Rugby

Gordon D'Arcy Believes There Is One Specific Weak Point Ireland Should Target Against England

Gordon D'Arcy Believes There Is One Specific Weak Point Ireland Should Target Against England

During the World Cup, Gordon D'Arcy was highly critical of the England midfield and, in particular, the selection of Sam Burgess at inside centre.

Burgess has since departed English rugby for a return to his true love, NRL. His return has actually been a real success so far.

The rugby league convert no longer being present and a change in coaching staff has not halted D'Arcy's disapproval of England's 10-12 axis.

Writing for The Irish Times the former Ireland international claimed the combo of George Ford and Owen Farrell will never be good enough to win a World Cup.

England’s 10-12 axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell will not win too many collisions so they are tasked with creating space. I don’t believe that combination can win England the World Cup in Japan.

In 2015 Ford and Farrell only combined together when Australia had all but knocked them out of their own tournament. To persevere with them all the way to 2019 would, in my mind, be unwise.

D'Arcy believes this is an area which Ireland must target on Saturday at Twickenham

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Ireland, ideally with England fielding Farrell at 12, but regardless, must put that 10-12 channel in a vice and squeeze until it yields errors that are converted into points by Jonny Sexton.

Options other than Farrell at inside centre - bar one - do not impress D'Arcy either. Elliot Daly and Luther Burrell, while good young players are not near world class.

The one player D'Arcy does like for England and he does not have a preference for a position - either 10 or 12 is good - is Henry Slade. A player who he believes has 'great footwork' and the ability to evade contact in the frenzied atmosphere of the international game.

The Exeter Chiefs player is currently injured and unavailable for selection by Eddie Jones.

PJ Browne
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