A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

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NorthWestRugby
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A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby NorthWestRugby » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Being brought up in a rugby union house in the early 90s, I used to watch old VHS videos with highlights from England games all the time. I've just found extended highlights of a lot of games from the late 80s and early 90s and was wondering this: how were the players thought of back then ie which players were thought of as lucky to be in the team and which were unlucky not to be. An obvious one I've heard before is Rob Andrew got picked all the time yet Stuart Barnes was considered the more maverick and exciting fly half. If someone who remembers that time could go through players from that era in detail and the general consensus on their game, I would be incredibly grateful.

FWIW as a kid my favourite player was always Rory Underwood but as I've got older, I have huge appreciation for players like Mike Teague and Micky Skinner. Obviously a hugely different game.

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jngf
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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby jngf » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:31 pm

Andy Robinson had a purple patch as England openside from 88 through 89 (voted European player of the year) - but the 89 Lions tour marked a pause in his test career until a shock comeback in 95’. Late 89’ Peter Winterbottom returned as the starting 7. Two of the best open sides ever to play for England albeit with differing styles.

In mid 90s Steve Ojomoh and Chris Sheasby both merited more caps at no.8 imo

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby NorthWestRugby » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:32 pm

jngf wrote:Andy Robinson had a purple patch as England openside from 88 through 89 (voted European player of the year) - but the 89 Lions tour marked a pause in his test career until a shock comeback in 95’. Late 89’ Peter Winterbottom returned as the starting 7. Two of the best open sides ever to play for England albeit with differing styles.

In mid 90s Steve Ojomoh and Chris Sheasby both merited more caps at no.8 imo

Yeah I remember Ojomoh and Sheasby being held in high regard here.

A few I'm looking for opinions on:

Dooley
Ackford
Rodber
Ben Clarke
Ubogu
Brian Moore
Richard Hill (scrum half)
De Glanville
Stimpson

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Puja » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:37 pm

De Glanville was always a second rank player. I mean, he was very good, but he wasn't in the glass of Guscott or Carling before him and Greenwood after him. Stimpson was similar - wonderful player for Leicester, but not quite top international class when we had some very good players. Either would've had 50 caps for a Celtic nation at the time.

I always felt Adebayo was short-changed on caps myself.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Tom Moore » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:34 pm

NorthWestRugby wrote:
jngf wrote:Andy Robinson had a purple patch as England openside from 88 through 89 (voted European player of the year) - but the 89 Lions tour marked a pause in his test career until a shock comeback in 95’. Late 89’ Peter Winterbottom returned as the starting 7. Two of the best open sides ever to play for England albeit with differing styles.

In mid 90s Steve Ojomoh and Chris Sheasby both merited more caps at no.8 imo

Yeah I remember Ojomoh and Sheasby being held in high regard here.

A few I'm looking for opinions on:

Dooley
Ackford
Rodber
Ben Clarke
Ubogu
Brian Moore
Richard Hill (scrum half)
De Glanville
Stimpson


Purely my opinions:

Ackford was sensational for the three seasons he played, and retired two years too early.
Brian Moore was excellent, and one of the few hooker who did both the hooker job and the round the paddock bit just as well.
De Glanville is probably the luckiest man ever to captain England, if it isn't Steve Borthwick.
I liked Richard Hill, thought he had far better scrum half basics than Dewi Morris. Would probably have had a lot more caps had he not incited the entire forward pack to commit GBH in Cardiff in 1987.
Rodber always struck me as a bit like Haskell-strong and powerful but not the best rugby brain (I think it was him who gave away a pointless penalty that lead to the Scott Gibbs try in 1999. However, I'm still too traumatised by that to rewatch and find out.)
Clarke was excellent for 2 or 3 years, superb on the 93 Lions tour, then signed for Richmond in Division 2 and just seemed to fade away.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Which Tyler » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:12 pm

Dawe >> Moore

That is all

Well, Ojomo, Hill, Barnes and Adebeyo all deserved more caps. DeGlanville deserved far far fewer.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Lizard » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:57 am

I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.
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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby fivepointer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:10 am

Just on Bath, DeGlanville had the caps that should have gone to Simon Halliday, a far superior player. Nigel Redman deserved more caps and Jon Hall was definitely shortchanged. Dawe was incredibly unlucky to be behind Moore, who was consistently excellent and durable.
Dooley and Ackford were an outstanding pairing. Dooley got more caps and played over a longer period but Ackford came late (he debuted at 30 years old!) and was a top player.
A couple of Bristol players deserve a mention. Derek Eves was one of the best players never to get a cap, and Paul Hull deserved a lot more than he got.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Banquo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:22 am

Don't know where to start tbh. So say autumn 1988 - 1993...(6 N 88 had a host of odd selections esp in the backs) plus randoms as mentioned above
Best players- Rory Underwood, Guscott, Halliday (imo should have been ahead of Carling), Teague, Hall (but for injury would have been seen at no 1 blindside), Winterbottom, Richards, Leonard, Moore, Probyn, Johnson, Melville (though barely made it to 88)
Good Internationals- Richard Hill (9), Rob Andrew, Carling, Ackford, Tony Underwood, Jon Webb, Dooley, Rendall, Bayfield, Ben Clarke, Gary Rees, (Tim Rodber (absolutely outstanding on the Lions tour of 97, but that was his peak))
Meh- A Robinson (soz JNGF :) )- great club player though
Enigmas- Barnes, Oti
Lucky to be capped more than a few times- Skinner, Dewi Morris (harsh as excellent on the Lions tour of 93), Simon Hodgkinson, Heslop, (De Glanville (as above :) ).

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Banquo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:28 am

Lizard wrote:I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.

For sure. I'd struggle to name a better one, even if made up from different countries!

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Mellsblue » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:35 am

Banquo wrote:
Lizard wrote:I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.

For sure. I'd struggle to name a better one, even if made up from different countries!

Easy. Phil Christophers covering all three positions.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Danno » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:00 am

Mellsblue wrote:
Banquo wrote:
Lizard wrote:I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.

For sure. I'd struggle to name a better one, even if made up from different countries!

Easy. Phil Christophers covering all three positions.


In ten years it'll be Burgess Burgess Burgess.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Digby » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:15 pm

Mellsblue wrote:
Banquo wrote:
Lizard wrote:I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.

For sure. I'd struggle to name a better one, even if made up from different countries!

Easy. Phil Christophers covering all three positions.


I was going to suggest Roff, Tune and Burke, one could mark them down for Tune accidentally taking drugs, but then Lomu...

Dooley on that list was a psycho, one can only hope he wasn't like that in his day job

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Puja » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:52 pm

Lizard wrote:I saw Tim Stimpson play right wing in the Dunedin test on the Tour of Hell in 1998 and for some reason he has stuck in my mind as being particularly out of his depth in that match.

To be fair, he had Austin Healey on the other wing and Matt Perry at fullback to help try to contain Jonah Lomu, Jeff Wilson, and Christian Cullen - arguably the greatest back 3 to ever to take the field.


In his defence, he was out of position and that was a rank England team. Even the names that went on to be good (Wilkinson, Lewsey, Healey, Perry, Vickery) were right at the start of their international careers and they were supplemented by fringe players and honest journeymen, most of whom were out of position. Plus Grewcock only bothered playing 5 minutes before getting a red.

The team was: Perry, Stimpson, Beal, Lewsey, Healey, Wilkinson, Dawson, Rowntree, Cockerill, Vickery, Grewcock, Archer, Clarke, PSanderson, Ojomoh.

Still, looking at the team for next week, clearly we had an injury crisis or just decided to shuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic, cause it was even worse!

Perry, Beim (!), Beal, Baxendell (!), Healey, Lewsey (!!!), Dawson, Rowntree, Cockerill, Vickery, Sims, Fidler, Clarke, PSanderson, Diprose

Frankly, with the team you had, I think it was only kindness that you didn't put a century past us.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Digby » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:55 pm

People forget Lucy was a 10, which in many ways is a shame as there are some fine comedic moments in there

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Puja » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:07 pm

I do remember that match and it was basically like there was no 10 and three centres. Dawson would pick who he was passing to and send them crashing up at New Zealand's line, with no playmaking and very few passes coming from any of the three.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Numbers » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:30 pm

Chris Oti was an awesome winger back in the day 13 England Caps (8 tries) but could have had a lot more, I remember watching him play for Nottingham, the man's thighs were bigger than my waist.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Digby » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:40 pm

Puja wrote:I do remember that match and it was basically like there was no 10 and three centres. Dawson would pick who he was passing to and send them crashing up at New Zealand's line, with no playmaking and very few passes coming from any of the three.

Puja


I was on tour during that summer, one of my earlier rugby tours, and whilst in theory I saw the match I don't remember much of the game, or even the tour tbh

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Banquo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:44 pm

Numbers wrote:Chris Oti was an awesome winger back in the day 13 England Caps (8 tries) but could have had a lot more, I remember watching him play for Nottingham, the man's thighs were bigger than my waist.

Played against him once, quality. Lots of injuries though. He's 54 now ffs :)

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby jngf » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:49 pm

Tom Moore wrote:Rodber always struck me as a bit like Haskell-strong and powerful but not the best rugby brain (I think it was him who gave away a pointless penalty that lead to the Scott Gibbs try in 1999. However, I'm still too traumatised by that to rewatch and find out.)
Clarke was excellent for 2 or 3 years, superb on the 93 Lions tour, then signed for Richmond in Division 2 and just seemed to fade away.


Interesting to review these two, I thought Rodber and Clarke at their peak (around 95?) were essentially big, athletic blindsides, who were good tacklers, good back row jumpers, quick for their size and could carry. I think both looked less effective when moved to other positions so Rodber was an ok lock, and an ok no.8 - but not imo spectacular in either position - though at lock he did encourage his partner lock MJ to carry the ball more - ditto Clarke was an ok no.8 and a 'makeshift 7' who did his best in the latter position though it was a big ask to move him there (Crazy Jack Rowell days of big is best)!

When Dallagio emerged on the scene, after again playing some games as another 'makeshift 7' he moved to 6 and became brilliant at it, surpassing Rodber and Clarke- in fact I'd go as far as saying the explosive, carrying 6 Dallagio of 97' was a match at 6 for both Teague and and Richard Hill (backrow) at their own respective peaks as 6s.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Oakboy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:24 pm

Does it have to be late 80s? If 82 counts, what about Erica Roe?

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby NorthWestRugby » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:10 pm

Thanks for these lads. Very interesting to read. As a kid back then, I never really had an opinion on players as they were all gods to me. I remember getting into the rose room at Twickenham in the mid 90s and being starstruck by every player. Very interesting to see the different opinions on them their are.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Banquo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:44 am

jngf wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:Rodber always struck me as a bit like Haskell-strong and powerful but not the best rugby brain (I think it was him who gave away a pointless penalty that lead to the Scott Gibbs try in 1999. However, I'm still too traumatised by that to rewatch and find out.)
Clarke was excellent for 2 or 3 years, superb on the 93 Lions tour, then signed for Richmond in Division 2 and just seemed to fade away.


Interesting to review these two, I thought Rodber and Clarke at their peak (around 95?) were essentially big, athletic blindsides, who were good tacklers, good back row jumpers, quick for their size and could carry. I think both looked less effective when moved to other positions so Rodber was an ok lock, and an ok no.8 - but not imo spectacular in either position - though at lock he did encourage his partner lock MJ to carry the ball more - ditto Clarke was an ok no.8 and a 'makeshift 7' who did his best in the latter position though it was a big ask to move him there (Crazy Jack Rowell days of big is best)!

When Dallagio emerged on the scene, after again playing some games as another 'makeshift 7' he moved to 6 and became brilliant at it, surpassing Rodber and Clarke- in fact I'd go as far as saying the explosive, carrying 6 Dallagio of 97' was a match at 6 for both Teague and and Richard Hill (backrow) at their own respective peaks as 6s.

Peak Rodber was the Lions 97...immense defensive performance.

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Mr Mwenda » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:13 am

Tom Moore wrote:Rodber always struck me as a bit like Haskell-strong and powerful but not the best rugby brain (I think it was him who gave away a pointless penalty that lead to the Scott Gibbs try in 1999. However, I'm still too traumatised by that to rewatch and find out.)


Can't remember if Rodber gave away the pen but it in memory it's him who misses Gibbs. I was just getting into rugby then at secondary school then and it was the first timr i witnessed the welsh crowing in their way :(

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Re: A question for the older heads Re England players in the 80s and 90s

Postby Mr Mwenda » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:14 am

Always liked Rodber's determination but discarded for a reason.


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