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Depleted Fiji's defeat to England highlighted a worrying club v country issue, says Stuart Barnes.Back to story
Hi Stuart Whilst I agree with all the content of your piece, I have had the priveledge of seeing one of the players embroilled in the Racing Metro, controversy grow from a mini to an Internatiional. Although not born in Fiji, he too was faced with a stark choice of the dole que, or a low paid local job, or the opportunity to become a professional Rugby Player, he did what many of us would love the chance to do, and choose to play at the top level. The accusation from his former club coach that he and two other Fijian Internationals were paid to miss the World Cup, is unchallenged as yet. However, he told his brother that the reason he was not going, was because he chose to concentrate on getting into his Club team. Exactly the same reason he gave to his Country and the press at the time. I can not even dream of him lying to his Brother! He had by the way already played in the Junior World Cup, (for which Racing had released him) and at nineteen I think he made the right decision. I also think that the Club releasing their player for the one tournament and not the other, would be a little, shall we say ODD!
Posted 09:28 16th November 2012
hi stuart no doubt wales were poor and argentina very impressive saturday. im glad the welsh team has made some important changes butt the main point wich i agree with do you think sam warbourton deserved to be dropped to the bench. or are they saving him for the big guns.
Posted 17:32 14th November 2012
Hi Stuart I thought England's performance encouraging. I am not sure about the present backrow - I would bring in Armitage @ No.7 and move Robshaw to No.6 (although he has been excellent on the openside). I know Lancaster won't do this without significant injuries which obviusly nobody wants but, surely it would make for a better team which is what he is trying to achieve With regards to the wings - I would play both Sharples and Ashton, I would keep Goode at full back certainly while the present centres are included - and maybe afterwards as well! Surely Lancaster cannot keep selecting 2 centres so simillar (or with Farrell)! I would value your views, Stuart?
Posted 12:08 13th November 2012
Hello Stuart, The IRB is a wealthy organisation. Why can't it fund Fiji, Samoa and Tonga in the Southern Hemisphere Super Tournament? One team can go in each pool. Alongside their other international commitments this would give them a sufficiently full fixture list to be completely professional without their players joinimg European clubs or looking for New Zealand ancestry in order to play for the All Blacks.
Posted 15:56 12th November 2012
Hi Stuart, Do you think there is the posibility that sharples and ashton could play on Saturday? Cant help but feel thtat Monye is not the answer. Sharples was a lot busier and went looking for the ball. If Sharples and Ashton play we will have a back three that are all hungry to get on the ball as much as possible.
Posted 14:29 12th November 2012
Thank God for Alex Goode, his display will hopefully have spared us the sight of Mike Brown starting for England. Brown is a quality club playerwith a good rugby brain but patently not quick enough for an international 15. England look second rate to me unfortunately. Too many players playing above their level. We do have the players available to be good, that is to say top 4 but some way off the ABs. Both Armitage boys need to be involved for my money. Delon is still a bit of a liability discipline wise but he has class. Monye is average at best and after seeing hime DIVE playing for England some years ago, the door should be closed for good. Good debut for Youngs, Johnson played well, Care showed well and his card was harsh. My team, injuries notwithstanding.. Corbisiero, Youngs, Cole, Lawes, Botha, Croft, Armitage Easter, Care, Cipriani, Sharples,Burns, Tuilagi, Armitage, Foden.
Posted 14:29 12th November 2012
Tom Youngs has come a long way in a short time since his conversion to hooker however can somebody please explain to him that on the rare occasions that the ball is not fed direct to the 2nd row's feet i.e. when Alex Goode stood in at scrum half, that the main role of the hooker is to hook the ball backwards, not just push. At the same time if Woldrom is to be retained, although I think that he is far off of international level, can he be taught how to control the ball with his feet. These 2 faults will not have gone unnoticed and will be punished by the southern hemisphere teams
Posted 11:08 12th November 2012