Billy Elliot

There are two forced changes that Eddie Jones needs to make for the side to play Australia on Saturday.

Neither Billy Vunipola nor Elliot Daly are available.

That doesn’t mean that Eddie won’t make other changes, but I doubt he will – not to the starting XV anyway.

He has kept 25 players back before naming the match day 23 –

England 25-man squad:

Forwards: Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Nathan Hughes has been passed fit and will almost certainly be at 8. He doesn’t have Billy’s experience yet, but he is a right handful.

The wing seems to be more up in the air – press rumours are that Marlon will get the nod, I personally would have given Roko another shot.

Whichever wing misses out will not make the 23 – I think either Dave Attwood or Charlie Ewels will also miss the bench.

An even bigger test of squad depth awaits on Saturday

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We need to talk about Nigel 

 

I’m a big fan of Nigel Owens – for me he’s the best ref on the planet – possibly the best ever.

However I am a bit worried that he has now taken to joining the players in the dopey boots club!

He was given a pair featuring Batman when he reffed the European Champions Cup Final in Lyon.

Fair enough I suppose he had to wear them as they were specially designed for the occasion – although why bleeding Batman I don’t know.

But when he was assistant at the Ireland v Australia game on Saturday – he put them on again!

This stupid kit stuff is getting out of hand

What next Peppa Pig gum shields? Jockstraps designed by Graham Norton?

 

This is no way for rugby blokes to act ffs!

A Golden Future

I’ve long been a fan of women’s rugby and think that the increased interest from fans and the media is well deserved.

England played Canada at Twickenham on Saturday in a replay of the World Cup Final.

They won convincingly by 39-6.

The impressive Danielle Waterman was on top form.

At the UCD Bowl, Ireland women ladies took on the Black Ferns– the top ranked team in the world (England are now 2nd).

New Zealand have a 19 year old who runs like Billy Vunipola (currently better than him after the surgery sadly!)

This is a clip that proves it –

https://www.balls.ie/rugby/aotearoa-matau/352914

Aotearoa is going to be a right handful at next year’s World Cup

 

The Shirt off your Back

Whilst I don’t claim to be a fashion guru I always thought that sweatshirts were only just a few bob more than a T shirt.

https://www.marcjacobs.com/mtv-x-marc-jacobs-short-sleeve-crewneck-sweatshirt/K51676806.html?dwvar_K51676806_size=XS&ptype=productpage&viewmode=Sweaters_&dwvar_K51676806_color=662#start=2

 Turns out I’m completely right.

The sweatshirt will knock you back £1,192.13 whereas the T is a mere £847.26

Those sleeves are fucking expensive – probably made of really exclusive polyester

And before you ask I have no idea why they bother to add 13 or 26p – probably what they pay the 11 year olds who make them!

Mind you both are a bargain compared with these jeans –

 

£1,950 – that’s almost a grand a leg!

On the plus side you’d look a right nob head wearing them.

Minutes from Glory

I came within 6 minutes of getting all of my Premiership predictions right over the weekend!

First Goneva intercepted a pass to snatch an unlikely victory for Falcons at Saints – and then in almost the same minute (except it was on Sunday) Tim Swiel kicked a penalty to deny Bath an away win against Quins!

Saints weren’t helped by the red card in the first half for Kieran Brookes!

Still, as Airdy is fond of telling me when I nearly hole a putt (so not often then) “you can’t almost save a fucking penalty”.

So it was 4 out of 6 in the end, dragging my cumulative figure down below the magic 75% after 9 rounds.

There were some other close games too – Bristol got a bonus point against the Tigers and Gloucester did likewise at Champions Saracens.

In the other two games both Exeter and Wasps came away with 5 points.

The clubs will still be without their England international players next weekend, but George North and co should be back to bolster their teams.

The most intriguing game will be at the Rec, where Saracens are the visitors.

Finally on the rugby front, Elliott Daly will find out today about the length of his ban