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A young No10, particularly one of Smith's ability, doesn't need yesterday's man hanging around outside him trying to give advice or second guessing his plays - that would be the absolute worst case selection. You either have one or the other and if your first choice doesn't work, bring the subs on.

Also, Farrell isn't a natural centre, he still plays 10 for Sarries. So why miss the opportunity of selecting the best centre partnership (Slade/Tuilagi) by even putting his name into the centre equation.

I'd also argue Farrell can't adapt his play-making to an evolving opposition strategy, sticking too rigidly to training field set pieces. He's got no feel for the tempo of the game and when plays go against him he just does the same thing again and again. He isn't a natural leader and his tunnel vision has been the cause of many England's worst losses under Jones (Poite's cringe-inducing put down of "I am the referee, not your coach" springs to mind).
Absolutely spot on. Farrell is everything about England's post WC19 SF failure personified. He must go - he is nowhere near our best 10 or 12 and the very last thing Smith needs is Farrell trying to change Smith's game. What's he going to mentor him about? Arms free tackling? Abysmal decision making? How to annoy referees? Leadership through hollow platitudes?
 
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Auld-Yin

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I'm so sorry to hear that. I hear they are working on a cure and I hope they find one in time. :)
What for: hating Farrell or being Welsh? :)
 
England's starting XV for the Autumn series, as picked by Sir Ian McGeechan:

15. Freddie Stewart
14. Adam Radwan
13. Henry Slade
12. Manu Tuilagi
11. Jonny May
10. Marcus Smith
9. Raffi Quirke
1. Joe Marler
2. Jamie George
3. Kyle Sinckler
4. Maro Itoje
5. Courtney Lawes
6. Tom Curry
7. Sam Underhill
8. Alex Dombrandt

I'd be happy with that.
 
I laugh with scorn at the hate for OF on here. He’s been so lucky to get all those titles, European Cups, 6Ns, Grand Slams and a WC final. Plus Saracens have Ben soooo poor this year now they’re back into the swing of things. He’s so lucky.

Seriously people. Let it go. He’s the perfect No12 for Smith. Let your prejudices go.
 

Auld-Yin

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I laugh with scorn at the hate for OF on here. He’s been so lucky to get all those titles, European Cups, 6Ns, Grand Slams and a WC final. Plus Saracens have Ben soooo poor this year now they’re back into the swing of things. He’s so lucky.

Seriously people. Let it go. He’s the perfect No12 for Smith. Let your prejudices go.
A perfect description of someone with a few baubles in his cabinet, but is now past it. Time for him to move out of the spotlight with some dignity. Another season/competition like the last one would take any dignity from him.

Seriously t_g, time for your love-in for OF to move on.
 
I laugh with scorn at the hate for OF on here. He’s been so lucky to get all those titles, European Cups, 6Ns, Grand Slams and a WC final. Plus Saracens have Ben soooo poor this year now they’re back into the swing of things. He’s so lucky.

Seriously people. Let it go. He’s the perfect No12 for Smith. Let your prejudices go.
By that token, Johnny Wilkinson should be starting at 10...
 

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I laugh with scorn at the hate for OF on here. He’s been so lucky to get all those titles, European Cups, 6Ns, Grand Slams and a WC final. Plus Saracens have Ben soooo poor this year now they’re back into the swing of things. He’s so lucky.

Seriously people. Let it go. He’s the perfect No12 for Smith. Let your prejudices go.
I see you failed to detect the tongue in cheek nature of my post. My admiration for the achievements of OF in the past knows no bounds. I am appalled at the state of the English national team since the World Cup. All the money, all the talent, the pool of players and the dreary, boring , sub-standard performances. It's time for change from the top down. I don't believe OF should be part of the way ahead. Other opinions are equally welcome. If OF goes on to lift the next World Cup then I will look a right knob. I'll take my chances.


ETA. Thick fingers
 
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I have to say I’m with @the_guru on the issue of Owen Farrell. I think he should stay in the England squad as long as possible, and the more of his influence that rubs off on Marcus Smith the better.
 
I have to say I’m with @the_guru on the issue of Owen Farrell. I think he should stay in the England squad as long as possible, and the more of his influence that rubs off on Marcus Smith the better.
The only possible explanation for EJ's ongoing hard-on for OF is that he's an Aussie sleeper agent who is determined to wreck English Rugby for the next 10 years.
 

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