Monday, 17 February 2020

6N 2020 - England Half-Term Report

So here it is, nearly half way through this year's Six Nations and time for England's half term report.

Except that it is really quite difficult to begin passing judgement. Abject in Paris, there is no evidence whatsoever to draw on from the victory at Murrayfield given the appalling conditions, other than England won a game they really couldn't have afforded to lose and that, with backs to the wall, the players were gutsy, defiant and belligerent, with the back row all over the breakdown like a rash. So perhaps after all there is an inner steel to the team that was not particularly visible a week earlier in Paris.

Questions remain, however.

The jury is firmly out on England's attack. Hugely disjointed in Paris and (through necessity) non-existent in Edinburgh, one would hope that the extra week's training before the Ireland match at Twickenham will afford new attack coach Simon Amor the time to bed in his attacking philosophy. So I guess we'll have to wait and see whether England can again produce the type of attacking fluency shown against New Zealand in Japan.

And selection also remains something of an enigma, not least the well trodden arguments about not selecting a recognised No.8 and the lack of depth at scrum half which need no further airing here.

Which brings me to Eddie Jones.

It's been a strange and erratic performance from the England Head Coach so far this year. For me his actions do not suggest a man who is necessarily committed for the next four year cycle. If, as he said after the World Cup in Japan, he really wanted to build new team, he's going about it a very odd way. 

Having recently read Jones' autobiography, it is clear that he seriously regretted staying on as Australia's head coach following defeat in the 2003 World Cup Final. Which makes me wonder as to his current state of mind and whether he has any desire to stay beyond 2021.

Or, perhaps, this is all just a symptom of an inevitable post-RWC hangover?

1 comment:

Rouge9 said...

I feel Eddie needs to commit to a complete new "cycle" or bow out so another can plan the way forward. I wonder why the RFU allowed a half way house contact extension? I can't help thinking, looking at a few other recent decisions they have made, that they are too focused on the balance sheet and not enough on the results, can I point out that without the former the latter will suffer.

I'm a bit nervous about our game this weekend, especially with the news about Mako, (really hope he give's Genge a start I think it's deserved). I think the Welsh will show the French scrum to be as average as it is and will probably be enough for a home win and I am probably most excited to see what the Italians can do to the Scots, I have a sneaky suspicion!!!

As an aside I hope you don't mind me mentioning that I am really sad to see the demise of Dai Young, as a long time Wasps fan I do not feel our problems should be laid at his feet and wish him well wherever he goes next.