15. Robbie Henshaw – 4
Obvious hasn’t played at Full-Back in some time. His attributes not best suited for an International 15. Matt Williams was quoted saying ”
14. Keith Earls – 3
Caught out for opening England try with a poor defensive read. Targeted in the air and aerial battle against Jonny May. Tactically whipped off at HT by Joe Schmidt. Interesting to see if he starts next week in Edinburgh.
13. Garry Ringrose – 7
Ireland’s most dangerous threat going forward. Joint highest carrier for Ireland with 14 carries. With only 4 clean breaks for Ireland, Ringrose had 2.
12. Bundee Aki – 6
Oddly played at first receiver a lot, second highest passing back. Managed Tuilagi well and carried well.
11. Jacob Stockdale – 6
Most prolific player with ball in hand this evening with 74m ran. Ultimately at fault for 2nd English try but a solid enough display for the Ulster man.
10. Jonathan Sexton – 3
Possibly his worst outing in a green shirt, certainly his worst in the last few years. Emphasises how important an in form Sexton is to Ireland success.
9. Connor Murray – 5
Rare to see Ireland being dominated in an aerial battle. Perhaps more to do with the strength of the English players in the air than the quality of kicks. Exceptionally busy in defence with 12 tackles, the highest in the backline, double the amount of 2nd place Ringrose.
8. CJ Stander – 6
Ireland’s joint top tackler with 17 tackles and 0 missed. 2nd highest carrier with 11 carries. Huge work rate but not as dynamic as usual with only 6m gained.
7. Josh Van Der Flier – 6
Similar to Stander, huge work rate as always, 17 tackles made and 0 missed. 1 handling error.
6. Peter O’Mahony – 5
Unusually quiet game, in comparison to his fellow back rowers, 9 tackles, 2 missed and carried 6 times for 2m. His game will be remembered more for his ‘Stupid c***’ remarks towards Kyle Sinckler.
5. James Ryan – 7
Typical industrious performance that we have come to expect from the Leinster man. Most willing carrier in the pack with 14 carries.
4. Devin Toner – 5
Solid in the line out, ineffective going forward and will be disappointed with a poor clear out leading to a turnover. Ireland will hope his injury isn’t serious given the current state of the 2nd row options.
3. Tadgh Furlong – 7
Typical strong carriers and solid in the scrum. 1 memorable carry taking 3 Englishmen to finally ground him.
2. Rory Best – 6
1 crooked lineout. Key secondary shove for Healy try. Typically aggressive and persistent at the breakdown.
1. Cian Healy – 7
A willing carrier with 9 carries. Got across for Ireland’s opening try. Solid in the scrum. Has definitely reclaimed the Irish 1 jersey.
16. Sean Cronin – 7 – Put Cooney in for late try.
17. Dave Kilcoyne – NA
18. Andrew Porter – NA
19. Quinn Roux – NA
20. Sean O’Brien – 7 – Good to see him back in the green. Could be pushing for a start next week.
21. John Cooney – NA
22. Joey Carberry – NA
23. Jordan Larmour – 5 – Didn’t get to use his trademark quick feet. Will be disappointed with defensive display making 1 and missing 2.
England: Embed from Getty Images
15. Elliott Daly – 8
Try, assist, solid in the air.
14. Jack Nowell – 8
Most metres made by any English player with 56m. Even deputising in the backrow during Tom Curry’s period in the bin.
13. Henry Slade – 9
Our Man of the Match. Continual threat with the ball in hand. Busiest English back with 11 tackles. 2 tries, showing great pace for the try from Jonny May’s chip.
12. Manu Tuilagi – 8
Great to see him back in the England starting XV. Solid display. Lucky that his no armed clear out on Jacob Stockdale went unnoticed.
11. Jonny May – 8
Scored on 90 seconds. Totally dominated the aerial battle with his opposite wing with success time and time again.
10. Owen Farrell – 8
Leading from the front and with passion. Clever kicking, huge defensive display and directed the English side to victory.
9. Ben Youngs – 8
A reminder that Connor Murray isn’t the only quality box kicking 9 in the Championship. Regularly put England on the front foot with his pin point box kicking.
8. Billy Vunipola – 8
England’s most efficient carrier but maybe not as destructive as we’re used to.
7. Tom Curry – 7
Silly yellow card with his late hit on Earls. Harried the breakdown well
6. Mark Wilson – 8
Very effective with the unglamorous work required of a back-row forward. 21 tackles – Newcastle will be missing him over these next few weeks
5. George Kruis – 7
Unspectacular but effective work from Saracen’s second row
4. Maro Itoje – 8
England will be hoping that his injury will not be as it looked as he hobbled off the field. One memorable turnover. Fortunate that the collision in the air with Earls was only a penalty
3. Kyle Sinckler – 6
Quiet – only memorable for his exchange with POM
2. Jamie George – 7
Gave away two penalties. Tackled well
1. Mako Vunipola – 9
Extra-ordinary defensive effort. 25 tackles. Very unlucky that his
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie – NA
17. Ellis Genge – NA
18. Harry Williams – NA
19. Courtney Lawes – 8 – Solid shift from the big 2nd rower.
20. Nathan Hughes – 7 Did well playing in the unusual position of 2nd row.
21. Dan Robson – NA
22. George Ford – NA
23. Chris Ashton – NA
Official. Eddie Jones signs new England Deal.
England men’s head coach Eddie Jones and the RFU have agreed a contract extension which will see him continue his role until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Jones joined England Rugby at the end of 2015 and has coached the men’s national side on 54 occasions winning 42, drawing one and losing 11 – giving him a win ratio of 78%, the highest in the history of England coaches.
Under Jones, England has won two Six Nations titles including a Grand Slam in 2016, a 3-0 away Test series win against Australia in the same year, an unbeaten run of 18 matches equalling New Zealand’s record and were finalists at last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Jones said: “The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing. We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together. I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years but the circumstances are right. Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that.
“I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes. Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It’s a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it. We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it’s a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward.”
Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said: “My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community. In exceptionally difficult times, we are pleased to be sharing some good news. We are delighted that Eddie will continue as head coach to run England’s campaign to take us to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. His record since joining speaks for itself and he has proven why he is one of the best coaches in world rugby. The progress shown by England since 2015 has been indisputable and having fielded the youngest-ever team to play in a World Cup final, we know even more growth is possible. We are all excited by what this squad can do and having Eddie leading the team is very important to us.
“We reached an understanding soon after returning from Japan but there were some things that we wanted to make sure worked for both sides. We have announced Eddie’s contract extension a few weeks later than planned as our focus was diverted to support the English rugby community during this difficult time, we are now turning our attention to developing plans to support the rebooting of rugby and a winning England team will provide a vital role in that.”
Ahead of the Guinness Six Nations Jones confirmed Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot would join Steve Borthwick and John Mitchell as his assistant coaches. Jason Ryles will join later in the year as skills coach following Borthwick’s departure towards the end of the season.
RFU CEO gives COVID-19 planning & support update
Bill Sweeney – RFU, CEO
My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU continue to be with everyone impacted by the difficult and exceptional situation we are all facing, both across the country and within our own rugby union community.
Earlier today we held a virtual board meeting and I am writing to advise you of the actions that have been agreed to offer a support package directly funded from the RFU worth £7m to provide support for community clubs in England.
To support clubs we are today announcing that the RFU will be providing a £7m relief package for community clubs. The package includes monies ring fenced and diverted for the community game as well as additional funding. These measures include:
• An early release of £800,000 cash due to clubs through the ticketing fund.
• Early release of final funding payments (£600,000) to Constituent Bodies and suspension of the activity plans against which this was allocated, enabling them to utilise this to provide “immediate support grants” to clubs most in need. In addition £400,000 will be made available to Constituent Bodies who elect to match fund from their own reserves.
• A suspension of the Quarterly loan repayments for clubs with outstanding loans due in March (£335,000).
• The creation of a £5m support loans programme, offering loans of between circa £2k and circa £10k to clubs, with deferred re-payments for six months and repayable over three years.
We will be providing more details on this financial package in the coming week. We will also be issuing regular club recovery updates with practical advice on how government grants can be accessed as well as other business management advice.
We welcome government interventions which will provide business rate holidays and grants for clubs.
The RFU will continue to provide a free helpline to assist clubs with legal and tax related matters: https://www.englandrugby.com/participation/running-your-club/legal-and-administration
Significant progress has been made on the process for considering the implications of ending the season early. We will ensure a fair and balanced outcome for the game and are now committed to update on this by the middle of April.
No one can predict every possible outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak particularly with regard to the duration of this crisis and we are managing in the unknown. We have modelled three potential scenarios and are working on an assumption based on a medium term impact with a view to a return to rugby in the autumn. We will continue to monitor against this assumption and review and revise planning where necessary.
The RFU had budgeted for a loss making year within a four year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and hosting only two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the country.
The RFU’s biggest asset is also a major cost and the closure of Twickenham Stadium has a significant impact on the revenues we can generate to re-invest back into the game. In that sense we are like every other club in the Union, when we do not stage matches and events we do not generate revenue.
Based on our planning assumption we estimate RFU revenue losses over the next 18 months to be approximately £45-£50 million and have a firm plan in place to mitigate this. The RFU Executive Team will be taking a cut in remuneration in excess of 25%. In addition, combined Board fees will be reduced by 75%.
We are continuing our support to ensure colleagues and communities are given help to follow government advice and are providing recommendations on how to stay fit and healthy and a range of new content will be made available to players and fans across our social media channels.
We are discussing with government and the NHS the role the RFU and Twickenham Stadium can play in providing volunteers as well as support for the NHS including accommodation, parking and meal provisioning.
I am confident that rugby will play a big role in energising communities across England after this difficult period. In the meantime, we are working hard with the wider rugby community to take the necessary measures to safeguard a financially resilient Union so that we can.
Rodney Parade to help in fight against coronavirus
Rodney Parade has become the latest sporting venue to open its doors to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Newport stadium has been provided free of charge as a base for front-line NHS staff to check if they have the virus and are able to continue working. At this stage only NHS staff are eligible to be tested at Rodney Parade to see if they have COVID-19. Dragons managing director Mark Jones said: “The health service and care workers are doing an incredible job in such difficult circumstances so we are happy to offer our help and support in any way we can.
“Playing our part in the local community is at the heart of what we’re about at the Dragons and in times of crisis people stick together. We would urge everyone to follow the latest NHS advice on protecting themselves from the virus, particularly to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.”
A statement from Aneurin Bevan Health Board read: “The health and wellbeing of our staff is essential for delivering services for the people of Gwent. It is fundamental during this time when the most vulnerable people need us most.
“We have set up a drive-through facility to test staff for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and help us get our teams back in to work on the front line. The testing site is located at Rodney Parade in Newport and we ask that everyone practises the stay-at-home guidance and does not visit the site.
“Everyone at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board would like to thank the team at Rodney Parade for their community-focused approach and accommodating us during these difficult times.”