England skipper's bold Six Nations statement
SPOTLIGHT: England captain Jamie George said he doesn’t want anyone in the squad who doubts that the Red Roses can win this year’s Six Nations title.
England last won the Six Nations trophy in 2020 and the new Test-level skipper believes is about time for another season of silverware.
Having finished as bronze medal winners at the World Cup 2023 in France, a level of optimism existed about England’s championship chances.
However, their narrow 27-24 win over Italy in the opening round of the Six Nations has cast fresh doubt over their title hopes.
The English performance was poor and they had to come from being behind at the interval to win eventually.
They also failed to secure a for-try bonus point.
Their blunt display contrasted negatively with the sparkle exhibited by Ireland in their mauling of France in Marseille and Andy Farrell’s side will now be heavily tipped to win back-to-back Grand Slams for the first time in Irish rugby history.
England will host Ireland at Twickenham in round four. Before that, they will pick up the driftwood of their underwhelming efforts in Rome by taking on Wales next Saturday where a win would leave them two from two on the table and add to George’s belief that his England team are title contenders.
Asked if England are capable of battling Ireland and winning trophies, the hooker said: “Absolutely.
“I don’t want anyone to be involved in this squad if they don’t genuinely believe that we can go and challenge the best and win this tournament.
“Looking at Ireland, they were very impressive. Not many teams go to France and perform like that. It’s a blueprint for us, and any team, to look at how they approached that game.
“France will be disappointed with how they played but for us, we are going to be learning fast and we need to make sure we learn our lessons and be very clear about what we want to go after next week.
“We have got a great opportunity to be back in front of our fans against Wales next weekend and really give them something to smile about.”