Steve Borthwick insists he’s ‘very happy’ with his England squad despite their worrying pre-World Cup form… and says he’s confident they’ll play ‘exceptionally well’ in opener against Argentina
- England crashed to a shock 30-22 defeat to Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday
- Steve Borthwick’s side are struggling for form going into the Rugby World Cup
- The head coach though is confident that they will play well in their opener
- Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results
Steve Borthwick is confident England will make a positive start to the Rugby World Cup despite their worrying form going into the tournament.
England’s 30-22 defeat to Fiji was their first ever loss to the Pacific Islanders and the fifth time they have been beaten in their last six outings.
It has created cause for concern going into the tournament, which for Borthwick’s side, gets underway on September 9 against Argentina.
The England head coach though is confident with his squad and the current Red Rose set-up.
He said after their loss to Fiji: ‘I’m very confident in all the people around the team, the players, the coaches, the management. Today’s not the result or aspects of the performance that we wanted. We are all disappointed by that.’
Steve Borthwick is not too concerned about England’s worrying form ahead of the World Cup
England’s defeat against Fiji was their fifth loss in six games – and their first ever to the Pacific Islanders
He went on to add: ‘We are very clear about what we need to do to move forward over the next two weeks.
‘I think we’re very clear that there are a couple of areas we need to address in the next two weeks, and we’ll make sure we’re ready for Argentina.
‘In terms of the players, I’m very happy with the squad we’ve got, I think we’ve got a very talented group of players. The most important thing right now with the group we have, the players, the coaches, the management.
‘I’ve been involved with other England teams before that, under pressure and in difficult circumstances, under adversity and some similar challenges to what we’ve faced in the last few weeks, have come apart.
‘What I sense is a group that’s coming even tighter together. We’re looking forward to France next week and we’re looking forward to getting into this World Cup.’
Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola watched the defeat from the sidelines amid their suspensions
England are in Group D of the World Cup alongside Argentina, Japan, Chile and Samoa.
Their build-up to the tournament has been affected by the controversy over the bans to captain Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola.
Fly-half Farrell will sit out his side’s first two matches against Argentina and Japan, while Vunipola will miss their first match at the competition.
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