"Best players" - Sir Clive Woodward tells Steve Borthwick to call-up three stars - Ruck

“Best players” – Sir Clive Woodward tells Steve Borthwick to call-up three stars

Sir Clive Woodward insists that without access to top-tier talent, England’s prospects for future success will be severely compromised.

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The former head coach, celebrated for leading England to victory in the 2003 World Cup, criticises the current player pool in England and the Rugby Football Union’s stance against selecting overseas-based players.

“The current state of the England side is far from all down to Borthwick. We have to remember he’s only been in the job a little over a year,” Woodward wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“The RFU and Borthwick’s predecessor Eddie Jones have more than played their part. You can tell you’ve got a good side at your disposal if a handful of your players would get in any international team.

“The sad reality for England is I’m not sure any of theirs would right now. In fact, I don’t think many of England’s players would even get into the Scotland side.”

Three players he’d recall

The 68-year-old contends that five England players possess “world-class” talent. However, because of the RFU’s selection criteria, two of them cannot represent the Red Rose due to their contracts with Top 14 clubs, while another player has opted out.

#1. Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell, Captain of England kicks the penalty during the Summer Nations Series Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 12 Aug 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)