Mike Brown: Three changes Steve Borthwick should make for World Cup - Ruck

Mike Brown: Three changes Steve Borthwick should make for World Cup

Mike Brown believes England boss Steve Borthwick should make a number of major changes for the fast approaching 2023 Rugby World Cup.

#1. Put Marcus Smith on the bench

Brown wrote: “I am still not 100 per cent sold on the Marcus Smith – Owen Farrell partnership at 10 and 12.

“They didn’t play that badly but I think Borthwick should play guys in their natural positions.


“Put Marcus on the bench. Owen is captain so he has to start – it is a tough call but it’s the sort of call the new head coach has got to make.

“He has made some big decisions already but this would be the biggest. It would suit them team much better to have a proper 12 like Ollie Lawrence.”

Marcus Smith of England on the break beats Sione Tuipulotu of Scotland and Pierre Schoeman of Scotland during the Six Nations Championship, Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 4th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Olie Lawrence facts:

  • He plays for Bath, moving from Worcester Warriors in 2022 after the club went into administration
  • Lawrence has a pool table in his house and plays regularly
  • He could have been a footballer, telling Rugby World: “I played football and was involved in the academies at Aston Villa and Birmingham City. I stopped when I was ten as I didn’t like the environment. I also played cricket and at 16 I had to choose. I went for rugby as I enjoyed it more.”
  • He is a fan of cricket and darts
  • He has said he looked to England team-mate Manu Tuilagi to improve his own game. He told The Guardian: “I wanted to emulate him (Tuilagi) because the way he played excited me; that’s probably how my game evolved, watching players like him”
Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby) of England is tackled by Owen Farrell (Saracens) of England during the England Rugby Training camp at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 25 Jan. 2023 Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK