Wigglesworth: England more interested in winning than entertaining

Wigglesworth: England more interested in winning than entertaining

New England coach Richard Wigglesworth: “It’s funny because they’ve been lauded, then they lose two games in The Ashes and there are questions. That’s sport and that’s why you have to try to do what you can to win. Does the word entertainment come into my thinking when I am planning? No”

Last Updated: 05/07/23 6:52pm

Richard Wigglesworth made the move to join the England coaching staff from Leicester Tigers at the end of the season

Richard Wigglesworth made the move to join the England coaching staff from Leicester Tigers at the end of the season

Richard Wigglesworth insisted winning trumps entertainment as he ruled out England adopting a ‘Bazball’ approach at the Rugby World Cup this autumn.

While Ben Stokes’ cricket team have contributed to a thrilling Ashes series against Australia, adhering to the swashbuckling instincts dubbed ‘Bazball’, Wigglesworth believes pragmatism offers England their best chance of success at the World Cup.

Entrusted with overseeing Steve Borthwick’s attack after being recruited from Leicester at the end of the season, the 40-year-old is devising a game plan that is “tactically flexible”.

“The beauty about rugby is there is loads of different ways to do it. If we all try to play the same way it wouldn’t be entertaining,” former England scrum-half Wigglesworth said.

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England head coach Steve Borthwick says he is happy with the mix of experienced and young players in the World Cup training squad

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England head coach Steve Borthwick says he is happy with the mix of experienced and young players in the World Cup training squad

England head coach Steve Borthwick says he is happy with the mix of experienced and young players in the World Cup training squad

“We want to be tactically flexible. Does the word entertainment come into my thinking when I am planning? No. It’s about the best way to play. The best way to play and attack will end up being entertaining.

“There are games you have to go and win in a different way and I want us to be able to do that and make sure that when the time is right, we can move the ball as well as anyone.

“We are aiming to have the best plan for the players we’ve got. I’m not going to say: ‘this is how we want to attack’. What we have to do is match the right personnel on the field with the best attack for them.

“We will attack well. We don’t want to be passive, we want to go and make sure we cause some problems.”

Wigglesworth reunites with former Leicester coaches Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield at England

Wigglesworth reunites with former Leicester coaches Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield at England

Wigglesworth has been keeping tabs on The Ashes and while England have fallen 2-0 behind entering the third Test on Thursday, he admires a set-up that provides players with freedom.

“It’s funny be

…. to be continued
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