Ben Dirs on England’s rugby

Because ‘a win is a win’ is not just a phrase, it is a pernicious culture.

A culture of just doing enough, of stultifying functionality.

Ben Dirs pretty much sums up why I couldn’t get upset about England losing the Rugby World Cup final four years ago, because winning would have papered over the gaping cracks in the plasterwork. He also sums up why its dumbly depressing that England don’t really seem to have moved on a huge amount since then. They looked like they were getting nearer to sorting it out the season after that tournament, and then the RFU inexplicably decided that a World Cup final and being runner-up in the Six-Nations was underachievement and replaced Brian Ashton in a pretty rubbishy manner with Martin Johnson. Now, I like and respect Martin Johnson plenty as a man and as a player, but he’d not earned his coaching spurs at the time – and I’m not sure he’s earned them since. And I don’t really see where inspiration is going to come from.


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