Steve Borthwick's backline have failed to score a try in nearly six hours of rugby
Danny Cipriani admitted he doesn’t know what it feels like to be part of a misfiring England backline and joked that his playing career proves “it wouldn’t be happening” on his watch.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Fiji, Steve Borthwick’s England side have not scored a try through a back in nearly six hours of rugby after some drab displays in the Rugby World Cup warm-up games against Wales (twice) and Ireland.
Read more: England Rugby World Cup squad
The problems are mounting up for the head coach as wing Anthony Watson was ruled out of the entire World Cup in France through injury, just days after fly-half and captain Owen Farrell was banned for the first two games of the tournament. Billy Vunipola – the only specialist No 8 in the squad – is also set to be suspended for at least the first match against Argentina in Marseille which is just two weeks from Saturday.
Danny Cipriani England backs: His view
Cipriani, who won the last of his 16 caps on tour to South Africa under Eddie Jones in 2018, told Rugby World: “(Six hours) is a lot of rugby. I don’t know what that feels like!”
The former Wasps, Gloucester and Sale Sharks No 10, has not retired but is without a club since leaving Bath at the end of the 2021-22 season, and with tongue in cheek, added: “It wouldn’t be happening (if I was playing). That’s just evidence from my career, I’m not lying there.”
When asked how he would feel if he was part of the Borthwick backline that was struggling to find their scoring boots, Cipriani said: “I’d feel that conversations would have to go down so everyone could start finding the best way to implement themselves in their position. They could come up with the best attacking framework which suits everyone or gets everyone in the right place to do what they are doing.”
Cipriani believes Borthwick’s coaching staff simply have to get to the bottom of what is stopping things from clicking into place and preventing the side from putting in great performances.
The 35-year-old fly-half added: “There are so many talented players in England and so many great coaches too. You can learn lots from Kevin Sinfield, Wiggy (Richard Wigglesworth) and Steve Borthwick in many different ways. It’s just about them finding out what they need to let go of, surrender to or add or whatever it might be to get everything flowing.
“They have everything there to be great it’s just down to them to find out what the key ingredients are.”
For more from our exclusive interview with Danny Cipriani keep checking rugbyworld.com.
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