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Borthwick predicts that England will win the Six Nations title in their match against France, despite it seeming unlikely.
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Borthwick predicts that England will win the Six Nations title in their match against France, despite it seeming unlikely.

Next weekend, England will travel to France with confidence that they can achieve an unexpected Six Nations title. Coach Steve Borthwick is encouraging his team to build upon their impressive win against Ireland.

Marcus Smith’s last-gasp drop goal on Saturday sealed the most signi­ficant win of Borthwick’s tenure and sparked the kind of wild celebrations at Twickenham that have been all too rare of late.

In their recent match, England managed to score three tries, a feat they haven’t achieved since their victory against Chile in the World Cup. They played with an aggressive and dynamic energy that their fans have been longing for and had eight players on the field with less than 20 caps, showing promise for a promising future.

Chandler Cunningham-South, an outstanding player in this year’s Six Nations as a substitute, will not be able to play in the upcoming matchup against France on Saturday due to a calf injury. However, he will be substituted by the talented 20-year-old Newcastle back-rower, Guy Pepper.

Ireland is expected to confidently maintain their status as champions next week. However, if they were to make a mistake against Scotland in Dublin, it would create an opportunity for England to surpass them in the standings. Achieving a bonus-point win in Lyon would likely be necessary for England to accomplish this.

England have not beaten les Bleus in France since clinching their last grand slam in 2016 and though ­Borthwick is predicting “a bigger, physical challenge”, confidence is flowing after they shook the disappointing defeat by Scotland from the system. “I want to keep backing the players,” he said.

We will make mistakes and we must quickly learn from them. Within seven days, we have another Test match, so it’s crucial to assess our strengths and weaknesses. Achieving tangible results is crucial for the team, and my role is to encourage us to improve and strive for excellence next week.

In the end, England may come to regret not earning any additional points in their four matches, which now makes winning the championship after four years a more challenging goal. Nevertheless, the fact that they are still in contention for the title heading into the final weekend is an indication of their progress.

“The victory at Twickenham was exceptional, but now we must focus on the upcoming week and maintain our performance because we have a chance to win the championship,” stated the hooker, Theo Dan. He added, “We may not be sure of the exact results that are needed, but we are close to achieving victory in the Six Nations and are in a positive position.” When asked if the English team is confident in their ability to win, he confidently replied, “Absolutely. We have put ourselves in a position to achieve it.”

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Borthwick acknowledged that his team may have struggled with the pressure of wearing the England jersey during their loss to Scotland. However, he commended their resilience in bouncing back from mistakes during their game against Ireland. He explained that the team reflected on their previous match, made necessary adjustments, and were able to perform confidently on the field. While they were not flawless, the players did not let their mistakes affect their overall performance and played with confidence against Ireland.

Borthwick also gave a special commendation to Ben Earl, who was awarded player of the match for the second time in this championship. “I think he feels supported,” Borthwick said.

I have the sense that he believes he is improving as a player and is determined to continue improving. I had a conversation with him before the game, during which he explained his plans and demonstrated what he hoped to achieve. And during the game, he executed those plans perfectly. This is all thanks to Ben Earl’s performance. It’s incredible to see his level of strategic thinking and his drive to constantly improve as a player.

Source: theguardian.com