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'C'mon, who are you trying to kid?': Dallaglio lashes Eddie Jones

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Famed ex-England No8 Lawrence Dallaglio has turned the heat up on Eddie Jones ahead of next weekend’s Guinness Six Nations game at home to Ireland. The 2003 World Cup winner has spoken with exasperation about the coach’s claim that this is a new era, adding that so uncreative were the English backs against Wales last weekend that the forwards should have stopped giving the ball out of them.

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Following a February where the England attack failed to consistently fire in the loss to Scotland, the low-frills win over Italy and the narrow victory of the Welsh, Dallagio laid bare his frustrations with the Jones approach when hosting the latest episode of his new podcast. 

Chairing a panel of guests that included ex-Ireland midfielder Brian O’Driscoll on the Lawrence Dallaglio Rugby Podcast, the former forward took aim at Jones for his codology that this is a new England team.

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“I hear Eddie Jones talking that this is a young inexperienced side, this a new England side. I mean, c’mon, who are you trying to kid? You have been the head coach for six years, you can’t suddenly try and pull the wool over England fans’ eyes and say this is a new era, a new dawn. We’re 18 months out from the World Cup.”

Dallaglio then took issue with the general lack of speed in the round three display produced by England. “We were told that Harry Randall, who didn’t have a bad game, was picked to pick up the pace of England’s attack and try and get them playing a bit quicker. The image that stuck in my mind is every time we had the opportunity to up the pace of the game we seemed to deliberately slow it down. 

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“I lost count how many lineouts England had where they went into this mass huddle about 20 yards away from the lineout and then it took them forever to get the call etc. I just think there needs to be a bit more urgency about this England team and for them to understand that if they are going to challenge the likes of Ireland and ultimately France in the next couple of rounds there are going to have to play significantly better.  

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“As a forward last Saturday, I probably would have stopped giving the ball to the backs after a little while because they weren’t doing enough with it,” continued Dallaglio. “For what it is worth I do believe that England need to add a bit more ball-carrying ability into their pack, whether that is Alfie Barbeary at six, whether it is Courtney Lawes into the second row or Joe Launchbury, someone like that. 

“If they don’t have guys who can punch up the middle in their backline then they do need to think how they actually get over the advantage line because I am quite worried about the Ireland and France games because of the physical nature of what they have got, particularly in their pack. These are going to be very interesting games from an England perspective.”

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