'England will be cut to pieces' - English pundit admits All Blacks superior after Ireland loss




Former England first-five and rugby pundit Stuart Barnes has declared the All Blacks would destroy the Six Nations champions - should a proposed meeting between the two sides at the end of the year go ahead.

It's not on the schedule yet, but the drums are beating for the teams ranked one and two to meet at Twickenham.
Source: Breakfast

Writing in the Sunday Times after England's 9-13 loss to Ireland, Barnes spoke about the gulf in class between the two sides, adding that New Zealand would be able to easily exploit the weaknesses displayed in Dublin.

"Ireland lack the firepower out wide to punish opponents of England's class with tries but if the much-touted game with New Zealand takes place in the autumn, England will be cut to pieces if they defend with the same pattern as we saw in Dublin," Barnes wrote.

"England were continuously caught napping in open play. When England watched the Ireland defeat by Wales they would have seen a side playing a narrow band of driving rugby, bruising to defend against but short of imagination and variety."

Barnes also praised Ireland's Kiwi coach, Joe Schmidt, for his role in ending England's 18 consecutive Test winning streak.

"It was a reminder that, for all the achievements under his reign, Jones is not the only coach of the highest quality operating in this hemisphere.

"Players win and lose games, Jones and Schmidt insist as much, but the players go out with some sort of plan to put into effect. Put simply, Ireland had a superior plan, and on the day the superior coach."

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