England head coach Steve Borthwick is excited by his team’s World Cup potential after a decent finish to an otherwise disappointing Six Nations.
Borthwick’s side lost 29-16 to Grand Slam winners Ireland after having gone down to 14 players following a controversial red card to Freddie Steward in the first half.
To the Red Rose’s credit, they showed tremendous character and had Ireland flustered at times on their hallowed turf.
The performance, despite not winning, was encouraging after a record defeat to France the week before, and Borthwick is excited about what lies ahead.
“We’ll debrief this Six Nations thoroughly, we’ll take what lessons we take from it and be clear on our direction going forward,” he said.
“I’ve already said that there is a gap (to the top nations). The team is not where it could be and, while we’re judging against teams that have used this four-year cycle tremendously well, that’s not what has happened with England, that’s not the position England are in. I can’t do anything about the past.
“I intend we will be working really hard to put England in the best position possible and I’m excited about what these players can do for the World Cup.”
Borthwick says he has seen growth in his England side during the Six Nations but is looking forward to the preparation period for the global showpiece.
“We get a number of weeks to prepare (for the World Cup), players will then be conditioned for international rugby, players will understand how we want to play,” he added.
“This has been a fabulous tournament, five intense games and effectively you then have one main training session a week.
“I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work with the players for a longer period of time and I think we can make some growth.
“I think we’ve seen some growth here but I think we will see more in that preparation period.”
England finished the tournament in fourth place with two wins from five coming against Italy and Wales, both of which finished behind the Red Rose.
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