Six Nations 2020: England v Wales Combined XV

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How many Welsh players would you select for England from the two starting lineups set to take the field at Twickenham

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

Joe Marler1Rob Evans
Jamie George2Ken Owens
Kyle Sinckler3Dillon Lewis
Maro Itoje4Jake Ball
George Kruis5Alun Wyn Jones
Courtney Lawes6Ross Moriarty
Mark Wilson7Justin Tipuric
Tom Curry8Josh Navidi
Ben Youngs9Tomos Williams
George Ford10Dan Biggar
Jonny May11Liam Williams
Owen Farrell12Hadleigh Parkes
Manu Tuilagi13Nick Tompkins
Anthony Watson14George North
Elliot Daly15Leigh Halfpenny
Luke Cowan-Dickie16Ryan Elias
Ellis Genge17Rhys Carre
Will Stuart18Leon Brown
Joe Launchbury19Aaron Shingler
Charlie Ewels20Taulupe Faletau
Ben Earl21Rhys Webb
Willi Heinz22Jarrod Evans
Henry Slade23Johnny McNicholl

As you can see I’ve gone for the entire English front row, and then one lock from each, followed by the Welsh back row. This is where Eddie Jones’ penchant for picking people out of position is highlighted – I’d rather have Tom Curry than Justin Tipuric at 7, but Josh Navidi over Curry at 8 seems obvious. Same for Lawes and Moriarty…

And then the bench as well, where I haven’t tried to compare Ben Earl with Rhys Webb, with Jones opting ofr a 6/2 bench split.

I also deliberated over whether to pick Owen Farrell or Hadleigh Parkes at 12. I quite like Parkes as a straight-running option at inside centre, and Farrell is obviously a different type of player, just arguably picked out of position.

I find these combined teams quite interesting in identifying where the match might be won and lost. It’s clearly not flawless, particularly with Jones trying to develop players that can play in any position and choosing a different strategy on the bench, but it highlights an issue for me – the Welsh back row can cause England problems, and if they get the upper hand at the breakdown, they could well win the game.

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

8 thoughts on “Six Nations 2020: England v Wales Combined XV

  1. I’d say some of those selections in the back row are hair line but appreciate your justification based on numbers on backs.

    I’d also say that perhaps individually you might take the England back three but as a unit I would probably opt for the Welsh trio… They have a better set of complimentary skills.

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    1. “I’d also say that perhaps individually you might take the England back three but as a unit I would probably opt for the Welsh trio”

      I’d say the reverse is true of the Backrow where despite the numbers on their backs I expect England to do quite well at the breakdown

  2. Halfpenny over Daly for me at Fullback and if 6, 7, 8 for England were a 6, 7, 8 playing where they should be i’d see a few swaps but I would say this is fair.

  3. I think it looks like a team NOT picked by a Welsh Rugby Blog site.
    Can understand the fr row picks up to a point & it is a combo. However, in what ways is George specifically superior to Owens for instance? Also, if Wilson & Curry swapped positions (as they might do?), would the picks between the b/rows likely be different? Collectively, I think England’s pack will dominate at home, so I don’t see the Welsh trio winning the breakdown.. going backwards. The only definite back choice for me in the backs is Tui, for his ballast. Daly at f/back, e.g., better than 1/2penny? Watson over Williams? The only definite reason to pick the English inside backs is because they’ll likely be behind a winning pack. Perhaps Farrell being an exception for his goal kicking. Weren’t so convincing under pressure v France with either their options or executions. The reserves are a bit of a lottery, as pointed out, due to their being not like for like.

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    1. George’s set piece is significantly superior to Owens and could be a significant deciding factor in the game. I would also argue he is a better ball player. Owens probably offers a bit more at ruck and ball carrying thou

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  4. Good game, England just edged it as deserved winners, though I thought there was little between them , if it were Cardiff I think Wales would have won, home advantage seems to becoming more of an advantage every year, or is it just my thinking?, on the other hand if I were English I would be thinking ” it could have been a 30 pts clear win but naughty boys that can’t behave have to sit on the naughty yellow step, and I think G.North has put himself in line for so many dangerous injuries , I believe it has affected his confidence and aggression and feel for him , ,.. we [Wales] have strength in depth as wingers are concerned with the emergence Zammit and Owen Lane I’m not worried our backs, 3 are world class scrum halves , maybe 4 , the genetics of the Welsh as a nation are a short-arse race of ppl , ..the reason why we’ve had sooo many World class backs but few forwards , you only have to look at the B-Lions to understand what i’m saying , i’ts no a coincidence that every winning lions side had a min of 3 “Taffs in the backs”, anyway back to todays match , hats off to England I think they have played a much better style of rugby since Wooward was coach and we in Wales could only watch as so much money flowed into the RFU than any other rugby playing nation , not content with that the RFU Tried to rake in even more with underhanded deals with SKY, I was hoping they would be banned for that but it wasn’t to be , how could countries like Wales,3m pop ,Scotland ,5m pop or Ireland with 5m population possibly compete, when that was the equivalent of 2 of most English city’s combined , I can accept that footy is the biggest crowd puller but even at a 70/30% split England still have the biggest pool of rugby players in the world and with a Huge mix of races , I would like to see a 2nd division with England B, Georgia , Romania, N.Z.B, , Fiji , Samoa , France B., USA, Canada or similar , BUT anyone with more than 10 caps can not play for the 1st XV.
    Congrats to England , [that was hard to say]

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