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is this a "he was inaffective at centre so maybe he will have an easier time and do something on the wing" situation? dont think it is good for anyone to be honest. if tuilagi isnt international standard then find a centre and winger who are.
Posted 15:02 15th June 2012
Hopefully this is some sort of joke. There are plenty of England back three options that are good attacking players - the issue for years has been midfield and Tuilagi looks like a decent long term prospect there. My 10, 12, 13 for the next test would be Flood, Allen, Tuilagi - Tuilagi may not be the best passer but he runs onto the ball at some good angles (ask Wales) and England always look more threatening when he plays. When he scores tries like he has against France and Wales - from very little - it makes a big difference.
Centre is a balance issue for England, as it has been right back to Tindall/Noon, both bashers. You need a basher and someone with some attacking flair, and both need to be great tacklers able to take on people with the physical attributes of a Tuilagi all day long.
Allen/Tuilagi to start, then Joseph coming on ans switching Tuilagi to inside with half an hour to go, would at least go some way towards settling this eternal question.
Posted 17:08 13th June 2012
You look at the best 12s in the world at this time like Jamie Roberts, M'aa Nonu etc they're not technically the best ball players which is another striking similarity to Tuilagi, but they have the ability to suck in defences. I dont see the point in him playing him on the wing or even at 13 cause that wont leave the space out wide for the speedsters to score the trys. Rugby is simple
Posted 12:53 13th June 2012
He doesn't pass so put him at the end of the line. I agree with it. He can come in to run attacking line breaking lines with Ashton. No point in bashing the Boks. They'll absorb it all day, even from Nonu and SBW and all the Super 15 bashers. Without an off load its harmless unless within 5 metres. Flood and Farrell should try 10 and 12, Joseph 13. Have Wade and a 9 plus 5 forwards on bench and shift Manu to 12 for one of Flood or Farrell if things aren't working after 60 mins.
Posted 12:05 13th June 2012
i felt he wasnt as effetive as he could be at 12........and i reckon he'll be even less effective at wing.....could be useful on the bllindside though
Posted 11:42 13th June 2012
It's refreshing that lancaster is willing to make changes and try new things unlike Johnson who seemed to get stuck in a rut with picking the same players even when they played bad for several games.
@markmassive I can see why MT should be a 12 but if he never brings in other players around him and just slows down play by just running into people. Although I absolutely loved it when he sent D Vill flying a couples of times!
Posted 11:38 13th June 2012
I'm also unsure of Tuilagi on the wing. In a lot of tight tests the wingers do not see as much ball as we would like them to. Tuilagi is too useful to not have the ball in his hands going forward. He is one of our few players that can create the gaps. I understand that there needs to be a bit of tinkering and I agree with some of it (Foden on the wing for the first test, for example) but let's be sensible about it. I also agree with the midweek fixtures BUT it needs to be against quality opposition and a side that is going to test the team. I fear this Barbarian type team won┐t (kiss of death planted there then lol).
Posted 10:50 13th June 2012
I agree that Flood at 10 with MT at 12 and JJ at 13 is my preferred line up. But one issue we had was the lack of "flair" and creativity from the centres last Saturday. Flood will bring a maturity and experience, which Farrell was lacking. His place-kicking is almost as good as Farrell's but his game awareness is better. I'm not usually one to want Flood ahead of Farrell, but OF was shown up last week.
I worry that MT will still become a battering ram and the ball will rarely get to JJ and beyond. If MT can work on his ability to draw a defender (or two) and pass at the last moment, or off-load like SBW (can anyone do that..?!), then we're onto something.
If not, TF at 10, OF at 12 and JJ at 13. MT and Ashton on the wings with Foden at 15.
Pretty potent, good in defence and attack.
Sometimes you just want your best players on the pitch - look at Samo playing on the wing for Aus!!
But how is MT under a high ball..?
Quandries and questions, eh?!
Posted 10:49 13th June 2012
I think Tuilagi will play himself out at 12 unless his game develops further. I don't recall one off-load last week. Yes, he drew in 2 to 3 Boks whenever he touched the ball, but unless he passes or off-loads into that tackle, Eng will miss out on the continuity they will need to crack defenses at the int level. He also is an incomplete player in defense. I think this is a move for what is best for this tour's team, and this week's game. I don't think it is a long-term decision by Lancaster, but this could very easily be Tuilagi's decision to make himself - i.e., by improving/changing in time. Yet, he is still oh-so-young.
Posted 10:48 13th June 2012
Tuilagi is a 12, that is his position no doubt. If only i could pick the England team. In Modern Rugby you need a blend of players that can punch holes and stretch teams. You need your 12 to draw in the back row forwards, then the outdide backs (13, 15 and winger) to stretch the defence. Rugby is simple, why complicate it? Also I'd have Jonathan Joseph start at 13.
Posted 09:49 13th June 2012
Obviously Tuilagi can play on the wing but i just hope he doesn't become a 'utility player'. That'll be 12, 13, and wing now. In the past 'utility players' have ended up bench warming most of the time. Just look at Hook. Incredibly talented but can't nail a position down for Wales because no-one's really sure where he plays best even though he says he's a fly-half. Plus what does it say to the wingers in the squad when we had a fullback playing there last weekend and potentially a centre playing there this weekend.
Posted 09:03 13th June 2012