Matt Dawson expects England to lose THREE key players after the Six Nations - Ruck

Matt Dawson expects England to lose THREE key players after the Six Nations

Legendary scrum-half Matt Dawson has raised concerns about England’s squad dynamics following the culmination of the 2024 Six Nations tournament.

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In his thought-provoking column for BBC Sport, Dawson has hinted at the potential departure of two pivotal players from the England camp in the near future, echoing the recent exit of Manu Tuilagi.

The former England star suggested that the esteemed duo of captain Jamie George and seasoned fly-half George Ford might be on the brink of bidding adieu to the national squad, despite lingering doubts over whether they have fully realised their potential in the English jersey.

He said: “There is absolutely no question in my mind that the likes of Jamie George and Ford, in particular, have had a conversation between themselves along the lines of: ‘We haven’t got that much longer in an England jersey, how are we going to go out?’.

“They have played in the same sort of team with loads of their mates and got to a World Cup final, and played in big games but ‘have we really maximised our potential?’. They are two bright guys and seem to have good common sense away from rugby as well.”

Dawson added: “The coaches have changed selection, tweaked their approach and changed the intent because you can see, when they are in that groove, that is the way the team want to play.

“They look like a team embracing the quality of individuals they are training and playing with and it is incredibly refreshing to see before facing Japan and New Zealand in the summer.”

“A liability” – Telegraph rank England’s five worst 2024 Six Nations players

Telegraph Sport conducted a thorough assessment of each England player’s performance during the Six Nations, with criticism aimed at several individuals.

One player was labeled a liability, while another is advised to come to terms with the idea that their peak playing days may be behind them.

5 players who underperformed:

#5. Alex Coles – 6/10

Coles is a member of the Premiership outfit Northampton Saints, a club he has been associated with since the age of 13. His journey with the Saints began when he joined their senior academy in the summer of 2017, eventually making his senior debut in November of the following year.

With versatility spanning across the second and back rows, Coles has represented his country from U16 level all the way through to U20, featuring prominently in the U20 Six Nations and the World Rugby U20 Championship.

His impressive performances earned him a call-up to the England senior Men’s squad ahead of the 2022 Autumn Nations Series, where he marked his debut in their narrow 30-29 defeat against Argentina.

They wrote: “A cumulative 15 minutes of action, but it is telling that England opted for no lock replacement in their final two matches.”

RUCK RATING: 6.25/10