Problems for England remain ahead of Rugby World Cup despite gutsy Ireland loss
LONDON: England regained a measure of self-respect sooner than failing to disclaim Ireland a Six Nations Grand Slam however underlying problems nonetheless confront Steve Borthwick’s males simply months out from the September get started of the Rugby World Cup.
There were fears England would undergo a recent mauling in Dublin on Saturday following ultimate week’s humiliating and report house 53-10 defeat through World Cup hosts France at Twickenham.
England, alternatively, had been massively extra resilient at Lansdowne Road, a sign they had been attending to grips with the strategies of defence trainer Kevin Sinfield.
They had been smartly within the recreation at simply 10-6 in the back of when full-back Freddie Steward was once despatched off at the stroke of half-time for making touch with the pinnacle of Ireland counterpart Hugo Keenan.
But a mix of the person downside and the hosts’ high quality instructed as Ireland ultimately sealed a 29-16 win.
Unfortunately for England, having proven some much-needed brotherly love, this was once their ultimate aggressive fit sooner than they open their World Cup marketing campaign in opposition to Argentina — who defeated them at Twickenham all through ultimate 12 months’s Autumn marketing campaign — in Marseille on September 9.
Building what we wish to construct
Much can occur sooner than then, no longer least accidents to key staff, with England captain Owen Farrell telling ITV: “We’ve got to go back to our clubs and work hard to become better players so that when we do get back we can be a better team.
“The subsequent time we come in combination we get a excellent quantity of time in combination so we will paintings on development on what we wish to construct.”
The Ireland defeat meant 2003 world champions England ended a third successive Six Nations with only two wins from five games.
It made the decision to end the seven-year England reign of veteran coach Eddie Jones in December and then install Borthwick all the more baffling.
Jones, who guided England to a 2019 World Cup final defeat by South Africa, has a fine record at the showpiece tournament and, thanks to an absurdly lopsided draw, his old side could yet make it to the semi-finals without playing a team ranked higher than seventh in the rankings.
Had former England captain Borthwick, who last season guided Leicester to the Premiership title, succeeded coaching mentor Jones after the World Cup he would have had a clean slate rather than the messy situation he inherited instead.
But coaching appointments, or whether Owen Farrell or Marcus Smith starts at fly-half, cannot disguise more fundamental problems, in particular concerns about the power and pace of England’s pack.
Both Ireland and France have also seen their youth systems produce far more top-class players in recent years, with the Irish Under-20s bidding for a Grand Slam of their own on Sunday against an England team hammered 42-7 by their French counterparts last time out.
This season has also seen two Premiership teams Wasps and Worcester expelled from the Premiership after going bust, with clubs in Ireland and France — the world’s top-ranked rugby nations — far more closely aligned with the quest for World Cup glory.
It may have been asking too much of English rugby’s decision-makers to hold their nerve after England’s first-round exit on home soil at the 2015 World Cup, but the Irish have still benefitted from the move by their old rivals to ditch Andy Farrell, now Ireland’s head coach and assistant Mike Catt.
Stuart Lancaster, England’s boss at the 2015 World Cup, and Graham Rowntree have also become key figures in Irish provinces Leinster and Munster respectively.
“So much of the principles [with England] had been proper,” Lancaster told the BBC.
“We received 4 out of 5 Six Nations video games for 4 years. When you allow a rustic, you are taking with you the enjoy that you’ve got advanced and, not directly, you additionally give it to every other nation.”