Former international scrumhalf Matt Dawson has compared the current England team to the All Blacks side that dominated the previous decade.
In the wake of England’s 18-7 win over Ireland this past weekend, Dawson wrote in his BBC Sport column that Eddie Jones has turned England into a relentless, ruthless team that no other Test side wanted to face.
‘It is like playing the All Blacks,’ Dawson wrote. ‘England’s games are now mirroring those days of playing against the All Blacks from the mid-90s to the mid-2010s.
‘When you faced that New Zealand side, you had to come up with something new. You had to play with a clear and present vision of where the space was.
‘You had to have the physicality and you had to score tries. Playing against England is like that at the moment. You are never going to beat them just by kicking goals.
‘Physically and mentally you have to be at the top of your game in order to challenge them. You also have to bring something to the party that England have not prepared for. You have to throw a bit of caution to the wind. If a side lacks that firepower, I cannot see how they are going to beat England.’
Dawson didn’t completely disregard every other Test nation, saying the top three teams in the world at the moment are the All Blacks, England and France.
‘New Zealand, England and France would be your top three – South Africa are world champions but aren’t playing right now – but whether anyone will get to the consistent double World Cup-winning standard over the course of a decade that the All Blacks reached, I am not too sure.’
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