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Author Topic: Stuart Barnes' scathing take on John Mitchell's England job  (Read 1145 times)

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None of you can be serious.

Jones appears to have lost the plot -  Barnes is only pointing out the blindingly obvious.

- Why have a rigid policy for players being England-based and not apply the same criteria to the coaches?

- Why not include an in-form Cipriani inspiring a top four Gloucester side in his AI squad as well as a long-standing out of form Ford who is doing nothing to help a misfiring Leicester outfit who lost at home to Wuzz last weekend?
- Why have six out of form Quins players who have forgotten how to play for 80 minutes (let alone win) in his training squad but have only three from an Exeter team with a consistent and sustained winning habit?

Time for someone to smell the coffee................ 

Steady on! Why so confrontational? Why is the world losing the ability to have a debate? At no point did I say that I thought Jones was doing a good job. I was more expressing the mild amusement that the permanently miserable Barnes, (a rugby pundit I find so aggravating Iíd rather spend a weekend watching greatest welsh victories with jiffy than listen to him for any length of time) appeared to be further irritated by something.

As to why have a rigid policy for players but not coaches... seriously? Not much to do with EJ, thatís an RFU policy that predates him. Sometching about availability for international windows and training camps via agreements with PRL etc and stopping the top players from decamping to France when the wage differential was substantial in the early part of this decade. See no benefit in limiting ourselves to English coaches but the merit is certainly there for the players.

I would like to see Cipriani in the squad, and heís played very well at times recently, he offers something I do think England miss. That said Iím concerned that the hype is getting to the point that every time his name is mentioned his perceived ability goes even further into the stratosphere - heís left Dan Carter so far in his wake now. Also while Ford was bog average last year, his form this season for a misfiring Leicester has actually been very good.

On the final one - no idea at all. That does utterly confuse me. Think Armand is unlucky not to get an extended run. Thereís always examples of quality players at club level who just canít cut it at international or who work really well in their club system but donít work outside of it (see Goode, Alex amongst many more) but I donít feel the likes of Armand have had a fair crack.

So for me EJ is in the last chance saloon, a fair bit of what he does utterly confuses me and I want to see a significant improvement this Autumn or we need to make changes or the World Cup will be an utter waste. But I also feel weíre at the point where heís damned if he does and damned if he doesnít. The squad announcement and subsequent hysteria was for a training squad where limited changes can be made from the previous, I donít expect it to be the same at the AIs at all. If it is, Iíll be more worried.



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