Lancaster names England team to play Argentina


England will field a changed front row in Saturday’s QBE International against Argentina at Twickenham.

Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley and David Wilson replace Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole against the Pumas.

Cole and Youngs are included on an experienced replacements’ bench, which also sees the return from concussion and injury of fellow British & Irish Lions Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Joe Marler was excellent off the bench against Australia and merits his opportunity, as does David Wilson, who has been pushing hard for selection.

“Dylan gets a deserved chance at hooker with Tom Youngs on the bench after the safe arrival of his first child this morning. Rob Webber remains on standby.

“Christian Wade was in contention for a start but his hamstring tightened up in training and unfortunately he hasn’t recovered sufficiently in time to be considered for Saturday. Maland Yarde failed a fitness test on a hip injury sustained last weekend this morning so Ben Foden gets his chance with Alex Goode on the bench. Ben has had a full week’s training on the wing, he is a great finisher and in form so it’s a great option for us.

“The Twickenham crowd was superb against Australia and we were pleased to get the victory but we know there’s more to come from this team and we are looking forward to building on that momentum for this weekend.”

England (v Argentina, QBE International, Saturday, 2.30pm, Twickenham Stadium)

15 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 19 caps)
14 Chris Ashton (Saracens, 35 caps)
13 Joel Tomkins (Saracens, 1 cap)
12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 6 caps)
11 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints, 32 caps)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 17 caps)
9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, 10 caps)
1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 13 caps)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 48 caps)
3 David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 29 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 12 caps)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 23 caps)
6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 21 caps)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 18 caps)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 3 caps)


16 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps
17 Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints, 18 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 41 caps)
19 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
20 Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 34 caps)
22 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers, 58 caps)
23 Alex Goode (Saracens, 11 caps)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

68 thoughts on “Lancaster names England team to play Argentina

  1. Like it. Absolutely gutted that Wade has got injured – this could have been his shot!

    No problem with Foden on the wing as long as it is only because of injury. Like the look at the pack – strong bench too.

    Should be good enough to win by 10-15 on Saturday.

  2. Acknowledging Brown was rock solid last week…

    I’m still itching to see a Wade/Yarde/Watson back 3 combo take the field sometime soon…

    Had hoped to see 2 of the 3 there this Saturday. Damn shame.

  3. I don’t understand how Goode is on the bench. What is the point in having 3 15s in the 23? This surely would’ve been the perfect opportunity for Eastmond to cover centre and wing.

    1. I think it’s because he can play 10, so basically in Flood and Goode we have adequate cover for 10, 12 and 15, with Brown able to move to the wing if we lose another winger.

      Such a blow we’ve lost Yarde AND Wade.

      1. Well he’s probably the 4th best 10 in the 23 behind Farrell, Flood & 36.

        In reality he covers fullback, and if he comes on it means moving a better fullback to a position he’s been much less effective.

        If Goode seriously has any ‘credit in the bank’ then I’m moving my accounts to bank of Lancaster as it is handing out free money!

      2. We already have cover for 15 and 10 without Goode.
        If you played Eastmond at 23 then you have cover for wing and centre.
        If Brown is injured then Foden can move to FB and Kyle to the Wing.
        Instead we have no Wing cover and a thirt FB who in all likelihood will not be used, unless both Farrell and a centre are injured.

        1. For what it’s worth, I don’t rate Goode either, and as a Bath supporter I think Eastmond is the dream utility back cover for the 23 shirt. Just trying to fathom Bomber’s thinking.

          I can see, however, that after the team training together all week, he’d prefer to pick players from witin the squad rather than looking outside and bringing someone in cold.

    2. I thought this actually. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

      But if that is the only issue with the 23 then it isn’t all that bad.

      Eastmond would have been good to see though!

  4. Is this going to be like JSD always getting injured at Eng time.

    Do we really need 3 fullbacks in the 22? Surely this would have been a good opportunity to see Eastmond or Burrell from the bench incase either one us needed next week? Not a lot of spark or pace in the backs tbh.

    Bit disappointed with this. Lancaster is paying for not blooding wingers last season, persisting in Brown and Ashton on the wings when it was clearly time for a change.

    1. Agree, now we will have him fit next week and it will be “we can’t risk him against the ABs ….. let’s wait a bit longer”

      1. Exactly. Whether Yarde or Wade recover, I bet you anything that injuries aside this will be our starting back three next week. At best we can hope that Wade makes the bench next week, but I won’t hold my breath.

  5. OK, injuries to 2 wingers has tied his hands to some extent …. but seriously Alex Goode back in at 23? We really need 3 specialist fullbacks? Yes Goode can play a bit of 10 as well (but Flood is covering that), surely Eastmond would have been a far better option?

    Can understand giving Marler the start with Corbs only just returning. Good to see the Moose come in for Cole, a proper immovable object at tighthead. I understand keeping the second row pairing, even with Parling back.

    Burell in at 13 would have been preferable for me, on grounds of form and similarity to Tuilagi. Given that Tomkins got the nod last week can see the sense with sticking with him and giving him a couple more games to make his case.

  6. Congrats to Wade on getting his … oh, sorry. My mind must have not believed what my eyes were saying. Management Accountants are now in charge of the English side. Kudos to Ashton though for managing that tricky aspect of making sure that the only 3 people in the world who think you should be an undroppable English winger are the 3 people who count.

    1. Not sure if you actually read the article Brighty, but both Wade and Yarde are injured. That would have been the wing combo had they been fit.

    2. Should clarify that I genuinely, and I’m not often so cynical/suspicious, don’t believe the Wade BS. Too, too convenient for Lancaster to keep his “credit in the bank” approach on course.

        1. Oh, I agree, it makes me sound paranoid and delusional. I can’t help it. I’m bored of watching the odd English non-robot appear on the scene and singularly fail to oust the by-the-numbers cocaches favourites. I take it back then, it’s all genuine, but it’s just oh so convenient for avoiding Lancaster having to make what would be for him a mind shuddering call to drop Ashton for anyone.

          1. By the way , fantastic news about Walker………..oh……….! It’s amazing that Gats could decide to play Williams and have to fake a Walker injury so that he could do it! Brighty injuries happen and on this occasion you are trying to make a point from completely the wrong direction. Ashton should have been dropped – most of us agree, but don’t make up some nonsense about convenient injuries to justify a point.

      1. whilst I don’t beleive the injuries are either made up or exaggerated, Brighty has a point *shudders* in that Lancaster could have grown a pair and dropped Ashton anyway. Goode on the bench just confirms what is becoming a very blinkered approach to selection. If Mike Catt had a any sense he’d quit rather than taking the stick for having to deal with these blunt instruments.

        1. Who would start on the wing though? Short of putting Brown there and having Goode at fullback (that’s a back three full of fullbacks), there wouldn’t have been any other options. Wade and Yarde both failed late fitness tests, and with no other wingers training with the squad there’s no way someone could have come in at such late notice to play this weekend. As much as I would have liked to have seen a Jonny May come in, he hasn’t been with the squad and it would end up having been disastrous. Foden and Ashton, while not ideal, is the only combo they had at their disposal really.

          1. What about Eastmond. Has all the attributes we want in the back 3, and is versatile enough not to phased by the change in postion. NZ one a world cup with a centre on the wing.

          2. Yes, but then they could have put Eastmond on the bench.

            Instead we have Goode. A valuable club player, but not even close to international standard.

            If he gots on, be prepared for more of his brilliant running where he gathers the ball. runs to the first line of defenders, does a weird little stutter/dance and then gets hammered in the tackle

            1. …and buys time for his support to reach him, thus securing the ball, rather than riskily running away from his support.

              1. Yes Blub, heaven forbid that our full back should make a break! Why, all our back three should just find the nearest forward and run directly into them.

                God alone knows what harm running into space might do!

  7. Well its obvious, and well said already but I have to repeat it.

    Really disappointed not to see Yarde and Wade on the wings! Still, Hamstring – have to look after it, because that can ruin a career on the wing.

    Some calls for Burrell in pace of Tomkins, but really, we have to give Tomkins another go as he didn’t really get a go last week.

    I would have been disappointed to see Parling in for Lawes, so happy with that. Also happy to see Marler in ahead of Corbisiero. Marler is a very hard worker and often under-rated.

    Goode – I am a supporter of Goode, but I don’t quite see the logic of him in the 23 shirt. If Flood is there, surely we need a 23 with some explosiveness.

    Eastmond, Burrell, Watson?

    Two wings injured, so Ashton keeps his place. Time for him to regain his mojo? Lets not underestimate the Argie wings either – Imhoff is a very good player.

    1. I’ve never heard Marler be underrated by anyone, least of all himself. Marler in for Corbisiero is not a good idea, unless they’re so worried about Corbs knees that they think he can only manage the one game so are keeping him for the ABs?

      1. Corbs is apparently only returning to fitness, so think a bench role makes sense to build his match fitness for next week.

      2. Well you have now Brighty. I didn’t rate Marler.

        I thought he was a good ball handler with a silly haircut, whose flashiness overshadowed a weakness in the tight.

        I have now changed my mind, he appears to be adding solidity to his tight game, and his defensive work in particular against the Argies in the summer was exceptional.

  8. I’ll stand and wave my flag in the opposite direction to the crowd. This back three is in my view the best there is at the moment and Goode off the bench as well. Test matches are won by a combination of experience and safety, not flash and dash and raw enthusiasm. Now flay me…..

    1. That must be why England did so well at the last world cup? Moody, Stevens, Ashton, Tindall, Cueto providing all that expereince. Lancaster has clearly learnt NOTHING from last year’s 6n. This is the same situation as the Italy game. His last chance to try new talent, because ther eis no way he will risk newbies the following week. With Brown and Foden we had more than enough experience to drop Ashton and bring in Eastmond or someone who can provide a spark.

  9. Youngs brothers aside the bench has absolutely no impact. All like for like/ more experienced replacments. What a wasted opportunity.

    1. Who would you have preferred on the bench?

      I get Eastmond for Goode but who else would you want to change?

      I would argue Morgan (if on form) can provide some impact. Flood is in far better form than Burns so it would be difficult to justify picking him.

      1. Even if it was that one change – that would have made a difference. This is not a 23 to get a much needed morale boosting win ahead of next week.

        1. Definitely would like to have been that change.

          BUT, this England bench has 5 Lions plus a 50 cap man on it. Out of 7 players sitting there that’s not so bad surely?

          1. Which is great if we need to close out a match or grind a result from behind, but I’d like SL to have a bit more ambition and forward thinking. a lot of people are giving SL the benefit of the doubt that he would have dropped Ashton if Wade an Yarde were fit. I’m not so sure. I imagine the likes of Sharples or May are looking at Ashton and thinking why am I not given the benefit of the doubt.

            1. Flood definitely has the game to up the tempo. More so than Farrell I would say.

              Burns is not in great form, Ford is not is in the Saxons and Cipriani is, well, Cipriani (though I am not sure he is particularly close to re-entry just yet).

            2. I’m not sure I agree at all. Youngs and Cole in the front row add more round the park than the guys already on the pitch. Parling was always going to come back in. Completely agree re Goode of course, but what else would you change? What would the bench be if you were picking it for Saturday? Other than Eastmond for Goode I completely agree with every other selection made.

  10. I guess the silver lining to the Yarde/Wade injury cloud is Foden is likely to come in a lot more picking lines and looking for work, (e.g. playing left wing against SA he scores in the right corner). Given we haven’t been creating any opportunities for a wing to get on the end of, Foden may add something to the attack.

    With the injuries I don’t see any other viable option (out of the group that have trained together), but I’m mystified how Goode gets the impact sub role (what you look for in a 23) over Eastmond, who looks made for the role, or even Burrell.

  11. Wow some angry responses here. In all fairness i do think Lancaster had his hands tied and we would have seen a back three of wade yarde and brown BUT injury makes fools of us all. The only room for manouevre would have been to bring Eastmond or Watson in to the 23 instead of Goode (which I would have preferred), but not much we can do if 2 out of 3 of our our wingers get injured at short notice. We are running out of time though…

    Come 6 nations (if fit) we HAVE to cap Wade, Yarde, Watson and a fast, attacking outside centre (Trinder or Daly) to give options for the World Cup, I dont want to be in this situation in the latter stages when we lose a winger or two and have to have three fullbacks on the field. Having said that Watson is a fullback, but offers much more on the wing then the other three in the EPS. Exception proves the rule and all that.

    1. Henry, Lancaster has tied his own hands by persiting with Ashton, Brown and Goode all last season, despite the lack of tries. Yes they played well in the NZ game, but that was off the back of Manu having one of his best matches for us. Woodward for all his faults was never afraid to bring in fresh blood, especially in the back three with the likes of Perry, Stimpson, Healy, Robinson, Luger, Cohen, JSD & Lewsey all getting decent runs under him. There seems to be a misconception that SCW had the world Cup team in place for the 3/ 4 years prior to 2003. It’s nonesense. The summer tour showed so much promise, esp. Eastmond, yet only 12T and Yarde have been given a chance.

      1. I do take your point, but I disagree. I understand Ashton getting a run out last year- a while ago he was the most exciting winger in the northern hemisphere, and I can understand why Lancaster kept faith he would rediscover this form. He hasn’t, but thats another issue. I think with hindsight we all would have liked to see other wingers given a go but realisticly that wasn’t an option: Wade is the exception but he was pretty fresh for the AI and only just hitting his stride in the 6N. Yarde wasn’t on anyone’s radar at the start of last season. Jonny May was injured half the time, and whilst an exciting talent he didnt blow anyone away in Argentina. People forget we played Sharples and Monye against Fiji last autumn. Neither stepped up. Gave Strettle another go (top scorer currently in the league), didn’t step up. Infact I count 10 different players used in the back three since last Autumn. There is only limited games, can’t give everyone a go if you want any sort of coherence… The only thing I think Lancaster got wrong was Wade should have been given a shot in the 6 nations. But up until ‘The Wales Match’ we were all happy we had a great, All-Black smashing, potential grand-slam-winning team.

        1. No the wheels came off long before the Wales match. This is not being wise in hind sight. Many of us implored SL to make changes for the Italy match. You say nobody has stepped up, and with Strettle I agree. But only he and Ashton have been givne a run of matches to prove themselves. Sharples was binned after one poor performance against the Aussies. Wade, Eastmond dropped after the summer tour despite great performances.

          1. Eastmond is plays in the same position as 12T though?
            Wade should have started I agree, but he’s injured now. My point was more our lack in depth in the wing is not necessarily Lancaster’s fault, most of the players given a go have dissapointed or got injured and given the structure of the EPS this is the best we can expect. May is the only other winger in the EPS/Saxons structure with any claim to deserve a start for Eggland atm (NOT Strettle), and he hasn’t trained with them. Would you rather have a winger who hasn’t spent time with the squad at all brought in for the Argentina match (a very possible banana-skin)?

            Personally would have liked Watson or Eastmond in for Goode, but 1 disagreement out of 23 I can live with…

            1. Yeah, we’ve only played Eastmond at 12 for the last year. He came on at 10 for 20 minutes away at Bucharest Wolves. He may have played wing once or twice, but not for ages, and he’s certainly not a regular there. Basically, putting him on the wing would be as “bad” as playing Foden or Brown there, plus he has little international experience. I’m sure Lancaster knows what he’s doing.

              1. But time is running out. SL has to take some chances. Because the tried and tested (Ashton, Strettle, Goode) are not and never will cut it. I accept that Ashton did look like th ereal deal when he first came on the scene but that was 3 years ago!

                I know many on here are saying that Wade and Yarde (or whoever) will get there chance in the 6N but I disagree. Farrell Snr is picking the backs and is seemingly wasting as many matches as possible to give former Wigan/ Sarries backs a chance to stake a claim.

                SL promised ambition and a more attack minded team. OK, couldn’t help with the injuries, but the Goode selction really betrays his talk, and I bet you he wont bring Wade or Yarde back in next week. Yes its the All Blacks, a baptism of fire etc etc. But if we are to find out whether these guys can hack it we need to pick them in important matches. SA or NZ wouldn’t think twice about blooding a player in a RC game.

                Just feel utterly let down.

                1. To be fair to SL on Goode, the only other person in the squad was Burrell. Whilst Burrell is probably a better option, Eastmond had already been released.

                  I’m assuming SL thought either Wade or Yarde would play this weekend. It’s unlucky.

                  The NZ selection will be interesting. As much as I’d like to see Wade picked, can you imagine Savea walking over him on his Twickenham debut? Could ruin him.

                2. Can’t reply to you below Jamie – but cheers for that. My bad guys, even more baffling selection then!

                3. Completely agree. I severely doubt we will beat the all blacks (who at the moment could?) so why not blood wade. It would be a complete travesty if he were to be kept out of the squad for NZ.

    2. If you listen to the commentators here England possesses about 10 world class wings and centres given the diversity of choice recommended. If that were the case England would win 2 out of every 3 Heineken Cups, not none. Also the previously incumbent but now injured centres would not both be foreign born.

      One day soon a coach will bow to pressure and play an all new very exciting backline with little experience and I suspect that the fans will get a lesson in what experience actually is. You’ll get to see how easily an on form club player becomes a liability as time and space close in on him.

      This continual debate about centres and wings just ignores the fact that games are won up front. Wings complete phases of play started elsewhere. In test matches that is even more so and Wade, Burrell, Watson, Eastmond et al are not going to change anything if the forwards don’t dominate.

      Lastly why do so many people think the bench is purely for impact. This is not so! The bench can have two purposes one of which is impact. Benches give balance to the team selected and the likely shuffles when changes must or may occur.

      1. And does a player aquire experience if they are never picked. No one is suggested we pick new player for th esake of it. If Ashton or Goode were scoring tries for England then there would be no debate.

        1. How can one possibly answer your question with any logic. Perhaps we should play everyone so that everyone gets experience, right? If any wing does not score a try after two games he should be dropped for the next player, right?

          You are basing team choice on emotion not common sense. It is understandable that everyone has their personal favourites but coaches have a game plan and that game plan dictates players in certain positions.

          If this was simply about scoring tries then you would pick the two wings with the most tries in the premiership each week – easy!

          1. But if you read people’s comments with an open mind you might realise that one the issues people have is with the gameplan. It’s stultifyingly conversative and seems to reply on Tuilagi both playing and having a blinder. It’s insanity to stick with a consistently bad option on the wing just because he has more caps than someone else. How do you fix that? By having a coach who realises he needs to develop depth – so England shouldn’t be in the position of having to pick Ashton just because he’s experienced.

            The old “forwards win games” is also irrelevant – once the forwards have won the ball you need to ensure you have decent backs who can use it. This is what people are talking about here. There is little confidence that Ashton is that man who can use it especially when his nurse maid Foden is not running lines for him at Full Back.

            1. I would point out here that if forwards exclusively won games, South Africa would be the best team in the world. They are not. NZ are the best because they have a blend of strong forwards and brilliant backs. So it is equally as important to develop the backline as it is the pack.

      2. “Benches give balance to the team selected and the likely shuffles when changes must or may occur”

        Agree with this, guys are on the bench for impact or cover. But I can’t see how Goode is doing either. He doesn’t cover any position other than fullback, unless we need to go down to our 4th fly half. All we are balancing is 2 fullbacks who can run and who can tackle with one that can’t. Achieving a balanced bench through the ying and yang approach isn’t the way forward.

        I appreciate the injury situation, which has robbed us of 2 of the players we were most excited over (and a lot of us were gladdened by the news that Wade was going to play). It’s going to take the shine off any team announcement.

        So the Goode thing is only 1 player in the 23, it could be worse. But it’s just compounds the disappointment of not having Wade or Yarde available (nor looking at someone who could be something special in Eastmond instead).

  12. Watson was never going to be an option as some here have said. He was brought into the squad for a bit of experience rather than as someone who was going to play. That left Goode and Eastmond after injuries as the back three cover. Goode at least plays in the back three regularly, Eastmond doesn’t, so given the situation I’m not sure SL could have done anything different. Most of us pundits have spent the last year moaning about players playing out of position. I don’t really like Goode being in the squad, but that is another issue, and probably one that most of us agree on.

    1. And yet they clearly knew Yarde was 50/50 if they had Foden traiign at wing all week, so why not bring in another winger in to the squad. Although be careful what you wish for, am surprised they didn’t bring in Strettle.

      1. I’m pretty sure they rotate a lot in training. Foden was always wing cover if there were injuries. On face value, I’ll choose to believe SL that Wade and Yarde would have started. Makes me happier!

        Out of a squad of 23, I’d change one selection. Eastmond for Goode. But really that’s hardly something to complain massively about.

      2. Benjit, sorry to hammer on about this, but you seem to think test rugby is a mechanical game played on paper. It is not. There is no rule you have to play a wing on the wing. Playing two fullbacks in the context of a game plan and taking into account other players strengths etc. is sometimes what coaches do.

        1. I have no issues with Foden. He is the type of player (i.e. naturally/ mutlti talented) who is able to adapt to a variety of postions. My issue is not bringing in more wing cover when Lancaster knew that Yarde had picked up an injury and Ashton is clearly struggling for form at international level. If Foden picks up an injury we will be left with the same leaden back three we had in the 6N.

          However lets not pretend all players can switch without there being an issue.

  13. Most talk about this or that player, but surely it’s more about the will of the coaches & their coaching, esp in the backline. I mean where are the running lines? Straight & then inwards towards the defender & ‘fixing’ him before offloading in the same motion; accurately & with appropriate timing? It’s mainly about simple, basic rugby, played at speed & in the decision making of whether to run, pass or kick the pill. Usually in that order. But as Lanc’s 1st choice backline would still likely have been Farrell, Barritt & Tualagi, bluntly, as they’re mainly bosh merchants, who of them is going to create anything? Last yr, apart from the fortuitous win v the ABs (& no one seems to want to mention that the ABs had the squirts prior to that game!), England lost v Oz & SA, scraped it v Italy & were taken to the cleaners v by the Taffs. IOW they went backwards. In the latter game, it seemed to me, Farrell closed the game down from the opening whistle when he kicked the ball to God in heaven. When the hair dryer’s really on, England seem happier reverting to R1. That must be down to the (lack of) mind set from SL & his coaches… funnily enuff ex Leicester & rugby league! Having said that, Wade, e.g., reminds me of Jason Robinson in that he’s a small guy, but seems to lack fear & can blitz any ‘D’ given the ball EARLY & in space. Otherwise what’s the point? I don’t much like the cliche about fwds winning the ball for the backs to win the game (esp as nowadays fwds should do a bit more than bash into the oppo with ball in hand; i.e. they could also look to off load sometimes), but fundamentally their seems to be an element of truth in this saying. Therefore the backline must be as comfortable with playing what’s on rather than overly leaning on a territorial game & booting it for ‘field posi’. IMO England must forget the term ‘high risk’ rugby & play an all round, total game without fear. As for the guy who says Lancs knows what he’s doing; good luck geezer.

  14. Bring back Mark Cueto. Still producing the goods for an average Sale side, and wouldn’t let anyone down.

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