Against Italy we saw Jones trial an idea with the bench. He had a loaded bench full of power and brought them on with 30 mins played.
Wales used to do it with the hair bears, but that was more because they only had 30 mins in them!
The insertion of Genge, Sinckler and Cokanasiga had an immediate effect.
It started me thinking, is this something worth looking at. I think there is some wisdom in considering it for some positions. You want your best players on for most of the game, but there is always less space in the first 20 as players are fired up and fresh. So you also want to capitalise on the extra time and space once the open deluges have passed.
With only Cole and Sinckler on the TH side you want Sinckler on the pitch, but you also want him busting through holes etc at the end of a game. Starting Cole with a 30 min remit to tackle as much as possible me and provide solid set piece could be the answer. If Sincks gets injured, as a front row, he can come back on. It will also be useful to keep them both fresh throughout the tournament. Against the Tier 2s leave Cole on for 60 against the Tier 1s stick to the plan. There is always the option, if he is having a good game and things are going well to save Sincks for even bigger impact at the end of the game.
On the LH side there is less of a difference, Marler may not carry like Genge but he brings a huge defensive and attacking breakdown impact from the bench. With Cole/Sinck disparity in dynamism it might make sense to start Genge with Cole and bring on Marler and Sincks as a unit. Both combinations have balance and as long as either Sincks or Genge is on the pitch we have a significantly powerful carrier in the front row. Once Mako is fit I’d give him the starting 30 mins to blow out and put in that workrate and have Marler on the bench. Again bringing him on with Sincks.
My back 3 would be May, Daly & Watson to start. Watson and May are marvellous in the air, having Coka in the back pocket is a great card to play and the timing can be dictated by the game. It doesn’t have to be done along with bringing Ford on for Slade, but doing so shifts Manu to 13 and the last 30 mins is probably a great time to start running the 2 big boys down adjacent channels and using Ford or Farrell to pick the right pass.
It is an interesting concept and other teams like South Africa and NZ also have squads with players competing for positions who offer different threats and could make it work.
I wonder if Eddie is seriously considering it.