England squad trimmed to 23 for Fiji game

Stuart Lancaster has narrowed down his selection to 23 players preparing for the clash with Fiji this weekend.

The list of players provides some clear indications of the likely line-up for Saturday’s game:

England RugbyFORWARDS (13)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Tom Palmer (London Wasps)
David Paice (London Irish)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

BACKS (10)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

The statement also said that Dylan Hartley (knee), Courtney Lawes (knee) and Jonathan Joseph (ankle) will also return to camp for continued treatment.

The following 10 players have been released:
Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (London Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), George Robson (Harlequins), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)

What do you think the starting line-up will be?

20 thoughts on “England squad trimmed to 23 for Fiji game

  1. Is Corbs injured? I can’t see any other reason why he would have been released…

    I’m also a bit disappointed by the release of Burns, Robson, and Morgan… I guess the first two were expected but would prefer Morgan at No. 8 to any of the options in the squad right now.

  2. Who is going to be the number 8 cover? No Morgan, Dowson or Haskell?

    Predicted team:
    1 – Marler
    2 – T Youngs
    3 – Cole
    4 – Launchbury
    5 – Parling
    6 – Johnson
    7 – Robshaw
    8 – Waldrom

    9 – Care
    10 – Flood
    11 – Monye
    12 – Barrit
    13 – Tuilagi
    14 – Sharples
    15 – Brown

    16 – Pace
    17 – Vunipola
    18 – Wilson
    19 – Palmer
    20 – Wood
    21 – Farrel
    22 – Goode
    23 – B Youngs

      1. I think Palmer will start over Launchbury.

        Brown being released for Quins last weekend suggests to me Goode will start.

        And I think Johnson rather than Robshaw or Wood covers 8.

  3. From the above 23 players I think the starting XV will be:
    1 – Vunipola
    2 – T Youngs
    3 – Cole
    4 – Launchbury
    5 – Parling
    6 – Wood
    7 – Robshaw
    8 – Waldrom
    9 – Care
    10 – Flood
    11 – Monye
    12 – Barritt
    13 – Tuilagi
    14 – Sharples
    15 – Brown

    16 – Pace
    17 – Marler
    18 – Johnson
    19 – Palmer
    20 – B Youngs
    21 – Farrel
    22 – Goode

  4. Really don’t understand the release of Morgan. He’s in better form than Waldrom. Maybe there is a Glaws conspiracy after all. lord knows how sharples has escaped.

  5. Very glad to see Launchbury there, he and Lawes are streets ahead of every other lock in England in terms of their contribution outside of the set-piece.

    He is also a utility back row, so he might be seen as a possible no8 back up.

  6. I would fancy trying a different combo for this game in the back row. 6. Johnson, 7. Wood, 8. Robs haw. Waldorm on the bench and switch round Robshaw or Wood.

    1. Like that idea! They’d have the mobility to operate a NZ style 10 second breakdown. To me there doesn’t seem to be anyone in there who can take advantage of the game when it breaks up.hope Goode starts at fullback as he will always play with his head up and try to bring those around him into the game.

      1. Dazza that is an interesting idea, one that would surprise me though. Going into an international with a real number 8, and also without a large ball carrying back row player would really surprise me.
        I think Waldrom will play 8, Robshaw at 6 and Wood at 7. (Wood and Robshaw would go either way round).

  7. I agree that Morgan has been better the Waldron this season. Launchbury in 2011 U20’s world cup was one of England’s and the tournaments best players (Mako too!) worth a look on YouTube! SL selection policy is becoming much more like the Southern Hemisphere in the ‘if your good enough age doesn’t matter’. as a nation we have had some amazing talents who have not been picked and their natural game has been squashed by ‘Club and Conformity’. Pick’em young and let them grow! As long as we’re gaining ground and learning the results will come. There is also plenty of time before the WRC to allow SL time to see how combinations and players perform! Can’t wait!!!

    1. To be fair to TTTE, he has been playing 7 for the past few games. Morgan looked very average against Easter at the weekend too.

      Launchbury looks excellent – much better than Botha.

  8. Shocked by the omission of Morgan. Do we see him being bought back for the bigger games?

    Was thinking that perhaps Lancaster wants Wood to get some game time in the Fiji match and will be looking to bring him on at some point by moving Robshaw to 8

    Nice to see Launchbury getting a chance but a shame for Robson who has been excellent for Quins this season

    Think Tom’s team above looks very likely

    1. It looks as though he will start with Goode, with Brown being released for the weekend I assume it means that Goode is now above him in the pecking order.

  9. I think that Lancaster will probably start the following team:

    1. J. Marler
    2. T. Youngs
    3. D. Cole
    4. G. Parling
    5. T. Palmer
    6. T. Johnson
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. T. Waldrom

    9. D. Care
    10. T. Flood
    11. U. Monye
    12. B. Barritt
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Sharples
    15. A. Goode

    16. M. Vunipola
    17. D. Wilson
    18. D. Paice
    19. J. Launchbury
    20. B. Youngs
    21. O. Farrell
    22. M. Brown

    I would prefer to see Brown starting but I think he might be start with Goode and use him as a second receiver. I would also feel slightly safer starting Paice and then bringing Youngs on later as the young lad worried me with his line out throwing against Gloucester. Then again, I would be delighted if he proves me wrong as he is definitely a talent for the future. All in all – quite an interesting team.

  10. I would select the following team if all players were fit and available for selection:

    1. A. Corbisero
    2. D. Hartley
    3. D. Cole
    4. C. Lawes
    5. G. Parling
    6. T. Croft
    7. C. Robshaw
    8. B. Morgan

    9. D. Care
    10. T. Flood
    11. C. Wade
    12. B. Barritt
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Ashton
    15. B. Foden

    16. J. Marler
    17. M. Vunipola
    18. R. Webber
    19. T. Palmer
    20. T. Wood
    21. B. Youngs
    22. F. Burns
    23. M. Brown

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