Will Chris Robshaw make the Rugby World Cup squad?


One of the undoubted positives of England’s autumn was the performance of Mark Wilson. Although he played most of the campaign at 7 and 8, his best position is blindside flanker and now the consensus seems to be that he should be first choice. And this time head coach Eddie Jones could relent. Wilson’s versatility was invaluable this November and fitted in seamlessly whenever played at openside or Number 8 – Jones is a big fan of versatility. Plus, in my opinion, Wilson is a Chris Robshaw 2.0, he is an absolute workhorse for Newcastle and that showed on the international stage, but Wilson is also quicker than Robshaw, better at the breakdown and has scored more tries in recent seasons.

So it might very well be the end of Robshaw’s career at international level but in his lengthy injury this season, his club place is at threat too. This was proved by the performance of the Harlequins back row in their Friday night win over Exeter Chiefs. Alex Dombrandt is a player I had done in-depth research on when he was signed by Quins in the summer and I thought, wow what a prospect he is. And by jove, I’m being proved right which trust me doesn’t happen often. He was mesmeric against the Chiefs, running superb lines and almost scored a fantastic try for his efforts.

His partner in the backrow, and captain on the night, James Chisholm (with his sensational Movember impression of Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche) scored a well-worked try from the lineout and was brutal in the carry. Chisholm can also be a very good blindside flanker so Robshaw faces competition from him and the returning Jack Clifford who played at openside on Friday. Is that backrow now Harlequins first choice?

Well, to be quite frank, it’s hard to determine what is Quins’ best backrow and in my opinion they have the one of the greatest strength in depth in that area in the Premiership. There’s club stalwart Luke Wallace who has always been a good breakdown operator. There’s heavy-duty number 8 and Samoan international Mat Luamanu, a bit of a hit-and-miss player but when he hits he hits good. There’s former Namibian captain Renaldo Bothma who has always impressed when fit and he is your typical robust Afrikaner back-rower who has some serious power. And who could forget Gustard’s recent high-profile acquisition, Fijian flanker Semi Kunatuni who has added real X-Factor to the back-row. You can count on the famed Academy picking up on more talents too.

In short, Robshaw has four internationals to compete with plus two more (Chisholm and Dombrandt) who I would argue are deserving of international honours. That’s hefty competition to contend with and that’s just at club level. If Robshaw isn’t getting regular game time for his club, can Jones reliably call on him to step into the England setup?

Realistically for the Six Nations, the former England captain has Wilson, Brad Shields and maybe even Worcester’s Ted Hill to compete for the Number 6 jersey. Compelling evidence perhaps that this maybe the end of one of England’s most beloved players.

What do you think? Which back row players would be in your Rugby World Cup squad for England?

By Jacob Bassford (add me on Twitter @jacob_bassford and subscribe to my Youtube channel @FlyingG_Sports)

83 thoughts on “Will Chris Robshaw make the Rugby World Cup squad?

  1. Maybe, Robshaw’s already gone. Who knows with the irrational Jones? OTOH, notwithstanding all these new thrusters from within & outside of Quins, Robshaw has that precious commodity in his locker, EXPERIENCE! The WC is no place for greenhorns. Therefore I can’t see Chisholm or Dombrandt featuring @ this stage for England. Wrong timing. In any event, up until now @ least, the much maligned Shields is the incumbent 6 & there’s not much time left to bed in a regular scrum for September. Time for chopping & changing is already over IMO. If EJ doesn’t know his team by now & that’s open to ?, just look @ centre, then when will he? It is possible that Jones may drop Robshaw, but that means that rest of the b/row had better bloody well stand up AWAY from home. Jones will almost certainly take Wilson, Simmons, Shields, Vunipola, probably Curry, maybe Clifford, depending on fitness & given opportunity, but quite possibly Robshaw too, so Clifford may dip out, or Curry? I’d go for Robshaw for already mentioned experience, but 1 or other then has to miss out. Tricky, but the 6N & injury yet may have a say in the back 3’s composition. Fingers xxed!

    1. Oops! Meant to include Undrehill, especially after his ‘try’ v NZ! Misread him for Simmonds, who may also miss out.

    2. Disagree fundamentally.
      Robshaw is already yesterday’s man.. In fact he was yesterday’s man yesterday at international level!.
      He has proven consistently too slow and unable to smash it up against the best e.g Ireland last 6Ns and the same opposition the one before that!.
      Forgive me for being suspicious about your England selections Don but i wonder if they have England’s best interests at heart – more like an AB Trojan horse!
      England now have a plethora of talent to cover ALL the backrow positions twice over (when including BV and Lawes as options in addition to those mentioned by yourself)
      So no, Robshaw is ‘old hat’ along with Cole, Haskell and possibly Brown. I seriously doubt EJ wants to chuck any more sticks at old dogs now deemed too long in the tooth! Nor should he….it would be regressive and a backward step.
      Persisting with the aforementioned ‘old dogs was largely why EJ got himself into trouble in the last 6Ns – that and the persistent physical hang-over from the Lions (England being the tornament’s biggest player contributor). He hung onto old stock for too long – all past their sell by dates.
      One can’t accuse EJ (as many have including yourself on here) of being perennially tardy and/or muddled in developing his team/squad yet bemoan the absence of an old dog like Robshaw…..an oxymoron or contradiction is what I would call that!
      So, EJ is firmly into phase 2 (i spent the latter stages of last season – principally during the Lions – saying how this 6Ns would be the launch-bed for phase 2…..aka team ‘development’).
      Ironically that development was launched or kick-started by a Kiwi – none other than Warren Gatland who bravely picked several English gems before time on the international stage e.g Sinkler, George and Teo (all had played bit parts for Eddie prior to the Lions)
      In Warren Gatland and EJ England trust!

      1. AD, I was making a point about experience being required as a necessary ingredient for a WC competing team. I mentioned Robshaw as an example. l could equally have chosen Mike Brown, who you dither about. Do I need to keep spelling it out for you? Anyway, why did EJ, in whom you trust (along with Gatland), previously pick Robshaw if he was yesterday’s man then? Especially, as Pablito stated, in England’s only win in SA? And, BTW, Jones has never won anything. Recall 03? He was also drop kicked out of the Reds & Sarries. Gatland has never beaten NZ, only once & recently scraped by Oz @ home & his Lions only won 1 NZ test, by 3, v 14. These are only facts of course, but nevertheless can’t be denied & therefore hardly support yr subjective opinions.

      2. PS As the article is about Robshaw, I didn’t just pick him as an example, but I could have. Or I could have chosen M Brown. Oops, I did. The point was about experience. Is it necessary for a team to win a WC or not? Or should a team be composed of inexperienced, but younger, presumably more thrusting, players? Seems pretty obvious to me.

        1. Don, it looks like you’ve been talking to yourself there for a while….for 2 hours and ten minutes to be precise – the difference between your first response to mine and your last (the third in total!)
          I had no idea such a piffling comment by me could have you obsessing to such an extent about what i’d said !
          Swiftly and uncomfortably moving on and vis a vis your last. Experience is great…….couldn’t agree more with you! Just not with Robshaw thank you very much! He’s the wrong kind of ‘experience’. It presumably can come in all shapes and sizes and there are several other ‘experienced’ players in the squad: Hartley, Ben Youngs, Danny Care, Lawes and even Brown who is a still half useful player whilst Robshaw is a spent force and struggles for a first team place at his club. EJ doesn’t doesn’t have the time or the money to carry extra cargo around – the places in his squad are a rare and precious commodity. The ones I have mentioned can all impart their ‘experience’ and even their ‘voice’.
          Robshaw no thanks and no chance!

          1. AD, what’s yr NEW point? Broken record. Zzzzzzzz! BTW you can’t ‘talk’ on a web site, only state. Sort yr grammer out. PS Haven’t you checked out ‘Positives & negatives’ yet? Wake up! You’re behind the 8 ball fella.

            1. AD PS II .Tellingly, even YOU state that yr comments are ‘piffling’. Agree. Hoisted by yr own petard. And you’re getting too many beigels. Haven’t you noticed? I’m outsoring you. What’s that tell you? Eyes wide shut? BTW you might also wish to address yr piffling Robshaw comments to Pablito & Andy L. They too contradict you. Funny that. Happy days.

              1. No Don. You rather boringly and arrogantly miss the point again! Most commentators on here take a rather more balanced and indeed realistic view of their musings on here – ‘humbler’ if you like!
                I don’t take the view that what I say on here is of epic ‘biblical’ proportion or the last and only take.
                So yes the comment that set you off at 10:37a.m Dec 7th and didn’t see you STOP until 12:54 (a full 2 hrs and 17 minutes later) offers rather a good insight into how OBSESSIVE and BORING for many others is your platitudinous mindset!

                1. AD, now AKA the Hyena, pointless, pathetic, pithy, piffle. Utterly personal & irrelevant opinion. You cannot comment on be1/2 of others, only yrself. You’re losing the petty plot fella. None of it has anything to do with rugby. Nuff stated! You seem rattled.

            2. Of course you can talk! You could and can do whatever you want Don. Stop being so prescriptive! We don’t need an agony Aunt on here, though you fit the bill well – Agony Auntie Don….ha ha!
              You could have your own column and tell everyone what to do and think! Many of us, however, can and do do it for ourselves without your input, thanks!
              Don’t constrain yourself Don!
              Try letting your hair down for once and relax a bit!

              1. AD, you make my mother ‘sound’ good! And on the contrary, it’s you avoid points. E.g., I outscore you in thumbs ups fella. As you avoid addressing this fact, & objective CR comments, backed by some here, you’re clearly irrelevantly, ranting, out of control again! Thanks for the subjective lecture, also inapproriately on be1/2 of others, but youmay need to address these to the guy in the mirror. There’s such a thing as freedom of expression in this country. Unfortunately, it also applies even to you I believe, which is a shame. However, if you don’t mind, I’m going to relax & let my hair down now.. If it’s ok with you. PS & BTW, If the heat’s too hot in the kitchen again, you can always do a runner & take another sabbatical. Happy days II.

                1. Never been interested in ‘thumbs up’ thans. Its not my style. You on the other hand clearly need them and want them for some insecure and self-affirming reason.
                  Did you suggest the idea and get it (“thumbs up’) instated?
                  Don P’s Mystic horrorscope following soon with a ‘thumbs up’ facility! Oh crikes!

  2. Wilson is also quicker than Robshaw, better at the breakdown and has scored more tries in recent seasons – says it all for me!

    Robshaw in the WC squad depends on both how the 6N goes for England and of course injuries. Assuming Underhill covers 7 and BV is fit and at 8, I would like to see Wlison/Shields given the game time in the 6N ahead of Robshaw….with my first choice being Wilson. I can appreciate Robshaw has experience, however lets not forget he was part of a poor back row performance for most of 2018 Six Nations (albeit overall an under peforming pack) and his experience didn’t really help much then! We all know what he brings to England & fair to say I don’t see him suddenly getting better for 2019 WC.

    Wilson and Shields IMO can improve in the white shirt with more game time and need the experience. If EJ decides upon Robshaw as 1st choice for 6N and he gets injured before or at WC, then that is valuable experience at International level lost for the likes of Wilson/Shields.

    1. DarthMaul, if England go with yr b/ row of Wilson/Shields, Bill V & Uderhill, it leaves them with 2/rds of it inexperienced. When England won the Cup in 03, not only their b/row, but the team, were all experienced. The ? is, stats for Wilson skinning Robshaw alive notwithstanding, are the scrum back 3 going to win the breakdown v Ireland, SA & NZ, or not? This is whom they must likely be capable of overcoming. Stats are 1 thing, but under extreme pressure, mental as well as physical, AWAY from home, as in SA recently, will England cope with 2 relative novices @ 6 & 7? Maybe? If not however & not forgetting yr injury point, to whom do England turn? More inexperience? Another maybe? Before discarding the likes of Robshaw willy nilly, IMO, they need to have a hard look @ what likely outcomes in Japan will be. Otherwise there could be a scenario of a mini Burgess situation Mk II. There is no substitute for experience. Therefore, a mix of this experience alongside these bright, but inexperienced, young things, used carefully in a thought out, rotational system, might better serve England. Too important to get it wrong. Gotta get it right, or Eddie may never get his knighthood!

      1. Don P, I agree experience is valuable but IMO you put too much emphasis on Robshaw and his experience. Yes he is experienced but as I pointed out this experience did very little for Eng when they were under the cosh in 2018 6N, so how do you think his experience will make such a difference in 6N 2019? And if experience is so important then surely my point is valid that EJ should be giving experience to Wilson/Shields? Saying there is no substitute for experience is also a very blanket comment; if this was the case England may aswell get a team of VETS together. Experience is of course great, but also a player has to bring the raw goods to the party.

        1. DM, I’ve suggested a mix & rotation. You mention the 6N, but I’m ‘talking’ 1player. Besides in SA no one particularly distinguished themselves, vets or nappy wearers. Also, the ‘younger’ guys who’ve caught yr imagination all played @ HOME. They’ll be AWAY in the crucial Upcoming 6N & WC, but each to his own. Perhaps we’ll know more after Dublin & Cardiff?

          1. “In SA no one particularly distinguished themselves”, are you talking about the back row or the team in General because I think you forgot how just how class Jonny May was.

            1. JB, as the article is about Robshaw, I was reffing to the b/row, hence the names mentioned. Can’t recall how may tries May scored.

            2. And let’s not forget that Robshaw was great in the last SA test (and the only victory) after Shields got ill.

          2. Yes RE; SA tour and this is the angle I am kinda coming in at. Over the past 10 months EJs choice of ‘experienced’ players hasn’t gone hand in hand with the results, so goes back to my point that I believe experience can be substituted with raw talent (as you say with a blend). I am not sure how much Dublin will tell us first up as if EJ does opt for an inexperienced back row and we lose, there will be calls that Robshaw should have been there…..on the flip side we lose with Robshaw included there will be calls we needed Wilson/Curry/Underhill to add pace/desire etc. I don’t expect England to win in Dublin regardless of if Robshaw is a starter or not, so give the experience to the fresh blood. Robshaw is a workhorse, true team player but (without sounding too harsh) I still question his leadership and what his experience adds. I say this as his leadership has been called into question a few times now over the past 4/5 years. In terms of what his experience brings again refer back to 2018 6N, and SA tour where he played all but one game and how much of a difference did he make? He has also been part of a Quins team that has steadily gone backwards over the past 2/3 seasons – and funnily enough this season where he has not been playing they seem to be going forward with a better looking back row. I know you cannot pin all of the above issues on one man, but given his ‘experience’ as you say should he not shoulder a proportion of the below par performances by England and Quins? We cannot continually praise him for his graft and dirty work and ignore what real impact/benefit has he contributed of recent. ps I don’t hate Robshaw….just stating what i see!

            1. DM, much column inches expanded on Robshaw. People have their views, in my exp @ least & tend to pick ‘facts’ or stats to reinforce these. Human nature I think. AlexD excepted of course, as he for instance, invents non existent ‘phases’ in EJ’s master plan. Nevertheless he agrees with you. Out with the old hats, in with the new. Anyway, I also agree with you about Robshaw’s captaincy/ leadership. V NZ he blundered x2 @ Twickers regarding pens v line outs to win. However, he ‘s not captain & this isn’t the issue in ? BTW, the younger Farrell didn’t exactly distinguish himself in his co-captain role either; e.g. Line out calls v AB’s, controversial shoulder charges, yelling @ the ref in SA. It’s no skin off my nose, but, as stated, I see a rotational mix of exp (e.g. CR) & youth as a more rational option for reasons already stated. Also, people whom have been there, seen it, made errors, under pressure, away & had exp of ups & downs are more likely to cope when the chips are down. But, as aforementioned, each to his own. BTW, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Robshaw excluded by Jones, but that’s another story. EJ has picked 1/2 his ‘new’, young scrum due to enforced injury! Hardly breeds confidence in some of his calls methinks.

              1. I’ll take the name check as a compliment Don.
                EJ is indeed into his ‘phase 2’ – a phrase he coined himself about 12 months ago. If you didn’t hear of it or pick up on it there’s nothing further I can do for you – requiring ‘special treatment’ or what!

                1. AD, what name check? Another invention? jones, like you, states a lot of things, such as, ‘every team needs to go through a dip’, like losing 6 in a row? Part of some master plan was it? Pray tell, when did phase1 start & end? Was it the 18 game winning streak? Was phase 2 the aforementioned 6 game losing streak? Then, surely, he should be into phase 3 by now? Oh & when does phase 4 kick in? Exactly how many phsese are there fella? Go on, take a punt. Give it yr best guesstimate. I could do with a giraffe. BTW yr last sentence should end with a ? mark. Mainly because it was a ? What special treatment fella? I mean you’re the 1 who’s been missing in action for the last 6 mths or so. Emotional shell shock was it? AD, ou remind me of a hyena that fell into a vat of Oxo cubes. You make a laughing stock of yrself. Name check that.

        2. DM, well England DID get together a team of vets in 03. However, as I’m suggesting a mix & rotation policy, Shields etc can still get their experience, in what time Jones has left them, but which will not exclude more experienced players being included in the team/squad. After all EJ does like utilising his starters.. AND ‘finishers’. Why narrow yr options? Unless you want a team of bolters? In this case Jones ought to have had a clear out 2 yrs ago rather than wait until injuries forced his hand a yr from the WC. IMO, jones ought to have had the foresight to have blooded new players over the past 2 yrs anyway. Gradually integrating them to give him, over this period, a better balanced side based on rotational game time. Maybe he’d have got his centres & f/back sorted by now if he ‘d done so? And not been forced to pick 1/2,his pack by accident as well. Anyway, it is what it is & Dublin & maybe Cardiff, will likely reveal more.

  3. Is Eddie a sentimentalist? As Don says, he’s certainly a contrary bloke.
    Right now i think most England fans would say no to Robshaw, injuries permitting. The AI’s saw the emergence of three new (ish) back rowers who have more claims on a place. The elephant in the room is what will happen between now and next september.
    For what it’s worth i’d go ; U/hill, Wilson, Shields,Billy,Morgan, Ewers. I also think EJ could do worse than take a look at Chisholm in the 6N.

    1. Acee, keep forgetting Ewers. Don’t know enough of him except that he’s part of an experienced
      Exeter pack. However do you think Zjones WILL pick him for the WC?

  4. He’s a very good carrier and a real unit. I’m really surprised that EJ hasn’t taken a good look at him. he went on the Saxons tour to SA a couple of years ago and from what i recall,acquitted himself well.
    i think sadly, his boat has sailed as far as Ed is concerned.

  5. Pretty sure Ewers was picked for an EPS squad once but has suffered with injury since. I would argue that he is more of an international quality than Armsnd, definitely more brutal around the corner and the ruck

  6. Once upon a time Hill, Back and Dallaglio were all considered to be 7’s . Then an enlightened coach came along and saw they complimented each other perfectly and put them in a back row together. I see Underhill and Curry in the same backrow with Wilson or Vunipola at 8. Underhill could be the perfect havoc wrecking 6 with Curry a traditional 7.

    I think Robshaw should make the squad as he has vital experience. Speculating here , is it hard to have a senior player in your squad who is not in the mix to start? How does that effect the balance of things? Saying this though I think he is a bloke who can put the team before himself and be a crucial squad player and valuable replacement. So for me he pips Shields to the RWC…

    1. SJ, for you, but Eddie has Shields as his incumbent 6 & had more or less done so since BS ’emigrated’. Hard to shift him now? Chopping & changing territory otherwise & the egg timer’s tuning out.. unless you like yr’s hard boiled!?

      1. Er, that should read; ‘running out.. unless you like your’s SOFT boiled’. Apologies, it was a bit late last ‘night’.

    2. Agree with your Robshaw comments SJ. As Pablito points out, Robshaw was in the England team which beat SA in SA. Even though the erudite AlexD states that CR is ‘old hat’, slow etc, Jones, AD’s hero, contradicted him by picking Robshaw there anyway. CR’s been hampered by injury for some time & many write him of. Mainly I think because he appears to have been superceded by others of the ‘new’ generation like Shields, Wilson etc. As Shields is the incumbent 6, I do think that he, barring mishap, will probably start v Ireland & will also go to Japan. Although you never know with the contrary Jones, BS seems his flavour of the times. We’ll see. However & I’m not even especially a huge Robshaw fan BTW, he is reliable, runs his heart out, always gives 100% & until he got sidelined he was still in EJ’s frame. Why? Presumably Jones also sees these aforementioned attributes, as well as his EXPERIENCE, which some, with perhaps marginally less wisdom, seem to disregard. Robshaw hasn’t let England down (not including his early captaincy under lancs, as this is a separate issue) & doesn’t concede penalties (unlike the untouchable Itoje who does it for fun whilst crying ‘Hey, baby’! & hi fiving it & who, incidentally, was anon in SA). CR will keep going like a Duracell bunny (& no, he won’t play like 1 before some wit suggests he might) & doesn’t wilt under pressure, to the death. The Underhills, Wilson & perhaps the Shields’, @ international level, are all relatively unproven. Therefore, it surely makes sense to keep options open by also having proven players with track records in the mix, whether in starter or ‘finisher’ (Gawd, how Irratating are these reinvention of the wheel expressions?) roles. I mean, the W Champs, the AB’s, where possible, have this mix. E.g., Ben Smith, Franks, Read & even youngsters like Ioane have been blooded over 2 seasons. Likewise with Ireland. Both are ahead of England in the W rankings. A coincidence? Maybe? Anyway, I agree that Robshaw should stay, even though the enigmatic Eddie may already have changed horses in midstream again (as with Mike Brown v Daly) ! 6N to reveal more? Pick the bones out of this reasoning @ yr peril! Go you good thing Robshaw, go! So there!

      1. I am not sure that Shields is the 1st choice 6 – yes he has started the last few games but I think that is down to extenuating circumstances and the picture would have been different had Robshaw been fit and there hadn’t been injuries in the second row and ergo the 6 position where EJ clearly sees Lawes and Itoje as options.

        I am certainly not maligning Shields, he seems on limited evidence a solid industrious player, but it seems to be a straight shoot out between him and Robshaw. Going off previous squads 5 back rowers have been taken. Assuming the automatic choices are (although second guessing EJ is hard) Vunipola, Wilson, Curry & Underhill. This leaves one place to chose from between the front runners – Robshaw, Shields, Hughes (although I am not a fan of upright Hughes)… I think Robshaw pips this on the basis that he a known quantity, he is not a worldy (and never has been) but in the right environment he won’t let anyone down. I’m interested to see if Ted Hill can become a bolter during the 6N’s.

        1. SJ, you’re right about trying to 2nd guess Jones. You may also be right about yr choice of back rows. However, the whole back row, indeed 1/2 the pack, are there only due to extenuating circs, i.e., injury. Also, there’s no guarantee that Curry will feature. Sometimes it’s difficult to replace a current performer with a pervious incumbent. Sends a mixed message, maybe affecting pack morale. Also, dunno about Lawes, Itoje @ 6. They’re locks & therefore makeshift 6’s. Additionally, if one or other plays @ 6, who replaces him @ lock? Launchbury? Anyway, there’s also Clifford & you mentioned Ted Hill. So, not so clear cut for me. Afterall, Jones did short circuit Shields straight in, so may be others will miss out. Clearer, barring further injury, when 6N squad is announced of course.

  7. For all of the valid back row choices mentioned already it is worth adding that Jones still has an apparent liking for the use of Itoje/Lawes, and possibly even Ewels at 6.

      1. Jacob, Jones clearly likes Ewels and he does see him as an auxiliary 6 ad well, although in all positions behind Itoje and Lawes.

        I am not overly sold with Ewels either but can only imagine that he sees something more in him.

  8. Don’t forget about Jack Willis too. Long term he looks like he could be class, although I hope he’s learning how to be a line out option in his time off – he needs to aspire to O’Mahony.

    Also it looks like Ted Hill is highly rated, although I’m not sure what his unique selling point is? Apart from scoring tries in the wider channels!

  9. One reason I would have Robshaw in my squad for the Six Nations is that he probably wants to be at the next World Cup more than anybody in the country. Given all the personal abuse and humiliation that was thrown at him as captain after the last one he must be desperate to prove himself. Having shown the strength of character to fight his way back into the England side after EJ had apparently written him off, he then lost his place through injury and at least deserves a chance to get carried out on his shield.

    1. Can I be in your squad aswell? After 20 years of watching England, the highs, the lows, the blood, sweat and tears. Spending thousands of pounds on tickets at Twickenham, battling crowds in the rain and wind, and blowing my wages on beer I at least deserve to be carried out on my bar stool?

      1. DMaul, you can gave my tall bar stool too if you like, as I’m about to leave my localish Sun Inn for another rub a dub dub. Might be a better length on which to carry you out on, but hopefully, you’ll recover soon. Best wishes.

      2. Sorry Darth, it is too difficult to prop people up on a bar stool and carry them, especially when they have had a few. A length of sticky pub carpet perhaps ?

    2. That’s a good point Andy and one I certainly hadn’t considered. Would everyone who has contributed to this thread agree that if Cr is in the 6n squads he will almost certainly be off to japan?

      1. Not only agree with that Acee, I’ll wager that he’ll go as CAPTAIN! Then again, I have had a couple of lemonades tonight. So, here’s to CR. Diamond geezer & all round good egg!

      2. If he is still in the squad for the last two games and makes a contribution I would think you are right Acer. After all, Hartley is still there despite not being the best hooker. I think Brown will be back too unless Daly has a couple of really good games.

    3. Andy L, is that on his Brad Shields? Seriously though, you seem to be almost the only other one who rates EXPERIENCE as an attribute, particularly for a WC! But then, you too, clearly, have squired some experience & I dare say, wisdom! Tip top & thumbs up!

          1. Well Acee, will give it a try nxt time, altho it ‘ll have to be a Quorn bacon sarnie. I’m a vege! Mind you it doesn’t stop me from biting a few legs now & again.

  10. No reply button AD, but just as well that you ‘re not interested in my thumbs ups invention, you don’t get any/many. My guess is that others don’t rate yr posts fella. And what style? You don’t stick rugby. Your last blogs, even when I attempt to drag you back to the ‘R’ word, have all been bereft of the subject. Seems you’ve gone off the rails chap. Robshaw & my Aunt send their regards, hope you recover & get back on track soon! Fingers xxed!

    1. Don, hey mate!
      Just bothered to log back onto this thread and boy have you been busy. As you know i’m not an obsessive with this website/blogging thing.
      Aren’t you a clever little boy!
      Keep it up!
      The airs and graces you give yourself.
      Pint any time – the offers still there for a real 1 to 1 as you relish sounding off so much. One has to be a tad quieter in a pub though or you get thrown out!

      1. Ah, AD, busy as a bee. As you know posting on TRB is not only my whole life, it’s my only life & is also known as the good life. Surprised you haven’t heard of it. But then you did go AWOL for 6 mths. The more airs & graces the better I state, especially if they’re subjective & besides, I am on commission, per post, don’tcha know? You seem a tad envious & dare I state it, my chief admirer. Or is that stalker? Which is why I feel impelled to take you somewhat to task about yr claim about yr NOT being obsessive. The thing is AD, you have only asked me out on a date for a beer x3 recently. This seems to me to be not only obsessive, but downright peculiar. This is, afterall a rugby site, not a lonely hearts club site. If you are lonely, you could try discussing, er, rugby for a change, or, you could join a site called Tinder which I heard about on TV news regarding some police investigation. Seems right up yr alley, so why not give it a go & maybe some other saddo will take you up on yr offer of a pint? You could even use a moniker such as ‘Weird of Hermiston’ as a pseudonym if you like. As you can tell, I’m hear to help if I can. Good luck & fingers xxed! I’ll be rooting for you on yr Tinder quest. Down the hatch..or is that batten down the hatch? Cheers, or is that bottoms up? Whatever. Best wishes.

        1. My God…..they”re not getting value for money then are they!
          Ref the rub a dub…..no justa invite to square off mano a manorather than perennial posturing.
          Tinder et al i would put firmly at your door!
          Another site with thumbs up facilities and imaginary/virtual ‘friends’

          1. AD, eh? More Incoherent gibberish. Interesting that you already seem to know about Tinder though. I didn’t know that they had a ‘thumbs up’ button facility.. like you do! Worrying. And what’s with this infantile mano on mano stuff? Dear oh dear. Pathetic. Been watching too much WWF, or reading too many Marvel comics? Can’t you cope via literary response? Chris Robshaw sends his regards BTW & dares you to a mano on mano race out of the blocks. He reckons he’ll beat you by 6 mths. Good luck.

          1. Acee, recalled the expression from somewhere in the past. As it happens, I did like Jack Bruce, although from his time with Cream. IMO more important than Clapton in terms of songs contributed, whilst they lasted. Rgds.

            1. Speaking as an amateur bass player, I have to agree as to Mr Bruce’s sadly curtailed talent.
              i love Cream, great band.
              Without being distasteful, surely CR would be quicker to the B/down than a dead person?

              1. Acee, been better to have stated ‘wasn’t’ English re JB. Although AlexD would surely still have reckoned that the deceased JB would have been quicker than Robbo.

  11. Oops! Seem to have pushed AkexD off the top 5 of the blogs list again. Perhaps he hasn’t got out of bed yet (which reminds ME), or can’t keep up. Bit slow like Robshaw?! Tch, tch.

    1. JB, indeed. I must have contributed @ least 50%! Oops! Anyway, if you do do another article like this, I suggest that you do it on each member of the team/squad. You could surely retire on the profits from ensuing book, TV & film rights! Good choice!

    2. Why Kruis Jacob? i would have thought he is a cert for Japan , injury permitting.
      Btw, keep up the good work sir!

  12. Can anyone let me know what the traditional split by playing position is for a World Cup squad of 31 players? I want to start drafting my squad but never quite sure how many players in each position are usually selected!

    1. Normally you would take 17 forwards and 14 backs split into 5 props 3hookers 4second row 6 back row,2 SH,2FH,4 centres and 6 Back 3.
      However such is the versitality in the backs that EJ may opt to take 1 less back and take an extra propwhich could be important injurywise.

      1. Great, cheers JS 10. What about injuries? Can any team call up injury replacements at anytime and, if so, is that limited?

  13. Belatedly realised that I didn’t answer the ? about England’s back row composition. With some reservations, I’d start with, including next up in Dublin, Wilson 6, Billy V 8 & Underhill 7. May seem contra to what I have previously stated about experience. However, I also mentioned this with rotation in mind. Therefore, I’d have Robshaw & Morgan in the squad too. I don ‘t think Jones will start with this back 3, as Shields may hold off Wilson, but the latter will likely be in the squad. I, personally, have always had some reservations about Vunipola @ 8. He’s predictable, ltd in the open & can’t jump. Hence my opting for Morgan as a changer during a game. This is unlikely to happen of course, as Jones will probably continue to ignore BM. Maybe Curry & or Clifford will cover 7.

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