EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

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Mikey Brown
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EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Mikey Brown » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:02 am

Provisional EPS:
Bath:
Charlie Ewels

George Ford
Jonathan Joseph
Semesa Rokoduguni
Anthony Watson

Exeter:
Luke Cowan-Dickie

Henry Slade
Jack Nowell

Gloucester:
Jonny May

Harlequins:
Joe Marler
Kyle Sinckler
Chris Robshaw
Jack Clifford

Danny Care
Joe Marchant
Marland Yarde
Mike Brown

Leicester:
Tom Youngs
Ellis Genge
Dan Cole
Will Evans
Mike Williams

Ben Youngs
Manu Tuilagi

Northampton:
Dylan Hartley
Paul Hill
Courtney Lawes
Teimana Harrison

Sale:
Josh Beaumont

Mike Haley

Saracens:
Jamie George
Billy Vunipola
Maro Itoje
George Kruis
Mako Vunipola

Owen Farrell
Alex Goode

Wasps:
Matt Mullan
Joe Launchbury
James Haskell
Nathan Hughes

Dan Robson
Joe Simpson
Elliot Daly

Worcester:
Ben Te’o

Will gradually update to make a bit more sense. Any chance of stickying?

So, I managed to catch half the Quins game (possibly the worst half of rugby I've ever seen, incidentally) this weekend and that was it. It got me thinking could we have a sort of rolling updates thread of who's hot and who's not?

I can't say I've really thought how this thread would work, but it feels there are so many interesting things to look out for this season and it's hard to keep track of everything game.

I'm on an incredibly boring cab journey and don't have the current EPS list to hand, but I think there's a few players we are really all looking for something particular from this season.

- Fraser/Robson/Simpson/Slade/Tuilagi to be consistently fit and consistently imposing themselves on games.

- The real answers in terms of depth in the front 5. Our first few choices are good but we need a full 23's worth when the lions comes around.

- One of the fullback options to put themselves above Alex Goode

- Yarde/Roko/anybody to show that we could have a power option from the wing without losing out elsewhere.

Can Burns/Cipriani/Eastmond/Morgan etc make themselves serious England options again?

Somebody make sense of my ramblings, please.
Last edited by Mikey Brown on Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Peat
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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Peat » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:10 am

Expecting Fraser to be consistently fit seems an exercise on masochism. Tuilagi too most like.

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Stom
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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Stom » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:01 am

Looking out for Lozowski. Could make things interesting...

I'm no Cipriani fan, but I do like Burns, let's see where he gets back to, but Slade at 10 is going to make things very interesting there.

Robson needs to step up defensively. If he does, we have a real option to make a difference at 9.

How does Clifford do getting regular time at 8?

Where will Mallinder get most of his minutes? Could he come into the reckoning?

Genge looks a bit special...when will he overtake Marler/Mako?

And on that note, will Marler step up to the plate and oust Mako?

Oh, and how long until George ousts Hartley?

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby oldbackrow » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:19 pm

Stom wrote:Looking out for Lozowski. Could make things interesting...

I'm no Cipriani fan, but I do like Burns, let's see where he gets back to, but Slade at 10 is going to make things very interesting there.

Robson needs to step up defensively. If he does, we have a real option to make a difference at 9.

How does Clifford do getting regular time at 8?

Where will Mallinder get most of his minutes? Could he come into the reckoning?

Genge looks a bit special...when will he overtake Marler/Mako?

And on that note, will Marler step up to the plate and oust Mako?

Oh, and how long until George ousts Hartley?


Or Taylor,if he keeps up the performances from the weekend? He seemed very 'physical' even if he doesn't look that much bigger than Youngs

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Beasties » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:52 pm

Taylor has been very good for quite a while, it's amazing what exposure at a new club can do for a player's chances. His lineout throwing wasn't without problems on Sun though but I'm sure that will fade from memory.

Hepburn continues to impress with his work around the park.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby fivepointer » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:09 pm

Early days of course and next weekend could be very different.

Taylor was very good and I thought LCD had a strong run out as did George. Hooker isn't a problem position.

Neither of our 2 regular SH's looked up to much. Harrison outperformed Youngs and Cliff looked a sharper operator than Care. Thought Robson had a good game, setting up one try and scoring another.

Marchant looked like he's going to be a long term starter for Quins.

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Which Tyler
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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Which Tyler » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:16 pm

Provisional EPS:
Bath:
Charlie Ewels

George Ford
Jonathan Joseph
Semesa Rokoduguni
Anthony Watson

Exeter:
Luke Cowan-Dickie

Henry Slade
Jack Nowell

Gloucester:
Jonny May

Harlequins:
Joe Marler
Kyle Sinckler
Chris Robshaw
Jack Clifford

Danny Care
Joe Marchant
Marland Yarde
Mike Brown

Leicester:
Tom Youngs
Ellis Genge
Dan Cole
Will Evans
Mike Williams

Ben Youngs
Manu Tuilagi

Northampton:
Dylan Hartley
Paul Hill
Courtney Lawes
Teimana Harrison

Sale:
Josh Beaumont

Mike Haley

Saracens:
Jamie George
Billy Vunipola
Maro Itoje
George Kruis
Mako Vunipola

Owen Farrell
Alex Goode

Wasps:
Matt Mullan
Joe Launchbury
James Haskell
Nathan Hughes

Dan Robson
Joe Simpson
Elliot Daly

Worcester:
Ben Te’o
Last edited by Which Tyler on Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Which Tyler » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Bath:
Charlie Ewels - Started and played well, seemed to lead the line-out to good effect. 10/12 tackles; 3 carries for 0m

George Ford - Controlled the game, rightly won MOTM. Kicked 4/4 + 2 DGs; 8/8 tackles; 4 carries for 22m
Jonathan Joseph - Nice hands on occassion, and solid in defence; nothing spectacular, but no real opportunity to either. 8/8 tackles; 3 carries for 8m; 1 defender beaten
Semesa Rokoduguni - Did very well in both defence and attack, would have scored but for a relatively marginal forward pass (marginal relative to others let go this weekend) - why is he not a regular for England? 3/4 tackles; 8 carries for 76m; 4 defenders beaten
Anthony Watson - DNP - Injured, allegedly could have played, but not worth risking here.
Last edited by Which Tyler on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

Mikey Brown
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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Mikey Brown » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:22 pm

That's exactly what I want WT. Cheers. Got to say Quins are looking a bit over-represented. That non-finish from Roko was superb, and Yarde looked pretty handy for us, so that's a good start on the wing front.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Which Tyler » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:29 pm

Feel free to copy/paste the EPS squad into the first post so it's convenient week after week

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby swindonbri » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:51 pm

Will be interesting to see how long before Tom Marshall starts getting interest from EJ

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby TheNomad » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:53 pm

It's usual stuff for me really. We are developing some really excellent depth in a number of positions, bar the usual problem positions - 7, 9 and 12

7.

Clifford doesn't do it for me as anything other than a running 8. His lack of all round play outside that puts him some way behind others IMO.
Otherwise Kvesic performed solidly but just seem to be fancied. Fraser can't stay fit. Thompson is a good player but not a natural breakdown specialist. I await the development of the holy trinity (Ludlam, Evans and the injured Underhill) with interest. That seems to be where the future lies

9.

Robson, for me, looks like our best 9 by miles.
Care had a shocker. Thought Youngs, one kick aside, looked ponderous and indecisive
Nice to see Simpson back. No ideal to have he and Robson at the same club

12.

We should have depth here, but IMO we're some way from it
Manu was absolutely all over the place. Still early days though
Slade is playing at 10, and not that well
Devoto is playing at 13, where I think he's much less effective than at 12
Hill doesn't quite have the skills
Mallinder is playing at 10, where (like Devoto) I think he's much less effective than at 12
Eastmond is injured and I don't think he'll fit with Jones preferred style
We've (rightly) moved past some of the old guard like Burrell, 12T, Barritt
I actually think Daly could make a great 12 but he'll never play there for Wasps given their alternatives

So I think in reality we're going to stick with Farrell and Ford - which is fine by me for now but doesn't feel like the right long term solution by a long shot. I like a 12 who can genuinely provide a running threat as well as play as second receiver


The plus side is we're developing the best options that we've had for ages in most other positions. Front row, second row, 6, 8, 10 (when have we had better options here?) and 13 - we're looking great.

Some questions on the back three, especially at 15, but no obvious issues like we have elsewhere

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:30 pm

Sticky done. Good post Mikey.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Peej » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:43 pm

I think EJ sees Mallinder as a 12 long-term. I'm surprised he started at 10 at the weekend.

For the Wasps boys, Robson looked sharp, Launchbury was phenomenal but Hughes was very quiet. Teams might have worked him out, and he hasn't seemed to come up with another dimension yet.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby TheNomad » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:03 pm

Hughes has been quiet for a while, which isn't great

He used to have everything - good in the line out, at the breakdown and obviously a very powerful and fairly quick carrier. Surely not all of that can be 'worked out', he just seems to have lost his mojo slightly

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Adam_P » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:12 am

Peej wrote:I think EJ sees Mallinder as a 12 long-term. I'm surprised he started at 10 at the weekend.

For the Wasps boys, Robson looked sharp, Launchbury was phenomenal but Hughes was very quiet. Teams might have worked him out, and he hasn't seemed to come up with another dimension yet.


I'd be surprised if Mallinder gets much more time at 10 this season after the weekends showing. Definitely a 12 and should be played there only, 15 at a push

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Digby » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:31 am

TheNomad wrote:Hughes has been quiet for a while, which isn't great

He used to have everything - good in the line out, at the breakdown and obviously a very powerful and fairly quick carrier. Surely not all of that can be 'worked out', he just seems to have lost his mojo slightly


Has he been quiet in games or less overtly doing things on camera? He always tended to be a little lazy, it might simply be Wasps have him drilled such he's doing more work for the team, and that leaves less chance and energy to make the more glamorous plays.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Puja » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:02 am

TheNomad wrote:Hughes has been quiet for a while, which isn't great

He used to have everything - good in the line out, at the breakdown and obviously a very powerful and fairly quick carrier. Surely not all of that can be 'worked out', he just seems to have lost his mojo slightly


It's great for me - I want him overtaken by Beaumont, Morgan and Clifford asap and for him never to darken the EPS again.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby TheNomad » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:24 am

Is anyone else slightly underwhelmed by Clifford? I must be missing something as plenty of people rate him.

He can be very eye catching, and he's rapid for his size - all of which is great - but as a test back row you, IMO can't afford to get through as little dirty work as he does.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Beasties » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:31 am

TheNomad wrote:Hughes has been quiet for a while, which isn't great

He used to have everything - good in the line out, at the breakdown and obviously a very powerful and fairly quick carrier. Surely not all of that can be 'worked out', he just seems to have lost his mojo slightly

He has defo not been hitting the heights of the early-mid parts of last season. Every player goes through a spell where it just isn't happening. We're only one game in so far though. I do think that teams have realised that they have to be all over him as soon as he picks up from the base, and this is stifling him a bit. He'll be back in form soon enough.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Mikey Brown » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:55 am

TheNomad wrote:Is anyone else slightly underwhelmed by Clifford? I must be missing something as plenty of people rate him.

He can be very eye catching, and he's rapid for his size - all of which is great - but as a test back row you, IMO can't afford to get through as little dirty work as he does.


I don't think you're alone, but I dont know that he's recently had a very clear role. Often he seems to be drifting around trying to do a bit of this and that but not quite nailing any of it. He can do all the component parts to great effect, so needs some combination of a better work-rate / experience / reading of the game, or to play in one position/role that maximises what he is good at.

Honestly I see his best bet as a Croft who can do the tight-carrying better. He's got big shoes to fill at 8 for Quins this year so we'll see how he handles that.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby bitts » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:13 pm

For me, one of the most interesting battles of the next year will be at Tight-Head. Dan Cole is, rightly, number one right now.But the battle for first reserve is going to get pretty heated between Hill, Brookes, Sinclair and possibly even Henry Thomas. Three of those at least can offer more than Cole around the park and could go on to being pretty special. Will be interesting which, if any, end up putting serious pressure on his position.

Openside looks like it will go back to being a headache unless someone steps up pretty sharpish. As others have said, Clifford looks to be the answer to a question no-one is asking, Kvesic is not rated, Evans and Ludlum not first choice for their clubs, Underhill is in Wales and I think Harrison will have to do a lot to earn some trust back. My pick for the AIs would be Kvesic, but that's pretty much because i don't want to shove Robshaw back in at 7.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Mikey Brown » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:48 pm

The whole tight give battle is very interesting.

Leicester/Wasps/Exeter basically have a whole front row each of players who could be pushing if we lose anyone to the lions.

Slater/Lees/Attwood/Barrow/Kitchener etc. Also will surely be looking to take advantage of 1 or 2 locks going to NZ.

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby TheNomad » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:19 pm

Yup - depth in the tight five is becoming really rather encouraging, and arguably a potential point of difference

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Re: EPS Watch / Player Form Thread

Postby Puja » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:58 pm

TheNomad wrote:Is anyone else slightly underwhelmed by Clifford? I must be missing something as plenty of people rate him.

He can be very eye catching, and he's rapid for his size - all of which is great - but as a test back row you, IMO can't afford to get through as little dirty work as he does.


You're not alone. Everyone says how often how highly rated he is, and he definitely has some very promising physical attributes and skills, but I've yet to see a game from him that's made me go, "Wow!"

Hopefully that will change now that he's settling in at 8.

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