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South Wakefield Sharks

James Graham - shoe in for England?

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Watching the Bulldogs v Knights match on Premier Sports today and it got me thinking about Graham and the England squad. He's generally considered an automatic for England, but I wonder how people think he has gone this year.

Haven't seen many Bulldogs matches this season, but when I have seen them, Graham doesn't seem to have had the same wow factor as last season. Can't think he's done owt wrong mind!

He obviously had the big suspension at the start of the season, but how has he been going generally this season?

Is he likely to be as devastating as usual for England in the World Cup this year, or is he not currently playing his best footy?

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He's been a top performer for the Bulldogs since his return. He should be an automatic selection

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I believe his return from his very long ban coincided with Canterbury's form picking right up and I don't think that many people would consider that to be a coincidence.

 

From what I've seen there hasn't been a problem with his form, he's just been utilised a bit differently in the sense that he's now often a starting prop for them whereas last season he was mainly used from the bench. He's still a world class player and will contribute much to the cause. He'd be an automatic selection for me. 

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Watching the Bulldogs v Knights match on Premier Sports today and it got me thinking about Graham and the England squad. He's generally considered an automatic for England, but I wonder how people think he has gone this year.

Haven't seen many Bulldogs matches this season, but when I have seen them, Graham doesn't seem to have had the same wow factor as last season. Can't think he's done owt wrong mind!

He obviously had the big suspension at the start of the season, but how has he been going generally this season?

Is he likely to be as devastating as usual for England in the World Cup this year, or is he not currently playing his best footy?

He's been a starting prop this season, usually playing for 60 minutes, so his impact won't have been as obvious as last season.  However, whenever I have watched the Dogs, as I do every time they play (although yet to watch today's game), the commentators wax lyrical over his tackle count and hit ups.  So I would say he is playing just as well as ever he did but being on from the outset means we don't notice his impact as much.

 

The Dogs as a team haven't performed as well as they did last year.  They fell way behind early doors with Jammer's ban, injuries and whatever was going on in Ben Barba's head meaning he was dropped for a few weeks.

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Chris Hill's another shoe in for England

Not sure I'd say "shoe in" for Hill. If we assume that England will go with four props, and that Sam Burgess plays at 13 with Lockers being crocked again. From the ETS there is Carvell, Hill, Morley, Mossop & Crabtree, plus Graham, plus maybe a Burgess or two. Be interesting to get that down to four.

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Not sure I'd say "shoe in" for Hill. If we assume that England will go with four props, and that Sam Burgess plays at 13 with Lockers being crocked again. From the ETS there is Carvell, Hill, Morley, Mossop & Crabtree, plus Graham, plus maybe a Burgess or two. Be interesting to get that down to four.

Appreciate your view hill and mossop stand out all season IMHO in SL

Carvell and Morley, very bitty season

Crabtree is to hit and miss, for his size doesn't make enough yards.

So hill,graham, mossop and burgess

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What order would people put the props in then?

Baring in mind I've not seen any NRL, I'd go with:

Crabtree, Mossop, Hill, Carvell, Morley from SL off the top of my head. Probably missed someone out!

Graham, and George Burgess to add to that. Possibly Tom and Luke.

There's 9. Who'd you have as the four?

And where would you put Sam Burgess if all are fit?

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From those ,I'd go Mossop,Hill,Graham and George Burgess with Sam Burgess at 13

If have Crabtree for Hill personally. Dream Team this year and never disappoints for England.

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Hill has never been knocked back in a game even when they are playing below par, although crabtree was selected for dream team he doesn't always have a top game especially when Giants are under the cosh.

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If have Crabtree for Hill personally. Dream Team this year and never disappoints for England.

Crabtree reminds me a lot of Ian Kirke,both should dominate games with their sheer physical size but very rarely do.

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Crabtree reminds me a lot of Ian Kirke,both should dominate games with their sheer physical size but very rarely do.

frank Bruno types- no killer instinct when it matters

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If I was going to put the props in order I'd go:

Sam Burgess

James Graham

George Burgess

Eorl Crabtree

Tom Burgess

Chris Hill

Lee Mossop

Luke Burgess

I rate Mossop and Hill, Mossop outclassed Crabtree on Thursday. But I can't see them making a break or completely getting on top of the opposition. They won't do anything wrong, but I can't see them having a real impact. Graham and S Burgess will both play 70 minutes likely and do 40ish tackles and touch near 200m and get through the hard work. The likes of Crabtree and the Burgess twins for myself will be more likely to make breaks and make serious metres.

But back to the thread and Graham has been exceptionally good this year. He's played a different role to last but the doggies form picked up on his return. He has to start at 10 in my opinion.

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Appreciate your view hill and mossop stand out all season IMHO in SL

Carvell and Morley, very bitty season

Crabtree is to hit and miss, for his size doesn't make enough yards.

So hill,graham, mossop and burgess

Burgess? You've got to be more specific than that. It's like saying you'd have "the big bloke" at prop!!

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We've got a bit of choice there. Against the Aussies, think I'd probably start with Graham & George Burgess, and then have Lee Mossop and one of Hill, Crabtree, Morley or Carvell on the bench.

I'd also go for Chase to cover in the halves when Sinfield goes to hooker should we need it and would then have Liam Farrell on the bench, starting Ellis & Westwood in the 2nd row, with Sam Burgess at 13.

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Burgess? You've got to be more specific than that. It's like saying you'd have "the big bloke" at prop!!

  

Which ever one is in form.... Sam's no.13

We've got a bit of choice there. Against the Aussies, think I'd probably start with Graham & George Burgess, and then have Lee Mossop and one of Hill, Crabtree, Morley or Carvell on the bench.

I'd also go for Chase to cover in the halves when Sinfield goes to hooker should we need it and would then have Liam Farrell on the bench, starting Ellis & Westwood in the 2nd row, with Sam Burgess at 13.

Ellis is nowhere near good enough for the England squad IMHO.... Finished.

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Which ever one is in form.... Sam's no.13

Ellis is nowhere near good enough for the England squad IMHO.... Finished.

Thought Ellis has been pretty impressive for Hull in recent weeks and I think experience not to do stupid things will be crucial against the Aussies. The fact he learned everything he knows at Wakey (like our Benny) has nothing to do with it, by the way!!

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Peacock has been amazing this year and if he changed his mind about playing for England would be brilliant off the bench.

In order (and including for the same of comparison Sam as a prop even if be plays 12 or 13)

Sam

Jammer

George

(All three starting)

Peacock

Crabtree

And if you wanted another I would have a punt with Scott Taylor who by all accounts has been far and away Wigan's best this year. That being said you'd consider Tom Burgess and Hill in there too. Morley is quite a way behind now for me but is still a very handy player.

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Its amazing, we've never before had this much depth in the national team. The fact we're having this debate is evidence that homegrown talent has been improved in quantity and quality. I think we're in a purple patch at the moment, very exciting as long as macca can gel them together!

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Its amazing, we've never before had this much depth in the national team. The fact we're having this debate is evidence that homegrown talent has been improved in quantity and quality. I think we're in a purple patch at the moment, very exciting as long as macca can gel them together!

I agree 100

Its amazing, we've never before had this much depth in the national team. The fact we're having this debate is evidence that homegrown talent has been improved in quantity and quality. I think we're in a purple patch at the moment, very exciting as long as macca can gel them together!

I agree 100%. Could this be the year?

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Its amazing, we've never before had this much depth in the national team. The fact we're having this debate is evidence that homegrown talent has been improved in quantity and quality. I think we're in a purple patch at the moment, very exciting as long as macca can gel them together!

I agree. Picking the 17, seemingly, used to be a case of listing around 12-14 shoo-ins and having a minor debate as to which players could fill the other few spots.

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Thought Ellis has been pretty impressive for Hull in recent weeks and I think experience not to do stupid things will be crucial against the Aussies. The fact he learned everything he knows at Wakey (like our Benny) has nothing to do with it, by the way!!

You make a great point there. Over the years we've made too many mistakes when under pressure and trying to force the game. It will be a tournament for mistake free rugby & big defence.

Also, we have rarely been able to dominate a game up front and set a platform to get a kicking game going.

I'd go with Ellis albeit he hasn't pulled up any trees this season. For similar reasons I would go for Morley.

After reading the thread I get the unusual feeling that we have a forward pack that can genuinely go head to head with the Aussies - it's been a long time between drinks.......!!

It's brewing up nicely.....

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