Former England fly-half Danny Cipriani has condemned controlling coaching styles in England, saying it is “digging its own grave.”

In a lengthy post on X – the social media site formerly known as Twitter – the ex-Wasps, Gloucester, Melbourne Rebels and national ten took aim at a system he later said was fixated on structures, safety and pre-planned play.

The post says: “English rugby is digging its own grave, led by people that do not understand the art of the game.

“The game is coached at step 2/3, lowest common denominator. Never step one, game understanding/intelligence, spatial recognition, nuance. It is all how tough can I show to the world I am. Bravado. It will only ever bring a certain level of performance.

“Open discussions where coaches welcome new ideas that feel uncomfortable to them because it’s the only way it will grow,” he said before referencing football.

“Don’t be Sam Allardyce when you can be Pep Guardiola.

“Attack space in every aspect and build confidence in players decision making not conform to a plan. Have a framework but be flexible. All aligned under the vision of someone who you want to follow or have qualities you admire – knowledge, compassion, passion, emotional intelligence, love, honesty and humility.

“If you’re trained to think and not to feel you’re always going to be one step behind.”

when called out in the comments under his post, he said “It doesn’t mean Borthwick isn’t right for the job.” He clarified that the system the coach inherited was “very wooden” and that getting players to reprogramme their thinking is tough.

When one respondent joked that he had slain football manager Sam Allardyce for no reason either, he replied: “Nothing offensive. Just coaching styles. A lot of Sam Allardyce type coaches in England. Fixed on system, stats, control and playing to a plan.”

Do you agree with Cipriani that the coaching drive in England right now is digging its own grave? Let us know via or on social media.

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