398. The England Squad for RWC2015

Stuart Lancaster has named his squad for RWC2015 and the England media has immediately jumped on him.  Most of the aggro is around not naming Danny Cipriani as a first-five, and naming rugby league import Sam Burgess in the centres.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.29.23 am


If you had ever watched Cipriani playing for the Melbourne Rebels in the Super XV you would wonder how he was ever in contention. Fragile, wayward and poor discipline. Maybe he’s improved since going back north, but the Southern Hemisphere loose forwards would have been salivating at the prospect of reintroducing themselves.

Sam Burgess is a very fine athlete, and a great leader on the field who inspires others around him. It’s a huge ask for any player to switch codes, but there’s enough history to say that a really great player can do it. Over to you, Sam.

There are two striking things for me about the squad. First that there are no truly world-class top drawer players in any position. Most of them would be struggling to be third or fourth in the world for their position.  It’s a hard road to win the Cup from that platform. Not impossible, just really bloody hard.

The second thing is the relative inexperience.  There are 471 caps in the 17 forwards named: Richie McCaw and Keven Mealamu have half that amount between them.  And the caps in the backs are even lower. That suggests that England have not been using the last four years very well.

Or as one wag put it, it looks like a good squad – for 2019.


About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
This entry was posted in Ned and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Go on. Have your say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s