29th October 2019. 19-7. Perhaps the greatest day for English rugby since their World Cup triumph in 2003. New Zealand players scattered around the pitch, distraught. Elation surges through the English camp, England are heading to a World Cup final once again. Many were claiming this was the best an English team has played in recent times, or ever yet having reached the final, they were dominated both physically and mentally as South Africa stormed towards their third World Cup titile, England seemingly never in contention.


As Covid began to consume the global news England began their matchplay convincingly the following year, beating Georgia, Italy, France, Wales and Ireland and going undefeated in the autumn internationals behind closed doors. England rugby seemed to be on the rise and was looking set to become a truly dominant force in World Rugby and fill the void the the declining All Blacks had occupied for so long.


Now in 2021 all eyes were turned towards the Six Nations and the heavyweights of Europe were all set to trade blows back and forth with many pundits predicting England to be dominant with France perhaps testing their strength. England drew Scotland on the opening weekend and the hopes of both players and fans were high, yet England failed to get going and slumped to an antagonizing defeat without scoring a try. The following Saturday England appeared to right their previous wrongs as they scored 41 and cruised past an abject Italy. However, having restored the faith of their supporters, England went on to suffer defeats at the hands of both Wales and Ireland and narrowly scrape victory against the French, leading them to finish in 5th out of the six nations whom had taken part, their lowest finish since 1987.


So what went wrong? How did one of the most dominant sides globally in 2019 and 2020, and arguably before that, slide to being bettered by Scotland, Ireland,Wales and France in a tournament many had called them favourites to win? Well, England supporters largely have been quick to place the blame at the door of the Coronavirus and the affiliated lack of training and other potential hindrances. Conversely, those on social media have claimed that head coach Eddie Jones may have lost his way with the dressing room and that the winning mentality, which those around him claim he instills in a team, may be dwindling. Dylan Heartley, Co-captain of the World Cup squad Jones took to Japan, mentioned that ‘Eddie’ made him think about what he ‘could achieve and what we could achieve as a team’ and regarded him as a driving force for England's recent successes. Yet regardless, some have called for him to lose his job, and for a new age of English rugby to begin. Others however, argue the recent decline in from can be condsidered a blip, and under Jones’ expert guidance England will once again become a favourite for the World Cup expected to be held in 2023.


In conclusion, we will all possess our own views of what we believe the future of English Rugby should be, and what the best way of making sure that becomes a reality is, unfortunately for us, ultimately it comes down to the view of the English selectors and governing body, and whether they truly believe Eddie Jones is the man to lead England to their first World Cup Victory in since 2003.