England’s worst rugby XV of 21st century includes Burgess, Cipriani and Vanikolo - Ruck

England’s worst rugby XV of 21st century includes Burgess, Cipriani and Vanikolo

RUCK delves into the realm of England’s rugby history to unearth those players who, despite wearing the iconic Red Rose jersey, failed to leave a lasting mark. Even amidst a few promising newcomers, the scrutiny intensifies.

Wearing the England jersey is no small feat, demanding a level of skill commensurate with its prestige.

However, for some, circumstances conspired against them, hindering their ability to shine while adorned in the distinguished white kit.

The Backline

Mark Van Gisbergen:

Mark Van Gisbergen, while only making a fleeting appearance against Australia in 2005, holds the distinction of a perfect win record in international colors. Despite this, his tenure was marred by struggles under pressure, particularly evident in handling high balls and defensive challenges.

Ollie Hassell-Collins:

Debuting in the 2023 Six Nations, Ollie Hassell-Collins failed to leave a lasting impression, hampered further by a knee injury setback. His exclusion from Steve Borthwick’s World Cup training squad and hints at a potential switch to Wales reflect the challenges faced in making a mark at the international level.

Joel Tomkins:

Transitioning from league to union, Joel Tomkins initially struggled to adapt but earned his England cap in 2013. However, his performances failed to match expectations, leaving him looking out of depth before eventually returning to league.

Sam Burgess:

Fast-tracked into the World Cup squad, Sam Burgess’s transition from league to union ended in disappointment, with blame shared among England, Bath, and the player himself. Despite not lacking skill, the experiment ultimately proved disastrous.

Sam Burgess of England tackled by Taulupe Faletau of Wales – Photo mandatory by-line: Dean Lancaster/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 183700120 – 26/09/2015 – SPORT – RUGBY UNION – RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 – POOL A Match 16 – England v Wales- Twickenham Stadium, London, England.

Lesley Vainikolo:

“Volcano” Vainikolo’s explosive start for Gloucester failed to translate to the international stage, with his try-scoring prowess notably absent in his England appearances, leading to a swift exit from the national squad.