When Ireland won at Twickenham in their first match following England’s Rugby World Cup triumph in 2003, we joked that only Ireland could peak the best side in the world after the World Cup had ended!
What a month of sport around the world, where to start? Bairstow’s heroics at Trent Bridge against the world’s No 1 team, New Zealand, was inspired by the legendary Kiwi Brendan McCullum, a delicious irony and so far a visionary choice for England’s new supremo.
Just as we are all ruminating on the right structures to give England rugby success, some fascinating takes have appeared in the press on the England coaching job by Rob Baxter and then Mark McCall.
I said it was complicated and in a whole generation of English rugby, only three groups have ever been really successful and all three had the same characteristics.
The bad news for England over the weekend comes from an unusual source and will not get any headlines. For the first time in recent memory France showed their true rugby colours and offered a glimpse of what my generation of rugby players experienced every time we saw them take the field.