Friday, March 09, 2007

This is not going to be pretty

So Brian Ashton has made 11 changes to the side that got whipped against Ireland for the game against France on Sunday. I'm glad that for the first time since the World Cup two Quins (Dave Strettle and Nick Easter) make the team, but otherwise the team sheet fills me with dread.

I wrote after the Scotland game that the euphoria reminded me of a year earlier when we thrashed Wales in our opening game and then proceeded to go downhill from there. Well if you cast mind back to the end of last season as England were preparing to go down under for two games against the Aussies a certain Mike Catt was being hailed as the saviour of our midfield. The worries that he was too old and too slow for test rugby were pushed to one side. We got thrashed in both games, and Catt was exposed as being too old and too slow for test rugby.

So imagine my delight when I found out that not only is Catt replacing Andy Farrell in the starting 15 on Sunday, but he will be captaining the side. And he will be playing outside a fly half who has never started a game for England and is only second choice at his club. And behind a pack that has only one specialist line-out forward in it, and a front-row that looks distinctly fragile. Oh and the French are in the hunt for a grand slam, and Sebastian Chabal is likey to rampaging up the 10-12 channel.

If you want me on Sunday afternoon I will be hiding behind the sofa.


Blogger Tristan said...


It really looks like the team is suffering from the same swapping and changing it has for the last few years then :(
Which is exactly what happened to the England cricket team for many years in the 90s.

Experience has its place, but if a player simply isn't the best he should not be playing.

I'm not looking forward to the game now :(

11:28 am  

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