Rose’s Borthwick picks his thorns


England, currently the only unbeaten team in the World Cup tournament, is known for Saturday’s semi-final against the Springboks at the Stade de France.

Coach Steve Borthwick made three changes to the team that faced Fiji in an action-packed quarter-final last weekend.

Joe Marler (prop) and George Martin (lock) make the jump from the substitutes’ bench to the starting line-up, while Freddie Steward starts in place of the injured Marcus Smith at full-back.

According to Borthwick, his team apparently knows how to make the best of the French rugby conditions.

“As the tournament progressed, the players repeatedly found ways to win matches. Sometimes in challenging circumstances,” said the England knitter.

He added that his team is excited to play against the Springboks again; the team against whom they fell in the final of the 2019 World Cup.

“We are definitely going to enjoy the challenge of playing knockout rugby under the lights of the Stade de France in Paris. The players will, as they have already done in every live game, give their best to achieve the desired result.”

The former lock, who captained England in more than 20 Tests, also thanked the team’s supporters.

“As usual there will be thousands of fans cheering England on loudly again. I would like to thank them; they undoubtedly play a role in the team’s performance.”

England: Freddie Steward (full back), Jonny May (right wing), Joe Marchant (outside centre), Manu Tuilagi (inside centre), Elliot Daly (left wing), Owen Farrell (fly-half), Alex Mitchell (scrum-half), Ben Earl (eighth man), Tom Curry (flank), Courtney Lawes (flank), George Martin (lock), Maro Itoje (lock), Dan Cole (prop), Jamie George (hooker) and Joe Marler (prop). Subs: Theo Dan, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Billy Vunipola, Danny Care, George Ford and Ollie Lawrence.