Ben Morgan and 17 others released by England

The following players were this evening released to their clubs ahead of Aviva Premiership Round 17, the RaboDirect PRO 12 and Top 14 Orange

Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
Ben Morgan (Scarlets)
Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Matt Stevens (Saracens)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Rob Webber (London Wasps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It’s been a good few days with a change of venue and an opportunity to review the Wales game and build on the positives as well as learn some lessons. The players have been very focused in training and their response after Saturday has been excellent. We are going to release 18 players to get some game time for their clubs on which should be a very competitive weekend. Our intention was to retain the starting 15 from Wales for training tomorrow but under IRB Regulation 9 the Scarlets have requested Ben Morgan so he will be returning to play for them on Friday.”

After tomorrow England will next meet up at Pennyhill Park on the evening of Monday, March 5

8 thoughts on “Ben Morgan and 17 others released by England

  1. Interesting, as now we know for sure who Lancaster thinks his absolute starters are. And who he feels are at the right level already. Good to see Youngs, Flood, Stevens get some more game time, because they really need it. This means we could see Doran Jones go head to head with Stevens on Sunday. Should be a good battle.

  2. On current form, PD-J would cream Stevens the penalty machine. Hope youngs and Flood find some form this weekend. Nothing better than having four half-backs in excellent form scrapping it out for the starting jersey.

    1. I think some of it depends on the ref on the day. Adam Jones was constantly binding on the arm at the weekend, but neither Walsh or his assistants seemed to spot it.

      1. but no excuse for the hands in the ruck penalty that gave wales the equalising score. he was absolutely clueless,

  3. I would like to see Marler get a start or at least a bench spot.

    His scrummaging seems to be getting stronger and stronger (perhaps his time with the England team and rowntree is helping?) and he uses a long bind, making it more difficult for the opposition tighthead to bind on the arm

    In the loose he is pretty damn good. If he gets some game time , he could well be the English equivalent of Gethin Jenkins

  4. I’m still trying to decide if having so many players return to clubs is a good thing or not

    Pros
    – More game time and chance for players to stake a claim.
    – Clubs will be happy, improves relationship (favours will no doubt need to be called in at some stage)
    – Some out of form players get to, hopefully, find some in a slower paced and lower pressure game.

    Cons
    – What can the remaining 14 usefully do in terms of rugby training?
    – Risk of injuries in some positions where we have no depth.
    – Players unlearn England patterns and structures to relearn their club playing styles.
    – Missed opportunity to start closing the fitness gap to the Welsh.
    – There has only been one game where we have seen the first signs of a playing style and the magic tempo (a bit staccato with the long pauses at the back of the ruck). It is still a new team does it not need more time together?

    Ambivalent
    – Battle hardens players most of whom won’t be playing.

    Be interested to know what views people have … I’m not convinced it is a good call, though not sure it isn’t either!

    1. I think this is part of the problem. and probably why Lancaster has not let him go. It would be pointless sending him back to get game time (even 20 minutes off the bench) if he’s not going to play.

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