When Will England Learn?
At this stage you’re probably sick of hearing about England and who would blame you.
The English media, fans and RFU are the reason for most of England’s problems. When will England learn they are not the All Blacks? In 2003 when England won the World Cup they had a side filled with actual world class talent. Dallaglio, Johnson, Wilkinson, Robinson – to name but a few. But when is the last time England actually had an array of world class talent in their ranks? Just look at the last two Lions selections? How many English players? Does the current English side even have any world class players in it? Sure England have some top players at the moment and a massive talent pool but are any of them really world class? That’s the issue. England have a lot of good players to choose from but is there any Dan Carters in there? I don’t think so. Would any of them keep Richie McCaw, Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Ben Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams out of a team? The answer is a resounding no.
England are on the same level as top sides like Wales, Ireland and now Argentina but for some reason they think they’re the All Blacks and they should be up there fighting toe to toe with them. The simple fact is they’re not and are a long way from that level. The same goes for Ireland and Wales and a few others. Did the IRFU expect Ireland to win the World Cup? Did the media, the fans? Of course not. They hoped and they thought they had a right chance but it wasn’t ‘expected’ of them. The same goes for Wales, Argentina and a few others. Top tier 1 nations but second fiddle to the powerhouses.
When the English media, fans to a certain extent and the RFU finally learn to have a bit of humility, realise they’re not the best team in the world – and shouldn’t be, then maybe England might just be able to reach those heights of 2003 again. The next coach that comes in needs to somehow block out the media, be given time and build a solid group of 25-30 players over the next four years, not a group of 100. The constant English mentality of selecting an entire new side every few weeks is nonsense. Players need to build relationships – with each other and their coaches. How many of the All Blacks that won the 20011 World Cup were in the squad that won the 2015 World Cup? The answer 14, in a country that can produce more than one world class player in every position.
Choose your next coach wisely England. He’s got a lot of work to do – and please for once, relax your expectations. World class rugby teams aren’t built overnight.