'Eddie Jones brought them into this complete trance... so many steps backwards'
By Rugby Onslaught

‘Eddie Jones brought them into this complete trance… so many steps backwards’

Ahead of what could be Ireland’s Grand Slam decider against England at the Aviva Stadium in round five of the Guinness Six Nations later this month, former Ireland international Rob Kearney does not seem too threatened by Steve Borthwick’s side.

Speaking after England’s victory over Wales on Saturday, the former British & Irish Lions No15 said how the game has moved on, and that England have struggled to keep up, suggesting that he does not see much of a chance of the visitors raining on their Grand Slam parade.

Of course, Ireland still need to face Scotland in Edinburgh before thinking about a Grand Slam, but that has not stopped Kearney from giving his verdict on England.

“They’re improving very marginally,” the former Grand Slam winner said.

“They are still not remotely at a level of performance that is going to beat the top five or six teams in the world. The game has moved on and ironically, they were the team who moved it on in 2019 in that World Cup semi-final- some of the best rugby I have ever seen a team play. Then they just took so many steps backwards and Eddie Jones brought them into this complete trance of playing some desperate, desperate rugby.

“Steve Borthwick is trying to reprogram them now, but it’s taking time. Ok, they have a strategy of kicking an awful lot of ball away to try and regain it back with the likes of Freddie Steward- it’s a huge strength of his. We saw for Ollie Lawrence’s try they can pick up the pace and the momentum and the tempo of the game when they get into the opposition 22 an awful lot better, but they have to start doing that from further up the field. It certainly doesn’t scare me for 18th of March.”