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Tex Evans Thigh

England Ashes 2020

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So, big disappointment with GB and what now seems like a long road to get over Australia next year.

I still think it’s achievable but how do we get there? My thoughts:

Coach - need a change. I’d go with Wane on a full time basis. I think his motivational style would be perfect for international football.

Back room - hard to say but I’m not sure what Sinfield is offering. Or Peacock for that matter.

Schedule - mid-season game v a pacific island team and pre-tourni game v France as a minimum. Several meet ups during the season.

Team - needs an overhaul. A lot of players at the end now and time for a few to step up. If everyone is fit I’d be looking at:

Hardaker, Makinson, Percival, ???, Burgess/Grace/Handley

Williams (depending on NRL form), Widdop (depending on Warrington form) 

Thompson, Hodgson (Bear with me) Burgess

Bateman, Currie (injuries), Whitehead

Burgess, Watts, Walmsley?, Clark, Jones

Players that need to be put out to pasture - Hall, Mcgilvary, Hill, Graham. Others who aren’t up to it at international level like Lomax binned.

Hodgson is going to get picked so we need to find a way to get the best out of him. I still think Widdop is our best half but has a lot to prove. 
 

I’m hoping some young guys step up as well but I believe we have the tools. We just need to plan and execute better.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on the plan for 2020?

Edited by Tex Evans Thigh

Formerly Alistair Boyd-Meaney

fifty thousand Poouunds from Keighley...weve had im gid."

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The biggest thing for me is getting back to picking players in their actual positions and picking players who are in form. That means Bennett leaves. Sinfield et al is probably a separate discussion, questionable qualifications for their roles but it's not really clear what they do.

Agree with the players you mention being 'put out to pasture'. Although I'd like to see some younger players push on and get in ahead of them on merit.

With Hodgson a lot depends on how we want to see England play. His style works fine when it's safety first, slowly slowly catchy monkey, but as we don't have too many line breakers or dominant forwards, we're reliant on our hooker to get us quick play-the-balls for the extra space. As Hodgson can't pass off the floor and doesn't seem to organise the players around him too well, it just slows everything down. A good season from Clarke should see Hodgson lose his spot. Roby is still our best hooker but I don't see him doing 80 minutes at international level for two more seasons and would rather have a younger lively backup if we've got one.

It's difficult to judge the rest this early if we pick on form though. Can Johnstone stay fit? Can Connor stick to a position and find form? Can Widdop show he has more to his game than a pass and a high kick? Can any youngsters kick on and demand selection?

Just feels like we've wasted a year though to be honest, all a bit depressing.

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3 hours ago, Moove said:

The biggest thing for me is getting back to picking players in their actual positions and picking players who are in form. That means Bennett leaves. Sinfield et al is probably a separate discussion, questionable qualifications for their roles but it's not really clear what they do.

Agree with the players you mention being 'put out to pasture'. Although I'd like to see some younger players push on and get in ahead of them on merit.

With Hodgson a lot depends on how we want to see England play. His style works fine when it's safety first, slowly slowly catchy monkey, but as we don't have too many line breakers or dominant forwards, we're reliant on our hooker to get us quick play-the-balls for the extra space. As Hodgson can't pass off the floor and doesn't seem to organise the players around him too well, it just slows everything down. A good season from Clarke should see Hodgson lose his spot. Roby is still our best hooker but I don't see him doing 80 minutes at international level for two more seasons and would rather have a younger lively backup if we've got one.

It's difficult to judge the rest this early if we pick on form though. Can Johnstone stay fit? Can Connor stick to a position and find form? Can Widdop show he has more to his game than a pass and a high kick? Can any youngsters kick on and demand selection?

Just feels like we've wasted a year though to be honest, all a bit depressing.

Forgot about Johnston. Hopefully he can make it back, great player. 
 

There’s a full thread on Hodgson but it feels like he tries too hard for England/GB. He’s an excellent NRL player and I disagree about the safety first stuff. He’s very skillful and creative in the most exciting attacking team in the NRL. I think it’s an attitude thing and someone needs to get hold of him and give him a clear directive on what his role is. Otherwise we’d be better off with Danny Houghton for 20 mins and Clarke coming on for him. Roby is one of the best players I’ve seen but his time is done at international level. 
 

Agree it feels wasted. The positive is we can start again...hopefully.

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Formerly Alistair Boyd-Meaney

fifty thousand Poouunds from Keighley...weve had im gid."

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20 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Why are tickets so much more expensive for the Tottenham fixture compared to the Bolton and Elland Road game. 

£20, £25, £35, £45 at Bolton and Elland Road

£25, £35, £45, £55, £70 at Tottenham 

London Weighting 😉

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1 hour ago, MatthewWoody said:

Grace? 

Yeah that’s gotta be a mistake, can’t see him ever putting his hand up for England. Johnstone will surely be in there if fit. Hopefully Manfredi can get back to form and fitness too. 

It certainly does feel like a wasted year with the Dad’s Army approach. We’re very much in a transitional phase. Players like Walker, Smithies, Trueman and Newman could all be pushing for spots next year and I’d expect some other youngsters to break into SL and make an impact and potentially be in consideration if the focus is for 2021. I think the likes of Jake Wardle has potential to be international quality if he fills out. Very much depends on if he fulfills his potential and stays injury free though 

Edited by DoubleD
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2 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Why are tickets so much more expensive for the Tottenham fixture compared to the Bolton and Elland Road game. 

£20, £25, £35, £45 at Bolton and Elland Road

£25, £35, £45, £55, £70 at Tottenham 

Wait until you see the price of a pint down here

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6 minutes ago, burnleywelsh said:

Welsh !

I know, but some forumer said Grace

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17 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Wait until you see the price of a pint down here

These days Manchester and other Northern cities are expensive too. I was in Manchester for the Grand Final and I'd say the average was over £4 for ale. It's about £4.30 here in West London.

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2 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Why are tickets so much more expensive for the Tottenham fixture compared to the Bolton and Elland Road game. 

£20, £25, £35, £45 at Bolton and Elland Road

£25, £35, £45, £55, £70 at Tottenham 

Bolton stadium hire = tenner because they are skint

Spurs stadium hire = more than a tenner

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21 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Bolton stadium hire = tenner because they are skint

Spurs stadium hire = more than a tenner

I don't think it's that much more. You are only talking a 5er on the lower band tickets.

I imagine the 70 quid top bracket ones are far better than what Bolton or Leeds have to offer and is reflected accordingly.

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I'm not usually one to criticise and have been happy with the national teams performances up until now but these performances have been poor.

We seem to lack in so many areas.

Our back line needs a complete overhaul as we don't seem to have any gamebreakers/danger men and creativity in the halves. 

In the pack I think we missed a Sam Burgess/Adrian Morley type player who rips into the opposition and feel that our front row were a bit too much just up and down without much skill

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15 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

In the pack I think we missed a Sam Burgess/Adrian Morley type player who rips into the opposition and feel that our front row were a bit too much just up and down without much skill

Ironically, we had Graham for much of the tour whose speciality used to be passing at the line and providing an extra dimension for the attack and creating more space for the forwards. Yet for some reason he hardly did it. So disappointing.

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This is the Australia team from 2015, not one player is around just 4 years later. If players get old together you have to make wholesale changes and rebuild.

image.png.8f31033f0bcf0313dd0532bea0e5c7bd.png

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1 minute ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Ironically, we had Graham for much of the tour whose speciality used to be passing at the line and providing an extra dimension for the attack and creating more space for the forwards. Yet for some reason he hardly did it. So disappointing.

Tough, skillful forwards has always been the trademark of the English pack. 

Whitehead and Bateman fit that mould but we need at least one of our props and our loose forward to play that game in my opinion

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53 minutes ago, bazzzz65 said:

These days Manchester and other Northern cities are expensive too. I was in Manchester for the Grand Final and I'd say the average was over £4 for ale. It's about £4.30 here in West London.

Yep but compared to the pubs around places like Cas or Wigan it's a different beast

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55 minutes ago, bazzzz65 said:

These days Manchester and other Northern cities are expensive too. I was in Manchester for the Grand Final and I'd say the average was over £4 for ale. It's about £4.30 here in West London.

Correct, Manchester and Leeds are easily as expensive as London, drinks wise. Easily. 

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6 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

Tough, skillful forwards has always been the trademark of the English pack. 

Whitehead and Bateman fit that mould but we need at least one of our props and our loose forward to play that game in my opinion

I completely agree. But the fact that we have/had one who fits that bill and then didn't play that way must have been a tactical/coaching decision.

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There were loads of shortcomings in this Great Britain team.  But in particular pace and athleticism in the backs and creativity in the halves.

With another 12 months of development behind them (and assuming fit and healthy players) there is potentially a very different look for the Ashes.

Full back:  This is a very difficult position for England as full back is now the most important attacking position in Rugby League and our cupboard is very bare.  Neither Hardaker (poor passing game) or Lomax (lack of pace) are world class.  Let's hope the likes of Jack Walker or Jack Welsby (perhaps for 2021) can step up.

Wings:  If fit and firing then Makinson and Johnston are our best.  Manfredi comes into the mix if he can regain form and fitness.

Centres:  Again we need athletic centres who offer a threat with ball in hand.  For me this is Percival and Gildart with Harry Newman the best of the new breed at the moment.

Stand off: Widdop was hugely disappointing in this last tour and if he is a standout for Wire in 2020 it says a lot about our comp.  Depending on the half back I would go for a running and creative stand off and I think Williams in 2018 did a reasonable job.

Scrum half: Jackson Hastings.  Why, because he is the best available half we have and we should let him boss the team like he did at Salford and he will at Wigan.  Harry Smith offered the best young half back performance I have seen against the Australian Schoolboys last time out but with Hastings to Wigan I am struggling to see how he will fulfil his potential.

Middle Forwards:  Tom Burgess, Thompson and Walmsley are nailed on if fit. Watts should be in as well.  Again I would add some athleticism and youth in the likes of Matty Lees and Morgan Smithies.  We need to see the likes of Oliver Wilson and Tom Holroyd fulfil their potential as well.  Like Widdop, it will be interesting to see how George Burgess goes at Wigan.

Edge forwards:  Bateman and Whitehead (although the latter disappointed in this tour).  I have always liked Greenwood as he has size which is valuable at this level.

Hooker: The best combination for England is Roby and Clark.  They both suit our style far more than Hodgson.  I would have Roby in the ashes squad even if we didn't have him in 2021 for the World Cup.  An ashes win is worth it.

1. Walker

2. Makinson

3. Gildart

4. Percival

5. Johnstone

6. Williams

7. Hastings

8. T. Burgess

9. Roby

10. Thompson

11. Bateman

12. Whitehead

13. Smithies

 

14. Walmsely

15. Clark

16. Lees

17. Watts

 

For 2021 I would hope to see Welsby at full back and Newman in the centre and some more of the talented young forwards coming into contention.

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