Sir Clive Woodward: The Eddie Jones regime led to England’s record Twickenham defeat

Jared Wright
Sir clive woodward england steve borthwick eddie jones six nations

Sir Clive Woodward has once again pinned the blame on Eddie Jones following England’s record defeat to France at Twickenham in the Six Nations.

The Red Rose shipped seven tries against France on Saturday, resulting in their heaviest defeat at Twickenham ever.

Not Borthwick’s fault

Commenting on the 53-10 Le Crunch loss in his Daily Mail column, Woodward says that the reversal was not Steve Borthwick’s fault but rather his predecessor’s.

“It would be easy to put the boot into Steve Borthwick. But this France humiliation is not the fault of the new England head coach,” Woodward wrote.

“The result merely shows that the Eddie Jones regime led English rugby into big, big trouble in the last three years, with a few one-off wins papering over the cracks.”

While Woodward was scathing in his review of Red Rose’s performance, he saw some positives from the game.

“The only good thing about yesterday’s result is that it’s shown England the level they need to get to if they are to have any hope of being successful and win a World Cup,” he added.

“Borthwick will now need to learn and act quickly. Ireland are up next on the final weekend, and that is a daunting prospect.

“Both Ireland and France have a brilliant attacking game that England are miles away from right now.”

Marcus Smith v Owen Farrell

The former England boss advocated for Owen Farrell to start at fly-half ahead of the clash with France.

He also called on Borthwick to select his fly-half and stick with his decision.

While Marcus Smith ultimately got the nod for the starting jumper, Woodward conceded that it wouldn’t have mattered who was in the number 10 jersey.

“What is most depressing about the result is that there were no real issues with the England team,” the World Cup-winning coach wrote.

“The only debate was over the number 10 shirt, but it would have made no difference whatsoever if Owen Farrell or Marcus Smith had played against France.

“Fabien Galthie’s side were far too good in every area of the game.”

The 67-year-old concluded that England’s road to recovery would be a long one.

“There is not much Borthwick can do in terms of selection for Ireland because he picked a good team for France. But that team was hammered,” he added.

“I never thought I would see such humiliation. The road to recovery from this defeat promises to be long and painful.”

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