Sir Clive Woodward lays into four England players, demands better - Ruck

Sir Clive Woodward lays into four England players, demands better

Sir Clive Woodward believes England must improve their discipline after receiving getting on the wrong side of the referee multiple times yesterday.

Fly-half George Ford was England’s saviour today, as he orchestrated a 19-17 comeback win over Wales at Twickenham Stadium.

England fought back after ill-discipline dropped them to 12 men. Ford stepped up to take the reigns for the match-winning penalty, after Owen Farrell was sent off.

Farrell could now be looking at a lengthy ban, which could see him out of action for the opening matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. England’s campaign begins on the 9th September against Argentina, with Farrell at risk of missing early pool stage action, after he has previously been sent to the RFU’s tackle school

“There is no bigger fan of Owen Farrell than me — he should be captain and he should be England’s fly-half — but it was a red card and he has got to look in the mirror and tell himself to tackle lower,” wrote Woodward in his column for the Mail Online.

“It is not the first time and he let himself down at Twickenham.

“The three second-half yellows, to Freddie Steward, Ellis Genge and then Farrell, before it was upgraded, were correct decisions and Henry Arundell got one before the break, so Borthwick has to act now.”

Woodward added: “Every player has got to take responsibility and understand you are killing your team if you get yellow carded and you are out if you get red carded. You don’t want to be the guy in a couple of months’ time saying, ‘We lost the World Cup because I got yellow carded or red carded.’

“You have got to put it right on the line on the pitch but you can’t afford to go over the line and England went over the line. It is another lesson in the importance of keeping all 15 players on the pitch because it can cost you everything if you are a man, or two, or three, down.

“Having three guys in the bin at the same time is virtually unheard of and that gave Wales their second try because England didn’t have the numbers.

“I thought England would win by more but when you have three in the sin-bin at the same time, you have to go, ‘Come on.’ You have to play with great physicality and great skill but you have also got to use your brain.”

Making one more point, Woodward added: “I just wish England would stop celebrating when they get a turnover or a penalty.

“They celebrate them as if they have just won the World Cup. You have backs running in and tapping forwards on the back and I hate it.”

5 England player Steve Borthwick must drop and who should replace them

Below, we look at five changes Borthwick should make for England’s trip to face Ireland in Dublin next weekend.

#1. Owen Farrell

Evening Standard 5/10: “His tackle technique will come under renewed scrutiny after a poor red card.”

Planet Rugby 3/10: “Kicked well at goal, but the elephant in the room is the skipper’s tackle technique that, again, earned him a red card and possibly a suspension putting the beginning of his Rugby World Cup at risk. A Test he would like to forget.”

Telegraph 4/10: “Started well but there was a strange choice to pass back inside on one attack. Then his problematic tackle technique reared its head again, sent off after being reviewed by the TMO bunker. A ban looms.”

Rugby Pass 0/10: “Farrell couldn’t help himself, his ugly shoulder contact to the head of Basham rightly upgraded to a red card after TMO bunker review of the yellow he initially received. Now faces missing England important pool opener versus Argentina. Had started well, with good variety in his game but doesn’t matter a whit now.”

Replacement: George Ford or Marcus Smith