England Team for the Wales Game

2 02 2010

England Coach Martin Johnston named his team for the RBS 6 Nations game vs Wales at Twickenham on Saturday. How did I do with my preferred selection versus the actual team?

So, not bad.  Not sure about Dan Cole in the reserves cos I’ve never seen him play, and think that Louis Deacon should never be in any England squad, particularly ahead of Kennedy, Lawes etc.

Will we win?  The team looks good on paper, but it depends on the mindset of the team on the day.  If they stick to the robotic, by the numbers of England Teams over the past few years, then not a chance.  If they break out, then definately.  The Taffs will be up for it as usual, and the Lee Byrne affair will probably spice it up for them even more.

Prediction?  Ever the optimist, I’m going to say England by 9.

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    RIP Bill McLaren

    19 01 2010

    Legendary Rugby Commentator Bill McLaren died today, at the age of 86.  Rest in Peace, a true rugby gentleman.

    A Classic Commentary

    Favourite Quote “I’m no hod carrier but I would be laying bricks if he [Jonah Lomu] was running at me.”

    Man of Kent





    England’s Six Nations squad

    14 01 2010

    England’s 32-man squad for Six Nations Championship:


    So, Martin Johnson has named the England Six Nations & Saxons Squad. Not too bad, with the a good chance that the starting XV will be quite exciting.   I’d love him to select Ashton instead of the one trick pony (donkey actually) that is Banahan.  However, I don’t like the selection of Shontayne Hape for a number of reasons –

    • He’s been selected ahead of Geraghty.  OK Shane has been a bit flaky, but he’s a real talent
    • He’s 28, with less than a season of Rugby to his name (OK, Rugby Union for you chippy northern league types)
    • He’s not playing that well, in a Bath side that has been truly appalling this season
    • He’s a New Zealander, who has represented that country at a professional sport
    • League players (for all the chippy Northerners protestations otherwise) have not generally made the transition to Union sucessfully at the Highest Level when moving late in their career (they do well at Premiership/Super 14 level, but not generally at International Level – the blessed Jason Robinson excepted!)

    I dislike his selection, just as I disliked the selections of Henry Paul, and Lesley Vainikolo, not because they are former League player, but because they are cheapening the England Jersey, after playing League for the Kiwis.

    Now, you may think that I’m inconsistent because I welcome the return of Riki Flutey, and the continued inclusion of Dylan Hartley, but these two have never represented New Zealand at the highest level at Rugby, let alone any other sport.

    Ayway, as I said not a bad squad, and if I could pick the team this is what it’d be (more lightweight than the probable XV, but massively more exciting in the back line) –

    1. Sheridan
    2. Hartley
    3. White
    4. Shaw
    5. Lawes (I know Borthwick will probably be here)
    6. Moody
    7. Croft/Haskell (the other on the bench)
    8. Easter (God of War)
    9. Care (Must be set free to break)
    10. Flood (or Wilkinson if Johnson bans him from standing deep and taking dropgoal shots)
    11. Monye (out of form but complimentary to Ashton)
    12. Flutey
    13. Tait
    14. Ashton
    15. Armitage/Foden

    Reserves:  Wilson, Thompson, Borthwick (Lawes probably), Croft/Haskill , Armitage/Foden, Hodgson Wilkinson

    Don’t expect it to be anything like that in the backs, but still think we’ve a great chance at HQ against the Taffs on 6th Feb.

    Man of Kent





    I like England Rugby’s Twickenham Centenary Shirt

    7 01 2010

    England take on Wales in the 6 nations on the 6th of February, and to mark 100 years since the first International at Twickenham (also against Wales) England will wear a one-off commemorative jersey. The pearl white shirt was inspired by the one worn by that winning team (how we’d love a victory in February too!).

    I like this even more than the official Home shirt, mainly because of it’s traditional look and the fact that the sponsor’s logo is very small and on the sleeve.

    Man of Kent





    New England Rugby (change/away) Kit

    29 10 2009


    I wondered a few weeks ago about the new England change/away shirt, when blogging approvingly about the new home shirt. Well, here it is – PURPLE! To be worn for the first time against Argentina at HQ on 14th November. I don’t approve – the red change kit was bad enough, but purple? Wish they’d gone back to the traditional Navy Blue. Looks like it may be a bit of a nod back to the purple tracksuits worn by England in the 80’s & early 90’s:
    73-England-tracksuit-Nike
    Still hate it though!

    Man of Kent





    New England Rugby Kit

    18 09 2009

    At last, the England Rugby Jersey has dispensed with those horrible red swooshes, and is now (nearly all) White!

    Great. Wonder if the change kit will go back to the traditional navy blue?

    Man of Kent





    Rugby 7’s & the Olympics

    13 08 2009

    Rugby 7’s has been recommended for inclusion as an Olympic Sport from 2016. This is great, & makes good sense commercially too! 7s wouldn’t need additional facilities, & should fill the Olympic Stadium for the Couple of days of the tournament, raising a load of cash and gaining massive TV exposure.

    Should be great for Rugby development too, as in many countries, sport funding is linked to the Olympics.

    Hope that the IOC ratifies it in September.

    Not sure that Golf should have been included as well though – The Olympics are never going to represent the pinnacle for Golfers, just as they don’t for tennis stars. Would have thought that squash, karate etc. would benefit much more.

    Man of Kent

    Update: Should have added – please sign the petition at http://www.olympic-rugby.org/ to keep up the pressure.
    Man of Kent