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Borthwick rejects Warren Gatland’s claim about England’s fitness levels

10 Aug 2023 2 minute read
Players from both sides reacts at the final whistle during the Summer Nations Series match at the Principality Stadium. Ben Whitley/PA Wire.

Steve Borthwick insists he is satisfied with England’s conditioning ahead of the World Cup despite Warren Gatland’s claim that his Wales side were fitter in Cardiff last Saturday.

Wales emerged comfortable 20-9 winners from the first of two meetings between the rivals that are being staged as preparation for the World Cup with the second taking place at Twickenham this weekend.

Gatland stirred the pot at the Principality Stadium by saying Wales were “too fit for them” and that he felt “some of the English forwards were blowing a bit just before half-time”.

On track

England boss Borthwick rejected the criticism by stating his team are on track to be ready for the World Cup under the guidance of Aled Walters, who acted as South Africa’s head of conditioning for their triumph in 2019.

“The programme is very specific and direct for what we need to do with the players we have,” Borthwick said.

“In Aled Walters, with his experience of getting a team right to win a World Cup, we’ve got a guy who’s proven to get a team together at the right time.

“We believe we’re on the right track for where we want to be right now, I don’t know what other teams are doing or saying about their players or our team, I just concentrate on my team and we’re in a pretty good place right now.

“We are ensuring our training is tailored for where we need to be in four weeks’ time. I know this team is going to get sharper over the subsequent weeks.

“As the training volume changes, the sharpness in their legs will change and that will lead to an even better performance in the pitch.”

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