Barritt shifted inside as England reshuffle

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Six Nations on 24 Feb 2012 at 09:20
Tagged with : , , ,

The loss of two-try hero Charlie Hodgson to injury has forced English coach Stuart Lancaster to reshuffle his backline; in the process, he may just have stumbled upon a combination able to add a level of attacking threat to the defensive prowess already shown.

While few would argue that the new-look England have been particularly impressive in their two previous outings in this year’s Six Nations, they have nonetheless recorded narrow wins against both Sctoland and Italy away from home. Saturday’s Twickenham showdown against the imperious Welsh will be the first true test of their umpteenth “revival” and while few pundits in the UK press are giving the men in white a hope in hell of emerging victorious, Lancaster will secretly be hoping that his rejigged combination might do the trick.

The Saracens duo of Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt, both rare stand-outs in an otherwise pedestrian back division, have each been moved one position closer to the action, with Farrell assuming Hodgson’s vacant flyhalf role and Barritt moving from outside centre into his more usual number 12 jersey. Big Samoan Manu Tuilagi comes in at outside centre, while there’s a change at scrumhalf too, where Lee Dickson takes over from the out-of-sorts Ben Youngs.

Up-front, changes at lock and eighthman see Geoff Parling earn his first start and the impressive Ben Morgan given the opportunity to build on a good display as a replacement in Rome two weeks back.

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero.

Substitutes: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Mike Brown.


  • I hope that they can keep this 10-12-13 combination together for when they play us. It’ll give our new team a real test. I always rated Brad when he played for the Sharks. He’s an Aaron Mauger type player. Calm, collected and very good at getting the backline away. Also very solid on defence.

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.02.12 09:39:19 by ChrisS Reply
  • this is the best side they chose for sometime,just not sure of david strettle

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.02.12 09:59:40 by jovner Reply

  • Farrell should have been playing at 10 from the get go and Barritt should have been at 12. Hodgeson may have scored the tries but he is a KAK flyhalf.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.02.12 10:11:35 by lostfish Reply
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  • Why are England allowed to play with a world “mediocre” 15 as opposed to an England 15?

    The same with cricket…is the sporting abilities in England that poor that 30% of their starting team was born and raised elsewhere?

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.02.12 11:12:27 by Hmmm Reply

  • Thought this was the plan anyway…

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.02.12 11:36:45 by Talent Reply
  • Much better side. That 10-12-13 axis looks pretty good.

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.02.12 11:45:35 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @jovner (Comment 2) : Strettle is good! I also rate James Simpson-Daniel! Always wondered why James didn’t get more games for England.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.02.12 11:53:05 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : I agree. Want them kept together for when England tour against us in June.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.02.12 11:54:36 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Hmmm (Comment 4) : 2 Bok captains were born outside the country so we can’t really point fingers.

    Teichmann was born in Zimbabwe and Corne Krige was born in Zambia.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.02.12 11:59:07 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 9) : That’s next door not on the other side of the world. Neither of those countries has a decent rugby team either.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.02.12 14:27:12 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • @ChrisS (Comment 9) :

    Corne’s parents were South African….and those cases are few and far between (like Beast now)…

    We do not have 3/4 in the team at 1 time….

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.02.12 14:37:04 by Hmmm Reply

  • It is mightily strange how England can do very well at Junior level, with players matching the skill levels and on occasion bettering the southern teams, yet these players just seem to stall in terms of progression.

    Even youngsters who are given sufficient game time by usually conservative clubs to develop tend to struggle to progress. By most reckonings Twelvetrees should have been one of the top English centres by now, but seems to get more inconsistent as the season goes on. Strange thing English rugby, yet predictably so…

    Most annoying thing is the pronounciation of Botha, and the droves of supporters that say something along the lines of ‘”Stuart Barnes says it ‘Both-a'”

    However I am sure this has been covered before on SW over many an EOYT.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.02.12 15:06:22 by LordHope Reply

  • @Hmmm (Comment 11) : Another point to make is if those countries had national teams then those players would be first choice. It’s not like we are taking in the straglers who are not good enough to play for their own country.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.02.12 16:04:56 by lostfish Reply
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