England Rugby Coach Steve Borthwick Aims to Bring English Rugby to New Heights
In a recent interview, England rugby head coach Steve Borthwick expressed his hope that stakeholders in the domestic game can come together and move English rugby to the “top of the world.”
Borthwick’s Vision for English Players in England
Borthwick has reiterated his wish to see “England players in England,” after some of his players chose to move abroad on lucrative deals. As concern over rugby union’s finances in England has grown over the past year, several players have decided to earn a living abroad instead.
The Suspension of London Irish Club from Premiership League:
Cash-strapped London Irish were recently suspended by the English top-flight this month – marking it as third Premiership club suspension. Despite this unsettling news, Borthwick could not be prouder of Exiles’ players who are also part of his squad. The 43-year-old included four London Irish players in his first 28-man pre-World Cup training squad and said: “Our hearts go out to all of them”.
New Faces Joining Squad:
Several uncapped players including Tom Pearson from London Irish back-row forward have been given an opportunity by Borthwick. He believes that Pearson has been phenomenal during training sessions.
Rugby Finances at Stake:
Premiership salaries have been squeezed after wage cap reduction thus urging many seasoned professionals seek better pay elsewhere which is understandable but concerning still for fans who want to see England players playing in England. Rugby Football Union (RFU) rules do not allow players based abroad to be selected for England but an exception was made for former Wasps and Worcester players after those clubs folded.
Borthwick added that lock Joe Launchbury who has been playing in Japan following Wasps’ demise, will be available for selection once he recovers from a leg injury sustained while running.