Every couple of weeks, 888sport conduct an interview with an ex-sportsperson or sports expert around a topical issue on the sporting agenda. This week, they’ve conducted one with Dave Alred – the former England, and British and Irish Lions kicking coach, as well as former mentor of Jonny Wilkinson.

Here are a few of his thoughts before what could be the defining match of the England players careers.

On Sam Burgess

“I think Sam is growing with every game. I was actually very impressed with his work in the ruck and the maul especially for a guy where that part of the game is foreign to him. He held his own in a very attritional game in the midfield and he wasn’t found wanting at all. Would another player have done things differently?
Maybe, but would that other player have been that much of a stalwart in defence?

“He’s developing all the time. He seems to have a very balanced attitude towards learning as much as he can about the game. He’s a massive advantage for England.”


On Chris Robshaw

“In the heat of battle Chris played his gut feeling. Had it worked and they’d won the game he would have been a hero. Sadly in terms of execution it didn’t but it’s so difficult for people to emphasise with what it’s like on the pitch: heartrate buzzing, you’re looking at the scoreboard, and you’ve got an opportunity like that.
He would have thought of the steals from the last line-outs and a lot of people would have done the same thing in his shoes and played the eighty minutes he played.”

On Stuart Lancaster’s position

“I’ve been involved in four world cups for England and what goes on inside the camp represents all the iceberg that is underwater. What we see on the outside – the media and pundits included – is the top ten per cent and I think its very unfair to make a judgement without seeing the other ninety per cent and what goes on.”


Some very interesting thoughts – worthy of a further read here … http://betting.888sport.com/rugby/news/dave-alred-exclusive