People will watch South Africa ahead of the last World Cup and see how a change of head coach can free up the players, but I can understand why England aren’t looking to part ways with Eddie Jones at the moment. .
At this point I don’t know who would take the job and with Eddie signing until after the World Cup the RFU had already decided he was their man and they had to stick with it.
Sometimes you can put in a new manager and that changes things drastically – just look at Harlequins last season – but I think for this group it’s about having a consistent message and staff who drive the game forward. ‘team.
Now it’s all about sitting down and figuring out what this team’s identity is with this new group of players. What style of rugby do they want to play? Is it suitable for gamers? Is it well coached?
England needs to look at many areas. The only sign of progress is the experience gained by the young players who have stepped up.
But then you look at the attack, which hasn’t scored enough tries or made enough line breaks. Defensively, discipline has been a problem at times and apart from the game against Italy, they concede nearly double the number of tries they score. If you’re not creating or taking chances, you must be tight on defense.
It also needs to be clarified going forward who are the top 23 in England when everyone is fit and who are next in line for injuries.
Some positions are crystal clear – Ellis Genge and Maro Itoje both had strong performances in the Six Nations, as did Freddie Steward who was very consistent. But if you were to go through the squad now, there’s maybe five positions where you don’t know who the guy is to push that jersey forward.
England have selection headaches and when you compare that with France, who have been relatively calm in all Six Nations, you can see where it has been difficult for Jones’ side to continually build combinations and to improve its performance.
It’s been a big plus for France – they have a clear identity in how they attack and defend.
You could choose a starting XV and most people would name the close of the same.
England can certainly get to that level, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s likely to take the painful times they’re going through right now.