Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has lashed out at head coach Eddie Jones’ claims of a “new dawn’ for the national side.
Chairing a panel discussion on his Lawrence Dallaglio Rugby Podcast, which included ex-Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll, Dallaglio lambasted Jones’ handling of England’s current Six Nations campaign.
“I hear Eddie Jones talking that this is a young, inexperienced side, this a new England side,” said Dallaglio, the 2003 World Cup winner who earned 85 caps for England between 1995 and 2007.
“I mean, c’mon, who are you trying to kid? You have been the head coach for six years, you can’t suddenly try and pull the wool over England fans’ eyes and say this is a new era, a new dawn. We’re 18 months out from the World Cup.”
Dallaglio also slammed what he perceived to be a lack of speed and “urgency” from the English players, especially among the backs.
“We were told that Harry Randall, who didn’t have a bad game [against Wales], was picked to pick up the pace of England’s attack and try and get them playing a bit quicker,” he said.
“The image that stuck in my mind is every time we had the opportunity to up the pace of the game, we seemed to deliberately slow it down. I lost count how many lineouts England had where they went into this mass huddle about 20 yards away from the lineout and then it took them forever to get the call, etcetera.
“I just think there needs to be a bit more urgency about this England team and for them to understand that if they are going to challenge the likes of Ireland, and ultimately France, in the next couple of rounds there are going to have to play significantly better.
“If they don’t have guys who can punch up the middle in their backline then they do need to think how they actually get over the advantage line, because I am quite worried about the Ireland and France games because of the physical nature of what they have got, particularly in their pack.”