Sir Clive Woodward has slammed Eddie Jones controversial decision to replace England star man Marcus Smith with 20 minutes to go.
“Why is the game, and Jones particularly, obsessed with this concept of ‘finishers’? Please somebody enlighten me as I don’t understand it. Keep your best players on the park.”, wrote Woodward in his column for the Mail Online.
“Unfathomably, the call comes from Jones up in the stands and England’s main man is off, to be replaced by George Ford,
“And the Harlequins fly-half was joined on the bench by a front row that was building up a head of steam and flanker Lewis Ludlam, who was going well in a game well-suited to his temperament.
“Rule No 1 in sport: don’t fix what isn’t broken. These guys can go 80 minutes, they can go 100 minutes if necessary. Back them, let them do their thing. Only pull them off if they are falling and undermining the team effort.
“If you pick Smith to start you back him all the way until the final whistle is blown. That’s what Quins do and that’s what England must do.
“If I was them, if I was the senior group within the squad I would in the sober light of day this afternoon or tomorrow demand to know from Jones what the thinking was taking Marcus off in particular, but the replacements policy in general.”
- Scotland v England player ratings: 2022 Six Nations
- 4 players England must drop after Scotland loss – and who should replace them
- 5 stars who underperformed in round one of the 2022 Six Nations
- WATCH: Joe Marler throws possibly the worst line-out of all-time
- Ireland v Wales player ratings: 2022 Six Nations
- “My idol” – Maro Itoje names his rugby dream team
Latest odds to replace Eddie Jones after fifth Six Nations defeat in last seven
Sir Clive Woodward is interestingly the sixth favourite and is priced at 30/1 to reprise the role.
England next head coach odds (Oddschecker)
#5. Andy Farrell – 22/1
The irony with Farrell is that he is arguably the most obvious candidate and fits the role as well as anyone, but he might be the toughest for the RFU to land due to his long-term deal with Ireland.