England's most disappointing XV since 2000 - Page 3 of 3 - Ruck

England’s most disappointing XV since 2000

4. Hugh Vyvyan

The Newcastle and Saracens legend, who made 245 Premiership appearances, won a deserved first England cap against Canada in the Investec Challenge match in 2004 and scored a try as captain. However, shockingly, this would be the only full test cap he’d ever win.


5. Ed Slater

The lock, who can also play at blindside flanker or number eight, took an unconventional route to the top and developed his craft in Australia before spending seven years at Leicester. He was desperately unlucky not to win a full cap for England during a successful period at Welford Road, where he was called up five times, that saw him become a big favourite.

He’s now still rucking away down at Gloucester but was once again snubbed by Eddie Jones in favour of younger players.


6. Jack Clifford

Tipped to be a future England captain by Eddie Jones after making his international debut in the Aussie’s first match in charge, Clifford’s career was ravaged by injury. Winning just 10 caps, the back-rower was forced to retire in August 2020.


7. Andy Hazell 

Gloucester stalwart Hazell had the unenviable task of filling the retired Neil Back’s shoes.  We can assume that Robinson’s thought process was, “He’s small, he’s aggressive, he’s just like Neil Back”, but unfortunately it didn’t really work out like that.  Making his international appearances exclusively through 2004-05, Hazell became known as a bit of a penalty machine during his seven caps.


8. Steffon Armitage

The powerhouse, who won just five caps, was considered to be one of the best players in the world in 2015 due to his technical ability at the breakdown and his capacity to win a high number of turnovers each game.

Given the English national team’s lack of players with the then Toulon mans skill set, many experts have argued that the ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause in England’s policy banning overseas based players should be invoked to allow the triple European Championship winner to represent England.

However, they didn’t, and he never played for England again.

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