Over the last 6 weeks or so, days like today have been met with anticipation and excitement as 12pm approaches, and although the Championship is gone, today is no different.
Unfortunately, that excitement usually gets crushed as the team news comes through and it’s the same old rubbish, with no ambition or daring to be different. But perhaps the fact that we can no longer win – and that we are huge underdogs going to Paris – will encourage Johnno to shake things up a little.
It’s a similar situation to last week when I was convinced that Delon Armitage would be ruled out, and that Ben Foden would start. This week, Ugo Monye has been recovering from injury and the way he was stretchered off on Saturday suggested he wouldn’t be fit for this weekend.
Chris Ashton will be on tenterhooks awaiting the news, and I think every reader of The Rugby Blog would love to see him selected. However, the fact that he has not been a part of the matchday squad indicates that Johnno might steer clear of giving him a starting berth, bringing him onto the bench only if neceessary. I hope I’m wrong.
I’d love to see Ben Foden, Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Ashton all given places in the first team with instructions to go out and play. I’ve got a feeling though that the side will be pretty much unchanged from that which was so awful to watch on Saturday. But, they didn’t lose the game, so Johnno might think that changes are not required and it’s just a matter of time before it all clicks.