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Six Nations: Steve Borthwick, new captain of an English ship in dry dock


Breaking with his predecessor Eddie Jones, the former second line intends to restore the image of the XV de la Rose during the Tournament, before thinking about the World Cup. By restoring confidence to his group.

Less than eight months to find colors.

It is the commando operation that awaits Steve Borthwick (43) at the head of England, who is emerging from two chaotic years that were fatal to Eddie Jones.

Time is running out, but the new XV de la Rose coach does not intend to skip the stages.

Place in the Six Nations Tournament, a competition in which the English have hardly shone in the past two years: only four victories in ten matches, a third place in 2021 and, worse, a pitiful fifth place last year.

The year 2022 has been catastrophic: 6 defeats in 12 matches in 2022, the worst record since 2008.

To discover

  • Calendar and results 6 Nations

  • Ranking Tournament 6 of Nations

“As an England team, we have to play the outposts,

he insists.

And we prepare to play as hard as possible, while playing fair and safe.

I want to play a big role in that.”

The former second-line international with 57 caps, including 21 as captain, brilliantly succeeded in his retraining as a technician by leading Leicester to the league title last year.

This time, he will discover the high level.

A notch above.

And to evoke, with great frankness, his career with the XV of the Rose:

“Have I ever given the best of myself when I was a player?

I'm not sure I did.

Maybe I tried too hard.

Would I like to go back in time and try to do it again?

Yes, I would like."

“The reality is that we are a little behind”

The confession is unvarnished.

Borthwick plays the card of honesty, he does not cheat, when Eddie Jones was constantly in irony and provocation.

“I'm going to be authentic and not have fun making jokes.

I leave that to the other coaches, ”

he plants.

The new strong man of English rugby, bald head and 1.98 m under the height, has an idea in mind: to do everything so that his players have no regrets.

“I wish I could go back to when I was captain of England and go back to the times when I made my debut.

I wish I could relive those experiences and try to be even better.

I can't, unfortunately, because I'm old.

As Owen

(Farrell, his captain)

keeps reminding me…”

The task promises to be difficult, he will have to deal with many absences (Henry Slade, Courtney Lawes...) and a group that has confidence at half mast.

Read alsoSix Nations Tournament: the XV of the great absentees

Regardless, Steve Borthwick intends to quickly remobilize his troops.

The deadlines, Tournament then World, will arrive quickly.

"As a coach, I want to help these young people not to make the mistakes I made,

" he insists.

When they're old - and they don't have hair like me - I want them to have no regrets.

I don't want them looking back thinking,

"I wish I had done that."

So, let's do it!”

“We have a lot of work to do.

The reality is that we are a little behind,

he admits.

Every England fan wants this England team to be better than they were in the fall.”

The record is not flattering: a defeat against Argentina (29-30), a success against Japan (52-13), a draw in extremis against New Zealand (25-25) and a loss against to South Africa (13-27).


“So I want to make sure this team improves on what they have produced.

We will try to win every match we play.

Every game counts,”

he insists, contrary to what Eddie Jones thought, who only had the World Cup as his goal.

"Owen Farrell has more talent in his little toe than I've ever had"

His credo is therefore to restore confidence, as soon as possible, to the vice-world champions, who obviously badly digested their defeat in the final of the Japanese World Cup against the Springboks almost four years ago.

Stop flagellating yourself, get your head above water and stop the criticism at all costs.

And the former coach of the Leicester Tigers to tell:

“No player enters a field to make a mistake.

I know it well.

I remember being blamed for it when I was on the pitch.

I remember very well one time when it happened, I remember exactly where I was.

The water carrier approached me when I was captain and said,

'Tell the guys to stop dropping the ball…'”

Read alsoSix Nations: Italian renaissance or simple sketch?

Steve Borthwick wanted to mark his territory: he will not be a Bogeyman like Eddie Jones.

But not a yes-yes either:

“My job as a coach is to support my players.

The guy sitting next to me

(Owen Farrell)

has more talent in his little toe than I've ever had.

These guys are brilliant players, so I'm going to tell them,

'Get out there, give it your all, give it your all and go all out. indications: England remains on two defeats in a row against Scotland.

It's time to win back the Twickenham public.

The composition of England:

Steward - Malins, Marchant, Farrell, Hassell-Collins - (o) Smith, (m) Van Poortvliet - Dombrandt, B. Curry, Ludlam - Chessum, Itoje - Sinckler, George, Genge.


Walker, M. Vunipola, Cole, Isiekwe, Earl, Youngs, Lawrence, Watson.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-02-03

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