"Men against boys!"- England stars torn into after French rout
The comments came off the back of England's record-breaking defeat.
Former Ireland and Ulster winger Andrew Trimble has lamented England's terrible performance in their 53-10 loss at the hands of a scintillating French side, on Saturday.
Speaking on Virgin Media in the aftermath of what was England's heaviest ever Six Nations defeat, the 70-time-capped Irish international summed up the incredulous English display, declaring it "men against boys".
"Bring back Eddie Jones! That's what I can hear the England press saying!"@MattRCNM, @KearneyRob and @andrew_trimble react to France's mauling of England at Twickenham.#ENGvFRA #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/uXb0gPk1Ew
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 11, 2023
England, who had never lost twice at home in a single Six Nations tournament, have compounded an already dismal campaign with yet another nightmarish defeat.
An opening day loss at Twickenham to a resurgent Scotland team had been mitigated by narrow victories against the Italians and Welsh. However, Rob Kearney managed to see through the English performances, noting that they "don't scare" him ahead of the St. Patrick's weekend clash against Ireland.
Despite the chastening defeat, the former Ulster back felt that the criticism being levelled at newly-appointed England head coach, Steve Borthwick, was unfair.
"It's hard not to feel sorry for Borthwick and what he's doing and trying to build. He's an absolute workaholic who's well thought of and he's had an unbelievable career", Trimble noted.
England back row criticised
The panel of Trimble, Rob Kearney and Matt Williams singled out the English back row performance as a particular area of concern, with the trio noting the failure of Lewis Ludlam, Jack Willis and Alex Dombrandt to impose themselves on the game.
"Across the board France were better, 1 to 15", said Trimble, before adding "The back row was just men against boys!"
Former Ireland full back Rob Kearney was also on hand to deliver his verdict on the limp English showing, stating that "I don't think he (Borthwick) necessarily has the quality of players. I don't think the Premiership is anywhere remotely near the level of what it used to be".
Another player singled out for criticism was Saracens lock Maro Itoje, who has been a dominant figure at both club and international for a number of seasons.
However, an uninspiring display against a rampaging French pack saw Kearney label the British and Irish Lion second row as "not the force that he used to be".
Speaking after the game, Steve Borthwick, who was hired to stable the English ship ahead of this autumn's World Cup, gave a deflated appraisal of his side, saying that "I think you can see how far away we are".
Things don't get any easier for this confidence-lacking English side, with a trip to Dublin next weekend to face Andy Farrell's world number one ranked side, with a potential Grand Slam on the line.
"A penny for Borthwick's thoughts", as Andrew Trimble quipped.
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