England Squad for Six Nations 2009

Ben Foden, Mike Tindall, Mark Cueto, Olly Morgan all included, as is Tom Palmer who will be injured for the whole tournament.

Jordan Crane, Michael Lipman, Dan Hipkiss and James Simpson-Daniel miss out, as does Steffon Armitage.

What are your thoughts?

Forwards: Tim Payne (Wasps), Andrew Sheridan (Sale), Matt Stevens (Bath), Phil Vickery (Wasps), George Chuter (Leicester), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Lee Mears (Bath), Steve Borthwick (Saracens), Nick Kennedy (London Irish), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Tom Croft (Leicester), James Haskell (Wasps), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Tom Rees (Wasps), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Luke Narraway (Gloucester).

Backs: Delon Armitage (London Irish), Olly Morgan (Gloucester), Mathew Tait (Sale), Mark Cueto (Sale), Paul Sackey (Wasps), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Riki Flutey (Wasps), Shane Geraghty (London Irish), Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins), Harry Ellis (Leicester), Ben Foden (Northampton).

11 thoughts on “England Squad for Six Nations 2009

  1. Would’ve liked to have seen Flatman involved, at least with the Saxons. He’s been playing well for Bath.

    Was Geraghty in the last EPS? Can’t remember…

    Second row looks to be a troublesome area. Tom Palmer is terrible (as well as injured), Shaw looks past it, Borthwick is a world class second row and a bloody good captain (Ed – sarcasm much), and that just leaves Nick Kennedy, a good player, but a rookie nonetheless.

    Foden – a former “player to watch” from the rugby blog…someone’s got a keen sense of what’s going on in the rugby world!!

  2. No real surprises on who has been added to the squad – all are in form and we now have plenty more options in a backline which could have some shape about it.
    I think Lipman and Barkley can both feel a bit hard-done-by though. With Rees injured, Moody appears to be the only option at 7 which is a shame because I’d like to see him at 6 with an out and out openside like Lipman at 7 and a dynamic ball carrier like Haskell at 8. Barkley’s playing well and now Flutey is the only real 12 in the squad although Geraghty and Flood can both cover it. Would love to see Geraghty figure – he’s streets better than Flood.
    15 and 13 will be the really interesting calls as we have at least 4 options in each position and they have been problem positions for a while.

    Fairly happy overall, apart from the openside situation. Interesting that Wilkinson won’t figure unless there are injuries, even if he’s fit. Probably best as we’ve seen before the dangers of rushing him/Cipriani/any 10 who has had a long lay off.

  3. With Foden’s name appearing just after Care and Ellis, does this mean he has been picked just as a 9 or is that reading too much into it?

    I think Care’s got hold of the 9 shirt for the six nations but Foden has always stated he wants 9 to be his position.

  4. With Armitage excelling in November then perhaps he is being considered at 9 instead. Morgan’s going to struggle to be fit for the 6 Nations though from what I hear so he should be back-up to Armitage, or perhaps cover both positions from the bench.

    I think we have two major problems: firstly the usual centre partnership question. Noon just can’t be involved if we want to create chances for our back 3, and he hasn’t had a partnership with any of the other players that have been put in alongside him over the past few years. Dewi Morris & Stuart Barnes want Armitage to be tried at 13 which could be interesting, and Will Greenwood rates Geraghty as the long-term solution at 12. Still, 6 years after the Greenwood-Tindall combination and we’re still looking for a suitable pairing (anyone remember 20min Henry Paul experiment?!).

    Second problem is in the back row. We have an abundance of talent across the 3 positions, but the best combination has yet to be found. Is Haskell a 6 or an 8? Should Easter still have a spot? Is Moody back to his best? Should Reece have been dropped for Lipman against the All Blacks? Is Narraway big enough? Was Stefon Armitage not drafted in as he is too small? I’m still undecided myself, but think Haskell is more effective at 6, and partnered with Reece at 7 (when fit) they form a great partnership. If only Dan Ward-Smith could recapture his form pre-knee injury to complete the trio.

  5. Here’s what Jonno says about Foden:

    “Ben is a very talented and instinctive player, and fantastic athlete,” Johnson told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We have picked him in one of the nine (scrum-half) positions, but knowing he can fill one of those utility roles, come off the bench into the back three, or start as a nine.

  6. Here we go again and as ever there is debate galore. I won’t bore you with my lamenting of Simpson-Daniel’s constant injuries. The back-row is the main point of fascination for me here. A strong feeling amongst some of the people I regularly watch rugby with is that the new holy trinity will eventually be Croft-Rees-Haskell. Having finally seen the GP final from last year when the Bath vs Wasps game was cancelled, Rees and Haskell both turned in world class performances that day.

    However, Easter deserves his place on form and although I haven’t seen Moody play much the word is that he’s getting back to his lunatic best. I can’t comment on Stefon Armitage as I haven’t seen play that much. The bottom line is that whoever plays we need to start getting back the dominance we used to take for granted in this area.

  7. Well I’ve got to say that that lot doesn’t exactly strike the fear of the rugby gods into us this side of the Severn e the way it used to when you could stick the following usual suspects names in your pack -Dallagio , Back, Hill, Leonard ,Johnson etc etc -with that lot even a couple of your backs came good .

    THe above is tongue in cheek by the way but I’m looking forward to the game at the Millenium anyway lets say.

  8. Personally I think we lack real leadership and self confidence nowadays. I know its six years ago, but back in 2003 we had so many players who could step up, lead, encourage and take control of the team, which gave us confidence and as a result we were a great team. We used to have a pack which was technically better than any other team and could stike fear into the hearts of anyone. Our backs were never been overly dynamic (unlike the southern hemisheres), but defensively they were great. It’s so good to see so much talent coming through and I seriously believe we will be contenders for the next world cup, but we have to give the new team (players and management) time to grow as a team and not over criticise their start/early development. I would personally like to see the following team to start/play in the six nations. 1. Sheridan. 2. Mears. 3. Vickery. 4. Borthwick. 5. Kennedy. 6. Lipman. 7. S.Armitage. 8. Haskell. 9. Care. 10. Geraghty. 11. Monye. 12. Flutey. 13. J.Turner Hall. 14. Cueto. 15. D.Armitage – subs. 16. Hartley. 17. White. 18. Croft. 19. Easter. 20. Foden. 21. Cipriani 22. Noon

  9. my backs=d.armitage15 14p.sackey 13r.flutey 12j.noon 11u.monye 10d.Cipriani 9d.care but it will be a tight call between cipriani and s.geraghty at the fly half position for me.

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