"He must learn" - Sir Clive Woodward tells England boss Steve Borthwick to ditch 'unnecessary' habit - Ruck

“He must learn” – Sir Clive Woodward tells England boss Steve Borthwick to ditch ‘unnecessary’ habit

Sir Clive Woodward, the former England manager, has pressed upon current head coach Steve Borthwick the importance of drawing lessons from the recently concluded Six Nations and implementing significant changes going forward.

Over the last three years, England’s performance in the Six Nations has been subpar, with only two wins recorded in each of those editions—an outcome deemed inadequate.

Despite securing three victories in the 2024 tournament, indicating only a slight improvement statistically, Woodward contends that England’s progress transcends mere numbers.

He wrote: “Even though they lost in Lyon and failed to back-up the brilliant victory over Ireland at Twickenham, head coach Borthwick and his players should be pleased with a strong campaign.

“For the past three years, England have only won twice in each of those Six Nations which simply wasn’t good enough. While three victories in 2024 suggests only a marginal improvement on the past, England’s progress has been far greater than that shown purely by the statistics.”

However, the World Cup-winning captain does have one major issue with Borthwick’s current management of the team.

He added: “One thing I’d still like Borthwick to do is a bit more thought on substitutions.

“He replaced the entire front row early in the second half against France. Those switches included captain Jamie George.

I don’t think they were needed. Neither was removing Henry Slade for Manu Tuilagi who was having a strong game.

“Why take off your best players, especially your captain? That’s a major learning for the future but overall, well done Steve.”

Every England player ranked from best to worst on their 2024 Six Nations performance

In the opening rounds of the Six Nations, Borthwick’s revamped lineup struggled on the attack, tallying a mere six tries.

However, a remarkable turnaround unfolded as England surged, bagging seven tries against formidable opponents Ireland and France, both ranked second and fourth in the world.

These victories against top-ranked nations highlight substantial progress for the English side.

Below, the squad is meticulously ranked from top-tier performers to those falling short. Among the standout talents, Ben Earl emerges as the epitome of excellence.

vs Italyvs Walesvs Scotlandvs Irelandvs FranceAverage rating
Ben Earl786.59.587.8
George Martin //
Ollie Lawrence//5.5987.5
Marcus Smith///86.57.25
Tommy Freeman7.57.55.5787.1
Alex Mitchell 6.577.577
Ellis Genge /75.5786.875
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso 6/6.58/6.833333333
Jamie George67.567.576.8