- Ask Steven
Curtain callJohn GriffithsMay 30, 2014
As they prepare for their final weeks of their professional rugby careers, when did Steve Borthwick and Jonny Wilkinson first play together? John Stevens, England
The two were part of the England Schools (19 group) Grand Slam team as far back as 1997. Jonny Wilkinson was then a pupil at Lord Wandsworth School and Steve Borthwick was at Hutton Grammar School. They were part of a team that beat France (20-10), Ireland (16-9), Scotland (55-18) and Wales (18-17).
Among the other players in that successful schools side who went on to win senior England caps were Iain Balshaw, Tom May, David Flatman, Andrew Sheridan, Mike Tindall, Alex Sanderson and Lee Mears. Simon Danielli later played for Scotland.
In August that year the Schools undertook an invincible eight-match tour of Australia, Wilkinson (centre) and Borthwick (second-row) featuring in the 38-20 win in the one-off Test against their Australian counterparts. Phil Christophers, another who subsequently won full England honours, joined the side for that tour.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.