Autumn Internationals: England team to play Fiji

Stuart Lancaster has named the starting line-up for England’s game against Fiji on Saturday.

England RugbyEngland:
15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 2 caps)
14. Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby, 2 caps)
13. Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 13 caps)
12. Brad Barritt (Saracens, 7 caps)
11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins, 13 caps)
10. Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 50 caps)
9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 33 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 3 caps)
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 0 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps)
4. Tom Palmer (London Wasps, 40 caps)
5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps)
6. Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs, 3 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 8 caps)
8. Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Replacements
16. David Paice (London Irish, 2 caps)
17. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
18. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 0 caps)
19. Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 0 caps)
20. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 9 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 24 caps)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 8 caps)
23. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 7 caps)

What do you think? Would you have picked a different team

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

33 thoughts on “Autumn Internationals: England team to play Fiji

  1. Pretty much as expected. Not so many caps, but some of the players with less caps have been around the premiership block for a while, so am not too worried about the team being too green. Looking forward to the game.

    Anyone got any idea how the Fiji team is shaping up?

    1. Fiji team beat Japan and narrowly lost to samoa recently. They gave scotland a good game some time ago. Should be a tough one but England victory. I would also have like to see Borthwick in the Lineout and Nick Easter experience there as well. We shall see I guess.

      1. Borthwick and Easter? Jesus christ no man! They are so average in an England shirt it isn’t funny.

        I’m assuming this is a troll and I have fallen for it, hook line and sinker.

          1. No they are fine premiership players. They go missing in an England shirt. Charlie Hodgson was an another example.

    1. I think that Delon’s temperament and disciplinary record will not sit well in Lancasters way of thinking. Steffon is a different matter, and should definitely be tested again at international level.

  2. No problem with the Team selection. Just want to see what style of Rugby they will be playing. Sarries style defence and Harlequins attacking flair would be a good start. We shall see I guess. Will be in wales for the Argentina game but will find a Big Screen somewhere for the England game. Go England!!

  3. Although there are not many caps in there, the majority of this team formed a relationship earlier in the year in the Six Nations. Apart from a new back three, and a few changes in the pack, this is pretty much as expected. Nice to see (Tom) Youngs, Sharples, Vumipola and Launchbury being given a chance.
    I’m guessing that with Wood on the bench, Robshaw will move to 8 if needed?

    1. I would assume Robshaw is considered the 8 cover. The team is pretty much as expected; I am looking forward to seeing Launchbury play at this level, very good player!

      It should be a good game and I am looking forward to it. Fiji are no push overs and a great first test. Should win the game comfortably in the end though!

  4. Slight sense of anti-climax after the 23-man squad was revealed on Tuesday and you could guess the line-up.

    Interesting that Goode is ahead of Brown…looking forward to seeing Sharples again, and Barritt / Tuilagi midfield will hopefully surprise people and create something.

    No complaints really, looking forward to the game and laying a marker down for the rest of the series.

  5. Interesting question – is guessing the lineup before it is announced a good sign ie. settled team, or a bad sign ie. rather predictable and unexciting team selection? Just asking!

    1. You can guess a line-up of 15 from 23 players! Few would have thought Ben Morgan would be sent back to Gloucester and I wouldn’t have picked Monye a couple of weeks ago.

      Might also have had Burns at 10 and Botha involved somewhere too…

      1. Yes option 3 was the correct answer! Burns didn’t have enough time with the squad to make the matchday 23 unfortunately. Can’t figure out what is going on with Morgan. He’s playing reasonably well. A bit up and down, but he’s a young player and needs time and experience to develop. It’s not like we’ve got a whole range of other young options lining up at present.

        1. Would like to see Waldrom out and Billy Vunipola in for the Six Nations. I’ve got nothing against Waldrom, but like a few other players within the squad (over or pushing 30), going forward what do they offer apart from experience, and Waldrom doesn’t have much at this level anyway.

          Billy Vunipola is great going forward, has very good hands for a big man, and for me has been playing better than Morgan lately.

  6. Yes do people think that the Goode over Brown is now the pecking order? Or just giving Goode a run for this game against Fiji?

    1. I’d wager we’ll see Brown back for the “big 3”, with Goode on the bench as cover for 10 and 15. However, they’re both handy players, and either deserves a start really!

      1. Yeh I tend to agree. It will be more telling when Foden is back as to how he manages having all three excellent full backs around?

        1. Agree that we’ll see Brown back. Hoping Lancaster is just trying Goode out as Brown is the better fullback in my view. Goode offers good cover from the bench

          I would guess that unless one of the wingers really puts their hand up in these games, we’ll see Foden being used on the wing again, leaving fullback for Brown and Goode

        2. I think Goode is in there as a test, but also because of his ability to step up as first receiver if necessary.

  7. I think its pretty simple. When you have a mid field that has no second receiver, such as ours, you need a footballing back that cab step up and provide that ball movement. Barrit and Tuilagi have no problems going over the top of people, but neither is a natural passer. Manu has the better hands and enjoys an outside break sometimes, while barritt hits the gain line and his defence and breakdown work are probably the best of any centre in the premiership at the moment. However, I’ve never seen either of them throw a defence splitting pass or a chip into space. Yes we see manu offloading sometimes but that doesn’t let a team take advantage of a broken game.
    Since brown never seems to pass the ball and will just run until tackled, I think Goode rounds the team more, him having that ability to step in and move the ball quickly to create space for those outside him, plus, like brown, he has a good boot and an eye for a gap.
    If manu and JJ were the centre pairing I would have started brown, he would thrive from having a lump like manu so close to the ball at 12. That’s what they do at quins with JTH and brown scores trys for fun in the premiership.

    1. Hasn’t Barritt played at fly half previously, before he came to the UK and stepping in occasionally during Sarries games? Or am I imagining it? If I’m not, he should be able to throw a decent pass, even if we’ve yet to see it.

      Brown runs excellent lines and is extremely good at off-loading the ball. Normally Brown will suck about 2 or 3 players into trying to bring him down, thereby creating space elsewhere. What he needs is the England forwards to be there looking to take the off-load and exploit the space

      1. He played a lot at 10 in SA, but is more effective as a 12. He carries very well and as mentioned his work at the breakdown and his defence make him the stand out choice at this level. He does sometimes step in at first receiver for Sarries, but would usually try and get over the gain line himself and set up another ruck or maul.
        His game has improved now that he has a more natural 13 playing outside him at Sarries. Hopefully we will see proof of this improvement on Saturday.

        1. Thanks Dazza. Always thought people who dismissed him as a one-dimensional, bosh it up the middle player were a bit wrong

          1. Also wouldn’t be too surprised to see Tomkins get a chance in the Elite squad or at least the Saxons come the Six Nations.

  8. I really hope Lancaster doesn’t consider Waldrom a long term option, there are much better options said in previous posts like Billy Vunipola and Morgan. However it’s a shame that some of our more talented players are out injured, with the return of Hartely, Lawes, Croft, Ashton, JJ and Foden it could be a potentially very successful squad.
    More than anything want a victory over SA. Love it when Enland beat them.

    1. i love to see the boks beaten by anyone, there are hard teams and dirty teams, the saffers are both and dont play attractive rugby IMO , but neither do england usually ,but think lancaster intends to change that by the look of the style he has chosen since taking over,looks like a good choice of leadership for england to me ,…long may he continue !

  9. i think tuilagi should be very careful, since Fiji is use to pacific island hit from samoa. but hope the team deliver a win.

  10. Fiji News:
    The Flying Fijians are ready for their first Europe Tour battle against England on Sunday.
    Team manager Major Aseri Rokoura said the full house at Twickenham has given the players high hopes for the huge task ahead.
    “This will help the players focused as there are high expectations in terms of performance and outcome,” Major Rokoura said.
    He said there were already talks in the English media that Fiji would find it hard to survive the atmosphere and the cold weather in London.
    “There are talks that England will dominate Fiji so as to please their crowd,”Major Rokoura said.

    “But we are here to deliver for Fiji.
    “We fear no one, we only fear God who we believe will assist us.”
    The coaches are working hard in putting together a good combination for the side.
    “The coaches are working on defence, contact, scrums,set pieces and execution.”
    Major Rokoura also confirmed Josefa Domolailai has yet to join the team from France due to visa issues.
    The weather deteriorated and temperature dropped to one degree yesterday.
    “The cold weather continually affected the players’ preparation however they are adapting slowly.”
    The players will have a session today with referee Tapa Hennings followed by sight-seeing in London.
    “The referee will brief the team on the new laws,”Major Rokoura
    The match will aired live on Fiji One at 3.30am on Sunday.

  11. more Fiji news:
    The imposing 32-year-old, who last played for his country against France in November 2010, is set to win his eighth Test cap as he lines up in a powerful midfield pairing alongside Leicester Tigers ace Vereniki Goneva.

    Naqelevuki has also been named as the vice-captain of the side which will be skippered by Scarlets prop Deacon Manu.

    Also included in the starting XV is Gloucester back-rower Akapusi Qera, Western Force speedster Samu Wara and Bordeaux Bègles utility back Metuisela Talebula who will play at fly-half.

    Fiji: 15 Simeli Koniferedi, 14 Samu Wara, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Metuisela Talebula, 9 Nicola Matawalu, 8 Akapusi Qera 7 Malaki Ravulo, 6 Api Naikatani, 5 Apisolame Ratuniyarawa, 4 Leone Nakawara, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Ratu Makutu.

    Replacements: 16 Seremaia Naureure, 17 Setafano Samoca, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Sekonaia Kalou, 20 Iliesa Ratuva, 21 Kelemedi Bola, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

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