England miss not having Smith – Mallett

Date published: January 23 2015

Former South Africa and Italy head coach Nick Mallett believes England would be much better off had he and Wayne Smith been hired in 2012.

The 58-year-old was one of the frontrunners for the Twickenham role back when Martin Johnson had departed after a disappointing World Cup.

And in an interview with The Times, the pundit has stressed that Smith’s absence in particular has left England missing a trick in attack.

“I don’t think England are missing anything in not having me as a head coach, but I do think England has missed not having Wayne Smith,” Mallett said.

“He and I were keen to do it together and he really is world-class. The All Blacks have just brought him back into their set-up because they rate him so highly. He is a brilliant coach.

“There would have been a lot more fluidity and cutting edge to the England attack. Perhaps with a guy like Wayne Smith coaching, Owen Farrell wouldn’t be as wooden as he is sometimes with the ball in hand.

“There would be clarity about the way in which England play in the back line. He coaches attack by manipulating the opposition defence, he coaches players to read the space and take better decisions on the field. He understands defence, he understands attack, he understands the timing of a pass and the distribution of forwards and backs across the field.

“A big point of difference with the New Zealand forwards is that they can all pass like centres, they are multi-skilled, and that is what he would have brought to this England side.”