Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Out with the old...

The new England 6 Nations squad was announced today by caretaker head coach Arnold Rimmer, former holographic second technician of the mining spaceship Red Dwarf.

Forwards - Botha (Saracens), Clark (Northampton), Corbisiero (L.Irish), Cole (Leicester), Croft (Leicester), Deacon (Leicester), Dowson (Northampton), Hartley (Northampton), Lawes (Northampton), Marler (Harlequins), Mears (Bath), Morgan (Scarlets), Palmer (Stade Francais), Robshaw (Harlequins), Stevens (Saracens), Webber (Wasps), Wilson (Bath), Wood (Northampton).

Backs - Ashton (Northampton), Barritt (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins), Dickson (Northampton), Farrell (Saracens), Flood (Leicesters), Foden (Northampton), Hodgson (Saracens), Simpson (Wasps), Sharples (Gloucester), Strettle (Saracens), Tuilagi (Leicester), Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Youngs (Leicester).

As England squad announcements go, this one was about as predictable as a honey badger on speed, with several England regulars of recent vintage jettisoned in favour of young, eager upstarts from the Premiership.

So, progress of sorts but, never satisfied, for me the selection still does not go far enough.

Principal concerns include:
  • absence of a midfield cutting edge (what on earth does Billy 36 need to do?)
  • lack of backrow balance - no out-and-out openside
  • relatively lightweight second row
  • retention of a few fairly ordinary players who will not be around in 2015 and will contribute little in the interim.
The question is, if I was the head coach of one of England's 6 Nations rivals, would I be worried?

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