England equalled their worst Guinness Six Nations performance when their rout by Ireland registered a third defeat to condemn them to a fifth place finish.
Here, the PA news agency reflects on five things we learned from England’s 2021 Championship.
Worse than it looks
The headline figure of three defeats in five games fails to illustrate the true depth of their slump. In the Calcutta Cup debacle that opened their ill-fated title defence they were the victims of an 11-6 thrashing as Scotland failed to reflect their dominance on the scoreboard. Wales avoided that shortcoming by compiling a record score, prevailing 40-24 to end England’s title defence in round three after taking control of a decisive final quarter. But most emphatic of all was a 32-18 rout at the Aviva Stadium that completed the reverse Triple Crown for the first time in 45 years. Fifth place is fully deserved.
The Eddie conundrum
Fading Lions hopes