Six Nations: Richard Wigglesworth orders outsiders to stop taking credit for England beating Ireland

Six Nations: Richard Wigglesworth orders outsiders to stop taking credit for England beating Ireland

Attack coach Richard Wigglesworth has ordered outside commentators to stop trying to take credit for England’s win over Ireland.

World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward claimed that England’s players must have taken inspiration from his criticism of their style, ahead of Saturday’s 23-22 win at Twickenham.

England have bristled at the intimation that they would seek inspiration from such outside sources however, with Wigglesworth rejecting Woodward’s words.

Steve Borthwick’s side pulled off a statement win by thwarting Ireland’s bid for back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams on Saturday, to give lift-off to a new era for the Red Rose men.

England clearly fuelled their internal fires by stoking a siege mentality en route to finishing third at the World Cup, and have repeated the feat in recent weeks in the Six Nations.

But Wigglesworth has insisted no such external sources were employed ahead of defeating Ireland, scotching Woodward’s claims in the process.

Wigglesworth was at pains to point out the England coaching staff’s belief that the Red Rose players are the ones who must shoulder the acclaim for Saturday’s win.

England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth (Getty Images)
England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth (Getty Images)

“To be clear there would be no media used around our team meetings to get ourselves going, that is a slippery slope to try and use,” said Wigglesworth.

“We want to get better. Will the players hear and see it? Of course, because you have got your phone right in front of you.

“But let’s just stop there and some of you guys taking some credit from their performance.

“The players got themselves to that point, with a lot of hard work.”

Wigglesworth did run a “social media Monday” session during the World Cup, but he insisted that was purely to try to explain the contradictory nature of online commentary to the England squad.

“That would be a bit more fun, there might be some quotes to go up to talk around what you can and can’t believe,” said Wigglesworth.

“I would have used some of the lads’ own social media, scrolling back years and years to find some embarrassing or light-hearted posts.

“Everyone has access to a phone, everyone has access to everyone’s opinion, everyone thinks they are right – now that is put out there you can read it and believe it or read it and ignore it but there will also be somewhere in the middle.

“And that becomes ‘what do I think about this, how do I need to react?’ And that is the point I try to get over on social media Monday.”

While England have clearly been frustrated with outside opinion on their coaching and progression under Borthwick, Wigglesworth admitted the Red Rose men appreciate the scope of external critique.

“After the Scotland game what was written wasn’t wrong, it was others opinion of what you are watching,” said Wigglesworth.

“If we were to come out and tell everyone everything we are doing, that would not help us.

“There’s definitely no problem with it, but lads in the environment will always use different things.

“You have to focus on getting better, and knowing your long-term planning and that keeps you on the straight and narrow.”