodnesakes, what on earth is the point in selecting a 29 year old Ayoola Erinlie to make his test debut when he is playing oversees in France. Johnson has said that plying your trade abroad will affect your chances of representing England and he then completly goes back on his word. Wow, a strange selection. I am glad to see that Louis Deacon is no were near the test 22 as that is where he deserves to be.

On Saturday, war will commence. We need to front up and show that we have pride in the jersey, a will and want to win not only for themselves, but for everyone in attendance.

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posted Nov 19, 2009

Maga

I would not agree that this is a selection that is totally defensive. Simon Shaw, for example, is much more than just a big man, and Sir Clive kept working him into the centre position alongside Gareth Archer-the other lock- in his very first match in charge.

It also keeps Haskell at 8. Personally I have yet to see what so many people seem to rate about him, but he has made a couple of good runs this season- including one good one from the base of the scrum, with an assist from Joe Worsley- a former colleague at Wasps. Payne, Shaw,Worsley and Haskell all played together at Wasps; and along with Hartley and Moody this is not necessarily a purely defensive pack.
And it is good to see that Wilson is back on the bench; after all he moved to Bath in order to get more chance at TH where England badly need someone to replace White and Vickery . That is obviously not the 35 year old Bell.

And outside Monye went on the Lions, Cueto has performed pretty well for England over the years, and Hipkiss and Geraghty have been pressing their cause for some time. I think most people on 606 would have prefered Banahan on the bench, and someone with genuine FB skills playing 15.

Maybe that Tait will come on there off the bench..

Unfortunately the weather looks like it is going to be even worse than last week; so the chances of really entertaining rugby look very limited.

Cass

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posted Nov 20, 2009

<<England are the only team in the world that could have a proven talent like Shane Geraghty in the side and render him completely anonymous.>>
There really is a huge amount of nonsense on these boards at the moment.
When Flutey came into the England team he was hammered on these boards for his anonymity in the first few games. Then, he throws a couple of side-steps against Wales, and he is the best centre England have had in years, with the same people who were hammering him suddenly thrown into despair when he gets injured.
Test rugby is a few steps up from the usual week-in, week out stuff. It takes even the best players time to get used to the split second difference in reaction times, speed of defence, increased pace.
Too many people on these boards demand instant gratification; MJ has effectively had to start again this Autumn series because of injuries to key men; 1:1 against two of the four best-ranked teams in the world is acceptable in my book.

In my view, the problem with the England coaching set-up is not bad coaching, but over-coaching of a group of players which currently has few natural leaders in it.
Having said that, I think many people will be surprised by the improved quality of England's play on Saturday.

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posted Nov 20, 2009

"In my view, the problem with the England coaching set-up is not bad coaching, but over-coaching of a group of players which currently has few natural leaders in it."

I agree with most of your points apart from this one.

To get quick ball you need to smash players out of the way. From what people say, Mike Ford is too focused on sealing off possession than generating quicker ball.

Even when England played well against Wales and France, England weren't really smashing players out of the way at the breakdown, meaning the ball wasn't as quick as it could have been. I put that down to the coaches. I don't think MJ's necessarily to blame though.

One last gripe is the fact that Wilkinson needs to stand flatter. I watched highlights on youtube of England v Ireland and Cipriani stood on the gain line and caused them all sorts of problems. It also helps when the forwards when they are coming off the fly-half as they only need to make a couple of metres to get over it.

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posted Nov 20, 2009

The point you make about Ford may or may not be right, but it seemed to me that England had plenty of quick ball in the second half on Saturday; in fact, although nobody else seems to agree with me, I thought England's second half display last week was generally pretty good, just made to look worse by odd mistakes from Monye and JW. I was not surprised when the try was scored in the way it was, even though the Sky commentators had continued to talk down the England performance as if there was no difference bewteen the first and second half - seemed like there was a pre-scripted party line that they were sticking too, irrespective of the evidence in front of them.

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posted Nov 20, 2009

Much has been made of Simon Shaws selection regarding the balance of the locks and his size and strength but Simon Shaw is one of the best offloaders in Rugby . Lets hope that we use that part of the game and not just his tight work .

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posted Nov 20, 2009

On the subject of Shaw: there was one clear out in the second (possibly Third) Test for the Lions V SA that was the best clear out of a ruck/maul that I have ever seen in a game of rugby - he literally splintered it, sending three or four big Saffers spinning away.
His off-loading is great for a big bloke, and his tight work is solid (think of the improvement in Vickery when Shaw propped behind him in the 3rd Test), but a couple of those clear-outs early on v the ABs tomorrow would do very nicely.

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posted Nov 20, 2009

Hotspur

Yes. Good post. I was almost tempted to bring-back to life the Shaw thread that annoyed some people last year, because- like Shaw's career it went on and on.

I do think that, whatever qualities Borthwick has- and they are not as negligible as some people think- Shaw is in many ways the perfect partner for him. Borthwick may just be too nice sometimes. Shaw can be brutal, or surprisingly delicate and controlled for such a big man.

Cass

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