Lewis Moody gives his thoughts on England

By Sportsbeat
March 15 2018

Rugby World Cup winner Lewis Moody has called on England boss Eddie Jones to revamp his coaching set-up this summer and invest in specialist assistance to solve the Red Rose breakdown woes.   Disappointing defeats in Scotland and France have handed Ireland the Six Nations crown with one match to play – with England’s back row of Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw and Nathan Hughes comprehensively outplayed in both games.  Joe Schmidt’s side head to Twickenham seeking only a third Grand Slam in their history but Moody believes England will stop the rot and get their revenge on the Irish – who denied them Jones’ man the Slam a year ago. England have changed their back-row combinations for the visit of the Irish; James Haskell comes in at openside flanker, Sam Simmonds at No.8 and Robshaw packs down at No.6.   And Moody insists England must improve and quickly if they’re to put a glove on a hugely impressive Irish unit who will start as favorites at Twickenham this weekend.


Lewis Moody

 He said: “We have a lot of mentors in other positions. We’ve seen the work Jonny [Wilkinson] has done with the kickers for instance.

“Look at Neil Back, why not use one of your own and tap into his resources. Someone who is currently out of the game and not coaching.

“Why not look at getting him into it. We need to look at what fits that mould. That use of mentors and specialist coaches in certain positions will happen more and more.  “There’s a lot of time spent on goalkicking, why isn’t the same amount of time spent on work at the breakdown with a specialist number seven or six.

“It was great to see Eddie Jones call upon George Smith a year or two ago when he was playing for Wasps to work with the back row, that needs to be consistent and not a one-off.

“If you want to see change and consistent development in that area then you need to spend time developing it, it’s as simple as that. There’s just a balance that’s missing at the minute.”

England suffered immensely at the breakdown against both Scotland and France, conceding a combined 29 penalties in the back-to-back defeats.

But despite the below-par showings against Scotland and France – Moody is expecting England to avoid a chastening three defeat on the spin.

“At home England have been consistent winners and I strongly feel England will come out on top at the weekend but they will come up against a very difficult side in the Irish,” said Moody, who was speaking on behalf of Land Rover, the long-standing supporter of rugby at all levels; from grassroots to the elite.

“No team wants to suffer three successive defeats, I played in 2006 when we had a really tough Six Nations but went on the following year to feature in a World Cup final. It can all be turned around.

“In terms of the current world rankings Ireland have overtaken England, that is a fact. But has their form been consistent enough over the last four years to say they’re better in that sense? No, I don’t think so.
“I still think at home England can get the rub over Ireland.”

Injuries have ravaged England’s back row and with Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes ruled out of Saturday’s clash, Jones has called up Exeter Chiefs’ Don Armand.  Moody believes Armand deserves his chance but would also like to see Armand’s teammate Matt Kvesic given a second opportunity in an England jersey.

“There’s lot of guys who haven’t been used,” Moody claimed. “One of the unluckiest guys I think is Matt Kvesic. His form has been up and down but when you look at the stats going back a number of years he’s been consistently one of the best specialists in turnovers at the breakdown.

“But Don definitely deserves his chance if he gets it. Injuries have been pretty unfortunate.”

One of those injury-hit players was Sam Underhill, who had impressed during his maiden Six Nations before rupturing a tendon in his toe, ruling him out for the rest of the season.    Moody cannot wait to see Underhill thrive on the international stage and feels the flanker will be a starter at the World Cup in 2019.

He said: “I really love watching him play. I get the impression he’s desperate in every phase of play to make an impression and be involved.
“He’s desperate to make an impact. In the game against Wales he made a try saving tackle to win England.
“He’s very exciting and he’s only going to get better and develop. The strength and low centre of gravity, he could really be useful over the ball.”

Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover is celebrating its Testimonial Season, with ten years supporting grassroots rugby in the UK. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal


pqs: qs:
Lewis Moody gives his thoughts on England
Posted by: Unofficial England Rugby Union (IP Logged)
Date: 15/03/2018 16:27

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