Steve Borthwick: I want my England side to make people fall in love with rugby | RFU’s Bill Sweeney: We needed a change

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New England coach Steve Borthwick discusses the importance of making every minute count in his new role

New England coach Steve Borthwick discusses the importance of making every minute count in his new role

New England coach Steve Borthwick says he wants his team to make people “fall in love with rugby” after taking over from the departure of Eddie Jones.

Borthwick, who was officially confirmed as Jones’ successor on Monday, has signed a five-year contract to lead a new coaching ticket that includes rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield, who joined as defense coach after working alongside Borthwick at Leicester Tigers.

speaks exclusively to Sky Sports News At Twickenham, Borthwick outlined his ambitions and plans for the England players and his time working under his predecessor Jones in Japan and England.

“It’s an exciting feeling. I feel incredibly honored and honored,” said Borthwick, who won 57 caps as a player between 2001 and 2010.

“Having played for the team, leading the team, being an assistant coach and now being the head coach is an incredible honor.

Borthwick signed a five-year contract as England manager on Monday

Borthwick signed a five-year contract as England manager on Monday

“This England rugby team has a lot of strength to impress. As a boy, I fell in love with the match watching the England rugby team.

“This team that comes out here and plays at the start of the Six Nations, I want it to be a team that makes people fall in love with the game.

A game that makes kids want to play rugby and play for England.

“If you do that, the fans here are going to love it.

Leicester Tiger duo Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield have taken charge of the England national team.

Leicester Tiger duo Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield have taken charge of the England national team.

“There’s a great group of players here with England, and I think the group desperately needs to do well, so I’m looking forward to working with them.

“It’s 47 days until we get back here and play our first Six Nations game [vs Scotland]this is the first day for me.

“There’s a lot to do. But when the players come to camp, we’ll be clear about the priorities and what we need to do, so when we go there, we see a team that plays hard, competes for everything, and fights together.”

Borthwick takes over the position for a reeling England team after a terrifying year in which they lost six Tests and won just five.

“One of the things that stands out to me, from talking to the players and watching the players, is how much damage they get.

“They care deeply about the fans. They care deeply about winning games for England. And I’m proud to be the manager of this team.

“But I understand that it means nothing if we don’t do something. We want to produce a team that wins. We want to ensure we have a support base who are proud of their team.

What is clear is that every single minute counts. This is our preparation time.

“This is the first day for me, so from this day forward I will make sure to work every minute that I can to help this team prepare as well as possible.”

Borthwick paid tribute to Eddie Jones - someone he's been working with and says he's learned a lot from him

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Borthwick paid tribute to Eddie Jones – someone he’s been working with and says he’s learned a lot from him

Borthwick paid tribute to Eddie Jones – someone he’s been working with and says he’s learned a lot from him

Before joining the Tigers in 2020 and leading Gallagher to the title last season, Borthwick spent five years as England’s attacking coach under Jones.

“I’ve learned so many different things from him over so many years, and I’m so grateful for that.

“One of the main aspects you learn there is that you have to lead as you are and be honest in the way you drive. And that’s what I’m going to do here.

“As a captain and a coach, I like to win. I want this team to be a team that performs well. We have a lot of work to do to get to this point, because we’re behind, but we’re going to do that work.”

“And I love helping people, I get a great deal of joy from seeing happiness in other people.

“The players and the fans are enjoying the success, and it will bring me a lot of joy.”

Borthwick worked alongside Eddie Jones for eight years, with Japan as assistant coach (2012-15) and England as attacking coach (2015-20).

Borthwick worked alongside Eddie Jones for eight years, with Japan as assistant coach (2012-15) and England as attacking coach (2015-20).

RFU’s Sweeney: We need change | This is a new era for rugby in England

Talking to Sky Sports News At Twickenham, RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has revealed for the first time why the board felt a change was needed at the top of their senior coaching ticket just nine months before the Rugby World Cup.

“The Six Nations was a disappointment, and we hoped we could do better, but it was difficult to read for various reasons.

“But then we had the Test series in Australia, and we came away with a 2-1 win there, which is a tough place to win a series.

So I come from this thinking: ‘Okay, we’re starting to make some movement here,’ but then we have a very disappointing fall, and given all the information, the review process, we felt like we needed to make a change, and we just didn’t have enough momentum to even 2023.

“We want to reconnect with the fans now, but the decision was made solely on the performance on the pitch and what confidence we have that we can get our momentum back for 2023.”

said Bill Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer, RFU, England

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney says England ‘need a change’, moving from Eddie Jones to Borthwick

Sweeney also revealed that there were plans for Borthwick to take over from Jones after the World Cup in France, with those plans being presented in light of England’s recent struggles.

“My first conversation with Leicester was in August this year, and they were very accommodating about the process, but the original intention was after the World Cup.

“Obviously we had to speed things up, we had a number of conversations with them and one of the principles we agreed on was that they should not run out financially, because Steve and Kevin would come in before the end of the downturn.

“It’s not a seven-figure amount, but we made sure they didn’t run out of money financially.

“This happens in sports [costly coaching changes]Every tournament we enter, we have a preview and a review, and each step is like that, we are looking at different and different contingencies. So you plan for it.

“Sport, again, is a little bit different than business. The results are immediate and immediate, and sometimes you have to take action faster than you would elsewhere.

“It’s hard to win a World Cup, and sometimes you need green space too, so we’re not going to put any outrageous goals in a World Cup.

“This is a long-term rebuilding programme, and we want to re-establish England.

“We’ve talked about this being a new era for England going forward, to make sure we’re laying the right foundations for the right progression of English rugby.”

“Seinfeld is an amazing coach and an incredible human being.”

Borthwick told Sky Sports about his defensive coach Kevin Sinfield:

Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith shares his thoughts on Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield's new role in England's rugby union squad.

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Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith shares his thoughts on Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield’s new role in England’s rugby union squad.

Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith shares his thoughts on Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield’s new role in England’s rugby union squad.

“Rugby has taught me so many different things about being part of a team, how you work together for each other, how you help your mates, how you look after each other.

And if there’s one person who embodies that more than anyone else in rugby, it’s Kevin Seinfeld.

“I think the guy is a really great coach, but he’s a great human being.

“He has the ability to move people, the ability to lead. An incredible person.”

Rugby league’s loss is England’s gain

Sky Sports rugby analyst John Wilkin on Seinfeld:

“As a Rugby League fan, it is probably a fiasco on the game side that someone with 25 or 30 years of experience, developed their experience in rugby league, and then lost out to rugby union.

“In typical Rugby League fashion, we stand back and salute and say, ‘Isn’t it great that one of our most respected players has moved to rugby union?'” But it makes me sad in some ways because this game I grew up playing gave me so many opportunities, and I can’t keep talents like Kevin Seinfeld.

“However, for Kevin who seems to be going from strength to strength, success to success, rugby league has been Leicester Tiger’s gain this season and he will certainly be England’s gain and I’m excited to see how he does in the role.

“My experience of playing with Kev and being around Kev is that he’s so emotionally stable, that he’s almost getting boring. One thing I’ve seen from Kevin over the past 12 months – with his work with Rob Burrow and Motor Neurone Disease, his dear friend who’s really struggling in This moment – is an emotional aspect.

“I think it’s that emotional side that he’ll need to master to be great in the England squad.”


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