"Disappointed" - Sir Clive Woodward would make one major change to the England team - Ruck

“Disappointed” – Sir Clive Woodward would make one major change to the England team

Former England manager, Sir Clive Woodward, has weighed in on Steve Borthwick’s lineup choices for England’s World Cup opener.

England’s recent form has been less than stellar, with five losses in their last six Test matches, and they find themselves ranked below Argentina on the global rugby stage.

Sir Clive maintains his confidence that England can emerge victorious in their Rugby World Cup opener against Argentina, provided they maintain their composure. However, he does advocate for a significant alteration to the starting XV.

“Players like Maro Itoje and Manu Tuilagi have been patiently awaiting this moment for four years,” expressed the former England boss.

“Now, it’s their time to shine and leave behind the woes of the August warm-up matches. The England versus Argentina clash in Pool D is a thrilling fixture and marks the start of a captivating World Cup weekend.”

Sir Clive elaborated on his perspective: “The inclusion of Mitchell in the lineup suggests that England intends to adopt a faster-paced style of play. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wish that Henry Arundell was in the mix.”

He added a cautionary note, emphasizing the importance of precise kicking: “What we absolutely must avoid is a repeat of England’s poor kicking performance throughout the summer. Slowing down the game and launching aimless kicks into Argentina’s back three is a recipe for disaster. If they are granted the time and space to counterattack from such kicks, players like Mateo Carreras, Emiliano Boffelli, and company will dismantle England with their running prowess.”

Manu Tuilagi would love to swap nations before hanging up his boots

The latest eligibility laws by World Rugby have created a possibility for several renowned England players to represent a different country from their initial capped one, both in the present and upcoming years. 

These new regulations state that players can meet the transfer qualification criteria by abstaining from Test rugby for three years and being either born in the country they want to represent or have a parent or grandparent who was born there. 

Although some players are more likely to do so than others, here we discuss five players who could potentially switch.

#1. Manu Tuilagi to Samoa

In an extensive interview with The Daily Telegraph, the youngest Tuilagi revealed that while “England is very special to me, of course, but my heart and home is still Samoa.”

“I’d love to pull on the blue jersey one day,”

Manu, who is named after the Samoan national side, is the odd one out of his rugby-playing brothers, as Anitelea, Alesana, Henry and Freddie all opted to play for Manu Samoa rather than any of the European nations they spent time living in throughout their professional careers.

Tuilagi could be available for Samoa in 2027, Rugby World Cup though time isn’t on his side as he would be 35 by then.