Ashton leaves Vickery on the bench

Matt Stevens has played himself into the starting XV for Friday’s crucial game with Tonga and has been selected ahead of the England captain.

The only changes are Steve Borthwick in for Simon Shaw and Lewis Moody for Joe Worsley at openside.  Mathew Tait keeps his place at outside centre, despite calls for Dan Hipkiss to replace him.

What are your thoughts?  Will we make the knockout stages?

15. Josh Lewsey (London Wasps)
14. Paul Sackey (London Wasps)
13. Mathew Tait (Newcastle Falcons)
12. Olly Barkley (Bath Rugby)
11. Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
10. Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons)
9. Andy Gomarsall (Harlequins)
1. Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2. George Chuter (Leicester Tigers)
3. Matt Stevens (Bath Rugby)
4. Steve Borthwick (Bath Rugby)
5. Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers)
6. Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers, captain)
7. Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers)
8. Nick Easter (Harlequins)

16. Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
17. Phil Vickery (London Wasps)
18. Lawrence Dallaglio (London Wasps)
19. Joe Worsley (London Wasps)
20. Peter Richards (London Irish)
21. Andy Farrell (Saracens)
22. Danny Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers)

3 thoughts on “Ashton leaves Vickery on the bench

  1. Only two changes and both seem to make reasonable sense so a much more consistent selection. I think we’ll do it but it’ll be another physical encounter as per any game against Pacific Islands opposition so let’s hope there aren’t any key casualties before the Australia game which will follow if we do go through.

    I’m a big fan of Hipkiss and it’s good to at least see him on the bench. I’d rather see him start than Tait in such a physical game, but I’ve been criticising the lack of stability in selection and I can’t have it both ways!

    I reckon it’ll be similar to last week in that it will be quite high scoring but we’ll be reasonably safe with maybe the odd wobble here and there (just wouldn’t be England otherwise would it?).

    We still looked quite disorganised in defence against Samoa so if and when we get through, the thought of what a backline including Giteau, Mortlock, Tuqiri, Mitchell and Latham will do to us is quite depressing, so let’s not dwell on that for now, in case we don’t get there!

  2. Right to leave out Vickery, Hipkiss deserves a start, harsh on Shaw and Worsley, Tom Rees needs to play at 7, Farrell’s got no place on the bench.

    Well said though, any consistency in selection has to be a step in the right direction.

  3. I think Rees is carrying a slight injury isn’t he? I’m sure that’s what I heard so that’s why he’s gone with Moody.

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