Why is it unreasonable to think a player had a good half but not a good match?
I think England supporters were more optimistic of a win in this fixture last year..
There will be a new back three combination, a new centre pairing and perhaps a new lock partnership. If Ford gets on the pitch then it will be only his third cap as replacement. You don't really want to be doing that in your first game of the season, and not against New Zealand.
Well, we can still dream, but it will be a big surprise if England can upset these All Blacks at the weekend
The Barbarians match is meaningless to me now. As Atawhai Drive says, it used to be full of home nations players who had either turned out for the Lions or were fan favourites ignored by national selectors. That made sense as a fixture when touring teams had spent much of the past few weeks playing those national sides. It was another, informal, chance to see if the North could topple the South.
Now, there's rarely a northern hemisphere player in the line-up , let alone the home nations. I just can't get tribal about a SANZAR selection playing the tourists. It's not just the French and English clubs that won't release players because the Welsh, Irish, Italian and Scottish unions are just as reluctant to see their top players in such a fixture at a key part of the domestic season.