England told to fire all their bullets against Australia

England captain Chris Robshaw regrets the decisions he made in the world cup

Former England head coach Clive Woodward says that England must fire all of their bullets this weekend when they face Australia in a do or die Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham.

England are almost certain to qualify for the play offs if they beat Australia as they have picked up bonus points in both of their matches and will finish the pool stage with a match against Uruguay.

Should England lose to Australia they will almost certainly be out of the world cup unless Wales lose heavily to Fiji and Australia.

Clive Woodward, who coined the phrase ‘T-CUP’ — thinking clearly under pressure — while coaching England to World Cup glory in 2003, slammed the side’s final-quarter display against Wales.

“It pains me to say it but England looked like a team of amateurs playing against streetwise professionals in the last 20 minutes,” former England centre Woodward wrote in a Daily Mail column.

Woodward said Lancaster had been proved right in his most controversial selections against Wales by bringing in Owen Farrell at fly-half and starting Sam Burgess in midfield.

But Woodward added that when rugby league convert Burgess came off with 11 minutes left even though he was not injured things started to go wrong for England.

Lancaster replaced Burgess with George Ford who moved to flyhalf which pushed Owen Farrell into the centre.

“From looking secure most of the night, England were suddenly lost and Wales’ decisive try was down to that,” said Woodward.

Looking to the Australia match, he added: “England collectively have to produce the performance of their careers.

“With the stakes so high, England must fire all their bullets. If (Jonathan) Joseph is not fit, I would bring Henry Slade straight in at 13.

“England need every creative talent they have on the field.”

Jason Robinson, a member of Woodward’s World Cup-winning side, lamented that the team had not been “streetwise enough” to be further ahead when on top against Wales.

And he said better core skills were needed to beat Australia.

“Whatever tactics we choose, getting the basics right; defence and discipline are going to be absolutely vital,” the dual-code star insisted.

England captain Chris Robshaw has come under fire for turning down a late penalty kick that could have led to a draw and instead he went for an an attacking line-out which was ultimately pushed into touch.

Ex-England captain Will Carling said responsibility for the debacle lay with England coach Stuart Lancaster, a former school-teacher, for creating a “classroom-orientated environment”.

“My view is that he has had leaders and that he needed to have trusted them and develop them…Instead, we’ve treated them as schoolboys,” Carling said.

All Black hooker Keven Mealamu and Australian captain Stephen Moore have both said that Robshaw was right to choose the line out and play for the win rather than the draw.

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