England's Rugby World Cup Squad. Rated and Slated.
For England the Rugby World Cup is over. It is an inescapable fact that we weren't good enough. The question that should be asked is why did we fall so short when analysis of the playing squad suggests we aren't short of good players. However, we are lacking in a few key areas and there are a number of players who have returned from then World Cup with reputations severely dented. And I’m not talking about throwing dwarves, branded gum-shields, dodgy blondes in bars and diving off ferries.
Its time for the post-mortem to begin. Here are my tour ratings for the England World Cup. Its time for some players to go, some to step up and fulfil their potential and others to justify the hype. Some of these guys should make the 6 Nations squad for 2012. Some definitely shouldn’t!
Dan Cole - Failed to justify his reputation as a fierce scrummager. Will need to work hard to justify ongoing selection. Did he grow the beard to hide his blushes?
Alex Corbisiero – One of the few to return with his reputation intact. I do not understand why he was not used more following Sheridan’s injury. The scrum instantly looked more solid each time he came on.
Andrew Sheridan – I suggested it was a risk to take him in light of recent injuries. I fear this is the last we will see of him in an England jersey..in fact any jersey.
Matt Stevens – Found out in the scrum far too often for my liking and gave away too many penalties. Another with a reputation to repair.
David Wilson – Did what he was taken to the World Cup for...bring on the half-time oranges.
Dylan Hartley – Didn’t do enough to claim the first team selection ahead of Thompson. With Thompson likely to retire there must be a number of young hookers in the Guinness Premiership looking to take the spot.
Lee Mears – As Wilson, he was there to make up the numbers.
Time for new blood in this position for the 6 Nations.
Steve Thompson – One of the few who can return from the tournament with his head held high. Worked as hard as anyone. Johnson should be grateful he returned that £500,000 insurance payment.Continued on the next page