Ireland coach’s view on England struggles as ‘next step’ awaits in Six Nations

Adam Kyriacou
Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt during a training session.

Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt during a training session.

Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt has stressed that patience is needed from England supporters over the team’s recent struggles, saying it takes time for things to click.

Speaking ahead of their Six Nations fixture with the Red Rose at Twickenham on Saturday, March 9, Catt was pressed on England’s form after their loss to Scotland.

The former England international believes Steve Borthwick’s charges are a “dangerous” proposition as Ireland look to avoid their Grand Slam bid being derailed next weekend.

‘Capable’ England

He also urged English supporters to give their coach time as he looks to make his mark at Twickenham as he was asked if they’d improved since Eddie Jones left the hot-seat.

“That’s not for me to say, to be honest,” said the 2003 World Cup winner about England.

“Doing the job, especially from an attacking point of view, does take time. It’s a tough one to get (right), especially when you’re at the top end of the sport.

“The individuals that are there are definitely capable of causing teams (problems).

“They were third at the World Cup and they’re still all there, barring Owen Farrell, but everyone else is there and they’re well capable.

“It is tough at that level but they’ll keep ticking along, I’ve no doubt.

“This England side are a dangerous side, we know they’re capable of doing things.

“It’s making sure we take the next step and the next step is England at Twickenham. It’s all we’re going to focus on at the moment.”

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Ireland go into Round Four on the back of an incredible three bonus-point win record out of three after beating France, Italy and Wales in their opening Six Nations games.

However, Catt insists there is room for improvement after the recent victory over the Welsh, feeling they “went through the motions” in the 31-7 result at the Aviva Stadium.

“We’ve had a review of the Wales game and it wasn’t perfect by any means,” said Catt.

“We’ve really realised what we need to do now over the next 10 days to prepare properly for England.

“We went away from what we are really, really good at against Wales.

“It’s something that we’ve addressed and need to make sure we get right.

Bit disappointing

“We just went through the motions a little bit rather than implementing the way we wanted to play, and it was a bit disappointing in certain aspects of the game.

“But we addressed it and it’s something we have to get right for England, so we will.”

Ireland are hopeful over the fitness of centre Garry Ringrose and full-back Hugo Keenan ahead of next weekend, with Catt saying they are “coming through nicely”.

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