England 14-20 Australia: England player ratings

Toby Flood

Joe Marler: 3
A torrid afternoon for the loose-head as England struggled to assert their supposed dominancy in the scrum. Took a knock in the first half and didn’t look great after it, dropping simple passes and giving away penalties at the set piece.

Tom Youngs: 5
Hit all his lineouts once again but needs to offer a bit more in the loose if he wants to keep his place on the return of Hartley. Exposed for pace a couple of times when hanging out on the wing.

Dan Cole: 4
This could have been the day Cole announced himself as a genuine world-class tighthead. Sadly he didn’t take that opportunity, and was more often than not outplayed by Benn Robinson.

Geoff Parling: 5
Again marshalled the lineout well, but is going to need to start offering a bit more in the way of carrying if he is not going to come under pressure for his place. Never going to put the fear of God into the opposition.

Tom Palmer: 4
A couple of decent carries but where is the enforcer England so desperately need? The South Africans will not be quaking in their boots ahead of next week, and England must seriously consider playing Lawes to offer that bit of edge and physicality.

Tom Johnson: 5
Slick hands in the build-up to Tuilagi’s try was about the only moment of note for Johnson. Made his tackles and got around the park well but will continue to be under pressure from Tom Wood.

Chris Robshaw: 6
A couple of nice offloads and strong carries as the England captain led from the front. Question marks have to be raised about his decision making, though, as England repeatedly passed up chances to take 3 points in the second half.

Thomas Waldrom: 5
Typically industrious but once again made frustratingly few inroads. Doesn’t seem to have the same presence on an international field as he does for the Tigers.

Danny Care: 5
Repeatedly swept up well in defence, but there was none of his trademark snappiness and he was outshone in attack by opposite number Phipps. Still too often taking half a step when getting the ball away from the breakdown, which reduces Flood’s time and space on the ball.

Toby Flood: 6
Kicked almost faultlessly again, and looked dangerous when attacking the gainline but just lacks that yard of pace to take him through the gaps he invariably finds. Was at the helm of a fairly lacklustre backline but would be unfair to lay the blame solely at his door.

Charlie Sharples: 4
Was shown a clean pair of heels by Phipps in the first half which led to the Aussie try. Struggled to get in the game as he wasn’t fed any decent ball from the men inside him.

Brad Barritt: 4
Defended valiantly as always but it is time he offered more of a threat in attack. Another to be outplayed by his opposite number, he must really be thankful for the fact that there are limited alternatives at 12.

Manu Tuilagi: 6
Showed all of his immense strength to finish in the corner for the try that got England back into the match. Is starting to look a bit one dimensional though, and needs to add an offloading side to his game if he is to become a world class centre.

Chris Ashton: 5
After the heroics of 2010 much was expected of the return of Ashton. The winger was largely anonymous though, as Australia successfully nullified the threat of England’s ‘pretty boys’.

Alex Goode: 5
Didn’t have the same influence on the game as last week, as he struggled to find the space he enjoys playing in so much. One horror slice off the left boot in the first half sticks out in the memory also.

Vunipola and Launchbury again provided some much-needed menace when introduced in the second half, and will push for starting spots next week. Ben Youngs, however, lost his head once again when taking a stupid quick tap when a simple 3 points were on offer. Seriously needs to work on his decision making. The others failed to turn the game around also, as they were thrown on in haste in an attempt to turn things around.

By Jamie Hosie

68 thoughts on “England 14-20 Australia: England player ratings

  1. Don’t think T Youngs can do anything to keep his place. England were rudderless and lacking leadership on Saturday – they need Hartley’s presence on the pitch, nevermind the qualities he brings as a hooker.

    Thought both the 9s were poor also – it’s all very well to be quick and keep the opposition guessing, but both Care and Youngs seem unable to pass the ball to the 10 on the run. I lost count of the amount of times Toby Flood had to receive the ball standing still or even jump to catch it – watch New Zealand or Australia and the scrum half passes the ball where the 10 will be, not where he has been.

    6 for Tuilagi seems generous – I think that England’s problem in recent months is that they’ve been trying to build their attacking game around him, and it hasn’t worked. As mentioned in the article, he’s one-dimensional in attack and has a horrible tendency to fly out of the line in defence. A spell on the bench or even being dropped altogether wouldn’t do him any harm at all, as there’s a risk he may start feeling untouchable rather than realising he seriously needs to buck his ideas up and start improving his game.

    The current team stands almost no chance of beating SA or NZ, so I’d probably gamble and introduce some players such as Twelvetrees and Joseph at 12 and 13. We may leak some tries but at least it’d give us a look at what they can do in attack. At the very least, Wood, Launchbury, Corbisiero and Morgan must start against SA.

    1. Agreed on Tuilagi. He has a funny habbit of trying to run round defenders, pushing his winger out wide. I think when Joseph is fit they should try a Barritt – Joseph midfield. Maybe play Brown at 15 and bring Goode into the line at 13?

      1. I’ve heard far worse ideas! Could actually work quite nicely, my only reservation would be that outside centre has a heavy defensive workload – is Goode up to that?

  2. RFU Twitter: “Thomas Waldrom had a huge game against Australia: top tackler (21); joint top ball carrier (12); and third in hitting rucks (24)”

    So probably a bit unfair on Waldrom. Agree on Marler – Mako and Corbs for the next test, give him something to think about.

    1. I think Waldrom does a lot of things people miss. He makes a lot of metres, lots of carries and tackles and lots of turnovers. I think people just expect him to break the gainline and run fast. He has solid games but is often overlooked.

  3. To be fair to Ben Youngs and his tap penalty – we’re talking about a point in the game where England needed 7, not at 50 minutes when 3s had a chance to build up. Didn’t cover himself in glory though with some of the desperately hurried quick ball that lacked his usual accuracy.

    I personally thought that Parling had a great game. The 365 website – which is usually a little dismissive of English players – gave him a 7. I thought he carried well and offered a burst of pace and his line out operation was solid again.

    Sharples I might have given 3. He wasn’t given much to do in attack, but in defence I saw him 3 times coming off his wing to make a tackle and leaving an overlap, fortunately covered by other players running wide. He needs to stick to his touchline and his man in defence and let others worry about their tackles.

    The centre combination is lacking. I don’t think it’s the individual players, but more running and passing is required. It does make the attack one dimensional and is something that a coach has failed to really balance in England since Brian Ashton was playing Tindall and Tait together.

  4. About right. Marler was always going to be the weak link in this game. He’s not ready for the top tier nations. He is improving, but at times for Quins he takes a game off before coming back the following week. This can’t happen at test level.

    Corbs and Hartley can’t come back quick enough.

    Tuilagi I’d probably have given him a 5. If he could simply offload the ball, he’d be ten times better.

    I agree with the post above regarding centre combo. I think i would go for Barritt and JJ, with Manu as an impact sub, or Play Twelvetrees and Tuilagi.

    1. I wasn’t sure what do make of this game. I think it was a shock for England in the first 20 minutes when we didn’t dominate at scrum time. This set the tone for the game.

      I would like to see Launchbury and Corbs come in; although if Corbs isn’t quite ready then Mako should play.

      I really can not wait to see Hartley and Lawes back in England shirts, I think we really miss them too. And Foden.

      I’m not sure I would change too much else. The centre pairing is tempting to change but I am not sure it is really a good idea.

      Tuilagi can’t go anywhere, yes it would be amazing if he could offload. But even without that he is a dangerous player, more dangerous than any other centre we have. He has scored three tries in two weeks and I still remember him pushing over devilliers in the summer; which not many people do!

      1. Tuilagi doesn’t have much of a passing or kicking game but one thing he can do is offload. Last 2 games for Leicester he has given offloads resulting in tries, same last week for Fiji. What he needs is support runners to offload to! I didn’t see many opportunities where I thought he could have offloaded and didn’t.

        1. Tend to agree with you actually Matt. I wouldn’t say he is great at offloading but his passing game isn’t great and I have actually never seen him kick. For all we know he is a great kicker!

          Either way; Tuilagi plays.

  5. I larely agree; feel you’ve been harsh on Dan Cole. He was again a menace at the breakdown, and the scrum problems were mainly down to Alexander getting a shove on Marler. When Vunipola came on, England were dominant in this department.

    This match made it clear that when the forwards don’t have the sort of dynamism and power to put England consistently on the front foot, the backs are unable to light it up. The centre combination is poor.

    As an aside, did anyone notice that Alex Goode was regularly the most vocal in the team huddles?

  6. “This could have been the day Cole announced himself as a genuine world-class tighthead.”

    Oh please, he already is a genuine world class tighthead. He had a (very rare) off day, it happens.

  7. I thought Waldrom had a decent game as well, better than Robshaw and Johnson. 5 is generous for Youngs as a lot of scrummaging issues were at hooker in my opinion. From the overhead shots you could see the props on both sides getting separated from the hooker, so made me wonder if he has the arm length/strength for international scrummaging.

    I’ve not been a fan of Parling’s contributions outside of the lineout, but thought he had one of his best games around the park.

    For next week, assuming dialing 0033xxxxxx to Armitage is out of the question I would go for

    1) Corbs (if fit else Vunipola)
    2) Youngs (by default)
    3) Cole
    4) Parling
    5) Lawes (not sure about fitness as no game time this weekend Launchbury )
    6) Wood
    7) Robshaw
    8) Waldrom
    9) Care (not thrilled about his form but Youngs looked poor coming on)
    10) Flood
    11) Sharples (had a shocker, but has earnt his chance so would like to see him given 2 more games)
    12) Tuilagi
    13) JJ (if fit else Barritt)
    14) Ashton
    15) Brown (if JJ plays else Goode)

    16) Paice
    17) Vunipola (if Corbs fit else Marler)
    18) Wilson
    19) Launchberry (if Lawes fit else Palmer)
    20) Morgan (look for an impact after 50 mins, Lawes/Launchbury also proving back row cover)
    21) Dixon (need some variety in the scrum half play off the bench)
    22) Burns (A sub who can make use of quick ball away from the ruck)
    23) Goode (If JJ fit, else Brown)

  8. Marks are all fair but it’s important to judge the performances in terms of their current age and experience. Tom Youngs will certainly get better but have we already seen the best of Hartley? Same with a number of other new(ish) caps. Lancaster is building for the next World Cup and much of the criticisms levelled at this game could be measured by the lack of experience rather than lack of commitment or ability. As far as I’m concerned the more young players blooded now the better, you only have to think of Hooper’s performance to see what can happen if you do.

    1. I tend to agree. After feelings of despair came some of optimism on Saturday night – this game will be a lesson to learn from, just as there were plenty of lessons for Woodward’s side.

      Lots of young players showing promise, and some experience to come back in Hartley, Corbs, Lawes and Foden.

      1. I’m still feeling disillusioned and have tickets for Saturday so am looking for any signs of encouragement. I suspect this will come from whatever changes SL makes/ does no make. If Palmer is in the 23 I think I will go nuts.

  9. Not sure I can understand the comments on Robshaw. He was one of the only forwards, along with Parling, to hold his hand up and be counted.

    I totally agree with 365’s verdict – “He worked hard off the ball and carried the ball up strongly, making plenty of metres. His work at the breakdown was also invaluable. One of the few England players that did not damage his reputation”

    The decision not to go for the penalty was a little naive, but had the air about it of a pre-arranged strategy. The gap between it working (and everyone hailing Robshaw for his bold decision making) and what actually happened is as wide as the knee that knocked the ball from Waldrom’s grasp.

    Our problems at the breakdown do not stem from not having an out and out open-side. They come, as they have done for the past few years, from not clearing out the rucks when we have the ball and not counter-rucking when we don’t.

    The number of times that the Aussies turned over our ball by throwing people into the counter-ruck was appalling. Likewise, when we tried to steal theirs, there would be one England player, normally Cole or Robshaw, being battered off the ball by several Aussies.

    We could have McCaw playing for us, but without the support of the other forwards, the result would be little different. Watch the ABs and how quickly they clear out rucks on their own ball and how strongly they counter-ruck on the opponents.

    Tom Wood needs to start as Johnson appears to have caught Croft-itis and seems to think the role of a blindside is to hang around on the wing. Palmer isn’t physical enough – either Lawes if he is fit or Launchbury if not. Personally, I’d have Robson, Kitchener or Attwood coming in, but they don’t seem to be an option for Lancaster.

    Finally, someone needs to sit the entire England team down in front of the ABs runinng the ball and point out 3 things:

    1. The ball is taken at pace. Not by someone standing still

    2. How the ball is passed in front of the man, so that it is where he will be, not where he is. The ball is not passed behind or above the man.

    3. How the player receiving the ball fixes the opposite defender and then passes the ball.

    It really isn’t rocket science. This should be basic skill

  10. Paice was brought on for only 6 minutes. I’d start him as he certainly will face up to the opposition. Marler? Three was generous and Corbs if fully fit if not, Vunipola. The front five really do need looking at and Lawes is a must and what about LI’s Garvey, putting in a lot of big matches?

  11. If England’s second try was given and we converted it to win by 1 point… Alternatively, if Australia’s try was dis-allowed for a forward try and hence England winning – would these marks out of ten remain the same I wonder?

  12. Brown isn’t mentioned in this article, but I thought he looked very effective when he came on, often getting over the gain line and taking multiple tacklers to stop him.

    According to espnscrum.com, during the short time he was on, he ran for more meters than any other back than Goode or Tuilagi

    Is there a way of fitting him and Goode into the team? Is it worth playing Brown on the left wing from the start?

    1. Brown looked effective against tired players, although he went sideways a couple of times (to be fair so did the rest of the england backline). My problem with him was that he went on a crash ball a couple of metres from the aussie line. WHY? He got smashed back in the tackle and turned over. Pure idiocy. He shouldn’t be doing that. He should be standing in space where he is good and leaving smash ball to the forwards (who were probably standing out in space!).

    2. Looking at ESPN he ran 46m to Tuilagi’s 58m, and Goode’s 93 (and Waldrom’s 48). The stat is a little deceiving. FBs obviously sit back and get the ball from kicks before running up into a lot of open space. Also, as mentioned a fresh flyer versus tired legs also emphasises a point.

  13. Think a 5 for Ashton is charitable. Agree with 365, he did little to nothing. I was afraid before the match that his current Test slump would continue and sadly my fears were realised. He needs a long period sat in the crowd to sort his head out. It would never happen but Banahan would be my pick for 14, I still don’t understand why he was dropped for the 6N.

    On the whole I think this is a developing side and it’s not the worst outcome possible to have lost playing ambitious rugby rather than win through 2003 tactics of kicking every penalty made available. With England’s perennial discipline problems this simply isn’t a viable strategy to win games. However, I think there are some clear signals for selection that SL needs to take.

    Marler is not a starter, I’m not even sure I’d have him on the bench. He lacks precision and simply isn’t a good long-term prospect for England, at least not at the moment. Bring back Corbs.

    Waldrom did well but I think starting Morgan at 8 and having the Tank as a 60 minute sub might be a better strategy, or vice versa.

    Barritt and Tuilagi don’t work well alongside one another. They both play similar roles and should be subbed for one another. I suggest start Tuilagi and bring Barritt in at 60 mins. I’d like to see Joseph back as he would bring more variation to attack. I can see him playing well off either Tuilagi or Barritt.

    My squad for the Bokke:
    1. Corbisiero
    2. Tom Youngs (promising, needs more experience to shine)
    3. Cole
    4. Lawes
    5. Parling
    6. Steffon Armitage, failing that Phil Downson.
    7. Robshaw.
    8. Morgan
    9. Dickson (haven’t the foggiest why SL isn’t giving him more caps at 9, very promising)
    10. Flood. Needs continuity to firm up his game.
    11. Sharples.
    12. Jonathan Joseph
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Banahan in my dreams, realistically Ben Youngs.
    15. Goode.

    Farrell (to come on for Flood)

    1. Banahan? Are you sure? Another one who looks good at club level but redines mediocre at international level.

      Ben Youngs at 14? How about a proper winger instead. Someone like Wade, Eastmond or providing he doesn’t break, James Simpson-Daniel.

      The rest of your team looks decent. I’d swap Armitage out for Wood, becuase no matter how much the clamour is for him, and I really do rate him and think he should be in the side, he won’t get picked as he is in France.

  14. No more Waldron after how Ben Morgan played at the weekend. Don’t think palmer, Johnson, barritt, sharples or brown can cut it at this level now. Palmer and Johnson make negligible yards when they carry and don’t make the big hits. Barritt brings nothing on attack at all and sharples won’t go in field looking for the ball. Once again brown showed his inability to pass or offload just running into the oz line when he probably should have used that huge boot of his. For England to become successful we need some ball carrying menace. A second row and back row that tick all the juggernaut and wrecking ball box criteria. And we definitely need someone to give Tuilagi some direction, stick him at twelve and get him to run at the 10 all day. Launch bury has to start, even better if lawes is good to go for the sa game.

  15. I saw the result coming if I’m honest and seeing wallabies in gold at twicka dn us in purple was bizarre. Is youngs/care rivalry healthy or making them behave like dogs on heat? I think lancaster will know his 23 for the 6n after this series. you can see when he does interviews he doesn’t have a clue what it is. we do have a depth of players who are of a similar ability, which ones will become world class if gived game time is the tough decisiion that needs to be made. england have got this wrong in the past as have all nations i’m sure. i think they should pick midfield on potential rather than for results now.

    1. Not as good looking as the old nike Purple shirts, it’s a funny colour. It does look much better on TV than in person I felt

  16. Is Lawes fit? why wasnt he on the bench?

    Its the tight 5 where our issue is. If your forwards are not going forward, whether in the scrum or loose, your backs will go backwards!

  17. I think Goode was better than a 5 he carried well considering Australia’s defence was sound and offloaded well in tight areas. The decision making for 3 penalties to go to touch was poor. Tom Youngs missed a few tackles. Game plan was poor against a high tempo side. People are not being utilised effectively. Credit to the Australian pack for stepping things up in all areas.

    1. Trouble is that it IS the LV Cup! Haven’t caught up on this week, but last week was mainly bit part players, academy and other young players and reserves. I think Morgan should be playing but would hesitate to use the LV as a strong argument.

      1. Agreed that there’s quite a gulf between LV Cup and International standard! But if Lancaster sends a player back to his club for more game time, scoring a hattrick is a fairly emphatic message.

        I’m torn on the Number 8 selection – I rate Waldrom and thought he had a decent game against Australia, but Morgan’s pace and strangely elusive running style is impressive.

        1. As you know, I’m definitely a Morgan fan, but Waldrom did well against them in SA, so I’d probably stick with him for this game and then unleash Morgan for the AB’s. He might not thank me for that comment!!

        2. Waldrom’s got the work rate and he’s a damn smart player. Morgan is quick and still strong as an ox. It’s a tough decision. What I’ve seen of him this season is a mix of great and dreadful in the Prem though – so I’m a bit iffy.

          Someone else suggested further up, Morgan to start and Waldrom on the bench. I might suggest it the other way though and bring Morgan’s smart running against tired legs. This does obviously mean that he’s the backrow replacement though and he doesn’t offer much in the way of 6 or 7 cover, but Waldrom can always move to either side.

  18. My 15 if all fit

    S Armitage
    Twelve trees
    D Armitage

    1. I am a big Cipriani fan and tend to agree with almost all of your selection.

      I would certainly have Tuilagi over D. Armitage, but other than that I think you are on the right lines.

      As much as I am a Cipriani fan; I need to see him put together a run of games in a Sale shirt, and then I will welcome him back. Until then, for me its Flood.

      1. I have always thought DA woul make a great outside centre, he has pace, vision and can pass. Plus as we all know he has plenty of aggression.

        Cipriani is the most talented fly half in England, just needs to rediscover his form, and he has been playing well for Sale. George Ford is probably the long term answer, but he needs to be playing regular footie.

        Cipriani can play heads up rugby, winning at test match level is about moment of vision that plodders like Flood just are not capable of.

        Burns should be given a run, why on earth he hasn’t been this series is a mystery – not fully convinced by him but I think he deserves a shot more than the current incumbents.

    2. Great team fully agree with the selections R120.Hope Lancaster learns from the thrashings he will get from the boks and tha all blacks….

  19. With the team available, this would be my squad for South Africa.
    1. Vunipola
    2. Youngs
    3. Cole
    4. Launchbury
    5. Parling
    6. Johnson
    7. Robshaw
    8. Morgan
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Barritt
    13. Goode
    14. Ashton
    15. Brown

    16. Paice
    17. Marler
    18. Wilson
    19. Palmer
    20. Waldrom
    21. Care
    22. Farrell
    23. Tuilagi

    1. Dazza are you serious or are you joking this squad will not have a chance even in the six nations wales and france will cut them to pieces let alone the southern hemisphere sides…Parling,Johnson and Robshaw are a joke where were they when Beale kept on punting the ball behind the backs and making serious inroads.where did Robshaw steal a ball..didnt you see he was just standing still when going forward.definitely Trelwetrees offers more than Barrit.Goode looked so silly with his runs,Farrel will have to thank his farther for keeping burns out.Flood looks scared and lacks pace and creativity.Dazza you cant be the best side if you are scared of taking risks.and i belive its time they did.Thats why im backing R120 team selection….

  20. My XV for SA would be:
    1. Vunipola
    2. Youngs
    3. Cole
    4. Launchbury
    5. Parling
    6. Wood
    7. Robshaw
    8. Waldrom
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Barritt
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton
    15. Goode
    16. Paice
    17. Corbisiero
    18. Wilson
    19. Palmer
    20. Morgan
    21. Care
    22. Burns
    23. Brown

    Dependent on how fit Corbs is, we should start him if we can! If not, bench and see how he gets on.

  21. Care and Youngs both need to go back to passing school before they get another cap. Of the three scrum halves in the squad, Dickson’s basics are by far the best. He’s not as flashy as the other two but to be honest I’d rather have a dependable scrum half who can bring the rest of the backs in to the game than one who takes lots of tap penalties and darting runs but cannot pass the ball correctly to his fly half.

    1. True – I can’t remember which pundit wrote/said it, but they commented that Flood stands too far away from the scrum half forcing them to take a step and slowing down the whole back line .

      1. This is what confuses me because ordinarily, for Leicester and under Johnson, Flood is standing flat and poses more threat. I have noticed him standing further back with Care (can’t say I noticed either way with Youngs) so my only assumption is that he’s playing to Care’s or Lancaster’s desires

  22. I agree with the majority of team selections posted on here so thought I would put down my alternative selection (including French based players):

    1. A. Sheridan
    2. T. Youngs
    3. D. Cole
    4. C. Lawes
    5. J. Launchberry
    6. C. Robshaw
    7. S. Armitage
    8. B. Morgan

    9. D. Care
    10. F. Burns
    11. D. Armitage
    12. B. Twelvetrees
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Ashton
    15. M. Brown

    16. A. Corbisero
    17. D. Wilson
    18. J. Gray
    19. G. Parling
    20. T. Wood
    21. B. Youngs
    22. T. Flood
    23. A. Goode

  23. I like the look of this team a lot. Burns has to be given a shot, Farrell offers nothing in attack when coming off the bench – how is he going to change a game? Twelvetrees as well deserves a go, the lack of distribution and creativity in the midfield is crippling. You’d like to think that with Twelvetrees inside him Tuilagi might finally find a bit of space to run in, too.

  24. I agree, Farrell does not offer anything else extra from the bench so why not give Burns a go. I like the idea of a teams forwards being balanced with specialist scrummagers, line out jumpers, ball carriers, defensive enforcers and definitely a pure, out and out fetcher like S. Armitage. I also like the idea of having the creativity of Care and Burns starting at half backs with the older and more experienced Leicester pair on the bench if needed. The fact that you play a distributing inside centre with a good boot in Twelvetrees means that you don’t have to pick Goode to start as a second receiver and you can take advantage of the superior strike running of Brown at full back. D. Armitage on the wing spot is slightly contraversial but I think he brings an added element of proven class and he is in rich form with a far better temperament. This team, with the inclusion of B. Foden, D. Hartley and T. Croft when fit would, in my mind, be quite formidable.

  25. On the subject of exciting fly halves Tom Heathcote has been called up to the Scotland squad. Shame but if his heart wasn’t for England then stuff him. Anyone else think that Scotland are getting a bit desperate. First the Shingler debacle now they are poaching the Eng U20 team!

  26. Controversial comment time.
    I would put Sharples back in at 14, drop Ashton and bring in Wade at 11.
    When was the last time Ashton got a try for club or country?
    You can not pick players jsut because they have all ways been selected in the past, Martin Thomas did that and we eneded up with a bunch of OAPs at the World Cup last year.

    Also I would replace Farrel on the Bench and put Burns in his place.

    Twelvetrees is also a must at 12.

    1. I too think Ashton is on borrowed time. a wingers primary role is to score tries and he isn’t delivering. But I think you raise an important point re the bench. We desperately needed an impact when things went flat in the 2nd half – Burns coming on rather than Farrell would have really lifted the crowd, so too Morgan, and yes Wade too. Players like Brown annd Farrell – you either start them or drop them from the 23 – they add nothing from the bench.

  27. oblem is the pack, I am not a nig fan of opur backline but until we get some recycled frontfoot ball we aren’t going to create anything.

    we need a 7, we have needed one for ages, the team that control the breakdown win the game. We also need secondrows that hit ruck and clear out, alla matfield and botha.

    Lawes passes the requirments
    Wood has to play next match, but S Armitage sgould be brought in and given a run, 6N perhaps, this crap with the french clubs is idiotic.

  28. I’d be happy if Cipriani and Delon Armitage never put on a England shirt ever again. They are seriously overrated sometimes.

    As a Welshman, I hope to god that Toulon and England don’t come to deal with Steffon Armitage, he’s world class!

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