Mike Brown believes it is time that his former teammate, Owen Farrell, is dropped by Eddie Jones to give England’s dangerous backline an opportunity to open up.
Writing in his Daily Mail column, Brown was clearly furious following England’s 11 – 6 blow out loss to Scotland in Twickenham and believes the time has come to drop the star standoff to the bench.
“Next weekend could be time for a change and I would put Owen Farrell on the bench and start with George Ford against Italy on Saturday.
“Compared to his usual high standards Farrell was poor at Twickenham, with England wasting four-man overlaps and kicking the ball away. Enough is enough now and I would give Ford a chance to show how he can lead the backs.”
Brown bemoaned England’s lack of creativity and seeming inability to get the ball to the three quarters during the contest.
“I would rather see England get some of their dangerous players into the match and give them a chance to express themselves — I don’t enjoy watching kick-chase all the time and I am sure people at home don’t either.”
“I don’t think Ollie Lawrence at centre and Watson on the wing had touched the ball by then and England need to get these players into the game. Leaving Farrell on the bench would give Lawrence the chance to show what he can do — he has hardly had an opportunity in his short career.
“The English pack are usually dominant so there is no reason why, with Ford having a run, they can’t get the backs firing.”
Brown, who last played for England in 2018, also suggested stripping Farrell of his captaincy and handing over that honour to second row Maro Itoje.
“I would have made the same changes from the bench as Eddie did on Saturday. Ford and Farrell do work well together and when they got the chance England moved the ball better but by then it was too late.
“Everyone is talking up Maro Itoje as a potential captain, so I would give him a run in Farrell’s place, with Ford and Ben Youngs as his deputies. Itoje is a guaranteed starter and he leads by example.”
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