Matt Dawson fires a ‘brutal warning’ to England’s boss over making Eddie Jones error after Rugby World Cup pathetic exit…

Matt Dawson, a Rugby World Cup champion, has offered advice to England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, following their heartbreaking loss to South Africa in the semi-finals. He cautioned Borthwick against making the same mistake that his predecessor, Eddie Jones, made after the defeat to South Africa. Jones, who held the top coaching position before Borthwick, was dismissed less than a year ago and subsequently led Australia to an early exit from the pool stage in France.

Borthwick has not shied away from making changes to his team, implementing three alterations from the quarter-final victory over Fiji to face the Springboks. However, Dawson believes that there should be a “consistent approach to player selection” going forward. He advised the former Leicester Tigers boss to maintain confidence in the senior players on the squad and to avoid repeating the same pattern as his predecessor, which involved frequently changing the starting lineup.

Dawson expressed his view by stating, “My perspective is straightforward: if a player is skilled and capable, their age should not be a hindrance, whether they are young or old. Young players should challenge the more experienced ones, while the older players should pass on their knowledge to the younger generation. This competition and constructive friction between players can drive the entire team’s progress.”

He added, “Prematurely and arbitrarily dropping players, especially those over 32, should be avoided. Doing so leads to a loss of experience, expertise, and, in case of a few losses, momentum.”

Dawson stressed that the key difference should be in how new players are integrated into the squad. He pointed out that Eddie Jones, Borthwick’s predecessor, frequently rotated players in and out, resulting in inconsistent player selection. This approach made it challenging to build a cohesive team and establish consistent playing patterns.

One of Borthwick’s significant changes was breaking up the second-row partnership between Maro Itoje and Ollie Chessum, with George Martin replacing the latter. However, despite Martin’s strong performance, England’s hopes were dashed when Handre Pollard’s late penalty secured South Africa’s place in the final against New Zealand on Saturday.

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