It has just emerged that England have released Semesa Rokoduguni, Kyle Eastmond and Danny Care back to their respective clubs ahead of this weekends Wallabies game.
It seems to me that the England coaching staff are intent on leaving this England side devoid of any creativity whatsoever. England are about to go toe-to-toe with a Wallabies side full of attacking flair who aren’t exactly renowned for their defensive prowess. Surely this is a game ideally suited to the likes of Care, Eastmond and Rokoduguni?
I understand Danny Care hasn’t been playing to the best of his ability in recent weeks, but neither have so many of the squad who have somehow retained their places. He has been replaced by Ben Youngs who lets face it, didn’t exactly cover himself in glory against Samoa. For me Care’s sniping runs would have been a key attacking threat against the Wallabies.
Equally this seems like the ideal game in which to give Rokoduguni a proper chance to show what he can do. He was thrown in at the deep end against the All Blacks where he played much of the game on the back foot, and was provided little opportunity given England’s one dimensional midfield. Has Lancaster not been watching the Premiership so far this season, the guy is absolutely on fire, so why the hell isn’t he being given a chance?
The most baffling decision for me is the release of Eastmond who has looked like one of England’s most potent attacking threats so far. He may have struggled at times to impose himself on the game given the poor service through the 10 channel but he has shown glimpses and proven he is more than capable of standing up in defence.
Unfortunately it now looks like we are going to be forced to endure the midfield combination of Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt once more. Not that either of them are poor players in their own right, both have their merits and deserve to be in the squad, however as a combination they simply do not work. It appears that England are going to try and smash it up the middle once more rather than using their dangerous strike runners outside of them.
The reality is that we now know what both Farrell and Barritt are capable of doing in an England shirt, and other than national pride there is nothing hanging on the Wallabies game. For this reason England should be using it as an opportunity to blood players like Rokoduguni whilst trying out some new combinations in the midfield – who wouldn’t love to see Eastmond and Burrell being given a chance?