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Rugby Pod's damning England verdict: 'There is no free-thinking in there at all and that comes from having a coach like Eddie Jones'

By Liam Heagney

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Andy Goode has become the latest former England international to take Eddie Jones to task over last Saturday’s shock Guinness Six Nations loss to Scotland which ended their eight-match winning streak that stretched back to last February’s defeat to France.

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England had won Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup titles during that unbeaten run without playing spectacular attacking rugby and their limited attacking game crumbled last weekend at Twickenham when they were held to a limited amount of possession and kicked away a lot of what they did have. 

Goode, an out-half who started in seven of his 17 England caps won between 2005 and 2009, has now joined the chorus of disenchantment surrounding the current attacking approach of Jones’ England, questioning their style of play compared to how they went about their business some years ago.   

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Eddie Jones reflects on England’s loss to Scotland

Appearing on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod along with co-host Jim Hamilton, the ex-Scotland lock who was revelling in his country’s surprise win last weekend, Goode blamed Jones for England’s malfunction and worries about the direction they are going in. 

“The media have been saying for a long time – and I have been part of that – that England have got Plan A and no Plan B, what’s your Plan B, where are you evolving to, what does your attack look like?

“How do we go from Eddie Jones playing Scotland a few years ago, we put 61 points on them at Twickenham, we played ball in hand, heads-up attack – where has all that gone in England’s performances? Yeah, we have won games but we have won it in a turgid way, we have won it in a way where we are just battering teams to death, outmuscling them. All the things that Eddie says, we want to be the toughest team to play against, we want to be the greatest ever team, it’s all just words, Eddie. 

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“The attack is non-existent, non-existent around an understanding of how to manipulate a defence, how to move a defence around. There was a seven-on-three at one point (last weekend) and you have just kicked it. You’re like, ‘Hold on a minute, these boys are just programmed to play a certain way, there is no free-thinking in there at all and that comes from having a coach like Eddie Jones’. 

“Eddie Jones has been super successful but with all the success and all the pats on the back that you get, equally when you have had a performance like that in a massive competitive fixture, it’s probably England’s worst performance. 

“I have played better than that when I played and I was s*** at international rugby, to be honest. Some of the performances we had when we were transitioning from the ’03 winners (World Cup) to whoever is in next because Jonny (Wilkinson) was injured, we were s***e but we weren’t as s***e as that at the weekend and they [England] are meant to be the second-best team in the world at the moment.” 

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Rugby Pod's damning England verdict: 'There is no free-thinking in there at all and that comes from having a coach like Eddie Jones'

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