Matt Dawson wants underperforming England stars dropped for Rugby World Cup third-place tie - Ruck

Matt Dawson wants underperforming England stars dropped for Rugby World Cup third-place tie

Matt Dawson, the Rugby World Cup champion, is urging England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, to bench his seasoned players and give fringe players a chance in the third-place play-off against Argentina this Friday.

While Borthwick may be inclined to field a formidable starting XV to secure a bronze medal, Dawson suggests that significant rotation could yield more significant long-term benefits.

Friday’s third-place play-off against Argentina is a funny sort of fixture,” Dawson wrote for the BBC.

“It might be one more for fringe players to try and press their case before next year’s Six Nations. It probably won’t be Steve Borthwick’s style, but I would approach it almost like a Barbarians fixture.

“This England squad will never be together again. This tournament is unique to those in that camp.

“I would give them the space and freedom to bond and socialise together as people, rather than players. Let them create more memories and then go out and chase a win together.”


5 England players who should be dropped, and who should replace them

#1. Henry Arundell replaces Jonny May

England’s offensive struggles have been glaringly evident in virtually every match, except for the standout performance by the lightning-fast Arundell, who carved his name in the annals of history with a jaw-dropping five-try spectacle against Chile.

The ex-London Irish prodigy, despite his recent one-year commitment to Racing 92 due to the Exiles’ unfortunate demise in May, is set to be granted a unique opportunity to extend his England tenure.

Henry Arundell of England during the England World Cup Squad Announcement at Twickenham Stadium, London on Monday 7th August 2023 (Photo: George Beck/PPAUK)

At the tender age of 20, it feels like eons have passed since he wowed the world with an electrifying end-to-end try against Toulon, a moment that instantly went viral and left even the hard-to-please Eddie Jones brimming with admiration. Arundell could very well be the ignition spark that England has been desperately yearning for.

As for May, he has been a remarkable servant to the England team. Nonetheless, this World Cup undoubtedly marks the conclusion of a spectacular international career, one where he will bid adieu as his nation’s second-highest all-time try-scorer.

Get your tickets for the 2024 Six Nations at viagogo, the world’s leading ticket marketplace.