Rugby

Autumn Internationals: 5 Things for England to change

Despite beating South Africa for the first time in 10 Years, there is no doubt that there is work for England to do if they want to be sure of beating Figi, Argentina and Australia this Autumn. One must remember that the South African XV who turned up at Twickenham on Saturday is a shell of the side that won a World Cup in 2007, a Lions Tour in 2009 and even the one that got to a World Cup semi-final only last year. England will need to get better.

  • Be more ruthless and determined: England were up 30-9 after 49 minutes yet instead of blowing the totally uninspired Springboks away they were outscored 12-7 for the remaining half hour. England took the foot of the gas and simply stopped giving their all. Not good enough considering the fortunes England fans pay for tickets. A win may well be a win, but the kind of arrogance that saw Owen Farrell punt the ball into touch after winning a penalty on the 80th minute is offensive to the principle of giving your best.
  • Be far more disciplined. While discipline improved as the match went on, to concede so many penalties within the first 20 minutes of the match is not acceptable. Eddie Jones will no doubt have been furious that England went down 6-0 within 7 minutes. Ireland conceded just four penalties during their win over New Zealand. If England want to beat the best they must fix this.
  • Sort out the attack. England scored one try from a set play, the other three were all inspired by Ben Young’s ingenuity. If Youngs had not been in the side who’s to say England would have won anything like as comfortably.
  • Give the wingers more ball. Marland Yarde and Jonny May are devastating runners, they needed more service on Saturday.
  • While George Ford grew into the game, Owen Farrell is the number one fly-half in the country. I’d love to see Farrell moved to number 10 with Elliot Daley at inside centre and Jonathon Joseph outside of him. Give Semesa Rokoduguni a start too.

By Charles Dew