Three alterations Woodward would make to England XV for Springboks clash - Ruck

Three alterations Woodward would make to England XV for Springboks clash

Sir Clive Woodward has been left ‘frustrated’ by a number of selections in Eddie Jones England XV’s during the Autumn Nations Series so far.

“It says a lot about the potential of this England team when a 32-15 win over an Australian side that did well in the Rugby Championship leaves you slightly frustrated and unsatisfied, but that’s how Saturday’s game left me, and others I spoke to afterwards at Twickenham.

“That’s not a bad thing, it just means England haven’t fully found their game yet and engaged top gear, a gear they will certainly need to beat South Africa, who looked in fine fettle against the Scots.”

Woodward then went on to discuss some changes he would make to the starting team in order to unlock their boundless potential.

#1. Get Manu off the wing

Woodward wrote: “The problem with playing Tuilagi on the wing — or at least asking him to wear a No14 shirt — and then putting him all around the back division is the dislocation it causes to the other backs.

“At times we had Steward or Marcus Smith standing out wide and Henry Slade at full back. I salute versatility and multi-tasking but you also run the danger of nobody being in their best position when the key plays occur.

Manu Tuilagi of England during the Autumn Nations Match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 13 November 2021. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK

“This week, Tuilagi will be confronted with extreme pace on the wing and England could have much more defending to do. It’s going to be a challenge if England continue with him there.

“It could all depend on whether Owen Farrell shakes off his leg injury. If the skipper is unavailable, surely Tuilagi will revert to 12.”


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