Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

The John Mitchell message after two England red cards in three games

By PA
John Mitchell addresses an England huddle in Scotland (Photo by Jan Kruger/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

John Mitchell has instructed England to continue playing on the edge despite the disciplinary issues that have marred their Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Red Roses have been shown two red cards in three matches, with number eight Sarah Beckett dismissed in the opener against Italy and hooker Amy Cokayne sent off against Scotland last weekend.

Both opponents were crushed despite England being reduced to 14 players as they continue their march to a sixth successive championship title with the visit of Ireland to Twickenham on Saturday.

Video Spacer

Patrick Pellegrini on his incredible RWC 2023 try vs the Springboks

The Coventry and Tonga fly-half talks about the brilliant try he scored against the World Champions in France

Video Spacer

Patrick Pellegrini on his incredible RWC 2023 try vs the Springboks

The Coventry and Tonga fly-half talks about the brilliant try he scored against the World Champions in France

While Mitchell wants technique to be refined where needed, he views his team’s physicality as an important weapon. “I want us to continue to play on the edge, but I also want us to be aware around how we need to change our behaviour,” said the Red Roses head coach.

“In Amy’s incident, she needs to get her head under the ball. Obviously, that is something you put the ownership on the individual to change.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
England Women's
88 - 10
Full-time
Ireland Women's
All Stats and Data

“We probably let the pressure off on Scotland. There were a number of times when we had the foot on their throats. We’d rather that turn into attack for us.

“There are some good things we have learned from it, but we are certainly not going to go away from being on the edge. It’s what drives us. It’s what the game is all about and we want to turn defence into points.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Beckett received a three-match ban for a dangerous clearout while Cokayne’s two yellow cards for a dangerous clearout and dangerous tackle resulted in a one-game suspension. Both players will be available for the probable Grand Slam decider against France on Saturday week.

England had rehearsed for the eventuality of losing their number eight and hooker in the build-up to each game after defence coach Sarah Hunter had presented them as scenarios in training.

“We have told Sarah Hunter not to give us any more scenarios,” joked captain Marlie Packer.

“So she might have said at the beginning of the Six Nations, ‘Eight go off the pitch’. That might have happened. And then last week, ‘Hooker, you have got a card, go off’. And that might have happened in a game. So we have kind of told Sarah not to do that anymore!”

Almost 50,000 are expected at Twickenham on Saturday and in anticipation of the atmosphere, England have adapted training at their Surrey base.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Early on in the week, when we do more low-key training in the barn inside, we can put crowd noise in. I personally loved it,” she said.

“It paints a different picture for us. It’s been a new thing that we have brought in this week which has raised our game. Hopefully, we can put it out on the pitch on Saturday.”

Packer has been restored at openside for the visit of Ireland, forcing Zoe Aldcroft to move from the back row to lock, while Lark Atkin-Davies replaces the suspended Cokayne at hooker.

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE Ross Byrne has the grandest stage to prove his doubters wrong Ross Byrne has the grandest stage to prove his doubters wrong
Search