READER REPORT:

England in familiar, tight spot

JAMES LAWLER
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014
Dan Carter
PHIL WALTER/ Getty
TOP FIRST FIVE: Dan Carter.

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It was not long ago that first five eighths were hard to pick when the unthinkable happened and Daniel Carter was injured. What on earth were we going to do? Cue Stephen Donald dreading what would be a tough night for the All Blacks. However, that was then and this is now.

Now, if Dan Carter gets injured we can bring in the likes of Beuden Barrett, Aaron Cruden, Colin Slade (yes, Colin Slade) or even Tommy Taylor and comfortably breathe a huge sigh of relief that they'll do a great job in his absence.

In the June internationals we are due to play England and they're bringing a weakened squad, since the Premiership Final will be underway back there.

The English will be without the likes of Owen Farrell, for the first week at least.

England in the past have had good depth at 10. I'm thinking of Johnny Wilkenson and Ricky Fluety just to name a couple.

I feel they are in the same boat as we were when we didn't have much depth at 10: someone who can step in and do the job right. 

The two first fives for England have been untested, especially Danny Cipriani, who hasn't had a English cap in a long time. In 2008 he was about to become the heir to Wilkinson's throne, but injuries kept him out the side and a whole bunch of field issues surrounded him. 

He then went to the Rebels where he was a very average number 10. But it's a few years later, and according to sources he has matured quite a bit. It will be very interesting to see, but he's only there due to injury to his rival George Ford, who most of us have probably never heard of. 

After that there is really no one to choose from, so you can see why the England squad are probably in the same camp as we were when it came to first fives. After Owen Farrell there really wasn't anyone else, all those years ago. 

It will be a very interesting test series. I'm looking forward to seeing what the English can do. And I hope they are competitive when Farrell comes back, at least.


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