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The Borthwick philosophy that has made him Jones' ideal replacement

By Chris Jones
Steve Borthwick (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick continues to side step questions about his imminent elevation to England head coach but has revealed some of the foundations that have made him the obvious replacement for Eddie Jones.


Borthwick is preparing for what could be his final match in charge of Leicester at home to ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday before he is announced as England head coach and while he claims to be the least important person at Mattioli Woods Welford Road at the weekend, the focus is certain to be on the man who led the club to the Premiership title last season.

The former England captain said: “I know I’m coaching here against Clermont on Saturday. That’s what I am working towards. I’d love to give you clarity on everything going forward. Unfortunately, I can’t. All I do is concentrate on giving my best to this team and these players, whom I care for very deeply, and I’m going to coach them as best I can.

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“If I can help people on their journey then that is what I will try and do. I ask people to work hard and I am pretty demanding and there are easier places to be. I tell them they I am going to be demanding but I will help them in any way I can to achieve their ambitions.

“The two things that drive me are winning – I love winning – and also helping people. I take a lot of joy seeing players celebrating, getting better and that makes me happy. I look (at coaching) how can I make a small difference and that can be not repeating the mistakes I made.

“If I could wind back the clock and the way I looked at my game I would. I would do things very different and I was probably a difficult person to coach and we are the sum of all of our experiences. At that point I didn’t know any better now you are older and wiser.

“I look back at my own training and think that was so silly. I set the goal to play for England at 14 because that was the age I could go to the gym in the leisure centre and would set myself these ridiculous target on the rowing machine not knowing what I was doing. ‘If you don’t get that target you would never play for England’ is what I would say and I would be falling off the machines.


“My attitude was that I may never do it but it won’t be for a lack of trying. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and if you can help young players not make those mistakes then they will be worthwhile.

“I have two or three wonderful people (from outside rugby) who come in and watch training and I speak to on a weekly basis who can point you in the right direction or make you think differently.

“I care very deeply for these Leicester players and I will try and coach them at the very best level I can. We are energised and excited for this match and we know we have to be better than we were at Ospreys.“


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