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    Know Your Enemy-Other Squads and Info

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    <DIV ="sh">Cueto out of Six Nations opener </DIV></DIV></TD></TR>
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    <TD vAlign=top width=416><!- S BO -><!- S IIMA ->
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    <DIV ="cap"></DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->England winger Mark Cueto has been ruled out of the opening Six Nations match against Scotland on 3 February because of a calf injury.


    The Sale winger joins Paul Sackey on the sidelines, while England coach Brian Ashton has dropped scrum-half Shaun Perry and lock Alex Brown.


    Former rugby league star Andy Farrell could make his Test debut in union, while Jonny Wilkinson is also retained.


    Ashton will name his team for the Twickenham match on Monday. <!- E SF ->


    "The medical opinion was that Paul and Mark would not be fit and I wish them all the best for a speedy recovery," said Ashton.


    "Shaun and Alex have just missed the cut. It was a very tough decision and underlines the strong competition for places."


    Perry and Brown will join the England Saxons squad for the match against Italy A on 2 February.


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    The omission of Perry, who has been suffering with a rib injury, appears to open the door to a Test recall for Leicester scrum-half Harry Ellis after he fell out of favour under previous coach Andy Robinson.


    Ellis and Gloucester's Peter Richards are the two scrum-halves left in the 29-man squad, with Ellis the favourite to start.


    Sackey has a knee injury, and could be forced to miss England's first three matches of the tournament.


    With Sackey and Cueto unavailable, the competition at full-back and wing is greatly reduced with Iain Balshaw and Josh Lewsey the only two fully-fit specialists in the squad.


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    Jason Robinson remains in the picture but the 32-year-old has been struggling with a neck injury, raising the prospect of Newcastle's Mathew Tait playing on the wing or even at full-back.


    Tait played at number 15 for the Falcons last week against Petrarca in the European Challenge Cup.


    The inclusion of Farrell raises the possibility of the former Great Britain rugby league captain making his Test bow in his new code after impressing in recent weeks for Saracens.


    And Wilkinson is also still in the squad, despite not having played in 12 weeks because of injury.


    The fly-half could return for Newcastle against Leicester on Saturday.



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    England squad to face Scotland:


    Iain Balshaw (Gloucester), Mike Catt (London Irish), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers), Andy Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Newcastle), Shane Geraghty (London Irish), Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Jamie Noon (Newcastle), Peter Richards (Gloucester), Jason Robinson (Sale), Mathew Tait (Newcastle), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle); George Chuter (Leicester), Martin Corry (Leicester), Louis Deacon (Leicester), Perry Freshwater (Perpignan), Danny Grewcock (Bath), Magnus Lund (Sale), Lee Mears (Bath), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Tim Payne (Wasps), Tom Rees (Wasps), Steve Thompson (Northampton), Phil Vickery (capt, Wasps), Dan Ward-Smith (Bristol), Julian White (Leicester), Joe Worsley (Wasps).<!- E BO ->
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    #2


    Out of that England could yet get the semblance of a decent team, maybe they could be dark horses after all. A lot depends on out half, if they get Wilkinson fit they will be a handful for anyone.


    Comment


      #3
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      <DIV =sh>Shanklin injury has Wales anxious </DIV></DIV></TD></TR>
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      <DIV =cap></DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->Wales face an anxious wait over the fitness of centre Tom Shanklin for their RBS Six Nations championship opener against Ireland.


      Shanklin had been due to line up for Cardiff Blues in Friday night's Magners League trip to Glasgow.


      But a failed fitness test on a thigh strain ruled the Lion out, meaning he has now not played since 27 December.


      Shanklin was expected to partner James Hook in the Wales midfield against Ireland in Cardiff on Sunday week. <!- E SF ->


      If Shanklin is ruled out, then either Harlequins centre Hal Luscombe or Toulouse's former Wales captain Gareth Thomas would probably take over the number 13 shirt.


      Scarlets youngster Gavin Evans - despite playing most of his regional rugby at inside centre - would also come into consideration, although a partnership with Hook is likely to lack enough experience.


      Wales coach Gareth Jenkins is due to announce his starting line-up next Tuesday.<!- E BO ->
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      Comment


        #4
        Tom Shanklin would be a terrible loss to wales, no shanklin, no parker, and possibly no G Thomas, they are running quite low on outside centres. And i dont rate henson at all especially out of position

        Comment


          #5
          Toulouse players Trevor Brennan and Gareth Thomas will both face misconduct charges arising from last Sunday's Heineken Cup clash against Ulster.


          Thomas is alleged to have engaged in "aggressive exchanges with spectators".


          The Welsh international's hopes of playing in this year's Six Nations are threatened by any potential ban. <!- E SF ->


          The charge levelled against Thomas says that he "aggressively attempted to enter one of the seating areas" and/or "made an offensive hand gesture towards spectators".


          Comment


            #6


            Originally posted by finbar_omahony
            Tom Shanklin would be a terrible loss to wales, no shanklin, no parker, and possibly no G Thomas, they are running quite low on outside centres. And i dont rate henson at all especially out of position

            What happened to regan king??? some muppett had him on the world xv after the autumn internationals and now i see he's on the llanelli team playing leinster tonight i.e. not even on the wales squad... who have a centre crisis!!? in fairness i thought he was quality when i've seen him playing with the scarlets.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Sin a bhfuil


              Originally posted by finbar_omahony
              Tom Shanklin would be a terrible loss to wales, no shanklin, no parker, and possibly no G Thomas, they are running quite low on outside centres. And i dont rate henson at all especially out of position

              What happened to regan king??? some muppett had him on the world xv after the autumn internationals and now i see he's on the llanelli team playing leinster tonight i.e. not even on the wales squad... who have a centre crisis!!? in fairness i thought he was quality when i've seen him playing with the scarlets.


              Hes a kiwi
              The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
              - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

              Comment


                #8

                Originally posted by Sin a bhfuil

                Originally posted by finbar_omahony
                Tom Shanklin would be a terrible loss to wales, no shanklin, no parker, and possibly no G Thomas, they are running quite low on outside centres. And i dont rate henson at all especially out of position

                What happened to regan king??? some muppett had him on the world xv after the autumn internationals and now i see he's on the llanelli team playing leinster tonight i.e. not even on the wales squad... who have a centre crisis!!? in fairness i thought he was quality when i've seen him playing with the scarlets.
                He was capped once for New Zealand, and funnily enough I think it was against Wales.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Upfront_1979
                  Originally posted by Sin a bhfuil


                  Originally posted by finbar_omahony
                  Tom Shanklin would be a terrible loss to wales, no shanklin, no parker, and possibly no G Thomas, they are running quite low on outside centres. And i dont rate henson at all especially out of position

                  What happened to regan king??? some muppett had him on the world xv after the autumn internationals and now i see he's on the llanelli team playing leinster tonight i.e. not even on the wales squad... who have a centre crisis!!? in fairness i thought he was quality when i've seen him playing with the scarlets.


                  Hes a kiwi


                  mystery solved [img]smileys/redface.gif[/img]

                  Comment


                    #10


                    I would reckon on a Welsh backline of


                    9 Peel 10 Jones


                    12 Hook 13 Thomas


                    11 ?14 Jones


                    15 Henson


                    I suppose they could play Thomas on the wing with Luscombe at 13, if that were the case i'd be a happy man to see Hul Luscombe lining up at 13 for Wales. I can't think of any other left wingers for Wales. But anyway there's probably someone called Davies, Jones or Thomas out there...

                    Comment


                      #11


                      Any of the scarlets Backline deserves a shot I'd say.


                      Daniel and Stoddart(sp?) are both very quick and good going forward and I think its james? is very strong and good under a high ball. Any of these could fill in on the wing, but hopefully they pick Czekaj!


                      They are fecked at 13 though.
                      The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                      - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Dafyyd James is playing very well so must be in contention.
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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Daffyd James, i'd forgotten about him. Gavin Evans could be a possibility in the centre, but i'd say it will be as i posted above with Daffy James on the wing with Thomas in the centre. Maybe it depends how the Chav gets on against us lot tomorrow night.

                          Comment


                            #14


                            Faz has been doing what England now want all his rugby life
                            <DIV =LeadPara>There is such a head of steam behind Andy Farrell that if Brian Ashton doesn't select him against the Scots an awful lot of pundits are going to be disappointed, but I'd like to up the ante a bit further. What about Farrell paired with Jonny Wilkinson? Ashton clearly wants it to happen, so why not from the start, or at least bring Wilkinson on from the bench at Twickenham a week tomorrow. </DIV>
                            <DIV =LeadPara>Obviously a lot will depend on how Wilkinson goes against Leicester this weekend, but the prospect of the two together is mouthwatering - and if the new head coach isn't thinking along those lines, why did he keep Wilkinson in yesterday's trimmed squad? </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>So far Ashton has only talked loosely about when and on what terms Wilkinson might return, but not many weeks ago he was mentioning Farrell in similar fashion and look where we are now. On Wednesday the lid seemed to have been put on that argument when Ashton said he would have no qualms about giving Farrell his debut in the Calcutta Cup. He said he'd been a fan since watching Farrell play for Wigan as a 17-year-old and "knew what he was capable of". </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>Without wanting to upstage the England coach, I first saw him as a 13-year-old and knew he was something special even then. Wigan is the kind of place where word of a promising rugby league player gets around quickly and I took myself off to watch a game of schoolboy rugby which then, and probably now, was very, very competitive. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>By the time Faz was 16 and captaining the schoolboys, I'd long been in the ear of the Wigan board. He had everything. His passing and kicking were excellent and he was big. By the time he was 17 or 18 he was probably bigger than he is now, but there was always another side to him that the Doubting Thomases of rugby union are only now beginning to see. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>Before the 1993 Challenge Cup final against Widnes, Andy roomed with Dean Bell, our captain. Everyone was obviously concerned that, as this was Andy's first full season, he might get a bit nervous. The idea was to put the 17-year-old with someone who would keep him calm before the big day, but it worked the other way. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>Instead of looking after Andy I can remember Dean saying: "I can't believe this kid. He's the one calming me down. He's telling me 'Don't worry Dean, we'll slaughter them'." He was telling this to a man who had captained his country many times, and this was in the middle of the Wigan glory years. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>We didn't "slaughter" Widnes, then coached by Phil Larder, but we did beat them 20-14 - the sixth of our eight consecutive Wembley victories. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>Fifteen years on, you could argue that introducing a 31-year-old into Test rugby is a risk. I don't think so. Andy was pretty upset while the arguments were going on about where he should play, but from what I hear now he is more than comfortable wearing the No12 shirt. For sure, the occasion won't faze him and he offers England a new, extra dimension. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>Farrell still has that kicking game, still handles brilliantly and has vision. He's solid in defence - imagine him paired with Wilkinson - but more than that, he creates the conditions for other guys to play off him. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>The attacking game now is not about off-loading before the line (before the tackle) but getting through the line to create confusion and space in which support runners can work. </DIV>
                            <DIV =TailParas>In league, Andy started in the second row, became loose forward and also played stand-off. In union, for E
                            Seas suas agus troid!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Sounds like farrell wil play a halstead role. paired with wilkinson and england are looking a little more of a dark horse although still think its too soon for them to gel as a team.
                              The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                              - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

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