RWC 2019 Warm-ups: England v Wales Rate the Match


What did you think of that match at Twickenham this afternoon?

What did we learn about England’s players ahead of Eddie Jones confirming the 31-man Rugby World Cup squad?

Should we read anything into the result ahead of a potential World Cup meeting in October?

44 thoughts on “RWC 2019 Warm-ups: England v Wales Rate the Match

  1. For the win and the performances of Billy, Ludlam, Coka and the lineout, I’ll give it seven. I just hope we keep our feet on the ground and acknowledge the weaknesses that still exist.

      1. Good player, mate. Do I wish we had more home grown talent in the side? Sure. Am I going to hold it against England for selecting within the eligibility rules given to them? Nope. And I wouldn’t begrudge the many other nations which do exactly the same thing. He pulled on the shirt, sung the anthem, and put his body on the line for my country.

        Notwithstanding the country if his birth, he is an England player, and until they change the eligibility rules people need to get a grip and stop whinging about it.

        1. Mmm. Ironic EC how, if yr tune is indicative, views have about faced here. Previously all & sundry, incl not a few NH hacks, constantly castigated the AB’s for their heinous ‘rape of the Pacific’. England are now @ c. 30% ‘foreign’. NZ much less. Surely you’re not taking a pot @ Andy the outraged are you?

          1. I don’t think the percentages matter to be honest. IMO If a team has even one foreign born player they are in no position to complain, and since pretty much all teams have imports (with exceptions… e.g. Argentina?) the rugby community is a very hypocritical one, indeed.

            1. I agree in sentiment – the rules are the rules and even 1 players…etc.

              But, to put it politely, I am not a fan of the phrase “foreign born”. Can we talk about “time qualified” players?

              On the “foreign born basis the child of a member of the armed forces born and living abroad for the first years of their life is a “foreign import”. This is ridiculous. Part of my strength of feeling is because I was born in SA to English parents and was there till I was 11, and frankly anyone who met me would laugh if I tried to claim I was South African.

              Here I would note that Heinz qualified the day he moved to England through his grandmother. There is nothing to discuss as far as I am concerned. Pretty much no change of the rules by WR would stop Heinz qualifying.

              Tuilagi, Cokanasiga, Vunipolas among others qualify through time. As I started, the rules are the rules. Deal with it.

              There is an issue with ANY COUNTRY recruiting players overseas to get them available through time qualification. To me this makes a mockery of national teams. No expert on it, and not making accusations, but I think there is a perception that NZ have done more of this than others. I don’t know if this is true of NZ, and it doesn’t matter. On the surface, it looks like quite a few countries have done this deliberately, and some (England and France) have been able to benefit from a financially strong league to look more innocent than they are.

              WR step up. I would happily see 5 or 8 year eligibility rules.

              Rant over. Apologies

              1. Mike L, it might matter to NZ’ers. You can’t ‘speak’ on their be1/2. ‘And..’there is a perception that NZ have done more of this than others’. Until the %ages significantly rose over here, there were plenty to run with this perception. Now that the reality tables have turned, it’s ironic that you state it doesn’t matter. How convenient. If you, or anyone, bothered to actually check, you’d find a different story. Still, running with the hares & hounds is a bit of a national pastime innit?

            2. The %ages may matter EC. The higher they are, the more they suppress local talent from coming through. Ultimately you could have an ‘Arsenal’ from prev, when they had NO English players in their team.

              1. Hi guys. Just a simple question which could probably relate to foreign born players. What gives a country test status? Why do Scotland and Wales qualify? Are they not just provinces in essence?

  2. Full apologies to Eddie.That was a big result.Scratch B team beat Wales A.Attitude energy pace excellent.We are on track.Very pleasing.Daly though can’t tackle -must put Watson at 15.

    1. Well, it’s 1 home game H’quin. Shouldn’t you wait until after @ least the nxt result before venturing this on track stuff. If they fall over in Cardiff, will they be off track? Hardly a scratch team either. Majority were seasoned internationals. And you owe Jones Nuthin’.. yet. After 4 yrs he’s taken England to, er, 4.

      1. Maybe my huge sense of relief has coloured my judgement Don coz I really felt he had lost it but yes the next 2 games are obviously important.2 poor performances and I’ll
        be back where I was!

  3. Thought I’d read the predictions before commenting here…..hahahaha
    Maybe EJ knows what he’s doing. Thought Heinz was excellent… that extra speed in the pass as opposed to a step and pass was most noticeable.
    A great start….

  4. Like the look of Heinz. Good controller, level headed. Nothing to jump up and down about yet. Some good interlinking play, Cowan -Dickie pushing George. Good to see Whatson get a run out.

  5. Totally agree with Harlequin re Daly. Poor tackling, dodgy positioning and a really poor offload were not compensated for by a flashy drop goal. I would still have Brown. Heinz was pretty good, but I would much rather have a 22 yr old Englishman than a 32 yr old Kiwi who was nowhere near selection do NZ. I thought Launchbury had a superb game, doing all the basic stuff well. C-D nailed down second hooker spot. Will EJ take 6 props? With Cole back in form and Genge fit again he is no longer short of options. Interesting to see who he picks next week, as I think that will clarify who his starters are in most positions.

    1. There you go again Andy with this English stuff; concerning Heinz this time. Bet Teo, Shields & Hartley were glad they weren’t playing! And poor old Daly must be thanking his lucky stars that he wasn’t born down under either. Agree that he’s out of posi, but that’s not entirely his fault. Whatever & however, surely that Roman philosophical geezer would likely be unimpressed with yr anti Kiwi rhetoric.. or is it bias.. or opinion.. or yr version of the truth?

      1. I´m not in the slightest bit anti-Kiwi Don. My brother, sister and numerous nephews and nieces all live there and I love the place and admire their sport. For a small country they punch way above their weight. Neither do I think that describing Heinz as “pretty good” qualifies as anti-Kiwi (i.e. racist, by your implication) comment or opinion. Throughout his career at Crusaders Heinz played as back-up to Andy Ellis, who no Kiwi would claim was one of the better 9´s you have had. He is 32 now, and by the time the next WC comes around will be long gone whereas Spencer will be at his peak. He should have been given the opportunity to prove he is ready now. Shields and Francis have neither of them justified a place in the side with their club form since they arrived and were both fast tracked over the top of very promising young English players. That, in my opinion is very demotivating if you have been working hard for several seasons and are right on the verge of selection when someone steps straight off the plane and into what you were hoping was going to be your place. I don´t give a toss where Hartley was from, he should not have been on a rugby field anywhere with his record of gouging and cheap shots. Being both fairly old and something of a traditionalist I prefer players who pull on the shirt to serve a substantial amount of time in a country and show a real commitment to it, as Brad Barritt has over 12 years. I would hazard a guess that all four of them will be back in NZ shortly after their pro careers finish, as probably will Parkes (who couldn´t even find a place with a franchise) and Anscombe, who was never a regular starter for Chiefs. It is a credit to NZ rugby that they produce so many well drilled intelligent players that don´t make it to the AB´s team, but I would rather they didn´t curb the development of young English players. I´m not “outraged”, I just have an opinion on most things rugby, just like you. The only difference is that you seem to have about ten times as many of them!

        1. It’s worth noting – Ben Spencer is 27 years old! He should be in his peak now, and he certainly won;t be at 31 years old next time around!

          Personally, since I don’t see him as a great long term investment, I see no reason to pick him over Heinz unless he is a better player today – I don’t think he is.

          1. Andrew Lawrenson – Piers Francis is nothing but English.
            A Kentish Man – born and bred in Gravesend, played for Gravesend and Maidstone. Ex Saracens academy
            Moved to NZ at 18, returned 4 years later to play for Edinburgh. Went back to NZ at 25, played for Counties Manukau and the Blues for 2 years and returned to the UK at 27.
            Spending 6 years in NZ does not make him a Kiwi!

            1. Fair enough Pablito. I stand corrected. I also thought he was a lot younger than that. Good to have your knowledge back in the discussions.

            2. You tell ‘im Pab! Missed that in my haste. Wiki confirm yr Francis info for Andy. Not worth his place though. Arguably, neither is Francis?

        2. Srry Andy, I dropped off.And leave ‘yr ‘brother, sister and numerous nephews and nieces’ out of it? Not to do with the rugby price of fish. ‘Not the slightest..’? You’re having a giraffe. How Old Testament about Hartley who has been ‘clean’ for England. You constantly slag Shields, then Teo & now query Heinz, then speculate about Parkes, Anscombe etc. You keep shooting the messenger. So tiresome.

  6. That was a good win.
    For a “scratch” side, we put together some fine passages of play and looked pretty sharp at times.
    Jones should be very pleased.
    Ludlam has given himself a very good chance of being picked. Watson and Joseph returned and looked in good shape. The reserve front rowers came through well.
    I wasnt that impressed with Heinz, but it was his first outing and the hope must be that he will improve.
    Didnt feel Francis advanced his cause much.
    One big downside could be the injury to Curry. He was in sparkling form and is a player we will want fit for the WC.

  7. 1 Energetic. 2 England may have a few more options. 3 After 1 home game, not yet, as it may prevent the development of an egg featured face.

  8. An interesting tactic by EJ (A bit tongue in cheek) at the end with Ewels and Lawes as flankers with Williams in the pack.Imagine that lot in an attacking line-out and Big Joe and Manu invite themselves to join in!.The serious point is that England have a lot of ballast to deploy,EJ has to find the right blend when selecting his 31 this morning.
    On yesterdays performance it appears that “no arms” has to be prepared to go back to 12 as Ford was excellent in running the game(literally) Slade is under extreme pressure from JJ,and Daly has to go back on the wing as Watson is better in the air.Personally I would like to find space for Morgan as asking Billy to get through a potential 7 games is asking a lot and we cant afford to get Wilson injured
    A point on injuries-they can sometimes work in your favour-Back in 2003 Catt only made the squad because of a last game injury to Alex King ,and it was Catty who steadied the ship in the quarters and semis!.

    1. So true – people forget that there was still quite a lot of fluidity around that England team. Not just in the centres but in the back row, at fullback and even scrum half.

      1. Does ‘fluidity’ mean that Eddie & therefore these players, don’t know whether they’re coming or going H dog?

  9. Quite pleased as an England fan, but wouldn’t get too carried away. Particularly impressed by Ludlum, Watson and Harry Williams when he came on. Watson’s timing in the tackle was extraordinarily good.

    Thought the four-second-rows scrum worked rather well at the end!

    Very irresponsible of Gatland (or whoever made the in-game decision) to leave Anscombe on so long after he was clearly injured. Even if it was the player himself insisting he can play on (I don’t know in this case),, there’s a duty of care and they should have “pulled him off” immediately for his own good.

    1. Completely agree about Anscombe. Watching him wince and hobble was baffled that he was left on. Do the not want him for the WC?

  10. Happy with that result! Considering that was Heinz first full cap he did well, would have thought he was our regular SH! JJ slipper seamlessly back into the international stage, and Ford was excellent IMO. Daly had a poor game, missing/bouncing off tackles, poor positioning and didnt offer much in attack considering how open the game got at times. He is simply not an international level FB. We did get away with a few hairy moments where Wales just couldn’t land that final pass and little concerning how out backs got pulled out of shape when Wales stepped on the gas. Forwards as a unit looked decent, and I think Dan Cole must have ate his Weetabix. I need an apple tree taken down in my garden, has anyone got Courtney Lawes mobile??

  11. Everyone slow down and take a breath
    Yes it was a good win there was some pleasing passages of play and some players put in a good performance.


    Wales looked under baked with lots of poor handling errors and defensive lapses. Expect them to be better next week.
    It was still three tries a piece and while the scoreboard was firmly in England’s favour who cares about how well your kicking in a friendly, would have been nice to see a couple of those penalties go to the corner so we could practice our catch and drive as we would have learned more from it.
    Ludlam and Heinz had good games but is one match enough to seal your squad place given Eddie is selecting his squad today (WHY???)
    Still got concerns about Cockas defence, he looked great in attack but fell off a couple of tackles we can’t afford him to miss in a knockout game

  12. I have to agree with Leon about getting hyped up.
    Just to add:
    Our first up tackling is STILL crap,the number of times a welsh player just skipped through four/five would be tacklers was scary.
    Daly would not make the cut for me, unless nowell fails to recover in time. I just don’t see what he does in the fifteen shirt apart from give hypertension to all of us anytime the ball goes in the air.
    Lastly, yes, WHY is ED naming his final party so quickly?

    1. I think the logic is that he wants the remaining warm-up matches to focus on really honing the tactics rather than being distracted by sketching questions. Apparently the 2015 lead up was sub-optimal for this reason – too much focus on who should be going (aka the Burgess debacle). I can see the logic to be honest.

      1. Was about to reply with the same. I think it was mentioned in a post match interview, too.

        I’m also slightly reassured; all this talk about EJ not knowing his starting 15. To be confident enough to name it 3 weeks early clearly shows he is.

      2. yes, that makes sense. the Burgess saga haunts me to this day!
        Btw, I actually thought sketching was an apposite word in that we ARE talking about sketching in the last few details about the final make up of the squad!!

  13. Thought Heinz looked great, shame to hear in the thread above that he has been eligable for the last 3 years but disregarded in favour of the Youngs / Care status quo. Nationality arguments aside his performance and importantly those for Gloucester have merited his inclusion.

    Watson looked very sharp and I think he should be looked at for 15. Daly has long been suspect in too many of the important aspects of 15 play.

    Further and praise where it is due, EJ also looks to have pulled of a bit of a selection master stroke. Those fringe players he bought in for the match not only performed but also him the freedom not to risk some of his front line players. With injuries inevitable at the RWC it is comforting to know that there are worthy replacements waiting at home.

    Slightly alarmed by Curry’s injury as I don’t think Underhill has 7+ games in a row in him without getting injured.


Comments are closed.