England watch 2020-21 (CupWatch #1)

Discussion in 'English Super League' started by adamkungl, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Ralph Rimmer is quoted as saying
    “I am confident that we will do the Aussies in the Ashes series at the end of this year”

    source:

    So lets assume the blue stripe on the GB shirt was too distracting for the players last year and England will be back to their best. What team can they pick with the best shot at a series win at home?

    Form and injuries over the next 10 months will have their say no doubt, but I'm pencilling this as a starting point

    1 Lomax
    2 Makinson
    3 Connor
    4 Gildart
    5 Handley
    6 Williams
    7 Gale
    8 Walmsley
    9 Hodgson
    10 Watts
    11 Bateman
    12 Whitehead
    13 Thompson

    14 Tomkins
    15 T Burgess
    16 G Burgess
    17 McMeeken

    The following are thereabouts
    Liam Farrell
    Josh Jones
    James Roby
    Daryl Clark

    I'm discounting the following due to age and declining form
    James Graham
    Jermaine McGilvery
    Sean O'Loughlin
    Ryan Hall

    I'm discounting the following due to being hopeless 3rd rate plodders
    Jackson Hastings
    Blake Austin
    Gareth Widdop

    Who's worth watching out for in 2020?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  2. Coastbloke

    Coastbloke Bench

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    No Widdop - Even as 2nd rate or a plodder?
    I expect Graham to be there..
     
  3. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Haha I completely forgot Widdop.

    That said, he isn't in any team I'd pick. I think he's a 'safe' but extremely limited half. In the last 3 years, all Englands best performances have come with him either at fullback or not in the side at all.
     
  4. Burns

    Burns First Grade

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    Forwards good. Backs bad. Same as it ever was. Would have Roby or Clarke in the squad.

    sad to not see Hall or McGillvery.
     
  5. Perth Red

    Perth Red Immortal

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    I've been waiting 40 years to see a England/GB series victory. I fear I may never see one in my lifetime!
     
  6. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Imo this is the weakest Australian team in a long time. It's now or never. 2 years in a row at home.

    That's as strong a backline as they can name and I don't think it's poor. Handley maybe the iffiest - will keep an eye out for other wingers through the year.
    There are options at fullback - Tomkins Hardaker and in a pinch Ratchford but Lomax probably has first shot.

    I'll admit I forgot about Roby first. He's as talented an Englishman as there has been in the last 20 years, but is pushing 35!

    Hodgson is being criticised recently for his perceived overly dominant play but working with good halves (ie not Widdop and Hastings) he's come up with the goods before.

    Was tossing up between Clark and Tomkins on the bench, and I think Sam is the better option. Can play anywhere in the backline, would do the job at rake, and can come on as a ball playing lock to change things up. Clark in the extended squad though.

    Hall isn't even playing first grade, McGilvery underperformed in 2019 both at club and test level. Both are over 30.
     
  7. JFK Files

    JFK Files Juniors

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    I think 2020 is the year you will see some new fresh names, I think Jake Trueman, Tom Johnstone & possibly Stevie Ward if he stays fit will get a chance.
     
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  8. Springs09

    Springs09 Juniors

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    Widdop has always played better as a fullback for England, he was their form player at fullback in 2017.
    Doesn't Lomax play at 6 for St Helens? Why haven't they tried him at 6 for England?

    I'd go something like
    1. Gareth Widdop
    2. Tom Makinson
    3. Jake Connor
    4. Oliver Gildart
    5. Tom Johnstone
    6. Jonny Lomax
    7. George Williams
    8. Luke Thompson
    9. Josh Hodgson
    10. James Graham
    11. Ben Currie
    12. Elliot Whitehead
    13. John Bateman

    14. Daryl Clark
    15. Tom Burgess
    16. Alex Walmsley
    17. Liam Watts

    18. Sam Tomkins
    19. Jack Walker
    20. Ash Handley
    21. Jake Trueman
    22. Josh Jones
    23. Stevie Ward
    24. Matty Lees

    Widdop was England's best player at fullback in 2017 and I'd give him another go there with Lomax at 6. Hopefully Williams excels in the 7 at Canberra. Jake Trueman seems a good young player and I'd give him a run in the squad. Gale has never seemed up to it. Hastings or Austin - no thanks.

    Tomkins is still one of England's best attacking options and should be given first crack if Widdop fails. Jack Walker should be pushed through the system quicker. Evalds is another who seems ok. Hardaker would be alright though he's never been exceptional in an England shirt, while Ratchford is good for utility value but likely 4th or 5th choice at fullback.

    Makinson is an obvious choice for one wing. Johnstone is on fire whenever he's not injured, hopefully he can stay fit for a couple seasons. Handley looks the next best choice. Hall and McGillvary are just that foot too slow now.

    Connor and Gildart seem like the only centre choices. Watkins has fallen off the map, same with Percival. Hardaker is average at centre and England's other centre choices in recent years have been backrowers.

    England still have plenty of choice in props. Graham may be over the hill a little but has never let England down and I don't think ever will. If he's still around he should be picked. Thompson for the other starter with Walmsley and Watts on the bench. We know how good Tom Burgess can be but he needs to show it a bit more. George has been mediocre lately but if he's back to his best for Wigan he can be right back in there. Matty Lees seems a good young player I'd give a shot. Hill is a bit too past it now.

    Hodgson is usually rubbish in an England shirt but his potential can't be denied. Maybe if Bennett isn't coach he'd be better. Clark just over Roby for me, though like Graham I don't think Roby would ever let England down even if he was 35. The best I've seen England is when Roby is at hooker. That said Clark is the form Super League hooker.

    Back-row I'm very much not a fan of an extra prop at lock which I think wastes the position. Bateman is just as good at lock as on an edge. Currie I think is a great player and should be there if he keeps fit. Whitehead goes without saying. Josh Jones or Jack Hughes would be a suitable back-up. Stevie Ward was a player I always heard great things about but always pulled out injured when selected for England, haven't heard much of him since but surely he still has that potential? O'Loughlin is too old and though still has some good in him is not worth keeping a younger player out of the squad for. Joe Philbin I left out cause I hope he sticks with Ireland.
     
  9. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    "Widdop sucks" is the hill I die on

    Imo James Graham tries his guts out but he doesn't have the impact anymore, and this will only get more pronounced by years end/next years world cup.
     
  10. Springs09

    Springs09 Juniors

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    Not every prop needs a big impact though, and I'd much rather James Graham try his guts out and make 40 tackles a game than have a George Burgess make 4 handling errors a game.
     
  11. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    GB 'middle forwards' run metres on tour, v NZ1, NZ2, Tonga, PNG

    Hill 86, 57, 99, 53
    T Burgess 117, 84, 156, 119
    Graham 68, 62, 67, NA
    Thomson 62, NA, 105
    Walmsley 110, 120, 152, 115
    Philbin 112, NA, NA, 121
    Jones 81, 69, 117, NA

    (NAs include early injury)

    One stat doesn't tell a whole picture obviously, but Walmsley and and Tom B really stand out here. Hill and Grahams attacking numbers are poor.
    Graham is probably the strongest defender of the group but is it enough with some quality young players coming through?
     
  12. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Does anyone think the RFL has the audacity to punt Bennett?

    Or maybe a bigger call, keep him on but pull him into line on his ridiculous selection policies...
     
  13. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak First Grade

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    New coach and new players with fresh ideas.
     
  14. Perth Red

    Perth Red Immortal

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    Wouldn't be so bad but there is a very good English coach sitting with nothing to do! Give Shaun Wane the job you muppets.
     
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  15. TDD91

    TDD91 Juniors

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    Couldn't agree more. He'd have players running through walls to play for the shirt. Might not be the prettiest style of play, but we'd put up a better fight than we did under Bennett.
     
  16. JFK Files

    JFK Files Juniors

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    3 players that English Rugby League need to overcome injuries and rediscover their best form is Ben Currie, Kallum Watkins & Mark Percival. At their best they are a genuine attacking threat, something they lacked out wide last November.
    Tom Johnstone, Dom Manfredi & Luke Gale will also put pressure on if fit.
     
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  17. adamkungl

    adamkungl Immortal

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    Watkins is playing in Australia, he's a shoe in if Bennett is still coach
     
  18. Walter sobchak

    Walter sobchak First Grade

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    Had devastating injuries not struck Manfredi over these past 3 years then he would have been one of the first names on the team sheet.

    Injuries have also plagued Johnstone and robbed him of a definite international callup too.
     

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