Despite an impressive scoreline against Italy this weekend, there will be several issues that are a cause for concern for England fans ahead of their clash with Ireland…
For the second time in as many weeks, England’s slow start meant they found themselves chasing the game early in the first half. If they can just learn to start concentrating from the very first minute they’ll find it much easier to get ahead and stay ahead. It’s likely that if Ireland get ahead, England will have a much tougher time overturning the deficit than they did against Italy and Wales.
Although there’s no doubting Jonny May’s talent when given half a yard of space, his overall play has been pretty poor so far. He looks a little out of place on the international stage and has had a few defensive lapses that have cost his side tries. England need to look at some other options and fast if they hope to challenge for the Six Nations (and World Cup).
3.Second Row Cover
Although Nick Easter has performed well during his cameos against Italy and Wales, realistically his best position is by far and away in the back row. It would therefore be nice to see England bring a specialist lock onto the bench in favour of Tom Croft to ensure England have this option should George Kruis or Dave Attwood need to go off.
The promotion of George Ford into the starting line-up has been a breath of fresh air in many ways as his kicking from hand has been impressive, however he still doesn’t look the most assured of goal kickers. It is also a concern that other than maybe Mike Brown, nobody else in the backline looks particularly comfortable kicking the ball from hand.
Brad Barritt is a fantastic player to have in the wider England squad, however it is a concern that he could be fast tracked back into the England starting XV after their defensive lapses against Italy. Despite a couple of disappointing moments in defence, it is important for Stuart Lancaster to stick with the current XV rather than trying to shore up the defence by starting Barritt.
6.Mike Browns KO
It was fantastic to see Mike Brown sitting on the side lines after his nasty knock out against Italy, however it will be a concern for England fans should he not be fit for their trip to Ireland. Whilst Anthony Watson put in a decent shift at full back in his absence, its likely Alex Goode would receive a recall which would somewhat change the dynamics of the current team.
Do you think England fans have anything to be concerned about?