Six Nations 2019: Wales v England Combined XV

Liam Williams

Analysing the two teams for Saturday’s big game, how many Welsh players would you select for England?

Here’s a Combined XV for discussion – let me know what changes you would make.

Rob Evans1Ben Moon
Ken Owens2Jamie George
Tomas Francis3Kyle Sinckler
Cory Hill4Courtney Lawes
Alun Wyn Jones5George Kruis
Josh Navidi6Mark Wilson
Justin Tipuric7Tom Curry
Ross Moriarty8Billy Vunipola
Gareth Davies9Ben Youngs
Gareth Anscombe10Owen Farrell
Josh Adams11Jonny May
Hadleigh Parkes12Manu Tuilagi
Jonathan Davies13Henry Slade
George North14Jack Nowell
Liam Williams15Elliot Daly
Elliot Dee16Luke Cowan-Dickie
Nicky Smith17Ellis Genge
Dillon Lewis18Harry Williams
Adam Beard19Joe Launchbury
Adam Wainwright20Brad Shields
Aled Davies21Dan Robson
Dan Biggar22George Ford
Owen Watkin23Joe Cokanasiga

On this basis, I have 9 English and 6 Welsh in the starting XV, and I think it highlights the strength of England’s bench, where I’d rather have England’s ‘finishers’ arriving late in the game. Admittedly I don’t know much about Elliott Dee, but I’ll pick the hooker for one of the best English teams over the hooker for the Dragons.

There were some tough decisions in the back row, where Josh Navidi has looked a real threat, but I’d sooner have Mark Wilson’s unrelenting graft. I also paused over Alun Wyn Jones, because he’s past his best and if Joe Launchbury had been lining up against him, I’d have selected the Englishman.

These selections would deliver the combined XV of:

1. Rob Evans
2. Jamie George
3. Kyle Sinclker
4. Courtney Lawes
5. Alun Wyn Jones
6. Mark Wilson
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Billy Vunipola

9. Ben Youngs
10. Owen Farrell
11. Jonny May
12. Manu Tuilagi
13. Jonathan Davies
14. George North
15. Liam Williams

What do you think? Which selections do you disagree with?

25 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: Wales v England Combined XV

  1. Only swap I would make would be Nowell for North. Fine margin call but I feel Nowell offers more around the field and I think North can sometimes be caught out defensively…for his size he isn’t the most committed in the tackle. Like i say very tight call but just IMO.

    1. Yes, I pondered over North for a while. The way England are playing at the moment, Nowell’s work rate is very valuable, and I don’t think North is great at the kick-chase game, despite his height.

  2. If it were not position for position i’d find a way to shoehorn Eliot Daly in somewhere is only to have his cannon of a boot.

      1. I am happy to see Liam Williams playing Fullback rather than the Wing which is how much I rate him at the moment.

  3. Davies vs Slade is a tough one.
    Davies doesn’t seem in much form at the moment whereas Slade is threatening that he might possibly live up to his promise.
    Think you have to go Davies just ‘cos he’s already he proved he can perform at the top level

    1. Yes, that’s what the decision came down to, Davies is a top-performing Lion, and I still have some doubts about Slade. Hopefully he continues this upward trajectory though.

    2. bad luck; got it wrong didn’t you? But fair enough, Slade is a good player, though not yet one of the best 13s in the world – which Fox is.

  4. Hard to call these things as much will be based on perception from MPOV. Notable that there’s only 1 Welshman on the bench, which might suggest that Wales could be overwhelmed in the last 1/4? I too perceive that Tomas Francis may be rated by some Welsh support, @ least @ scrum, over Sinckler? There were some ?’s over KS being able to hold his own here, but he seems to have done so thus far in the 6N. Sat will tell I guess, but with the rest of England’s fr row in support, he could well cope alright. Regards North over Nowell, if England are on the fr foot, then the former’s ‘D’ may be an issue.. as per D Maul’s comment. On attack, North can be commanding, but overall & with possibly more possession, I’d feel more secure with JN. Bit puzzled about AWJ’s inclusion over Kruis. If W-J is ‘past’ it, then should Kruis even be in the England team? I’ve always rated Launch over Kruis for the former’s versatility, skills & temperament, but have been pinged for this as JL apparently offers more off the bench than Kruis!? So why wouldn’t the ‘better’ player start then? Gd to finish well, but also gd to start well methinks. Anyway, it is what it is & AWJ it is then. He’s psychologically & can be actually, influential & he’s vastly experienced too. We’ll see in Cardiff though. Also scratched my head somewhat over Young’s preference, especially with criticism about his slow delivery? Don’t know enough about G Davies @ 1/2 to be objective enough however. Maybe BY’s kicking game swung it? And it ‘s Wilson’s ‘graft’ over Navedi’s, presumably, other abilities! V ‘English’ position? Hard to bet agin Wilson OTOH, as he’s more a doer, in the Richard Hill mould, than a talker for me. Much will depend on how each b/row works in concert, rather than just as individuals, which seems more important to me (although that’s not the object this article’s exercise). Finally, may also be interesting to see how the midfield battle pans out with 1 from each side included in the above team. Of course, it’ll likely be weighted in favour of the duo with most possession, but with this in mind, will Tui hang on to it on Sat? Spilled a couple last time when under little pressure. He may have to forego those marge sambo’s before ko this time! Also perceive that Parkes may have been a little underestimated, but again we’ll see & especially, if J Davies is really ‘undercooked’.

  5. So far Sinckler has coped admirably with both the Irish and French front rows. I don’t think Tomas Francis should hold too many fears for him

    1. Sorry Pab, you got it the wrong way round. Sinckler up against Rob Evans, Moon against Francis. (tight v loose). Very even stevens apart from the Sinckler penalties (which were both refereeing errors, and I say that as a Wales supporter). I think Sinckler is a top, top player, and the ref was suckered into fingering him twice (once might be forgivable, twice not).

      1. Doesn’t matter what you think Taliesin. What do the rules state about late, no arms tackles (haven’t we been here before?) & ‘seat belts’? Gave away 2 pens & helped get Wales back into it.

  6. If I could move Daly to 13, I’d leave Davies out and have Daly there for his pace. I would also rather see Nowell than North at the moment, as I don’t think North goes looking for the ball as much and is not as strong defensively.
    Back three of May, Nowell and Williams with Tuilgai and Daly in the centres!!
    Wyn jones for experience and I’d have Ford over Biggar on the bench. I don’t think Biggar and Farrell would work as well as Ford and Farrell!?

    1. Agree. Davies and Biggar are past their sell by date. Ford is playing exceptionally well and would make most international teams regularly. Daly and Slade need more time. Maybe they are the future for those positions. With Tuilagi regularly getting injured England need to develop some centers. Such a very specialized position and ones that make such a difference. Marchant (Quinns) looked possible. Then I liked Hurrell from Bristol. Now I think maybe Joe Coka could learn outside center. We have soooo many quality wings that can finish well.

  7. Hard to believe bookies only have handicap at 4 for England. Based on the split you have just highlighted the number should be at least 14. I would go higher. Gatland is a genius. No doubt in my mind. He has turned average players at club level into a force. But England are unstoppable at the moment. England to win by at least 18

    1. Talking it up a bit B47. On a cautionary note, QBE score predictor has it @ 20-19.. to Wales. Maybe the ‘genius’ of Gatland & all that, even if has a piss poor record @ Int’al level v the SH?

  8. I’m Welsh, but watching rugby 50 years. Some English comments here and elsewhere make me laugh, 20 points stuffing etc etc. It will be tight . Your combined side is pretty good but back row there are many contenders. I would have shaded Navidi but close call, I would have gone for Owens , there are odd times George does not keep up with the pace, could do with losing a few pounds, a fine hooker nevertheless and all these are close calls. My worry with Sinckler is not his scrummaging ability but temprament . He is young and impetuous and in tight calls you don’t need him losing his bottle. Tulangi has had a great few games but been out a long time so still some question marks. All close calls, but English fans ( not all )don’t have egg on your face with ridiculous scores, this is Cardiff with fired up fans and players and it will be a close call today and I live in Spain and will watch the game with about 50 English and shake hands at the end whatever the score. As Nigel Owens says ‘ this is not soccer’ hope Rugby never gets like that. Enjoy the day

    1. Shake away Howard! 20 pt stuffing indeed! I had it by 10.. to England, so what do I know either, but If only some of them wouldn’t blow so hard, so long, so often, could have a bit more sympathy. Anyway, you might/not get shouted a few bevvies?

  9. Well that was a bit of a kicking at the end. And talking of kicking what the hell was Farrell doing?! We weren’t winning the aerial battle and the one time in the second half Manu got the ball he made a great run. Ben looked off the pace all game and Farrell just reverted to his old robotic ways…over-kicking and not even putting in the right kicks a !ot of the time . On the positive side that was a big reality check and I hope it forced us to learn how to vary the game.
    Was yelling for Launchbury to come on.
    Nowell had an excellent game but we hardly saw the backs and the half backs just didn’t adapt.
    Plenty of the forwards had a good game…Lawes, Sink before he lost his cool and Tom Curry was brilliant.
    I had a feeling Farrell would have a mediocre game as whenever the press really big him up before a game he seems to falter.
    Wales were very good in the second half but we really allowed them to take control.


Comments are closed.