Unsheathing your sword

Ah yes, here we are, an England squad. Pull up a chair, let’s peruse it together. There’s him and him; mm-hh, and oh look he’s back; good, good, yes I like him; and I haven’t heard of him; yes and are they related? Not sure about him; and what about the chap who plays for Leicester – is he fit yet?

A thankless task for sure. People are bound to be disappointed, missed off. Because everyone works hard, spills blood, has their admirers. What makes one right and the other wrong? Opinion. I’ve got one and an arsehole. Both, for once, I’ll keep to myself.

Reaction ricocheted around Twittershire. For that is where opinions and arseholes often reside. Incredulity and affirmation in equal measure; the tweeting mews hummed with talk of hooking, debutants, 6s and 9s. There was no place for old friends; there was space for young blood. Lots of props, a fair few centres, and one of those was even called Sam. Yet, when everyone has huffed and puffed, the fact still remains: that’s a very good England side.

On paper. As it was before. Stupot Lancashire put together some crackers and read them out right proud. Naming a team is a little like unsheathing your sword. It feels lovely, makes you look like you mean business but ultimately achieves very little. Jones will realise this. The real judgement will be how he handles those names. His cut and thrust, and his parry. Eddie must now get used to the weight of England in his hands. Japan, the land of the warrior, was never such a good weapon; yet Jones was able to manipulate victory.

Flanked by two large emotionless bodyguards in Borthwick and Gustard, Jones winked and wisecracked his way through any questions. He seems to realise how good he has got it. There is something ‘Little Emperor’ about him. Basking in all the attention, hoping that it could stretch out forever. The longer he can hold people’s gaze, the better for the players. You can’t help but smile, like he does. It’s a shrewd operation. What a fascinating tenure this could be.

Sam Roberts © 2016. (Text only). All Rights Reserved.

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1 Response to Unsheathing your sword

  1. Steve J says:

    Indeed! I can’t wait for the Scotland game. There’s something brilliant about the Aussie coach in charge of England, ruffling a few feathers where possible. Maybe the RFU will be completely restructured in four years – we will have players contracted with the interests of the national team first, and players will be selected purely on merit rather than reputation. Well, we have made a start!


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