Will Greenwood wants England to rip up their backline for Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Will Greenwood wants England to rip up their backline for Rugby World Cup

Will Greenwood has called for England to ditch their Marcus Smith-Owen Farrell axis ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Following a number of underwhelming displays, culminating with a defeat to Argentina last Autumn, Greenwood wanted to see a ‘proper’ centre partnership consistently.

“I am definitely not pouring fuel on the flames here, I have always felt that they are both fly-halves and that you need to pick two centres,” wrote Greenwood in his column for The Telegraph.

“I am not saying that it cannot work, and there are times when it has brilliantly, like in the third Test against Australia.

“But if you are asking me what I would do, I would not play them in the same midfield.

“I would have Manu Tuilagi at 12 and Henry Slade at 13. That way you can keep Manu close to the ball, but equally the two of them are interchangeable.”

Greenwood also believes it’s time for Eddie Jones to move on from Ben Youngs to his more exciting protégé. 

He added: “Ben Youngs has a million caps and is a wonderful human being, but you just sort of feel that it is time for Jack van Poortvliet. Here is the No 9 jersey, and go and have a dig with it.”


  1. Greenwood played club rugby for Preston Grasshoppers, Waterloo, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers
  2. He is the son of Dick Greenwood, who was a former England coach
  3. Greenwood graduated with a BA in Economics from Durham University in 1994
  4. In April 2018, he walked to the North Pole in memory of his son Freddie, who was born at 23 weeks, and helped raise over £750,000 for Borne’s research
  5. After 55 England caps and 31 tries he announced his retirement at the end of the 2005/6 season

LIST | 5 retired rugby players who are in better shape than you

These retired rugby players put us 20- and 30-somethings to shame when it comes to fitness.

If anything, this lot looks in better shape now than when they were at the peak of their playing powers.

1. Will Greenwood – 50

The former England centre has shared a photo of his current physique and it’s impressive to say the least!