Rugby Union

First Cameron Redpath, then Twickenham: England beaten all ends up

First they beat England to the signature of Cameron Redpath, then they beat the auld enemy all ends up.

Scotland completed a memorable fortnight at Twickenham by turning the tide of history – with Bath centre Redpath leading the way.

This was no fluke. This band of Bravehearts had beaten England in 2018 and come back from the dead to draw in 2019.

Armed with that belief and the most exciting playmaker in Europe in Finn Russell, they were more than a match for England and their stagnant attacking game.

Russell and Ali Price brought tempo and vision, Redpath distribution, Stuart Hogg a kicking game of the highest order.

It was all done with a purpose which England and their decision makers lacked. And what a time to produce it.


There is supposedly still a Lions tour this summer and head coach Warren Gatland was in the stands to see the flowers of Scotland bloom alongside a number of wilting Roses.

England badly missed Sam Underhill at the breakdown, the power of Joe Launchbury in the set-piece, the line-busting punch of Kyle Sinckler and Manu Tuilagi.

Given their time again they might also revisit the decision to build their side around five Saracens players under-cooked after two months of inactivity.


Nobody will have enjoyed it more than Redpath's old man, Bryan.

For 10 years he tried and failed to beat England in a 60-cap career only for his son to nail it at the first attempt.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW

Should England drop Farrell?

George Ford should start at 10 against Italy, a new broom to sweep away this memory and freshen things up. Farrell remains the supreme competitor but he is rusty and at the moment too prone to put boot to ball rather than use the backfield weapons at his disposal. Jones won’t do without his captain for a moment longer than he has to, but right now a change is as good as a rest.

What about other casualties?

As reigning champions and Nations Cup holders there should be no knee-jerk reaction to one bad day at the office. That said, England’s attack game is regressing and that is a big concern. Too prescriptive, too much playing by numbers rather than to what they see in front of them.

Can England still win the Six Nations?

Of course. A year ago they lost their opening game in Paris and ended up lifting the trophy. Italy can’t buy a win so England should get back on the horse this Saturday. But they must use the opportunity to sharpen up as right now Wales, France and Ireland will hardly be equaling in their books.

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