Every day this week, our trainee Sports Reporter Gary TwoSheds will take a look at each of the teams in this year’s Six Nations and assess their chances of success. First up, it’s England.
England boss Eddie Jones says that all the pressure will be on the Irish this weekend when England aim to become the first visiting country to win there since 2016. They currently sit top of the 2019 Six Nations table but that’s only because they’re first alphabetically.
The first game of the tournament will indeed be an important one as high-flying Ireland host World Cup winners England at the Aviva Stadium. But England will be without their talisman centre Will Carling, who retired in 1996. England are also without enforcer Wade Dooley, who’s been spending the last 30 years in prison after breaking the jaw of Phil Davies. Injuries aside, England will be hoping that the boot of Jeremy Guscott and the billy whizz legs of that other fella – the one on the wing – you know – the one who had a brother playing for England at the same time – yes – you know the one – the one who got pinged by our Ieuan that time – Underwood. Yes. Him. I’ve forgotten what I’m saying now.
If England want to do well in this tournament, they are going to need to make sure that they’ve mastered the art of the scrum reset. It’s becoming such a popular part of the game these days and it goes without saying that whoever can gain dominance in this area will be at an advantage.
At the back, Mike Brown will most likely be sat at 15 where he’ll be least annoying. On the wings, with Rory Underwood out, expect to see Chris Ashton on one wing and someone else on the other. Captain Owen Farrell has been tackle training with his arms in his pockets for the last few weeks as his arms are usually surplus to requirements when it comes to the tackle area. He’s likely to be paired up with George Ford who I always get confused for George Dawes. Danny Care will be the water carrier this tournament.
In the pack, Jones has dropped Dyland Hartley and brought in some proper English-sounding players such as Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams. Tim Rodber is out with yet another injury but that’s ok because he retired back in 2001.
England also have a strong bench to call on – made from finest oak and reinforced with iron girders. They bought it in B&Q and had some alterations made to it by some guy down the pub.
As usual, England will be led on to the pitch by that old fella in the tall hat. I wonder what he does for the rest of the year.
England begin their Six Nations championship in Dublin where they face defending champions Ireland on 2 February.