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I agree that Lancaster is strong minded enough to make his own mind up, but like you say he's stuck with his decision of Farrell as first choice 10. Andy Farrell is a very intelligent coach but the fact is his son hasn't got the ability or discipline to ignite the back line, intuitive reaction skills, or intelligent decision making required at the level the England squad want to reach. Yes he'll put the ball between the posts and he'll put in bigger hits than most if not all other choices, but that's not enough for what is the most important position in the team. Ford can beef up, work on tackling and goal kicking technique. Farrell can't work on playmaking talent he wasn't born with.
I strongly feel Lancaster has justified Farrell as a starting 10 for his tackling and goal kicking on top of Andy's bias persuasion. Everyone knew of Ford's talent and aside from his unfortunate injury prior to the NZ tour he should have been better built into the England 10 jersey ahead of Farrell.
If I'm really really honest with myself though. I'd have to say that I do have a strong dislike for Farrell's character too, and I know a very high percentage of rugby fans will as well. This may be having an effect on my opinion of his game potential. His behaviour on the Lions tour was an embarrassment and his post try celebratory shove on Cusiter at Murrayfield was disgusting to name a few.....there are many many more detestable displays of poor sportsmanship by an individual who seems to ooze with arrogance. English rugby fans should aspire for much much better in their star man.
3 Days, 1 Hour ago
Glad to see Ford starting at 10. Dissapointed that Lancaster unprofessionally let Andy Farrell talk him into fielding his hot headed, arrogant, and poor decision making son for so long. If England are to stand a chance of winning RWC2015 at home they should drop Owen Farrell entirely and place faith in Ford after giving him complete exposure throughout the 6Nations. He might just turn out to be another Wilkinson, but he'll definately be a more creative 10 with ball in hand.
I wonder, could Scotland be the surprise package of 6Nations 2015? Not that they have a chance of winning the tournament but they'll have the maybe hot/cold French for the opening game in Paris then the Welsh in Edinburgh who seem to be on the way down and straight after Italy in Edinburgh again which they will win....
4 Days, 6 Hours ago
Haha, meant euphoric not eutrophic on Ireland's win damn autocorrect.
Yeah DrG I think that is true about this Scottish side also. We've always been like that. As soon as we think we're catching the other home nations they take another step forward and it's another bottom half table 6N season.
Reality, Ireland's defense was indeed solid (through organization and heart that Scotland didn't have) but I'd have still expected the Springbok to have found a way through more often than the few times they did. All those penalties they conceded did seem a bit harsh at times but credit to Sexton for slotting them. There's something about his goal kicking that always seems nervously off balance.
2 Weeks, 4 Days ago
Scotsman here who really enjoyed the Argies game but not getting too exited as other home nations still seem to be ahead of us in terms of execution and organization.
I wonder though, have we just seen pooped SH sides after a grueling Rugby Championship? I mean, Argentina were really poor and despite Ireland's eutrophic victory it seemed the Springbok had no teeth. The All Blacks were just the usual genius side that always seem to have the answers and I worry that English fans are a tad unrealistic about 'getting close'....?
2 Weeks, 4 Days ago
There was nothing wrong with that hit, it was actually a superb tackle. However the slap afterwards was unsportsmanlike, childish and doesn't deserve any place in the professional game. If pro rugby wants to continue its reputation as a gentlemanly sport this kind of behaviour should be punished.
1 Month, 1 Week ago
"Let's get behind them".... Let's not.
We can certainly say that all other rugby nations other than Australia, despise the typical Australian rugby fan. They are incapable of winning with modesty, maturity, or grace. It has been somewhat of a relief to see the Wallabies dwindle this past decade, raising the tone of international rugby union supporters world wide.
Sean Malony reckons Wallaby rugby fans are lying dormant. He's kind of right, rather the typically unpleasant Australian hasn't got any pro rugby to shout about just now so they'll crawl back under the rock.
Australian rugby is a breeding ground for loutish wankers which humanity is better off without.
3 Months, 4 Weeks ago
Gorgodze is class and would find a place in any of the current six nations squads, if not starting XV. I can't remember the other players names but there are definitely a few kicking about.
There is SO MUCH to lose for the six nations under this kind of system and the tournament dynamic would spoil everything. The tourism sector in Dublin, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Paris or Rome would take a hit depending on the relegated team. Romania was rejected entry to the 6N in the 90's for the same reason as Georgia would now. Too few Western European tourists want to go to Tbilisi or Bucharest + they just don't deserve to enter the competition to the inevitable peril of one of the current teams.
If the 6 Nations is changed to the format your suggesting in my lifetime, I will eat my shoes.
8 Months, 3 Weeks ago
Did you know that the first ever rugby international was played between Scotland and England in Edinburgh in 1871? That's 47 years before Georgia declared independence from Russia (pre Soviet era). Just to put that "history" into context for you.
Here's an idea: TERNARY CUP (or what every you'd want to call it). A three way international competition played every year between Romania, Georgia and Russia. The 6 Nations does not need to end for international rugby to flourish elsewhere.
I must say, using the example of Argentina's joining the tri nations is really naive. They allowed one nation to join three, not the creation of a new relegation/promotion two tiered group league. Also, Argentina was producing considerably more world class players than the likes of Georgia, Romania or Russia combined.
8 Months, 3 Weeks ago
Pipe down Pipo,
Yes there is a whole world out there of some really admirable rugby nations, which is why we have the WORLD cup. Rugby Union is clearly growing across the globe nicely, but just because an Eastern European nation like Georgia is having crowds of over 50,000 spectators turning up to support their national team, doesn't mean we should completely restructure what is arguably the best annual international rugby competition. So your saying the global rugby community would rather see Georgia Vs England, than France Vs England on the opening weekend? Because France finished at the foot of the 2013 table....
Have a think and get back to me please.
8 Months, 3 Weeks ago
Have to disagree Juggernauter. I see your point that they deserve better opportunities, but the thought of having a two tier promo and relegation system in the 6 nations is against everything the tournament has traditionally stood for. For example, the Scots have played a key role in its formation for over a century and it would spell the end of professional rugby in Scotland if they suddenly had to battle it out with teams like that. One of the most endearing features of the 6N is that each nation stands tall year after year, consistently having a crack at each other in 6 of the finest European cities.
My suggestion would be to set up another tournament and brand it completely me differently to the 6N, then back it with as much IRB led commercial support as possible. These kind of suggesstions are actually very disrespectful to struggling home nation supporters, currently Scotland more than any others.
8 Months, 4 Weeks ago