England’s Six Nations: A review

Despite losing to Ireland in the last match of the tournament, England lived up to their hype, winning a second consecutive Six Nations . They will be incredibly disappointed to have missed out on achieving a slice of immortality but nonetheless proud to have retained the Calcutta Cup and Championship title. FCapitalSport runs the rule over their tournament and what England need to work on.

They know how to win:

Despite coming under severe pressure from France and Wales, England still found a way to notch up a result. That is the most important aspect of International Rugby, to win games. If they want to match New Zealand they will however need to prove that their 18 match win streak was not a one off and should seek a clean sweep of wins over Argentina this summer as a bare minimum.

There is incredible strength in depth:

Even if the entire starting XV were injured Eddie Jones would be more than capable of replacing them, as they have more than proved this year. Their B team is the best in world as best represented by how George Kruis and Maro Itoje’s replacements in the second row are Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes who are both world class.

England must be more adaptable:

It has appeared that until Eddie Jones steps in and gives his half-time assessment, England are largely clueless about how to change a game in their favour. They need to be able to adapt to a game as it flows, rather than needing his imput at half time. It is an aspect of Dylan Hartley’s captaincy  that he must improve and take more responsibility for.

Rejig the England Backline:

George Ford can be excellent in patches, but his game is too inconsistent especially when under pressure. He has a tendency to kick the ball aimlessly into the opposition half when the going gets tough. Owen Farrell on the other hand does not lack for consistency and is a fly-half not a centre: play him there. Similarly Elliot Daly despite playing superbly throughout the tournament should either be played at fullback or centre. His talents should not be wasted out wide on the wing. The brilliant Dan Robson should be given a start at scrum-half, considering Ben Young’s disappointing form this tournament. Henry Slade should also be given a chance, especially after his skilful showing against Italy. Slade brings far more physicality than Ford and just as much talent.

Potential backline:

9:Dan Robson

10: Owen Farrell

11: Jack Nowell

12: Henry Slade

13: Jonathan Joseph

14: Anthony Watson

15: Elliot Daly

By Charles Dew

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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