Steve Borthwick’s unconvincing England a result of RFU’s botched plan | Andy Bull

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Head coach’s succession to Eddie Jones now looks like a hospital pass from the sport’s governing body as the World Cup looms

Here we go, here we go, here we oh. So, 16 days from the World Cup they have spent the past four years preparing for, England arrive at their final warm-up game against Fiji on Saturday sixth in the world rankings, shepherded by a new coaching team who are on a run of three wins in seven, steeled by a defence conceding an average of four tries a game, sharpened by an attack that has scored that amount in their past 400 minutes and led by a captain – and starting fly-half – who is banned from playing in two of their four group games. Oh, and their only specialist No 8 is going to miss their opening fixture too.

Hear that distant rumbling? Could be it is the other teams in the group – Argentina, Japan, Samoa and Chile – quaking in their training boots because England are about to launch the most elaborate rope-a-dope since Muhammad Ali came out swinging in the eighth. Could be it is a couple of loose chariot wheels tumbling off down the hill. Or maybe it is just the resonant voice of the Rugby Football Union chief executive, Bill Sweeney. “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” Or: “Some things weren’t quite clicking,” as Sweeney said after the RFU sacked Eddie Jones in December. “They weren’t working the way we all thought they were going to work.”

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Written by Andy Bull
This news first appeared on under the title “Steve Borthwick’s unconvincing England a result of RFU’s botched plan | Andy Bull”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.