Back in the heady days of a 2003 World Cup win, an annual domination of the 6 Nations, England's Rugby Team was full of household names, epxerienced performers and the odd young, bright spark.

Nowadays, British sports fans who don't follow domestic rugby but passionately support their country, are often hit with the realisation that they have no clue who this player is that England have called up.

To this day, the greatest few seconds of sport that I can actually remember watching (not 'Solskjaer has won it') is Jason Robinson running through the centre of the Welsh side to set up Will Greenwood to change the course of the 2003 RWC quarter-final, and history

Robinson was one of the great, well-known names of that team, alongside Greenwood, Dawson, Cohen, Johnson, Dallaglio and of course Wilkinson.

But in these times of struggling international form, the formula for a good England team has changed, and the names that make up that team are unknown by many. Is that right?

Yes, yes it is. Because the name on the back of the shirt can only be known once it has been earnt. The name on the back of the shirt is nowhere near as important as the crest on the front. Talent earns you the right to wear this shirt, not your name or previous glory.

These reasons are exactly why I agreed with the decision to drop Chris Ashton from the starting XV against France.

He seems to fight for the name on the back of the shirt, not the national crest on the front and that is something that is worng with a lot of International sportmen at the moment. Money takes priority, not patriotism or pride, and that is wrong.

(I know that the name isn't printed on the back of an England rugby shirt, and I think that is right).


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Topics:
England Rugby
Rugby Union
Chris Ashton