"Bring back Slade" - Sir Ian McGeechan picks his England team for the Six Nations - Ruck

“Bring back Slade” – Sir Ian McGeechan picks his England team for the Six Nations

Renowned coach Sir Ian McGeechan has urged England to maintain their growth under the leadership of head coach Steve Borthwick by implementing a series of tactical adjustments.

England concluded their Rugby World Cup journey with a hard-fought triumph, narrowly defeating a resilient Argentina side in the third-place play-off held in Paris.

For a more comprehensive exploration of McGeechan’s strategic insights, be sure to read his complete column in The Telegraph by clicking here.

Bring back a second playmaker

McGeechan wrote: “It looks as though Borthwick has made his call at fly-half with Owen Farrell. A lot of people may not agree with me, but Farrell is a matchwinner. He is a Test match animal. They lacked another playmaker in midfield though, and perhaps that means going back to Henry Slade. 

“Marcus Smith continues to develop well, but needs to be used at fly-half with two specialist centres.”

Henry Slade of England during the England Rugby Training Sessions at The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, London on 26 Jun 2023 (Photo: George Beck/PPAUK)

Improve the back-three

McGeechan wrote: “Steward is outstanding in a kicking game but if you have two quick wingers you can vary the attack. England need speed and better balance in this area – the likes of Arundell or Adam Radwan.”

Henry Arundell of England during the Summer Nations Series Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 12 Aug 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Keep the same back-row

McGeechan wrote: “I was impressed with the back row of Tom Curry, Sam Underhill and Ben Earl. That combination leads to a challenge in competing at the line-out, but that is Borthwick’s area of expertise. You saw Curry up at the front – they might not be the biggest, but you can catch teams out by getting those players up quickly, with a big No 6 on the bench just in case.”

Tom Curry of England  during the Autumn Nations International Series match between England and South Africa at Twickenham, London on 26 November 2022 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Mike Brown demands big England changes for Six Nations

Renowned fullback Mike Brown is advocating for head coach Steve Borthwick to remove Owen Farrell from the role of England’s captain in preparation for the 2024 Six Nations.

Brown contends that by implementing the right systems, England can become strong contenders for both the Six Nations championship and even the world title within the next four years.

Brown began in his column for the Mail Online: “England can be serious challengers for the World Cup in 2027. 100 per cent. The talent is there. I see it in the Premiership every week.

“They just need to put the right systems and playing style in place to step up.”

New captain and vice-captain:

Brown wrote: “I’d love to see Ellis Genge take over as skipper. He’s the right age, the players like him and he speaks openly and honestly. Maybe Ben Earl could be his back-up because he also speaks well and he’s been the breakthrough player with the potential to become world class.”

Ellis Genge, Captain of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK