And that’s exactly what Woodward managed done in his Daily Mail column.
The 2003 Rugby World Cup took just two sentences to mention his former colleague and media-sparing partner. Woodward’s criticism of Jones has become a running gag for many, but the jokes seemed to have been lost coach turned pundit.
“There is still a fear factor in the England players, a legacy of the Eddie Jones era that will take time for Borthwick to eradicate. England were programmed under Jones to minimise risk in their own half. That meant box kicking too often and kicking the ball away,” wrote the 67-year-old.
“England wouldn’t have dreamt of running the ball from their own 22 as Scotland did several times. The change to a more attacking approach won’t happen overnight, but it must take place.”
Despite the loss, there was a sense of optimism that at least Borthwick’s men looked like they were going in the right direction. Even Woodward could see the green shoots, with Max Malins’ try from a delightful Marcus Smith crossfield kick the pick of the bunch.
“When England play like that, no side in the world can live with them,” noted Woodward of the try and it’s lead-up.
There remains plenty to fix for Borthwick, who took charge after England’s seven years under Jones and with eight months to go until the World Cup. England were their own worst enemies in their first game of the post-Eddie Jones era as they sought to eke out victory in the second half.
A dropped restart after Genge’s try in the 49th minute gave Scotland the platform to reply through a try from Ben White — via a missed tackle by England flanker Ben Curry — to leave the boys in blue only 20-19 behind.
Owen Farrell’s penalty made it 23-19 but, again, England’s errors allowed Finn Russell to boot his own penalty to trail 23-2 2 and give Scotland hope. Van der Merwe made the English pay with a winning try as he cut in off the left wing and through two challengers to score.
“This is the first game of a new coach and campaign,” England lock Maro Itoje said after the game. “We wanted a win and fell short. We have to stay positive.
“We are ultimately disappointed — we just weren’t good enough. Fair play to Scotland. There were a few things we got wrong as a team but we can fix them.”