Six Nations: Who should be No 1 for England against Wales?

first_img“I must say, I’ve been impressed in the limited games I have seen Lee; he is an international. You can see that from afar. But I’ve got to say that England at this moment in time, even with the loss of Ben Morgan and Joe Launchbury, have strength in depth, have to fancy their chances in the forwards. Though I’m sure the Welsh pack will have something to say about that!”Jason Leonard was speaking at the launch of FLEXISEQ® Sport, the new drug-free treatment for professional athletes and other active people wanting to avoid joint pain and stiffness. READING DOWN the list of names as England announced their training squad for the Six Nations opener against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on 6 February, it becomes apparent that more than a few props are up for selection for the first time in a while.Decisions must be made and meetings held but with fully-fit options for the No 1 shirt, with looseheads Joe Marler, Alex Corbisiero and Mako Vunipola all ready to play, it will not be easy. Just ask England’s all-time cap-leader Jason Leonard. “I’m sure Stuart Lancaster and his coaches will say ‘it’s a nightmare’”, Leonard tells Rugby World, “but it’s a nightmare you’d like!”According to the former Saracens and Harlequins loosehead, who was capped by England 114 times, Lancaster now has real strength in depth in his pack, and with British & Irish Lions players like Corbisiero and Vunipola back having missed the autumn Tests through injury, and with Matt Mullan named in the England Saxons squad, there are now four legitimate international options for the big team at loosehead. However, having seen the autumn Tests play out, Leonard imagines Marler will still be the front-runner for a starting berth.He continues: “I must say I like Lancaster because he is honest, and will stick with the players who have done him proud and that’s Marler. But again, Corbisiero and Mako have been thereabouts (in the past).“From a coaches point of view it’s great, because these two players keep each other on their toes. You even look at the tightheads – (David) Wilson, (Dan) Cole, (Kieran) Brookes – it’s difficult whatever way you do it. There’s strength in depth there when even three years ago you wouldn’t have said there was.”Packing down: Jason Leonard in action as England No 1The former prop agrees that Graham Rowntree and Lancaster will be happy with their options at No 1, but that it is made difficult by the standard of play Corbisiero and Vunipola have. So while Leonard believes Marler has seriously matured and improved since becoming captain of Quins and that “he was one of the players of the autumn Internationals”, he sees them all as aggressive scrummagers with high-work rates. It is the selflessness of their work in the last weekend before camp that may decide who deputises for Marler.Leonard, who begins his tenure as RFU president in July, also explains why the pair of looseheads taken to Cardiff for the first Six Nations Test will be fit for a specific purpose. Wide open? Jason Leonard believes Joe Marler has earned another starting jersey “England now have the strength in depth where they can go horses for courses. Two years ago England went down to Wales and Adam Jones took them to pieces. Whether that was correctly or through the referee, the fact of the matter was that England hoped to dominate at scrum time, they didn’t, and with other areas across the field and the lineout faltering, they lost the game and they lost it comfortably.“There’s no Adam Jones this time. So who do you put in? Corbs is a more competent set-piece prop but you have a look at a Joe Marler, who played against New Zealand, South Africa – okay, I’m not too worried about Australia in the front row! – you’re talking about someone against the best two teams in the world who had the better of his opposite man.”All-action: Leonard believes that work around the park will split England’s looseheadsMarler and Corbisiero may be the two looseheads to face Wales. But what does Leonard make of Wales’ tighthead options?“I’ve seen a bit of Samson Lee. Wales pride themselves on scrummaging, they love it and with Warren Gatland being an ex-hooker, they will try and wind up someone. It will be a feisty, fraught game because it’s the first in the championship and it’s England versus Wales with the hoodoo of the World Cup coming up.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: HarlequinsNorthampton SaintsSaracens last_img read more


first_img January 22, 2021 Find out more February 1, 2021 Find out more News February 6, 2021 Find out more June 18, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Egypt Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison The Internet has grown faster in Egypt than in most Middle Eastern countries. Introduced in 1993, it has been available to the public since 1995 and since then has steadily grown more popular. The communications and information technology ministry ended the monopoly the state had exercised through Telecom Egypt and opened up the sector in early 2002 with a scheme allowing ISPs to assign special phone numbers to users with a computer and modem. The customers were not obliged to commit themselves to one ISP. The aim was to boost the number of Internet users and get Egyptians used to new technology.The country’s traditional media is closely watched, but until recently no specific laws applied to the Internet. But in September 2002, the interior ministry set up a department to investigate computer and Internet crime and its director, Ahmed Essmat, told Al Ahram that his staff monitored the Internet daily. RSF_en Help by sharing this information Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff News to go further LINKS:- The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa The authorities tightened their control of the Internet in 2002 by setting up a government department to investigate online crime. Receive email alerts News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Organisation Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution At the end of 2001 and early 2002, Internet users were warned off taboo issues (such as relations between Copts and Muslims, publicising terrorist ideas, human rights violations, criticising the president, his family and the army and promoting modern versions of Islam) and told that too much outspokenness was unwelcome. Moreover, when 52 homosexuals were tried by the state security court at the end of 2001, the gay community’s websites were targeted by police. One even put a notice on its homepage saying: “Guess who’s watching us? The state security police!” Traps were set up by the police. Two men made rendezvous with visitors through gay sites who turned out to be policemen, who arrested them.In mid-December 2002, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPPR) expressed concern about a new communications bill, noting that its article 65 was very vague in allowing the army, police and state security officials to access any communications network “for reasons of internal security.” These objections resulted in amendments to the bill, which was adopted at the end of the month. Article 65 now says citizens have a right to privacy and says security agencies can only intercept private communications “in accordance with the law.” They must obtain a court order to do so which is limited to 30 days and is only to be granted in connection with serious crimes or offences punishable by more than three months in prison.Tried for putting a 30-year-old poem onlineShohdy Surur, webmaster of the English-language Al Ahram Weekly, was sentenced to a year in prison on 30 June 2002 for posting on another website a sexually-explicit, socially critical poem written by his late father 30 years ago.Article 178 of the penal code forbids possession of material for sale or distribution “with intent to corrupt public morals.” Surur had posted on, which is partly devoted to the work of his poet and actor father Naguib, a poem called Kuss Ummiyat, which contained passages said to be “an affront to public morals.”The poem was written by the elder Surur in earthy and sexually-explicit language, as a criticism of Egyptian society and culture after the country’s defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War with Israel. He several times likened Egypt to a prostitute. Since no law refers to the Internet, the state brought charges under the law on public morals.The poem had been on the US-based for the previous three years. Its author, who died in 1978, was never prosecuted for writing it. Shohdy Surur was arrested on 22 November 2001 at his home, which was searched and his computer seized. Police interrogated him for three days. The prison sentence on Surur, who has dual Russian and Egyptian nationality and lives in Russia, was confirmed by an appeals court on 14 October 2002.A 19-year-old student, Andy Ibrahim Shukri, was arrested, tried and sentenced in April 2002 to a month in jail for “putting old false information” after he had sent e-mail messages about a serial killer on the loose in Cairo. Follow the news on Egyptlast_img read more