"Ragged and disjointed" - Sir Clive Woodward slams abject England performance - Ruck

“Ragged and disjointed” – Sir Clive Woodward slams abject England performance

Wales have started off their 2023 Rugby World Cup warm-up series with an impressive 20-9 win over England.

Warren Gatland’s side take the bragging rights into next week’s re-match at Twickenham, and end their four game losing streak with the match turning around in the second half.

“There can be no doubt that this was one of the poorest games I’ve ever seen England play.” wrote Woodward in his column for the Mail Online.

“I thought England would win comfortably looking at the two sides but they were second best by a long way. Wales fully deserved to win and were impressive in the second half.”

He added: “It was ragged, disjointed, lacking accuracy and on the whole, well below par. There were errors everywhere.”

“Ahead of this game, I spoke about Ellis Genge and Freddie Steward being the only two World Cup certainties of the team which started in Cardiff.

“Of the other 13 – and even the players on the bench – not a single player put their hand up to be in Borthwick’s starting XV. That must be a huge concern to Borthwick as head coach.

“The biggest disappointment from an English perspective was the set-piece. For all the team’s recent struggles across the board, England’s scrum and line-out are normally very good.

“But in Cardiff, they were nowhere near the standard required to win international matches. In Test rugby, the set-piece is everything and England weren’t at the races.:

5 England players who flopped against Wales

Below we look at five England players who did their selection hopes no favours.

#1. Max Malins

Telegraph 5/10: “Busy and willing, especially on the kick-chase and when attempting to inject momentum into messy attacks. Does he have the dynamism to be a Test wing?”

Planet Rugby 5/10: “Didn’t deal with the grubber through for the second try and just doesn’t offer a whole lot with ball in hand at this level. A smart player who reads the game well and has an eye for the try-line, but wasn’t really a factor here.”

Rugby Pass 5/10: “Back in favour for now after getting axed post the French humiliation, he twice teased with his threat in the opposition’s 22 in the first half, but there was no end product at the line and his display became undone by coughing up too many turnovers.”

Max Malins of England during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK