February 5, 2023

Borthwick would restore England ‘clarity’ – Monye

Steve Borthwick and Ugo Monye
Borthwick and Monye (right) leave the field during England’s 16-9 win over Argentina in November 2009

Steve Borthwick would restore “clarity and detail” if he is made England head coach says former team-mate Ugo Monye.

Leicester coach Borthwick is the leading contender to succeed Eddie Jones, who was sacked on Tuesday, nine months out from the Rugby World Cup.

“If he is the man, I think it is a great appointment,” Monye told Rugby Union Weekly.

“We don’t have nine months to experiment, we have nine months to nail our identity.”

Richard Cockerill has stepped up from forwards coach to serve as interim head coach after Jones’ exit, but the Rugby Football Union has promised a full-time appointment “in the near future”.

Monye was captained by Borthwick for part of the pair’s time together with England.

“He gets it,” Monye added.

“He understands the personality of the game at the domestic level, what the players want, what the fans want, it feels like a necessity to connect all that together,

“I have had spoken with players at Leicester and the number-one word they always use is ‘detail’.

“Everyone knows exactly what they are doing and how they have to do it in every situation. The detail is inside out, they love it. Clarity and detail need to be implemented into that [England] team over the next few months.”

Borthwick took Leicester, who had finished 11th two years before, to the Premiership title last season. However they were well down the rankings for tries scored (92, =5th), metres gained (14,450, 10th), and clean breaks (115, 10th).

Monye believes Borthwick may need to do more than replicate the tactics that have worked for Leicester if he gets the England role.

“Leicester’s game is very much based on territory, kicking, power and set piece. That might be what he goes with,” Monye said.

“He will have a different player pool to select from for England, but is that how England are going to play? Are fans going to be happy with seeing that?

“Who is the attack coach? That is what I am fascinated about.

“The scrum is one of the weakest in the game, the defence is shipping tries, we need to get those fundamental pillars back in England’s game. But where they can really steal a march and close the gap on the likes of Ireland and France, New Zealand and South Africa is in their attack.”

‘It was a nice text’

Danny Care and Eddie Jones
Danny Care was part of Eddie Jones’ plans from the start of his time in charge of England

Meanwhile, England scrum-half Danny Care has revealed he exchanged messages with Jones after news broke of the coach’s exit.

Care started in Jones’ first England team selection in 2016 and was recalled to the set-up for this summer’s tour of Australia after four years out of the squad.

“I dropped him a text to say thanks for everything you did for me, to wish him all the best in the future and say that hopefully we can share a bottle of wine in the future,” said Care.

“He gave me my greatest moment in an England shirt, that start in the Grand Slam game [the 2016 win over France], so I do owe a lot to him.

“I didn’t play for a few years under him but he will always be one of the greatest coaches I ever worked with.

“Eddie replied. He said he really appreciated the message, that it was a pleasure to coach you, keep playing well and good luck for the next couple of years. It was a nice text.”

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