Tom Palmer dropped by England as seven others are released

Stade Français lock Tom Palmer has surprisingly been released from the England squad for this weekend’s match against Wales, meaning Courtney Lawes takes a place in the 22 after returning from injury. Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi will also be part of the squad for the first time since the Rugby World Cup. Mike Brown & Jordan Turner-Hall have also been released, leaving England with no wing/full back cover on the bench.

Here is the full list of players released back to their clubs for this weekend:

Chris Brooker (Harlequins)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)
Paul Doran Jones (Northampton Saints)
Tom Palmer (Stade Francais)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)

22 thoughts on “Tom Palmer dropped by England as seven others are released

  1. Palmer? Why?!

    Dropping an in form Mike Brown for an out of form Toby Flood when you have Farrell and Hodgson in the team?

    Lancaster is beginning to make me want to pull my hair out to add to my ever increasingly receding hairline.

    Prove me wrong with a win by all means, but i’m currently praying Nick Mallet has applied.

  2. Flood has no place in the team at the moment. Surely it should be Farrel Barrit and Manu starting 10 12 13? However with pitentially three 10s in the squad you know Farrel won’t get the ten slot and Flood will be on the bench with Manu I guess. Morgan 8 Dickson 9. Dropping Palmer against a side with a problematic lineout is a major error.

  3. Have to agree, Palmer has been solid so far and brings much needed experience to an inexperienced squad.

    Flood has not justified his place and Hodgson (of whom I am not a fan) does not deserve to be dropped so Brown makes way?!?! A bit short sited to drop an in form full back and game breaker.

    Can understand the desire to bring back Lawes (the wrecking ball) and Manu and the power is likely to be needed in the mid field as the welsh centres could well find the likes of Hodgson and Farrell a bit speed bump esque.

    Personally would not have picked Flood, would have Lawes and Tuillagi / Farrell on the bench with Brown. Would also start Dickson and Morgan as they made an instant difference to the pace and go forward of the English attack.

    In short was pretty pleased to see Lancaster get a shot at the job, but am now having doubts.

  4. Excellent. Lets start running down the guys selections despite 2 from 2, both away and in difficult circumstances.

    The knee jerk reaction of fans is, frankly, stupid.

    1. Not convinced all of the concerns are blatant knee jerk stupidity. If Foden, Strettle or Ashton get injured early in the game who will come off the bench for them? This being the case while we have 3 F/Hs on the pitch and bench – fair comment if you ask me. Concerns over Flood’s current form are probably justified as well as he hasn’t shown any sort of club form since his injury.

      However agreed that Lancaster has steereed us through two tricky away fixtures, albeit ones you would like to have thought that we would have won, albeit without major conviction behind that statement. However England haven’t played quite like most of us would have wanted them to so far, and although I accept that there are a large number of reasons why this is the case, it has raised some question marks as to where the team is going under his direction. Hopefully Lancaster will answer them with an improved team display against Wales to prove the doubters wrong.

      However I think the doubters have some things to justifiably question at this satge!

  5. I can’t see how keeping Flood, and dropping Brown and JTH is going to help. Do we really need Hodgson, Farrell and Flood? On current form you would think Hodgson will be starting as before, with Tuilagi starting and maybe Barritt on the bench. But neither Barritt or Flood would be any use at full back or wing. So with this in mind I predict Tuilagi will be on the bench, so he can cover the wing and Strettle or Ashton cover full back if necessary.

    1. Ashton used to play full back in League I think. Stretts has never played fullback so I think SL is taking a bit of risk – I just hope Foden doesnt get injured 5 minutes into the game.

      1. I think Barritt has played fullback when in SA. Has it been confirmed that Sharples has been sent back? I know he had a dead leg, but his name is not included above. If so a 4/3 split with a SH/ FH and wing on the bench is not that unusual.

  6. Flood didn’t have a bad game on sunday, I’d take Floody over the attacking banana skins that are Farrall and Hodgson. If England want to win, we have to use Manu and Ashton properly, Flood is familiar with both. Questionable change in dropping Palmer, he had a good, solid game against Toulon. He brings more work rate in the loose than Parling as well. Can’t argue with the dropping of Brown, I dont think there is enough room in an international rugby squad for a specialist replacement full back. Jordan Turner-Hall is an odd one to drop, that means our 12 options are limited to Barritt and Farrall. Not really going to be giving Jamie Roberts nightmares.
    If I had Lancasters job, I would stick Jonny May and Johnathon Joseph on the bench. Both have bags of pace to burn and May is comfortable tearing defences apart from wing, fullback or his preferred centre position.
    Think Rowntree is doing a lot of work with Joe Marler and his scrummaging? Stevens isnt going to be around for the 2015 world cup, thats for sure.

  7. Poor Mike Brown.

    in the form of his life. Consistently turning out great performance after great performance for Quins. Finally picked by England again but can’t get a starting place due to Foden, who’s form frankly has not been all that good.

    Then, to add insult to injury, he finds himself dropped for Flood – a player just back from injury, in no great form at all, seemingly lacking confidence and, just to make it worse, another fly-half in a team that already has two!

    I find the decision to drop Palmer and Brown puzzling to say the least. OK Palmer’s form hasn’t been superb but he has been solid and has the experience that the rest of team is badly lacking. Drop him to the bench by all means, but from the team?

    We may have won 2 from 2 but they were against the weakest teams. We are now facing one of the two strongest teams, who are on a bit of roll and high in confidence.

    We are facing them with two guys at lock who have under 10 caps each and a bench that, with the exception of Tuilagi, does not seem to offer any significant impact whatsoever

    The lack of any wing/full-back cover depressingly suggests that England’s attacking strategy was not due so much to the weather for the last 2 games but is actually Lancaster’s plan – bosh it up the middle, kick for the corners and ignore the back three

    i am rather worried that we are going to get a thrashing

    1. You must be joking about Brown/Foden right? People talk about ‘good club players’ who put in consistent turns for their clubs but never really step it up to the international stage. Mike Brown is one of these (a la Phil Dowson). He’s been playing alongside 14 other Harlequins, who quite frankly have made it easy for him to look good. Foden, on the other hand, has repeatedly turned games around for an inconsistent Northampton side – see his performance in the second HC game against Scarlets as just one example of this. Sure his two England performances have been unspectacular, but it has been so for the whole team – would you drop the lot of them? He didn’t play badly in the same way as Ben Youngs, and one intercepted pass leading to a try shouldn’t see him dropped from the lineup.

      Moreover, Ben Foden (if my memory serves me correctly) is the most capped back after Charlie Hodgson in the current starting lineup. You can’t just dispose of that kind of experience in a young side.

      I agree about Toby Flood, but it would make far more sense to pick a centre/winger for the bench, instead of another specialist fullback – JTH, Jonny May, Charlie Sharples (unfortunately injured but he’s got to get in to the team at some point).

      1. Brown has been the form Premiership fullback this season and has done enough to get into the senior squad but he’s not playing well enough to displace Foden. Foden wasnt great against Italy but its his shirt to loose and so far he has done nothing to warrent losing it.

      2. Matt H – not joking at all. The idea that its the rest of the Quins team that make Brown look good is pretty funny – its more the other way round!

        He is deceptively quick, extremely hard to bring down (there’s been a number of times I’ve seen him almost disappear under a heap of bodies, only to come bursting out the other side), is safe under the high ball, has a massive boot, tackles well and picks great running lines.

        The main thing Foden has currently going for him is, as you say, his experience (although that didn’t seem to help Palmer). He has not looked sharp in the first two games and made a number of silly mistakes against Italy.

        Is Foden a better full-back than Brown when he’s on song? Possibly. He is great at counter-attacking when play is broken up, but, in my view, not so good at picking his time and lines when the play is till structured. He also has a habit of running away from support and getting turned over

        Still its great to have the discussion and great we have 2 good players competiting for the position. For me though, Foden has not looked great and a spell on the bench and a start for Brown could well do him some good.

        My main point though in my first comment was the decision to bring in Flood rather than Brown. I just cannot see how having a third fly-half on the bench is going to aid us if we are 10 points down to Wales with 20 mins to go

  8. Agree on Foden, he is one of England’s most dangerous players. He hasn’t been doing much because of the way the team has been playing, there hasn’t been a lot of quick ball to run on to, he is a cert. If we drop a player every time he makes a mistake then players will be too nervious to try anything on the field.

    The back three are fine, leave it alone. The problem are the backrow and the midfield, in that order. I can’t think of many options in the backrow which is worrying. We should look at Saul really.

    Midfield, Barrit and Manu, has to be, they at least are physically threatening, the would give hodgson more options.

  9. guys why are you all stressing! we (sorry i mean wales) are going to stuff you saturday whatever team you pick,

    1. And they call the english arrogant!

      Think most people on this site would agree that a Wales victory is more than likley what we are concerned about is the develeopment of the team and the way they play. I have no expectations of us winning anymore games just want to see some flair and passion from coach and players. SL is rapidly going downhill in my estimations!

  10. Omitting Palmer is puzzling, maybe there’s a factor we don’t know about there, as, being a second row he can play in the next world cup at 35 years old. I think he’ll be back.
    Fair enough to include Flood asap he in the central man that England will look to over the next three years. The Saracens midfield trio are settled so leave them to it in the first half and bring on Manu and Flood in the second half, who also know each other well.
    It’s harsh that Brown didn’t get some game time but Foden has done just enough coupled with his experience to keep him out, and unless Brown’s starting he’s a bit too specialist to be on the bench in front of Manu, who could slip onto the wing or both centres.
    Everyone has different ideas on selection but SL has done very well so far.

  11. My two cents worth, I have to believe that SL knows the players as well as all of us and has a strategy. Not just for this game but for a squad that is competitive on a world stage. No disrespect to Scotland or Italy but they tend to play up the middle so a strong line of defence and some ball playing should get the win. With the likes of Wales who are currently representative of world class teams, the squad should be more adept at broken field play with more counter attacking opportunities. That’s where I think this squad will step up and shine. Can we beat Wales? Sure, if the team clicks and every member does the job they are supposed to and what they do for their respective clubs!

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