Steve Borthwick only have FIVE nailed-on England starters for Rugby World Cup - Ruck

Steve Borthwick only have FIVE nailed-on England starters for Rugby World Cup

With just over two months remaining until the tournament kicks off in September, England’s Head Coach Steve Borthwick faces the task of finalising his starting XV and determining the team’s leader on the field in France.

During a recent media interaction, Borthwick shared that he currently has ‘five definite starters’ in mind, while several positions in the team are still up for grabs.

The selection debate surrounding England has been a topic of extensive discussion in recent weeks, particularly the Smith-Farrell-Ford conundrum, which has taken center stage.

The identity of the player who will wear the prestigious number 10 jersey and lead England’s attack remains uncertain, but there are other areas of the squad where Borthwick has made firm decisions.

England’s 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign commences on September 9th, with a clash against Argentina in Marseille.

If fully fit, the following five players are expected to be among the guaranteed starters for the match against Los Pumas, as deemed by Borthwick.


Get your tickets to the Rugby World Cup matches at viagogo, the world’s leading ticket marketplace. Find out how by clicking here.

  1. Ellis Genge

Undoubtedly one of England’s most consistent players throughout the 2023 Six Nations, Ellis Genge has evolved into a true leader in Steve Borthwick’s squad.

Starting the competition in a co-vice captain role alongside Courtney Lawes, with Owen Farrell taking full leadership, Genge was soon awarded the ‘invisible armband’ for the round four fixture against France. With Lawes injured, and Farrell dropped to the bench in favour of Marcus Smith, Genge led valiantly against Les Bleus, yet England were overcome as a whole.

The ‘Baby Rhino’ is all grown up, with the prop battering his way through defensive lines throughout the competition.

An impressive work rate for his time on the pitch, the Bristol Bears star led the carry per minute charts heading into the France match. Arguably the best loose-head prop in the world, Genge has grown into an astounding ball carrier, resilient scrummager and a true leader on the pitch. When Borthwick puts pen to paper in France, expect Genge to be the first name on the ever-competitive team sheet.

Ellis Genge of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.