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England’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Preparation

England putting the product under pressure, with repeated poor performances.

After 40 mins of watching the England v Wales this past Saturday, all I had written on my A4 pad, was totally uninspiring. Unless England can find some spark, they will continue to fail. Farrells sending off could be a blessing.  He has had far too much influence over the England squad for a few seasons now.

Listening to some of the player comments, I suspect there is a lot of insecurity in the squad and Farrell feeds off that. He must go, both as a player and a captain.

England without a running fly half cannot hope to win the World Cup.

Once again when Farrell is put in a running position, he grubber kicks the ball forward, ignoring the overlaps. His first kick for Arundell was a 3 on 2.

Eddie Jones’ reluctance to install Marcus Smith as first choice 10 has not only limited the players’ development but also the team’s attacking development. There is a huge lack of quickness and sharpness in team performance. England’s players look like a group of weightlifters.

The first 40 minutes was shambolic. Error after error.

If Ellis Genge is to captain the side, he must do it as Ellis Genge! All this going around asking advice is not what Ellis Genge is about!!! You know what’s needed Ellis, get on top of it.

Gatland has done well in galvanizing the Wales squad and unearthing new players.

I share his views and think they will beat Australia. Liam Williams is a class act and Biggar is coasting through these warmup games, like a protected species.

France were both rusty and classy in a narrow win over Scotland, who will not be a pushover in group B. In the contact area Scotland were tough, and when Russell starts spraying the ball about, he will get the best out of Van de Merwe and Steyn. Their lineout is strong and there is a winning belief in the camp.

France have classy players, and when Duponte goes on those wavy in and away runs, he unlocks a range of attacking opportunities, but I think New Zealand will beat them on the opening night.

Coaching thought:  “Make sure, if you ask your mates to help you coach the team, they know what they are doing.” (See above)

About Mike Penistone

Mike has coached at all levels of the game, from under-7's through to elite international players at the highest level, in both the northern and southern hemispheres. A few notable positions include serving as Head Coach for Great Britain Students (Rugby League), Head Coach at Nottingham RUFC and Head of Elite Player Development at Leicester Tigers Academy. Mike also served as the U21's Coach at the NSW Warratahs and Director of Coaching at Eastern Suburbs Sydney. He continues to coach across the globe running his consultancy. Check out his website: here. View all posts by Mike Penistone

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