Sir Clive Woodward has chosen five players who he believes will be vital in the forthcoming Six Nations championship in 2022.
In his piece for the Mail Online, the World Cup-winning coach explains why he chose a team with a mix of youth and experience.
“An exceptional all-around fly-half who will be stand-in skipper. The 32-year-old is a natural leader but can be a bit fiery so will need to rein that in a little bit. He is also the team’s goal-kicker. It is pressure all the way but he will welcome that.”
“No getting away from the fact that England fans, and possibly Eddie, are expecting Smith to reignite the team. He has all the ability in the world and is a born winner but the entire team need to buy in to his approach even though he is still a rookie.”
“He is immense in defence — both the team’s best tackler and the defensive captain — and does all the basics well. He is a nice counterpoint to the attacking excellence of Russell, Hogg and other dashers.”
“He will be 37 this summer and his eyes are set on the World Cup. For now, let’s just enjoy his play”
Antoine Dupont (France)
“Dupont. An obvious choice in many ways but Dupont is a brilliant player. There is no one who couldn’t pick up something from watching him closely for 10 minutes. If I were to single out one thing, it is support and tracking lines. He reads play 10 seconds ahead and knows where to be.”