England release 10 players back to their clubs

The following players will return to their Aviva Premiership clubs by Wednesday evening under the terms of the Elite Player Squad agreement: Dave Attwood, Freddie Burns, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Kyle Eastmond, Ben Foden, Alex Goode, Tom Johnson, Matt Kvesic and Christian Wade.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It has been good to get into camp and spend some time with the players. I have met all of them individually and today they had forwards’ and backs’ meetings and a positive training session at West Park Leeds.

“Under the terms of the Elite Player Squad agreement we are releasing 10 players back, some of whom will play in the Aviva Premiership this weekend. There are still places to play for and we won’t finalise the side to play Australia until much closer to the game, not least because of the matches this coming weekend, so it’s a chance for those going back to stake a final claim for inclusion in the 23.”

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

27 thoughts on “England release 10 players back to their clubs

  1. Chris Ashton seen bricking it now that Foden is out. Who’s going to feed him try scoring passes now? If Foden really is out then is this the start of the end for Lancaster? Is he losing the plot?

      1. Hope brown does start, deserves a shot. Also think he has released these players to let them fight it out for the 23 shirt (eastmond, foden, Goode and wade all there)

          1. Most of which were out of position on the wing… And it thought he was the best of our woeful back three during the 6 nations

            1. Agree he’s not been aided by playing on the wing alongside a fullback who transports the ball to the 10m line and sets up a ruck. But don’t forget Foden was moved to wing to accommodate Brown in South Africa (and managed a try from the wing)

              Also agree he was the best of the back 3 in the 6N, not that there was much of a contest.

              I was hoping he would seize the opportunity in Argentina and really make the shirt his own. However I thought he was the weakest link in our back line out there, a bit too much head down straight line running with the movement ending at the next ruck. I thought we looked much sharper when Foden came on, carrying the ball in both hands, keeping defences guessing.

              I would rather go for Foden, be mildly disappointed if it’s Brown, be gutted if we stick with Goode.

    1. Ashton is in good form and non of his current form can be credited to Foden.

      Here is an entire video of Ashton taking passes from Foden (and many others) and scoring ….


      On the Brown Vs Foden debate I do agree with you though. Yes Brown is again in excellent club form, but 18 caps and no tries doesn’t cut it for me in an England shirt. Neither does he keep moves alive like Foden.

  2. Surprised Morgan isn’t going back – surely a last chane to find some form? Does this mean B Vunipola on the bench?

  3. Bit disappointed Morgan hasn’t gone back to be given another chance to prove himself (preferably for the bench impact role).

    I would have gone for a back 3 of Wade, Ashton and Foden as they are all excellent at keeping a move alive as well as finishing (Ashton shading Yarde on current form) with Eastmond at 23, but looks like that isn’t going to happen.

    Not sure how Wade can go from being the only English back 3 player to earn a B+I call up to being down the English pecking order. He may not be top of the try scoring charts yet this season, but some of the tries he has made for others have been sensational.

    1. Yarde is primarily a left winger and Wade a right, so they’re not really in direct competition. Wade has just lost out to Ashton for this game.

      1. I know Ashton has had a few games on the left. To be honest I don’t know how difficult it is to switch. If it is an Ashton/Wade shoot out for one wing then I can’t argue with Ashton shading it.

  4. On the basis of this- as none of these players are particularly struggling with injury except Attwood, the squad for Australia is likely to be this.

    Robshaw (c)


  5. Really don’t know what Foden has done to upset Lancaster. He’s been in great form. Brown is an example of someone who can’t translate ap form into international form. Now he’s not bad but Foden adds more.

    WARNING. Pet hate of mine. Why is there an article in the telegraph this morning saying Robshaw is captain. Has it been announced yet. No. So therefore either they’ve taken a big gamble (unlikely) or once again someone at the RFU has leaked it. This HAS to stop. Why doesn’t someone investigate these bloomin leaks. This happens time and time again.

      1. Well this is the most plausible explanation anyone has come up with so far! Lol! It can’t be to do with his rugby – either form or history.

  6. As an England fan I’m wondering why Foden needs to prove himself by playing any more this weekend?? For me he’s the form full back at the moment.

    As a Sarries fan, I’m a bit peeved!! So for this weekend’s massive game against Saints we’ve lost Tomkins, Farrell and both the Vunipola brothers……………but we get back Alex Goode! With Barritt and Hodgson out injured, it will leave us pretty thin on the ground for fly half/centre options!! Oh well, I guess Bosch will get his first Premiership game this weekend then!!

  7. Can’t understand why Foden isn`t in the team, he was one of our best performing players before the injury, Plus he place heads up rugby, not exactly like we have many players who do that.

    Brown is a good player nothing against him, he kicks well, good under the high ball got a bit of a step, good tackler. But foden does all those things well and has more experience, scores more tries and passes better in the line.

    I’m worried about the pack, we are really thin in the front row. we can`t rely on Corbs to be fit during the world cup, he is a great player but we need 2 players in each position. Maco is ok because he has the potential but he has a long way to go. Tight head is also tin on the ground.

    The backrow is still a mess, how can we still not be sure, maybe lancaster is, we have no 8, and no 7. We need to sort it out. Kvesic needs as many games as possible to see if he can develop.

    1. Short at tight head? Cole and Wilson are decent options aren’t they? I think our front row options are very good. TH: Cole/Wilson. LH: Corbs/ Vunipola/ Marler. Hooker: Hartley/ Youngs. Whats the problem there?

      Also, we have no number 8? We have Morgan, who is off form but good, and Vunipola who has incredible potential. When you consider the form of Dickinson and Ewers in the Premiership, I think we are ok.

    2. The backrow is a mess? Morgan/Robshaw/Wood has been a very effective and balanced unit. It only became a “mess” when Wood was moved to 8, which made it unbalanced. England has options. England has 8s with Morgan and Vunipola (plus the players mentioned above). Though not popular, Robshaw has been a very good 7 for England and their best player the last two years. They also have Kvesic and Wood is a good 7. I think there is Wallace and Frasier in the Saxons too.

      I would rather have a balanced backrow than try to shoehorn a “genuine’ openside into the pack.

  8. Really disappointed to see Foden go this weekend. Other than that I am happy. He picked on form for Dickson over Care, why not at 15?

    Also looks like;
    Yarde over Wade
    Flood over Burns
    Robshaw and Wood as flankers
    Straight shoot out between Trinder and Tomkins for 13.

    Happy with all of that other than Foden.

  9. F&@*¥$ng hell. Useless squad selection. Quite possibly my worse nightmare.

    Those kept:
    1. Ashton. Still shit
    2. Brown. Incapable of scoring a try.
    3. Flood. Was never international class even 3 years ago.
    4. Hartley. Bird brained thug.

    Those released:

    1. Kyle eastmond. Besides the fact that he was one of the only players in the squad with a step and good distribution (or indeed any class), when your inside centre cover is a choice between flood and Farrell, you know you’re doomed.
    2. Freddie burns. A fly half who can pass and attack properly? Nah, lets just choose another kicking machine.
    3. Foden. A man at full back who can score tries? Never, let’s choose a man who’s speciality is to catch the high ball and run it back like a forward. Never mind the lost art of running round the player.
    4. Wade. I wouldn’t be complaining too much, if only for the fact that the men kept are Ashton and strettle. It’s all very well to denounce his defense as erratic, but he can’t do much worse then Ashton.

    I suggest we recall Jamie noon. At least then we’d have some comic relief to soften the ordeal. If we lose to the Australians again, I will cut all ties to union and get a subscription to the nrl.

    1. Ael. Agree and disagree. Ashton and Hartley are playing well. Burns and Wade aren’t quite up to the standard of last year. Therefore Ashton over Wade and Flood over Burns makes sense on form. However by this token completely agree with regard to Foden as he is in better form than Brown. Would also like Eastmond as an x factor sub. But that’s a coaches call.

      Totally disagree with your assessment of the squad though. I think it’s about as good as you can get in the confines of the eps agreement.

      As for your Noon and nrl comments – your falling into the same trap that I did with the lions – don’t go there!

    2. ???

      1. Ashton has been in fine form this season, even upping his defensive efforts. Wade hasn’t had the chance to shine really, and I hope he get’s his shot, but no real complaints over going with Ashton (and I’m a Wasps man).

      2. Brown may not score tries, but Foden still isn’t the same man he was before injury, he’s lost a yard of pace, and whilst Brown isn’t fast, he’s tough to stop. I’d also not count Foden out of taking the bench spot yet, I see it as a shootout between Wade, Foden and Eastmond for the 23 shirt (Foden and Eastmond with the best chance).

      3. Agree with comments on Flood, but Burns hasn’t been going well, and his kicking has been poor, at international you need someone who gets his kicks. I think he still has a chance at the bench, but he needs a performance (tough to do with Glaws tight 5).

      4. Hartley has given away how many pens this season? I know Youngs has a yellow already. I’d take Youngs, but we have 2 hookers, and they both should be rested. I’d not have been upset if Webber had taken Hartleys EPS shirt, but I’m not surprised he hasn’t either.

      And can people please understand that Strettle has been dropped, out of the EPS, not being chosen in front of anyone because he’s not in the squad.

      As to the Sarries fan bemoaning the losses to the squad, Tomkins was getting benched anyway. The V brothers is an issue (as will Farrel), but Saints will be down Corbs, Lawes, Wood and Dickson so not exactly full strength either.

      And Jacob, it’s Ashton over Wade, not Yarde.

      If people wish to get annoyed at something though, get annoyed at the fact that Yarde has been moved to the right wing at Irish. Meaning we’re going to end up with 3 right wingers.

      1. 1. It’s not hard to up your defensive efforts from last year when last year you were doing fuck all. I haven’t seen him score beautiful tries with a step and a dummy or indeed any other skill at all other then taking a pass and diving over from relatively short range. One wonderful try against Australia and everyone judges him on that, not what he’s done since then. He ought to be dropped after the shit he dredged up in the six nations.
        2. Hard to stop? Hard to stop? Is that what you expect from an international full back? Are Jpr Williams, Christian Cullen et al remembered for being hard to stop? Has Israel dagg become the best fullback in the world because he’s hard to stop? The point I’m making here is that our objective is to build an unbeatable team. We are not going to build an unbeatable team when our try scoring ability lies greatly in a man who has earned the accolade of being “hard to stop”. Gods. Foden can grubber, he can run, he can step and weave, and for gods sake he’s the closest we’ve got a back three player of proven skill. The fact he’s lost a yard of pace (has he?) means nothing when his competition is a man who’s slow but “hard to stop”.
        3. I conceed that burns is not playing at his best. I don’t conceed that flood is playing better then him. As a confidence player, dropping him after a good Argentina tour from the match day squad altogether can not be doing wonders for him, especially when the man replacing him is, to put it politely, not very good.
        With regards goal kicking, I can’t remember the last time New Zealand won a game by a kicking duel. Can you?
        4. If Hartley played as well as martin Johnson, mabye I could forgive him his brainlessness. Fact of the matter is, he does not have the same impact as Johnson did outside his cards. Against castres I saw him dump tackled on 2 occasions. No hard man hooker worth his salt would ever get dump tackled, let alone twice in a match. That, and he should never have been considered again after abusing the referee in the final. Add to that the fact that rob webber played very well in Argentina and the fact that he’s playing very well at the heart of a very good bath pack, and how well Hartley might be playing becomes an irrelevance.

        With regards the nrl comments, I consider state of origin football as the best rugby on the planet. The golden age of origin in the mid to late 80s, with the greats of Wayne Pearce, Wally Lewis, Brett Kenny, Adam langer, martin Bella, gene miles, Garry jack and others producing the greatest spectacles ever (besides the one match where play was stopped because of xx cans being thrown onto the pitch) is what any rugby team, especially international rugby teams, should aim at regardless of code. If every one compared their teams to these origin teams, and the games they watch to the 1994 state of origin match with a try to match the very best a minute from time to decide the match, we would all be more critical, and union would be a much better game for it.

        Considering brad barrit would be in the starting line up if not injured, I consider the Jamie noon comment to be scarily pertinent.

        I agree about the three right wingers comment though. Though that’s probably because we train our kids to play a style of rugby which disadvantages real wingers against slightly faster forwards.

      2. Sorry why is it Ashton over Wade and not Yarde? Three wingers, Ashton was never going anywhere, so it was between Wade and Yarde? Yes I know you will argue that Yarde players left wing (hasn’t this season but did before), and Wade/ Ashton both play right. BUT, if they are international class wingers, it really shouldn’t make that much difference to them.

  10. Just seen the daily telegraph headline “ford shades game of two fly halves”. Laughable. Ford was pretty dire. Missed 4 or 5 kicks, only ran into tacklers and got knocked back (1 run aside), missed touch several times, put others out on the full and had a kick charged down for a try by his opposite number who I thought showed a decent skill set behind a beaten front 5. Burns is back, Ford has more to do. Would have to admit that Bath were the better team though. It hurt to say that, but we’re in for a long season with our woes up front. Can see some of our star players heading for new pastures after this season.

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