England release 15 players back to their clubs

An update from the England camp has just confirmed that the following players are returning to their clubs to take part in this weekend’s Guinness Premiership matches.

Steffon Armitage (London Irish)
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)
Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby)
Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers)
Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Dan Ward-Smith (London Wasps)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

6 thoughts on “England release 15 players back to their clubs

  1. I understand some things about England. Others I do not

    I understand:

    England do not penetrate because they hardly ever try. They just kick it and have to defend. Also they never get quick ball
    I understand that England rarely get flowing movements because they seldom pass before they go down. But there wojuld be no point because nobody is backing up anyway.
    I understand that they will never be a mighty pack because Borthwick does not have momentum, either in the tight or ball carrying

    I do not uinderstand:

    Why we cannot win quick ball. Surely Moody, Haskel and Armstrong and previously Rees are not all inadequate?
    Why do we not put more men into the ruck, rather than watching team mates being pushed off the ball?
    Why do wed not back ie run with ball carriers?
    Why do top three quarters not run straight and build up speed befor they take the ball when most school boys learn to do this?
    Why cannot Johnson and the team be honest about failure. How refreshing and credible it would be if they could say “Yes we did make a mess of that”.

    I have so many other questions and I will unleash more if anybody bothers to answe4r this lot.


  2. I think we’d all like the answers to those questions, but I think your last point on being honest about failure suggests that we’ll never get them.

    England have started winning some quick ball and have looked slightly more penetrative in the backs, but the lack of ambition is the most frustrating thing. They’ve showed they can do it, but seem reluctant to do so.

    What are your other questions?!

  3. For me the answer to a lot of these questions are the lack of ambition and the instinct to go tight.

    Tait and Flutey looked good when they had quallity ball to work with, fair enough against Italy but you have to start somewhere. I think the back three do have potential, even though Armitage is out of form, I like him as a player, Monye showed he can be dangerous with the lions.

    The frist problem is that the leaders in the team, Borthwick, Easter, Moody, Wilkinson (all fine players, good at what they do, maybe not Borth) all have the instinct to go tight and get rough. When the pressure is opn leaders step up, as they should. However all our leaders have no interest in fast flowing rugby. When they are pressed they go to what they know. This is true for the coaches as well.

    The other problem is ambition, it seems that the coaches have set their stall out to sort the defence out first and then go from there, I understand that, England won the WC on good defense, the attacking rugby came after England had developed a wall. Johnson and a lot of English people think the same way. The kep point of good defense is not to commit men to rucks, to fan out and make an impregnable line. This focus on defense means there is always a hisitation before going for it and that hesitation is killing them.

    I am guessing,

    Get some attack minded people in KEY positions to “go for it” when the presure is on. The obvious is number 10, Wilko has to go, he ain’t all bad, in fact he is really good. But he is not what we need. Cipp or Geraghty are not better players but they would definitely go for it when the pressure is on. Croft (when fit) should be in, he offers more dynamic ball at the lineout and is a better support player when the game breaks down. Lawes, to hit somr rucks. I would keep, Easter and Moody, somme experience is needed and they are both playing well although Armitage is the future.

    Have a team meeting, whatever it is they do and make it quite clear, that we don’t mind loosing a couple of tries, it will probably happen anyway against good teams, “The goal for today is to score 4 tries”. This change of focus is crucial, we can’t sack the coaches it is too late, even if I would have done a long time ago.

    But what do I know

    I am just a man who thought he knew how a game of rugby should look until he saw this England team play.

  4. Rather than us committing too few players to rucks, I think the major problem is that the rucking technique of many of our forwards is so inadequate that we have to commit many more players to rucks than the better sides do, and in turn that leaves far less options left outside when we do spread the ball. The southern hemisphere are great at blasting a hole with the first couple of players which leaves the remaining forwards available for when the ball next goes into contact.

  5. England have 2 major problems – and everything stems from these:

    1. Quick ball at the ruck. Agree with James that they need to adopt a southern hemisphere approach

    2. Creativity in the backline. Wilko is NOT the problem. The problem is that he is not yet used to playing outside Care (who is erratic at best) and inside Fltuey. Both of these players are beginning their test careers and are ‘bedding in’. Once the triumvirate of Care-Wilko-Flutey finds their flow then you’ll see more line breaks etc, especially with Tait at 13. Wilko hasn’t changed as a player since RWC2003 – he’s just got a new backline. He was blessed with a creative leader at 9 in Dawson, and a creative centre in Greenwood. Care and Flutey need time to establish themselves.

  6. Ronbraz – “The goal for today is to score 4 tries”

    Totally agree. How refreshing it would be to see an England team going for it. Why was that not laid out as a goal for the Italy match!? (some will say maybe that was a goal, maybe they just couldn’t deliver it, but I disagree – if that goal had been implanted in the minds of those players on Sunday, we would not have seen that dross, nor would we have had to listen to people like Borthwick telling us it was a fantastic success).

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