Steve Borthwick promises to put the roar back into England rugby

New coach has replaced Eddie Jones and believes every game matter in build-up to World Cup

Steve Borthwick, the new England coach poses at Twickenham Stadium on December 19, 2022 in London. Getty
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Steve Borthwick vowed to get Twickenham "roaring" again after being appointed England head coach just nine months before the 2023 World Cup.

Borthwick was unveiled as Eddie Jones’ successor after he left Premiership champions Leicester to sign a five-year deal with the Rugby Football Union.

The 43-year-old has little time to settle into his new role with under seven weeks until the Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham, but he will not use that tournament to experiment ahead of the World Cup in September.

While Jones placed heavy focus on the World Cup, and felt the anger of supporters over England’s faltering displays in both the 2022 Six Nations and Autumn Nations Series, his replacement was adamant every game should be taken seriously.

“Every game matters. Every single game you play for England matters. The one that’s in my mind is at the start of that Six Nations," said the new coach.

“We will be using every minute we have to prepare this team as well as we can for the first game of that Six Nations. Then when we’ve played that game, we’ll focus on the next one, then the one after that and the one after that. We want to just keep getting better.

“We know the World Cup is not far away, but the focus is on the start of the Six Nations.”

A terrible Autumn Nations Series – after a poor Six Nations – saw Jones sacked following England’s worst year since 2008, with only five victories masterminded during the past 12 months by the Australian.

Borthwick admitted to knowing his new crop of players are hurting but is confident they can get back on track with significance placed on improving their set-piece.

“To win Tests, you’ve got to have a quality set-piece and that’s certainly on the priority list,” he said.

“If you look at the Autumn Series, I don’t think England are ranked in the top three in any one particular facet of the game, so there are plenty of things to work on and get right.

“When I was a player, when the team was coached by Clive Woodward, in every single meeting there were posters on the wall – I was 20 to 21 – and the poster that I always referred to was one that said ‘brilliant basics’. You have to be brilliant at the basics.

“Clearly there are a large number of England players at Leicester and I have been in touch with players that I have known for a long, long time and I know how much they are hurting because they care, they really, really care, they want to do well.”

Updated: December 20, 2022, 3:42 PM
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