Steve Borthwick's first England call-up wants to quit and play for Six Nations rival - Ruck

Steve Borthwick’s first England call-up wants to quit and play for Six Nations rival

In his relatively short tenure of just 14 months as England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick has already faced disappointment as several of his selections have failed to make the desired impact.

Moreover, there’s already talk of one player contemplating a switch to represent another nation.

#3. Joe Cokanasiga

Next summer marks seven years since Joe Cokanasiga received his initial call-up to the England squad, an auspicious moment for the gifted teenager whose potential drew comparisons to the legendary Jonah Lomu.

Despite the high hopes surrounding him, Cokanasiga’s journey to becoming a formidable international force has encountered obstacles. With just 14 caps earned over five years, he has yet to fully realize his potential on the international stage. However, his consistent presence within the squad under the tenures of both Eddie Jones and now Steve Borthwick underscores his value as a unique talent, even if his appearances have been infrequent.

Excitement surged among fans when Cokanasiga was recalled ahead of the Rugby World Cup; however, his performance against Wales in a warm-up match failed to leave a significant mark, resulting in his omission from the tournament squad.

Joe Cokanasiga of England on the break during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Though the 26-year-old has since showcased his prowess for Bath this season, earning praise for his disruptive play, he has yet to receive a recall from Borthwick.

Following his exclusion from the World Cup squad, national head coach Borthwick outlined areas for improvement to Cokanasiga, motivating the Fijian-born player to redouble his efforts.

Verdict: Time is running out