"Iconic figure" - Sir Clive Woodward didn't hesitate when asked to name his next England captain - Ruck

“Iconic figure” – Sir Clive Woodward didn’t hesitate when asked to name his next England captain

England’s skipper Jamie George remains resolute despite the heart-wrenching 33-31 loss to France in their final Six Nations clash.

RUCK’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations content powered by ISUZU.

The defeat stung, echoing the memory of Handrè Pollard’s decisive kick that saw South Africa through in the World Cup semi-finals last year.

“Despite the result, I believe our team is on the brink of an exciting future,” said George, reflecting on the match.

George, poised to lead through the summer and into autumn, faces speculation about his tenure come the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

He would be 36 years old, nearing 37, when the tournament kicks off in Australia, with pundits such as former England boss Sir Clive Woodward rallying behind Maro Itoje.

“Without knowing the dynamics of relationships, I would go for Maro Itoje,” Woodward stated when discussing the England captaincy.

“He’s an iconic figure, an automatic selection at lock, universally respected, intelligent, articulate, and likely to learn from mistakes.”

“Like any player, he is not perfect and has made mistakes: he’s given away too many penalties and has overdone the vocals and flaunting celebrations in the face of opponents when winning a turnover,” Woodward conceded.

“Bullied” – Four players who underperformed for England against France

Below we look at four players who failed to perform in Lyon with their futures now in doubt.

#1. Elliot Daly

Rugby Pass 5.5/10: “Back in the starting team after Immanuel Feyi-Waboso ruled himself with a self-diagnosed concussion, the fear was he wouldn’t bring the oomph that the rookie managed and sadly this was the case.”

RUCK 6/10: “Back in to the starting line-up as Manny Feyi-Waboso is out with a concussion. Claimed the high balls confidently, but swamped when trying to stretch his legs. Returned the favour with good kick chase and well timed tackles on the receivers. Vocal on the touchlines, as the assistant referee handed a line-out to France.”