'Eddie Jones and England are deluded': Rugby Pod's damning verdict
The Rugby Pod have become the latest critics to heavily unload on Eddie Jones and the RFU following another Guinness Six Nations campaign by England that left much to be desired. Jones’ side recorded just two wins in its five matches this year – the same number of victories as last year – but the coach was still given a vote of confidence on Sunday when his employer claimed it was “encouraged by the solid progress the team has made during this Six Nations”.
The unsigned statement baffled numerous rugby pundits, with even ex-Wales and Lions skipper Sam Warburton accusing the RFU of telling “a lie” as the campaign that finished in Paris on Saturday night with defeat to France was “blatantly not progress”.
Now, The Rugby Pod has added its voice to the chorus of disproval, ex-England No10 Andy Goode leading the charge on the weekly show he co-hosts with Jim Hamilton, the former Scotland forward. Goode had become increasingly uncertain about Jones’ England as the 2022 Six Nations unfolded and he has now called out the RFU for its “steady progress” claim which he quickly tore asunder on the show.
“The question is, who has made that statement? No one has put their name to it, it is just collectively the RFU,” began Goode, who played for England on 17 occasions between 2005 and 2009. “And to say ‘we are encouraged by the solid progress the team has made during the Six Nations’, where is the progress?
“We scored less tries than we probably ever scored in the Six Nations and let’s not forget, I played ten a few times in a few Six Nations games and I was the most average attacking ten out there possible and that is patting myself on the back too much.”
?? Forza Italia ??
After Italy’s incredible victory over Wales on Saturday, we’re joined by the man who masterminded the win, Kieran Crowley #forzaitalia
— The Rugby Pod (@TheRugbyPod) March 22, 2022
Goode wasn’t fully accurate claiming that the eight tries scored by England this term was a record low in the 23 editions of the Six Nations – the record English low was five in 2013, with other tallies worse than 2022 recorded in 2010 (six tries) and 2012 (seven tries). There was also just eight tries in 2008. But you get Goode’s drift all the same, as this year’s total of eight was four tries down from last season’s dozen tries in another campaign where England won just two of its five matches.
“There is no difference in results from this year to last year except for last year we beat France at home and this year we beat Wales at time. We beat Italy both times, we lost to Scotland both times, we lost to Ireland both times. So we have had two wins in five games in the last two Six nations, right. So progress-wise, results? No.
“The only real difference that I can see is he has given players opportunities. So he had brought in Harry Randall, he has brought in Marcus Smith, he has brought in Freddie Steward. Sam Simmonds is back in the mix, Alex Dombrandt. The only progress I can see is the average age of the squad has been reduced which can be seen as a positive because they can play for longer for England.
“I can’t see it [the progress]. That statement and some of the headlines that have come out, people are calling them ‘liars’. I think Sam Warburton said they are lying to us… I have got to agree with him. It’s just deluded for me (the RFU) coming out with a statement as quickly as that.
“What the RFU should have done in my opinion is say ‘the Six Nations results no doubt aren’t good enough but we are backing Eddie Jones to take us through to the 2023 World Cup’. Don’t try and pull the wool over everyone’s eyes by saying there is progress because I can’t see any.
“To say what they have said and to show a bit of disrespect to the competition to say ‘it is all about the World Cup and we’re developing’, you have got to live in the here and now a bit as well, lads. Eddie Jones and England are deluded if they think that is the case.”
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