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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Nick Purewal

Danny Care issues seal of approval as England look to seal Steve Borthwick appointment

Danny Care has tipped England to be "very, very successful" should Steve Borthwick take the Twickenham helm.

The Harlequins scrum-half told the England squad to keep a "chip on their shoulders" to turn Eddie Jones’ exit into a shot at World Cup glory.

England dispensed with Jones’ services this week, less than 11 months out from the World Cup in France.

Leicester head coach Borthwick is expected to replace Jones, with talks ongoing between Tigers bosses and the RFU.

Harlequins responded to Paul Gustard’s sacking in January 2021 by turning their season on its head and winning the Gallagher Premiership.

And the England half-back believes the Test side should harness a similar spirit now.

Asked if nine Test matches’ preparation is enough to win the World Cup next year, Care replied: "It’s going to have to be, it’s going to have to be enough time.

“On a much smaller scale we showed in a change of coach at the club, when you give us five, six months, and we lifted the trophy when no one thought we could do it.

“I’d say England’s a similar thing at the moment, no one would think that England would be stood there with the World Cup trophy in October.

“So as an Englishman, you go ‘why not?’. No one thinks we can do it so you can use that as an extra little bit of motivation.

“But I truly believe in that squad, I do think there’s some brilliant players, if they can be unlocked and unleashed in the right way, and have the right guys leading it, then why not.

“At the moment France and Ireland are ahead, there’s no hiding away from that.

“But an English team with a bit to prove, or a bit of a chip on their shoulders, it’s a little bit like 2015 when everyone thought we were awful and then we went on to win 17 in a row.

“So that would be nice, and it would be nice to see England up there and challenging in France.

“I think if you look at where Leicester were when Steve Borthwick took over, to where they are now, obviously lifting the trophy last year, he knows how to turn a team around quickly, how to get a team in shape.

“So if it is to be Steve, I have no doubts that he would be very, very successful."

Care has been captained and coached by Borthwick at England.

The 87-cap playmaker revealed his shock at Jones’ exit, but revealed Borthwick’s detail-oriented approach.

Next in line: Borthwick is expected to become the new England coach (Getty Images)

“Eddie always wanted you to be uncomfortable; he never wanted people to relax," said Care.

“Whether that’s a good or a bad thing I think depends on your character.

“People will always have different relationships. Mine at the end is a good relationship with him.

“But we had times when I questioned or challenged something when it didn’t go down too well and I wasn’t seen for a few years. But I can live with that.

“Hopefully it’s a completely fresh piece of paper for the coaches to have a look at everyone - old and young - and see if they can help out this England side.

“There probably is still a little bit of shock that the RFU have done it (sacked Jones) and they have done it this close to a World Cup.

“Steve is one of the most diligent professional players, and from speaking from the lads at Leicester he’s very similar as a coach.

“No stone will be left unturned which is similar to Eddie. He’s worked with Eddie a fair bit as well. He knows what it takes to play for, captain and coach England.

“If it is Steve then I’m sure that team will do very well."

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