Antoine Dupont guided France to a long-awaited Six Nations title as they saw off England to clinch the Grand Slam with a 25-13 win at the Stade de France.

Les Bleus captain Dupont led the way in Saint-Denis with a superb second-half try to help Fabien Galthie's side end a 12-year wait for their 18th championship and sixth of the Six Nations era.

Victory over England put France ahead of Ireland in the final standings after consecutive runner-up finishes in 2020 and 2021 saw them miss out on the top prize.

A year out from a home Rugby World Cup, France look the team to beat in Europe, while questions will be asked of England ahead to those finals.

Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood both hit centuries to keep England's bowlers largely at bay as the West Indies held solid for much of day three.

Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks headed out in the first session with the Windies on 71-1, but the latter fell on 39 inside the opening 30 minutes of the day when he sliced Jack Leach's delivery to Chris Woakes.

Ben Stokes struck shortly after coming into England's attack midway through the session, dismissing Nkrumah Bonner for nine lbw, as the tourists look set to enjoy another fine day after declaring on 509-7 on Thursday.

Stokes should have had Blackwood lbw, only for the umpire to decline their appeals, with Joe Root choosing not to review. 

That was swiftly proved a mistake, with the replay showing the ball would have hit halfway up leg stump, Blackwood then surviving an lbw review for what could have been Saqib Mahmood's first Test wicket.

Braithwaite and Blackwood made the most of their fortune, frustrating England throughout the second session to reach tea at 196-3, on 79 and 50 respectively.

Windies skipper Brathwaite nudged Leach for two to bring up his century from 278 balls, and his control remained as he allowed Blackwood to stake centre stage.

Blackwood picked off some sloppy Stokes deliveries, though he very nearly edged Leach to Dan Lawrence before he clipped England's spinner for a single to bring up his third Test ton.

His stand finally came to an end on 102, when Lawrence trapped him lbw but, despite a late review against Alzarri Joseph, West Indies held on to reach stumps on 288-4.

Brilliant Braithwaite leads by example

Braithwaite was quite simply sensational, with his 109 not out coming from 337 deliveries so far, and he will be there again at the start of day four.

He now has 10 Test centuries, with three of those having come against England.

A long day for England's bowlers

News of Mark Wood's tour-ending injury came at the start of the day and it was a difficult time for England's bowlers.

Leach has already bowled 44 overs, but has just one wicket to show for it, while Stokes has an economical 1-34 to show for his efforts, though it took a cameo from Lawrence (1-8) to make the late breakthrough.

England fast bowler Mark Wood will miss the rest of the West Indies Test series and his Indian Premier League stint with the Lucknow Giants due to an elbow injury.

Wood, 32, bowled 17 overs in the first Test in Antigua before suffering an issue with his right elbow and subsequently underwent two scans since arriving in Barbados for England's second outing.

Those scans have confirmed a problem with his bowling arm and he will now return to England for "a specialist opinion regarding the management of his injury".

The Durham quick will take an "indefinite break from cricket until more information is determined from the elbow specialist", which leaves him unable to feature in the third Test that starts on March 24 in Grenada.

Wood has also been ruled out of contention for the IPL with the Giants, who paid £735,000 for Wood in the auction and start their IPL campaign against fellow debutants Gujarat Titans on 28 March.

England, who are already without injured duo Olly Stone and Jofra Archer, are yet to confirm whether they will call up a fast-bowling replacement, with Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson likely to return soon.

Wood was the pick of England's bowlers in the poor series against Australia, finishing as Joe Root's leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, including his first Ashes five-for, during his four appearances in the five-Test series.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Liverpool's FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest and is unavailable for England duty due to a hamstring injury, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

The full-back, who was named in Gareth Southgate's latest England squad on Thursday, will be forced to miss the Three Lions' March international friendlies against Switzerland the Ivory Coast.

The Reds travel to the City Ground on Sunday in pursuit of a semi-final place, a few weeks on from claiming the EFL Cup against Chelsea at Wembley.

Victory would take them one step closer to a potential quadruple, with Klopp's side still in contention for both the Premier League and Champions League too.

But they will have to do so this weekend without Alexander-Arnold, while Mohamed Salah could be a doubt for the visitors too.

"Trent is out with a hamstring, so will be out for England too," Klopp told his pre-match news conference. "[It's] not good news, [but] we will see how long it takes. Mo felt his foot a little bit after the game too."

Asked on how his side would cope without Alexander-Arnold, Klopp added: "We will see. To replace him is difficult but possible.

"We have [James] Milner, [Joe] Gomez, these kind of things. Trent is so influential but Milner has done incredibly well in the past. We'll see how [he] is for Sunday."

Liverpool are set to play their first FA Cup quarter-final under Klopp, with the trophy one of the few gaps on his resume since he arrived on Merseyside.

If he is able to guide them past Forest - themselves in the last eight for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign - then the Reds will move a step closer to further silverware this season.

Ben Stokes plundered an electric century as England put a big total on the board in their first innings on day two of the second Test against West Indies in Bridgetown.

Stokes reached his 11th Test hundred off just 114 balls as he and Joe Root (153) carried on where the tourists had left off on day one.

West Indies were able to navigate 27 overs of their own before the close of play for the loss of just one wicket, but remain 436 runs behind at 71-1 going into the third day.

It was a flawless first session for England, with Stokes coming in after Dan Lawrence (91) lost his wicket off the final ball of the opening day.

Stokes and Root stepped up the run rate, with the former in particular firing boundaries as often as he could, and the duo put on a further 125 before lunch, with Root reaching his 150.

The England captain was out shortly after the second session began after Kemar Roach trapped him lbw, which took the bowler ahead of Sir Garry Sobers into seventh on his country's list of all-time wicket-takers.

Jonny Bairstow added 20 before going for a big shot off Alzarri Joseph that was caught by Nkrumah Bonner in the deep, and then Stokes soon followed as he put his foot down even further, hitting Kraigg Brathwaite for back-to-back sixes, only to hit the next one straight to Shamarh Brooks to end with 120 to his name.

Ben Foakes (33) and Chris Woakes (41) put on a partnership of 75, but as wickets at the tail-end started to fall, Root decided to declare on 507-9.

Debutant Matt Fisher sensationally took the wicket of John Campbell (four) with just his second ball, forcing an edge through to Foakes.

However, Brathwaite (28 not out) and Brooks (31 not out) managed to see out the remainder of the day, though the former did survive after reviewing an initial 'out' decision for lbw off Jack Leach when on 14. 

Stokes back to his best

What a player Ben Stokes is on this form. He set the tone for the remainder of the England innings after Root et al had laid the groundwork on day one.

He hit a remarkable six sixes in his 120, which arrived in just 128 deliveries. That included scoring 89 from 92 balls in the morning session as he also passed the 5,000 Test runs mark.

Fisher hooks his first wicket

What a way to start your Test career. Fisher bowled an absolute beauty to dismiss Campbell, and though he was not able to add to it before the close of play, ending the day with figures of 1-18, he did threaten more than most.

The Yorkshireman has 63 wickets in first class cricket at an average of 27.52, and has made a good start to putting his name forward as a potential long-term part of England's attack.

England boss Eddie Jones has rung the changes ahead of the team's Six Nations trip to Paris on Saturday, as his side attempt to deny France a first Grand Slam since 2010.

George Furbank will replace Freddie Steward at full-back, with Steward moving to the wing after playing the former role in each of England's previous four games. 

The Northampton man's introduction represents one of five changes made by Eddie Jones, with Ben Youngs, Nick Isiekwe, Sam Underhill, and Will Stuart the other players to be introduced, as Tom Curry, Harry Randall, Kyle Sinckler, and the suspended Charlie Ewels all drop out.

Max Malins, meanwhile, has been dropped from the squad entirely after playing every minute of the previous four Six Nations outings, as the visitors look to salvage some pride from a disappointing campaign.

Jones, who has won three Six Nations titles since taking the England reigns in 2015, has been faced with speculation regarding his future in recent days, with the team facing the prospect of finishing fifth in consecutive Six Nations campaigns, having done so in 2021.

However, the 62-year-old, while disappointed to be out of contention for the trophy, was looking forward to seeing how his much-changed side faired against Les Blues.

"This is our strongest 23 for the game against France," he said.

"We are disappointed not to be in the contention for the trophy, but last week's effort against Ireland was full of pride, energy and tactical discipline.

"We have focused on refreshing the team this week and we are ready to empty the tank on Saturday."

Only one of the last nine Six Nations meetings between France and England has been won by the visiting team, with England prevailing 31-21 back in 2016.

 

England: George Furbank, Freddie Steward, Joe Marchant, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Marcus Smith, Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart, Maro Itoje, Nick Isiekwe, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Sam Simmonds.

Replacements: Nic Dolly, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Alex Dombrandt, Harry Randal, George Ford, Elliot Daly.

England boss Gareth Southgate said Marcus Rashford is "clearly not at his best" after dropping the out-of-form Manchester United forward.

The 24-year-old has registered just six goal involvements in 19 Premier League appearances in a frustrating campaign for the Red Devils, and will not feature in England's upcoming home friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

Rashford has earned 46 caps for his country and scored 12 international goals, his last strike coming against Romania in a pre-Euro 2020 friendly last June.

But the forward has made just 10 league starts for United this season, leading to suggestions he could seek to leave Old Trafford in the summer, ahead of the World Cup at the end of the year.

"He is in the same position as everyone else, whether they are in the squad or not," Southgate said. "They've all got to play well towards the end of this season and, in particular, at the beginning of next season.

"It is a difficult time for him, he's clearly not at his best, but there is plenty of time. We know what Marcus can bring, and hopefully, he can rediscover the form he's capable of."

 Rashford was not the only United attacker to be left out of Southgate's squad, with Jadon Sancho remaining absent despite registering five goal involvements in his last six Premier League appearances, having recorded just one in his first 18.

Southgate acknowledged Sancho's club form has improved after the winger made a slow start to his United career, stating his absence was due to the competition provided by England's other attackers.

"You just have to look at the other attacking players in the squad: Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Phil Foden," the England boss said. "Jadon's performances have improved at Manchester United, but it is an area where we have big competition for places."

Southgate also left Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker out of his latest group but was keen to emphasise the upcoming games represent an opportunity to look at other right-back options.

"I had a chat with Kyle; we felt this was an opportunity to have a look at the two younger full-backs," Southgate said.

"We know all there is to know about Kyle; he's a very important player, and he'll be back with us in June [for Nations League matches].

"We are very happy with what he's done. He's been a huge part of the progress we've made with this team, and you can see in the biggest matches with Manchester City this year, he's still been a key player for them.

"These young full-backs [Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James] are exciting."

The England boss also hit back at suggestions Manchester United defender Harry Maguire could have missed out on the squad, highlighting his importance to England despite there having been recent criticism of his displays at club level.

"There wasn't a chance we weren't going to call him up," Southgate said. "He's one of our best centre-backs."

All eyes will be on the Stade de France on Saturday as the 2022 Six Nations comes to a conclusion when leaders France take on England.

While the visitors can finish no higher than third place, Eddie Jones' men will revel in being the ultimate party poopers in Paris.

Victory for France in 'Le Crunch' will seal a first Grand Slam since 2010, though Les Blues could still finish top and land a first title since then should Ireland fail to beat Scotland.

Saturday's other fixture sees Wales take on pointless Italy in Cardiff and, while there may be little riding on that game, it will be a milestone occasion for a couple of players.

Ahead of the final round of fixtures, Stats Perform previews each match with help from Opta.


FRANCE V ENGLAND

FORM

The omens are good for France as two of their previous three Six Nations Grand Slams have been completed with victory over England in the final round, in 2004 and again six years later, while just one of the past nine games between these sides in the competition has been won by the visitors – England prevailing 31-21 in 2016.

Fabien Galthie's charges have lost just one of their past eight home games in the competition, with that solitary defeat coming at the hands of Scotland last year as they chased a big winning margin to pip Wales to the title.

England are aiming to avoid losing three matches in a single edition of the Six Nations for the third time in seven years playing under Eddie Jones, having also done so in 2018 and 2021, and for a fifth time overall. 


ONES TO WATCH

Damian Penaud, who has a joint-high three tries in this year's tournament, is back in France's starting XV after recovering from coronavirus, replacing the injured Yoram Moefana. France have scored seven tries from counter-attacks this year, which is at least three more than any other team, so pacey Penaud could cause some damage this weekend.

England will need to work incredibly hard if they are to stop arguably the world's top side right now and hope that their key players turn up. In Marcus Smith they boast a player who leads the way for points in 2022 with 63, 19 more than next-best Melvyn Jaminet.

 

IRELAND V SCOTLAND

FORM

Ireland must beat Scotland earlier on Saturday if they are to remain in title contention and they have a great recent record in this fixture, winning seven of their last eight Six Nations meetings.

That record is even better on home soil, meanwhile, having been victorious in 10 of the last 11 encounters in the competition, including each of the last five in a row. Scotland's only win in that run came at Croke Park in 2010.

Fourth-placed Scotland have won five of their last six away games in the tournament, however, which is as many as they had managed in their previous 43.


ONES TO WATCH

Ireland were made to work hard for their victory against an England side that played almost the entire 80 minutes with 14 men last week, but they did ultimately get the job done. Jamison Gibson-Park led the way for passes in that match with 59 – more than double any opposition player – and he has a joint-high three assists in this edition.

Finn Russell is level with Gibson-Park on three assists, but he has been surprisingly omitted from Scotland's squad for the match at the Aviva Stadium due to his growing indiscipline and poor form. Ali Price is next for Scotland on the assists list with two, and there will now be more focus on him on what is his 51st cap.



WALES V ITALY

FORM

Wales are aiming to climb two places and finish third and will be confident of fulfilling their half of the bargain by claiming a bonus-point win against bottom side Italy. The Dragons have won each of their last 14 in this fixture, last tasting defeat in 2007.

After losing at home to France in their most recent home match, Wales are aiming to avoid successive losses at the Principality Stadium in the competition for the first time in 15 years, when losing their final such game in 2006 and first in 2007.

Italy will claim the Wooden Spoon once again having lost all five games this year, stretching their record losing run in the tournament to 36 matches. The Azzurri's most recent win away from home came against Scotland in 2015.

ONES TO WATCH

This will be a special occasion for Dan Biggar, who is in line for his 100th cap, and Alun Wyn Jones, who returns for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury against New Zealand in October for his 150th appearance. That makes the Wales skipper the first player to win 150 or more caps for a single nation in history.

Ange Capuozzo has been handed a first Test start after making a big impression in an otherwise disappointing campaign for Italy. The Grenoble full-back has scored two tries in this year's Six Nations, accounting for half of Italy's total, with both of those coming in a 34-minute appearance against Scotland in round four.

France winger Damian Penaud has returned to Fabien Galthie's squad ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash with England.

The Clermont star was ruled out of the week-four match with Wales after testing positive for COVID-19, but has now completed his isolation period and is back in the fold as France go in search of a Grand Slam.

Centre Yoram Moefana drops out of the 23-man selection as Les Bleus favour a six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench for the fixture at Stade de France.

Romain Taofifenua also returns among the replacements following his own positive coronavirus test earlier this month.

The hosts will complete a first Grand Slam since 2010 if they defeat Eddie Jones' visitors, and could still win the championship for the first time in a dozen years even in defeat.

Galthie will know what his side must do by the time they take to the field, with lone title rivals Ireland set to play before them against Scotland in Dublin.

France: Melvyn Jaminet, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Gabin Villiere, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont, Gregory Alldritt, Anthony Jelonch, Francois Cros, Paul Willemse, Cameron Woki, Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiiste Gros, Mohamed Haouas, Romain Taofifenua, Thibaud Flament, Dylan Cretin, Maxime Lucu, Thomas Ramos

England captain Joe Root hit a masterful century on day one of the second Test against the West Indies at Bridgetown.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Root was at the crease early on after Zak Crawley was dismissed for a duck, but was not flustered as he set about giving his team a solid foundation on a flat pitch.

The visitors ended the day on 244-3 with Dan Lawrence contributing an excellent 91, as West Indies struggled to get anything out of the pitch, though things could have been different but for a dropped catch.

England handed debuts to bowlers Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher in place of Mark Wood and Craig Overton, and got off to a shocking start as Crawley was out without scoring after he failed to leave a Jayden Seales delivery, nicking it through to Joshua Da Silva.

Root and Alex Lees steadied the innings as they slowly put together a partnership of 76, though Root was somewhat fortunate to see Da Silva drop him on 34, even if it was a difficult opportunity for the West Indies wicketkeeper down the leg side.

The Yorkshireman reached his 50, only to see Lees fall next ball for 30 to lbw off the bowling of Veerasammy Permaul.

Lawrence was next in and though he started slowly, soon settled in as he began hitting boundaries, including a six off Permaul.

The 24-year-old reached the fourth 50 of his career just before Root sealed his ton, which is the 25th time he has raised his bat to three figures in Test cricket.

After tea, it was all too comfortable for England as Root (119 not out) and Lawrence (91) continued to build on a partnership of 164, before Lawrence hit a Jason Holder delivery straight to Kraigg Brathwaite off the last ball of the day to give the hosts a rare occasion to celebrate.

Root in the form of his life

It must be said that it was a very batsman-friendly pitch on day one at Bridgetown, but Root took full advantage as he put together a very useful knock to surely ensure a big first-innings total for his team.

After scoring 1,708 Test runs in 15 matches in 2021, he has already managed 310 in three and a half in 2022.

This was the fourth Test 100 Root has scored in the West Indies, more than he has managed in any other country apart from England.

Lawrence offers ideal support role

One continuing theme of the recent Ashes series was England players coming in to bat, seemingly trying to settle slowly into their innings, and then getting themselves out before they started scoring any runs.

Lawrence looked to be doing the same here, but once he got his first boundary, looked calm and composed at the crease as he set about assisting Root in building a big total, and managed to reach the highest score of his Test career so far before a disappointing dismissal.

England lock Charlie Ewels has been given a three-match ban for the red card he received early on against Ireland last weekend.

The 26-year-old was dismissed just 82 seconds into Saturday's 32-15 defeat at Twickenham after clashing heads with opposite number James Ryan.

That red card was the earliest ever in the Six Nations, with each of the three quickest in the competition's history each coming in the last two editions.

Ewels will now miss England's final game of this year's tournament against France in Paris, as well as Bath's Premiership fixtures against Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors.

However, he can undertake a Coaching Intervention Programme to have that suspension reduced to two matches, meaning he will be available to face Worcester on March 30.

Ewels was facing a possible ban of up to six weeks, but that was halved due to mitigating factors such as an early acceptance of the red and his remorse.

 

England's defeat to Ireland means they cannot finish any higher than third in this year's tournament.

Next opponents France are two points better off than Ireland, who host Scotland in the final round of fixtures, and are one win away from a first title and Grand Slam since 2010.

Two of France's three previous Grand Slams have been completed with a win over England in the final round, in 2004 and 2010.

England head to Paris aiming to avoid losing three games in a single edition of the competition for a third time under Eddie Jones, previously doing so in 2018 and 2021.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite hopes to see a more efficient performance from the bowling line-up as the team eyes pulling ahead of England when the three-match Test series resumes on Monday.

In the opening match, a total of 1,182 runs were scored over five days in a stern examination of bowlers from both teams.  Things did not start out that way, however, as the Windies took four wickets at the top of the first innings only for Jonny Bairstow to lead England’s recovery in the middle overs.

“I think we just have to be a bit more disciplined in the middle periods, probably a little tighter, under three runs an over, I think.  Creating that pressure will help to get more wickets in the middle overs,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Tuesday.

The West Indies will have fond recent memories of facing the English in Barbados having secured a massive 381 run win when the teams last met at the venue in 2019.  Brathwaite was quick to point out, however, that the team would not be preoccupied with history.

 “I think it’s history, to be honest, and we really have to look more to the future and be more disciplined.  I think we can draw from some things we did well, so of the players for sure, but I think we have to buckle down and start fresh.”

Saqib Mahmood will make his Test debut in England's only change for their second match against West Indies, starting on Wednesday at Kensington Oval.

The Lancashire seamer is a like-for-like replacement for the injured Mark Wood, who has been ruled out due to an elbow problem sustained in the first Test.

Joe Root's side played out a draw in that opening contest against Kraigg Brathwaite's hosts in Antigua and have moved on to Barbados for the second of three tussles for the Richards-Botham Trophy.

Centuries for captain Root, Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley were stymied by a superb display from Nkrumah Bonner and Wood's injury, on the back of Ollie Robinson being ruled out for the opener.

Root admitted that while Durham bowler Wood would be a loss, he had little doubts about 25-year-old Mahmood's potential.

"He's very mature for a guy who hasn't played a huge amount of international cricket, and he has an understanding of how he wants to operate," Root said.

"He's been very impressive. He's got a slightly different trajectory and will give us a point of difference. He has done that when he's played in other formats.

"Clearly he has good control, especially if the ball moves with reverse swing."

West Indies batsman Bonner, whose recent emergence as a Test player has followed a false start in international cricket in the T20I format 10 years ago, is relishing another battle after his man-of-the-match performance.

"During that 10-year period when I was out, there was a lot of work I put in mentally, physically and technically, and I'm really happy to be reaping the rewards now," Bonner said, quoted by BBC Sport.

"I'm more experienced now, I understand my game a lot better. I always had that belief I could play international cricket.

"Obviously sometimes the belief goes down a little bit, but I kept working and I'm really happy to have come back."

Stokes closes in on select England landmark

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been relatively quiet with bat and ball since returning to the international fold, but he could reach a notable landmark this week.

He needs 84 more to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket for England; in doing so, he would become just the 23rd player to achieve this feat for the team.

West Indies are one of the three teams against whom he has scored over 1,000 runs.

Roach poised to move up WI rankings

Kemar Roach needs only one more wicket to become the outright seventh-highest wicket taker for West Indies in men's Test cricket.

Roach is level with Garry Sobers on 235 wickets, and the paceman has more wickets against England (54) than against any other team in this format.

Once he moves ahead, he will have sixth-placed Michael Holding in his sights, with 249.

Kensington Oval is expected to be a hive of activity for the second Apex Test match, as the historic venue will now be able to operate at full capacity when West Indies host England from March 16-20.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced that the venue will be allowed to return to 100 per cent capacity for fully vaccinated fans, following a decision taken on Monday by the Barbados Government.

Additionally, it was also announced that fans in the ‘Banks Party Stand’, presented by ‘Power By Four’, will no longer be required to take rapid antigen tests to enter, with all fans now just needing to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to present their vaccination documentation.

“We are very happy that there is the potential for more West Indies and travelling England fans to attend the 2nd Apex Test match at Kensington Oval. We were almost sold out for the first two days before the decision by the Government of Barbados, which everyone welcomes," said Dominic Warne, WI’s Commercial and Marketing Director.

"Additionally, this will make it a much smoother experience for Banks Party Stand ticket holders, of which there will be more than 1000 per day, following the removal of rapid antigen testing requirements. We’re expecting another dramatic Test match against England and we want as many West Indies fans as possible rallying behind the #MeninMaroon.”

 The three-match Apex Test Series is still level following the draw in the first Apex Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

 

 

 

England cannot settle for "small incremental changes to make the difference" to their men's cricket setup if they want to compete, according to interim manager director Andrew Strauss.

Strauss left his role at the top of English cricket in 2018 but returned in a temporary role following the 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

The first of former England captain Strauss' changes saw head coach Chris Silverwood dismissed, with Paul Collingwood stepping up in the interim for the tour of the West Indies.

Joe Root's much-changed tourists, without star bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, shared the spoils in an uneventful first Test with Kraigg Brathwaite's West Indies side in Antigua, but Strauss is aware that success will not arrive "overnight" for a struggling England side.

"The results do not lie," former opener Strauss, whose managing director role started to be advertised for a long-term successor on Monday, told the BBC.

"We have been number one in the world in Test cricket for 12 months in the last 42 years. Small incremental change isn't going to make the difference we need.

"We need to be bold and ambitious."

Strauss headed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) committee that called for a full independent review into English cricket's domestic setup, and he appreciates that "time is ticking" to find a solution in appointing a managing director, who will find the next head coach of the men's team.

"There is a slight ticking clock in terms of the start of the international summer at the beginning of June and we want to get that person in position," he continued.

"It will be their decision around the coach and/or coaches as well, which hopefully will also be in position by the start of the summer, but there is a bit of time pressure for us to make that happen.

"It's going to be his [the new managing director's] team and so he has to look at how he wants to structure the England high-performance department.

"Whether he goes down the single coach or two coach model, he has to have the people that he feels can work with him and has a similar philosophy."

South African Gary Kirsten has been floated as Silverwood's red-ball successor, but Strauss believes whoever the next managing director and head coach are, England have to compete in all formats.

Questioned on who the new managing director may be, and whether they would have to be English, Strauss responded: "I've always been uneasy in saying overseas candidates cannot do the role.

"But what a time to get involved. It is very rare you get the opportunity to start with a blank piece of paper and this person is going to have that.

"Despite the doom and gloom around English cricket, there are a lot of good players out there. We are not going to become brilliant overnight but I think we have a lot of the raw ingredients in place.

"While a lot of the focus post-Ashes has been on red-ball cricket and the domestic structure, our project is broader than that.

"Our ambition has to be for us to be the best team in all formats. We have the ability to do that, and in order for that to happen, we have to look at the whole system.

"We have to accept we have never had a system that has produced that.

"Whatever your focus on red-ball cricket, it's like a Rubik's Cube and it affects white-ball cricket. You cannot look at them in isolation, you have to look at them together.

"The game around us has been moving very quickly. Not just our international players, but our domestic players are playing a lot of cricket abroad in the winter and it's time to ask what our role is in all of this.

"How do we protect our own system but also enhance that system?"

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