England team to play Argentina

Martin Johnson has just announced the side to face Argentina on Saturday, and here it is on your favourite rugby blog.

1. Payne
2. Hartley
3. Bell
4. Deacon
5. Borthwick
6. Croft
7. Moody
8. Haskell
9. Hodgson
10. Wilkinson
11. Banahan
12. Geraghty
13. Hikiss
14. Cueto
15. Monye

16. Steve Thompson
17. Paul Doran-Jones
18. Courtney Lawes
19. Joe Worsley
20. Danny Care
21. Andy Goode
22. Ayoola Erinle

What do you think?

20 thoughts on “England team to play Argentina

  1. Good to see Hartley and Haskell starting, that’s a step in the right direction.

    Lawes still on the bench, but it would be good to see him on at half-time.

  2. Hodgson starting should also hurry up the ball I hope. Let us just hope that the front five survive the initial engagements. Personally, I can’t think Payne and Bell are looking forward to packing down with Borthers and Deacon behind them.

    Still, come on England!

  3. Having Haskell as number 8 is long overdue. I think Shaw’s return is now due. Backs-wise – I’d do my best to leave out Banahan, Hipkiss – and put Monye back on the wing. Ben Foden in at full back.
    And if another English prop goes down under the Argentinian scrum, or the Samoan scrum for Wales – I’m available!

  4. Banahan wasn’t particularly exciting last week, but he didn’t do much wrong so I can see why he’s in again. Hipkiss I thought was pretty good considering the rubbish ball he kept getting fed, but I’m surprised Monye is at full-back again.

  5. Well, possibility that things could be moving in the right direction. I’m still not sold on Monye at 15, especially when Wilko was running back to cover him most of Saturday afternoon! Haskell deserves his start, as does Hartley.

  6. Ok, I am now convinced that the post match meeting must have gone as we said the other day. If not, how the bloody hell have they kept Monye at full back, Deacon in the squad, Borthwick as captain, Goode and Erinle on the bench? I actually think this team is moving backwards. We obviously haven’t learnt a single thing from last saturday. Can’t wait to hear the post match comments again – “think we should take the positives out of the match” (even though we got slaughtered), “the pumas are a very good team and we’ve had to deal with injuries” (even though their missing half there backs and play makers), “we’re nearly where we want to be” (if that is turning up and running around aimlessly with no leader, then i think we are already there). Good job boys, can’t wait for another dull and iritating 80 mins on saturday

  7. good to see johnson ring some changes and accept he got a few selection decisions wrong. disappointing not to see lawes start as he deserves to from the impact he made and he is quite clearly good enough. if shaw is injury free against Nz, lawes and shaw should start in the second row as borthwick and deacon do not add enough to warrant selection. borthwick only added line out presense which croft has been doing for leicester anyway. Also banahan and monya were shown up as not being international class in those respective positions. monya should be moved to the wing where he is an international class player and put in a full back such as foden.

  8. I tend to agree rico, but it’s not realistic to expect that Borthwick will be dropped, and frankly, I can’t see Foden coming in just yet. If Johnno didn’t want to change the back three after last week, what needs to happen to persuade him?!

    I do have one reason for optimism though – Johnno said the word ‘dynamic’ twice!

  9. haha johno use the word’ dynamic’ after picking someone like jordon crane and nick easter, it may be a turning point indeed. i have to agree on both points, but it is frustrating to see the potential of players like kennedy and lawes being superceeded by borthwick and also in the backs seeing brawn over flare.

    i think we also should take into account that players like flutey, armitage, tindall, shaw, and a whole front row would make the team look siginificantly different, but unfortunately behind them is not the international standard (not yet anyway) that we would all hope.

  10. The same backline?! Which match was Johnno watching last weekend? Did Banahan do something brilliant that no one else in the world happened to notice? Was there some cunning plan whereby Monye deliberately looked dodgy under the high ball so as to encourage the Aussies to kick it? Were he and Cueto told to tackle like sweet, fluffy little kittens to further some secret agenda? Geraghty I’ll overlook: his first touches in an England shirt were a nice little chip-and-chase, and evidently he thought that was all he was there to do. Maybe he really thought that Jonny would appear out of nowhere and pick up every one of those stupid kicks and dot them down. Or maybe he had a bang on the head.

    I think there’s something going on with regard to the second row, too: Johnno saw that thing on Planet Rugby that called him the best lock ever, and now he’s trying to make the England second row a sort of shrine to himself. Can there possibly be a reason for Louis Deacon to be an England shirt beyond Johnno’s apparent conviction that any Leicester lock must be good? Nick Kennedy clearly has created some worries by catching every lineout ball he sees. And Johnno must be worried that Simon Shaw will eclipse him by continuing to rampage like a rhino into his 60s?

    I really hope that Haskell has benefitted from his time in France, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he spends Saturday afternoon entering rucks from god-knows-where and giving away endless penalties. Ditto Hartley.

    Finally: ten quid says that the entire front row literally catches on fire, Simpsons-style, at the first scrum.

  11. Interesting theory on the second row, Stephen!

    I think Haskell and Hartley will step up this week. Not sure about the spontaneous combustion, but I’d stick a bet on Haskell to be MOM in a narrow victory.

  12. Although I am from Holland and we do not know a thing about rugby, I am a big Saints and England fan, but live is made difficult nowadays.
    Apart from the injuries I really think you can come up with a decent team. Just do not try to reshuffle too much. The experiment with Monye was nothing more than a disaster. You lost double. The best wing was gone and for that you received the worst no 15 ever back for it. Start with a 15, it can be Foden (altough I am not a big supporter of him). At least Foden knows he will never play for England anymore as he is not put in the team now. Good to know, he can do his utmost for Northampton and completely forget a bout England.
    About the no 4 and 5. Wat can I say? Probably Lawes is too young or something but than at least swap Deacon for any other lock in the premiership, preferably Kennedy. Borthwick will not be replaced, he is the captain so it is useless to talk about that position. Banahan and Geraghty where awfull as well. The changes at least look ok but the most urgent changes are not made (Monye and Deacon)
    Goode, Erinle, Doran-Jones…my goodness let’s hope they kep the bench warm and hot the whole match.

    Go England!

  13. Stephen, that’s funny, but I think you are right. Johnno uses himself as the vision for what a 2nd row should be. The game has moved on, and you also have to think about the rest of the pack, and how they complement.

    Stunned to see Deacon in the team instead of Lawes. Stunned to see Monye at 15; I would have swapped him for Banahan and played Foden at 15. It’s not that Banahan played badly last week, but the game did illustrate the weaknesses we all knew he had. If he takes the ball at pace, he can run through the first tackle or two in the GP, but playing for England he’s going to get slow ball and he can’t be effective in that scenario (eg Elsom tackle). Even with space he will just get tackled by the first defender at test level. He shouldn’t be in the team.

    Glad he left the 10/12 combination intact. Having watched the game again this morning, I think Geraghty did OK – not great, but OK, considering crap ball most of the time. The chips that we all groaned at would have been very effective if they hadn’t been poorly executed. When you get slow ball and the opposition is bearing down on you like the Aussies did, it’s a tactic that can work. I liked the way Geraghty and Wilko flipped positions a few times in the 2nd half, with Wilko taking the 12 spot. It made things look a little less predictable, and as others have said here, there are some good reasons to play Wilko at 12. His tackling was superb. Would be really interesting to watch the whole game on “playercam” focused solely on Wilko. In fact, the other backs should be made to watch that. It annoys the crap out of me to see so many England players standing off the opposition, waiting for them to come to them, rather than aggressively attacking them – SMASH. Shaun Edwards would fix that for us. But following the lead of Wilko would help.

    Big game for Hartley. I hope he takes it by the scruff of the neck, and I hope he gets the full 80.

  14. I agree with Uncle Mat comments on Geraghty. Give it time although to be fair most blog contributors seem to agree.

    And Proppie, your rugby knowledge seems fine. In fact some of the England coaches would do well to take some of your comments on board!

  15. Glad that Hartley and Haskell get their chance, but Monye is not a fullback! Why is Martin Johnson scared to play backs such as Strettle, Tait and Foden?

  16. I pray that Johnno’s picked a team to score a good few tries
    And when he talks about them afterwards
    Hem won’t tell us no lies.

    God bless Mummy, God bless Daddy, Frankie Dettori, AP McCoy, Jonjo O’Neill and the Channel4Racing Team

  17. Seeing the same locks starting has really annoyed me: apart from possibly 3 (?) line out steals Borthwick did nothing, he never makes any ground (he lets the tacklers come to him, brilliant) and always slows things down. When it got hard in the second half he was completely anonymous.

    I genuinely did not notice Deacon at all on Saturday, whilst Lawes made a big hit and took the ball up a few times in only 10 minutes. What does Kennedy have to do to get in the team????

    Wonder if Monye and Cueto are going to be swapping between wing and 15 during the game, it is the only explanation I have for having the same back three.

  18. Obviously we don’t make the selection decisions (pity, as everyone on here seems to realise what needs to be done, even if those in charge don’t) and we are hampered by injuries at the moment, but who would you field if all players were available?

    1. Sheridan
    2. Hartley (VC)
    3. Wilson
    4. Lawes
    5. Kennedy
    6. Croft
    7. Moody (C)
    8. Haskell
    9. Care
    10. Wilkinson (VC)
    11. Monye
    12. Flutey
    13. Turner-Hall
    14. Cueto
    15. Armitage

    16. Thompson
    17. Payne
    18. Vickery
    19. Rees / Armitage
    20. Hodgson
    21. Cipriani / Geraghty
    22. Simpson – Daniel
    23. Tait

    That said, the first thing I would do is give the coaching team their marching orders and tell the players they’re allowed to play rugby, as opposed to slowing the ball down and trying to grind out (supposed) wins. Please comment.

  19. Brave call with Moody captain i have to say. Seeing as injuries have forced us to resort to England Fantasy XVs, here’s mine.

    1. Sheridan
    2. Mears
    3. Stevens (14 months to go!)
    4. Shaw
    5. Kennedy
    6. Croft
    7. Rees
    8. Haskell
    9. Hodgson
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Monye
    12. Flutey
    13. Tindall (c)
    14. Simpson-Daniel
    15. Armitage

    16. Flatman
    17. Harltleey
    18. Vickery
    19. Lawes
    20. Moody
    21. Care
    22. Cipriani
    23. Cueto

  20. Good call on Stevens, but do you really think he’ll ever play for England again? Left Shaw and Mears out as they will be retiring very soon, and so i’d rather go with who the future will be as opposed to the old guard. Moody as captain – could happen. He is a Leicester after all and we all know how much Johnno loves Leicester plays. Saying that though, Deacon may be in with a shot lol. All in old, very similiar teams though

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