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VIDEO - Borthwick discusses Elite squad's first week of training

30 October 2009

  • England Captain comments on first week of EPS training
  • Borthwick pleased to have Wilkinson back in the squad

England captain Steve Borthwick has praised the contributions of World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson and new-man Courtney Lawes ahead of November’s Investec Internationals.

The Elite Player Squad (EPS) has been training together at England’s Penny Hill Park base this week, and in an interview with RFU TV, Borthwick said he is pleased with the atmosphere in the squad.

“It’s a really tight group,” said Borthwick. “There’s a really good feeling and atmosphere around what we’re trying to do her,e and I think that the group is very supportive of each other.

“It’s great to have Jonny back [in the squad]. Having a world class player that really adds value from a skillset point of view, but also in terms of his character and his personality.

Wilkinson is England’s record points scorer and famously slotted the drop goal that clinched World Cup victory for England in 2003. And for Borthwick, Wilkinson’s contributions off the pitch are just as important.

Borthwick said: “He is a guy who wants to help all the other players get better, and a guy that sets a really brilliant example in his constant search for improvement and his attention to detail. With his knowledge of the game it’s great to have him as part of this group now.”

The uncapped Courtney Lawes was a recent addition to the squad, but the 20-year-old Northampton lock has been training well in his first EPS sessions.

“He’s an excellent player,” explained Borthwick. “He’s really making great strides at Northampton and he’s trained really well this week and we’ve been very impressed.

“This is going to be a tough, physical series of games and we’ll be in the best possible shape that we can be for the start of that series”

Tickets to watch England take on Argentina at Twickenham are still available and can be booked online through RFU.com.