England can win World Cup - Mitchell
April 3, 2000

John Mitchell will head home to New Zealand this week after giving England's Grand Slam flops a huge vote of confidence.
While the inaugural Six Nations champions start coming to terms with their Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland yesterday, Mitchell had his bags packed ready for a new job as rugby development manager of Waikato Rugby Union.
But England's departing forwards' coach believes the players he leaves behind are good enough to win a World Cup, despite falling at the final Championship hurdle for a second successive season.
"The resources are here and the players are here - England can definitely win a World Cup," Mitchell said. "When they eventually get the system right, then the World Cup is totally within their grasp. There is a need to reduce the number of games. There should be less games, but of a higher quality, and shorter competitions in duration," he added.
While a first Championship clean sweep since 1995 passed England by in a Murrayfield monsoon, Mitchell also felt the pain of defeat. "Another Grand Slam has gone. It was something that I wanted to be part of,
but we were beaten by a better side," he claimed. "Scotland were extremely hungry. Their forwards won them the game, they won the physical battle and the big collisions up-front. I knew all week what we were going to encounter, exactly what we would be walking into, and Scotland were out to prove a point after being written off by
the media."
And referring to the dreadful conditions, Mitchell added: "Perhaps we should now get a weather forecaster on the England management team! The atmosphere there was something I've never experienced before in my life - it was unbelievable. New Zealand wouldn't experience that kind of hostile environment, it was unique. But I know for a fact that this England team won't go into its shell, and I don't think that we failed. Winning the Championship shows that we are headed on the right path.
"Yesterday was a blip _ it was all about controlling possession and dominating territory in adverse conditions."

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