Rugby Union


Lewis Moody urges Eddie Jones to freshen up the England set-up

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There have been many inquests following England's meek surrender of their Six Nations championship last weekend following consecutive defeats to Scotland and France, but one of their 2003 World Cup heroes has backed Eddie Jones' side to bounce back - provided that changes are made.

Jones had only lost one of his first 25 tests as England boss, but now faces the prospect of a third defeat in a row should the Red Roses lose to Ireland at Twickenham in their final game of the tournament and ex-England flanker Lewis Moody has called upon Jones to revamp his coaching staff after Saturday's match in order to freshen up the England set-up.

A number of observers have bemoaned the lack of effectiveness of England's back row in recent weeks. As per the Daily Mail, Moody also has some specific ideas of who he would like to see involved.

"We have a lot of mentors," he said. "We've seen the work Jonny (Wilkinson) has done with the kickers for instance. Look at Neil Back, why not use one of your own and tap into his resources?" Moody suggested.

"Someone who is currently out of the game and not coaching...That use of mentors and specialist coaches in certain positions will happen more and more."

England will go into the match with a new look back row, with James Haskell, Sam Simmonds joining Chris Robshaw in the starting XV - and Moody wants to see more work done on the training field to ensure that England strengthen in this area going forward. 

"There's a lot of time spent on goalkicking, why isn't the same amount of time spent on work at the breakdown with a specialist number seven or six?" Moody questioned.

"If you want to see change and consistent development in that area then you need to spend time developing it, it's as simple as that. There's just a balance that's missing at the minute," he argued.

England Media Access

One year ago, it was Ireland who denied England the Grand Slam as they recorded a 13-9 win in Dublin. However, roles are reversed this weekend as England will be attempting to deny Joe Schmidt's team their own flawless championship on Saturday.

Moody is confident that England can use the disappointment of their last two performances to pull off the upset victory.


"In terms of the current world rankings Ireland have overtaken England, that is a fact. But has their form been consistent enough over the last four years to say they're better in that sense? No, I don't think so. I still think at home England can get the rub over Ireland," stated Moody, who won 71 caps for his country.

"No team wants to suffer three successive defeats, I played in 2006 when we had a really tough Six Nations but went on the following year to feature in a World Cup final. It can all be turned around."

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Rugby Union
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