Nowell double helps England past innovative Italy

England coach Eddie Jones called for World Rugby to outlaw the manoeuvre but yesterday the RFU backed away from any immediate approach to the governing body.

England, 10-5 down at half-time against Italy, scored five of their six tries in the match after the break and Jones said: "Six tries, three wins, a bonus point".

With this game plan they could legitimately stray offside - a move England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward called "innovative and inspired".

Ben Ryan, who as coach of England Sevens pioneered the "no-ruck" ploy in the abbreviated form of the game back in 2012, said he'd been stunned by Jones' fury.

"I thought they were brilliant in the execution, but if that's rugby, I am going..."

Speaking to RTÉ 2fm's Game On, the former Ireland worldwide, said: "I think it was just fun".

"I think Ugo wanted some help for his TV commentary, on the sort of things they were trying to do".

Care brought England level within four minutes of the re-start as he took a quick penalty before darting between Marco Fuser and Guilio Bisegni to dive over.

"Yeah, good question, I got it wrong, I'm just a silly coach", he said, before reminding the audience that his team remained on course for the title after their third win.

"I'm not happy with what happened".

However, the overriding reaction in the British media and from former players was that Italy's disruptive tactic was an example of clever coaching rather than a blight on the game.

Plenty others disagreed with Jones, pictured, and believe Italy simply
out-witted their opponents during that first half.

England struggled as Italy's Irish head coach set up his team to avoid rucks and it took a second half turnaround for the reigning Six Nations champions to secure victory.

"We didn't come here to make up numbers". But one of the great things when you have Robbie Henshaw playing as well as he is, when you have Garry Ringrose continuing to get better as he has, and he really demonstrated that tonight against Gael Fickou, who is a big young man, and Remi Lamerat - we have seen a lot of how powerful he is.

"That takes time, but you don't ever want to be the centre of attention and I think you've got to allow that space for the players".

George Ford says England must improve on their RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy on Sunday and prepare for a Scotland side full of confidence.

That prompted Wales' leading worldwide referee Nigel Owens to tell the Daily Telegraph: "I am surprised at players not knowing this because global referees tend to go in with their respective national squads and discuss stuff like this". We are not going to roll over and we are going to fight.

"We need to push ourselves in training, get ourselves in a good spot, and get our house in order to go into the game with Scotland as well prepared as we can", he added. For the first half he'll give us a lot of speed and running at the base of the ruck as well as the scrum. We were a little bit sloppy in different areas and we lost a few balls at times so if we get those little one percenters it will hopefully add to our game.

  • Stacy Allen