Lancaster trims England squad for New Zealand

Stuart Lancaster has retained the following 23 players to prepare for the match against the All Blacks this weekend.

England RugbyFORWARDS (13)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
James Haskell (London Wasps)
Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
David Paice (London Irish)
Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

BACKS (10)
Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
Alex Goode (Saracens)
Jonathan Joseph (London Irish)
Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

The following 11 players have been released back to their clubs.

Mouritz Botha (Saracens)
Tom Biggs (Bath Rugby)
Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Palmer (London Wasps)
Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Firstly to those guys who won’t be coming back in tomorrow. Their attitude over the last five weeks has been first-rate with the energy and enthusiasm they have brought to the squad both on and off the field. Unfortunately we can only pick 23 but they have all pushed hard for selection and I know they will go back to their clubs hungry to force their way into the Elite Player Squad in January.

“For those in Saturday’s squad the message is clear – last week we went toe to toe with the second best team in the world and felt we should have won. Now we have a chance to take on the number one side in front of a passionate Twickenham crowd, who have been fantastic throughout the QBE Internationals, and it is a challenge we will meet head on.”

What would be your starting line-up for Saturday?

32 thoughts on “Lancaster trims England squad for New Zealand

  1. Why are we persisting with just the one winger? Brown showed he doesn’t think like a wing when we fluffed our best backs move.

    1. You’re the second person to have said this on this blog and frankly its just not true.

      Ashton failed to give what should be a simple pass for an international player. Tuilagi had just thrown a longer one under more pressure and it went in front of Ashton so he could run onto it, not behind him and at his feet. Frankly Brown did well to stop and pick it off his toes to keep the move alive.

      Had Brown come even further infield he would have increased the chance of the cover defence getting him – esp Pietersen. The best way to score was to run the line he did, maximise the chances of outstripping the defence and assume his colleague could throw a pass. Unfortunately he couldn’t

      Brown has problems with being on the wing but they are more to do with his defensive positioning. Attacking-wise he has shown far more potency than any from Sharples, Ashton or Monye

  2. based on the fact this game doesn’t really count for anything i would like to see burns get a run. i think 20 minutes would be good for him leading into 6N. Good chance for Farrell to show he can manage a game too. Interesting to see SL say ‘ he has built up a lot of credit from the 6N’ maybe he isn’t impressing enough in games to last through to the next one?

  3. I would probably go for the following from this match day squad:

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

    9. D. Care
    10. F. Burns
    11. M. Brown
    12. B. Barritt
    13. M. Tuilagi
    14. C. Ashton
    15. A. Goode

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

    A bit harsh on Launchbury as he had a great game against the Boks but I would like to see a bit of Lawes aggression and bulk to start with and then use Launchbury as an impact sub.

    Also think it is worth starting with Care and Burns to see if they can light up a bit of creativity in the back line. Can’t help thinking that we have got nothing to lose so might as well go for it and see if they pay off.

  4. Burns starting won’t happen. Reckon he’ll come on for Barritt and Faz will move to 12 to retain his defence and goal kicking. Can Joseph play on the wing. Brown didn’t appear up to it.

    Just finished watching Prem highlights, Simpson looked a lot sharper than both serum half incumbents.

    Lawes on the bench. Would like to see him and Launchbury together at some point. Glad Botha is gone, good defence but hands like frying pans. Why is Dowson still in the squad.

    1. Quite simply, Dowson hasn’t retired and isn’t injured. We have to wait until January for the squad to be revised. That’s when I think (hope!) we’ll see some of the players like Wade and Varndell coming in, if of course they’re still on form.

  5. Also anyone else getting a bit cheesed off with with the withering comments from some fans if an Eng fan shows any optimism towards Eng chances?

    Yes its bl00dy unlikely but they are just 15 men not demi gods! France had no chance in 07 and look what happened and that was no classic French side like in 99. Lets have some respect from both sides.

  6. Come on Burns! Regardless of the fact that its a risk, Farrell is not going to come up with the goods against the All Blacks. The worst that could happen is Burns makes a few mistakes, but against the NZ i would prefer a moment of genius with a mistake rather than the persistent mediocrity of Farrell.

  7. I agree with Paulo’s selection although I think I would start with Launchbury rather than Parling. If Burns and Joseph get the opportunity I do believe we have a chance. Otherwise, my head says that our predictability will be our undoing (my heart will always support England).

  8. I don’t think the All Blacks is the team to experiment against, burns could get eaten alive and never regain the confidence.

    6N has to be different, The pack looked quite good against a strong SA pack, backrow needs some work, but croft is coming back to give us more options there. Hartly will help in the frontrow, although thought youngs has done well and he is the future. Lawes gives us options in the 2nd row.

    The midfield is the problem to fix in the 6N, Barrit can’t play as we konw what he gives the team, and it isn’t enough.
    Options are slim but:
    Burns should be given the 6N.
    Twelvetrees should be coming off the bench a couple of times.
    Foden coming back means we can test Goode at inside centre, he can stand people up and pass a bit better.

    Manu is undropable as he is our only attacking weapon at the moment.

    As for the AB, keep the same team and hold on for dear life.

  9. 1. Corbisiero
    2. Youngs
    3. Cole
    4. Launchbury
    5. Parling
    6. Wood
    7. Robshaw
    8. Morgan
    9. Care
    10. Farrell
    11. Tuilagi
    12. Barritt
    13. Joseph
    14. Ashton
    15. Goode

    16. Paice
    17. Vunipola
    18. Wilson
    19. Lawes
    20. Haskell
    21. Youngs
    22. Burns
    23. Brown

    I really don’t think Burns will start, and I hope that Farrell has the game of his life, and Burns comes on at 60 and continues his Premiership form on the big stage. I’ve put Tuilagi on the wing because I think for this game, he’s more use there than Brown. Joseph at 13 gives us more opportunity to move the ball and create space. Launchbury and Parling both played well last week, and should continue as Lawes is just coming back from injury.

    1. I think I would start Paice and use Youngs as impact off the bench, which to be honest is what his role will be once Hartley comes back. Thought Paice brought some solidity to the scrum against aus and the lineout against SA. I think there is a chance that we might see Joseph in the team, but on the wing with him joining the midfield in attack.

      1. Ditto, nowhere near as dynamic as Youngs but I would rather go safety first regarding the set piece as we want to cough up as little ball as possible.

        I would switch JJ and Manu. When JJ was moved out to the wing in the summer tour I thought he looked good and offers better options for coming in running a line. Suspect he will stay on the bench though.

  10. We all really know that Farrell for Flood will be the only change whether we like it or not. Would like to see Burns get 30 minutes although don’t expect anything more than a 60th minute substitution barring injury.

    Who are the AB’s going to target this week? My money is on one of our props or Manu, to either destabilise the scrum or get rid of our only attacking threat.

    1. We have good cover for our props, wilson may not be up to cole’s standards, but is solid at the set piece. However Parling is our only lineout specialist…

      I wonder whether we will see more than the one change. Farrel for flood, Joseph for Brown and maybe Paice for Youngs. I reckon even the ABs might flinch if on 60 mins Haskell, Lawes, Vunipola and (T) Youngs come on.

        1. every time the ABs visit we get this rubbish that it will be a thrashing. The last couple of visits have been close affairs, including against an england team that had Tim Payne and doran-Jones in the front row and Tindall & Erynle in the centres!! If we front up like we did last week and cut down the stupid errors we can compete – but our forwards and our defense have to be on top of their game.

          1. I know, I was being facetious. However, the All Blacks are looking pretty good, and they still don’t think they’ve had a decent game yet – despite putting 30+ on their opponents.

            My concern is that we can’t just defend for the 80, we need to score some tries, and that hasn’t looked all too likely with our impotent attack so far.

          2. Haha, enjoyed that comment. Tindall and Noon was a favourite combo for a while, and in fact Noon had a try disallowed against the All Blacks and if given, could have led to a win.

            Would def rather have Tuilagi than Erinle…!

          3. Hipkiss and Erinle – wow I didn’t realize it was that bad!! Wasn’t Worsley taken out in the first 5 mins having us based our game plan around his defensive abilities…hmmm.

        2. I also think that one of the upshots of having Argentina in the RC (other than their development) is that for the first time I can remember, SH sides are turning up as injury depleted (and knackered) as the NH sides. We cant defend for 80, but if we can keep it close in the first half we may have some joy as the match goes on.

          1. I think Argentina’s inclusion has also helped the big 3 improve their breakdown work. So less chance we can catch them on the back of a free flowing super rugby/tri nations campaign and win a dog fight.

  11. lets stop this chat of having Tuilagi on the wing, he cant kick, never seen him take a high ball, never regularly plays there for Leicester, and would be seriously exposed. its not going to happen plus his top end speed isnt great.

    Youngs was so muhc better than care, he got us on the front foot , not least because his kicking is excellent. he plays better and better with more game time. i really do not rate DC, hes a good club layer but never really had a good game for England in the way that Youngs has.

    Flood has been awful, hopefully farrell plays ok!

    WE really fronted up v SA and was alot closer than i thought, v chuffed by our performance.

    I hate to say it but Haskell looked ok when he came on.

    1. Totally agree about not playing people out of position. International rugby is too quick as it is without players having to stop and think about what they are meant to be doing rather than just reacting naturally to what is going on.

      Am also glad that someone else thinks that Youngs (B) did fine last weekend. He’s not perfect but I thought that he added a bit of something to our attack which had been lacking.

      Didn’t think Flood was that bad though, but share your dismay that actually Haskell seemed to do fairly well, and he is at least an impact sub. WOULDN’T want him playing the whole game though.

      1. Re Youngs – watch the match again. Looping passes, passes to the feet and dithering

        A few quick breaks were squandered due to his poor passing

        England looked sharper when both Care and, dare I say it, Farrell came on

  12. I don’t think it matters who we pick.We’ve lost 2 and will probably lose the third.0 out of 3 is to me very poor given we were playing for World Cup rankings.It is the end of there season many of their top players are missing and we are fresh.Our back play remains turgid.I feel very letdown and even today more inflated hype is coming out of the England camp.BUT it it would be fantastic if we won and they proved me wrong!and it is not impossible

Comments are closed.