England name side for crunch game with Scotland

Martin Johnson has named his side to face Scotland this weekend in Auckland. Delon Armitage is selected on the left wing ahead of Mark Cueto, whilst Courtney Lawes returns in the second row following his two match ban.

England:

15. Ben Foden, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Mike Tindall, 11. Delon Armitage, 10. Jonny Wilkinson, 9. Ben Youngs, 1. Matt Stevens, 2. Steve Thompson, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Louis Deacon, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Tom Croft, 7. Lewis Moody (captain), 8. James Haskell

Replacements:

16. Dylan Hartley, 17. Alex Corbisiero, 18. Tom Palmer, 19. Nick Easter, 20. Richard Wigglesworth, 21. Toby Flood, 22. Matt Banahan

14 thoughts on “England name side for crunch game with Scotland

  1. GRRRRRRRRRR.

    WHY is Wigglesworth on the bench over Simpson? WHAT HE IS GOING TO OFFER US IF WE’RE 6 POINTS DOWN WITH 10 MINS REMAINING?!

    And Deacon over Palmer and Shaw. Seriously?

    Sigh.

    Still a pretty good looking team however.

  2. Please will someone explain to me what the hell Johnson sees in Deacon? This is exactly the same problem he had with consistently picking Borthwick, despite seemingly being knowing

  3. Sorry, silly phone. Meant to say, despite the rest of the world telling him how mediocre Borthwick was

    And along the same lines, Easter on the bench?? I quite like Easter but he’s out of form and just back from injury. what will he add if, as the comment above says we are 6 down with 10 remaining?

    Or what happens if Moody gets injured early on ( as is likely)?? Then we’ve got an unfit, out of form Easter for the rest of the match. Tom Wood must be massively pissed off.

    I have a bad feeling about this game

  4. To be fair on Louis Deacon, as a second row, he plays very well. He’s solid, no nonsense and does the job. Simon Shaw just can’t handle 40 minutes of international rugby. Sure, he comes off the bench and looks good against tired legs an hour in, but Deacon and Palmer put in the full performance.

    What I fail to see is why Armitage? Sure he does some good stuff, but he’s a damn liability. In defence he often rushes up too far, doesn’t drift when it’s needed and is a rubbish tackler. In attack, he doesn’t have the step or the strength and relies on being quick (it’s not that sort of game), but most infuriatingly, as a winger, he always runs down the outside, he doesn’t step in when he should.

    Matt Stevens to me is a liability as well. Constantly infringing at Scrums when the English pack can handle it. You don’t want to give tons of penalties away to Scotland. Corbisiero has been fantastic.

    As for Jonny at 10, this is another odd decision for me. Throughout the 6 nations, England seemed to have a working formula (with the exception of the centre pairing). Youngs and Flood start, they fix the men, run the lines, make all the attacking ball, then Wilkinson comes on 50/60 minutes and holds the game out, pins the opposition in their own half. This only works if you’re ahead. Against Argentina he was just terrible, kicking away too much ball, not giving the back division the opportunity to attack.

    Final complaint, in the same vein as Paolo’s comments – Nick Easter? Unfit, possibly still carrying an injury and he’s the only back rower, a fairly solid 8. Waldrom is out there now, he plays 6,7 and 8, Premiership players’ player of the year, biggest carrier and with a fair number of tries under his belt. He’s a unit. I still don’t get the point of Haskell at 8 either. He doesn’t control the ball well and when England get a good shove on, they’re liable to lose it

  5. I agree, Deacon over Palmer seems plain wrong to me. Wookie I also agree it’s better to have Cueto in the back three over Armitage, what he lacks in the old legs now he more than makes up for in setting up others and linking the back three as a unit, hence the team will score more tries. Foden and Ashton enjoy playing and passing at the right time to him. Flood should be playing over Johnny too.
    With these selections it will probably be a close game.

  6. I know whatb people are saying about simpson but having watched all the england games twice (yes, sad) Wigglesworth defence is absolutely;y outstanding.

    He has made several try saving tackles , most important in the Argentina game which saved the match for us.

    Also ive never really thought of scrum half as being an impact sub , its too pivotal.

    So our game changers are…easter and banahan,…..oh tits.

    feel sorry for palmer, hes a better option than Deacon. palmer will come on after 40/50 mins.

    Glad to see armitage there, hes a better prospect than Cueto who sadly is simply too slow for in rugby.

    Stevens is also welcome addition.quality player with huge passion.

    this is a solid england team, scotland will be SO up for it, massive game.

    Tuilagi to score and be the difference!

  7. Nothing that unexpected from Johnson – i could rant all day about certain selections, but it does seem bizarre to me that he has gone for Armitage over Cueto

    I am not a big Cueto fan, and Armitage has been playing well, but Cueto knows the positional and support play far better, Armitage has consitently run the wrong support lines when others make breaks, whereas Cueto is always on their shoulder.

    Would still like to see Armitage in the centers

  8. I feel content. Yes Cueto should be on in my opinion, same with Palmer. But all the same this is a solid side that should be able to put Scotland away fairly easily. Cant wait!

  9. I’m not sure about putting Scotland away fairly easily. It’s not a bad Scottish side and they played extremely well against Argentina.

    I feel that if Wilkinson is kicking ball away like he did against Argentina and not distributing ball to the backs, England are going to get sucked into a tight match and having Scotland run the ball at them and force penalties in the England half could lose them the game. There are a couple of quality goal kickers in the Scottish team that will belt them in all day from long range. England need to be attacking and they need to distribute ball better and not get sucked in and I’m not sure Wilkinson is the right man for that.

  10. This is going to be a tough game. The Sweaties would like nothing better than to beat us and this is do or die for them. Johnno is smart enough to realize that and pick what he thinks is his best team.

    Wilko instead of Flood is absurd IMO. We’ve looked far better in attack with Flood, and his partnership with Youngs is strong. The back row is a worry. I’d have drafted Waldrom straight in. He and Wood must be pissed not to be in the 22, and Robshaw and Fourie still looking like glaring omissions to the travelling party. And of course, Tindall at 12 continues to be a joke. He really picked Tindall to be his starting 12 instead of Flutey?!

    Johnno just has no clue. His tactics and ability to motivate are both awful, but you expect him to do better with selections. But even when we lose in the quarters his job will probably be safe. Depressing.

  11. Not unhappy with this team. It amuses me that people were asking why Cueto was selected all the time, and then there are questions over why he has been dropped.

    I’m not sure of the logic, but Armitage has been reasonable so far and expect him to do a solid job again, whilst offering a little more in attack than Cueto. The Scots will probably kick to our back three a fair bit, so having an extra full-back might be handy.

    Good to have Lawes back alongside Louis ‘must be amazing in training’ Deacon, and glad to have Jonny in there instead of Flood for a potentially tight game like this one.

  12. Very glad to see Lawes in there.
    he brings an edge to our fwds which all teams need.

    this is going to be v close!

  13. I’ve always thought Cuets was the man really. The papers and fans are on his back about not scoring, but he brings England up and because he’s there they score tries. Armitage Is incredibly naive at times. His support running is way off, his defence is poor and his attacking lines are way off.

    I wonder how many of the people who down Deacon have actually played second row. The reason people notice Lawes is because he’s quick and doesn’t behave like a normal second row. Deacon is consistent and solid and just what England need in the middle of the pack and the lineout. Choosing between him and Palmer is probably close, I might go with Palmer personally, but I suppose it’s about who is looking fittest and best form to the coaching staff.

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