Gustard not satisfied with England defence

Date published: November 23 2016

England defence coach Paul Gustard says that his side’s defence could still improve after conceding five tries in two games.

England have had an excellent start to their November Series after back to back wins against South Africa and Fiji but Gustard is still not satisfied with their defensive efforts.

“There has been some really good, positive signs post Australia. Unfortunately we have slipped a couple of unbelievably soft tries which is disappointing,” Gustard told the England Rugby website.

“In the 78th minute against South Africa we got caught a little on the short side after defending really well, and then the Fiji tries were soft. We are better than that, but stats don’t always reflect the performance of the team.”

“We have looked into them. It is easy to look back at footage and say this is why this happened, we’ve spoken as a group about the need to raise our level again, and that is what we are going to do, we had a great day yesterday (Tuesday) and look forward to Saturday.”

When asked if his charges needed more aggression, Gustard replied – “Define aggression. Can we be better? Yes. Are we the same group that conceded four tries in the Six Nations? Yes. We’ve not quite hit our straps yet. We know we can be better, and we will be better on Saturday.”

Bath winger Semesa Rokoduguni will rejoin his club as the England coaching staff believes Jonny May would be better suited for their next Tests against Argentina and Australia.

“We look from week one to week two.

“Jonny May had a good game against South Africa, scored a try in the first Test, and on a game-by-game basis we have to pick the team that we think is most appropriate for the threats we are going to face and for the opportunities we want to exploit.

“So he (Rokoduguni), along with several others, miss out on the fixture this weekend.”