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What Borthwick said when asked if England will add more coaches

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ian Kington/AFP via Getty Images)

Steve Borthwick has insisted that everything is still on track for England to get the much-desired Rugby World Cup opening round win versus Argentina on September 9 and that additional assistance in coaching the team isn’t needed.

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The Borthwick tenure hit rock bottom at Twickenham on Saturday when England were beaten 30-22 by a better-coached Fiji.

However, in spite of this being the sixth loss in the nine outings since he took over from Eddie Jones and the third in four August warm-up matches ahead of France 2023, he didn’t flinch post-game in stressing how there is still optimism heading across the Channel next Thursday.

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Asked if help was required for his inexperienced Test-level coaching team, he retorted: “No, I am very confident in all the people involved around the team… today is not the result or certainly aspects of the performance that we wanted. We are all disappointed by that.

“What we need to do is ensure in two weeks’ time we put in the performance that is required against Argentina. That is the focus and we have got a very talented group of players that I am sure will play exceptionally well against Argentina.”

Points Flow Chart

Fiji win +8
Time in lead
37
Mins in lead
38
46%
% Of Game In Lead
48%
61%
Possession Last 10 min
39%
0
Points Last 10 min
7

Argentina was the straw that Borthwick repeatedly clutched in his 11-minute post-game briefing. On one hand, he was perfectly correct to do so as a win in Marseille against the Pumas will draw a line under a desperate August where England have been drowning in mediocrity.

However, lost that pool opener and all the criticisms of recent weeks will be validated and this Summer Nations Series will be remembered as the World Rugby World Cup preparation in England’s history. At least he was magnanimous about the win Fiji has secured in London.

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“I congratulate Fiji on their performance and deserved victory. They took their chances really well. We are bitterly disappointed.

“Frustrated that we saw growth in some areas of our game but other areas dropped off and ultimately if you miss that many tackles, fall off that many tackles against a team such as Fiji, they are going to score tries.

“We are bitterly disappointed. Credit them for an excellent performance. Ww knew they were a dangerous side before the game, they pushed France very hard last week in France, and they took their opportunities today.

“They are going to do very well at the World Cup and there is the potential we may meet them again in a few weeks’ time.”

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Did he have a message for disillusioned England fans? “Everybody around the England team care deeply about the team, about English rugby. We’re very disappointed with the result today and aspects of the performance. However, it is very clear what we need to do to move forward over the next two weeks.

“I am very happy with the squad we have got. We have got a really talented group of players. The most important thing with the group we have now is the players, coaches and management because I have been involved with other England teams before that, under pressure in difficult circumstances under adversity which is some of the challenges we have faced the last few weeks, have come apart.

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“What I sense is this is a group that is coming even tighter together. We are looking forward to getting to France later this week and looking forward to getting into this World Cup.”

Confirmation of the 33 that will definitely travel was still awaited overnight. The squad is already down to 32 with Anthony Watson ruled out and a medical update was awaited on some others in casualty, namely Elliot Daly.

“In terms of the wider 33, I’ll confirm it as soon as I get the confirmed medical report and the only reason I didn’t confirm Thursday was I need to ensure everyone is fit post this game.”

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Comments

10 Comments
f
finn 293 days ago

We would not be in this situation if they had kept Eddie.

K
KiwiSteve 293 days ago

So this is basically the same team that got to the 2019 final less Cowan Dickie, Kruis, Slade, Mako, Underhill. No wonder everyone is scratching their bead wondering what has gone wrong.

j
jason 293 days ago

Chuck Norris falls asleep mid kick when he hears Steve Borthwick talk.

C
CO 293 days ago

I'm shocked at how awful the English team has got, they've got some outstanding talent.

N
Neil 293 days ago

Does anyone bother to proof read these articles?

N
Nick 293 days ago

He came out with the same rubbish when he was England captain and the team had turned in another abject performance. Robotic, conservative and totally out of his depth along with his fellow novice Leicester coaches. Out at the group stage again, pathetic.

M
Michael 293 days ago

Chief Executive and Head Coach need to go.

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