England name side for RWC Warm-Up Clash with Ireland

Martin Johnson has named his team for England’s third and final warm-up match against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday afternoon. Featuring players named in the 30 man Rugby World Cup squad released on Monday, England have picked a new midfield combination of Mike Tindall and Manu Tuilagi, whilst Richard Wigglesworth gets another run out at scrum-half. Tindall captains the side.

England team to face Ireland:

15. Foden, 14. Ashton. 13. Tuilagi, 12. Tindall (c), 11. Cueto, 10. Wilkinson, 9. Wigglesworth, 8. Easter, 7. Haskell, 6. Croft, 5. Lawes, 4. Deacon, 3. Cole, 2. Thompson, 1. Sheridan


16. Hartley, 17. Stevens, 18. Shaw, 19. Wood, 20. Simpson, 21. Flood, 22. Armitage

27 thoughts on “England name side for RWC Warm-Up Clash with Ireland

  1. Good. Better-looking centre combination and the one we were hoping for I think. Decent pack, and good to see Sheri back in contention.

    This side can beat Ireland on Saturday. Can’t wait for the game.

  2. Didn’t see that coming in the centre although some spectators have called for it. Gone for Size in the back row, the pack in general looks pretty monster. Not a huge fan of the half back pairing Wigglesworth offers little threat around the break down but as a controlling pair him and Jonny are quite good. I think the team will look so much more threatening with Youngs back.

  3. ps look at the irish v france game.

    the irish back row is (jennings apart) totally awesome, even more so when ferris came on.

    the frogs were playing without imanol (!) and picamoles was sometimes unstoppable and sometimes rubbish.

    and yet, the frogs still wont he contact area & scrum, while being average @ breakdown.

    the frogs in fact resembled the kiwis with their power in the collisions. not sure what the frogs have been eating but even their backs were pulling up trees in the contact area.

    if we can win the contacts / collisions, the irish wont live with us.

  4. Should have been Haskell at eight and Wood as a started. But I think we should all rejoice at this selection as (screaming from the rooftops) NO BANAHAN OR HAPE!

  5. Haskell at 8? No thanks: he’s got hands like a fish

    Is Cueto under pressure for his starting place?

  6. Liking this alot – I hope that Joe Simpson gets a good run out as I think he offers a lot more than Wigglesworth. Centre pairing far far far better (thank God…..). really looking forward to this game!

  7. From what England has available for this game I think the side should have been;

    1 Sheridan
    2 Thompson
    3 Cole
    4 Palmer
    5 Laws
    6 Croft
    7 Wood
    8 Haskell
    9 Simpson ( Youngs when fit)
    10 Flood/ Wilkinson ( I still can’t decide).
    11 Armitage (it would have been Sharples if selected)
    12 Tindell ( Flutey if in squad).
    13 Manu
    14 Ashton
    15 Foden.

    I don’t what anyone else thinks but I would love to see Foden tried at 12. He has all the qualities to be a great inside centre.
    A Backline of 9 Youngs, 10 Flood, 11 Sharples 12 Foden 13 Manu 14 Ashton 15 Armitage looks pretty good…

  8. Im still not happy seeing Deacon in there, hope Palmer is just being rested. Glad to see MJ is reading the blog after the amount of people screaming for Tindall to move to 12 so he doesnt have to use his brain as much.

    But this does seem more positive, worried about the irish back row, O’Brien and Heaslip might be a bit much for us, Just hope we show up this time, hate losing to the Irish!

    1. O’brien is injured and not playing. But Ferris isn’t much of a step down so your point still stands.

    2. dan – i agree re palmer.

      did you see the France v Ireland games?

      france could have won the game with any combination of their back row players.

      In fact, harinordoquy didnt play in the second game and picamoles spent 50% of the game being rubbish.

      it was about parity in the set piece & breakdown,but the game was won by france destroying ireland @ the contact / collisions.

      France were in a different league and as jerry guscott pointed out, stopped playing 20 mintues before the end of the game.

      If we can beat them in the contact / collisions, we will have a chance. BOD and darcy lack penetration and are looking like kids v men.

  9. Whilst i quite like the look of Tins and Manu 12/13 (by our low midfield standards) can anyone remember Tindall ever playing well at 12? (don’t say 03 period he wore 12 but was playing outside). This could also be made worse when you consider Jonny generally plays quite deep so doesn’t bring the runners onto the ball that well.

    Deacon in for Palmer leads me to think this isn’t necessarily Jonno’s favourite team but pretty close…

  10. Yes, I’d say this is pretty close to starting team. Midfield is best it could be from the options available, but neither player can really pass, so distribution might be questionable and Chris Ashton might get cold hands.

    Palmer, Moody and Youngs to return, maybe even Stevens in for Cole.

    Really excited about the game now!

  11. Dan, Deacon apparently runs the best lineout and they are seeing him as a better foil for Lawes than Palmer as he plays a tighter game giving Lawes the ability to roam like an auxiliary back rower. I’d probably still prefer Palmer but can see the logic.

    And re the idea of Foden at 12, that’s a non-starter. He’s our best counter attacker and one of our few world class players. Moving him would make no sense. NZ could well have won the 1999 World Cup if they hadn’t moved their best player, Christian Cullen, into the centre.

    I would like to have seen Simpson start because a Wigglesworth-Wilkinson combo offers little threat at half back and therefore may limit space out wide as defenders can just leave them alone.

    Will be very interested to see how the midfield goes and I’m glad they have picked the combo they have. I hope they play the way round they have been named as well (Tindall at 12 and Manu at 13) because for the latter to be effective he needs space to attack defenders and run at arm tackles. At 12 they would just truck him up the middle. Here’s hoping that Tindall runs effective enough lines to hold the defence and create that space for Tuilagi. I wouldn’t be surprised if they defend the other way around though because Tindall is a great defensive organiser from 13.

    As I said the other day, the key is to be really dynamic at the breakdown and I think we have the back row for that. Haskell is the best we have at blasting people out of the way on the clear out. The breakdown is Ireland’s standout strength and we will have to be very smart and aggressive to achieve parity there.

  12. In the Six Nations, the Irish were very effective at holding the ball carrier off the ground and forcing a turnover. England are going to need to commit two or three more players to each ruck than they did against Wales if they want to see any of the ball – hopefully Lawes, Haskell and Croft can bring some dynamism.

    Interested to see Tuilagi v Earls, but also want to see some creativity and invention in attack, rather than just the inside ball and bosh.

  13. Hutch

    the major problem with England in the last few games is that people like Croft and Haskell haven’t been hitting the rucks but have instead been hanging around in mid-field, waiting for the ball to come out

    Its clear they are being coached to do this but all it means is that we either lose the ball in the rucks or we get incredibly slow ball

    Someone needs to tell Haskell, Lawes, Croft, Deacon and the front row just to hit every ruck they can, as hard as they can

    That includes counter-rucking as well. Forget comitting only a couple of forwards to each defensive ruck. Get numbers there quickly and blast over and past the ball

    Its what they did against the Aussies in the summer and it worked incredibly well, giving the backs so much time and space that even though the mid-field was still rubbish, it didn’t matter so much

  14. Paolo, agreed. England seem to have been very slow picking up on the new way teams are approaching the breakdown. Now refs are policing the tackler releasing the attacking player, you rarely get turnovers from a player getting over the ball and nicking it, unless the ball carrier is isolated. It is now all about old fashioned clearing out past the ball, leaving the ball alone and taking the space. Gloucester were the first English team to become really effective at this last October. To work you need numbers hitting the breakdown with dynamism.

    It is also no longer the case that you have a little nibble to try to get a turnover and once you have failed you string out across the field. Now you can properly counter ruck but again you have to commit numbers. This also means you have to commit numbers in attack if you want to win quick ball.England are behind the curve in this area of the game and it could cost them.

  15. Yup – watch NZ to see the way its done.

    They hit almost every ruck at speed and with numbers and try to clear out miles past the ball (often taking out players who aren’t in the ruck, but we’ll ignore that for the sake of the argument)

  16. Foden in midfield will never happen and it shouldn’t. Would be glad to see Armitage there if truth be told.

    We’ve been needing to hit rucks with more aggression. Someone said before that Argentina and Scotland counter ruck very well which is why keeping big men like Haskell and Lawes in the middle of the field won’t help. it’ll also slow up the ball when we want to get it out to the fast men, and Cueto.

  17. Haha re. Cueto. Great call.

    All in all, probably better team than i’d expected. So i’m happy.

    To see Banahan NOT in the team makes me smile.

    1. Matt – banners is on the plane tho, which makes me rather glum !
      I like the look of our back row and have warmed to easter who is a beast in the tight. Croft raises his game when the stakes a re raised, hes classy.
      james “fish hands” haskell needs a blinder!!!!

  18. you know what …. tuilangi must start as 13 in the world cup … he’s as good as sonny bill if anything and i’m sooo glad too see wilks at 10

Comments are closed.