Steve Borthwick announces England Six Nations team for Calcutta Cup LIVE

Borthwick on Jamie George and Ben Curry

“He [George] adds not just on the field but with his personality and the wealth of his experience that he has. I’m not going to talk about players who are unavailable. I will talk about this exciting team. There are some players who have been outside of international rugby for some time who have been desperate to get back in.

“Ben has worked really hard for this opportunity. Sometimes they come along and it’s up to the players to grab them. I’m excited for this new back-row trio and Ben Earl off the bench. He’s another who has been fighting for an England opportunity – a fair few players have for a period of time.”

Borthwick on back three

Earlier this week England’s defensive coach, Kevin Sinfield, said he was excited about the backline and Steve Borthwick has echoed those sentiments in his presser saying:

“It is exciting when you look at the competition for places in the back three. Ollie Hassell-Collins has been playing well, not just this season but last season, too. He has power, speed, athleticism.

“Max Malins has the ability to find the ball and find space. Freddie Steward’s ability under the high ball and defensively… his finishing has also developed into a real strength”

Borthwick on midfield picks

Steve Borthwick has been giving a quick press conference about his team selection and explained why he went for Marchant, Farrell and Smith in midfield.

“I’m picking a team for this week. And there is competition for places. There should always be good players not in the 23. That’s what we want; depth, people competing and fighting for the shirt.” said the head coach,

“This week’s selection has been made for this week, against a specific opponent. Then next week is next week. Manu [Tuilagi] was the incredible professional that he is when I told him he wasn’t involved. I explained my selection and the reasons, we shook hands, and then he went and trained really hard. That’s a testament to his character.

“It’s the right combination for this game. Joe Marchant at 13 works really well with Marcus. You see how they connect ball in hand… those great attacking kicks that Marcus Smith has and how Marchant finds them. “Some of England and the Lions’ best performances have taken place with Owen Farrell in the 12 shirt.”

England start new era by relying on old failure

England fans who thought, or maybe hoped, the start of the Steve Borthwick era would spell the end of the seemingly doomed Marcus Smith-Owen Farrell combination that came to define the demise of Eddie Jones’s tenure will be in for a shock when seeing the starting XV for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.

There, at fly half, is the name Marcus Smith, with Owen Farrell in the No 12 jersey outside him. Cue mass panic and social media hand-wringing over the return of this most unpopular of experiments.

Smith-Farrell was the 10-12 axis that brought down the Jones regime. It was supposed to be a cheat code in attack, a way of squeezing two elite fly halves into the team as a double-playmaker pivot to create an unpredictable, unstoppable force. It unequivocally failed.

England start new era by relying on old failure

Steve Borthwick has persisted with the Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell axis for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland

Townsend was Scotland to ‘inspire the nation’ ahead of Calcutta Cup clash

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has challenged his side to “inspire their nation” ahead of their Six Nations opener against England/

Townsend named his starting XV for the Calcutta Cup clash on Thursday, omitting regular scrum-half Ali Price from the matchday 23.

Scotland triumphed the last time that the two sides met at Twickenham but the win – their first at the home of English rugby since 1983 – took place behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Townsend admitted that a win on Saturday in front of a full house would be an even better result.

“It would be massive,” Townsend said. “2021 meant so much, too; we were sent videos from people at home who had been confined to their houses during lockdown. That gave us a massive lift. But we’re here to win and we’re here to inspire our nation and make them proud. For that, there’s no better fixture.

“The atmosphere at Twickenham is always of anticipation and excitement. It’s their first Six Nations game, it will be loud. The first few minutes, the crowd will be supporting their team.

“It’s a challenge to focus the mind. We’ve had England first up the past two seasons. It means more than just a one-off fixture. But it’ll be hugely challenging away from home against England. We have to be at our best for 80 minutes and that does focus the players’ minds.”

Twickenham boos ‘definitely’ hurt England players, says Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell has said that being booed off by home fans after the defeat to South Africa “definitely” hurt as England prepare to return to Twickenham.

The 27-13 loss to the Springboks closed a disappointing autumn campaign for England, with home supporters voicing their displeasure at the full time whistle after a meek display.

The defeat precipitated the departure of head coach Eddie Jones, with Steve Borthwick installed as the Australian’s replacement.

Farrell: Twickenham boos ‘definitely’ hurt England players

The home crowd voiced their displeasure at the end of a disappointing autumn for England

Borthwick’s first England team

Wing Ollie Hassell-Collins will make his England debut in Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Twickenham with captain Owen Farrell starting at 12, partnering fly-half Marcus Smith.

Flanker Ben Curry earns his second England cap 17 months after his first and steps in for injured brother Tom. Jack van Poortvliet is England’s starting scrum-half, pushing the experienced Ben Youngs to the bench.

Max Malins returns to the back three where Freddie Steward starts at full-back while in the front row, hooker Jamie George will start – since completing a return to play after a concussion.

Ollie Chessum partners Maro Itoje in the second row and Curry is joined by Lewis Ludlam in the back row, with Alex Dombrandt at number eight.

Manu Tuilagi dropped by Steve Borthwick for England’s Six Nations opener

Manu Tuilagi has been dropped by Steve Borthwick as the head coach named a revamped side for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.

Tuilagi, a veteran of 46 caps and a regular choice for the Red Rose for much of the past decade, has not even been named in Borthwick’s first 23-man squad.

Joe Marchant takes the 31-year-old’s place in the England line-up, with Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell to resume their playmaking axis for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.

Manu Tuilagi dropped by Steve Borthwick for England’s Six Nations opener

Manu Tuilagi has been dropped by Steve Borthwick as the head coach named a revamped side for England’s Six Nations opener against Scotland.

English rugby’s next chapter

“There are few fixtures in the rugby calendar that excite both players and supporters alike more than the annual Six Nations meeting of the Auld Enemy as they battle for the honour of lifting the Calcutta Cup.” said head coach Steve Borthwick.

“Another packed Twickenham will witness the start of the next chapter of English rugby in one of the most keenly contested tournaments in the world. There is no doubt that this England team shares the supporters’ sense of eager anticipation.

“To a man, the players are determined to play with the commitment, fight and desire that is at the very heart of representing England, the sort of passion that our tremendous supporters rightly expect.”

Sinfield ‘delighted’ with backline options.

Steve Borthwick’s new defence coach, Kevin Sinfield, says he is “delighted” with England’s backline options despite injuries to Elliot Daly, Henry Slade and Dan Kelly.

“Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole,” Sinfield said. “In getting those right combinations, there are some players on our side who enable players to go from a seven out of 10 to an eight out of 10 just by being there and their influence.

“There’s a lot more that goes into selecting a side than just what you guys see. It’s what we feel and what we see 24-7. It’s not just what happens on the grass, that leadership element is really important.”

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