Andy Last reveals Shaun Wane half-time message after indifferent England display

Aaron Bower
Andy Last

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Shaun Wane delivered a scathing assessment of aspects of England’s first-half display against France from his hospital bed, according to assistant coach Andy Last.

England were woeful for the opening quarter of their eventual victory in Toulouse on Saturday evening, falling 8-0 behind and looking significantly off the pace. However, by the break they had recovered to lead and were able to keep the French scoreless in the second half, winning 40-8.

And Last revealed how Wane got in touch with the coaching staff who were in France to express exactly how unhappy he was with some of the aspects of their performance in that opening 40 minutes.

“Shaun messaged our analyst at half-time and gave a couple of pointers with regard to some of the things that we needed to do a little bit better,” Last, who was looking after the team in Wane’s absence, said.

“He wasn’t happy, obviously, with our contact in defence in that first half. We were a little bit loose in certain aspects. That message was delivered to the players at half-time. I thought there were periods where we looked really, really strong and periods where we were a little bit off the mark and not quite at the level that we need to be at for England.

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“There are lessons to learn. We’ll have a look at it on the video and we’ll certainly be a lot better for that come the end of the season against Samoa.”

Last also admitted that he felt the disruption surrounding Wane’s absence and the travel chaos that engulfed England as they headed to France – they were on a commercial flight and were delayed for several hours – didn’t help their performance.

He said: “We’ve had a fair bit of disruption with flight issues, obviously Shaun’s issue with his ankle operation and it was a reflection of the week we’ve had.

“A little bit disjointed. Some really good parts and then some ordinary parts. But it’s a lesson for us to learn. The four debutants did a solid job and they’ll have learned some experience and we’re happy we’ve come away from a Test match with a win.”

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