There comes a time when an English rugby team has suffered enough, certainly after two humbling defeats against the Irish in past years depriving them of silverware in one case and suffering in silence their grand slam celebrations at Twickenham in another.
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.
Summer tours have sometimes appeared to be tiresome and meaningless. But not one year before a World Cup. We have in fact learnt a lot about aspiring hopes and that the All Blacks do not have the field to themselves.