Six Nations: Ireland loss could be blessing in disguise for England, says Robinson

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Ireland loss could be blessing in disguise for England, says Robinson

Jason Robinson hopes England's Six Nations defeat to Ireland can prove to be "a blessing in disguise" as they aim to emulate Clive Woodward's 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side. 

England had a chance to break New Zealand's world record by securing a 19th consecutive tier-one victory in Dublin and complete a second successive Grand Slam earlier this month, but lost 13-9 at the Aviva Stadium.

Former winger Robinson, a try scorer in the 2003 final against hosts Australia, feels Eddie Jones' side were not at their best in retaining the Six Nations, but claimed their first defeat under the coach could serve them well as they build toward the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"It's certainly not been England's strongest games," he told Omnisport.

"I don't think they performed as well in the Six Nations as they had done prior to that. They had a good win against Scotland. 

"Obviously very disappointing against Ireland, just because it was set up to create history - they'd done a lot of hard work in the lead-up to it, but that's sport. 

"Sometimes it happens and actually it will probably be a blessing in disguise. They are back-to-back championship winners, they do jointly hold the record with the All Blacks, but they also know they've got a lot of work to do between now and the next World Cup.

"They'll be disappointed - I know, as a player, you'd have been disappointed not to have been able to finish that off, but at the same time, I look back to when we played in 2003 and it wasn't all about winning every game, there were certain defeats along that way that helped us as a team and made us stronger come the World Cup."

Robinson cautioned against making direct comparisons between England's current crop and the team that triumphed in Sydney 14 years ago, citing the contrasting levels of experience in the respective squads. 

"I think it's quite different," he said.

"We had a very settled team, a lot of older heads in the squad. What I don't want to do is take away from this group, it's different now. 

"We never achieved 18 games on the trot, so they've done something that we've never done, and obviously back-to-back championships. 

"The great thing about this team at the moment is there's so much more potential."


Jason Robinson was speaking in support of the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School Sevens.