It’s just a few days now before the 6 Nations kicks off and there has been surprisingly little baiting in the media from any of the teams who face each other on Saturday and Sunday.
Rather there has been a plethora of respect from all sides.
Tom Wood has warned about the danger of Louis Picamoles, Joe Schmidt has heaped praise on Scotland and yesterday Thomas Castaignede announced that England are better than the All Blacks –
As much as I’d like to believe he is right I think we need to take this comment with a lorry load of Saxa (possibly two lorry loads)
The litany of charm offensives came to an end rather abruptly when Jim Telfer ripped into Eddie Jones and England –
There were a couple of surprises in this assault – firstly it came way ahead of the England v Scotland match (11th March) and secondly he said –
“To me he’s building his whole team on set-piece and the building of the attack comes secondary”
This attack (sic) seems slightly odd when England have scored 265 points in their last 7 games at an average of 37.8 points per game. As good as Owen Farrell is with the boot he didn’t kick 13 penalties a match. These matches were all against tier one teams with the exception of Fiji – Australia (4), Argentina and South Africa. Add in the Grand Slam and the argument that England can’t attack now looks flimsy at best.
Eddie was also mauled as being like Donald Trump by Telfer – which again was a bit odd as Eddie had made the same comparison a couple of days earlier –
Finally Eddie was castigated for wanting to put the hammer down –
“Eddie Jones doesn’t want to beat teams, he wants to demolish them, which I find a bit disappointing,” Telfer told BBC Sport. –
Isn’t that what the All Blacks have always done? I don’t see it as a weakness frankly – and I’m really surprised that Telfer does.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Jim Telfer, his ‘Everest’ address before the first Lions test in 1997 will go down as one of the best rugby motivational speeches ever –
I particularly liked –
They don’t think f*** all of us. Nothing. We’re here just to make up the f***ing numbers.
He reprised the sentiment in his attack on England this week –
In England it’s just disdain – ‘Why are we playing these plebs?’.
“I don’t like Twickenham; a concrete jungle, nothing attractive about it at all.”
From a man with his outstanding rugby pedigree I thought it was a little disappointing.