It’s not as if we didn’t see the problems coming with England before their defeat to Scotland in last week’s Six Nations opener.
Physicality is the minimum requirement at international rugby but you need more than that. England had lacked ingenuity.
And, sure enough, Scotland totally outfoxed the holders at in every area of the Twickenham pitch.
I think we also the effects of rustiness in the spine of England’s team.
Jamie George, Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell all lacked sharpness and it shone through.
Scotland were phenomenal and did what they needed to do. It was a good time to play England and they caught them on the hop.
I think any talk of Scotland winning the Six Nations would be getting carried away, but they are an improving team.
And what I did love about them was the Finn Russell-Cameron Redpath axis.
They have previously been too reliant on Russell for creativity but now have two smart players pulling the strings.
England selection recalls Tait affair
England coach Eddie Jones has rung the changes for this weekend’s visit from Italy.
Back to the XV come George Ford at fly-half, with Farrell moving to 12, and the experience of Courtney Lawes, Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler.
With some mutants in the pack and six forwards on the bench, Jones is clearly looking to bully Italy.
My concern is that they won’t learn very much by recalling big hitters against a very poor Italy.
If there wasn’t the issue of rewarding bad performances, it would have been better to pick the side that played last week.
Italy would be perfect opponents for someone like Ollie Lawrence to build his confidence. Instead he isn’t involved.
It reeks of Mathew Tait’s treatment in the Andy Robinson era.
Tait was thrown around like a rag doll by Gavin Henson on his Test debut and scapegoated for tha defeat in Wales.
It probably set his development back three years.
But Jones has his own way. Hopefully the combination of Ford and Farrell can free the creative abilities of Henry Slade, Eliott Daly, Anthony Watson and Jonny May.
England haven’t become a terrible side overnight and sometimes you need that kick up the backside to spur you into action.
Scotland highlighted their flaws but they still have unbelievable talent and experience and they could go on to win every other game of this Six Nations.
In-form France face stern test in Dublin
The problem for England is that France are right in their rhythm now.
In Antoine Dupont they have a mercurial genius, the architect of all of their play.
As they showed in dismantling Italy last week, they are brilliant to watch and now have renewed steel.
Sunday’s opponents Ireland will be no pushovers; they really impressed me despite losing in Wales last time.
Ireland had 14 men for 65 minutes but were, frankly, remarkable, playing with such speed and accuracy at the breakdown, and should have won.
Their problem is that, at 35, Johnny Sexton is so far off the pace he is starting to resemble a tortoise.
It’s hard to drop your captain but I think Andy Farrell needs to get an arm around Billy Burns.
He had a game to forget against Wales but has been excellent for Ulster, looks sharp and can bring the dynamism missing at fly-half to let Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw shine.
Six Nations predictions
This a huge match for France and could go a long way to determining the outcome of the Six Nations.
Victory in Dublin would be a huge confidence booster and could set them up for a Grand Slam. I think they’ll win by five points.
England will win by a cricket score against an Italy team whose place in this championship is questionable.
Scotland also face an interesting test of their credentials at home to Wales.
Can they be clinical and consistent? I saw nothing to inspire me from Wales last week, so I have Scotland winning this by 10 points.