England’s failure in Paris prompted Sir Clive Woodward, the former England head coach speaking on ITV, to claim that Eddie Jones has botched his selection policy.
“Yes, the World Cup’s important, but the World Cup is not the only thing that’s important. Rugby is about the next game, and I just want to know what’s our starting XV? Just go back to real simple stuff, what’s our best XV?” Woodward said on ITV.
“I can name the French team, man for man I know exactly what it is, and if there’s a change, ‘wow, they’ve made a change’.
“The whole of France loves it. England, I just want to know what is our best starting team. Not ‘what is our finishers or starters’. And we go from there.
“We have got the players to match this French team, I have got no doubt about that. I just think we’re getting a bit smart in terms of all the other stuff.”
The World Cup-winning coach later added in his column for the Mail Online: “The big problem is that when the squad gather on Mondays after the debrief from the Saturday nobody has got any idea what the back division for the next game will be. And when the squad gather at the start of each season, nobody is really sure who the coaches below Eddie Jones will be.
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“The player churn and state of flux among the outside backs and coaching staff eventually becomes unsettling.
“Of course, you must have competition for places and continual assessment but, in every great side I have encountered a hierarchy must become evident. The Gun XV will trip off your tongue.
“In the England outside backs we have had this endless confusion of Henry Slade out of position; Joe Marchant on the wing one week, centre the next; Max Malins doing a job on the on the wing when full back is his position but then being dropped altogether after almost no opportunity to shine; Elliot Daly, centre one week, utility back or benchman the next.
“Courtney Lawes or Maro Itoje at lock or blindside flanker? Why would you play two of the world’s best locks anywhere other than the second row?”
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Telegraph (4/10): “Shocker of a box kick was charged down by Alldritt which then pinned England back in their half. Ruck ball was slow. Good stutter though to make France pause ahead of Steward’s try but napping for Dupont’s.”
Mail Online (5/10): “A horses for courses starter brought in for his box-kicking which went well but service from breakdowns still slow if pace ups.”Embed from Getty Images