Ten players released by England

The following ten players have been released from the England squad and are available to play for their clubs this weekend. What does it tell us about selection?

Steffon Armitage
David Barnes
George Chuter
Ben Foden
Ben Kay
Nick Kennedy
David Strettle
Mathew Tait
Richard Wigglesworth
Joe Worsley

It looks as though Courtney Lawes will be in the squad to face Australia, and with Ben Foden released, Ugo Monye could well be lining up at full-back.

10 thoughts on “Ten players released by England

  1. This one seems to divide opinion – I’ve been gunning for Monye at full-back, but there have been a few comments on here saying that you shouldn’t play one of your best players out of position.

    Roll on lunchtime tomorrow.

  2. England’s 22-man squad to play Australia at Twickenham on Saturday:

    Forwards: D Bell (Bath), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), J Crane (Leicester), T Croft (Leicester), L Deacon (Leicester), D Hartley (Northampton), J Haskell (Stade Francais), C Lawes (Northampton), L Moody (Leicester), T Payne (Wasps), S Thompson (Brive), D Wilson (Bath).

    Backs: M Banahan (Bath), D Care (Harlequins), M Cueto (Sale Sharks), A Erinle (Biarritz), S Geraghty (Northampton), A Goode (Brive), D Hipkiss (Leicester), P Hodgson (London Irish), U Monye (Harlequins), J Wilkinson (Toulon).


    From there, I pick a team of:

    15 Monye (but I hate it)
    14 Cueto (why is he playing for England)
    13 Hipkiss
    12 Geraghty
    11 Banahan
    10 Wilkinson
    9 Hodgson
    1 Payne
    2 Hartley
    3 Wilson/Bell (depending on Wilson’s fitness)
    4 Borthwick (if it was up to me he wouldn’t be in the team)
    5 Lawes
    6 Croft
    7 Haskell
    8 Crane

    Bench: Bell/Wilson, Thompson, Deacon, Moody, Care, Goode, Erinle,

    I think we should have kept Barnes and dropped Andy Goode from the squad. You need more props with Wilson still questionable. Geraghty can play 10 if Wilkinson gets injured.

    It’s a mess of a team and Johnson is screwing up a selection when I didn’t even think that was possible with our injury issues.

  3. Andy, you can’t play Haskel at 7 surely? I am so bored by the state of English rugby – this team really really is dull and average. Payne, Wilson / Bell, Borthwick, Hodgson, Cueto, Banahan, Hipkiss, Deacon, Goode, Erinle – all very average players that I couldn’t see making it into the Welsh, Irish or French teams let alone the southern hemisphere teams. Why is there such a lack of talent in England when we have one of, if not, the largest playing pool in the world and probably the largest budget for our national team? I am very depressed indeed.

  4. Ed, I’ve never been keen on Moody. Just gives away too many penalties for my liking, which kills you at international level. Better off the bench to use his energy against a tired opposition.

    If he really is playing as well for Leicester as I’ve heard, then maybe he’s a different player. And maybe you switch him into the 7 jersey. It’s just a complete surprise to me, but seeing would be believing.

    Generally agree though – I don’t see us winning a single autumn international. There’s just a complete lack of class. My team, if I had every player available, would be:
    Sheridan, Hartley, Vickery, Shaw, Kennedy, Croft, Rees, Haskell; Hodgson/Care, Cipriani; Monye, Geraghty/Flutey, Hipkiss, Strettle/Simpson-Daniel, Armitage.

    Fairly different.

  5. Chin up fellas, I think we’ll do better than you think. Australia are in dire straits at the moment, and they are bringing a very inexperienced side. Only Giteau and Elsom are any good.

    Argentina are difficult to play against, but Hernandez and Contepomi are both out, and I think we’ll be too strong for them.

    The All Blacks will be the toughest prospect, but they haven’t been too impressive in the Tri-Nations and on the back of two victories, you never know.

    Plus…Jonny is back!

  6. Little bit sorry for Armitage. Have warmed to him over the last year – love his industry. From the games I’ve seen, Moody has been pretty good, but he still gives away penalties, and as Andy says, that will seriously hurt us at test level. Holy cow, the whole pack is looking very dodgy. 2 out of 3 could be optimistic James.

    So Kennedy was originally excluded, then called in at late notice and then sent home? WTF is going on here? Way to motivate a guy, Johnno. Next time, if you intend not to play him (despite the helpful advice we are trying to offer here – sometimes I wonder whether you are reading carefully enough) save him the drama.

  7. Here’s a guess at what the team will be:

    1. Payne
    2. Hartley
    3. Bell
    4. Borthwick
    5. Deacon
    6. Croft
    7. Moody
    8. Crane
    9. Care
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Banahan
    12. Geraghty
    13. Hipkiss
    14. Cueto
    15. Monye

    16. Thompson
    17. Wilson
    18. Barnes
    19. Lawes
    20. Haskell
    21. Hodgson
    22. Goode
    23. Tait

    Definitely not the team i would select, or the team i want to see fielded, but then i’m not the team selector

  8. There have been a few reports suggesting that Steve Thompson will be starting at hooker. I’ve not seen him play recently, but this doesn’t sound like a sensible move to me.

    The forwards aren’t exciting, but they are big and will do a job. The backs could actually be quite exciting with Wilko and Geraghty running the show.

    The team will be announced at 12 today and we’ll obviously publish it here straight away. We’ll try and be the first again!

  9. Ed, how can you call Banahan and Erinle average? Erinlee and Hipkiss tore BOD and Darcy a new one in the HC final last year, and Banahan has been the best winger in the HC bar non except maybe fitzgerald and thats in a losing team. Erinlee has been awesome in france this year from both the wing and Centre.

    And this side is far from dull and boring, Geraghty brings huge amounts of creativity, Monye and Cueto both bring pace and a nose for the try line – or do you forget Cueto’s scoring record at international level, and lets not forget that Monye kept ickle Shane out of the Lions test side.

    Lawes is dynamic as a lock, and a real find for the future, Croft if he fullfills his potential is shaping up to be a true great number 6 and injury aside will be a Lion again for certain. Haskell is playing fast dynamic rugby at Stade and has brought massive defence to a back row that’s now looking very balanced, and while i can’t see him starting will bring some serious bite to the back row when he’s subbed on fro Crane or Croft.

    It’s a new side granted but I’d hardly call it boring or lacking creativity, the backline has 4 players alone who can go from anywhere on the park.


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