At 30-8 at the break, and with two quick tries shortly after, England had an unassailable 44-8 lead going into the final quarter of the match. Of course, it was a performance that would have pleased Eddie Jones, the players and the fans alike. However, there was something that the fans questioned on Twitter, and that was Jones’ reluctance to bring Dan Robson on for his debut.
The Wasps scrum-half has been knocking on the door of the England squad for a number of years now and has been consistently overlooked. However, he made it onto the bench against Ireland last week, but did not get on. With Ireland being such a formidable opponent and Ben Youngs playing so well, it is understandable that the Australian would not want to throw a debutante on at the Aviva Stadium.
However, with the game effectively done and dusted against a forlorn French team, Jones waited until the 70th minute before he introduced Robson to the game, almost 10 minutes after his penultimate substitution.
This confused many fans, as this would have been the perfect game to introduce Robson earlier on. Furthermore, the match ended on a bit of a whimper, as there was not a score in the final 20 minutes. Jones was never averse to introducing one of his arch ‘finishers’ in the past in Danny Care, but bizarrely seemed reluctant to bring Robson on, who could have injected some energy back into the game.
It’s understandable if Jones wanted to try out a new half-back combination when George Ford came on at the hour mark, but the Youngs-Ford combination does need to prove anything. That is a tried and tested partnership for both club and country, and it would have made much more sense to give Robson a chance to line up alongside Farrell or Ford.
In a World Cup year, the 26-year-old Robson looks to be moving ahead of competitors Care and Richard Wigglesworth, but Jones would surely want to give him as much exposure to international rugby as possible before the showcase in Japan in September. France was the perfect platform to do so, and that is why the fans are slightly confused.
This is what the fans had to say:
Why is Dan Robson not on yet!!!
— chris powell (@chrispowell25) February 10, 2019
— Ross Parry (@rossparryuk) February 10, 2019
What does Robson have to do to get on the pitch?! #ENGVFRA
— Dani Flower (@Daniflowers20) February 10, 2019
— David Berkeley (@dbberkeley) February 10, 2019
Can’t see any reason not to get Robson on now #ENGVFRA
— Ben Eustice (@BenEustice1) February 10, 2019
Please get Dan Robson on the field ??
— Runningflyhalf (@Runningflyhalf) February 10, 2019
Surely it’s time to bring Dan Robson on #engvsfra
— a_crafty_one (@a_crafty_one) February 10, 2019
Put on Dan Robson #ENGvFRA
— AaronBello (@AaronBello1234) February 10, 2019
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.