Borthwick guarantees a fresh perspective for England in the upcoming Six Nations tournament.
Steve Borthwick is calling on the England team to improve their performance in the Six Nations, stating that the supporters deserve more. He urges his squad to begin the tournament stronger this year as they face Italy in their first game on Saturday week.
In the past six Six Nations championship seasons, England’s win ratio has been only 50%. They have also had two fifth-place finishes. Borthwick, the coach, hopes that his newly arranged team will display more energy from the beginning, starting at their planned training camp in Spain this week.
Borthwick, speaking at the tournament launch at Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse, expressed the team’s goal of consistently competing in every game, a feat that has not been achieved in recent years by the England team.
The team has not met the high expectations of their supporters, which is understandable. We are fully aware that our performance in the Six Nations has not been up to par. Our goal is to start strong and with the level of intensity we desire in Rome, something that England has struggled with in past years.
Sometimes, we have not entered this competition with enough energy and have been surprised in our first match. We are often predicted to win, but England’s performance has not lived up to that expectation. Our team is aware of this and is determined to improve, as our supporters deserve a better showing.
“We aim to shift the mindset in England and approach this game and tournament in a unique way. Our strategy is different as we strive for different outcomes. My desire is for the players to eagerly take the field and wholeheartedly commit themselves to the game. The level of effort and determination they bring in the first match will greatly impact our success.”
The English team is traveling to their temporary location near Girona with high hopes that several players will be ready to play after a demanding stretch of club matches. Leicester’s Ollie Chessum did not pass a concussion evaluation on Saturday, while flankers Ben Curry and Sam Underhill are dealing with ankle injuries. Additionally, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, center Oscar Beard, and wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso are all undergoing treatment.
The team’s new captain, Jamie George, was unable to attend the official launch due to dangerously strong winds and cancelled flights. The Six Nations chief executive, Tom Harrison, and representatives from France were also unable to attend. However, George expressed his excitement through a video link at the opportunity to lead his country, following in the footsteps of Owen Farrell.
George, who compared it to a “marriage proposal” when Borthwick proposed the role to him, intends to utilize the knowledge and experience of notable figures such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate, and Sir Alastair Cook. These individuals have all visited the England team to discuss leadership at different points in time. George finds it extremely interesting how each one has achieved success in their own unique way. The key lesson he has learned is that they have all remained committed to their beliefs. This allows others to know what to expect from them as individuals.
The Saracens hooker also shared that he has been communicating with former Ireland captain Rory Best for advice on being a captain. “I had a great experience working with Rory Best during the 2017 Lions tour. We share a similar perspective on the game. He was one of the people who reached out… I will definitely be seeking his advice soon.”