SIX NATIONS | STUART BARNES
Robot rugby is squeezing out free spirits like rebel Finn Russell
Well, yes. Barnes, when playing, was rather the free spirit and was markedly short of caps given the manner in which Rob Andrew, a more robotic player (his excuse being that he played the way he was told to by the coach) gained many more caps.
This being something that Barnes himself notes of course:
I empathise with Russell. It’s a lifetime ago but I recall an England team meeting. I was asked what I would do when we threw a ball to the back of the lineout and crossed the gainline with a battering-ram runner. I suggested I might look up and see where the opposing defenders were before making any decision. Wrong answer. A few of the lads laughed. I hadn’t been paying sufficient attention to the pre-ordained plan.
That year I walked out on England and missed the first World Cup.