Another poor performance against England could see a number of players miss out on the 2023 Rugby World Cup, according to Matt Dawson.
Several of England’s most senior players have failed to impress in the 2021 Six Nations Championship so far, yet head coach Eddie Jones has stuck with largely the same team that started in the first game against Scotland.
Dawson was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live ahead of Saturday’s game against France, and he believes that a few England players could lose the faith of their coaches with another disappointing display.
💬 “They’ve got a lot of threats with strong and dangerous runners.”
@Sladey_10 has been speaking ahead of facing France this weekend ⤵
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) March 12, 2021
“England are the underdogs now. They are going to be sick as anything because of the results. They know now that there is just a few little blades flying around chopping heads,” Dawson said.
“The time is now or they’re gone. There will be a few players thinking if they don’t pull their finger out they’re not going to the World Cup in 2023.”
‘You have to change the decision-makers’
Jones has made three changes to the starting team that lost against Wales at the Principality Stadium, bringing in Max Malins at full back, Charlie Ewels at lock and Luke Cowan-Dickie at hooker.
However, former England captain Dawson believes not enough changes have been made to the team, stating his opinion that only “fundamental changes” to the team will make a difference.
“Is changing the full-back going to make a big difference to the England attack? For me, if you are going to make changes you have to make changes in the spine of the team,” Dawson commented.
“You have to change the decision-makers. You have to bring new blood into 8-9-10 if you are going to see fundamental changes.”
England will have their work cut out for them at Twickenham Stadium as they come up against arguably the championship’s best team in France.
While England’s chances of winning a Six Nations title remain slim even if they do manage to beat Les Bleus, the game will still hold plenty of significance for the 2020 champions moving forward.