Best optimistic for the Six Nations
January 6, 2000
Dick Best was optimistic about England's chances in the Six Nations when he spoke exclusively to Scrum this afternoon.
Commenting soon after the announcement of the England training squad for the inaugral Six Nations he was noticeably up beat.
"I'm delighted with the squad we've been able to put together, it's very young, exciting and should be just the medicine England need."
Concern over the injuries that seem to be plaguing England's top players was minimal. "There are some worrying injuries at the moment but I think we've got the strength in depth."
Of the new faces he said, "I was especially pleased to see the likes of Cohen (Ben Cohen, Northampton) and Flatman (David Flatman) who were playing under 21 rugby just a short while ago.
"I think it's important to get these young players on the international ladder as soon as possible and then they can only improve.
While the media fears for a lack of quality cover in key areas Best is not so pessimistic. "If there is an area of concern then it would be that of scrum-half but with the likes of Austin Healey in the side I'm still very optimistic about our chances."
Best also confirmed what Clive Woodward had previously said that Lawrence Dallaglio would not be handed the captaincy of the side.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year