Borthwick Q&A: Updates on South Africa and training

  • England training at Brighton College this week
  • Get your tickets for the Quilter Cup game here

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick gives an update on training in Brighton and preparations for the Quilter Cup game against the Barbarians on Sunday 27 May, as well as the summer tour to South Africa.

What are you aiming to get out of this week?

"Well it's an important week to get some players in for the first time with us, an opportunity for them and opportunity to develop some aspects of play that we want to do differently and change.

"It is also the first step in preparation for the challenge ahead this summer."

Eddie has talked about needing to change things up, what worried you from when you reviewed the NatWest 6 Nations that you will be focusing on?

"We got some clear feedback in some games about what things we need to work on. I think it has given us a great direction about where we need to go and what we need to do going forward for the challenge this summer.

"We've got to change what we've done previously and what England teams have done before.

"We've never won a Test series in South Africa. If we do things the same as we have done before we will probably end up with the same results and we have got to change.

"We can talk about technical areas, things we have learned, breakdown for instance was an area we want to do better in, but overall we are changing the way we approach things going forward.”

How radical do those changes need to be?

“As ever small things can be pretty significant. You make small changes and they have pretty profound effects. We need to break the mould - we need to prepare differently, prepare better.

"We look at it this summer and we have a 23 per cent win rate in South Africa in Tests. We need to go with a different attitude, a different mind set and prepare differently. The thing with rugby is it is always changing and you have got to make sure you are changing and developing with it.”

Were you shocked that the game has moved on in the NatWest 6 Nations and England weren't on the edge of that curve of development?

"It's a really competitive environment, people are always trying to do things better. The Six Nations was a fantastic tournament.

"What we see in the game now will be different again a few months later. We're here to see how we can do things differently, how we can change and improve what we're trying to do.

"You always have to be looking ahead and see what's going to happen in the future, not just in the next couple of months but six months after that. You also have to understand what players you have, what your strengths are and what you can do."