Ex-France flanker Olivier Magne has doubled down on his criticism of the England team and George Ford, who he believes should be doing more to avoid kicking as much as he is at the Rugby World Cup. Steve Borthwick’s side have already booked their place in the quarter-finals but have recently come under fire as a result of their no-nonsense playing style.
Magne took to X, formerly Twitter, to brand England ‘boring’ after being left frustrated with their strategy in last month’s 34-12 victory over Japan. He wrote: “This English team is ugly! No desire, no joy, no consistency… It’s a repulsive rugby, with Ford at the top of the negation of the game.”
England have since been criticised again by Magne, who believes that Ford and his team-mates are good enough to play ‘spectacular’ rugby as opposed to being dragged into repetitive kicking battles.
He told i: “They have the players to play better rugby, more spectacular and more efficient. As a rugby fan, and also I know well the English rugby, I think they can do better. [Ford] is better than that, he has proved it before.
“To my old friends I played with, to Martin Johnson, to Lawrence Dallaglio, to all these players, it was an honour to play against that kind of player and that kind of team. England 1696412786 need to have a good [club] championship, maybe to have a situation more stable and maybe to have another great England team in the future.”
Magne went on to explain that he is not advocating for England to stop kicking altogether but to use the boot more selectively, with better options sometimes available for Ford to choose from.
“I’m not against the kick,” he added. “If the best solution is to kick and you beat the defence with this, and you score a try or you get a penalty, OK, no problem with that, but it’s not always the case. This game [of rugby], there is a lot of opportunity with the hands.
“To kick all the time is not the solution. When you see a situation, you have an idea, and you will realise it with your hands or with your kick, but you have to choose the better solution. You have to take a decision very quickly on the pitch, but the decision needs to be realistic, and it wasn’t for the game when I tweeted this. You have to make sense with what you do.”
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