"Drop Farrell" - Warren Gatland reveals how England would line-up under him - Ruck

“Drop Farrell” – Warren Gatland reveals how England would line-up under him

If Warren Gatland were the England boss, he has disclosed his intention to deploy Marcus Smith at fly-half, hailing him as the much-needed superstar for the English team.

“My decision not to select Marcus Smith in my original British and Irish Lions squad for South Africa remains one of my burning regrets from the 2021 tour,” said Gatland, who was writing for The Telegraph.

“I should have held my nerve, backed my instinct. Smith was one of the main points for discussion during our selection meeting.

“Despite what some people think, I am not normally conservative in my selections, I am actually a risk-taker.” 

He went onto say that he believes Smith, who was named in the squad as one of three fly-halves this morning, should be given the reins instead of playing second fiddler to captain Owen Farrell.

Marcus Smith of England during the England World Cup Squad Announcement at Twickenham Stadium, London on Monday 7th August 2023 (Photo: George Beck/PPAUK)

“I am not watching England’s training every day and not privy to how the players are performing, but looking from the outside, I would be starting him.

“The key thing with Marcus is to give him full responsibility. You want him to be taking the kick-offs, kicks at goal and kicks to touch as well as running the game by getting the ball in his hands as often as possible. It is important to building rhythm into a game.

“When he has played before alongside Owen Farrell, at times he becomes the second receiver and is not running the game. I believe to get the best out of him, you have to give him the reins.”

Read his full column for The Telegraph here.

Will Greenwood picks his five nailed on starters for England at the Rugby World Cup

In his column for The Telegraph, legendary centre Will Greenwood has done a player-by-player run down of England’s 2023 World Cup squad.

Head coach Steve Borthwick confirmed his final 33-man squad for the tournament this morning with a number of major stars missing out on the squad.

In the following article, we examine the five players specifically mentioned by Greenwood during his review of the squad.

#1. Owen Farrell

Greenwood wrote: “Just a rockstar; a competitor, a winner, a champion, a goal-kicker under pressure. It seems like he has to keep proving himself, which surprises me. But I think he has to play 10.”

Owen Farrell of England check out the pitch ahead of the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK