The Top 5 Crazy Cards of All Time


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud


Schalk Brits runs into Wayne Barness


Sam Tuitupou's big tackle on Sherridan


Jonah Lomu inducted into Hall of Fame


Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Buck Shelford tribute

Thursday, October 31, 2013

O2 Inside Line - Season 4 Episode 1

The biggest Test this weekend is the clash between old foes England and Australia. It's ten years since the two sides met in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, so with memories of that historic day in mind, it should be a fierce contest. Team news below, with O2 Inside Line.

Both teams were named earlier today, with a surprising change to the Wallabies as coach Ewen McKenzie has taken the captaincy away from James Horwill and has handed it to Ben Mowen.

"I just want James to concentrate on his football. I know what he's capable of and the team needs him at his best," McKenzie, who has named Quade Cooper as vice-captain, said.

For the home side, England coach Stuart Lancaster has selected Lee Dickson at scrumhalf ahead of Lions tourist Ben Youngs, while Joel Tomkins comes into the midfield for his Test debut.

Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury make an exciting second row partnership, while both captain Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood are on the flanks, and young Billy Vunipola gets his first Test start.

"We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Australia - they have made great strides under Ewen McKenzie and their new coaching team and they are formidable opponents," said Lancaster.

England Team:
Mike Brown, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Billy Twelvetrees, Marland Yarde, Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw (c), Billy Vunipola. Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Joe Marler, David Wilson, Dave Attwood, Ben Morgan, Ben Youngs, Toby Flood, Ben Foden

Australia Team:
Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Nick Cummins, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; James Slipper, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani, James Horwill, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen (c) Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Ben McCAlman, Nic White, Christian Leali'ifano, Bernard Foley.

In this first episode of O2 Inside Line for the season, Toby Flood and Alex Goode analyse what happened the last time the two sides met, we get to see a bit of the training that takes place, and some of the players take part in a few quickfire questions.

Posted at 3:13 pm | 14 comments

Posted in O2 Inside Line

Viewing 14 comments

Facepalm October 31, 2013 5:45 pm

Lee Dickson over Ben Youngs is, in my eyes, Lancaster's greatest selection error to date. Dickson may be in form but he's playing behind the most dominant pack in the premiership. Youngs, if a little inconsistent, changes games. The same with Danny Care. Both are fantastic scrum halfs who don't deserve the injustice of Dickson being selected over them.

I'm a little sceptical of Tomkins in the centres. I would be far more interested in seeing Daly, Eastmond or Burrell (ideally Daly). I don't really understand how he's leapfrogged them in the pecking order.

Dropping Morgan is also incredibly harsh. He's been nothing short of immense in the few caps he's had and is a rare breed of modern English backrow who looks dangerous with ball in hand. Vunipola is proving to be a very useful player so there is certainly weight to his cause. He had a good season for wasps last year and is looking good for saracens. I just don't really see how you could possibly drop Morgan.

I'm pretty disappointed by some of these selections. Foden must be wondering what on earth he has to do to get back in the team.

· Reply · Report

FatProp October 31, 2013 6:20 pm

Dickson over Ben Youngs is a good decision you have to pick on form and Youngs isn't on form and this could be a kick up the arse he needs. Same with Morgan though he is in a terrible pack and can't get any front foot ball to work with so I give and take on him and vunipola probably would have had vunipola come of the bench. Tomkins- who else is there to pick ? Trinder has just come back from injury Eastmond just come back from injury Burrell is an inside centre and his defense is suspect so playing him out of position wont help. With Foden they need someone in the back three who can kick Brown has a great boot, ashton and yarde don't have kicking games.

· Reply · Report

Facepalm October 31, 2013 8:29 pm

Why would Ben Youngs need a kick up the arse? He's a confidence player. What he needs is caps and experience come the next world cup. Dropping him for Dickson is the worst thing that can happen to his game. Give him confidence and a rumbling pack and he'll tear apart defences. Have Danny Care coming on as an impact sub and suddenly England are looking good.

I'm not saying Tomkins is an awful player. But from what I've seen so far - well has anyone seen anything so far? I certainly haven't seen enough to justify selection over other players in his position.

· Reply · Report

UpTheLowEnd November 01, 2013 11:04 am

As a Tigers fan, I'm a fan of Youngs, when he's in form he's without a doubt the number one choice but he really has been out of form recently. You talk about it being different when he's behind a rumbling pack, but the tigers pack dont exactly get shoved off the ball. Recently even when his pack is dominating, he just doesnt fire on all cylinders. When saints played us, Dickson sure looked the better of the two.

· Reply · Report

Facepalm November 01, 2013 12:57 pm

He's had a difficult start to the club season coming back from injury but he will find form. He played well for the Lions and should've started all three tests.

· Reply · Report

Canadian content October 31, 2013 9:21 pm

So Dickson never gets to play because of the potential of the other two players who he is currently outplaying? That's rubbish!

There is no doubt that the other two guys are better athletes, but my question is, who is the better rugby player? Dickson is by far. He is all energy and service, he plays with the intention to get his pack involved and rumbling, not looking for the opportunity to display his skills. And he will take his chances and play like a 4th backrow in terms of his line support. He may not be as pretty or have as cool as hair, but he deserves a chance.

· · Reply · Report

Facepalm November 01, 2013 1:03 pm

Potential is indeed important (although I never mentioned that). But say it weren't to be considered important, Youngs in this present time is leaps and bounds ahead of Dickson. By 2015 Dickson will not be starting for England. He has had his chance when Care was banned and Youngs was injured in 2012. He made a decent fistful of it and nothing more. And MOST importantly because Dickson's got rubbish hair and Youngs has REALLY pretty eyes we should not even be having this debate.

· · Reply · Report

joe October 31, 2013 9:46 pm

i'm not english but that backline seems to lack any sort of creativity maybe brown and yarde but they are supposed to be finishers

· Reply · Report

Guest November 01, 2013 12:21 am

Wow, a semi-entertaining Inside Line. It's amazing how thoughtful analysis of previous encounters, actual footage of training and (thank Christ) genuinely witty interviews can transform the watch-ability of these shows. Oh, and the lack of an irritating permatanned bint.

· · Reply · Report

alex2279 November 01, 2013 1:38 am

Wholeheartedly agree with the Tomkins comments - week in, week out in the premiership you barely see anything of him. What is Lancaster selecting him on here? He has done absolutely nothing in Union to justify a call up to international duty. Why could Twelvetrees not play 13 and put Burrell, who has had an incredible start to the season, at 12?

But agree, would love to see Eastmond given a crack at 13, potentially a gamechanger.

· Reply · Report

hamsandwhich November 01, 2013 1:32 pm

does anyone reckon Joe Marler thought "this is my chance to show that I can be on TV after rugby"?

· Reply · Report

Flying Tacklemonkey November 03, 2013 7:45 am

Anyone else think Mahler looks a like a dwarf from the Hobbit?

· Reply · Report

bennyboy November 01, 2013 4:55 pm

anyone know of any streams to watch the england australia match tomorrow at all?

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.
 
Site Meter