RWC 2011: England team to face Argentina

Martin Johnson has named his side for England’s opening Rugby World Cup 2011 fixture against Argentina on Saturday.

Delon Armitage comes in for the injured Mark Cueto, whilst Manu Tuilagi and Mike Tindall continue their partnership in the centres – and Tindall captains the side in the absence of Lewis Moody.

What do you think? Will they have enough in the armoury to beat Argentina?

15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
12 Mike Tindall (capt, Gloucester Rugby)
11 Delon Armitage (London Irish)
10 Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
9 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)

1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2 Steve Thompson (London Wasps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 James Haskell (Ricoh Black Rams)
8 Nick Easter (Harlequins)

16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
17 Matt Stevens (Saracens)
18 Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
19 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
20 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
21 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
22 Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)

15 thoughts on “RWC 2011: England team to face Argentina

  1. Is Deacon seriously above Palmer and Shaw now??

    Goodness me.

    Johnson’s decision to only bring the wingers he did looks like it might now backfire.

    But all in all, i’m confident this team will have enough to see off Argentina.

    My guess,

    38-16 England.

  2. Not so sore about Easter over Haskell but apart from that I can’t complain with selection.

    It will be interesting to see how the team will change when the opposition gets tougher.

  3. Ooops. Spot the deliberate mistakes!!

    Apologies for the spelling mistake and the fact the Haskell is in the line up.

    That’s what you get for laying in bed on your iPhone, half asleep and not being able to see the full screen!!

  4. Woah! Hadn’t noticed Deacon slip in there. Bit controversial but I’d start Shawsy and swap him for Palmer after 30 minutes. Other than that, is this arguably our strongest line-up?! Good looking bench for once too.

  5. Really against the Deacon selection. Find him wholly uninspiring. Should have been Palmer, Shaw and Lawes are too similar.

  6. Deacon is there to hit people, ruck and push in scrum.
    in that respect i actually prefer him to palmer, esp against the argies strong scrum.
    agree that palmer is a better foorballer but that isnt as important.

    i dont see why everyone thinks we will beat the argies so comfortably. this will be one hell of a battle.

    lets all say a prayer tonight that bannahan doesnt come on.

    1. amen

      If he does somehow get on the pitch let us have another prayer that he mysteriously picks up a injury which forces him home for the world cup and that Johnson (filled with gods wisdom) brings in Shrples as a replacement.


      On the Deacon point i agree aswell i personally think that he is underrated and will complement Lawes incredibly well

      1. amen to that brother.

        will greenwood was twittering yesterday about how much he rates sharples and how he should have gone to NZ

        sharlpes was electric for glos last weekend.

        banahans a donkey.

        1. I do wish Sharples had gone, what is the deal with replacements? I heard Flutey is on stand by? Can we bring Sharples over if theres any more problems?

          I am coming round to Deacon but still wish we’d start Palmer, but don’t see Deacon offering anything coming off the bench. So maybe the right way round.

          I do think we will win this game, but it will be no walk over. 10 point win for England.

  7. I agree on Deacon, against faster op I wouldn’t have picked him but he is a wonderful scrummager and we will need that against the Argies.

    Like that flood is out, I’m a tigers man and I don’t rate him. This is a world cup and Wilko will keep the board running.

    The biggest issue is a seven, the position is becoming more and more important and we don’t seem to have one. Everybody is complaining about the backs and that England don’t spread the ball out a lot, I believe this is due to the lack of a 7, we are scared of losing the ball in the contact areas out wide.

    It’s a good team, and they have a chance all be it a slim one.

  8. I agree Deacon is an interesting choice but he does tight 5 stuff well and Palmer is more of a ball player and better in faster paced game (I see a role for him vs Scotland who I expect to avoid a forward battle if possible). As for the first game the Argies will scrum well and be physical for 60 mins before they fade (I hope). I would have Shaw on the bench at expense of Palmer for this match and if he comes on for the last 20 mins Shaw can really hurt the oppo. I think Johnson sees him a game closer as not sure he has 80 mins in now. However, I wouldn’t have been against seeing him for first 60 mins and then off for Palmer. It is a shame that Shaw has not played as much for England as he should have but he has been really unlucky with some great players ahead of him. I do hope he sees his fair share of game time.
    As for the others, my preference would be Stevens for Cole as more effective in the loose especially vs a tough scrumaging team and if he is fully fit not sure why Youngs is not starting.

  9. I think Deacon brings a lot to the lineout, but I’m surprised that he’s now first-choice! He’s improved, but I didn’t think it was ever possible that I’d be ok with him starting England’s first RWC match…

    I’d also edge towards Stevens over Cole, but happy with the options there are these days, and the tight five could do some damage in this tournament.

    As for Armitage, I’m not quite convinced about him playing out of position, but Johnno has stitched himself up by not bringing Sharples. It could work though, and it could be another masterstroke selection policy enforced through injury – think Borthers / Lawes, Wood / Moody, Tuilagi / Hape (although Hape wasn’t injured, just unacceptably ineffective!)

    Johnno: the accidental managerial genius!

  10. I think jimmymc1 is right about Deacon. He does the necessary things well to beat a very physical, but still pacy team like the Argies. And I also agree that it will not be easy. Gladto see Armitage get on the team sheet. I would have had him starting anyway, and had Cueto on the bench. Interesting to see what happens if Cueto doesn’t recover. I mean he can’t bring Flutey in to cover the wing, and potentially full back. It would have to be Sharples. Apparently some members of the squad described Sharples as the fastest whie man they had ever seen. So how did Banahan get his spot. The slowest, biggest and most cumbersome and useless winger in the country. A 6’7″ winger who can’t hand off 5’6″ Shane Williams for a try, should not be int the team!

  11. I generally agree with people as to Deacon, however it wont cost a match.

    On the other hand not bringing Sharples was silly, such talent not being used, not even on the bench.

    I also think the backrow is a bit of a dilema. I think whilst Moody is out Haskell moves to 8 with Wood at 7. Wood is a great tackler and rucker, whilst offering some moor pace to the backrow.

    All that being said i reckon that England should win comfortably. Heres to hoping that Youngs gets some game time.

    Oh, and an Amen, Bananaman should definitely be there over Sharple, im still seething about that decision.

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