England began their new era under head coach Steve Borthwick with a stunning Calcutta Cup loss against fierce rivals Scotland at Twickenham last weekend.
But Borthwick didn’t take responsibility for the loss, instead he pinned the blame on a legendary coach who calls Australia home once again.
Following on from last year’s disappointing campaign, England need to find some form ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.
Cast aside as a fallen giant of the sport, the Rugby Football Union made the stunning decision to part ways with Eddie Jones in December.
While the news came as a shock to many fans and pundits, it was the risk England needed to take ahead of the sport’s most prestigious event.
But things have gone from bad to worse.
England were beaten in a thrilling Calcutta Cup clash to start their Six Nations campaign, as they went down fighting 23-29 to Scotland.
Borthwick has insisted in the past that the national team have plenty of work to do, and made sure to throw another jab at Jones following the defeat.
“I’ve been frank from day one in saying there’s a lot of work to do,” Borthwick said after the loss to Scotland.
“When I looked at the team in the autumn… we weren’t good at anything. It was as frank as that.”
Meanwhile, Jones has launched his own podcast and is preparing to lead the Wallabies to this year’s World Cup after replacing Dave Rennie.
Borthwick was announced as England head coach about two months ago, and has plenty of time to make any changes that he deemed necessary.
New Zealand rugby journalist Jamie Wall has slammed Borthwick’s “bizarre” comments, saying the loss was definitely his “fault.”
“Some pretty bizarre comments from Borthwick after that game,” Wall told SENZ Mornings.
“I think people weren’t probably expecting him to turn this team around straight away (but) facing Scotland at home is a game that English fans kind of expect to win, so that still would have been disappointing.
“But to come out and sort of say, ‘Well this isn’t my fault,’ like mate, you’ve got the job now, you’ve got the players, I don’t know what else they’re going to pick.
“I don’t follow English club rugby that particularly closely but I don’t really know of there being too many guys that are banging on the door that Steve Borthwick hasn’t taken any notice of.
“If there are, well that’s your fault for not picking them, mate.”
As the countdown to this year’s World Cup continues, every team will be analysing their results and combinations as they chase rugby immortality in France.
For England, they’ve continued to persist with a new-look 10-12 combination despite their lacklustre results.
Harlequins pivot Marcus Smith has become a regular custodian of the No. 10 jersey, while Owen Farrell continues to lead the team from the midfield.
But as Wall explain, England might to “axe one of them” if they want to turn their form around.
“There are enough good players in there, they’ve got a very solid front row or tight five as it were (and) some talented loose forwards,” Wall added.
“Their biggest issue (is) they’ve got Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell… they have two playmakers that they’re trying to shoehorn into the same team.
“If Borthwick is going to make a big call it’s that he’s going to have to axe one of them and build his team around the other one.”