I WOULD like to see Martin Johnson keep his job and I think he will be asked to stay on, despite England’s disappointing World Cup campaign. But I also think he’ll be expected to make changes within the coaching staff and I’m not sure he’ll be happy to do that.
One change I’d welcome would be the return to the set-up of Sir Clive Woodward, who guided us to the World Cup in 2003. However, I can’t see that happening because the Rugby Football Union is in such a state.
While not directly related, the off-field disorganisation at the RFU is very similar to the on-field mess England were at the World Cup. For a successful team you need a lot of different factors. One of them is to have a secure and well appointed, well maintained group of people – and I don’t think we’ve had that since 2003.
Similarly, while I don’t think that the players’ off-field misbehaviour caused their ill-discipline on it, I certainly think they didn’t do their job as well as they could in all respects. I initially thought reaction to their having a few drinks was out of proportion but, taking all incidents into account, there’s been a repeated lack of maturity from the squad.
There have been mistakes on three levels: players let themselves down; management gave them too much leeway and failed to develop a good enough style of rugby; and in the structure put in place for England.
People will have their own views but somewhere along the line I think they are related. Until everything is resolved, the coaching and the players’ conduct is reviewed independently, I fear there will be a long wait until England are successful again.
Follow World Cup winner Kyran Bracken on Twitter at @kyranbracken and @weare4rugby. Kyran was speaking courtesy of GamePlan Solutions: managing high profile and popular sport stars; speakers, leaders, motivators and ambassadors www.gameplansolutions.co.uk
PS | WELSH DESERVE PLACE IN FINAL
I CAN’T wait for this weekend’s semi-finals and I would dearly love to see Wales make it to the final. They deserve it – they play with confidence, nobody holds onto the ball like them and they have great young players coming through. I just worry that France will turn up, like they did against England, and their pack may strangle the Welsh game. In the other game, Australia are the acid test of New Zealand’s ability to cope without fly-half Dan Carter. It really is too close to call.