Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, August 19, 2011

O2 Inside Line - Episode 13

After two tests between England and Wales, opinions are varied as to where each side stands in terms of Rugby World Cup preparations, and importantly, form. This week on O2 Inside Line Will Greenwood steps in for Austin Healey, and has a positive outlook on England's chances.

Greenwood usually has an optimistic outlook on life, and rugby, and his views on England are no different as he feels that despite losing to Wales in Cardiff, they created chances, which is something they can work with.

"If England had not created any chances and lost then it would be time for panic stations. There were five or six proper chances that were not taken which is frustrating but the wheel does not need re-inventing," he said.

"So there are some questions that Martin Johnson still has to resolve. But not being one-eyed, not wearing rose-tinted spectacles, I still, still believe that this is a very, very good England side, a very powerful England side."

Abi Griffiths and Will were also able to have a chat to world cup winners Andy Gomarsall, Trevor Woodman, and Josh Lewsey, to get their views on where they see their time positioned going into the tournament in a few week's time. Their opinions might surprise you.

To get the inside scoop on the squad, as well as fun features, match analysis and up to the minute player interviews with presenters Austin Healey and Abi Griffiths, sign up for alerts and watch O2 Inside Line on RFU TV at O2InsideLine.com



  • i hope will greenwood is right, i'd take a final spot!

    By Blogger Savage, at August 19, 2011 10:03 am  

  • HAHAHA! 'O2 inside line' Banteeerrr!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 10:32 am  

  • healey's a cunt just keep greenwood

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 11:06 am  

  • @RD: Trevor Woodman

    By Blogger Disco, at August 19, 2011 11:37 am  

  • I think we'll struggle against Argentina, let alone make the final

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 1:05 pm  

  • I think that England should just give up trying to play an attacking game altogether. Like Greenwood says they're a powerful side with very strong set pieces, good goal kicker and good finishers, south africa anyone? England dont have creative players in the backline i.e. Toby Flood isnt creative hes just a very good distributor and organiser. I think that they should try and establish a better kicking game and play it a bit tighter instead of just flinging it out and then boshing it. With the weather in NZ predicted to be dreadful if England can plan out a solid game plan they have got the players to beat any team (this is coming from a welshman)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 1:09 pm  

  • Hmmm I'm sort of with the anon talking about playing close non expansive rugby! (the welsh guy..)

    I agree really. I think at the moment there is little creativity in the back line (as the anon said) it does not mean it's not there, it just hasn't been unlocked yet and really I think we are getting too close to the RWC to try anything new when we know damn well we can keep it in the forwards inch the ball further and further up the feel until wilkinson puts the ball over the sticks...

    It's hellishly boring but tell me which team won't take 3 points if they're offered?!

    RWC is not really about entertainment, its about winning.

    I think NZ has got their game sorted really, they know each others lines, they run well together and the backline is fairly consistent... England has been chopped and changed, and I just think time is not on our side. With NZ we see "blind" offloads (i.e just pop the ball up without looking, and KNOWING someone will be there to take it) but it's too late to really compete with that in a similar style.

    If you take the Aus Scotland game from a couple years ago, Aus could run rings round the scots if they got the chance but the scottish players just closed the game down, kept the ball tight, and really played to their own strengths. If they had played like the Aussies they'd have been destroyed.

    In the RWC we are going to see many different styles of play, SA is going to be closed forward work with some hard running from the backs every now and again. NZ is going to be like watching 15 men play 7's style rugby.. (with a bit of "typical forward play"). Unless they get themselves sorted, we'll see england backs playing running rugby with offloads to no one and the forwards playing closed tight hard grunt rugby and wondering wtf is going on when the backs get the ball...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 1:23 pm  

  • Welshman again. I agree with what your saying about getting close to unlocking the creative side of the team but its never going to happen with Hape and Tindall in the centres and Cueto on the wing really is it. I think they should just select the most physical pack they can and play a tight game.

    1. Sheridan
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Lawes
    5. Palmer
    6. Croft
    7. Wood
    8. Easter

    16. Steve Thompson (start against weak scrummaging sides ala Australia)
    17. Matt Stevens
    18. Shaw (same as Thompson)
    19. Haskell

    In the backs Flood can only play with Youngs. Interesting that the only times Flood has looked beyond average is when he has played with him. And if the weather is completely crap then play Wilko for his composure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 1:53 pm  

  • Who's Goodman? It's Woodman. Get it right you mug

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 2:14 pm  

  • The frustrating thing is we have creativity, we just havent seen it yet.

    Tindal is a prolific centre, if he plays with an attacking running inside. Hape has shown he can be effective if his outside is running lines off him so surely...

    fluety & Tindal or Hape and manu?

    Wilko fixes a defence and creates more for a 12 so he could give hape more chances? When used at pace hape's league performances show his ability.

    I agree that cueto's is coming to the end. I would favour Ashton with somebody like simpson daniels or sharples (flat out speed!). matt banahan would be best used as an impact substitution. The best two english full backs are already there!

    For Ireland I agree we need our bully boy tight 5, sheriden, hartley, stevens, Palmer, Lawes.

    back row is more tricky(mainly as we dont have enough 7;s). I'd have to say moody as he needs game time, woods or croft as they've shown great form and probably haskell.

    youngs obviously. Simpson on bench

    By Blogger Savage, at August 19, 2011 2:29 pm  

  • Speaking of Woodman, can his 'Great Prop Try' be re-posted. Think it's been taken down but it's an absolute beauty. Breaks the line, jinks the full back and over... classy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 2:42 pm  

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmQauDdSC6o

    what this guy can do when he's not left out to dry

    By Blogger Savage, at August 19, 2011 2:43 pm  

  • Personally I don't want to see Hape in the centre or in an england shirt again.. I just don't see what he brings to the game... If you think of the other centres of the world with the same number as Hape and what they bring to the game it makes hape look like a seat filler...

    And as for tindall... he is the least dynamic player on the team, he doesn't really gain a huge amount of distance with his size, and he doesnt really gain any with his skill (wherever that may be) and personally I blame his decision for banahans no try... I honestly believe his pass sucked balls, and personally i would have put a chip in... (And Im a second row...) so ofcourse my chip would have ended up in the crowd without bouncing and i'd have looked like an idiot, but im pretty sure any centre would agree it would have been a better option.

    So who does it leave... Manu..Flutey..bananaman...

    Manu is inexperienced but he doesn't seem phased by that in his play, so i really think he has to be a starter. Flutey... I've yet to see what he can do, again, he just seems like he is making up numbers... Similar to Banahan, although I have seen banahan play more and I can see him improving as he gains experience...

    So really, england is screwed unless they are nasty and gritty up front...

    Interesting point how you guys would pick palmer over shaw? I only saw palmer play in the 6N no where else so i cant reaaallly judge too much, but is he better than shaw?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 6:38 pm  

  • @anon

    I agree with your thoughts on Tindal, he comes from an era when centres boshed, and he was very good at that, but compare him to the dynamic players like sbw and you see how much the game has changed since 2003. I would have picked different centres to johno with the exception of manu who is a precocious talent.

    I wonder if hape is going to become another andy farrell who doesnt quite manage the code switch, and i wonder why? i think the centres have been made to look static because of poor combinations. Plus we dont know what they are being told to do!

    Its just a shame we seem to favour size over skill!

    By Blogger Savage, at August 19, 2011 7:22 pm  

  • I really hate these english only miniseries. I don't give two fucks about the English.

    By Anonymous canada, at August 19, 2011 7:34 pm  

  • @ canada: then don't push the play button...

    Really like this show. Bit of banter, nothing too serious.

    My humble opinion: it's too late to start getting creative. Just stick with what you do best and take the points when they are on offer...even in a warm up game. As someone allready said: the worldcup basicly has nothing to do with playing attractive rugby. It's about winning.

    Just like any other tournament actually.

    By Anonymous Guy, at August 19, 2011 7:41 pm  

  • I look forward to the day George Ford, Owen Farrel and Christian Wade make the squad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 10:06 pm  

  • @ Canada, maybe you should go oot eh

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 19, 2011 11:26 pm  

  • @ canada

    Its a mini series made by the rfu for england fans, if you dont like it dont watch it! Perhaps it doesnt appeal to the legendary canadian sense of humour.

    @anon george ford is going to be epic. Alex gray looks epic to. Whos that young No.8 that wasps have with the big afro, he's a cracking player. Future is bright!

    By Blogger Savage, at August 20, 2011 12:32 pm  

  • Apologies for the Woodman/Goodman typo.

    By Blogger RD, at August 26, 2011 12:35 pm  

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