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Virgin Panel Tear Apart "Ignorant, Delusional" England After Historic Defeat

Virgin Panel Tear Apart "Ignorant, Delusional" England After Historic Defeat
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Saturday afternoon saw France lay waste to England at Twickenham, with Antoine Dupont leading a 53-10 rout of the hosts in London.

It now stands as England's worst ever defeat on home soil, their worst ever defeat to northern hemisphere opposition, and their third heaviest defeat in test rugby history.

A historically horrific trouncing at the hands of the French for Steve Borthwick's side, and it leaves them staring at two home defeats in a single Six Nations season for the first time ever.

There were no positives to take from a shocking afternoon in west London, and serious questions will now be asked about the downward trend of the English team in recent years.

Virgin Media broadcast the game live in Ireland, and the panel of Matt Williams, Rob Kearney, and Andrew Trimble went in on England post-match, calling them "ignorant" and "delusional," and saying that the team would struggle to pull themselves out of a historically bad rut.

England ship 53 points in historic defeat to France

The most striking feature of France's mega win at Twickenham on Saturday was the ease with which Fabien Galthié's side were able to dismantle England.


France had been surrounded by question marks after two less than stellar performances in their opening two Six Nations games against Italy and Ireland, but they proved with Saturday's game that they are still one of the finest teams in world rugby.


The Virgin Media panel, however, focused in on the lackadaisical performance by the English team, with Matt Williams going in on the entire set-up. He said that English rugby looked completely lost, and slammed the English press for zeroing in on young out-half Marcus Smith in the buildup to the game:

It's a beautiful story - "Bring back Eddie Jones!" - that's what I can hear the English press saying - "We were wrong!"

The English...how do I say...the absolute ignorance that I've been reading during the week about the selection of Marcus Smith. I'm not criticising the young man in any way - but it was delusional, it was delusional to think that the problems of that team were around Marcus. Marcus is a fine player, who tried very hard today.

We can all see there are huge systemic problems with this team. Eddie Jones was very hard done by, in my opinion.

Borthwick is finding out that this is not Leicester, this is not the Premiership, this is much bigger than that. They were shockingly poor in every aspect. The pace they played the game was at a snail's pace.

Andrew Trimble and Rob Kearney would both express sympathy for England head coach Steve Borthwick, saying that the issues lay with the players the ex-Leicester man has at his disposal.



Despite their sympathy for Borthwick, both men would lay into England - even after Kearney had initially predicted an English victory pre-match. Post-match, his tune had changed, and he admitted England were now at "rock bottom."

Trimble commented on a shot of Owen Farrell leading a post-match huddle, saying that the England captain would be at a complete loss for what to say in light of the team's dire performance:

Matt's right - Marcus Smith is certainly not the bad guy here, but that whole debate is irrelevant. Across the board, France were better. Not just 1 through 15 - 1 through 23.

[Owen Farrell] is searching hard. He's really searching for something to say. That's such a tough place to be - that's not his first team talk today feeling depressed. At half-time the game was gone.

It's pretty depressing that you find yourself repeating the same thing three, four, five times and everybody's looking elsewhere.

England now look ahead to a final weekend assignment in Dublin against high-flying Ireland, with nothing but pride left to play for in the 2023 Six Nations.

SEE ALSO: Four Mind-Boggling Stats From Ireland U20s 75 Point Defeat Of Scotland

ireland u20s irish rugby six nations 2023 scotland

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