Rugby Union


Jeremy Guscott angers Irish fans by comments after Grand Slam triumph

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Football News

Three days on and the dust is beginning to settle after a fateful St Patrick's Day played out on the turf at Twickenham. Ireland came to the home of English rugby looking to take only the third Grand Slam in their history while Eddie Jones' men were hoping to spoil the impending party.

England's run of 14 games won at home was ended in spectacular fashion as Ireland raced away to a 24- 15 victory.

Ireland set the early pace with tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale at a snowy Twickenham as Joe Schmidt's men opened up a 21-5 lead, despite having a man in the sin bin.

England rallied late in the game but it was all too little too late for Eddie Jones' team and the reaction to the performances of the squad throughout the Six Nations has been pretty damning. The latest to weigh in with his opinion is former England and British and Irish Lions star Jeremy Guscott. 

Writing for the BBC, Guscott stated: "This tournament has showed us England don't have quality strength in depth, and that's the reason the plan can't be totally ripped up."

"Eddie Jones will strongly believe what he's been doing is right, but this Six Nations has been a massive reality check.

"There are a lot of questions, about Eddie and what he's trying to achieve, but also about which players he's trying to do that with. His best players are not playing their best rugby and he needs to know why."

Guscott's surprising Ireland analysis

Guscott also went on to compare the current mess England find themselves in to the situation Ireland were in three years ago.

England v Ireland - NatWest Six Nations

He continued: "England have entered the same phase of their development Ireland went through after winning their second successive Six Nations in 2015.

"The following season Joe Schmidt's side finished third and were almost unrecognisable from the champions of the previous two seasons."

But what has really got fans going is what he said next:

"Ireland, arguably, do not have any world class players in their Grand Slam-winning squad."

"You could argue there are better scrum-halves and fly-halves than Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton who would get into a world XV. Tadhg Furlong is one you would argue less about. But what they do have are 23 players playing very well." 


Having just secured just their third Grand Slam, there were understandably plenty of unhappy Irish fans on Twitter after reading Guscott's view.

Here's how they reacted:

Guscotts's assessment of the Irish team has been widely ridiculed but when it comes to England the man Clive Woodward described as 'The Prince of Centres' still seems to have his finger on the pulse.

"England travel to South Africa for a three-Test series in June and I see this tour as a place to rebuild confidence, to rebuild an understanding that 'we all know what we're doing and we can all produce it to a level of excellence.

"But if people think England are in a mini-crisis, then South Africa are in a bigger one. They are unrecognisable from the team that got to the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-finals. They have a new head coach, they're playing at home and it's England - so they will be up for it.

"Right now South Africa aren't a very good team, but neither are England."

Rugby Union
Ireland Rugby
Six Nations
England Rugby

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