The dysfunctional nature of our underperforming club game in England was never more obvious than at the weekend as two of the country’s best players in their position could not appear for the top of table clash between Sale and Saracens.
We can safely say that the Rugby World Cup will be epic. Enough teams have worked out that high intensity attacking rugby will be the only way to win. Some sides are fine-tuning their approach and we saw that this weekend. One or two others are yet to start…
There have been some truly great moments in the Six Nations to date but sadly overshadowed by the off-field mismanagement we have known for a while would come to hurt the game.
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.
Rugby romance, drama and crass stupidity at the close in Cardiff was a stunning feature of an ultimately predictable Six Nations as France and Ireland were streets ahead of the rest. I am not one for shouting at the television, and hardly when Wales is playing Italy.
This year of all years has been incredibly tough on professional rugby. All the touring teams from the Southern Hemisphere have been in ‘ bubbles ‘ for months and must be mentally and physically exhausted.
I was driving back in my trusty, big but cumbersome Ford F250 that suits my big frame that was used to bumping people around. Mind you ask Chris Butcher the ex England player about that, and it also cocoons me against the lunacy of some of todays’ drivers.
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.
Why did I imagine that Ireland was not good enough for a Grand Slam – nerveless (40 plays before the miracle Sexton drop goal in Paris), clinical (Italy), and coldly predatory (Scotland and Wales), before rendering the tumultuous St Patrick’s Day clash somewhat academic after 40 remarkable minutes at Twickenham.