at the ground

The players, teams , issues involved with the Rugby World Cup 2015

England’s Midfield

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From the little bit of rugby I’ve seen of the Premiership so far this season. Bath’s centre pairing of Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph have been in scintillating form. In- form at club level doesn’t always translate to success at international level. They are the in-form pair. That’s a point to note , is that they are a combination that works, already playing together week in week out. Both players have tasted test rugby and performed well.

A guy that I’m sure has been earmarked as one for the future is Henry Slade. Currently playing for the Exeter Chiefs, he represented England vs the Barbarians and has represented England at u-18 and u-20. He has played at fly-half , full-back and inside centre. Makes you think of guys like Kurtley Beale or James O’Connor who have played all three of those positions for their franchises and their Country. The Kiwi’s like using a fly-half at inside centre. Dan Carter first represented the All Blacks at inside centre ( second five-eighth) and turned out to be a spectacular fly-half once he won the position off of Carlos Spencer. Slade may not be Mr right now, but England do need to consider further than the RWC. With his versatility he may be a good squad member. Mike Catt was versatile and was a vital squad member in 2003 and now he is currently one of the coaching staff.

Manu Tuilagi is a player that demands attention. He is a destructive runner. Possessing both incredible upper body strength and legs of ridiculous strength. He is explosive with his running , quick , balanced and has a good centre of gravity. Doesn’t have much of a kicking game, who needs to when you can run like him. He lacks top end which was found out on the tour to New Zealand when he was playing on the wing and was run down by Ben Smith. I feel his  best position is at 13, he is not creative enough to play 12 and lacks top end to play out on the wings. Discipline and fitting in , in defence are areas he may need to concentrate on.

Luther Burrel is the reason why Tuilagi got moved to the wing. Need I say much more. Burrel plays inside centre for Northampton Saints with George Pisi (Samoa) at outside centre. So there is an option of playing him at inside centre.

Billy Twelvetrees, his selection is bound to spark discussion. He has a good rugby brain and has that creative flair  that could unlock even the tightest defence. The thing is with every good thing he does he seems to balance it with an equal and opposite bad thing. Centre is often regarded as the cousin of the open -side  flanker , which at times is a dirty job that someone has to do. What I’m trying to say is Billy is too nice. To often his game seems flaky.

There are numerous other permutations  like; trying Farrel at 12 and Cipriani at 10; Brad Barrit who would tackle a runaway train for the cause; Joel Tomkins.

I am very much against  picking the bigger guy just because he is bigger . Lets face it if you are as fast as a smaller guy and just as skilful , you will be ahead in the selection stakes.

Lets look at the weight of some of the opposition.

Ma’a Nonu 106 kg (coming back from injury)       Malakai Fekitoa 99kg         Conrad Smith 95kg

Jean de Villiers 103 kg      Jan Serfontein 97 kg

Matt Toomua 89 kg       Tevita Kuridrani 102 kg

Alapati Leiua   98kg           George Pisi  94 kg

now look at the weights of England players

Manu Tuilagi  112 kg    Luther Burrel 109 kg     Billy Twelvetrees  106 kg     Jonathan Joseph 90 kg      Kyle Eastmond  83 kg   Henry Slade  87 kg

Brad Barrit  100kg      Joel Tomkins 103 kg     Owen Farrel  96 kg

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8 thoughts on “England’s Midfield

  1. Cipriani at 10 for me all day long and Freddie burns my second choice.

    12 Tuialgi. 13 Burgess 14 Yard 15 Brown

    9 Care. 11 defiantly not Ashton. ??

    Leave Thirteentrees, Farrel & Burrel at home.

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    • Sam Burgess is only likely to make his debut for Bath in six weeks time. Mike Ford is talking about him playing in the back row in the long term. Rugby League converts have quite often not been that successful at union.

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  2. Does anyone who follows the game more closely than me know why Farrel is not starting for Sarries? I love watching Carlie Hodgson play though, just a bit confused why no Farrel?

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    • Bainsey I think he injured his foot last week against Northampton but he is on the bench this week. Saracens also have a good rotation system. Even the big stars get rested often.

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  3. Yes Riggers !! Bengi Marshall !! Prime example..

    Probably NRL’s biggest Star he went to Auckland Blues super Fifteens for a season and couldn’t cut it with the likes of Nonu and Charles Piatau.

    He’s now back in the NRL with the Dragons.. Hopefully Burgess doesn’t experience the same as Bengi..

    George like you Steve believes its a going to be a fine call? as league and Union are very different…George believes that Big Sam has I’m a league player stamped firmly on his head..

    We will have to wait and see I’m looking forward to blogging on it!!!!

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  4. Are you watching. AU’s v NZ !! Bainsey GB !!!!! Ha ha ha..

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  5. My back line would normally start with Farrell but he didn’t fair well last week and think ford should start . I would have cipriani on the bench and play a half each. As for centres I would not play burgess until he understands the game. The greatest player in league was andy Farrell and even he struggled for a while. I would give the bath pair a shot to test against the best.
    Care , ford, yarde, joseph, eastmund, rokoduguni, brown.

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