The poor health of the English club serves the national team well, despite what Eddie Jones says


England head coach Eddie Jones’ statement that Ireland are favorites to win at Twickenham due to Andy Farrell’s cohesive squad has probably raised as many eyebrows within Premiership clubs that she will have done it across the Irish Sea.

There was undoubtedly an element of mind games behind Jones’ statement that his team was being overlooked, but there is at least some logic behind his assertion.

Farrell are able to choose from four provincial setups controlled by the Irish Rugby Football Union, there is much greater integration and common thinking in their approach to the Ireland national team, in terms of load management players and position development.

Additionally, given the remarkable nature of Leinster’s current strength, Farrell is able to draw from a pool of talented players who have been brought up together across schools, age groups and the provincial team who over the time, has ingrained an invaluable measure of understanding between players – both in terms of decision-making in the white heat of a Test match and the ability to substitute like-for-like when injuries strike.

This makes Ireland, according to Jones, “the most consistent team in world rugby”.

On the other hand, if you develop this argument further, Jones, despite having greater player resources, must try to forge a national team of players from up to 13 clubs together, each with different rugby identities and cultures. It’s only when teams are given an even playing field of three months of preparation before World Cups that all of the cohesive benefits are recouped.

And yet, this assessment overlooks the Premiership’s innate strengths. Clubs may not be aligned with England like provinces are with Ireland, but the supply line to the national team has never been worse.

England have reached the final of seven of the last eight Rugby World Under-20 Championships, illustrating the combined strength of the Premiership academies and the desire to increase the number of players available for England selection in the first level meant that of the 802 registered players (483 seniors, 319 academics), 560 (70%) are English qualified.

It’s a vast pool of talent to choose from, one that Farrell would no doubt point to when assessments are made to determine which team should be set up as favorites at Twickenham on Saturday.

But there is much more to the Premiership than just the weight of playing numbers.

Diving into a deeper and more professional approach to Premiership club management has arguably never been higher. Mark McCall at Saracens and Rob Baxter at Exeter have been the flag bearers of the past decade, and their two clubs in recent years have exhibited the kind of cohesion in culture similar to Irish provinces.

And yet, across the board, a new generation of relatively young and (mostly) English managers has emerged – Lee Blackett at Wasps, George Skivington at Gloucester, Alex Sanderson at Sale Sharks, Phil Dowson at Northampton Saints and Steve Borthwick leading the way. in Leicester. Tigers.

They are a progressive group, in tune with the modern game and the conditioning and player management needed to develop and nurture young talent capable of breaking onto the international stage as well as lighting up the Premiership, which is the most competitive in the world. she’s been for a decade.

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