World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio has blamed England’s poor form on the Rugby Football Union’s director of elite rugby Rob Andrew.
“England no longer aim to be the best in the world.”
England finished third in the Six Nations after a string of uninspiring performances but Dallaglio – writing in his Sunday Times column – said that manager Martin Johnson should not be held totally responsible.
“The ultimate responsibility rests not with [Johnson] but with the RFU’s director of elite rugby, Rob Andrew,” said the former England skipper.
“He is the guy who ensured that Johnson began his management journey from the wrong starting point.
“England no longer aim to be the best in the world, the players do not work in an environment conducive to producing a world-class team and, in this respect, we are short-changing the current generation.
“You only know how good a player is when he is allowed to work in the right set-up.”
Dallaglio said Andrew should take a leaf out of Sir Clive Woodward’s book when it comes to the team’s overall philosophy.
“[Former head coach Woodward] talked endlessly about world-class standards producing world-class players; he got us to focus on being the number one team in rugby, not just in European rugby.”
PROUD OF HIS TEAM
In the News.co.uk
England coach Martin Johnson remained upbeat after his side’s positive performance in the 12-10 loss to France at the Stade de France.
The home side may have written all the headlines by completing the Grand Slam but it didn’t come easy for them as England pushed them all the way and could have come away from Paris with the win.
And Johnson was full of praise for his side for playing the kind of rugby that had been absent from their first four fixtures, bringing them much all-round criticism.
Johnson said: “A lot of players came of age today. It was Danny Care’s best performance for England, Toby Flood as well in the way he managed the game and managed the week after coming in for Jonny Wilkinson.
“It was great to have Mike Tindall back. Ben Foden’s counter-attacking, his play under the high ball was great. Mark Cueto was outstanding again and Ashton handled it very well.
“They won the kicking game in the first half and their set piece got us under pressure. We did well still to be in the game at half-time with the penalty count against us.
“In the second half we were tactically better and the majority of the game was played in their half.”