England head coach Steve Borthwick has urged fans to throw their support behind his team as he targets a successful start to the Six Nations.
Last November, England were booed off the pitch at Twickenham after the defeat to South Africa, prompting a change in head coach with Eddie Jones vacating the role and Borthwick named his successor.
Fast forward two months and Borthwick takes charge of the Red Rose for the first time in a Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland.
Value of home support
Borthwick urges the England fans to play their part in turning things around by making their voices heard on Saturday.
“The message I give to the supporters will be a pretty simple one in the sense that, in every single study I ever read, the impact of home support is worth more than any one player,” Borthwick said.
“So I ask them to be behind this team. This is the first step of the team. It’s the first step right now in this next chapter of the England team.
“This is a group of players that care so much about the England rugby team. I know I do, so I ask them to get behind this team and lift this team, as they always do.”
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The new England head coach warns that there will be mistakes, but is backing his side to show fight and determination against the Auld Enemy.
“There will be mistakes on Saturday, but I want the players fighting, the players getting to the next battle, the players bringing all the strengths they have into the England shirt,” he said.
“And I think that the players will show that fight and that determination. We want to make the supporters proud and want the players to be proud of the team. And we want that to start on Saturday.”
Calcutta Cup woes
Scotland beat England the last time the sides faced off at Twickenham in 2020 and have had a stronghold on the Calcutta Cup since 2017. They have won three of the five meetings and drew another in the Six Nations.
“I know there’s a lot of England supporters who will be disappointed by that. I can’t rewrite history, and neither can the players. All we can do is influence what is going to happen in the future,” Borthwick said.
“We know Scotland are a top-quality side, but there are real good quality players in our team as well.
“I’m sure Scotland are going to come to Twickenham confident. Previously they have kicked the ball and tried to play a very specific type of game plan against England.
“What will they bring this weekend? I don’t know. I’m going to concentrate on what we’re going to bring. We have good players ready to go this weekend.”
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