Matt Dawson picks his England halfback partnership, doesn't include Marcus Smith - Ruck

Matt Dawson picks his England halfback partnership, doesn’t include Marcus Smith

World Cup-winner Matt Dawson has picked the England halfback partnership that he believes could be the key to Steve Borthwick’s men competing at the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

The playmaker has backed Saints playmaker Alex Mitchell to make the number 9 shirt his own.

“He has a bit of everything,” he said, speaking on The Rugby Paper Podcast.

“Mitch just has a real instinct for the game that puts him on a slightly different level than any other scrum-half in England at the moment.

“He probably should’ve been playing for England a year or two earlier but Eddie [Jones] didn’t really see it.

“Knowing each other as they do, Eddie and Steve would have been communicating a lot and had the same views on the same players like Earl and Mitchell, so fair play to Steve for changing his tune. It’s a great skill not to be stubborn about players.”

“It’s going to be a good tussle,” he said when discussing the fly-half position. “One that will hopefully last a few years.”

“I think the one key difference, which will be in Fin’s favour, is that you would struggle to name a maverick fly-half who has won the World Cup. It sounds ridiculous but although Marcus is phenomenal, it worries me that there are too many moments in games where his adrenaline and heart rate go absolutely through the roof.

“Whether he scores a try, or the team score, or there’s a big moment he’s whooping and hollering. No, you’re the general, what’s next? If you’ve scored the try, kick the conversion, move on.

“I see more of that mindset in Fin. I see that analytical, strategic fly-half who still has the capabilities to deliver. He seems to have that sort of flow of the game and then is able to repeat and repeat.

“If you’re asking me for a difference, that’s quite a significant one for me.”

AI predicts every Rugby World Cup winner until the year 2063 with crazy results

Artificial Intelligence has predicted every Men’s Rugby World Cup until the year 2063 and the results are crazy.

AI has predicted England to win three Webb Ellis Cup’s with triumphs for New Zealand and South Africa also predicted.

They’ve also predicted a first Rugby World Cup triumph for Ireland, though many fans today won’t be around to see it.

Check out the next 10 Rugby World Cup winner’s below.

2027: New Zealand

2031: England

Last Kick Drop Goal celebrations from Marcus Smith of England with Immanuel Feyi-Waboso of England to win the match during the Guinness Six Nations Match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on March 9th 2024. – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

2035: South Africa