England must give fringe players chance to shine in Six Nations clash with Italy, says Stuart Barnes

England must give fringe players chance to shine in Six Nations clash with Italy, says Stuart Barnes

A fourth straight win was a great result for England, although far from their finest performance since beating New Zealand.

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Comments (9)

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Steve Haysom says...

Hi Stuart, As an Exeter Chiefs supporter I was delighted with our performance and result at Harlequins on Saturday. I also enjoyed very much your complementary commentary during the game. I am however intregued to know who are new player called Haydn Morgan is!? Kind regards Steve

Posted 22:44 3rd March 2013

Dafydd Morris says...

Dear Stuart I think the way he England team have won their games is to be commended but I stress this , they have won nothing yet! I love the confidence , but I feel talk of a grand slam espeially the way you the media have already all but given them the Championship is an insult to the other teams, you have two more games to go and last of all in Cardiff! I guarantee this Enland team will not have experienced a more hostile (all in good sport) atmosphere, plus the defending champions who are coming back to the form they showed last year. I would also like to touch on the War burton debate, he hasnt played to his normal standards I agree but I feel in a Lions environment where the slate is clean and its a different pressure I feel he will be the man to take on Pocock ! I am hoping Mr Lydiate will be fit and will compliment him, then you will see who is the best No7 in Northern hemisphere, I beleive England will provide a strong contingent, esp the half backs who are a class above, I am a big fan of Parling, and believe it or not think Ashton will thrive in a Lions environment, it will be important to have good blend of countries

Posted 16:18 3rd March 2013

Andy Murphy says...

Hi Stuart, I've just watched a Gareth Steenson masterclass in Exeter's win against Quins. Why isn't Kidney knocking the door down of a guy that can keep an international like Mieres on the bench ?

Posted 05:31 3rd March 2013

Dennis The menace says...

Do you think that the people who believe that the Lions must counter Pocock/Hooper with a like-for-like open side fetcher are missing the point somewhat. In fact what we need is someone who can wipe them off the ball and beat them with physicality at the breakdown - I am thinking Hill vs Smith from 2001 or even when sides have (rarely) managed to counter McCaw. If we concede that as far as open side fetchers go then we don't have anyone in the home nations as good as those two then in my opinion it makes Robshaw's case (or a similar sort of player) for inclusion even stronger. It would also lend to the notion that we are playing to OUR strengths and not simply basing a gameplan on countering the Aussies. We must also not forget that the likes of Cole, Jenkins, Healy, O'Driscoll & Brown aren't too bad at the fetching job themselves!

Posted 13:01 26th February 2013

Melvin Longhurst says...

What has Danny Care ever done in a white shirt to earn a starting place on merit over Ben Youngs? Why is Farrell anything other than a metronomic goal kicker ? Why has Ashton not been dropped? Why is Lancaster doing a Saint Andre by persisting to play players out of position with negative outcomes? Thank you

Posted 12:27 26th February 2013

Melvin Longhurst says...

Stuart Barnes shifts his posistion quicker than the Titanic . Fact is that Tom Youngs immediately delivered more than Hartley did all match and as for Care deserving a start against Italy smart rhetoric as he could not fail to shine ! In fact Ben Youngs deserves to keep his place on merit whereas Care has done nothing in a white shirt to earn a start . Farrell, Hartley Marler and Lawes on form should be dropped to the bench.

Posted 23:15 25th February 2013

Paul Jessup says...

Hi Stuart - Dont you think we should focus on the small, detail elements of the game that make ultimately big impacts either spontaneously - like England's try that should have been a scrum to France, or indeed, when amalgamated over a period of time can create "tipping point" impacts? Chris Ashton hasn't wanted to defend properly for a few games now - but it was only in Saturday's game that this detail was revealed. In this rapidly progressing professionalisation of everything in rugby, it is all about continuous marginal improvements - just look at the GB Olympic cycling team. I am as surprised as you are of the behavioural inconsistencies of some of England players, as I am with someone not giving Ashton a good talking to after the 1st time he defended poorly 3 games ago. These detail faults do not lead to enduring excellence, as exemplified in the All Black teams, and will not, if allowed to fester, lead to England rugby prevailing for years to come. I also think, though, that there should be more of this detail feedback from the BBC commentary team who increasingly seem off the pace, and armchair savvy, rather than willing to dissect and analyse key areas of the game's detail. Pair you with Moore and Greenwood and with Ryan when/if he gets off Scotland duties and Sky would do us rugby professional armchair experts much to cheer about! We dont want to lose the values that the game is built on, but I think we need more insight into the more mental and technical aspects of the game as it becomes more sophisticated...thanks for your comments!

Posted 22:26 25th February 2013

Steve Parsonage says...

Hi Stuart, Whilst I agree that aggression is an important part of Owen Farrell's game I found his late ineffectual pushes and posturing on Saturday an embarrassment but nowhere near as embarrassing as Parra's theatrical dives to the turf. Isn't it time that the citing committee took action against such behaviour before it becomes an unfortunate and accepted part of our beloved game?

Posted 15:04 25th February 2013

David Rackley says...

Hi Stuart, I think my patience has reached its end with the Owen Farrell special treatment. He finally didn't have a easy ride in a match and responded to it playing in his restrictive manner. He can't attack, it's plain to see, and when Flood came on there was indeed an edge. Moreover, Farrell's etiquette is abysmal and does not make a good role model for those aspiring to be a professional sportsman. He was very lacklustre, and surprise surprise his injury turns out to be innocuous, he is hiding, and to be frank he's sitting in his father's pocket. A lions contender? I think not, if he offers nothing but kicking it is irrelevant as Halfpenny's boot is more than adequate, A replacement to Sexton needs an attacking edge, of which Farrell has none. It's been noticed before, and nothing has changed, he should not be the England Fly Half and a good dressing down is needed to show him he is not allowed to be an arrogant, boyish rugby player. In my opinion, Flood and Burns need to be in the starting squad. I know i've been very strongly opinionated, but do you agree in any way? thanks, Stuart

Posted 13:44 25th February 2013

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