"Nothing I can do" - England flop pins the blame on Steve Borthwick for his international failure - Ruck

“Nothing I can do” – England flop pins the blame on Steve Borthwick for his international failure

England winger Ollie Hassell-Collins has expressed his willingness to potentially join the ranks of Wales for the upcoming 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Hassell-Collins becomes eligible to play for Wales as of February 2026, a year ahead of the global rugby event.

Former Wales coach Warren Gatland has hinted at the prospect of integrating Hassell-Collins into the squad, pending a decision from his current club, Leicester Tigers.

The winger said: “I have seen Gatland’s interview. I have got two caps for England, and obviously I’m English. But if I don’t see anything in the next few years then it’s definitely something that I would consider.

“Wales is still part of who I am. My grandma was Welsh and I still have family over there. It’s still a part of me – and I’d never turn it down – but for now, it’s England for me.

“I can’t control who he picks. There’s nothing I can do about that and no point dwelling on it. It’s a short career and I want to enjoy it as much as I can.

“We have chatted throughout the season. The main thing he wants to see from me is getting my hands on the ball. There’s only so much I can control in that, but as long as I’m working off my wing, getting connected to people, showing that I’m trying to get on the ball, hopefully he sees that.

“Then, if I do get the ball, brilliant, but if not, as long as I’m in the right positions to get on the ball, then that’s a good sign as well. But I haven’t been beating myself up about it. I don’t think you can. It’s a short career. Maybe back in the day, I might have, but now it’s all about me. I’m happy going into Leicester every day, and enjoying life.

“I’m at the age where I’m mature enough to understand that I can’t go around beating myself up about missing out on the World Cup or the Six Nations. It’s about getting my head down, getting better, and working on what I need to. And, if it happens, great. If not, I just need to keep trying to get better. I want to win stuff with Leicester.”

Worst England XV:

This team was inspired and partly taken from Mike Cooper’s origional blog on RuckedOver.

Fullback: Mark Van Gisbergen

Yes, he has a cap – only a fleeting one, as a late replacement for Mark Cueto against Australia in 2005 – but he does boast a 100% winning ratio in international colours, so you can’t knock that. His main strengths were dropping the high ball under limited pressure and getting gassed on the outside.

Winger: Barrie-Jon Mather

He became the first player to represent Great Britain in Rugby League and England in Union. His move to union was part funded by the RFU, who were embarking on a strategy of converting some of leagues best talent. However, Mather struggled to make an impact with Sale and moved back to Castleford in 2000. In spite of his poor form with Sale, Clive Woodward gave Mather his debut against Wales in the famous Grand Slam decider in 1999. However, Mather never played for England again after Wales won the game 32-31, following Scott Gibbs’ superb try.

Centre: Joel Tomkins

Tomkins began his League career with Wigan in 2005 and outside of a short stint with the Widnes Vikings in 2007, played with the Warriors until moving to Saracens in 2011. While Tomkins initially struggled to adapt to union, but his form during the beginning of the 2013/14 season saw him earn an England cap against Australia in November 2013. Although he went on to make two further international appearances, he looked completely out of his depth and returned to league soon after.