England have plenty of questions to answer

Ben Kay on ‘Lessons learnt’ and what Stuart Lancaster needs to change, along with Lawrence Dalaglio on the coaches part in England’s poor performance.

Ben Kay on ‘Lessons learnt’ and what Stuart Lancaster needs to change

“Personally I think they will want to know why England didn’t play. I spoke to a couple of them at Matt Hanson’s dinner last week and they were saying that they felt that they didn’t go and give a good account of themselves- they didn’t turn up. It would have been ok if they have turned up, played as hard as they could and not come away with the win so, when you’re under a bit of pressure, how do you make sure that the players go out and deliver? I mean obviously Ireland were superb. They played exactly the right game-plan, but it was a game-plan that we were all predicting Ireland would play. Sexton was fantastic, and Conor Murray was fantastic as well. I just felt England didn’t put enough pressure on them. But back home at Twickenham it’s a different sort of mentality and a different game-plan. Against Scotland who have has a rough time, England now need to go back to getting that high-tempo game up. They couldn’t do that in Dublin, because Ireland slowed the breakdown”.

Lawrence Dalaglio on the coaches part in England’s poor performance

“One thing that has been worrying from everyone’s point of view, and I’m sure the fans feel the same, is that England haven’t come out of the dressing room particularly well, and in a tournament as big as the 6 nations, they started badly against Wales. They gave them a 10 point lead . They were the same against Italy. They didn’t start particularly well against Ireland. So I think, if you give quality opponents like that a good start, that for me, is worrying because hopefully, when we get back to  Twickenham we won’t…..

And the other question mark, and it is a slight question mark, is about selection. You know there are a lot of issues around it. When things aren’t going your way during a game either the team on the pitch have to change the way they are playing or, we have to make selections off the bench hat will impact on the game. I don’t think that we have done that throughout the Championships. When you’ve got a quality player like Danny Cipriani on the side line what is he doing on the bench?? Get him on, he is going to make a difference in the game. So I still think there are a few question marks to answer for me, England haven’t become a terrible side overnight just because they lost one game.

They can still win the Championship and I think we will see a much improved performance from both players AND coaches in the next 2 games”.

Rugby Tonight, BT Sport’s weekly rugby show airs every Monday evening on BT Sport 1 at 8pm