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England Six Nations Slideshow

Six Nations 2020: England Training Squad Update

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has recalled 25 players for three days of training in Oxford, with Anthony Watson back in the fold.

England men’s head coach Eddie Jones has recalled 25 players for three days of training in Oxford this week ahead of England’s next Guinness Six Nations match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 7 March (KO 4.45pm).

In addition, apprentice Alex Mitchell will join up with the squad and George Furbank will be in camp for rehabilitation. Mako Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie are not included for family reasons.

Forwards
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Sale Sharks)

Backs
Elliot Daly (Saracens)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Apprentice
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)

78 replies on “Six Nations 2020: England Training Squad Update”

Assuming an injury to Earl would have been mentioned? His absence is likely due to being surplus to requirements, unfortunately. I don’t really think the 3 short cameos is fair to him considering his form coming into the tournament.

A very conservative pick of players. He’s got his eye on getting something out of the 6Ns to satisfy the RFU again.
Where are the players of the future? Thorley, Dombrandt, Spencer, Marcus Smith, Tom Hill, Earl!
EJ’s selection policy looks a carbon copy of his pre-WC one where he left it a bit late. His choices are part ‘political’ would be my take on it.

4

I’m guessing that those players of the future will feature in Japan. There is a huge number of players in desperate need of a summer off. I can’t remember the time when any of the following players had a decent down time (it certainly pre-dates the summer before the Lions 17):

Daly
Mako V
Itoje
George
Farrell
Kruis
Sinckler
Marler
Joseph (although had long injury layoffs)

I’d say that given the way they play that Underhill and Curry could both do with giving their bodies and minds a rest.

As we know, two tests in Japan should be no easy tour, so hopefully those players coming in will be testing themselves against high quality opposition.

3

If Ed decides to rest some senior players I can see the Blossoms causing us all kinds of problems Don, especially with that fanatical support behind them.
The big question is , will Ed be brave and take some kids or go down the tried and tested route to mitigate against embarrassment?
IMO it would be more than worth losing both tests for the sake of finding some depth in key positions and moving the playing style on a tad.

1

Well, I guess he’ll take asomething of a mix, as I recall he did with Argentina? Took & played a fair few thrusters then I think, although can’t remember whom exactly. Got the desired outcome there, so don’t see why this shouldn’t recur in Japan, especially if he stacks the pack with a few dreadnoughts. Outmuscle them.

1

He’ll take a mix, just like he did in Argentina. A few established players will go but you will also have fringe squad members along with promising youngsters. The stated intention after the WC was basically to rest the core squad players like George, Sinckler, Itoje, Curry, the Vunipolas, Farrell, Youngs, Tuilagi, May and Daly. You might see players who played little at the WC, or who have missed a bit of rugby through injury included like Genge, Launchbury, Ludlam, Ewels, Wilson, Slade, Joseph and Nowell. Add in current squad players like Stuart, Dunn, Williams, Earl, Mitchell, Thorley and Furbank and you have the nucleus of a pretty good squad. It will need to be. Japan are no pushovers and will provide a stern test.

1

Never been one to pay too much attention to rankings but given that they played some of the most exciting rugby in the competition and topped their pool I think it should be a more than adequate test for the new blood. As an England fan I am also looking forward to us exploring new touring grounds, can’t just continue on the international merry-go-round fixture list. One of the reasons I so enjoyed the game against NZ in the autumn of 2018 was we hadn’t seen the sides face off for a long period of time, less is more in my opinion.

1

Maybe YOU don’t pay rankings much heed, but there’s some difference between 8, or 9 now I’ve been informed & 2. Teams don’t get to where they are by accident. I’m guessing, but surely you wouldn’t want England ranked 9 instead of 2? That may cause you to pay a bit more attention to the rankings I venture. If you enjoy different venues, England could also do a short visit to the PI’s. Added bonus of making some of the team feel at home?

1

Still not bothered by rankings Don, would be nice to be high, or indeed top of the rankings but my enjoyment of rugby isn’t as black and white as yours. I am looking forward to watching some young thrusters play rugby in an exciting and developing rugby country.

Why do you always bring these conversations back to NZ (your reference to #2 in the rankings) ? Your argument is flirting with supporting protectionism that you so often go out of your way to slander others for seeming to support.

Good to see you caveated it with a PI trip and a nuanced insult about the origins of some of the English team. Good on yer ripper.

3

Each to his own SJ, although I don’t get the black & white bit? I enjoy the creativity of space, backline insertions, innovation, passing skills & tries etc. The latter usually cut the ref out, are earned & worth more pts. It’s also why I have banged on about Cipriani prev. The No. 2 ranking was an error. I meant to ref England’s current posi as opposed to Japan’s. Apologies, but surely you see my point as to which place you’d rather see yr team ranked. BTW is it slander to rail against protectionism, AKA ‘ring fencing’? Yes, I suppose I couldn’t resist the PI jibe having endured the same over here for a generation, not least from TRB’s favourite, unjaundiced son, Alex D, again recently. I’ll try and restrain myself in future. Getting back to Japan though, let’s hope, for rugger purists’ sakes, Jones does let rip with his thrusters. Presuming he will take them of course. IMO he could, should already be rotating them. ‘Ripper’ is an Aus expression BTW. Maybe Ed will yet turn into one?! Regrds.

1

I think it goes without saying that a sterner test would be provided by one of either SA or NZ – but saying that would it be good for the English thrusters to be on the receiving end of a hiding against a team of the SA/NZ quality, especially with one with them especially motivated by the RWC semi final loss? Yes, that is a defeatist attitude and they still may be resoundly beaten in Japan but I think as a development tour, Japan seems to be relevant for me at least. If our front line players are taken on this tour, I would certainly question why it isn’t to NZ/SH.

I’ve seen some of your comments below about how the SH tour the NH every year and I do agree with the point you are making but it is worth considering the obstacles against regular tours for the NH sides. The Lions being one, the sheer length of the NH season and where the RWC fits into the calendar. Assuming that year 1 after the RWC, as I mention in my first post, is the first year many of the front line NH players get a chance to have a rest, then a full blooded tour to the SH is not really an option. In Lions year too many front line players are missing to field a competitive side against one of the big three SH nations. In the 3rd year is where we have seen teams go on a ‘proper’ tour, and this is the only window for them to do so. Depending on where the RWC is then there is a chance for a team to come on tour again in the build up to the tournament (like England in 2003) but if it is a NH based tournament, it is harder to see the logic.

It is also a bit easier for SH teams to show face at all the European grounds (or 4 of the 6) in the Autumn as there is not so much travelling involved. I’d love to see Aus / SA / NZ all do a tour of one country for eg France in the Autumn, playing 3 tests with midweek games against Toulon / Toulouse… Might be quite enjoyable for the players too as opposed to being on the move the whole time.

1

Actually they’re 9th as Scotland have just overtaken them, but above Argentina and Italy. I would say a perfect team to test England, without a few starters. A SA or NZ tour would require all of our starters, so under the circumstances an ideal tour.

1

Ideal, or a fear of losing? At least Lancaster had the nerve to give it a lash. If you want to be the best, as per Eddie’s exhortations .. go & play the 9th ranked team in the world? If England wants to try thrusters, why didn’t they rotate them over the past 4 yrs. Bit like Liverpool playing Fulham to ‘test’ their youth innit? The Japanese tour will only likely tell you that England ‘B’ are better than Japan ‘A’. Isn’t this already a known? Still, if you prefer a comfort zone, so be it, although you could bear in mind that the French have taken a somewhat different route to an Asian sojourn.

Well, that’s being defensive & a personal comment as well as separate issue. However, you’re right in that teams ought to play ‘fringe’ venues more often for the betterment if the game, although I think NZ did at least stage a test match, if belatedly, in one of the PI’s a last yr I think? Hopefully more to come? OTOH, the SH do do their annual bit with the AI’s, helping to fill HQ’s coffers I think.

1

And their own Don. You seem to be in combative form on this thread, and certainly more defensive than Staggy whose comment was in no way personal and fully justified. How often have NZ played away in any of the islands? Once I think.

1

Again this is getting off my initial point. Will Japan test England more than say a top 2 team? More so, considering Jones’ boasts about ‘being the best in the world’ etc. However, the SH have been travelling here, yrly, for how long now? These are rhetorical questions really aren’t they? As far as I know, England haven’t toured the SH regularly on an annual basis, over a generation, so hardly reciprocal when put into this context I think. To test themselves properly, they could have done.

Come on Staggy. When did England last tour Japan? They’ve been on 1 SH tour a yr in more recent times as I recall, but the SH do & have regularly toured here for yrs now. The RC also incorporated Aregentina. It’s true that all countries could do more for 2nd tier nations. However, my main point was not about being ultruistic, but the testing of a team’s strength against sterner opponents. Maybe Japan will prove sterner oppo than I expect. We’ll have to see.

Tyson Fury looked good against Wilder last week, but fought a couple of fairly mediocre opponents before him to try things out and to make sure he was ready. Can’t see much wrong with England doing something similar. You have to beat the best to be the best, but you don’t have to play top 3 opposition all the time. I think Japan is a good tour in the summer after a WC.

1

I didn’t see any rugby balls in the ring, rugby’s a team sport & Tyson Fury can & has walked as well as talked a good game at the highest level, winning a world gong. Chalk & cheese?

Same team as last one to start v Wales? Barring injury, only potential change being Watson at 15 pushing Daly to 14 & JJ to the bench? Maybe, or will Ed let sleeping dogs lie & bring Watson off the bench to ease him back in? Hang on, why am I (sill) even asking questions about selection? Bit like asking a Bedlam inmate for directions to Twickenham isn’t it? Human nature I guess & obviously Ed craves the attention. Neverthess, the ommissions of Earl & Thorley make little sense as to why they were included in the 1st place. Their morale must be down in Davy Jones’s (no relation apparantly) locker. And why Wilson now? Has he been injured? Where, will he, play? 6, 8 cover? Can he carry? Frankly, it’d make sense to put him straight in at 8, push Underhill over to 6 & Curry back to his ‘home’ 7 posi. That’s my pick though, not Jones’s, so expect the back row to stay static as Lawes seems glued on to the blind side now. In any event, as far as the result goes, I don’t see Wales offering more of an away threat in the set piece or in the loose than Ireland did. Also, with likely ensuing possession, terrirorial dominance, I see England’s defence suffocating what Welsh attack there may be as per the Irish one last Sat. Therefore, Ed’s selections are of relatively little consequence. IMO this fosters a ltd game plan again though. Last week’s tries were mostly due to Irish ineptitude as England’s efforts. The Amor effect has been conspicuous by its absence. Will it be aired on the 7th? Who knows? Ed probably, Amor maybe, but looking forward a bit, surely England need a few more strings to their bow than a couple of chip kicks if they are to threaten the better teams, particularly away from HQ.

Good to see mark Wilson back in the mix and hopefully the 23 for Wales. We need his work rate and grunt. it’s obvious Dombrandt isn’t going to feature in the rest of the 6n and possibly not in JPN with the emergence of the “hidden” eight, Ewels C.
Harry Williams should be in the 23 too. Stuart is a power house and one for the future but Williams has done nothing wrong , is equally sizeable and has never had a poor game in an England shirt.

I think (hope) Japan will be a different gameplan. They play such a dynamic, fast paced style that stacking the team with bigger players would be folly. I think we could see the recall of Earls, along with the inclusion of Ludlam and maybe an outsider.
I would persist with Stuart; he’s dominated the set piece this year in the prem and offers a good option in the loose, and he’s young.

1

I can see Wilson coming into the back row somewhere for the Wales game, his work rate and size will be useful and might actually complete a pretty good back row with Curry and Underhill. I would still rather see Dombrandt, Simmonds or Morgan but it would be an improvement. Lawes was very good and should start alongside Itoje; kruis has done nothing wrong, I just prefer Lawes dynamism and agility. Watson on bench with Daley at 15 …. JJ did nothing wrong vs Ireland but I would still rather see a winger although I don’t think we will. Perhaps Faz, Tui and Slade will be the midfield this week , I would like to see it again.

3

I definitely think Ed will go for muscle v the Welsh. To that end, Curry at 6 ,Wilson at 8 and U/Hill at 7 with Launchers and itoje (although I think Kruis will start). Marler, George, Sincks, with Genge, Williams and LCD on the bench.

Why would he suddenly drop Lawes, MOTM last up? Especially if he wants muscle, a ball carrier & an extra line out operator? Surely that wouldn’t make even Ed sense, would it? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that last one!

1

Never mind who he picks. You have such a choice of good players you could give anyone a game if they were all picked in their proper positions. The main thing is that they are going to a place that was incredible to visit, and watch rugby in, when I went to the World Cup last year. I am jealous of the England supporters who will be be going.

Read an article that referenced the cancellations in 2001 due to foot and mouth. Games were replayed in the following autumn so there is a precedent there for games to be replayed over being cancelled and settled as draws.

1

I read another article that said that wasn’t an option because of the autumn internationals. It implied that Autumn games didn’t happen back then (I haven’t confirmed this though)

1

A lot of talk about Japan. You go where you get sent at the end of the day. EJ won’t have much of a say, if any, in where his team has to go. The RFU has that say! It’s all politics and business; they are the real deciding factors. To be frank there’s probably more money in it to go to Japan and not NZ! (No offence to any NZers)

2

So does this contradict Staggy’s seeming claim about England’s motives for playing ‘2nd tier’ countries, i.e., that they’re for altruistic reasons, not commercial. There’s no evidence that Jones doesn’t have a say in whom England play either, or that monetary returns for a tour are substantial. For instance, when Fiji toured here in the not too distant, they just got expenses paid. Whatever, if teams are successful, they’ll tend to draw bigger crowds, sponsorship. To be successful, as is Jones avowed intention, then teams need to play & beat the best, not 2nd tier teams. In a commercial sports business, altruistic values are unfortunately left to be espoused about by teams like Saracens. Also, how does giving thrusters games v 2nd tier, prepare them for the real thing? Atmosphere, mixing with their seniors, getting to know the ropes in practice, being weaned in, only to make way for experienced team mates for 1st tier matches? No sub for the real thing.

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are corrupt. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) can sort the problem along with internal PI country reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

3

Think I missed the start of this thread but listening to Ben Ryan, he was very critical of the Fijian RFU. He took them to Olympic glory then was banished when he criticised the organisation. They are the biggest PI nation, and have sufficient talent to be able to compete.
I do think all nations should take some responsibility in promoting the game, which includes development of smaller nations, but the expectation that England should divert revenue to fund PI nations because of the gulf in player match fees etc is just ridiculous. No other top tier nation does this, or is expected to, so why the expectation on England.
Japan is a different story, this is a top global economy with infrastructure already in place to allow for the game to grow unhindered. That being said, its amazing to see A-League teams with regular 20,000+ attendance, the legacy of the WC is clear and long may it continue.

1

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are corrupt. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) can sort the problem along with internal PI country reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused of ‘hands being in their own till’ by their own players. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) can sort the problem along with internal PI country reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

1

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused by their own players of ‘having hands being in their own till’. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) on tour, of which there have been precious few, can sort the problem along with internal PI country reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused by their own players of ‘having hands being in their own till’. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) on tour, of which there have been precious few, can sort the problem along with internal PI country reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused by their own players of ‘having hands being in their own till’. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) on tour, of which there have been precious few, can sort the problem along with PI countries internally reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby.

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused by their own players of ‘having hands being in their own till’. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) on tour, of which there have been precious few, can sort the problem along with PI countries internally reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby. Emerging markets and all that!

It’s business. Fiji and the Fijian RFU are accused by their own players of ‘having hands being in their own till’. The situation is of their own doing business-wise. The ERFU didn’t cause it. In fact the ERFU VOLUNTARILY offered to pay the touring Fijians more money (amounting to a ?million or more. All real money. No other union had done that before. The NZRFU and ARFU have more responsibility with PI rugby matters. Their money (equally shared) on tour, of which there have been precious few, can sort the problem along with PI countries internally reforming their unions.
Jones will have little say. He is told where to go. It’s business. Japan is an EXCELLENT rugby destination after the WC. It spreads and promotes rugby. Emerging markets and all that!

1

That Fiji’s Union may be corrupt is irrelevant to the original point. As another reminder, it was about whether England are really going to test themselves or not v the 9th placed team in the WR rankings. Alas, a smidgeon of tribalism, obfuscation & sidetracking seems to have arisen to obscure this point once more. However, for the sake of indulgence & to address the red herring about business, many Unions lose money. Even England’s RFU, if reportedly, due to mismanagement. Nevertheless, England ARE the richest country on earth with more resources, players facilities, dosh etc. NZ & Aus Unions for instance, also lose money. These are known facts. Therefore why should they be more responsible for PI rugby than anyone else? This argument is as unfounded as it is unscientific. It’s like stating that England should be responsible for say, Scottish rugby, because they’re neighbours & poorer. Surely, it ought to be a collective effort to bolster the 2nd tier via WR. Frankly, from a business POV, I can’t see why SH should travel up here annually to fill HQ for zip. I don’t actually know what, if any, their recompense is, but it ain’t a fortune. Also, why bother when so many opine about player welfare, with too many games being played? Or is it really all only about business as espoused by the above? And isn’t business about profit? There seems precious little of it available here for instance from the AI’s for the SH. More so when put into the context of NZ’s Union having to seek home government funding. Also, if it were that easy to sort the PI’s lack of funds & to amalgamate them into a regional entity, wouldn’t they have already done so? Unless someone has a bizzo degree, coupled with fiscal exp in sports funding, they may be better advised to remain silent rather than proffer simplistic solutions based on a whiff of subjective opinion. More so with the tainting spectre of tribalism from afar. With Japan being an ‘excellent destination’ for spreading rugby & I don’t have an issue with this, hasn’t The WC already helped to this end? Is this England’s aim then, to help Japan out financially? How can this be so when Japan has the 3rd economy in the world (? or thereabouts). Shouldn’t they have been able to have saved their Sunwolves SR side from going defunct? So, how will England’s tour make a financial difference? Or, are England are going there for rugby reasons? To test their upcoming generation? Could it be that Jones, being 1/2 Japanese himself, with a Japanese wife & having previously lived there for yrs, actually DID have a say in touring the country? I don’t know. Likely nor does anyone else on TRB. Perhaps it’s just coincidence, or maybe the docile Jones is just the RFU’s poodle, but I suspect not. England are surely there for their own reasons, to improve their team. It’s just that by playing the No. 9 team, as a opposed to say, SA again, will they achieve their goal? Maybe, although I have my doubts. Maybe Amor has some too?

The alternative argument is that due to PI poaching by NZ and OZ they owe it to the PI islands to put back in (having taken their best player assets) by financing them some in whatever format:
1. Direct cash injection
2. More tours to the PI nations (there are precious few currently and historically and geography does come in here as its a damn sight easier for say Oz to visit than it is for England. Cost comes in the form of a plane ticket from Sydney to Apia in Samoa x 35 being a bit more affordable than from Edinburgh thus making the said profits of a tour more questionable or not as the case may be.
I think you’ll find that visits north to south or south to north are about equal (otherwise it would be a major cause celebre which it is not) Remember the North includes six nations excluding Canada and the US and then there is the Lions which is a whole n’other level that no one else can provide or offer – that represents a lot of touring. Everyone knows how the Lions kill themselves under the most disadvantageous circumstances to tour as per the last time and already the next. The south isn’t helped by the fact that three of them: Samoa, Fiji and Tonga can rarely afford to tour, period (when one of them did they had to be subsidised by the RFU in an amazing act of generosity) All the south’s representation is then squeezed into now 4 x countries: Argentina, NZ, Australia and S.Africa.
Regards Japan, Jones may very well have a vote but in a committee of say 10 that doesn’t amount to much of a majority. I would imagine that it is for ‘growing the game’ a bit like the English premiere football clubs ‘doing Japan’! Just my look on it, so definitely not the definitive say or anything. Hopefully this will post once.

You couldn’t poach an egg. Tell you who could though. Bv & MV, Hartley, Harrison, Heinz, Shields, Tui, Teo, Solamona, Freshwater, Flutey, van Gisbergen, Vainacola, Hape, Waldron. I’ll stop there as that’s 15, a team.

The Eddie, RFU, Japan stuff is yr normal speculation.

‘Just my look on it, so definitely not the definitive say or anything’. You stated it fella. Hoisted by yr own petard.

You bet. Some evidence, facts & reality for yr ‘Beautiful Mind’. I know you avoid the truth as it’s so difficult for you & that’s why you’re incapable of producing coherent, rational & direct responses to anything objective like the following, but feast on it anyway.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/89379984/england-revealed-as-the-home-of-the-poacher?rm=m

England revealed as the home of the rugby poacher

England – land of the long white cloud, home of the brave. There’s nothing like it.

Forgive the borrowing of words uttered to remember New Zealand, the United States and Australia respectively, but when it comes to the English rugby team, it’s an appropriate place to start.

For years, accusations from the England have been directed at New Zealand, suggesting the All Blacks use the Pacific Islands as a fertile breeding ground for rugby talent.
But figures showing the birthplace of international rugby stars who have debuted since 2005 shows it is England who take talent from other nations and claim them as their own.

In fact, over the past 12 years, 32 foreign born players have made their debut for England. Seventeen of those players moved to the country for the sole purpose of playing rugby.

To further explain the difference, 25.4 per cent of English debutants over the past 12 years were born outside England, and 13.5 per cent of debutants moved to England for rugby reasons. That’s two members of the first XV at any one time.

For New Zealand, 15.9 per cent of debutants were born overseas, with 7.5 per cent of players moving to New Zealand for rugby.

Nine New Zealand-born players debuted for England in that time period, with Wellington-born Mako Vunipola the only player to have moved to England for family, rather than rugby reasons.
Mark van Gisbergen was the first to make the move, followed by Perry Freshwater, Riki Flutey, Dylan Hartley, Shontayne Hape, Thomas Waldrom, Teimana Harrison and Ben Te’o.

Accusations fly on a regular basis from the north over the All Blacks poaching Pacific Island talent.

The idea that Auckland is the largest Pacific city in the world doesn’t seem to fly. If you’re born in Manukau, you should be playing for your island nation, some scribes would appear to suggest.

One article in the Daily Mail in 2015, listed a Pacific Islands XV “if they claimed back some stars”. The team wasn’t just from New Zealand, but from nations around the globe.

Only six members of the Daily Mail’s squad were born in the Islands. Five were born in New Zealand, with Sonny Bill Williams, Keven Mealamu and Vunipola joined by French international Uini Atonio and Australian lock Will Skelton.

A further three players were born in Australia, while one was born in the United States.

It highlights a problem they seem to have in England. If your name sounds remotely Samoan, Tongan or Fijian, you must be from there. Makes you wonder why Ben Smith hasn’t been claimed as English.

There are a number of English internationals who were anything but a poached talent. Manu Tuilagi, for instance, moved to England in his childhood.

By contrast, captain Hartley moved to England as a teenager with the goal of becoming an England international.

England have four players born in Germany, two from Trinidad and Tobago, one from the United States, and several more over that time period, none of which moved for rugby. Those were family moves.

New Zealand is far from perfect. Malakai Fekitoa, Seta Tamanivalu and others were offered rugby scholarships, then worked their way into the All Blacks.

But with 84.1 per cent of debutants born in New Zealand, the All Blacks are better than several international sides.

For Australia, that number is just 73 per cent, with 14 of their 111 debutants since 2005 having been born in New Zealand. Ireland have 77.4 per cent of their debutants born in Ireland, while Wales is 80.61 per cent.

South Africa, with 96.4 per cent, and France, at 89.8, are the most impressive when looking at their home grown talent.

France have a couple of high profile Fijians, but largely select from French-born talent.

Makes a mockery of yr baseless, tribal drivel doesn’t it?

To quote yr bard (that’s Wm Shakespeare to you & no, he is one who is NOT a PI), ‘The truth will out’.

Sayanora.

Hilarious once more!
I got as far as the map and laughed my socks off!
Why?
1. The graph is since 2005! Doh!
NZ began poaching in 1990, making England and most N hemisphere countries relative latecomers to the practise.
2. The article is written by a S. hemisphere journalist.
When I did my own research on PI’s and came up with 18 NZ capped players (either 15’s or 7’s) the article I attached was written by a NZer not someone from the northern hemisphere! It stated that most mums of white kids were not allowing their kids to play rugby for fear of them being smashed up by the bigger PI kids. Instead they were playing basketball or soccer (football).

Sorry! B***dy thing wouldn’t work so I smashed it around some. At least the message is clear with various editorial differences. Let play spot the difference (favourite one of mine)

So what. The issue is poaching. You produce no sources. And facts are still facts. And they still blow yr self proclaimed contention of winning the PI argument out of the water. Of course you can go back to 1890, which you cravenly avoid & which I’ve mentioned previously. Look up Hudson the 1st ‘English’ poached S African, or Prince Obolensky in 1936 for instance. Get the broader picture? You yrself have just stated that you limited yr own research to 1990 onwards. Why? I took my lead from you. Happy to broaden it to the 1st recorded poaching are you? Therefore are you laughing at yrself too for that v same reason? Doh indeed. I left out the scores of Saffas as you had confined this issue to the Pacific. Unsurprisingly of course, yr SH journalist reference is subjective & irrelevant. Yr NH origins (presumably you were born here weren’t you, although you might need to produce yr birth certificate?! How ironic if you are an immigrant!) can equally imply that your ‘research’ was bogus. Only got yr word for that. Are you stating the the journo in question is a liar & because you say so? If so, are you being racist. Why not for, the sake of objectivity, do some professional research into England’s poaching from the aforementioned date of 1890 & blow yrself out if the water? Or are you as usual in denial? You produced little but opinion. Just like the stuff you made up about Eddie’s reason for touring Japan. You produced NO evidence. Again, much like yr I’ll advised ‘righting the ship comment’. Got a bit of flak from yr own about that piece of fantasy didn’t you fella. Noted that you were more cautious after the Ireland game. How’s yr hyena? Still LOL? BTW dunno about Kiwi kids’ basket ball, but NZ’s WC winning teams seemed to contain a few Pakehas. Perhaps their mothers forgot to read yr 1995 ‘research’.

Because that’s when it began matey! Remember Lomuh (the first of the beasts).
Anyone can do their own research. It’s all in the public domain and would much more impressive if you admitted it and moved on. We’d all take our hats off on here and doff them!
Try it!

According to you, with no evidence to back up yr ‘mouth’. Are you too lazy, or lacking in confidence? Besides, what actually is the underlying pt of all yr allegations? Yr rhetoric? Are you trying to establish a moral pt? Are you attempting to prove some illegality? Are you endeavouring to make some excuse for England’s 75% loss rate v NZ? Are you stating that the AB’s should have only picked Pakehas & not players of Polynesisn extraction? Are you attempting to state that Polynesian immigration to NZ only began in 1990? Which is it? What actually is yr pt? Do you have one? Otherwise isn’t it a bit like stating the the sun will come up tomorrow? People can usually grasp an obvious known, but with you, you’re all over the place like a piss head on a curry. You keep shifting & avoiding issues & answers which all smacks of a loose cannon. You should be fired. And stop stating on be1/2 of others. It’s a way of shirking responsibility. Stand on yr own 2 feet & own what you state. Passing it on to others is a bit gutless innit, or arrogant, or ignorant? All 3? And BTW, how do you know that people hear even wear hats in order to doff them? Perhaps you should research that?! Jeez!

PS Who’s Lomuh? I’ve only heard of Lomu. Are you thinking of his brother maybe? Perhaps as you’re too lazy to produce some research to back up yr contentions, you could at least do so regarding name spelling. Or use spell check. The latter’s not that onerous. Twet! Oops!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
What started it you ask?
This and I quote:
“You couldn’t poach an egg. Tell you who could though. Bv & MV, Hartley, Harrison, Heinz, Shields, Tui, Teo, Solamona, Freshwater, Flutey, van Gisbergen, Vainacola, Hape, Waldron. I’ll stop there as that’s 15, a team.” (posted by DP @12.09am)

Then there was a PI critique of England which consisted of this:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/89379984/england-revealed-as-the-home-of-the-poacher?rm=m
(posted @6.09am by DP)

If you can’t remember what sparked things off (aka cause and effect) then I can’t help you. “Self-responsibility” you say, absolutely; I couldn’t agree with you more on that one Don. Everyone can read it, see it and comprehend it on here with you all the time!

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I didn’t ask what started ‘it’, (yr poaching allegation, the one with no evidence to back it up). I know what started ‘it’. I asked what, if any, point you were trying to make with yr poaching allegation. Re-read what I actually stated. What point you were trying to make? You completely avoid issues don’t you? And why copy stuff that I’ve stated? Just go to my relevant blog, it’s already there?! And why do you still post on be1/2 of others still? Insecurity? Where did I state ‘self responsibility’? You don’t have any answers do you AD? You’re becoming so incomprehensible, I wonder whether you’ve had a breakdown in the past. Especially as you went absent for months on end last yr. Probably best if I leave it at that. Don’t want to risk triggering yr potentially having another one.

Did you read the John Morris Headmaster of Aukland Grammar School (the very same article I posted on here in 2018)
Maybe you were a Morris Pakeha! Did you play basketball because the PI’s were a bit big for you and you’re trying to over-compensate for it now? That’s what it appears like!
Still enjoying this one!
You? (probably not)

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As I couldn’t hear it in the pub, I watched the pre Irish match commentary again via SCW, BOD & Jonny Wilko. Interesting as SCW agreed with many here about players not being picked out of posi, like Lawes & particularly JJ, at wing. BOD opined that numbers on a player’s back were just numbers. He cited France especially as bucking tradition by swapping positions around regardless of normal shirt numbers, although didn’t state how this had benefitted them over the last 10 yrs or so. Jonny W, in that neutral manner of his, took the view that a player, although picked out of his normal position, like JJ for instance, could bring their own strengths & skills to an unfamiliar post. IOW, attempt to make it their own. I think HE mentioned Austin Healy in this respect. It was kind of ironic that JJ played a bit of a blinder & therefore seemingly undermined SCW’s belief about specialists in their rugby roles. Conversely, JJ’s on field efforts appeared to back the views of BOD & JW. Therefore, which camp’s opinions were right & which were wrong? Well, both.. & or, neither? Generalising can can make fools of us all I think & yet general views don’t come from nowhere either. There can always be the exception to the rule. Healy could probably have played across the whole back line & he may have done. However, this made him a Jack of all trades & he tended to ‘fringe’ with England, which must have frustrated him. Also, would JW have been any good on the wing? Possibly ok, but he was too slow, may have lacked side stepping guile, changes of pace or swerve-ability of a wide man. Others OTOH, like Ben Smith, were equally adept at full back or wing, although not necessarily elsewhere on the field. Likewise, Elliott Daly can play in either of the these two positions, although unfathomably (spell check doesn’t like this one!), his country hasn’t played him in his favoured (& best?) place of centre! If a team prevails, as England did v Ireland last week end, with players like Lawes & JJ out of their usual spots, then it’s more difficult to argue against these selections. Nevertheless, it begs the question as to whether England could have done the job, even better, with players selected in their ‘right’ positions. Would Theyvlikely have performed better with, for instance, Curry & Underhill at 7 & 6 respectively & say Dombrandt at 8? IOW, with a specialist back row? Scott Barrett didn’t work for NZ in the WC semi. Although the idea of attacking England’s line out was sound enough, as it transpired, a specialist 6 was required in the loose to stem the English trio. If a real 6 had have been thrown on early, could this have improved the NZ situation? For me, ideally specialist players should play in their best positions, to start, or even finish, anyway. If things don’t go to plan in a game, there’s always the option to change it up, arguably, preferably sooner, rather than later. The worst of all worlds though, is to oscillate or vacillate with players. Pick them & stick with them, at least until they prove or disprove themselves. Otherwise this policy potentially invites failure.

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