Borthwick retains England captaincy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Borthwick retains England captaincy

26/01/2010 06:16:53 PM Comments (0)

Steve Borthwick will retain the England captaincy for the upcoming Six Nations Championship opener against Wales.

Earlier this month England manager Martin Johnson named his squad for the Six Nations but refused to say if Saracens lock Borthwick would continue as captain, raising the possibility of a new second row combination taking the field against Wales at Twickenham next month.

But an RFU statement on Monday said: "England team manager Martin Johnson has confirmed Steve Borthwick (Saracens) will captain the team."

Borthwick has captained England in every Test that Johnson, himself a former lock, has been in charge of since the World Cup winning captain became manager in 2008.

However, their record as manager and captain of six wins from 14 Tests with eight defeats has led to questions being asked of both men's suitability for their respective roles.

Many observers have also repeatedly queried whether Borthwick is worth a place in the side purely as a lock but Monday's announcement means that, barring injury, the 30-year-old is set to retain the captaincy for the whole of the Six Nations.

When Johnson announced his initial Six Nations squad, he was asked why he had not also named a captain.

He replied: "Steve's done a great job but everyone is competing for places. That's the way it has to be and the way Steve would want it."

Leicester back-rower Lewis Moody, England's outstanding player during a lacklustre November home series, and fit-again Harlequins No.8 Nick Easter were both touted as alternative captains.

But the longstanding criticism of Borthwick has often perplexed those who've worked with him at close quarters, particularly Johnson and Saracens boss Brendan Venter.

Under his captaincy, Saracens have become contenders for the Premiership title this season and former Springbok centre Venter said: "We are a good rugby side because of Steve Borthwick.

"If we are going to end up having a great season and competing at the highest level it is because of Steve Borthwick. Steve is everything I want in a captain."

Johnson's decision was announced after England arrived on Monday in Portugal for a pre-tournament training camp.

Meanwhile, props Matt Mullen and Dan Cole were called into the Six Nations squad as cover for injured front-rowers Andrew Sheridan and Julian White.

Also promoted as injury cover were No.8 Dan Ward-Smith, flanker Chris Robshaw and scrum-half Ben Youngs.

England face Wales at Twickenham on February 6.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news