Borthwick Dropped – Hallelujah!

2 07 2010

Finally! Martin Johnson has seen the light. Steve Borthwick, erstwhile England captain and Johnson favourite, has been dropped from the 32 man ‘Elite Squad’. Albeit this is only as far as the Saxons squad where in all likelihood he will sit until someone gets injured (which in the modern age they are sure to do) and then return to thwart our joy at this news. Perhaps due to the emergence of Attwood and Lawes, Johnson has reluctantly acknowledged what we all know to be the truth and dropped him. We won’t be entirely happy until he has been dropped altogether from the Saxons squad as well, yet it is a good start!

Typical of Johnson’s selections in the past it is not totally free of controversy with Olly Barkley, the leading man in Baths mid season renaissance, being left out of both the Elite and the Saxons squad. To say that Barkley is not in the top 64 players in the country seems extraordinary but there we have it. Matthew Tait is also another that misses out on selection for the senior squad but, unlike Barkley, is selected for the Saxons. This is a further selection call that we feel Johnson has right as Tait was spectacularly ineffective during the recent tour of the Antipodes, in our opinion and despite this semi mythical outside break people mention when Tait is talked about, he is too lightweight, too weak in the tackle and simply not dangerous enough to warrant selection ahead of Tindall for one.

One player who did make the cut however is Matt Banahan which goes to show that Johnson has yet to get it totally right. Banahan is a lumbering and slow force on the international field and in our opinion always looks like a lock out of place. Yes, he is big, but he is not quick off the mark or particularly dynamic and to our mind these are much more important attributes for an international winger to have. Monye, whose place Banahan has taken, is relegated to the Saxons squad which is justified after some pretty ordinary performances for England over the past 9 months. It is quite some fall for Monye who only this time last year was lining up on the wing for the Lions.

Nevertheless, the non selection of Barkley and the picking of Banahan excepted, we are much happier with this pick and especially considering players such as Lawes and Youngs appear to have nailed down starting spots, perhaps there is hope after all. We reserve the right to continue our old refrain that Johnson appears to be lacking some tactical nous, as seen in every game under his tenure bar perhaps two or three, but at least the personnel is improving.



2 responses

7 07 2010

If Borthwick is to come back in the squad to replace an injured player I have no major issues with that, although I believe better players are still behind him. But thank goodness he is no longer captain; no leadership, no fire, he is and never was captaincy material.

Moody leaves his guts on the pitch every game, that is a man that should lead 15 players, a man that leads by example.

England played some good rugby in Oz and NZ; didnt always get the results, but the benefit of playing rugby like they did and competing will build their confidence.

7 07 2010

I’ve been a long time writing about Borthwick and it brings me great joy that I may be now given some respite!! Cheers for commenting.

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