REPORT: RFU disappointed with Steve Borthwick's comments - Ruck

REPORT: RFU disappointed with Steve Borthwick’s comments

According to The Guardian, senior officials at the Rugby Football Union are reportedly not impressed with Steve Borthwick’s siege mentality approach.

Borthwick, after England’s quarter-final victory over Fiji, expressed his indifference towards what others think of his team, stating, “I don’t really care.”

This statement came in response to the question of whether his side were considered underdogs. Prior to the match, Borthwick and captain Owen Farrell faced boos from the crowd in Marseille when they appeared on the big screen before kick-off.

Richard Wigglesworth, the attack coach, attributed this negative reaction to the fact that “the minority are always the loudest.”

When Borthwick was appointed in December, one of his primary goals was to reconnect his team with the supporters who had grown weary of Eddie Jones’s approach.

However, his success in achieving this has been a mixed bag thus far. Interestingly, Borthwick’s predecessor, Jones, made a similar comment after his final match in charge, a defeat against South Africa in November 2022.

Jones stated, “I don’t care what other people think,” a remark that is believed to have been poorly received at Twickenham.

In conclusion, it seems that Borthwick’s siege mentality approach has not been well-received by senior figures at the Rugby Football Union. The disconnect between the team and its supporters remains a challenge, and Borthwick’s indifference towards public opinion echoes that of his predecessor, Jones.

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England team to play South Africa:

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 29 caps) 
14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 77 caps) 
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 24 caps) 
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 57 caps) 
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 63 caps) 
10. Owen Farrell – captain (Saracens, 110 caps) 
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 10 caps) 
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 87 caps) 
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 83 caps) 
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps) 
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 74 caps) 
5. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 8 caps) 
6. Courtney Lawes – vice-captain (Northampton Saints, 104 caps) 
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 48 caps) 
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 23 caps)

Replacements: 16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 6 caps) 17. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 56 caps) 18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 67 caps) 19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps) 20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps) 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 94 caps)   22. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 89 caps) 23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)

South Africa team

Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe; Manie Libbok, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert; Siya Kolisi (captain), Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Kwagga Smith, Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard, Willie Le Roux

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#5. Chris Robshaw (England)

The flanker is a former English rugby union player who captained the national team from 2012 to 2015.

Known for his exceptional work rate and leadership skills, Robshaw was a dynamic flanker who made a significant impact on the field. He enjoyed a successful club career with Harlequins, where he played for over a decade. Robshaw’s dedication and commitment to the sport earned him numerous accolades and the respect of his peers.

Off the field, he is admired for his philanthropic efforts, using his platform to support various charitable causes.

Owens said: “Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”