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Thread: Autumn Internationals

  1. #1

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    Autumn Internationals

    BBC Sport - Wales suffer Dan Lydiate injury blow ahead of autumn Tests

    Still over a month away but Lydiate has been ruled out for Wales after suffering a nasty broken ankle. Hopefully it's not a 6 month + injury or he might be struggling for the Lions.

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    Reports in Wales is that it's likely he'll miss the start of the 6 Nations but he's not had a scan yet. Luckily for us we've got Ryan Jones waiting to come in, who's been in tremendous form. Load of young back rowers looking to step up too.

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    Yeah it's not as big a blow as it would be for another home nation since your so well stocked in the back row. He's an excellent player though, big loss. If he's struggling to make the 6 nations then it'll be touch and go for the Lions. Any set back and he'll be struggling, worrying since for me he was a guarantee for a place in the starting 15.

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    England's squad:

    Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), James Haskell (London Wasps), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Courtney Lawes. (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Tom Palmer (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

    Backs: Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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    Think Wales will struggle this autumn, not keen on Howley as head coach. Given form and fitness, Warburton shouldn't start. Tipuric outplaying him and finishing games, was brilliant vs Leicester. For me, Warburton's not been fully fit since the World Cup. Him being captain will probably see him start though. Other debate is at 10, Priestland like Warburton hasn't looked as good since the World Cup and Biggar has been in good form, i'd expect to see Priestland start the first game though. Hopefully Adam Jones will be fit for the games too.

    Backs: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets), H Robinson (Cardiff Blues), A Beck (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), D Biggar (Ospreys), J Hook (Perpignan), R Priestland (Scarlets), T Knoyle (Scarlets), M Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).

    Forwards: S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), R Bevington (Ospreys), P James (Bath), A Jarvis (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Toulon), A Jones (Ospreys), R Hibbard (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), M Rees (Scarlets), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Perpignan), I Evans (Ospreys), A W Jones (Ospreys), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Jones (Ospreys), R McCusker (Scarlets), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Tipuric (Ospreys), J Turnbull (Scarlets), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt).

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    Was at Ireland's open training session earlier. It was announced at it that O'Driscoll and Best would be out for the guts of the next 2-3 months which is a big blow for us. Judging by the backs moves in training it looks like Earls will fill in in the centre, Tommy Bowe at fullback (as Kearney is also out) and Trimble and Zebo out wide. Bit of a makeshift back line to say the least.

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    Not the best of news. Think I'm right in saying the seedings for the pool allocation for the next world cup are decided after the Autumn internationals as well so not the best time to have injuries.

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    Yeah I think you're right. O'Driscoll will miss Leinster's double header with Clermont in the Heineken Cup also which is a big blow.

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    Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Scott Williams, Jamie Roberts, George North; Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Aaron Jarvis, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton (Captain), Toby Falatau.

    Subs: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington, Paul James. Rob McCusker, Justin Tipuric, Mike Phillips, James Hook, Liam Williams.

    Mike Phillips dropped to bench as he wasn't allowed by his club to go to Poland training camp. Personally think Warburton should have been dropped or moved to 6 to accomodate Tipuric who has been one of the form 7's in Europe whereas Warburton has looked unfit and off form for the Blues. Disappointed Biggar not at least on bench, Hook probably gets nod due to versatility. There are some who think Biggar should start at 10 given form. Only other change i'd make is Hibbard for Rees. Apart from that we should have enough. Scrum will be a struggle without Adam Jones, probably why Rees gets nod over Hibbard to be honest.

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    England team to face Fiji:

    Alex Goode (Saracens); Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Ugo Monye (Harlequins); Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Dan Cole (Leicester), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester).

    Replacements: David Paice (London Irish), David Wilson (Bath), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Tom Wood (Northampton), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins)

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    Interesting to see how Tom Youngs will do, did well in the tour game in South Africa. Was hoping to see Vunipola start, I think Fiji is the only game he can get decent minutes in since I don't think his scrummaging isn't good enough for international at the moment.

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    Ireland are missing O'Driscoll, O'Connell, Best, Ferris, O'Brien and Kearney to face South Africa. Probably our 6 most important players barring Sexton. Zebo selected at fullback is an interesting one but could come back to bite us. Never seen him play at fullback for Munster or for Ireland at underage level - he has the capabilities as he's a good boot on him and he's very dangerous when given space. His aerial ability will be tested though and defensively he's been caught out in the past. Strauss starting at hooker which is good to see. Could be a potential starter for the Lions if he emulates his Leinster form for Ireland. Really good player.

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    Tendai "The Beast" Mtawrira has pulled out of South Africa's side with Heart Palpitations. Hope he's OK. Bit of a boost for Ireland. Think all home nations will struggle this weekend.

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    God hope he's alright.

    Yeah it could be a tough few weeks.

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    Think he's had something similar before, hopefully it's not too serious. Big loss for South Africa.

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    Unsurprised by Wales loss. Reputation over form. Turnbull and Warburton were very poor. Took the clueless Howley until the 70th minute to bring Tipuric on, 70 mins too late. Poor performance, thought Jarvis, Faletau and Knoyle were the only positives for us.

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    Don't think much can be read into the England game. Fiji are good going forward but defensive discipline has always let them down. Will get a better idea of where England are going against Australia next week.

    Ireland doing well against South Africa.

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    Wasn't really watching but surprised how close the Ireland game was. Despite the loss, think the result was a positive.

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    We were doing well for a while but never looked like scoring a try against them. They are a very tough side to break down and we looked void of ideas without O'Driscoll. Physically it was like men against boys.

    Only saw highlights of Wales-Argentina but it looks like we'll really struggle against them as well as they also look in very good physical condition also and have always been a tough side to break down. Camacho is a flyer.

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    The Welsh public have been listened to. Form over reputation. Team to face Samoa:

    L Halfpenny, A Cuthbert, A Beck, J Roberts, G North, D Biggar, M Phillips; P James, R Hibbard, A Jarvis, B Davies, I Evans, R Jones (c), J Tipuric, T Faletau.

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    Warburton has found form hard to come by for a while now, yet most rugby pundits still have him a certainty for Lions captain. Haven't seen much of Tipuric, is he a similar type of player to Warburton ?

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    Warburton for me has not been fit since the World Cup. Has hardly completed 80 minutes and his performances since the World Cup have not been up to scratch. Said the same during 6 Nations and in the summer. It's being called "a surprise", but not for me.

    Tipuric for me is a very good player, potentially world class. In my opinion he's on a par with Warburton when both are on form, certainly better than him right now. With Lydiate out, I think we should maybe look at Warburton at 6 with Tipuric at 7 but I think Ryan Jones will have a lot to say about that, given his form too. Tipuric is quicker to the breakdown than Warburton, puts a big shift in, very fit and very determined player, think he's more of a 7 than Warburton is too, more natural openside. If you look at the Argentina game on the weekend, I can't really remember Warburton doing much at the breakdown, I recall Tipuric turning it over as soon as he came on. It's not only the #7 jersey Warburton should be worried about, Tipuric has captain credentials too, think he captained Ospreys at 19.

    When he's played for Wales, he's done very well, not been given a proper chance yet in my opinion. Friday is his chance. Samoa are a physical side. I really hope he takes his chance. Having watched him a lot over the past few seasons, I think he's brilliant. He's had games were i've been genuinely stunned at his brilliance, where he's just everywhere.

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    Yeah he's been earning rave reviews, looking forward to watching him. Wales are blessed for back rowers at the minute. Lydiate is a big loss though I'd say.

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    Very much so. Player of the 6 Nations for me. Aaron Jarvis did well last week but Adam Jones is also a big loss. Missing some key players at the moment but last week's performance was pretty unacceptable.

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    Really not sure what to say about tonight. Lessons not learned. Players not blameless but Howley's tactics certainly not helping in my opinion. Gone backwards with him in charge of our last 5 games. Apart from that... players lacking in confidence... losing physical battle... no go forward, too much lateral movement... too much kicking when we've got men over.

    Biggar had a good 35 mins and then he took a massive hit at the ruck, bit dangerous from the Samoan who went with his shoulder. At first it looked like Biggar only had a blood injury but likely shoulder damage, arm was in a sling at FT. Priestland came on and twice in 2-3 minutes we had men over and he kicked the ball away, very frustrating, must be a confidence thing because a year ago at the World Cup, he wasn't doing that. And that sums it up really. A year on from a positive world cup, we've gone backwards. Can't see us winning either of our next 2 games but i'd really like to see an improvement in performance.

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