Rugby: Corry Would Have Won It for England; Mirror Sport BEST FOR RUGBY AND BOXING ROBBO BLEW IT TAKING OFF SKIPPER, SAYS TIGERS COACH HOWARD

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex SPINK Rugby Correspondent

ENGLAND would still be on course for a Grand Slam had coach Andy Robinson not substituted his captain Martin Corry against Scotland.

That was the damning verdict delivered yesterday by Pat Howard, the former Australia star now in charge of Corry's club Leicester.

"I think England would have won if Cozza had stayed on the pitch," he said. "I appreciate all the thought processes but he's the captain and if I take you back to the Stade Francais game he's a good man in a crisis."

On that occasion Leicester came back from the dead in the last nine minutes to beat one of Europe's best teams and skipper Corry was credited with having inspired the recovery.

"He's a bright guy and he's calm in these sort of situations," said Howard. "He hasn't lost a lot of games at Leicester this season - he hasn't been involved in any of the losses. He's a significant part of why Leicester do well.

"He's an excellent captain. I think Robbo chose right first time - the likes of Josh Lewsey have reiterated that - and he should believe he got it right.

"I'll take him off if we're 30 points ahead as I did against Northampton in the first game of the year but if you can remember another time I've done it you're doing well."

Howard's backing for Corry follows an equally glowing endorsement from former England hooker Brian Moore, who said: "I don't think you should ever, unless there is an injury, take your captain off. …