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'A really poor imitation' - Shane Horgan shares the reason England failed to make the World Cup final

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Friday Feb 2, 2024

Since retiring from his prolific playing career, Shane Horgan has become an extremely well-renowned pundit on the Irish television circuit. The former winger is well-known for his powerful opinions on the current game, with many in the industry trusting his technical analysis.

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Known just as much for his character as his technical knowledge, he was a perfect fit for the inaugural live coverage of ‘The Good, The Bad & The Rugby‘. Joining regular panelists Alex Payne, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, alongside several new guests, Horgan was there to give his thoughts on the upcoming Six Nations.

One of the more divisive thoughts that Horgan had to share was surrounding the recent style of play that England have adopted under new coach, Steve Borthwick.

Such was the devisive nature of his opinion, it even caused James Haskell to claim that he was no longer “the biggest a******* in the room”.

“I don’t think England had a good World Cup. I think it was a very bang-average World Cup”, Horgan started strongly.

“They played South Africa, who had a massive emotional performance the week before, were running on empty and were actually there to be knocked out by anyone half decent, and England didn’t manage to get over the line with that.

“This is a real issue for England that they’ll go ‘actually we weren’t that bad in the World Cup, we keep on doing sort of what we’re doing and we’ll get there’. You won’t.

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“What they did was a really poor imitation of South Africa. They delivered their best performance and South Africa delivered a bang or average performance and South Africa still beat them.”

Horgan’s solution: “Utilise the actual incredible players they have, and produce a new game plan that might not even succeed this Six Nations, but puts them on on a footing to move positively forward over the next few years and at the next World cup that what they need to do…I’m not sure if they will though.”

Not shying away from talking about his own country, Horgan also jokingly pleaded with fans not to put the favourites tag on Ireland when heading into a major competition ever again.

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