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The 4 England players Borthwick has been told to 'move on'

By Ian Cameron
England props, Dan Cole (R) and Joe Marler look on with head coach, Steve Borthwick during the England Captain's Run ahead of the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match against Scotland at BT Murrayfield Stadium on February 23, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Following England’s disappointing loss to Scotland in their round three Six Nations match at Murrayfield, former England fly-half Andy Goode has suggested that head coach Steve Borthwick should consider making significant changes to the team.

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England’s defeat by a score of 30-21 marks their fourth consecutive loss in the Calcutta Cup, a match that saw Scotland’s Duhan Van Der Merwe delivering a standout performance, including scoring a historic hat-trick. Despite a promising start that saw England leading 10-0 thanks to a try from George Furbank, the team was unable to maintain their momentum, ultimately succumbing to Scotland’s strategic play.

Goode – voicing his concerns over the current state of the England team – has called for the removal of four senior players: Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Ford, and Elliot Daly. Citing the team’s underwhelming performance since reaching the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, Goode expressed his belief that significant changes are necessary for the team to evolve.

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“There’s a fair few players that Steve Borthwick needs to move on if we are going to evolve, Marler, Cole, Ford, Daly to name a few, we’ve been bang average at best since the 2019 World Cup semi final,” wrote Goode on X, who alongside the proposed player changes, Goode also questioned the effectiveness of Borthwick and some of his coaching staff, suggesting that their positions should be reevaluated in light of recent performances. “I actually don’t think Borewick [sic] and some of his assistant coaches should stay.”

He wasn’t the only one directly critical of the current England regime. Martin Gillingham wrote: “Only a fool would pretend the key to unlocking England Rugby’s full potential is easily found. But the stark reality is that, more than a year into the job, Steve Borthwick appears no closer to locating it. In weighing up today, consider Scotland has just two professional teams.”

Writing in is RugbyPass+ column, Mick Cleary wrote: “Borthwick, of course, is not a man to lift the spirts by his demeanour alone. He is well-intentioned but his public face and utterances would drain the energy from a Duracell Bunny. But, and here’s the rub, he is a tough bugger and now that he has embarked on a Felix Jones-nurtured change of direction – blitzing in defence, having-a-look-at-least in attack – he has to stick to his guns.”

England go into a fallow week with the prospect of the massive challenge of Grand Slam favourites Ireland in Twickenham in 12 days’ time in round 4.

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