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cj2002

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All good points, Capt. Particularly this:

b) On the field decision making  - Robshaw isn't a tactical genius, there needs to be someone in the team who he can turn to, even if that person isn't a born leader, someone who can say, "Don't be stupid, take the three points and live to fight another day." In 2003, England had leaders all over the park, some of that simply comes with accruing International experience; England didn't have nearly enough of it and needed to have an alternative way of making better decisions on the park.

As it happens, I don't think Robshaw was necessarily wrong to push for the match-winning try rather than the match-drawing kick. It was going to be an absurdly difficult kick, even for the best players. Wales quite rightly didn't contest in the air and so were ready with their defence as soon as the catcher was on the floor. Should Robshaw have seen that coming... maybe. If Ford or Farrell had said "let me kick at goal" - with the sort of confidence that Wilkinson would have shown in a similar situation - would he have let them?

With the right management, England 2019 will be a force to be reckoned with... another 4 years experience and, hopefully, a consistent selection for the key positions to allow them time to learn each others' games. England need to learn to finish the job.

As for seeding and selecting groups, three years before the event. The loss of revenue to the IRB, through England's early exit, should ensure changes will be made for the next WC.

This is true, of course. I was left wondering what would have happened if one of the 6 Nations or Rugby Championship sides hadn't guaranteed themselves a spot by finishing in the top 3. There is no space in the current (totally unfair) qualification system for England to qualify for 2019, other than by their performance in 2015. Put Japan in a group with Italy and the azzurri, too, would be in difficulty.

I came up with a brilliant plan to reform European rugby, incidentally, but I'll save it for another day.
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  • He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

     



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