By Gary Taylor, Rugby World reader
Here is my team for Saturday’s game against New Zealand:
15. Ben Foden – Monye is not an accomplished full back and this was brought to light again with a poor display under the high ball against the Pumas. Foden is accomplished in that position and is in good form.
14. Matt Banahan – Largely uninvolved in the play until he scored the winning try on Saturday. Needs the ball in hand to be effective and pull opposition players towards him.
13. Dan Hipkiss – It’s now two very poor displays from the Leicester man. Looks out of place on the International scene, struggles with the physical side and that will be exposed by the All Blacks.
12. Shane Geraghty – Needs the ball in hand to be effective and that never really happened on Saturday. Kicking was average but showed what he can do when he gets quick ball.
11. Ugo Monye – A poor display at full back against Argentina, dropped two high balls and was eventually moved to his natural position on the wing for the second half. A first half break past three defenders is what we need to see more of and will only be effective on the wing.
10. Jonny Wilkinson – Got England off to an identical start with a drop goal after four minutes. Missed a few penalties and kicking out of hand was largely poor. Running with the ball and flat passing was the catalyst for many England attacks.
9. Paul Hodgson – Kicked to often for me. Needs to dictate the pace of the game like we know he can and take the quick tap penalty whenever possible to get England on the front foot.
1. Tim Payne – Scrummed well against a very strong and physical Argentinian pack. Will need more of the same against the All Blacks.
2. Dylan Hartley - The Saints captain was very pumped up for this game and got involved in various confrontations with his opposite number Ledesma. Carried the ball into contact fairly well but to often for my liking.
3. Duncan Bell – Big physical man and showed that against a good scrummaging team. More of the same this Saturday will be needed.
4. Steve Borthwick – A decent performance from the captain. Was pretty solid in the line out and carried the ball well into contact. Needs to keep playing like that more regularly.
5. Courtney Lawes – I would start Lawes because he could be the fresh, young talent who can give the England pack a much needed lift later on in the game with his athletic ability to cover a lot of ground.
6. Tom Croft – Not the same player we saw with the Lions because England are not utilising his strengths. Needs to have more ball in hand to use his pace and strength and impose himself.
7. Lewis Moody – Two outstanding performances against Australia and Argentina. His work rate and chasing down is phenomenal. If only we had a front row of Moody’s.
8. James Haskell – Adds more dynamism into the England pack and has the ability to break the defensive line as he did for the Banahan try. Needs to keep his concentration for the whole game and cut out the silly penalties.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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