England Saxons team to play Scotland A

Kyle Eastmond starts for the Saxons this weekend against Scotland A, alongside Semesa Rokoduguni, Adam Thomsptone and scrum-half Dan Robson.

What are your thoughts on this side?

England Saxons
15 Rob Miller (Sale Sharks)
14 Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby)
13 Elliot Daly (London Wasps)
12 Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)
11 Adam Thompstone (Leicester Tigers)
10 Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby)
1 Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)
2 Dave Ward (Harlequins)
3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Elliott Stooke (Gloucester Rugby)
5 George Kruis (Saracens)
6 Calum Clark (Northampton Saints, capt)
7 Luke Wallace (Harlequins)
8 Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints)

16 Jamie George (Saracens)
17 Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
18 Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
19 Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
20 Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
22 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
23 Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

17 thoughts on “England Saxons team to play Scotland A

  1. I thought the main point of the Saxons was to mirror the main team. Now Daly is a brilliant player but is the polar opposite to the type of big physical 13 the main team plays with. Whilst physically different at least Eastmond fulfills the 2nd playmaker role that 12t does.

    Strange tactics.

    1. Don’t agree that “Big 13” is an England game plan/patter/team set-up.

      Having at least one “Big” player is important for any back-line, but I don’t believe it is a fixture that it has to be a certain position.

      When Tuilagi plays, of course it is 13, but in this team, we have Rokoduguni on the wing, who brings the same option.

      Thats what it is – an option – neither Tuilagi, Rokoduguni, or even Nonu, Roberts etc are one-dimensional players.

      Not sure about Bastareaud mind you!

  2. i thought the point was to get a look at talented youngsters to see how they go at this level.

    I’m pleased the England coaches are looking at different mid-field tactics rather than just repeating what hasn’t worked overly well so far

    Interesting team. Looks very mercurial. Think the backs would be a different prospect on a dry pitch compared to the soggy swamp they are likely going to have to play in

    Difficult to drop your captain, but from the sound of it, Clark is lucky to keep his place after last weekend. Would have liked to see Ewers on the blind-side

    Also hope Wallace is used as he should be this week – what tactical genius last week took a breakdown specialist and told him to hang around on the wing – he’s not Tom Croft!

    1. Agree with all of that. Miller and Daly were both very good and deserve to play. I’m not sure the main team yet has an identifiable style of play to mirror. if we were mirroring the selections we would need to bring Andy Goode in at 10 ;)

      I really like Rokoduguni, looks to have everything, size, pace, power, agility, handling, workrate. Still a novice professional, but at least he’s crossing the whitewash regularly. Of our bunch of emerging wingers I think he could be the one with the most potential despite being a few years older.

      Pleased they’ve retained Eastmond for the Saxons, how much we get to see of him on the probable cold wet windy night in Glasgow is another matter, hopefully he’ll come back for the second half!

    2. Where are you getting this inside information from? Are you a secret Saxons coach? Maybe it was Wallace’s prerogative to stand on the wing? Try and be the link man in attack?

      1. Well James, it’s called conjecture. If conjecture and opinion upsets you so much I’d suggest you stick to the articles and don’t venture into the depths of the comments

        RE. Wallace. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt based on the continuation of the tactic despite England losing the breakdown and the fact that he is excellent in that area for quins. To me this smacks of a training ground tactic that was rigidly adhered to despite it clearly not working – a problem not unknown to recent England teams

        1. For me that was almost worse than the bad tactics. That it took till half time for the coaches to point out that the game plan wasn’t working.

        2. Maybe, when Wallace plays for the Quins, he is rigidly adhering to their tactic of an openside contesting the breakdowns, like Robshaw. Wallace might naturally tend to hang out wide and not be the breakdown specialist that everyone assumes. He just does it because the Quin require him to do it (training ground tactics). Maybe the Saxon coaches just wanted Wallace to play his natural game.

          That’s conjecture for you.

        3. Hey, I’m not the guy defending someone’s crappy performance. Always thought kvesic is a better seven than Wallace anyway. Was glad that kvesic got promoted first. Comes down to the same argument doesn’t it. Yeah, must have been the coaches telling Wallace to hang out on the wing and not get involved. Probably the same reason Ashton never scores anymore, the coaches are obviously telling him not to score…

  3. Really happy with this team- has rewarded players who played well last week (miller, Dickinson and Wilson), we get a chance to see daly at 13 properly (he looked much better there) and a chance for senior players (eastmond, burns again) to put down a marker. Totally agree with Pablito- hope Wallace is allowed to behave like the terrier he is, not prancing about on the wing. Croft is the rare exception for that working with a team, and even he doesn’t do it until the final quarter- he gets on with flanker work first until the space opens up in the final period. Interesting to see Thompstone given a shot. He’s always looked good for Tigers though can’t say he’s ever suggested ‘international winger’ to me… Would probably rather sharples had another punt. But anyway. Happy happy happy!

  4. Also on the ‘big 13’ topic- not sure we actually have another physical, bosh style English centre? Burrell, Barritt and Tuilagi are all I can think of, so not sure mirroring the senior boys was an option! Let’s give pace and skill a chance… Unless someone wants to recall Tindall. Ha

    1. Hmmm, I get what everyone’s pointing out. Sort of how NZ have a single game plan and use players to execute it the best. Carter’s out, bring in cruden, smith is out, bring in Ben. I think what you gain through structure with this approach, you lose in the ability to change game plan and offer different styles. South Africa offer something different depending in the backline they start. When engelbrecht plays 13 they move the ball wonderfully and fluidly.

  5. Really pleased to see Robson playing. He’s looked excellent for glos when he’s played this season. Got some serious gas too. No one has nailed down a RWC15 SH spot yet. He could be a real bolter. You heard it here first!

  6. I like that young guys and guys on the fringes are being given a shot in the Saxons. Sharples is great, but we know what he can do at this level, and he has been in the mix for England, surely will be again. I never saw the sense in having ex or current senior squad members in there. Surely they’d be better served at their club. The Saxons is the feeder team for the main squad, so it should be trying new players out in the international pressure cooker to see if they stand up.

  7. Rob Miller is without doubt a unbelievably under rated player in the media and by pundits. Having played well through all the age grades except the full England team and played consistently well at 10 and 15 he would be a good choice “cover” key back in say the full England team. Good passer and organiser, kicks exceptionally well, great open field runner very sound tackler. Natural vision for a gap. All that said he hasn’t a father who is a coach in the England set up or plays for a fashionable “Sky” team. So he’ll just have to wait until a chance comes along.

    1. I don’t believe that Miller is under-rated at all.

      Players that progress through the age grades are watched very closely, and there is no doubt that Miller has been “talked up” for a couple of years now. Certainly Stuart Barnes has long been an admirer on Sky.

      The difficulty is that he plays in a very competitive position – or perhaps this should be called an “area”, ie.e back 3.

      That said, he played excellently last time out, so he has done all he can to push himself onwards.

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