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A classic illustration was the England backline against the All Blacks in November: Mark Cueto, Ugo Monye, Dan Hipkiss, Ayoola Erinle and Matt Banahan – all bludgeon, no rapier.
The greatest tragedy for spectators is that players are left with the choice of hoofing the ball away or taking it into contact.
This year Philippe Saint-Andre’s wondrous try for France against England in 1991 that started inside Les Bleus’ in-goal area was voted try of the century at Twickenham and Harlequins winger Strettle scoffs at the suggestion such a score could be recreated today.
He said: “I went to the RFU centenary dinner a few weeks ago with the England boys, and watched a replay of Saint-Andre’s try.
“That is simply not possible in the modern game at the moment, percentages would tell you you’ve got to kick that ball away or take a 22 drop-out.
“At the moment you’ve got too many percentage players, not through their choice but you find players will be thinking about what they are going to tell their coaches on Monday or Tuesday in the video review.
“When I’m getting six chances in a game, I might try a little chip, I might do this, I might do that.
“But suppose if you’re only getting one chance in a game, you’ve got to take the right choice.”
The success of league leaders Saracens kick-orientated game has only increased the pressure on coaches to tell their backs to keep their attacking instincts on a leash.
But Strettle says that would be a tragedy for rugby if every club goes down that road.
“Clubs are looking at these situations because it is a business now,” he said.
“You’ve got Saracens playing a kicking game and they are getting the wins, so you have teams looking round saying ‘shall we play that kind of game structure.’
“It’s frustrating because I’ve always said rugby is a spectator sport, and would you pay to watch table tennis like Saracens kicking the ball back and forth, or would you pay to watch some running rugby.
“I’d rather fail to get a try taking a chance than fail because I’ve tried playing the percentages.
“I want people going away from a game I’ve played in saying ‘do you remember that break Strettle made’ rather than talking about that nice kick I put down the touchline.”
Gloucester star Simpson-Daniel – arguably the most talented English back of his generation –also agrees that rugby is increasingly adopting a risk-adverse culture.
But what he feels is fundamental to the problem is the ability of teams to overcome the laws governing the breakdown and generate quick ball.
“What it comes down to is if you can get quick ball,” he said. “If you control the clear out then you get quick ball, if you don’t then you get slow ball.
“It is so difficult to score off slow ball so the successful teams are the ones that have mastered the clear out.
“As soon as you get slow ball then it is effectively a form of set piece. When you get quick ball it is great because there is space to run into.
“I don’t know the stats but it feels like the high risk play running from deep now happens very rarely. You can’t counter the way you used to – that’s how it feels.
“It is a problem for broken-field runners because for coaches when a counter attack goes wrong you concede points so they will say you can’t afford to do this anymore. An element of that has come into the game and if people say that’s not the case they are lying.”