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    5. You might not like Ben Earl's ridiculous celebrations, but they ..


    You might not like Ben Earl's ridiculous celebrations, but they work.

    England player Ben Earl celebrates a loss during the match against Argentina. Photo: AFP via Getty Images/NICHOLAS TOUCAT

    Ben Earl spoke out openly on his social media following England's rousing win over Argentina, praising the atmosphere and support, adding that the much-needed win was “just the beginning for this group”. It is quite possible that he is right about this.

    Earl could have used England's best performance under Steve Borthwick as an opportunity to hit back at those who mocked his frequent celebrations during Test matches over the past month. “Who's laughing now?” would have been a clear answer.

    After England's defeat in Dublin almost a month ago, Earl was widely ridiculed for celebrating an indirect Irish lineout with the enthusiasm of a man whose lottery numbers had just arrived. .

    Such strong reactions to small moments in matches are not a new trend in England. Ben Currie faced similar criticism back in the Six Nations for the way he celebrated the French victory when England were 40 points behind. Maro Itoje and Jamie George have been doing this for years. However, it was Earle's actions against Ireland that apparently broke the camel's back, leading to Sir Clive Woodward's outburst in his Daily Mail column.

    “This is terrible and needs to stop,” Woodward wrote. “I could never imagine coaching a team that did this because it doesn’t reflect on the participants at all, including the head coach. When England win a penalty or a turnover, their players come together and celebrate as if they have just won the World Cup.”

    Earl celebrates the decision in Dublin. Photo: INPHO/Shutterstock/Dan Sheridan

    This may come as a shock to some, and this is not a dig at Woodward, but everyone was less alarmed by the celebrations of Earl, Itoje and George last weekend after the decider, which England won comfortably. Those of you taking notes at home will have already noticed the connection between these three Saracens players.

    Courtney Lawes, who was unstoppable throughout the game against Argentina, gave his views on the actions of Earl and others afterwards. “We have some players who like to celebrate,” Laws said. “Boys celebrate events in different ways. I like to save my energy for other things, but this lifts us up. However, the team really works when the boys go out on stage and do the hard work really well.”

    So, within a few weeks, Earl had gone from being pilloried to being seen as an important cog in the England team that they couldn't do without.

    This in itself is quite remarkable considering he was released by Borthwick midway through Six Nations at the start of the year. Earl's main lesson from this omission (he continued to train with the team as a substitute but was not selected for the second half of the Six Nations) was how to be a good teammate.

    His subsequent effort in training this summer reputedly lifted him to the point that when it came time to cut the squad, Earl saw off other contenders thanks to both the work he had put in and his positional versatility covering the number 8; Another attribute, according to Borthwick, is Earl's “ability to work on the edge”, which makes him “distinctive in his attacking game”.

    The Telegraph Rugby Podcast – Shane Williams – 12 09 23 Earl played a key role in the closure Argentina

    Anyone who has watched England over the past two months will know that the attacking play has yet to materialise, hence the effective drop in targets, but you couldn't miss Earl's contribution in all the other matches against Argentina.

    His pace and the quick recognition of Argentina's attacking form in Marseille provided a real boost to the England defence, stopping an Argentina attack that had outmaneuvered England at Twickenham when they met last November.

    The celebration Earl hosted in Dublin. , getting down on one knee and punching the air after Rob Herring's lineout went wild was easy to laugh at. However, his reaction after forcing Santiago Chocobares to hastily clear the ball after Elliot Daly's missed penalty was clear to everyone, especially as it led to George Ford's second goal from the halfway line minutes later.

    < p>Finishing the Argentina match with 13 tackles and a couple of turnovers would have been exactly the spirited effort that Borthwick and the England coaching staff had hoped for. And that energy includes these celebrations. As Earl told the Daily Mail last week, “This will only have a positive impact on our team. Until someone tells me that's not the case, I won't stop.”

    Tom Curry's suspension and Billy Vunipola's return from his own suspension make the prospect of Earl starting against Japan and beyond very likely . potentially moving him to flanker. But in any case it was difficult to see how England would give him up after Marseille.

    From a minor figure to an indispensable powerhouse, widely ridiculed and praised by the public, Earl became an unlikely success story. It's truly a cause for England.

    Follow every move of the Rugby World Cup on The Telegraph's free rugby podcast using the audio player above, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your other preferences. podcast application.

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