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Sam Simmonds on England camp life under Borthwick and Sinfield

By PA
Sam Simmonds - PA

Sam Simmonds says there is already a “buzz” around England under new head coach Steve Borthwick.

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Borthwick’s first squad have gathered at their Surrey training base preparing for the Guinness Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham next Saturday.

Exeter back-rower Simmonds believes the squad, which toiled badly towards the end of Eddie Jones’ reign last autumn, are buying into the new regime quickly.

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“Steve and the rest of the coaches expect a lot from us, as they should,” said Simmonds.

“We haven’t played a game yet but, within the few training sessions that we’ve had, it feels like we’re going in the right direction. There’s a buzz around the squad of excitement and enjoyment.

“The first game against Scotland is huge but from what I’ve seen and been a bit of so far, we’re building quite nicely.”

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Rugby league great Kevin Sinfield is also making his mark as England’s new defence coach.

“We have only been in camp for the last two or three days, but you can see what it means to him to be here and it’s filtering down throughout the squad,” added Simmonds.

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“He is a person who will lead the squad and you want to follow him into battle, I guess. He is having a good impact on the squad. I think he is going to do good things for our defence.

“He is someone that is very easy to respect, not just for what he has done in rugby league but his things off the pitch, and what he did for Leicester to get them to a winning team in the Premiership when he had only been there a year and a half and their defence was unbelievable.

“That trust in him that he has done it at the top level, and him coming in although he has not had international experience before – he is someone you respect and almost idolise straight away.”

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