I’d have picked Slade at No12 for England in 2015 - Walder
NEWCASTLE head coach Dave Walder says England must fight fire with fire when they face Australia in Saturday’s pivotal Test.
Ahead of the November Tests, Michael Cheika’s side had scored an impressive 51 tries in 11 Tests in 2017.
England managed four tries in each of their last two wins against the Wallabies, and Walder wants to see a similar attack-minded approach next weekend.
He said: “I love watching Australia play, I think they attack brilliantly. Paul Gustard will have a couple of tricks up his sleeve to shut them down but we need to take the game to them too.
“Traditionally, England are very strong up front and have success against Australia, so I expect them to take the attack through the forwards and then the likes of Henry Slade, Owen Farrell and Jonathan Joseph are more than a match for any team. The good thing is that they can choose how they play.
“The key to winning the game will be stopping Australia. To do that they need to deprive them of the possession, and when they do have the ball to make sure it is as slow as possible.”
Walder is a big fan of Henry Slade and hopes the Exeter man gets an extended run in the team.
“I think he is a brilliant. He was my pick to play 12 at the World Cup in 2015. He’s got the ability to play like a 10; he has a left foot; hits hard in defence; has speed to makes breaks and can step – and he’s confident passing off both hands. He looks to be a complete player.
“Owen Farrell is a fantastic player but having Slade in there gives you a diversity of attacking opportunities that can cause a lot of problems.”
Walder won four caps while he was a player at Newcastle, at a time when Falcons regularly adorned the England backline.
Tom May and Michael Stephenson lined up alongside him when he made his debut in 2001, while Jonny Wilkinson, a shoo-in at No.10, was away with the Lions in Australia.But there hasn’t been a single Falcon capped outside of the scrum since Toby Flood last wore the jersey in 2013.
No.9 Michael Young and full-back Simon Hammersley have got close with England Saxons call-ups, and Walder believes their time may still come.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are capable of putting their hand up. Michael Young has had a bit of a rough start with injuries, but it is good to see him back out there in the last couple of weeks and he’ll be knocking on the door.
“Hammers was flying and then suffered an ACL at Wasps a year or so ago. He was back ahead of schedule only to pick up a couple of smaller knocks at the start of this year which have maybe delayed him.”
Cumbrian-born centre Chris Harris has graduated to the Test scene after Scotland came calling.
Walder added: “He has been really good in that 13 channel. He carries hard, is a big threat on the ball and defensively he is solid.”
Attack guru: Walder