“We realize that can never happen again” – Jamie George on England’s destruction at the hands of France

Jamie George – ‘We realize this can never happen again’ – Jamie George on England’s destruction at the hands of France – PA/Ben Whitley

Jamie George has warned England’s humiliating blow to France “must never happen again” as Steve Borthwick’s side prepare to face a heated Ireland on Saturday.

After being so thoroughly dismantled by the world’s second-best team 53-10 at Twickenham, England now take on the No 1s in Dublin to complete their six-nation season.

With the hosts chasing a Grand Slam, the main objective for Borthwick’s men will be to restore battered pride.

We’re a team that prides itself on our physicality and that’s probably why [the France defeat] hurt as much as it did,” said George. “We just didn’t portray ourselves well, really. We’re very clear as to why, and we’re also very clear that it can never happen again.”

George revealed it took him a full day to understand how France had destroyed England before Borthwick laid out the magnitude of the imminent surrender against Ireland.

“It took me 24 hours,” George said. “The difficult thing on Saturday night was that I couldn’t understand what was going on on the field. I like to think of myself as someone who has a relatively good rugby brain, knows what’s going on and I couldn’t really put my finger on it.

“People are talking about this dismantling of the striker pack and it didn’t necessarily happen on the set piece but probably in the collision areas. We got together on Sunday night and had a meeting, Steve actually stressed that we probably didn’t know where it went wrong and how it got so bad.

“Then he said, ‘That’s exactly what happened, that’s the plan, that’s the attitude you have to have to make sure something like this never happens again.’ There was probably still a bit of a hangover on Monday morning but once we started looking at Ireland those things passed quickly.”

George has fond memories of the Aviva from England’s 32-20 win in 2019, as well as Saracen wins over Munster and Leinster in the knockout rounds of the Champions Cup.

Manu Tuilagi celebrates his third try - 'We realize it can never happen again' - Jamie George on France's demolition of England - Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Manu Tuilagi celebrates his third try – ‘We realize it can never happen again’ – Jamie George on France’s demolition of England – Reuters/Peter Nicholls

However, Ireland are the overwhelming favorites to doom England to a third Championship defeat in what would be a third straight Six Nations tournament. Andy Farrell’s men have scored 16 tries and conceded just five goals in their four games so far in 2023.

George explained that Borthwick was begging his players to be “the fastest learning team” to catch Ireland and France. Clarity, the 32-year-old said, will be paramount if England is to repair their reputation and cause an almighty uproar.

“Just get the plan straight,” George added when asked how the visitors could stop a procession on St Patrick’s weekend. “Like I said the last few weeks that Steve has been involved with the team has been all about focusing on us and building us back up.

“We have a chance against Ireland to show the fans we can turn teams around”

“What Saturday showed us is that there is a big gap between the top teams in the world and where we are right now, but at the same time it allowed us to learn and say, ‘Right, this is where we need to be and this is what we must do to get there.’

“For some of us that were involved in that squad, we were on those teams that were number one or number two in the world and that has to be the focus point for us. We need to make sure we come back to that and as I said we’ve been rebuilding over the last seven weeks. We still have a long way to go but at the same time we need to be very clear about how we can beat Ireland at the weekend.

“For me, after a result like that against France, there is no better next game because Ireland are the best team in the world at the moment, they want a Grand Slam and it’s a great chance for us to show people, to all the English people Showing fans at home that we can certainly turn teams like this around.

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