By Olyy
Byron named in the Scotland squad - congratulations to him! He's started the season very strongly.

Wales' announcement due at 11am
By eBike
Ditto, huge congratulations to both but a special shout out for Will Grif John for being called up.

"Tidy !" :joy:
By Olyy
Congrats to big WGJ!

He's been a fantastic signing for us,
Loved Big Red's description of him "When he hits people they stay hit"
By Olyy
Tom Curry the only Sale player in the England squad,

Old Boy Alex Mitchell named as an apprentice

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 21 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 19 caps)
Tom Dunn (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Saracens, uncapped)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 12 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 45 caps)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 34 caps)
George Kruis (Saracens, 41 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 62 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 81 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Joe Marler (Harlequins, 68 caps)
Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 31 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)

Elliot Daly (Saracens, 39 caps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 1 cap)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 79 caps)
George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 65 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 9 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 95 caps)

Apprentice players
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
By DavenportSharky
So a squad to try and win the 6N not looking at WC2023. He is as determined not to pick Ben as he was Cipriani. The worst thing that can happen to a player is to be put forward by the press as Jones does the opposite. Feel very sorry for Ben but also Spencer, Dombrandt, Simmonds etc. Mystifying that Cheetahs have 5 players in that squad.
By Clutch
Ben shouldn’t be in the squad. There are other better options at the moment. Which of the Leicester players would you not include.
By Basilbullneck
Mystified at the absence of a number 8. Tom has played there, but it's not his regular position. Balanced against this is 5 locks. I can't see Ewels getting any game time. Perhaps Jones sees Itoje as a future No8? I certainly agree that Hughes flatters to deceive, but Simmonds is unconventional but a special player, and by all reports Dombrant has huge potential. At this rate, we won't see whether that potential translates into actual form.
By all press accounts Hill is a tremendous prospect, but doesn't seem to have done much at Worcester this season. Also surprised that once Singleton is dropped (presumably through lack of game time) that Dunn has been picked. If going for someone of his age then I would have thought Yeandle would be ahead of him in the pecking order.
By Elgar
I think Dombrandt plus Willis or Simmonds to cover 8 would make more sense than Ben Curry being added to the list of flankers.

Don't understand why Spencer and/or Robson aren't picked to fill the generation gap between Heinz and Youngs and Mitchell who is an apprentice.

On the plus side, some exciting prospects in players like Thorley, Umaga, Hill, Dingwall and Furbank, Stuart.

Would love to have seen Thacker in the squad but suppose that would be a bit 'fantasy rugby' more than a test pick.
Last edited by Elgar on Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By DavenportSharky
Well I would pick Ben over Underhill every time. Ben Youngs was one of the poorest scrum halves at the World Cup. Ben Spencer is much better at this moment in time.
By ale shark
It's infuriating and disappointing that after 4 full years in charge EJ is no closer to identifying an English 9 beyond Ben Youngs.

I've been to watch Sale and England 5 times now in France. I'm not holding out for 6th time lucky. Fortunately my dry-January expires the day I arrive.
By Basilbullneck
Ben and Tom, for me, don't work - too similar in style, I suspect. However, Tom and Underhill were very effective in RWC until the final. Underhill is a very destructive tackler and Tom brilliant over the ball and as a link player. But neither are bruising carriers like Vunipola.

We do need a carrier at 8. Mako at 1 is a good distributor but still has weaknesses as a scrummager as admitted by Jones. Therefore we keep him in for his carrying and weaken the set piece, or bring in Marler and lose a carrier. I'm not sure (but would like to be proven wrong) that Genge can do the basics as well as the carrying.

Thanks for the update about yeandle - I thought he was back from injury.
By hirdyshark
Quite a few people on Twitter suggesting that fresh faces will be brought in after the first two rounds, with Ben potentially one of them...
By Clutch
Forgot that Billy was injured when I was commenting on the squad.

Don’t get the suggestion Ben should be in ahead of Underhill. Underhill had a good World Cup, not far off Curry standards. He’s played in a World Cup final. He’s a good player at the highest level. You could argue that Ben should have been a chance at some point but at this point in time he should be in the squad. Earl has been great and offers something different and the rest are proven.
Northampton (A)

Bookies have Saints as 6/1 on favourites - unsurpr[…]

I agree very much with Southstand, above. The Jud[…]

Sarries automatic relegation?

In the end this may benefit Saracens, England , an[…]