Six Nations team guide: England

Under new management, can the English make an immediate impact in the wake of Eddie Jones' exit? 
Six Nations team guide: England

SQUARE ONE: England head coach Steve Borthwick during a training session at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Bagshot this week. 



Your home for the latest news, views and analysis of this year's Six Nations Championship from our award winning sports team.


Your home for the latest news, views and analysis of this year's Six Nations Championship from our award winning sports team.

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Home: Twickenham, London 

If they were a movie title they’d be… Everything Everywhere All At Once 

World Ranking:

2022 Test Record: P12 W5 D1 L6 

Highlight reel: In a year that cost Eddie Jones his job as head coach, the bright spots were a series win in Australia and a stirring fightback to draw at home to the All Blacks, each of which was followed by crushing, risk-averse disappointments at home to Argentina and then South Africa.

6N Odds: Outright: 7/2 Grand Slam: 8/1 Triple Crown: 9/2 

Last time out: 3rd W2 L3 

Oscar-winning performance: Grand Slam 2003, 2016 

Rotten tomato: 5th 2018, 2021 

Head coach: Steve Borthwick - start date 2023 

If he was a screen character, who would he be? The Batman – on a quest to save Gotham from itself.

Captain: Owen Farrell (2018-21) P16 W9 D1 L6 Win Rate: 56.13% 

Who would play him in a biopic? Leonardo DiCaprio – a quintessential leading man that is difficult to typecast.

Most appearances: 52 – Ben Youngs (2010-current) 

Most points: 500 – Owen Farrell (2012-current) 

Most tries: 16 – Ben Cohen (2000-06); current: 9 – Ben Youngs 

A-lister: Maro Itoje – perennial high performer and key to England’s hopes of revival under Borthwick 

A Star Is Born? Jack van Poortvliet – the 21-year-old scrum-half is centurion Ben Youngs’ understudy at both Leicester Tigers and England but his try-scoring Test debut in Australia last summer and subsequent impacts off the bench have already marked him out as the heir apparent in both number nine jerseys.

New cast members: New head coach Borthwick brought a handful of uncapped players into his first squad since succeeding Eddie Jones. There was a first call up for Northampton Saints fly-half’ Fin Smith, London Irish wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, the now-injured Gloucester hooker George McGuigan, Harlequins wing Cadan Murley, and Quins hooker Jack Walker.

Failed the audition: Experienced wings Jonny May and Jack Nowell, and No.8 Billy Vunipola are the eye-catching omissions from the start of England’s new dawn under Borthwick.

Broke a leg? Big-booted Saracens back Elliot Daly will miss the entire championship with a hamstring injury while lock/flanker Courtney Lawes (calf), and three hookers - Jamie George (concussion), Luke Cowan-Dickie (ankle) and the uncapped McGuigan (knee) have all withdrawn through injury.

Potential milestones: Recalled Leicester Tigers tighthead prop Dan Cole starts the campaign on 95 caps.

Donal Lenihan's verdict: After two unremarkable campaigns that saw them finish third and fifth in 2022 and 2021, new head coach Steve Borthwick needs to have England still in the running for honors when they arrive in Dublin for the final game of their campaign.

There are a number of key metrics on which Borthwick will be judged. The scrum, traditionally a key strength of the English game, deteriorated alarmingly under Eddie Jones and that needs to be addressed.

Their attack game has been unimaginative, far too predictable and easy to defend. The Twickenham crowd voiced their disapproval when booing the team after the recent defeat to South Africa which ultimately sealed Jones’s fate. Borthwick needs to quickly find a way to get the fans on their feet for all the right reasons.

6N SQUAD: Forwards (20): J Blamire (Newcastle), O Chessum (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), B Curry (Sale), A Dombrandt (Harlequins), T Dunn (Bath), B Earl (Saracens), E Genge (Bristol), J Heyes (Leicester), J Hill (Sale), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), L Ludlam (Northampton), D Ribbans (Northampton), B Rodd (Sale), S Simmonds (Exeter), K Sinckler (Bristol), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Toulouse).

Backs (16): O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton), O Hassell-Collins (London Irish), D Kelly (Leicester), O Lawrence (Bath), M Malins (Saracens), J Marchant (Harlequins), A Mitchell (Northampton), C Murley (Harlequins), H Slade (Exeter), F Smith (Northampton), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester), M Tuilagi (Sale), J van Poortvliet (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester).

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