Steve Borthwick says there will be no quick fix for his England side after opening Six Nations with defeat vs Scotland; “When I looked at the team in the autumn, when I measured the team and got all the data, we weren’t good at anything”; Borthwick’s men face Italy at Twickenham on Sunday
Last Updated: 06/02/23 7:18am
Steve Borthwick says England “weren’t good at anything” when he took charge and believes there will be no quick fix after defeat to Scotland in their Six Nations opener.
Borthwick became England head coach in December, replacing Eddie Jones after the Australian was sacked having presided over the team’s worst year of results since 2008.
Borthwick’s era began with a 29-23 defeat at Twickenham on Saturday as Scotland won the Calcutta Cup for the third time in a row, with England looking to bounce back at home to Italy on Sunday.
The former Leicester head coach said: “We know we’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve been frank from day one in saying that.
“When I looked at the team in the autumn, when I measured the team and got all the data, we weren’t good at anything. It was as frank as that.
“We are trying to build some strengths in this team and some bits we are pleased about and some bits we are disappointed about. My job is to make sure we get some improvements for Italy.
‘Our scrum was the worst in tier-one rugby’
“There are multiple areas we have tried to change. You saw some improvement in the scrum against Scotland which I was pleased about because it has been ranked as the worst scrum in tier-one rugby.
“We saw some improvements in the attack and speed of ball and we tried to improve the breakdown where England were ranked the ninth quickest, so one of the slowest in tier one.
“I’d seen a habit within the team of conceding points early and not being able to respond to it. We conceded points against Scotland and the biggest thing I was looking at was the response.
“I thought the response was magnificent. We saw improvement against Scotland in a lot of areas. Some areas didn’t go so well and we need to make sure we get those addressed. Some take longer than others.
“We are trying to rebuild the set-piece here. That takes time. You saw some improvement in our attack.
“In terms of the way we hit in defence, there were improvements there but there were a couple of tries which Scotland took brilliantly, which is immense credit to them.
“I feel disappointed with the result. I asked the players to do some things differently. I have asked the players to play a new way. I have got to get the players to believe in themselves and get the players to bring their strengths to the pitch.
“I want them to play to the best of themselves, which we haven’t seen them do for a while. I think you saw an improvement in that regard against Scotland.”
George: We want to take England back to the top
Hooker Jamie George feels “something wasn’t quite working” last autumn when England lost to Argentina and South Africa and drew with New Zealand and says the players are determined to take the team “back to the top”.
He said: “We’re all very, very ambitious people. We want to take England rugby back to the top and we’re aware that it hasn’t been good enough, especially in the autumn.
“Eddie [Jones] took the brunt of it in terms of losing his job, but at the same time we were the people on the field. So we have to take accountability for it, too.”
Source : Sky Sports