Jamie George will certainly not be a happy man if Steve Borthwick is sacked by the RFU after England‘s third-placed finish at the Rugby World Cup. Borthwick’s side performed above expectations in France despite the benefit of a favourable draw, although South Africa ultimately proved too strong for them in the semi-finals.
England finished their campaign on a high note with a hard-fought win over Argentina to clinch the bronze medal and leave Borthwick with praise ringing in his ears. The 44-year-old endured a tough start to his time in charge of England but has since proved his mettle to bring a fresh wave of optimism in spite of their Rugby World Cup exit.
George is a huge admirer of Borthwick, who he believes is the ‘perfect man’ to continue leading England as they begin to prepare for the next edition of the tournament in 2027.
“For me Steve is the perfect man,” said George. “He never sits still, I don’t think he ever sleeps. I have huge confidence in him to make sure we get this right. If those contracts do come in I have every confidence he will do it in the absolute right way that does not take away from the club game, because that’s something that means a lot to me.”
The RFU are currently discussing the idea of placing England stars on hybrid contracts, which would give Borthwick greater control over a select number of his most important players. Under the agreement, he would pick a group of internationals who he would see as providing the foundations of his squad for the next Rugby World Cup.
George is eager to see the plans put into place to help Borthwick over the next four years, although he would like to see more clarity from the RFU and Premiership Rugby on how the new contracts will work in practice.
“We need a bit more clarity around it,” he added. “It could possibly be a great thing for English rugby but it has to be done right. Hopefully there will be plenty of player influence on that and we are heavily involved in those conversations because there are a lot of very intelligent guys in this changing room.
“A lot of guys who have a lot of things to say and care a huge amount about the English game and its development going forward.”
It seems as though Borthwick still has the full backing of his players, who will be proud of their efforts at this year’s Rugby World Cup after only losing to the defending champions by the smallest of margins. It remains to be seen if the same head coach will be in charge when England travel to Australia in 2027 with a major point to prove.