As you’re probably aware by now, in this year’s 6 nations, England women decided that they weren’t going to field their strongest team. The majority of the side that thrashed the New Zealanders in the autumn internationals are now focusing their attentions on the world 7s championship instead.
I’m not an avid fan of teams taking out their top players for a competition they’ve already won multiple times to focus on something new. Usually I’d be of the opinion that they should just pull out of the competition than field a substandard side. It shows arrogance and somehow makes the competition feel less important. In this case it’s the 6 Nations, England’s chance to dominate over our closest rivals, however in this circumstance I think The Roses’ decision was the best one.
The thrashing the England squad gave Scotland last weekend shows that they certainly haven’t fielded a substandard squad, but instead have finally given their upcoming players a chance to stretch their legs and prove their worth. With such a strong squad currently, England Ladies do run the risk of ending up with a void. If they forever put out their strongest players, how will any of their juniors develop and get game time? It has also given those coming back in to the game the opportunity to get back into international play and leaves it open to identify future team leaders and the overall succession of the game. By England’s latest approach yes it does show a certain level of arrogance, but hell, they’re the best team in the world currently, they’re entitled to it.