Tuesday 26 March 2019

England desperate to stop rot

Steve Borthwick. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images
Steve Borthwick. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

England are confident they have rectified the flaws exposed in the Six Nations as they face South Africa in today's first Test.

Eddie Jones' men are looking to end a four-match losing run, the first three defeats of which condemned the team to a worst Championship performance since 1987.

The breakdown and discipline were the areas that derailed England's title defence and forwards coach Borthwick says adjustments have been made as a result.

"The Six Nations taught us some lessons that we've had to take on board. It gives us an opportunity to change certain things," he said.

"We've seen some changes in the game and we've had to change accordingly. "

England sprang a surprise by naming Brad Shields on the bench despite the Wasps-bound Kiwi having never played a match in the Aviva Premiership.

The 27-year-old Hurricanes captain, who qualifies through his English parents, will make his debut as cover for either lock or flanker just six days after flying from New Zealand to join his team-mates for the first time.

"In any rugby team a player earns respect from how diligent and hard working they are and Brad has come in and been fantastic," Borthwick said.

Meanwhile, Ulster chief executive Shane Logan is to stand down.

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