Something that stood out for me in this past weekend’s match up between Ireland and England was a severe lack of leadership on the English side. I’ve never cared for Steve Borthwick for captain and lately he’s been a bit of a ghost as player too.
Week after week, it seems as though Martin Johnson is still the skipper for England as he is the one answering all of the questions and making comments such as, “we should have adjusted to this” and “we needed to be doing that”. The on field adjustments that Johnson is speaking of are things that are supposed to be taken care of ON the pitch, not after the match has ended. Johnson does deserve some criticism for his sides play of late, but I feel that he’s taking a bit too much. Where is the leadership on this team?
If it’s not Johnson taking the brunt of the criticism, it’s Johnny Wilkinson. I understand Wilko is susceptible to extra criticism given his talismanic position within English rugby. But I am so sick of him having to defend his teams play and his own when he is far the cause of England’s woes.
Ireland are a great example of leadership in world rugby at the moment. Brian O’Driscoll is always in command of his side and Paul O’Connell provides excellent back up, keeping the forwards focused.
This team needs a leader and it is not Steve Borthwick. I always admired Tom Croft for his work rate and energy and thought he was well suited for the captaincy. He’s young and a bit inexperienced, but I just can’t come up with another player to lead this team. Croft hasn’t seen any action in the 6 Nations though. Any suggestions for a new English captain?