Steve Borthwick backs Eddie Jones' leadership, England's chances of returning to form and responds to Warren Gatland's criticisms
By Ali Stokes
England forwards coach Steve Borthwick has publicly backed Eddie Jones’ consistency and hailed the Australian’s leadership following a series defeat with a game to spare in South Africa.
“I have worked for Eddie for a long time now. I see consistency,” said Borthwick.
“He's an excellent coach - we all know that - and what this England team has done over the last couple of years with the work he has led has been tremendous.
“I see someone who is continuing to work to help this team get better as we all are. He is leading this squad tremendously well and we believe in him and know we will turn this around and get the results we want.
“As coaches we always have robust conversations because that is the nature of coaching.
“We discuss the direction we want and get on with delivering it as a coaching team and that is with Eddie Jones as our head coach."
England’s five-Test losing streak has seen them slip down to sixth spot in the World Ruby rankings after starting the calendar year in second place behind the All Blacks. Borthwick went on to state his belief in the team’s ability to return to form once again.
“I’ve not paid any attention to rankings. We want to win the World Cup next year. We know the results we’ve had in the last period of time are clearly not the results we want, we’re bitterly disappointed about that. But we have a great resolve to get this right.
“We believe that we will turn this around and get the results we want.” Borthwick added.
“We all know the results are not where we want them to be, I along with everybody else involved in the England squad is determined to turn the results around and get a win this weekend.”
“There have been aspects, as with our whole team, there have been aspects that have been positive but ultimately we haven’t got the results we wanted to and that is the team, the forwards, we want to make sure we get the wins and we haven’t managed to do that,” Borthwick added.
“I think there have been some critical moments. We have talked about there was one scrum clearly at the weekend and there was one scrum the week before.
“There was an opportunity on the line with the driving line-out this week and we weren’t able to take those opportunities and weren’t able to get what we needed in those critical moments. That is disappointing. It is very clear the areas that we are determined to put right.”
Borthwick also reacted to the news that Wales and two times British and Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland had described Wales and England as “poles apart” following the contrast in success between England’s summer results and Wales’ clean sweep this June.
“Clearly I know Warren having worked with him previously, 12 months ago. While respecting him as a coach, he can have his opinion; ultimately we went to Argentina last year and won 2-0.
“And our recent record against Wales has been a good one. It was just a short time ago that we beat them. He can comment where he likes, I’m concentrating on the England team. If he wants to comment on us that’s up to him.”
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