Rugby legend believes English youth rugby's obsession with size stunts progress of talent | Page 4 of 4 | Ruck

Rugby legend believes English youth rugby’s obsession with size stunts progress of talent

16. Darren Crompton

The Bristol prop was a solid bloke who anchored the Bristol scrum during that season where they finished 3rd in the Premiership, in 2006-07, and was rewarded with a call-up to the England squad for their tour to South Africa.

However, Crompton was never the most mobile and since he was 34 when he made his bow in international colours, he was practically stationary by the time he put on the England shirt. It’s Disappointing he didn’t get a chance earlier in his career.


17. Martyn Wood

England had very strong depth at scrum half during the best years of Clive Woodward’s reign, with Matt Dawson, Kyran Bracken and Andy Gomarsall being the three scrum halves named in the World Cup squad. However, Wood was called up as an injury replacement but never actually made the official squad. In his entire career he only ever played twice for England.


18. David Ward

Versatile forward Ward joined Harlequins in 2012 from Cornish Pirates, a side he made more than 100 appearances for. It was during the 2013/14 season that Ward rose to fame with his electric form. Claiming five Man of the Match awards and becoming the pioneer of countless turnovers, he was the 2013/14 Players’ Player of the season. His efforts were rewarded by being named in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the 2014 tour of New Zealand, but he only played in the mid week win over the Crusaders.


19. Stuart Barnes 

The diminutive fly-half only made ten appearances for England over nine years, which was more due to the selectors’ preference for Rob Andrew. He retired after touring South Africa in 1994, partially because of a groin injury, although frustration probably played a part in his decision.


20. Andy Hazell 

Gloucester stalwart Hazell had the unenviable task of filling the retired Neil Back’s shoes.  We can assume that Robinson’s thought process was, “He’s small, he’s aggressive, he’s just like Neil Back”, but unfortunately it didn’t really work out like that.  Making his international appearances exclusively through 2004-05, Hazell became known as a bit of a penalty machine.


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