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Jason Robinson urges England to play less cautiously

Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden
Is Ben Foden the answer to England's problems?

Former England captain Jason Robinson says the national team should be more daring and play a more expansive game.

Martin Johnson's side has been heavily criticised, despite two opening wins in the Six Nations, including last week's scrappy 17-12 defeat of Italy.

Ireland visit Twickenham on Saturday and Robinson told the BBC: "Most people say there's a lack of vision.

"I'm really looking forward to England going out there, taking the shackles off and really playing some rugby."

England's Six Nations campaign began with an impressive victory over Wales, but they only just hung on to see off a battling Italian side last Sunday as fly-half Jonny Wilkinson struggled with his kicking.

Johnson afterwards admitted he was disappointed at the failure to take chances to put the game out of the home side's reach.

Robinson, who made 51 appearances for England and was part of Sir Clive Woodward's World Cup-winning team in 2003, told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek it was time for changes.

606: DEBATE
Adam Richardson

"England will be happy that they've won two from two, that is a positive, but I think we just all want to see England really go out and play," the 35-year-old Sale Sharks coach added.

"In the last game they were conservative. In the first minute I thought 'Oh yeah, England are going to start to use the ball and use the players they've got.'

"Unfortunately we missed a few kicks which put a bit of pressure on but players didn't seem to really want to play a wide, wide game and if you play against Italy up the middle you're in for a tough time."

Wilkinson, 30, came under fire in Rome for missing three kicks and his decision making, with England's former scrum-half Matt Dawson claiming the veteran fly-half was "not comfortable with the responsibility of being the team's playmaker".

Johnson gave Wilkinson his full backing after the Italian game, but Robinson feels the time might be right to look at alternatives such as Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden.

"Jonny Wilkinson is a fantastic player for England, it's not very often he misses kicks and I think that was probably the biggest shock that he missed so many," he said.

"He has been playing well but if players are not playing to what we would want then maybe there's time for a change.

"There's been a lot of talk about Ben Foden, whether he could come in and do something and I think guys like this have got to be given a chance.

"Guys like Ben Foden have been playing well all season and been ripping sides apart and if nothing is happening, why can't you get him on for 20 minutes and let's see what he can do?"

Champions Ireland will be looking to bounce back against the English next week following a miserable 33-10 loss to the French last Saturday.



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see also
Wilkinson critics annoy Johnson
18 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
England not good enough - Bennett
15 Feb 10 |  English
Johnson rues missed opportunities
14 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Italy 12-17 England
14 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Foden extends contract at Saints
13 Jan 10 |  Northampton
Ashton & Hape earn England calls
13 Jan 10 |  English
Jeremy Guscott's Six Nations Q&A
16 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Italy v England match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations table
10 Aug 06 |  Tables


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