- As featured in The Independent.
"Predictably, the ending of his international career did not end the argument about Pietersen's merits, as an army of informed commentators and Piers Morgan weighed in to defend or attack him."
- The Guardian's Andrew Anthony
Thanks to the Beeb.
England: Mark Cueto; David Strettle, Dan Hipkiss, Andy Farrell, Jason Robinson; Jonny Wilkinson, Shaun Perry; Andrew Sheridan, Mark Regan, Phil Vickery (captain), Simon Shaw, Steve Borthwick, Martin Corry, Joe Worsley, Nick Easter.
Replacements: George Chuter, Matt Stevens, Lewis Moody, Lawrence Dallaglio, Peter Richards, Toby Flood, Mathew Tait
Well it's a predictable mix of the first choice with the fringe. Ashton has given at least four players (Hipkiss, Farrell, Shaw & Easter) who might not be on the plane (or Eurostar) as of now to play themselves into or out of contention.
Back-row looks like a back-row a backs coach would pick too. Corry (who played v Wales & France at lock) is at blindside, Worsley (very much a 6) is at openside & Nick Easter (who'd you'd think would be behind Dallaglio & Ward-Smith) starts at 8.
The halves & the back-line are probably our current first choices tho. The absences of Abendanon, Cipriani & Lewsey might mean they miss out this time round.
I still don't really know about Shaun Perry, decent player but doesn't do it for me. I'd rather have Richards or Ellis (where is he for that matter?) in the 9 slot.
Where's my money?
Sadly we're not overburdened with choice at scrum-half since Matt the mouth gave it away. I prefer Perry to Richards tho on the grounds that Perry has the better distribution.
Just back from watching England fairly rip yer Welsh a new one @ Twickers. 62-5! My Wales look average. Admittedly it wasn't there strongest line-up, but to conceed a record score was a bit disappointing. Our pack was very impressive but (weird to say despite the score) our backs aren't gelling yet. Until the very end all our tries came from the forwards or Perry, who played as an adjunct to the pack today.
Think we'll find out more against the French (which I haven't got ticket for ) next week.
Perry was so gun. Centres still look ****, mind.
What was Brew sin binned for, btw? Are you not allowed to tackle in union?
Nadgers. England's bogie-bone strikes again. From The Beeb.
Looks like the young fella might miss out this time.
wilkinson is not at the same potential he had in 2003 so england are going to have to focus more on kicking
From the BBC.
Backs (14): M Cueto (Sale Sharks); J Lewsey (Wasps), J Robinson (Sale Sharks), P Sackey (Wasps); D Hipkiss (Leicester), J Noon (Newcastle), M Tait (Newcastle); M Catt (London Irish), A Farrell (Saracens); O Barkley (Bath), J Wilkinson (Newcastle); A Gomarsall (Harlequins), S Perry (Bristol), P Richards (London Irish).
Forwards (16): G Chuter (Leicester), L Mears (Bath), M Regan (Bristol); P Freshwater (Perpignan), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), M Stevens (Bath), P Vickery (Wasps); S Borthwick (Bath), M Corry (Leicester), B Kay (Leicester), S Shaw (Wasps); L Dallaglio (Wasps), N Easter (Harlequins), L Moody (Leicester), T Rees (Wasps), J Worsley (Wasps).
No real huge surprises. Tom Plamer might feel slightly miffed, having gone from starting lock in our last 6 Nations game to missing out altogether, but Shaw, Kay & Borthwick have all performed creditably in the warm-ups & Corry also provides cover in the back row. Barkley may be the luckiest man on the plane as I can only think his superior goal-kicking got him the nod over Flood because I thought his option taking versus France was rather ordinary.
Yesterday I was watching the 1991 RWC semifinal, when a doubt came to my mind... Is the Calcutta Cup at stake during the RWC matches between England and Scotland?
Proud member of the "Twenty20 is Boring Society."
The Calcutta Cup is only contested during the Six Nations tournament.
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